January 22, 2007

Sleep Terrors

Originally posted September 17, 2006

Night Terrors aka Sleep Terrors is a condition where, during a certain stage of sleep, one becomes paralyzed while mentally seeing a traumatic scenario taking place. The reason why I'm writing about this subject today is because I, myself, am afflicted by it. Personally, I prefer the title of Sleep Terrors as opposed to Night Terrors, as I've experienced them not only at night, but in the morning and during early evening naps. Different people have unique experiences, such as seeing demons to infamous tellings of alien abduction. For a much more in-depth look about this sleep disorder, check out The Night Terrors Resource Center at http://www.nightterrors.org/.

I think my first experience with Sleep Terrors was a couple years ago. I recall waking up one morning in the fetal position for the second time in my life. The first was when I was still in my mother’s womb. (Get it?) Anyway, while I was in this position, I remember not being able to move myself at all. As if my all of my bone joints were locked in place. This only lasted about a moment as I fell back to sleep quickly. Perhaps this wasn't a case of Sleep Terror, as I recalled nothing happening in my brain that could be considered frightening. Unless you count "Woah. Can't move. I didn't feel like getting up anyway. Back to sleep."

Before I even knew about this condition, I had thought my problem was caused by something else. Something of the supernatural sort. But I didn't come up with that conclusion on my own. I had read a book entitled Vampires: The Occult Truth by Konstantinos. It's a tome that describes all sorts of vampires, from those of folklore to today's mortal blood-drinkers. It even discussed a phenomenon that was new to me: Psychic vampires. The book describes beings who, either intentionally or unintentionally, project their body's spirits to acquire power from the spirits of others. So rather than obtaining life force from sucking blood, they just steal energy from your body. Unintentional psychic vampires are usually weaker people, perhaps inflicted with a disease, whose spirits instinctively drain other people to support itself. Then there's intentional psychic vampires, folks who actually train their spirits to depart from their bodies as they slumber to seek out usually sleeping victims. They believe that this practice not only makes themselves stronger, but will allow them to continue to inhabit the Earth as wandering spirits after their bodies have perished. The symptoms described in the book from a psychic vampire attack are being abruptly awakened from sleep, unable to move, speak, and difficulty breathing. You watch helplessly as some demonic form appears over your body, sending tendrils from within to latch onto you and drain you of energy. Then its said that, when the vampire has had its fill, it releases you and you fall back to sleep.

It wasn't long after reading this book that I started to experience a similar situation as a psychic vampire attack. Similar, but a tad different. I will give a detailed telling of my own Sleep Terrors before this essay ends, but I want to tell you the fun part first. Konstantinos' book also tells you how to protect yourself from "hag attacks", as they can be known as. I studied it, and decided to give it a try myself. What did I have to lose? So here are the notes I took from the book to tell you what I did to protect my spirit from evil.

Purification
-Enter a shower or bath.
-Close your eyes and "feel" the water on your skin. In the shower, concentrate on the tingling sensation of the stream of water hitting you. In a bath, focus on the feeling of being surrounded by water.
-After a moment of silent meditation on those sensations, you should be ready to imagine there is more than just liquid against or around you. Imagine that the tingling is a static field of energy surrounding you, or that the liquid sensation all around you is an aura of energy.
-Keep eyes closed and try to "astrally see" or visualize what the energy field surrounding you might look like. Begin to look for any dark spots in it. If you don't see any, or are having a difficult time visualizing, just assure yourself that you are aware of your aura and any impurities it might have.
-Visualize the dark impurities leaving your aura and either being washed away by the shower, or being absorbed by the water.
-When you feel you've "cleansed" yourself as much as possible, step out of the shower or bath. You are now free of many impurities.

Banishing Ritual
-Requires glass of water, dish of salt, white candle, and stick of incense. Matches.
-Set these up on a small table in the center of the room. Incense on east side, candle on south side, water on west side, and salt on north side. Dim the lights.
-Stand to the west of the table, facing east. Close eyes and take three slow, deep breaths. Feel the body of energy around you. Open your eyes and light the incense stick. Carry it around the perimeter of the room clockwise. As you do, say "I purify this space with Air." Return to position and put the incense back in the holder.
-Light the candle. Pick it up and walk clock-wise around the perimeter saying "I purify this space with Fire". Return to position and put the candle back into the holder.
-Pick up the water and walk clockwise around the perimeter. Sprinkle drops of water with your fingers as you do so, saying "I purify this space with Water". Return to position and place the glass down.
-Pick up the dish and walk around the perimeter, dropping pinches of salt and say "I purify this space with Earth." Return to position and set the salt down.
-Clear mind as much as possible. Close your eyes, take three more deep breaths, and turn face up. "See" in your mind's eye that there is a glowing ball of light directly above you..
-Imagine that with each inhalation you take, the ball of white light gets closer. Soon it will come through the top of your head and move to the center of your chest. It should make you feel as if there is a source of warm energy pulsing within you.
-Begin to imagine that it is getting larger with each exhalation. In a minute it should become a sphere of light that is large enough to surround you and the table. Keep expanding it in your mind until it fills the entire circle you made with the other elements.
-Select a symbol that you feel represents protection. Try to visualize it as being about the size of your hand and floating inside your chest where the ball of energy was. Imagine it to be glowing a soft golden color. When you can "see" it in your chest, open your eyes. Visualize the symbol floating to the east of your circle. See it as being about two feet tall and glowing in blue light. Do the same to the south, west and north of the circle. Seal the sphere around you by visualizing the symbol flat below you at the edge of the sphere below the ground. Look up and visualize the symbol flat above you at the top edge of the sphere.
-Concentrate on the circle and symbols around you and say "I stand now in sacred space. Only light may enter this purified area."

