- 1 Definition
- 2 Why experience this phenomenon
- 3 Step by step technique for astral projection
- 4 The Difference between Spontaneous and Consciously Directed Astral Projection
Astral projection is the act of separating the astral body from the physical body. Is a method which makes you experience something beyond your physical existence. During this process you reach a stage where you get an out of body experience and visit places which are not able to see even in the widest of your dreams.
Normally this occurs as part of the sleep process, usually at the deepest dream level. It also can occur in a trance state. When the person is conscious of this separation it is called conscious astral projection. The separation also is called Etheric Projection or Out-of-the-Body Traveling. To be conscious of this act or event is a highly sought after goal in neo-Paganism.
Through conscious astral projection one is able to remember events occurring during an astral journey. On such journeys the conscious mind traveling within the astral body can explore not only various earthly places, but also different realms within other dimensions. The conscious astral projection can be induced through deep meditative states. Some individuals exit their bodies from the solar plexus area, while others leave from the third eye (see Chakras, particularly the crown), or simply discover themselves looking down from above at their physical body.
The experience of traveling while in this astral state can be accomplished by methods such as a dream-like flight or by visualizating the destination that the individual wishes to visit.
Why experience this phenomenon
Most everyone has heard of it, but why should anyone want to experience this phenomenon? Well, I think there are four good reasons to practice astral projection. Let me first just say that I have experienced it many times in my own life, so I do have some expertise on the subject. I have also written a book on it and taught many courses, and workshops. One of the questions that I have been asked many times is “Why should I want to experience astral projection?” Yes, it is an interesting phenomenon, but what can it do for me?
The first reason to experience it is to know that you are more than your physical body. Most people identify totally with their physical bodies and have no idea that their consciousness extends beyond their physical being. The majority of people in today’s society are preoccupied with their physical bodies and their physical appearance. This is all well and good, but what happens when our bodies begin to fail us, or when we get old. Then what happens? Many people become depressed, despondent and think their lives are over. But this does not have to be the case. Once you have experienced astral projection, you know that your consciousness can exist apart from your physical body. During an out of body experience, you can see your body lying peacefully in your bed, while you are floating above it. This is important to know because than you are not so attached to your body. It is more like a home where you reside during waking consciousness. You gain a new awareness that the real you extends beyond bodily consciousness, so you are not so caught up in the illusions of the physical body. When you get older, it is your body that gets older, not you. When you have a cold or illness, it is your body that needs healing, not you. So you are more at peace with the many changes that may affect your physical being. Many things will still affect you, but they will not affect you so deeply because of the awareness that you are more than your physical body. So, this is the first reason to experience astral projection. That is, to know that your consciousness can transcend your physical body and that you are more than your body.
The second reason to experience it is to learn more about the universe within you. There are inner dimensions to the universe that we are normally unaware of during our everyday consciousness. Many mystics, yogis, saints and astral travelers have experienced this inner dimension to the universe and have written about them. Old Testament prophets, like Ezekiel, or yogis, such as Parmahansa Yogananda, and saints, like St. John have written about their experiences on the inner planes. There are many wonders to experience there and many things to learn. For instance, I found the force of gravity does not work the same on the inner planes as it does on the physical plane. Gravity is intimately connected with your mind and your beliefs there. You can fly on the inner planes as long as you believe it. If you do not believe that you can fly, then you cannot. It is very interesting!
I remember one experience that I had on the astral plane: I was flying in a clear blue sky and I looked down to the ground far below me. I thought to myself “gee, it would really hurt if I fell from this high up.” At that same instant, I started to fall towards the ground, faster and faster. I panicked for a few seconds and cried out. But then, I remembered that I could fly. As soon as I focused on the thought that I could fly, I stopped falling and began to fly again. I learned quickly that things on the inner planes respond to our thoughts and beliefs.
On the inner planes, you can learn more about yourself and the universe. You can also take advantage of your experiences and knowledge gained there to use on the physical plane. Many people do this without even realizing it. For example, Albert Einstein obtained his theory of relativity while in a dream state (which is connected with the inner planes). Many other people have found solutions to their problems through their dreams or in a relaxed state, where they have access their intuition and knowledge from the inner planes. So, by learning to astral project, one can learn more about oneself and the infinite universe, and use that knowledge to improve things on the physical plane.
