Astral projection refers to a type of out of body experience (OBE) that is conscious and desired. Also called astral travel, astral projection is considered by many to be a form of telepathy, a type of communication that uses a different channel than what our conscious senses can provide.
In this article, explore the origins, history and meaning of astral projection. Also learn how to begin to experience astral projection for yourself.
Understanding Astral Projection
For people who have never personally experienced astral projection, the easiest way to understand what it means is to imagine that the body is actually two separate entities: the physical conscious body made up of flesh and blood and skin and a body of light that represents the spirit or soul.
When these two bodies separate, it is called an “out of body” experience or, alternately, astral projection. There is some understandable confusion here due to reports of near-death experiences where people have departed their physical body through their light body and have then witnessed their physical body lying below them.
This is a similar experience in some ways, but since it is not conscious and willed (desirable), it is not considered to be the same as true astral projection.
The History of Astral Projection
What is most interesting about astral projection is its ancient and enduring history. The earliest accounts of astral projection date back to the time of the Bible, the ancient Egyptians, early Hindu practitioners in India, Chinese Taoists, the Inuit tribal peoples, the Amazonian Waiwai and by proponents of Japanese mythology.
In the West, the most visible and vocal proponents of astral projection have been the Theosophists of the 19th century. Theosophists have long maintained that it is possible to experience astral projection via meditation, dreams, hypnosis and self-hypnosis.
To date, despite many who say that astral projection is not possible, equally as many say it is entirely possible to learn to do astral travel and that anyone can learn how.
What It Is Like to Do Astral Travel
Practitioners describe the experience of astral travel as one where the light body (or subtle body) leaves the physical body, but stays attached by means of a silver light cord (or umbilical cord). Many practitioners describe this cord in detail and the description is always the same – a silver cord of light that connects the physical and the subtle body together while the two are otherwise separated.
Some practitioners say that the period just before astral travel begins can feel uncomfortable, with a loud buzzing sound in the head region and a tingling sensation in the body. But after the first time or two, these issues become less noticeable and feel like less of a barrier.
How Astral Projection Happens
People who have learned to do astral projection state that anyone who wants to and is willing to can learn to travel astrally. However, some people who have very strong mental blocks may do better if they seek the help of a psychic or hypnotist to help ease them out of their mind's grip.
For some people, the first one or several experiences of astral projection happen spontaneously for reasons that are still not fully understood. They may not even realize what is happening to them at first, and for this reason sometimes astral projection can be described as scary. But once the person realizes what is going on it is easier to shed the fear and explore the possibilities of astral projection.
How to Practice Astral Projection
If you are interested in learning how to do astral travel yourself, there are many resources that can help and guide you to reach this goal. The first step, and many say the most essential, is to maintain an open mind and an a willing spirit. If you believe astral projection is possible for you, it is likely you will find it a much easier goal to attain.
The second step is to relax yourself. Try to relax your physical body and your mind. It can sometimes help to do your astral projection practice when you first wake up in the morning, when your mind will be the most free and clear and your body will already feel relaxed and refreshed from sleep. If you find it more relaxing, go ahead and lie back down in a comfortable position on your back and close your eyes.
Next, begin to focus intensely on your breathing. Breathe in and out slowly and focus on the in-breath and the out-breath. Try to enter meditation or, if you know self-hypnosis, you can begin to put yourself into hypnosis.
It can also be very helpful to select an object or a phrase and focus on that to still your mind and keep it from reaching out for other distracting thoughts. With your eyes closed, continue breathing in and out in a relaxed manner while focusing on your object or phrase.
From here, there are a number of different techniques you can try to enter astral projection for the first time. In the rope technique, you will visualize yourself reaching up towards a rope (without moving your physical body). “Climb” up the rope to leave your physical body while inhabiting your astral body.
In the hammock technique, you will visualize yourself lying in a hammock strung between two trees. As it rocks back and forth gently, simply “roll” out of your physical body and into your astral body.
Watching yourself sleep is another great technique. Here, you will attempt to consciously witness yourself as you fall asleep as a means to rise out of your physical “sleep” body and into your astral body.
There are many other useful techniques you can learn to help yourself enter astral travel for the first time. Once you have done it the first time, you can try different techniques and see which is the most beneficial to help you travel astrally. By studying and practicing, you can become proficient at astral projection.