Some occult traditions have a very formal method of constructing inner or astral temples. This method is informal. Keep in mind this is only one of the few meditations wherein you will be constructing your inner temple. Do not rush through or try to cram everything in at once. Focus on exploring what you find first and not on constructing an elaborate temple in one shot. First of all, you’ll wear yourself out, and second, you won’t be investing enough personal energy into your construct to give it any permanence or stability.
Materials: An incense you associate with meditation or something light like frankincense. Do not use myrrh or dragon’s blood because their scents are too heavy and their energies may have negative effects on what you are doing. Also, a straight backed meditation chair (optional).
- Prepare yourself as you would for ritual, by cleansing your body and clearing your mind. Prepare your usual ritual space in your usual fashion.
- Cast a formal circle, call the elements to witness, invoke your higher power and light your incense.
- Center and sit. A straight backed chair is ideal over laying down. Take a few breathes and calm your body and mind.
- Visualize yourself walking along a path. It may be a city road or forest trail; either way, this place does not have any other paths branching off from it. As you walk it, keep your intent of finding your inner temple clearly in your mind.
- Eventually the path will end at a gate or door of some kind. It can be formally constructed and set in a wall or it may be something as simple as a low branch or a rock set in the opening of a cave. No one can pass through but you. Lay your hand on the door and it will open for only you have the key to your inner temple. No one else will ever be able to enter without your permission.
- Step through the doorway into the space beyond. This space may already have a rough form, as it is responding to your higher self. Take the time to explore thoroughly. If something seems vague concentrate on it until it becomes clear. Handle the objects you can touch; breathe deeply and find what scents the temple possesses. Listen closely to the ambient noise. All these interactions will allow you to interact with the temple on various levels, making it more real to you. Ask yourself the following questions to get acquainted with the temple space and to further connect it with your own energy.
- What are the walls made of? What color?
- What does the floor look like? What is it made of? Are there coverings?
- What does the ceiling look like?
- Where does the light come from? What sort of illumination does it cast?
- What are the representations of the four elements? Where are they?
- What is the temperature?
- What are the sounds?
- What is on the walls?
- There might already be an alter in the room. Do not be concerned if it does not correspond to where you first think the alter should be. Do not be concerned if the four elements aren’t in their custom cardinal directions. If there is no alter, create one in the center of the space; this will be your main ritual area. Your inner temple is a place where you can set up your own workspace any way you please; however, a central alter is a very adaptable setup.
- There may be doors in this temple room. If there are, do not go through them. Stay in this central room for now. It is essential to establish a strong link with your main temple room before you begin to explore other areas of the complex.
- Once you know what is in the central room, take a moment or two to center again. Then leave, closing the door behind it and placing your hand upon it to lock it again. Retrace your steps along the path until you’re ready to return to your physical space.
- Write down the impressions you received while exploring your inner temple, along with as many details as you can remember. Sketch out a floor plan, what else would you like to add?
After you’ve completed the first exercise, make notes of your dreams for the next few nights. If it appears while you’re meditating, it means your subconscious is creating a stronger link to it. Wait at least three days before returning. Again, explore the space. Some of what you wished to add may have appeared in your absence. If you wish to add something, choose one thing at a time. Create it with detail through visualization. When you begin to feel comfortable, experiment with performing rituals in your inner temple. This exercise will help you evolve and finetune. You can retreat to your temple for any meditation, ritual or just a timeout.