I have chosen to begin my astral projection project by writing a general knowledge section that discusses the basics about the astral phenomenon, before going into more detail of the “how-to’s”, as I find it really important to clear up some of the most common rumors and prejudices about astral traveling that are widely spread, but not necessarily true. Furthermore, I’d like to help you to increase your general level of knowledge regarding astral projection and going to present you the most important things you should know.
Astral projection (or astral travel) is an interpretation of out-of-body experience (OBE) that assumes the existence of an “astral body” separate from the physical body and capable of traveling outside it. Astral projection or travel denotes the astral body leaving the physical body to travel in the astral plane. Wikipedia – astral projection
One thing that has led me to write this introduction into the subject matter is that I’ve noticed that many people associate specific fears with such a virtually unknown and unexplored topic like traveling on the astral planes, which is why I believe that the following might be tremendously helpful especially for those that have never “traveled.” My hope is that – after you finished reading this article – it will help you to allay existing anxieties that you had associated with this topic.
The reason I stress out the importance of overcoming one’s fears in regards to astral projection is that fear is one of the main barriers that prohibits people from having success while trying to learn to project. At least for me, the fear about the unknown felt like a mental barrier, that stopped me from successfully inducing a projection into the astral world. I felt it was always easier to handle given things, when I had made my own experiences with them, instead of solely relying on (mostly) inaccurate and the fear mongering believes and half-truths of others.
Frequently asked questions about astral projection:
A) Is an astral projection dangerous? Can you die from it?
B) Are there demons to be found in the astral?
C) Is astral projecting or OBE-ing real or just “in your head?”
D) Are there protective measurements to protect oneself in the astral world?
E) What exactly is the astral plane?
F) What is the difference between astral projection and an out-of-body-experience?
G) Who lives in the astral planes?
H) What are the side effects of astral traveling?
I) What does an astral projection feel like?
J) What’s the difference between astral projection and lucid dreaming?
One of the many rumors associated with astral projection is that one can be harmed, get possessed, or die, while projecting. These are some really scary believes that some have formed, unfortunately most of the time by those who never had the chance to experience the beauty of the astral realms, but chose to form an illiberal opinion about it. Nothing could be further away from the truth than these fear mongering assumptions. In order to lay aside these false believes, I will at first show you my opinion on the dangers and thereafter back my claims up, by presenting you the studies of a renowned institute about astral traveling and by showing you the opinions of two respected authors on the subject matter.
Firstly, I believe, that an astral projection can either occur consciously – by concentrating on entering the astral – or naturally, when falling asleep and unconsciously accessing the astral plane. This means that an astral projection is a natural thing that can even occur without having the intention to do it, even though dreamers are just accessing the lowest planes of the astral world and without being consciously aware of what is happening. You might notice that many experienced projectors have reportedly seen other human beings in the lower realms of the astral, while they were dreaming. Since the only difference between projecting and a sudden trip into the astral lies in the conscious awareness, it poses no harm to you – or have you ever had a broken arm as the result of a wild dream? I believe not!
Every night many thousands of persons leave their bodies (often while they are sleeping and frequently while they remain unaware of what is happening to them) and there is absolutely no reason to believe these people are taken over and are endangered in any way. Keith Randolph, in “The Truth About Astral Projection,” (1983)
Furthermore, I believe that every person that is traveling the astral planes has an “inbuilt” protection mechanism that automatically retrieves you into your body, once something really scares or troubles you. Not to mention that everywhere you go, your “higher-self” will accompany you, meaning that you are never alone on your journeys.
But that is only my own opinion and it might not really convince you, which is why I have chosen to back my claims up with some scientific proof. The renowned Canterbury Institute conducted a study about astral traveling with 2,000 participants, all of whom were consciously projecting into the astral planes or using different techniques to induce such an astral projection. The result of the study was that none of the participants was hurt in any way as a result of their experiences, (no one became possessed); and even three years after the study, not a single one came to any harm resulting out of the study.
