By Isabella @TheWandCarver
This one could prove to be a bear to write, especially when you realise that there is no one school of thought, or belief system alone, to write about. There are too many! Still, I shall endeavour to give the best synopsis of it all – interspersed with my own beliefs, as you do – so that those confused by the Planes of Existence, Summerland, and Spirit Guardians will hopefully not be so much…hopefully not worse, anyway! It’s a bit of a quantum physics nightmare, really.
Planes of Existence
In esoteric cosmology, a plane other than the physical plane is conceived as a subtle state of consciousness that transcends the known physical universe. Yes, first sentence in Wikipedia, because it is the only way to say it. There are thought to be seven planes of existence, at the very least [Thirty-one planes of existence in Buddhism]. More worrying is that there are ten different concepts or theories of the planes of existence: Theosophy, Rosicrucian, Thelema, Hermeticism, Surat Shabda Yoga, Jainism, Sufism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Kabbalah, and Fourth Way. I won’t try to explain them all or even point out the differences and similarities; this would become a book instead of a blog.
Let’s just keep it simple for our purposes. The Seven Planes of Existence are:
- Physical Plane
- Astral Plane
- Mental Plane [or Causal Plane] also called Elemental Plane by some
- Buddhic [or Mental] Plane
- Spiritual [or Unity] Plane
- Divine Plane
- Logoic [or Monadic] Plane
The Physical Plane is what it sounds as though it would be and that is the World we know, the physical “reality”. The Astral Plane is believed to be where we go immediately upon physical death. It is also believed to be where we reside when awaiting birth into a new body, as well. Occultist George Arundale wrote:
“In the astral world exist temporarily all those physical entities, men and animals, for whom sleep involves a separation of the physical body for a time from the higher bodies. While we “sleep”, we live in our astral bodies, either fully conscious and active, or partly conscious and semi-dormant, as the case may be, according to our evolutionary growth; when we “wake”, the physical and the higher bodies are interlocked again, and we cease to be inhabitants of the astral world.”
Indeed, we can visit the Astral Plane either by Astral Projection, meditation, near-death experience, or in lucid dreaming. It is my personal belief that not all dreams are a result of what you had for supper the evening before but an Astral visit where you may be given clues to what may be happening next in your life and how to prepare for it. It can also be a place in lucid dreaming where you can spend time with dead friends, family, even pets. Their energy still exists, the same as ours, only no longer in the same body as before. And, as a practitioner of Astral Projection it is a place where you can do nearly anything you wish. Still being tethered to your Earthly body, you can fly, you can speak to your ancestors, go to different countries, if so desired.
In Hinduism, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami wrote:
“The Causal/ Mental Plane is the world of light and blessedness, the highest of heavenly regions, extolled in the scriptures of all faiths. It is the foundation of existence, the source of visions, the point of conception, the apex of creation. The causal plane is the abode of Lord Siva and His entourage of Mahadevas and other highly evolved souls who exist in their own self-effulgent form–radiant bodies of centillions of quantum light particles.”
This is what some Occultists call The Elemental Plane…it is here where the thoughts of the Physical Plane spirit in a human being becomes imprinted in the Mental Plane or Elemental Plane, then created and sent back to the Physical Plane. The blueprint for all ideas, all things, is cast in the Elemental Plane, then becomes reality in physical existence at some future point in time.
The Buddhic Plane is said to exist to resolve all problems with the Ego, to become unselfish, and is a realm of pure consciousness. The Spiritual Plane is split into many sub-planes and that on these planes live spiritual beings who are more advanced in development and status than ordinary man. The goal is to gain spiritual knowledge and experience. According to some occult teachings, The Divine Plane is where all souls are born and then descend through the lower planes; however, souls will work their way back to the Divine Plane. On the Divine Plane souls can be opened to conscious communication with the sphere of the Divine known as the Absolute and receive knowledge about the nature of reality. Rosicrucianism teaches that the Divine Plane is where Jesus dwelt in Christ consciousness. As I believe in a Mother and Father “God”, this is where the Divine Parents would reside. I would also believe this is where the Gods and Goddesses, the original children of the Divine Parents would have been born and reside between reincarnations. Of course, everyone has their personal beliefs of whom resides in the Divine Plane and that is quite as it should be, for we all have much we can learn from each other. The Logoic Plane is the highest plane, it has been described as a plane of total oneness, the “I AM Presence”. Joshua David Stone describes the plane as complete unity with God. The Monadic Plane (hyperplane) or continuum/universe, enclosing and interpenetrating grosser hyperplanes, respectively is the plane in which the monad or holy spirit or oversoul is said to exist. Could this just be the “Universe” we refer to when we say, “The Universe isn’t ready to bless me with more money [insert desire of choice]”? I don’t really know. To be fair, until recently I have only been familiar with the Physical, Astral, Elemental, and Divine Planes. Perhaps because my meditations rarely result with me feeling as if I have achieved virtual enlightenment.
