Astral is a spiritual, ether-like substance composing the astral material that makes up the astral body and aura. The astral substance and ether are not synonymous but produce similar effects. Thoughts and actions are impressed on the astral material, which are duplicated in the human, or physical body. Both bodies are subjected to injury, the astral substance in its fabric, and the physical body by its skin. The astral fabric is material that comprises the astral light, the creative medium of magical manifestations.
The direct source of the astral substance is divine energy that causes it to have its own primal consciousness. This consciousness is derived from a spark from the Divine. Ether, however, does not come from a divine source; rather it is generated through phenomena that came into existence from divine creativity. This process is analogous to light and electricity, which are not identical but share a commonality.
The astral substance may be thought of as being more powerful in its creative force than the ether because it possesses a Divine spark. It can relay divinity to whatever it creates; whereas, ether needs help in doing this. Again back to the analogy of electricity and light; light in and of itself possesses the source of brilliancy while electricity can only give a lamp the characteristic of brilliancy.
An occult conception of this process is that the highest creativity lies within the God/dess. He/She gives such creativity to other beings in the spiritual and physical worlds. An example of this might be that a goddess creates a powerful spirit and gives it domain over the physical dimension. This spirit then creates a lunar spirit who is to have dominion over Nature on earth. In turn the lunar spirit creates a fairy-like creature that is to have power over herbs. The fairy goes onto create a magical charm and bestows in it the power to give cmplete herbal knowledge to whoever carries it. The magical charm does not possess the identical creative power as the goddess who created the spirit that created the lunar spirit who created the fairy that created the charm. Although all of these things derived their power from the goddess, the degree of power decreases each time that it is transferred. After each transfer the power differs in the way it can function. A.G.H.
Source: 78, 23-24.