On the other hand, if one is really anxious to project extensively, and undergoes bodily repercussion, he must look upon it, not from the standpoint of painfulness (which is but temporary), or fear it as dangerous; but accept it as evidence that he is succeeding, and that it is harmless, and that he doesn’t care a rap whether he repercussions or not! This eliminates the hidden fear which startles the emotions, when one first becomes conscious, while projected. Sylvan J. Muldoon and Hereward Carrington, in “Projection of the Astral Body,” (1929)
I further recommend you to do your own due diligence and to speak (if possible) with some experienced wayfarers of the astral, in order to come to your own conclusions about this topic, which is always advisable.
Conclusion: You cannot be hurt in the astral, unless you allow other entities (as discussed in the following) to scare you. In fact, there are no physical risks involved with astral projection, as your physical body remains safe and comfortable in your bed, while your etheric body has separated. This is also the very same state when you have fallen asleep and entered (unconsciously) the lower astral. However, something that is a possible risk is that astral entities might scare you, or provoke negative thoughts / ideas. In general, astral experiences are not dangerous, unless you allow the fear to dominate your voyage.
Well, no matter if you examine the physical world or any other place of consciousness that might exist, where there is good and positive, there is also the chance that bad or negative exists. So, let’s just call them – whomever they might be – “negative entities”, as the words “demon” and “(d)jinn” already have a very frightening and scary spin attached to it. I will give my best to shed some light on what exactly a “negative entity” is and help you to allay some of the fears you might associate with them – mostly due to the very impressive imagination of Hollywood’s script writers. The positive thing is that the astral world isn’t stuffed with evil, as there are – just like in real life – a lot of good and normal entities (humans or deceased ones), enlightened beings (“angels”, “ascended masters”), “minor thugs” and so on, but more on the inhabitants later in G) Who “lives” in the Astral Planes?
So what’s a “negative entity” then? Well, I believe a negative entity was once a human-like being, who chose the negative path either during his life or in the afterlife and became a so called “negative entity” that considers itself a god-like creature. What these entities regularly do is attempting to provoke negative thoughts, fear and hatred within humans, in order to feed off the negative energy spike we create as a result of our own fears. Basically, they are feeding off energy in order to grow and become stronger themselves. The more negative or hateful a human responds towards such an attempt of manipulation, the more powerful the entity that feeds of the energy spike will become.
At some point in your spiritual development, you might come to the conclusion that these entities are playing an important role in your life; namely by providing you a catalyst for your own personal growth. What “negative entities” offer you are tools, but it is up to you to respond with fear and hatred, or to analyze these thoughts and thereafter to let them fade away. Which leads me to the next point on how you can protect yourself from these negative entities and I will show you the most powerful weapon you possess:
Love. Unconditional love! It’s as simple as that and the most powerful weapon that you have in the astral realms. Whenever you feel fear or hatred arising, no matter if it is in the real world or in the astral, respond with unconditional love. Analyze these thoughts, search within yourself for the true meaning of them and try to draw the core essence out of them. Know that negative entities were once just like you, thank them for providing you a catalyst, but politely decline to accept “the message.” And never ever let them get inside you, your body and your mind! I would recommend you to not even let the most benevolent and humble beings inside you. The truly enlightened beings will never ever ask you to “let them inside you” as they can deliver their message without the aid of a human being.
For further reference, see Protection on the Astral Plane
That’s a fairly good question and the point exactly where opinions of scientists and “spiritualists” differ widely. I will try to approach this question with a phenomenon that is scientifically proven to exist, the so called “NDE”, the near-death-experience. Patients that were, for instance during an operation, close to death or death for some seconds/minutes have verifiably reported memories of events that they could not have witnessed, as they were clinically dead. Some Patients could exactly tell what the doctors were discussing while they were fighting for their patients’ lives; others reportedly entered another sphere of existence (the astral, “heaven”) to meet with deceased relatives; the list goes on and on with very similar experiences. Now, this is the point where rational science steps in and offers “compelling evidence” that many aspects of a near-death-experience are psychological or physiological in nature. Scientists think that – at the point of death – our brains process considerably more sensory information, hence it would mean that a person that is experiencing an out-of-body-experience or NDE only perceives the sum of all the very advanced sensory information the brain is receiving at that particular moment.