Breaking The Ties
-Only perform if suffering from repeated attacks.
-Move to a place where you can comfortably sit or lie. Even if you're not certain of your ability to find astral tendrils connected to you, visualizing they are there and dealing with them as follows will result in the same outcome.
-When comfortable, close eyes. Take three deep breaths and try to become aware of the subtle astral body surrounding you. Try to "look" for areas of your aura that feel "wrong". Try to sense dark tendrils. Open eyes and try to sense where they are.
-Lift right hand and extend pointer finger. Imagine a foot-long beam of yellow light emanating from the tip of your finger. Feel it pulsing like a short sword of energy. Use it to cut the tendrils off your astral body. They should writhe away from you. "Burn" the edge of each one with your sword after cutting it loose. After cutting all the tendrils off, let the sword dissipate, and spend a few moments feeling your energy body, sensing it is sealed off and vibrant.

Astral-Body Programming
-If attacked on a regular basis, do this ritual every week for about a month, then switching to every other week, then finally once a month.
-Get a comfortable place to sit. Take a few deep breaths. With eyes closed, continue to concentrate on your astral body, seeing it as a body of white light surrounding you.
-Feel astral body of light expand with each inhalation and contract with exhalation. When you feel aura is under conscious control, continue making it expand with inhalation. Don't make it contract with exhalation. The aura will continue to grow each time you breathe in. The further it gets from your body, the less it resembles your shape. When it reaches a distance of about two feet, it should resemble an oval of white light that encases you. Stop increasing its size.
-Spend a minute focusing on the astral shield. Concentrate on the fact that the shield can not be penetrated. Repeat several times the following mantra with long drawn out exhalations: "I am shielded from all psychic attack, I am protected from all harm."
-Visualize your aura growing brighter with each exhalation as you repeat the statement. Do it for three exhalations, then with each repetition of the mantra, see astral needles forming on the surface of the aura. Add more needles as you repeat the mantra two more times.
-Stop repeating the mantra and concentrate on the astral body. It should be heavily armored with needles. Spend a moment convincing yourself of this. While concentrating on it, repeat the following mantra for the next three exhalations: "These spikes shall repel all harm, by day and night." On the next exhalation, say with conviction: "When danger is near, these spikes shall appear!"
-Now with each exhalation, see the astral shell decrease in size. As it gets closer to your skin, it should resemble your shape again, and imagine the needles decreasing in size. When the aura has shrunk to the size of your body, see it as being smooth and feel it as part of your body. Meditate for a moment on the fact that from this point on, your astral body will swell and form its protective spikes if you are ever under psychic attack.
-Open eyes and get up. Do something to return to normal consciousness, and don't think about the rite. Thinking about it might adversely affect its outcome.

I usually skipped the purification process, but the rest of the ritual I performed about six times. I stopped after I was "attacked" the very night I did a ritual. Maybe I should have done the purification after all.

Now for my own personal recollections of Sleep Terror. And for those wondering exactly what it feels like to be "paralyzed", just think of your entire body vibrating violently, but unable to move any body part yourself.
While unconscious, whatever image my mind is projecting, whether it was a dream or just darkness, dissipates in a splash of light. Then one of two things occur:
1.) With my eyes shut and my world shroud completely in darkness, I see faint, demonic images fade in and out. Or I feel as if my subconscious is on some hellish roller-coaster ride in full color, with these freaky creatures rapidly moving past me so fast I can hardly tell what they are. Hard to give them a good description, but some can definitely be classified as skulls. Not only am I seeing these creepy things, but I also hear low, growling voices speaking in some bizarre language that I can't understand. Now keep in mind that during this, I can't move or speak, as I have tried in vain. On a few occasions, I've tried to lift my hand and extend my middle finger. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I tried to flip off whatever disturbed individual I thought was stealing my precious spirit.
2.) I enter another dream state where I feel as if I'm awake and lying in bed. Still not being able to move under my own power, I start to feel my body being lifted from the bed, my covers slipping off as I go higher. Sometimes I just float there, other times I feel myself being turned around in mid-air, and even moved all around the room. Sometimes I'm slowly pushed off the bed and onto the floor beside it, only to be lifted again and moved elsewhere. I never actually see or hear a demon as in the first scenario. I know this is a dream instead of an actual occurrence because I will randomly wake up from it, wrapped tightly in my covers.

It was upon researching the subject more that I discovered my condition resembled Sleep Terrors as opposed to psychic vampirism. But do psychic vampires really exist? I guess I'll never know until I truly do get attacked, but I‘m doubtful. I also notice that a lot of cases of Sleep Terror note that the victim would usually wake up screaming, but that's never happened to me. I'm also glad there is a medical reason for my condition... and that contrary to popular belief, I am not possessed by Satan. I'm happy to report that my attacks are now few and far between. Before, it was every few days, once a week, or even on successive nights. Since I did begin to experience what I thought were "hag attacks" after reading about psychic vampires, perhaps it was only the power of suggestion that made me believe such a thing could happen to me. Sort of how, if you truly think you are sick, you will begin to feel like it. I've read about what may cause a person to have Sleep Terror, and such things as increased brain activity, high stress levels, and being over-tired could be attributed to me. Such is the life of a fiction writer.

Wondering if psychic vampire attacks count as intercourse...
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