Astral projection often refers to an out of body experience. It is an event where our astral body can separate from our physical body and move through astral planes and places that hum with a higher frequency. It can happen purposefully or it can be involuntary. Astral projection can shift our perception and the way in which we think about perceived reality and attachment to the body. In some cases, it can be used to help heal fear of death or simply to explore spirituality.
Astral projection and out of body experiences have been cropping up in pop culture - in everything from the Marvel universe and Doctor Strange to the hit Netflix show ‘Behind her Eyes’. People are intrigued about the astral realm and moving beyond the belief of just being a physical form. In this guide, we will take a deeper look at astral projection and cover exactly what it is, the benefits, how to do it safely, and offer some top tips on boosting your chances of an out of body experience. Knowledge is an essential foundation for exploring the spiritual world with care and ease. Having this knowledge stashed inside can help those who are intrigued by astral travel to journey into the unknown with some sense of intention, intuition, and direction.
What Is Astral Projection
Astral projection refers to an event where our astral body leaves our physical body. The astral body has a fair few different names - it can also be called the subtle body, dream body, energy body, and the tantric body (among other names). In Webster's Dictionary, the astral body is defined as ‘a subtle counterpart of the physical human body accompanying but not usually separated from it in life and surviving its death’.
During astral projection, the astral body leaves the physical body and this enables your consciousness to enter astral planes. Astral planes refer to a realm of existence (also known as a higher dimension or spirit realm). As this place operates at a higher frequency than here on our mortal and three-dimensional earth. It is also a place built up of layers and there are lower astral planes and higher astral planes to be explored by those who can make the leap. The yogi Paramahansa Yogananda spoke of astral planes and said;
‘The ‘heavenly’ realm of light and indestructible life, the realm of vibratory life energy hidden behind the veil of the gross material universe… From the astral world, we come at birth, and there we shall return at death. Someone asked me why we should try to connect with the astral world now. To this, I reply, ‘Because that is where you will realize the freedom of your true nature. You were there as a soul cloaked in an astral form to start with, and because you are not there now and have lost that memory is why all your misery persists.’
Astral projection can happen in a number of scenarios. It can be voluntary or involuntary. In the voluntary sense, people approach astral projection with the purpose of creating a space in which they can have an out of body experience. This is a conscious choice and can be achieved through practice, lucidity, certain sleep cycles, music, meditation, and more. There are also scenarios where people have unplanned out of body experiences. We often hear of these when linked to a near-death experience and the adage of someone ‘floating above their body’ in hospital rooms. Other events that may bring on involuntarily out of body experiences include illness and trauma, and hunger or water deprivation.
But what does astral projection feel like? Astral projection can feel like a floating sensation. People can also take flight, walk through walls, and even teleport from place to place. Some may experience spinning or rolling or making themselves feel like they are moving when in fact, the body is still.
Is Astral Projection and Lucid Dreaming the Same Thing
Some people may think that astral projection is just another term for lucid dreaming or hallucination. While lucid dreaming and astral projection correlates on some levels, they are actually very different experiences. We take a look at what separates these two phenomena.
Lucid dreaming happens when you are asleep and dreaming and you become aware that you are in a dream. This doesn’t even mean that you have to be dead set that you are dreaming but that you carry a seed of awareness. The better you get at lucid dreaming, the more control and certainty you may have of the situation. When you are aware you are lucid dreaming, you can shift the narrative and garner control around your surroundings. You may be able to do things like fly, change location, control the actions of others, and remove or add objects. There are actually two kinds of lucid dreaming states - one where you bring consciousness into your dream while sleeping and the other where you bring dreaming into your consciousness while awake. The most common kind of lucid dream state is the sleeping kind as the other requires a lot of practice.
Astral projection on the other hand pertains more to the out of body experience -when your spirit body leaves the physical body to travel to other planes. Often during this experience, your body is asleep but your mind is tuned in and able to pull away from the unconscious or sleeping body.
There are ways to tell whether you are astral projecting or lucid dreaming.
- You can control things around you
- You often cannot read texts when lucid dreaming as the part of the brain that would normally decipher text is less active at this point.
- You may also lose your sense of smell and other senses when lucid dreaming - or they certainly won’t be as sharp.
- You may have little interaction or you will control the actions of other entities around you.
- Starts by consciously leaving the body and seeing the body beneath you.
- You don't have as much control of the environment or interactions within that environment.
- You can clearly read and see text.
- All your senses should function correctly.
- Entities will react to you.
Is Astral Projection Real
While the term astral projection may seemingly be linked to new age spirituality, its roots actually go way deeper and there have been serious studies and research conducted on the phenomenon. Since the days of ancient Egypt and even early Judaic and Christian texts - references to astral projection, subtle bodies, and astral planes have been referenced. It’s also cropped up in Hinduism, Japanese mythology, Amazonian and Inuit indigenous cultures, and shows up in Taoist practices and stories too. It was also popular in the 19th century when theosophy flourished into a religion.