With all due respect to science and its hard working scientists, this “explanation” simply lacks credibility in my opinion and shows that scientists cannot fully explain these phenomena. [For further information on the various scientific theories about the NDE-phenomenon that range from the “lack of oxygen theory” and the “dying brain theory” visit Scientific Theories on the Near-Death-Experience.]
I think that everyone who actually experienced a NDE/OBE might politely disagree with the above named scientific approach. It simply feels too real, the knowledge obtained during such an experience might have been impossible to be acquired for this particular person and many that had an OBE or NDE witnessed events that happened miles away from their physical bodies, but were able to describe it in fullest detail. All the unexplainable “supernatural” experiences of NDE accounts add up to the theory that some part of their conscious, or even their mind or soul – depending on one’s personal believes – had split off from their body, for a short period of time. A theory that many who actively and consciously travel the astral planes or experienced out-of-the-body-experiences share.
Conclusion: So, is astral projection a “real thing?” Yes, it’s very likely to be “real” and not just a hallucination! What is by far more intriguing is the question what exactly such phenomena are. Is it just an expansion of your senses, where you can perceive an “universal energy flow”, or is it the true separation of body and mind? No one knows for sure. Will you ever find proof that it is real? No, scientists most likely won’t find such an ultimate scientific proof, because how can someone proof something that is not within this dimension?
It’s very important, for all those who are ambitious to learn astral travelling, to feel confident about what you are doing. To be more precise, it is significant not to have any fears whatsoever associated with phasing (= another word for journeying in the astral). Unresolved fears could be the grain that keeps you from succeeding with your adventure.
In the above, I have given my best to help you remove ambiguities, half-truth and tried to clear up rumors that might be the reason for some peoples fear towards this topic. In case you still feel the need for protection, which is fine, I’d like to show you an easy meditation that will hopefully allow you to feel more secure, while attempting to have an astral projection. Before explaining the exercise, I find it important to mention that many experienced astral travelers argue that you don’t need any protection, as there is no harm to be done to you. Furthermore, some of them argue that protective measurements (like the following) will only draw unwanted attention onto you. My personal opinion is that the following protective meditation is an excellent way to “block off” negative influences of any kinds and will help you to reduce your fear. Especially because of the latter, I find this protective exercise very advisable, particularly for beginners.
The protective meditation I’m going to show you is called “white light meditation” and does not require any knowledge about meditation whatsoever. It’s a simple exercise to allow you to spark the light within you, which is a tiny fraction of the powerful light of god, the universe, the sun or a higher intelligence – depending on your personal believes.
To begin with the protective meditation, make sure to find a very comfortable place where you can sit and relax without being interrupted, preferably in a settle or chair. As soon as you are ready, feel free to close your eyes and start taking five initial deep breaths. Imagine while you exhale that you relieve all the built up tension of the day, the interrupting thoughts and all the hectic of your day-to-day life, until a feeling of relaxation spreads. When you see fit, start imagining a spark of light located deep within you in the area of the Thymus. This spark of inner light resembles the fraction of god/the universe/the sun that is within each of us – a tiny part of the creator, god or the our sun (depending on your preferences) – and consists of the purest love and white light that is possibly imaginable. After all, it’s a spark of divine light that is located within each of us. The more you focus on the inner light situated right within you, the bigger you can allow it to grow, allowing it to pulsate and to fill up your whole body with the pure white light it consists of. Recognize the warmth of the light – feel how it begins to “enlighten” all the different parts of your body; take a deep breath and smell the purity of the white light. Imagine how amazing it feels when the purest light – stemming from deep within you – is beginning to flow through your body. Allow the light to steadily fill your whole body as it makes its way from your chest to your head, your arms, abdomen and your feet. You might feel a tickle here and there, or a tingling sensation, which is absolutely fine! Make sure that your focus remains on filling your whole body with the pure light that is emerging from deep within you – something that might work very quickly at times, while a day later, you might have to really focus all your attention on “pulling” the light into the specific areas of your body.
At the point where your body is well-filled with light, allow the light to radiate itself all around you. Imagine how that light from deep within you begins to form a ball of light that encases your whole body. Feel free to stay within this bubble for a little longer and enjoy the peaceful sensation – or continue by creating a protective shield around the ball of light you are now sitting in. To make this happen, you only need to conceptually wrap an imagined strong fathom or ribbon all around the light bubble that encases you, with the intention of creating a very powerful protective shield that defends you from all kinds of negative influences.