In Theosophy, Summerland is thought to be a part of the Astral Plane. It is the place where souls whom have been “good” go to await new incarnations and some believe it to be the Heaven similar to the Christian view of afterlife. Those whom have been bad go to Hell. And there was me thinking Hell was entirely a Christian concept! Apparently, the Norse of Viking times believed in such a place as there are nine realms under Yggdrasil, with Hell or Hel being much further under the more favourable region to be after death, namely Valhalla, but certainly not Niffleheim, realm of the dishonoured dead which is distinct but closely connected to Hel. Hel is actually a place of not necessarily dishonoured dead, but not honoured, either. Must be pretty boring!
It is also believed by the Theosphians that each religion on Earth has its own area in Summerland to fit that religion’s concept of afterlife. If you are Jewish, you go to the Jewish Summerland, if you are Christian, a Christian Summerland….but! What about people who interfaith marry? What about your friends of different faiths? Would you no longer be able to see them in afterlife because of a difference in practised religion? I think differently. My belief is that religion does not supersede ones’ acceptance into one place, whatever you wish to name it. I don’t believe in division of religions or colours. In fact, in Summerland or Heaven or Valhalla, or wherever, I think we won’t be in need of religion. We will be without the things which caused us to fight here on Earth. It is to be a place of peace, after all, and one where we can be with our friends, family, and pets, regardless of what religion they ascribed to in the Physical Plane.
Spirit Guardians / Guardian Angels
Which brings me to Spirit Guardians, Guardian Angels…call them what you wish, but do call them! Many people of different religions believe we are each assigned a Guardian Angel at birth. I believe so and all with the exception that we are assigned our Guardian from first birth and he or she is with us throughout each reincarnation until such time we become whatever it is we are to be in afterlife. My belief is also that your Guardian will not go out of their way to advise you on any matter – unless you form a relationship with him or her first. It’s simple enough to do but requires a length of time where you can remain undisturbed by anyone or anything. You may use various crystals/stones to help facilitate your experience such as Angelite or Petalite – both excellent for helping with conversating with your Spirit Guardian. You must be able to let go of all Ego, all expectations, and do not force anything to happen. Simply be. From this point on I could only relate my personal experience but that would be of no use to you and it is, after all, my personal and private experience. Yours will be the same for you, so just let it flow and listen.
Once you have established a rapport with your Spirit Guardian you can talk about many things together. It’s a little like when we had our “imaginary” friends as children [in my case some were not so imaginary] …but with your Guardian you will know the difference as he or she is very real. Mine is absolutely wonderful. Not only has my life been saved numerous times by my Guardian but my Guardian also helps me to meditate and do chakra cleansing. And, a little-known fact is that your Guardian is an accomplished Reiki master. As I am in chronic arthritis pain with my spine, knee, and hips, my Guardian has relieved my pain on many occasions so I could carry on with work. Your Guardian will have a name as does mine, but it’s my decision to not share that with anyone. What you do is up to you, of course. But whatever you do, once you have met your Guardian and form a relationship, do remember they have always been here for you and have already kept you out of harm’s way for many years. Do respect and listen to their advice. As a matter of fact, it would be in all our best interests to heed our Guardian’s advice. And do speak to him or her often, thank them for what they do…they are after all, the best friend you’ll ever have.
I’m also of the opinion that the Spirit Guardians inhabit the Astral Plane with us when we die. And I have actually enjoyed some adventures with mine in lucid dreaming. You really aren’t alone in the World, should you ever think so. And so, concludes my little thesis on Planes of Existence on through to Spirit Guardians. I hope it hasn’t been terribly confusing! There is truly so much more to be said but then, as I always say, there are books for that 😊 Many thanks for reading and warmest blessings x
PS…Would welcome comments from anybody wishing to share their experiences!