I’m pleased to announce that my new book about sleep paralysis is now available on Amazon! So with the first day of autumn, I officially am a published author.
Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night is an updated and expanded version of my sleep paralysis ebook. It’s the first printed book about sleep paralysis with a practical how-to perspective to help readers work with their sleep paralysis and hypnagogic experiences.
The book also covers all the latest research into the science, psychology and anthropology of these powerful uncanny encounters that have haunted humanity since we’ve been living in the trees. (Because SP is chiefly a REM phenomenon, it’s reasonable to assume that it occurred throughout hominid evolution).
Auspiciously, not only is today the autumnal equinox but it’s also a full moon. Traditionally, tonight’s full moon is the Harvest Moon, named because “At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon,” according to the Farmer’s Almanac. Metaphorically, today is a day for celebrating the bounty of our lives, to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
This moon, as well as the equinox, are also warnings that the dark days lay ahead. Don’t get me started on how I haven’t procured a winter coat yet now that I live in Philadelphia; it’s stressing me out. In my ancestral Celtic traditions, the end of harvest is celebrated as the Celtic new year, Samhain, which falls around November 1st. Today this festival is celebrated as Halloween, the night that the spirits of the dead are visible.
So starting tonight, and culminating on All Hallow’s Eve, the boundaries between this world and the Otherworld are getting thinner…
There’s also a deep connection between sleep paralysis and the Harvest moon. In Old Irish lore, fairies are known to be out and about in force tonight. The good fairies will be making merry and can be found in the forests, far from civilization. (By the way, don’t try to use your cellphone’s flashlight app to find a fairy tonight: they despise such technology and some scholars think they may be electrosensitive.)
But it’s the bad fairies that deserve special attention, as in European myths they were known for abducting children from their beds and dragging them back to fairy-land. Many fairy abduction stories start with the victim feeling paralyzed in bed, and then the fairy shows up and the victim is brought (through flying or levitation) to fairyland.
Sounds familiar, huh? This narrative structure has all the marks of a sleep paralysis vision, from paralysis, to the presence of the stranger, followed by an otherworldly but realistic-feeling lucid dream. The connection between fairies and paralysis is still present in the word stroke which is a contraction of the old English fairy stroke.
Don’t worry, as the days grow shorter this month and the veil between the living and the dead grows thinner, I’ll be going into more depth about the connections between sleep paralysis hallucinations and the cross-cultural accounts of ghosts, goblins, vampires and fairies. These visions are with still us in the 21st century, despite our illogical wish that the world is governed by reason, because, quite simply, we are hard-wired to see spirits.
In conclusion, please buy my book.