I’m sure you are interested in astral travelling, but do you really know what exactly “the astral world” is? Defining the astral is as complicated as it could be, as there are dozens of different names for it and a similarly huge amount of definitions, depending on the cultural and religious background of a person. Most people might not have taken notice of the astral phenomenon, but have formed very vivid believes about it and its inhabitants, for instance (influenced by religion) “angels – heaven” or “djinns & demons – hell”, but also about ghosts, the paranormal and so on.
With having this in mind, I’d like to show you my personal believes on what exactly “the astral” is. Basically, one could say that our universe consists of different levels of existence that vary in their vibratory frequency, such as the physical plane that we humans inhabit, which is the plane of the lowest vibration, to the more denser and higher planes of existence, that logically come with a higher vibrational frequency. The astral plane, which is subdivided into seven sub-planes, is therefore only one piece of a much bigger puzzle. For your better understanding, I’ve chosen to exemplify where the astral is classified, by listing all seven levels of (universal) existence, namely:
The Physical Plane The Astral Plane The Mental Plane The Buddhic Plane The Nirvanic Plane The Monadic Plane The Divine Plane
As you can see, the astral world is only one fraction of something much bigger and by clarifying that the astral cosmos is actually larger than our physical world you can imagine how much bigger the picture gets. I never understood why my spiritual teacher considered the huge astral – that is filled with kingdoms, landscapes and cities – as a very limited plane of existence, until I realized that it was only a part of something much bigger beyond my wildest imagination.
Apropos imagination, it’s important to keep in mind that the astral is a world of imagination, meaning that whatever a person can imagine (consciously or subconsciously), it will exist in the astral. The lowest sub-division of the astral is not so much different from our physical world, essentially it’s the very same, with the difference that you can observe but not influence what happens in the material world, while being detached from your physical body. When you rise higher in the astral planes you discover beautiful astral sceneries from countryside to mountains that slowly fade away the higher you elevate. You will discover many astral dwellers (= inhabitants of the astral planes, the deceased) that are very preoccupied with their “earthly works/tasks” and perform the desires that they couldn’t accomplish during their lifetime. Many of these astral dwellers are oblivious to your presence and their own demise as they are in a “dream-like” state that focuses on material manifestation in whatsoever kind of way – like in real life – but not on spiritual evolvement.
The average man has by no means freed himself from all the lower desires before death, and it takes a long period of more or less fully conscious life on the various subdivisions of the astral plant to allow the forces which he has generated to work themselves out, and thus release the higher ego. Every one after death has to pass through all the subdivisions of the astral plane (…), though it must not be inferred that he will be conscious upon all of them. Charles W. Leadbeater, in “The Astral Plane – It’s Scenery, Inhabitants, and Phenomena,” (1896)
The higher you ascend in the astral planes the stronger the material/physical world fades away until you’ve reached the three highest planes of the astral, what I would describe as “the plane of joyful creation and beauty” (3rd), “the theological plane” (2nd) and “the philosophical plane” (1st). The third sub-division of the astral (“the plane of joyful creation”) is the place where astral entities improve their skills and enjoy the beauty they create; simplified speaking you can think of a painter who paints the most vivid and realistic artworks of his whole life.
The second highest plane of the astral that I consider to be “the theological plane” is where every religious conception that ever existed can be found, from ancient to modern, oriental to occidental. This plane is the place where the deeply religious can act out their religious believes, meaning that if you are a faithful Christian, you will discover Heaven as you envisioned it during your lifetime and spend your time wandering in the paradise gardens, surrounded by eternal sounds of harps and trumpets, just as you always imagined it.
In these regions, the devotees of these lower forms of religion gaze with great satisfaction at the sight of the suffering souls in their vision of Hell. But, their perversion is but a fictitious scene, for all of this Hell and suffering stuff is nothing more than the creation of their own demented imagination created from the astral substance. Yes, Dante’s Infernos are real, but only in the imaginative minds of the demented religious souls who want to believe they are real. ~ Rick Richards
The ultra-religious might gaze from their definition of heaven with great contentment onto the “lost souls” that are burning or suffering in “hell” for not following the religious doctrines they (the ultra-religious) have (supposedly rightful in their opinion) believed in throughout their lives.
