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Doors and Gates

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on August 2, 2013 | Comments (6)



As I described in Modern Magick, one of the important tools of a magician is pathworking. The concept behind this skill is simple. It holds that the Tree of Life is a map of the levels of the astral plane.


The Tree of Life
Design: Kircher  ——— Colors: Golden Dawn “Queen Scale”

In my book I wrote, “Magicians can use this map to chart their way to meeting with higher spiritual entities, non-physical consciousnesses capable of giving any information needed.”

For this post, that leaves a lot of questions. First is the term “pathworking” itself. When I first became involved with the practice, the term exclusively described the process of projecting astrally up the Tree of Life. Over time, however, the term “pathworking” became so popular it came to mean “any visualized journey.”*

For a time I kept trying to say that pathworking was not just a visualized journey, but that was like trying to hold back the ocean’s tides…using a bucket…with holes in the bottom. It wasn’t going to happen. So now I refer to the original form of pathworking as Kabalistic Pathworking and only request that when people use the term “pathworking” they define what they mean.

So the Tree is a map of the astral planes, and the goal of Kabalistic Pathworking is to use the map as a guide to traverse those planes. The obvious question is how does one get to the first level of the map? That is, how does one astral project?

There are lots of good books on the subject. You can find a great list of books here: LINK. In Modern Magick I give some methods to prepare yourself and then astral project, too.

In this post, however, I want to share one of the simplest, most direct, and easiest ways I’ve ever found to project. I call it:

Doors and Gates

The concept behind this is simple. The image of the Tree of Life above, theoretically, is a map of the astral planes. But as you can see, it’s incomplete. The paths between the sephiroht, the colorful way stations on that design, are blank. One of the key secrets of occultism is that they are (or have become) linked to the major arcana cards of the Tarot:


Image by Alan SyncBookPress

So if the Tarot major arcana cards are the roads through the astral plane, how do you travel on the roads? How do you get there?

In NLP there is a presupposition that the map is not the territory. Maps only represent the reality. Similarly, the major arcana cards do not show the full extent of what is on the paths. Rather, they function like doors and gates to the paths, indicating some of the things you may find on a particular path.

So our doorway to the Tree of Life could be The World card, known as The Universe card in the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot:


Unfortunately, unless you have a treat like Alice in Wonderland, a Tarot card is too small to function as a door or gate to the astral plane. And that is where your very powerful magickal tool, your mind, comes in.

  1. Take the card and stare at it for a few minutes. Get the image firmly embedded in your mind.
  2. Imagine, visualize, create the concept of the image growing in front of you. Continue this until it becomes very large, at least eight feet tall.
  3. Imagine, visualize, create the concept of that giant image becomes a door or gate. Some people prefer to think of it as embroidered onto a magnificent curtain.
  4. In your mind’s eye, imagine, visualize, create the concept that the door or gate in front of you opens (or the curtains spread to the sides).
  5. Step through into the astral plane

That’s it. Look around. Get comfortable and return. In my next post I’ll talk about what you can do after you project: astral travel.


  • Do this in a place where you can assure yourself of privacy while you practice.
  • Do a banishing ritual before and after the practice.
  • Don’t strain! If you repeatedly strain your mind will link straining and struggling to astral projection and you’ll always have to strain and struggle to project.
  • The goal of the Golden Dawn for this process was to travel on the Tree of Life. If you feel no need to do that, try this process with any card from your Tarot.

*This is similar to the way the term Tantra originally was applied to a large set of Pagan, pre-Hindu spiritual practices, but in the West it basically means a bunch of “sex stuff.”

Reader Comments

Written By ian
on August 13th, 2013 @ 1:43 am

Is astral projection this easy for everyone? Just a simple visualization and *pop* there you are in the astral plane?

I have astrally projected and even witnessed the reflecting ether (liquid like substance of the astral plane) but when I do it is a bit of a challenge to maintain and even more difficult and rare to get to.

When I do astrally project it is fully immersive and complete reality, vivid the point of being “ultra real” -at times anyway. It is like being in an alternate universe and quite incredible.

The instructions you give seem more like a visualization.

Am I missing something? should I be projecting out of my body into a fully immersive dream world of Malkuth when I do this visualization? I admit I have not tried it! ha

Thanks! great articles!

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on August 13th, 2013 @ 2:52 am

As with most things, it takes practice. Bicycle riding is easy, but it takes practice to learn. Likewise, astral projection doesn’t have to be difficult or complex; it just takes practice with a method that works. We are all in Malkuth. When you project you are on the way to Yetzirah.

Written By Ian
on August 13th, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

So you are speaking of “true” astral projection with this exercise and not simply a visualized meditation? That is amazing.

As an aside I had some very positive dreams (astral travel?) that was directly related to your words here. I am working wealth and prosperity magic and in my dream I had just got a job as a police officer making $100hr.

Thanks for helping to coax me/us in the right direction.


  1. Beyond the Doors and Gates  on August 5th, 2013 @ 10:25 am
  2. Through the Doors and Gates  on August 9th, 2013 @ 10:21 am
  3. Self-Closing Doors and Gates  on August 12th, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

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