Astral Catalepsy You/your child is being involuntarily subjected to a common, mystifying, and fascinating phenomenon called astral

catalepsy. It's not a disease, and it's not an affliction your child necessarily has to look forward to for life, although many adults suffer from it as well. It's a temporary physiological reaction—and an ultimately harmless one, even though it couldn't feel more threatening—to a few moments when the spirit and the body are, for lack of a better description, out of synch. And its symptoms typically include any or all of the following: • • a sensation of paralysis struggling to breathe, from the feeling of an oppressive weight on the chest

• an inability to cry out, or even make a sound • being touched in an obscene or malicious way by an invisible presence • a pervasive vibration, either from deep within the body or surrounding it • being pinned down and immobilized by some unseen evil • a clamor of noises, from a buzz to an electronic-sounding hum to a roaring wind to a chaotic blare as if a room full of fifty different TV channels are turned on to full volume all at the same time • flashes of strange, glaring lights • a sincere, terrifying belief that a vicious entity of some kind is either sitting on the edge of the bed or is deliberately disturbing the bedding All that, from something as routine and as natural to us as breathing. Several times a week, children's spirits take off from their bodies while they sleep, to visit loved ones, to explore, to reunite with past lives, to enjoy the blissful comfort of Home (the other side) and to simply escape the limiting confines of earth. These spirit trips, or astral travels, are nourishing, refreshing escapes that keep children connected to the spirit world of the Other Side and to their own eternal God-centered spirit selves. The vast majority of the time, children's spirits come and go from their bodies with the greatest of ease, while their conscious minds go right on sleeping, undisturbed and unaware. But on rare occasions, especially if the conscious mind is making a transition from one level or depth of sleep to another, it can suddenly catch the spirit leaving or entering the body. And there's only one obvious conclusion the earthly conscious mind leaps to on discovering that the spirit is only half in or half out: The body must be dying. It panics and sends emergency alerts to the body that it's dying, and the body instantly reacts in appropriate ways that correspond to many of the sensations in the list of astral catalepsy symptoms: the paralysis, the inability to breathe or cry out, the fear, and the physiological and neurological certainty that something terrible is happening and death is imminent. It's also important to remember that the spirit world from which children come and go when they astrally travel is a different dimension and a much higher frequency level than they're living in here on earth. Astral travel by definition involves the transition from one dimension to another. The assault of noises and lights that the conscious mind picks up as the spirit returns to the body is not unlike the phenomenon of a sonic boom, the audible shock wave that happens when supersonic aircraft reenter the earth's atmosphere. The sudden, unpleasant sensation of being pinned down by some unseen oppressive heaviness is the conscious mind being momentarily aware of the spirit's traveling from the weightlessness of the spirit world to the gravity of earth. Add all those sensations together and it's an overwhelming, insanely confusing and literally shocking assault for the semisleeping conscious mind to deal with all at once. But the instant the conscious mind registers that the spirit has returned

safe and sound to the body again, it sends the appropriate signals that death isn't imminent after all and, in fact, everything seems to be back to normal again. And on those signals, the symptoms of astral catalepsy stop and the child is left with no real harm to recover from, other than a chaotic few moments of terror. In case you think your child has been singled out to suffer through occasional struggles with astral catalepsy, or that it’s some relatively new affliction, please know, and share with your child, that it's been scaring children, and grown-ups—without a single injury or incident of genuine danger—for thousands of years. Cultures around the world have been fascinated and mystified by it for so long that they've created some amazingly colorful folklore to try to explain what goes on during a typical astral catalepsy episode. Northern European folklore theorized that astral catalepsy, or sleep paralysis, as it's sometimes called, was caused by witches who abducted unwitting sleepers and took them for long broomstick rides to distant, mystical places. The Japanese devised a scenario they named kanashibari, in which a gigantic devil would sneak into bedrooms during the night and pin sleeping people to their beds with its foot. Newfoundland came up with the legend of the Old Hag, a hideous witch who would sit on sleepers' chests and wrap her gnarled, claw-like hands around their necks in an effort to strangle them. China called it gui ya, to describe a ghost who, they theorized, was sitting on sleeping people and assaulting them, and the West Indians arrived at a variation on gui ya that they called kokma, which was actually a baby ghost, jumping up and down on sleeping people's chests. And many ardent UFO believers have decided that astral catalepsy is obviously caused by aliens who abduct sleeping humans while they're at their most vulnerable and take that opportunity to perform examinations and experiments on them. The actual term astral catalepsy wasn't coined until around 1930, by a researcher named Sylvan Muldoon. He spent much of his life recording the astral trips his spirit took at night while his body slept. The first astral trip he was aware of happened when he was twelve years old, and it inspired his intensive exploration of what he'd only heard referred to until then as sleep paralysis. It started with his waking up in the middle of the night to find himself unable to move, see, or hear, with a painful sense of severe pressure on his head. As his senses and ability to move slowly returned, and the pressure on his head subsided, he realized that he was actually outside his body, floating above his bed and able to look down and watch himself sleep. He was aware of his spirit being pulled from a horizontal position to a vertical one as it left his body, and in that vertical position he, in spirit form, embarked on a tour of the house, during which he was able to move with great ease through doors and walls. He made a conscious effort to enter his parents' bedroom and try to shake them awake because he was so frightened of what was happening to him, but they never seemed to feel him touching them. When he was finally above his body again, his spirit eased back into a horizontal position, and he experienced the same paralysis, loss of senses, and pressure on his head that he'd gone through when the astral trip began. After a feeling of being jerked abruptly back into his body, he sat bolt upright in bed in a complete panic. Fortunately for all of us, Sylvan Muldoon had total recall of everything that happened to him before, during, and after his sleep paralysis, and he immediately wrote down the whole sequence of events. It put the sleep paralysis, which he renamed astral catalepsy, into the context of being the beginning and end of an astral excursion, that moment when the spirit leaves the body and that moment when it returns. It became a recurring experience throughout his life and the subject of some of his most exhaustive research, and it's thanks to him and countless

other researchers he inspired that you can explain to your child what causes their occasional astral catalepsy and, above all, that there's never a moment during it when they're not perfectly safe. It cannot be promised that if you follow the suggestions offered, your child will never, ever experience astral catalepsy again, but that wouldn’t be true, but it will help. First, make a habit of talking to God with your child before they fall asleep. As you talk, I want you to surround your child with the all-loving, all-protecting white light of the Holy Spirit, and mix that divine light with swirls of rich, healing green. Then add the following to your prayers, in either my words or your own: Dear Father, if my child's spirit should travel tonight during sleep, please help their spirit exit and reenter their body with the divine, peaceful ease You taught them, with no awareness or interference from their easily frightened conscious mind. Include that in your prayers every night, and teach it to your child. And then, if they should find themselves in the throes of astral catalepsy anyway, teach your child to pray again the instant they feel it coming over them. Teach them to surround themselves with the white light of the Holy Spirit, with healing green light swirling through it. Children are brilliant at visualizing, and all they need is your guidance to be bathed in the glow of God's love. Teach them to ask for His protection, and the divine protection of their Angels, and to keep right on praying until those scary sensations have passed, as you can safely promise they will. Prayers won't summon God and the Angels to your child's rescue; they'll just help remind your child that their most sacred protectors are already and eternally there.