BUT, none of this is “real” or actually true. I’ve already mentioned in the above that the astral is only a world of imagination – a plane of desire – within the other six planes of universal existence. It’s a plane which is dominated and formed by the law of attraction. It fully consists of “astral substance” that is being created and formed by the manifested imagination and desire of a person/entity, meaning that the version of heaven a person discovers in the theological plane of the astral is nothing but a fictitious experience of one’s imaginative powers or of those like-minded that congregate on this plane.
The first and final sub-division of the astral is what I call “the philosophical plane” where you can find the enlightened beings, ascended masters, philosophers, scientists and all those that have realized that “the theological plane” was just a product of their imaginative minds. I’ve chosen to name this sphere the philosophical plane, as it is the plane where the highly evolved souls from higher spheres, the ascended masters and the enlightened ones chose to volunteer and teach those that are capable of understanding their lessons.
All the seven sub-divisions of the astral world that I’ve presented in the above have their own rules and “laws of nature”, such as the force of gravity in the physical plane, that the inhabitants of the particular plane will have to understand and respect in order to manifest on it.
Actually, I believe that there is no significant difference between traveling on the astral planes and experiencing an out-of-body sensation. The only exception that distinguishes both of these experiences from one and another is the fact that a person which experiences an OBE has projected – mostly unconsciously – into the lowest astral sub-divisions, that are quite the same as your physical world, whereas the experienced astral projector can chose which plane to travel.
From my own experience however, there is a decisive distinction between an out-of-body-experience and an astral projection. The difference lies in the way my mind or astral body leaves the physical body. In an out-of-body-experience, I will suddenly become able to “free myself” from my body by coiling round, only to find myself floating in various positions above my bed. On the other hand, when I’m experiencing an astral projection, there is this distinct feeling of a chemical reaction happening within my 3rd eye, to be followed by seconds of what feels like fireworks and thereafter the feeling of being pulled upwards by a mystical force, finding myself nowhere near my physical body.
It might be very interesting for you to know who exactly is “hanging around” in the astral world, which is why I try to list some of them in the following.
Elementals. The elementals are entities that consist of forms of the four elements of earth, namely Water (astral), Earth (physical), Fire (mental) and Air (etheric). These entities are sub-human forms, meaning they haven’t reached the evolutionary stage of a human soul, yet.
Humans. An interesting type that can be found in the Astral are human beings, like you and me, in their etheric astral bodies. You might recognize them at the silver cord that is connecting their energy duplicate with their real body. Some of them are – just like real humans – positive beings; others negative but the majority of them are not really polarized towards the extremes.
Former Humans. The astral is filled with humans who deceased, as everyone who dies spends some time there for various tasks. In the lower astral, you can find humans who deceased, but haven’t completely shed off their human shell. These are the ones who haven’t accepted their demise; try desperately to fulfill their mission on earth and so on. Very experienced astral projectors reportedly work with these souls and show them the way to the light, in order to fully shed of their human shell and recognize what they truly are: eternal souls.
Devas. Depending on one’s believes and culture, people comprehend Devas as enlightened beings, angels and gods but also as perfected humans and ascended masters.
Artificial astral entities. This group of entities can be very tricky, as these are the thought-forms created by human minds by strong desire, most likely in an unconscious way. Inexperienced astral projectors might create an enlightened teacher as they were searching for help, without noticing that this thought-form offers nothing in value. Furthermore, you can also create artificial entities on purpose, such as guardians or those who you wish to do execute tasks for you.
By consciously projecting your mind/etheric body into the astral planes you establish a deep connection with it, that will lessen as time passes by, without an projection. Once you made such a connection it’s highly possible that it will influence your daily life, in one way or the other, meaning that you might see strange things and anomalies that you never saw before. Therefore, it’s highly recommendable to acknowledge strange sightings such as UFO’s, aliens, angels or ghosts that no one else notices, as signs of your deep connection with the astral, before even thinking of any other explanation. Also, your perception of the world you are living in might change drastically.
