Since the operational methods of the Fool’s Journey consist largely of inner visualizations, a few general comments are in order about their reality. It is true that you use your imagination in these practices, but the results are not what are called imaginary. You will develop and explore real spaces and encounter real forces, beings and powers. The practices are structured to do this in a comprehensible and safe way. The concepts and preliminaries are first given in words, but it is only by doing the practices that the inner realms come alive and either validate or disprove the words for you. Judging the words without doing the practices is like reading about water skiing but never getting out on the water. Theories can be debated; direct experiences cannot.
With this out of the way, we can talk about the Fool’s Journey practices in general.
The most important step on the Fool’s Journey is the first step, Creating the Sun Shield, described next. It must not be neglected, skipped or abbreviated, as success with all the following practices depend on it. Most importantly, there are real dangers on the inner realms that the journeyer may face each step of the way. These are minimized by entering the Invisible Sun as a preliminary step. The rest of the practices have been designed to start from only this “location,” which is reached in this fundamental practice. Do not omit it or give it short shrift.
About the Visualizations
As with other types of inner work, you must arrange a time and place where you will not be interrupted. Close or lock your door, turn off or mute all electronic devices, and arrange your practice time when others are asleep, if necessary. Since your aim is to establish these practices as new habits, mark the time and space in some special way. Try to practice at the same time or set of times every day. Bathe or at least wash your hands and face before you begin. Mark the practice space physically by lighting a candle, smudging the room with sage, or some other action that serves to set this time and place apart from your everyday world.
Your body’s position for these practices is not nearly as important as the content of the practices. However, you should not lie down unless directed to do so, but never in the bed you normally sleep in. It is going to be hard enough to remain alert and aware; anything that encourages sleep must be avoided. Practice time is a time to not fall asleep! So sit in a chair or lie comfortably on the floor. Use a small pillow under your head or knees if necessary, and cover yourself with a light blanket if it is cool, so you don’t become chilled.
You should wear loose clothing and remove your shoes. If it feels right to you, wear clothing or one piece of clothing that you reserve only for your practice time.
Before each visualization, take a few deep breaths, relax your body and establish the Sun Shield.