There are a lot of interpretations of the science of astral projection and some people put the experience down to disruptions or fractures in the body schema (the awareness of one's body and its relative position in space). However, in 1983 there were records from the CIA that concluded that astral projection was considered to be real by the US government. These findings were based upon studies conducted under the banner of The Stargate Project which was military based. Unfortunately, the research while it pertained to being true and absolute claimed to terminate in 1995.
As astral travel is a spiritual and philosophical experience, it can be tricky to measure in a concrete manner. And reality and personal experience, in general, can be hard to prove and disprove, especially when rooted in anecdotal evidence. If you want to know for sure if astral travel is the real deal or not, an act of participation may help you to find those answers.
Benefits of Astral Travel
Not only is astral travel an amazing way to experience infinite possibility and have soulful sojourns from your bed, but there are also many benefits that come from undertaking purposeful out of body experiences. Take a look at these reasons you may feel compelled to delve deeper and take your dream body to different places.
- It helps with anxiety - this can be particularly potent for those who have a fear of death as the experience of separating your spirit from the body may make it easier to let go without fear when the time comes.
- It helps with psychological breakthroughs - visions and vivid dreams and quests can all become clearer when we explore different plains and invite our bodies to stay open to guidance and messages from higher places.
- It aids self-discovery - beyond the boundaries of the body and the here and now, by leaning into astral discoveries and various spiritual practices we learn so much about ourselves and the wider universe we inhabit.
- It strengthens psychic abilities - third eye wisdom, connections with spirit guides, visioning, and experiencing outer realms, all these things take deep practice. The more you explore your psychic abilities, the stronger they will become.
- It promotes spirituality - a spiritual life is a fuller life and the more you journey and pull back the veil the more opportunity you have of living a life that is deep, meaningful, and wholly authentic to your deeper spirit.
How to Astral Project
For those who are intrigued to try astral projecting for themselves, there are many ways to kickstart your journey. Astral projecting in a purposeful manner often relies on REM sleep cycles. Out of body experiences are most likely to occur between the state of sleep and awake - either just before falling asleep or just before waking. This is because within that REM cycle you aren’t deeply asleep yet. This is one of the most popular ways to try and induce an out of body experience and is backed up by research and information from The Monroe Institute which deals in studies in human consciousness.
- Relax the body and the mind as much as possible
- Let yourself enter a half-asleep state
- Focus on the mental sensations rather than the physical
- Try and stay hyper-aware of environmental vibrations as you go deeper
- Align your physical body with the vibrations (while staying relaxed) so that you can use the vibrations to jiggle your subtle body out of the physical
- Use your mind to picture clearly leaving your body one limb and area at a time
- Fine tune your focus on successfully lifting out of your physical body
A visualization technique for astral traveling could also be using the rope technique in which you aren’t trying to catch yourself within the right REM cycle but instead are focused on visualizing each muscle in the body and entering a vibrational state where every cell is alive and pulsing. Then, you visualize a rope hanging above your head that you can climb using your astral body - all while keeping the physical body relaxed. This visualization technique is considered to be one of the most accessible ways of accessing the subtle body.
Astral Projection Music
Some people may find it easier to enter astral projection with the use and help of music. While This won’t work for everyone it can be helpful when music is sourced that complements the process. You should look for music that is known for helping you enter a relaxing state and calls on sound and rhythm that can help connect you to the vibrations of your environment. Some kinds of music that may be useful for entering this state can be music that calls on chanting or even uses isochronic tones and binaural beats.
Last Few Tips
Astral projection is perfectly safe and venturing into this world can be accessible for anyone who feels compelled to try it. While patience and practice is key, it also helps to have a few tips tucked beneath your belt so you can aim for a successful foray into discovering the delights of projection and planes.
- Crystals can help you to focus your energies especially those that are linked to the spiritual chakras like the third eye chakra and the crown chakra. They can help provide a gateway for accessing inner wisdom and connection.
- Relaxation is key - not just for entering the state of astral projection but for staying there. Big emotions like feeling scared, stressed, or overly excited can land you back in your body in a blink of an eye. If you want to prep your body you can practice meditation so your body is better equipped to ‘just be’ in that space.
- Go with intention - exploring for exploring sake is always fun, but if you are out there seeking answers or looking to deepen your knowledge about yourself, it may help guide your experience if you have an intention.
- Ask for protection - while astral travel is safe it is natural to feel disorientated by the idea. You can put provisions in place to protect yourself and keep fear at bay by calling on your ancestors and spirit guides to support your journey. You can also call on animal spirits and use safeguarding or supportive crystals to help you along the way.
Astral projection and out of body experiences can truly help your wellbeing. For those who seek answers, guidance, or connection with other realms and planes, astral projection is your key into that universe. It can also help you understand more about the world and your own place in it by showing you bigger picture thinking. We are more than our physical bodies and spiritual experiences can help us to expand our consciousness and reach our fullest potential in more ways than we could ever imagine. Remember, successful astral projection adventures take time, patience, and practice so be sure to make it a regular habit if you want to leap to higher planes.