The third reason to experience it is to raise your consciousness. Once you astral project, it is easier to meditate and reach higher planes of consciousness. While on the astral plane, one is free of many of the hindrances that keep one from reaching higher states of consciousness. On the physical plane, there may be bodily discomfort, environmental noises and intrusions that can prevent you from reaching ecstatic states of awareness. On the astral plane, there are no physical obstacles to meditation, so one is freer to rise to higher levels of consciousness. Yram, The Art of Astral Projection talks about how he was able to reach very high states of consciousness while astral projecting. I have also experienced higher states of bliss while astral projecting. I have been able to use my experience as a beacon in my normal meditations to help raise my consciousness on the physical plane.
Last, but not least; the fourth reason to astral project is to diminish the fear of death. Most people that I know are afraid to die. They have no idea what may happen to them and fear the unknown. Astral projection can help to alleviate the fear of death because you know that your consciousness can exist apart from your physical body. The process of astral projection is very similar to the process of dying. The difference is that when you astral project, you leave your physical body temporarily; when you die, you leave your body permanently. But after you experience astral projection, you know for certain that your consciousness can exist apart from your body, so you are no longer afraid of dying. Of course, you may be apprehensive of where you will go, but it is more like the beginning of a new journey. Life does not end with death; it is a transformation and a new beginning.
Step by step technique for astral projection
To start with astral projection you need to relax your mind and body. You can meditate or even perform deep breaths. You should take deep breaths very slowly and also ensure that you inhale deeply and your breaths should not become shallow.
It would be better for you if you can imply some meditation to relax your body. However if you are not able to do meditation you should try tensing your muscles and releasing them at the same time. Just remember that you need to work from head to toes.
Try to reach a hypnotic state
Once you are relaxed you should try getting into a hypnotic state. In this stage you almost feel like sleeping or you may feel intoxicated. You need to lie down and focus on the object. You should continue to look at the object until you are able to see it even with closed eyes.
Witness a deeper state of relaxation
Now you must try to enter a deeper state as far as relaxation is concerned. At this stage your eyes are still not open and you are able to see the object which you have chosen. Now you should look around you but with your eyes still closed. From here you will get into the darkness.
After some time you can see patterns of light moving in front of your eyes. You can just avoid these pattern and they will go on their own. If you are no longer able to see them you have reached the deeper state of relaxation and calmness. You will be surprised that you will get so much relaxation that you would not be aware of your body.
Get to the state of vibration
This step is considered to be the most important in astral projection. However it might take longer to perform this step if you are new. As soon as you feel the vibrations it is an indication that your astral body has begun to move out of your physical body. You need to accept this fact and get the vibration.
Try to control the vibrations
You should look for the vibrations while you see them travelling inside your entire body. Now you need to control them with your mind. You should also try to take control of the behavior of waves and try to stop as well as start them. Once you have mastered the art of changing the frequency and you are sure that you can adapt them you can move to the next step.
Imagine the rope
This stage will put your control and will power to testing. You can imagine a rope hanging above you. You should imagine yourself reaching towards the rope without opening your eyes.
Once you are able to hold the rope you should get your hand back into your body and try to slow down the vibrations. Now you can end the session.
Once you have reached this stage you have done the partial separation of your body and now you need to try the same method with your entire body. You should ideally repeat all the above steps but ensure that you should not stop at one hand. Now you should imagine your second hand coming out of your physical body and touching the rope. Now you can imagine yourself placing one hand over the other on the rope as if you are pulling the rope on your own.
At this point of time you will feel stronger vibrations. It is very common that people on reaching this stage move back to their physical bodies but you should focus on climbing the rope. You need to ensure that you should not stop until you feel yourself being separated from your physical body.
Finally you will feel free as you have reached your final destination by implementing astral projection. This method is very beneficial for you as it helps you to relax your body and mind with a divine feeling. There is also a belief that you may not be able to get back in your physical body after doing astral projection. The truth is that while sleeping our astral body leaves our physical body but we are not aware of it although we know that our body has entered a completely new world. Some people are able to do this projection naturally while there are others who are afraid to separate their inner conscience from their body.