Well, it’s difficult to explain what it exactly feels like, because of a lack of suitable words for something that is so “out of this world”. I deem it by far easier to describe you anything from this physical realm, so please bear with me. Basically, an astral projection begins – in what I’ve experienced – with the feelings of molecules within my head (to be precise the 3rd eye area) that are seemingly going through a chemical reaction, causing loud noises, a feeling of pressure in this area and many other sensations, such as shifting perspective. For me, this feels like a fireworks exploding within my head, emanating from my body. (Keep in mind that this happens within seconds). It is as if a spark of light is being created, pressure is exerted on specific areas until – after a few seconds or so – my astral torso begins to automatically lift out of my body. This stage feels as if I was being hypnotized, or remote-controlled by an unknown force that is lifting me out of my body. It all goes automatically. Many people say, “And then I simply popped out of my body”, but in my opinion, there are by far more sensations associated with it than just “popping out”. Once I’m “out” with my torso, there is this huge noise within my head. When I was having my first projection, this noise immediately pulled me back to my body, because it scared me so much. After a while or so you’ll get used to that kind of high-pitched sound, which is apparently related to a change of blood flow within the inner ear, which you would normally not hear. The strange noise won’t scare you after you heard and experienced it twice or thrice, so don’t worry about it.
What happens during the process of an astral projection is that – apparently – molecules, chemicals (such as DMT) and crystals (such as calcite) within your pineal gland are being compressed, leading them to release photons. This process is called “piezoluminescence“and makes the compressed crystals that are floating in water within the pineal gland release light (photons). All the different crystals can give off a specific color of light, resulting in a full color image that then is being “interpreted?” by your brain.
Once you are fully out of your body, there is an overwhelming feeling of being weightless, because you are floating as soft as a feather. You will notice that it’s not possible for you to move as you are used to with your physical body, because there are no muscles, tendons and nerves that follow the commands from your brain. Instead, you will have to learn to will your body to move.
A lucid dream is – just as the name implies – a dream in which you have become aware that you are dreaming. The dreamscape, the protagonists and the dreams’ story is not only influenced but entirely formed by your subconscious mind, without external influences. Depending on the lucidity you have achieved and your experiences with lucid dreaming you can exert conscious control over the environment and the dream characters. On the other hand, an astral projection is the state where your mind (astral body, energy body) has separated from your physical body, journeying through landscapes that either really exist in the physical world, or were created by thought.
My experiences with both of these phenomena allow me to differentiate between an astral projection and a lucid dream through the sensations of the initiation process. When I’m experiencing a WILD (wake-induced-lucid-dream) there are – at least for me – not too many extraordinary sensations associated with it; I relax until I find myself within a dreamscape, mostly without an interruption of consciousness. The initiation process of an astral projection is very different to that of a lucid dream. Shortly before I leave my body there are very loud noises that reach their peak when I’m mysteriously lifted up by a higher force (what many describe as popping out of the body). Finding yourself then out of the body is quite a relief to these sensations during the initiation process, that often feels like a rocket launch, within your body.
A sure-fire way to distinct between lucid dreaming and astral projecting is to look at an object with numbers or characters, such as a book, a road-sign or a clock. When you are within the dreamscape of a lucid dream you will notice that the numbers or characters get distorted, blur, rearrange or disappear, each time you look back at them. In contrast to this, objects will not change during an astral journey or out-of-body-experience but will remain the same, each time you look back at them. Naturally, the astral is a world of imagination, hence the numbers or characters will change if you will them to do so – unless you are traveling the lower astral that is a nearly-identical copy of the physical world.
I hope you enjoyed the first article about “The Basics of Astral Projection” of my astral traveling series so far. In the second part, I will extensively elucidate an effective astral projection method that works best for me, and give you an important hint, that might prove even more valuable than any astral projection technique. Click here for the second part of the astral traveling series.
This article about The Basics of Astral Projection is the first part of my astral projection series. You can find links to the following parts here:
Part I: The Basics about Astral Projection – Frequently Asked Questions (current article!) Part II: My extensive Astral Projection Routine Part III: The most effective Astral Projection Techniques Part IV: Astral Projection on Steroids