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.
Scott Corbett says
Congratulations, Ryan! It’s great to see you sharing your gifts with the world. Can’t wait to read the book…
Wendy Thayer says
CONGRATULATIONS RYAN!!! What an awesome announcement to be able to make today. I wish you major success with the book, I for one will be buying a copy and recommending it to many, as I have with your blog.
So you have a references section at the end? That would be most valuable to this still-ungraduated grad student =)
Ryan Hurd says
thanks Scott… as I remember it was your advice back in Jan 2009 to focus on the “sacred wound” I carry with my lucid sleep paralysis nightmares to help others going through a similar journey. so thanks for your wisdom and support!
and Wendy, thank you for your ongoing transpersonal promotions (integral cheerleading?). The book is slim — 134 pages — but has over 100 referenced footnotes (allowing for more nuanced opinions and discussion) and 10 pages of references. So, yeah, I got you covered. 🙂
David Sunfellow says
Congratulations, Ryan! I’ll help spread the word…
Ryan Hurd says
thanks David! your Amazon store is looking good, BTW. I’ve got to take the time to set one up.
A Muhammad Ma`ruf says
Congratulations Ryan on having completed this step.
Wishing you more successful, and fun ventures in the future.
Phil Steadman says
Ryan…I love the photography on the cover. Who, how, where, why please! Also congratulations with the book!
Ryan Hurd says
isn’t it awesome? I bought the rights to the image from istockphoto. I don’t have the image info on this computer… will get back to you on that.