The Difference between Spontaneous and Consciously Directed Astral Projection
I had my first spontaneous astral projection experience back in the fall of 1975 in Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin:
“One moonless dark night, I had just curled up in my
sleeping bag. I had just begun to drift off into sleep
when suddenly I found myself outside the tent, kind
of walking/floating around in the dark. I became alarmed
and felt really disoriented. I could not figure out how
I had gotten outside the tent and what I was doing there.
I cried out for my cousin who was in the tent sleeping.
But he did not hear me. I went into the screen tent
looking for help. I yelled as loud as I could and in the
next instant I was back in the tent dripping in sweat.”
This experience was not a dream, and was my first encounter with our innate ability to leave our physical bodies. My experience shook the foundation of my belief about reality. I started to question my normal perceptions about life and began to investigate the mystical arts. I studied yoga and learned about meditation. Later, I was initiated into Lotus Temple where I learned about the esoteric and mystical arts.
Following my initiation into Lotus Temple, I began practicing techniques that were based on ancient yogic teachings. After several months, I had my first fully conscious astral projection experience:
“I had been practicing the astral projection technique
for about thirty minutes when I felt myself falling
asleep. I concentrated on maintaining my awareness
while allowing my physical body to fall asleep. I
continued to practice the technique and visualized
myself leaving my body. I then felt a sudden inrush
of energy and knew something was beginning to
happen. I tried to maintain my calm as I could feel
the energy moving faster and faster. Then suddenly,
I was moving through a tunnel like a freight train.
I let myself flow with the energy. I felt my astral body
twisting away from my physical body which was a
very strange sensation. Then suddenly I was free!
I had a feeling of ecstasy. I began to float around my
room and spent time closely examining objects on
my dresser. I picked up a wooden pentacle that I had
made with the four elemental colors. The vibrancy of
the colors was striking and the wooden grain was more
beautiful than I remembered. I hovered over the dresser
mirror where I looked at myself. I appeared to be like
a ghost without much definition. I then decided to
return to my body and with that thought immediately
found myself back in my physical body. I noticed a
strong current of energy still swirling around my palms.”
This was my first consciously directed experience. It was much different than my first spontaneous experience that I had back in Wisconsin. During this astral projection, I was conscious from the very beginning, when I began to practice the astral projection
technique, until I returned to my physical body. I was very elated, following the experience and I felt a sense of joy several days afterwards.
During my spontaneous projection, I had felt scared, disoriented and really thought I was losing my mind. My consciously directed projection was totally different. During this experience; I felt elated, calm, and almost euphoric. There were no feelings of disorientation or fear. I was much more in control during my conscious astral projection and more in tune with my surroundings. I was completely aware that I was projecting; I could see my physical body lying in bed and it did not cause me any fear or alarm.
During my spontaneous projection, I did not know I was astral projecting. Although, I was aware of my surroundings, I didn’t know what was happening to me and just wanted to return to normal.
I think the differences between spontaneous and consciously directed astral projection are very important. For most people, I think spontaneous astral projection is just a disorienting and interesting phenomenon. Whereas, consciously directed astral projection is a broadening of one’s horizons and self understanding.
I know many people that have experienced spontaneous astral projection. Many of them, found the experience very threatening to their sense of self, and for the most part, never wanted to have that experience again. I also know other people who have experienced consciously directed astral projection.
They see the experience as a chance for exploration of the inner planes or consciousness. I find it interesting that most people who practice consciously directed astral projection have a much more positive experience and see it as an opportunity for self discovery.
In summary, spontaneous astral projection is when there is a separation between the physical and astral body that just happens without the subject’s control. It may be characterized by feelings of disorientation, fear, anxiety, helplessness and lack of control. Consciously directed astral projection
is when there is a separation between the physical and astral body that is directed by a subject’s will, through meditative or other yogic techniques.
There may be feelings of ecstasy, joy, well-being and awe. It is generally more of a positive experience with self-control and less feelings of disorientation or helplessness.
Jill Lowy is the author of Yoga and the Art of Astral Projection: www.TheAstralYoga.com.