Astral projection or astral travel is a voyage from the physical body, in order to explore "other worlds."
Your consciousness will go elsewhere, you will discover a wonderful world, in which the notions of time and space are totally different. Astral travel refers to the dissociation between the body and the spirit allowing the person who experiences this state, to explore the world around him in a different way. Under these conditions, the person has the sensation of seeing his physical body from outside of his own body. Astral travel is thus distinguished from autoscopy, defined as the vision from outside of oneself, of one's double, from one's own physical body. This experience could be had at specific times such as the approach of death, during spiritual practices such as meditation, during deep sleep, or even under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs, or during psychotherapeutic sessions such as rebirthing or primal therapy…
Astral travel throughout history
The ability to leave one's body through using one's own will is, in Eastern religions, most often attributed to the shaman or sorcerer. This allows them, for example, to communicate with the deceased.
We find astral travel in the first Indian writings, in which the eight siddhis are mentioned, that is to say, the powers that man can acquire through meditation. In this case, it is in the sixth siddhi that the journey in the heavens is mentioned.
In ancient Egypt, it was believed that one could enter the "astral plane" through ten gates and seven doors. The astral body itself was represented in the form of a bird, a symbol of something that can escape from the laws of gravity. Likewise, in the Bible, Paul speaks of a man who was taken to Paradise and lived outside of his body.
In the Christian Western Middle Ages, it was more a question of bilocations. Bilocation is a form of astral travel in which an individual can be been seen at the same time in different places. A difference is made between the phenomenon of bilocation and the out-of-body state: in bilocation, people speak of the relationship and interactions with the person through touch and verbal exchanges, while in the out-of-body state body, there is no communication.
We then need to wait until 1965 before the first scientists come to light.
The first research was conducted by a researcher from the University of California, Dr. Charles Tart. He gave a series of tests to a young woman who claimed to project herself out of her physical body every evening. In his lab, she managed to correctly give the target number of five digits placed out of sight. But he realized that the answers could be given thanks to a phenomenon of reflection.
Subsequently, Robert Monroe served as a test subject for Charles Tart. Robert Monroe claimed to have had such experiences during the two sessions in which he participated. Even though he couldn't read the targeted numbers, he explained one of his out of body experiences. In 1967, the results of the experiment were the subject of a communication by Charles Tart who indicated that a large part of the sleep cycle took place in a hypnagogic state.
Charles Tart always remained cautious about the results obtained during his experiments.
Another of the emblematic characters is Jeanne Guesné, French writer, philosopher and mystic. She has had hundreds of lucid out-of-body experiences for over 40 years, reaching a higher level of consciousness, with the feeling of being free, of entering into a broader knowledge of the Universe. For her, this superior "state of being" can only be obtained if there is a synchronism of the vibratory kind, between the physical envelope and the conscious energy outside of it
Three different approaches share the explanations of the phenomenon of "out of body" sensations: the esoteric approach, the parapsychological approach, the scientific approach. It is the esoteric approach that interests us here.
Principle of the esoteric approach
According to Taoism, Buddhism, Theosophy, Egypt, or Plato, people have multiple bodies, the best known are the etheric body and the astral body, which can become detached from the physical body. The etheric and astral bodies are part of the subtle bodies, each having its own characteristic:
The physical body is responsible for physiological functions.
The etheric body is responsible for the absorption of subtle energy.
The astral body is the seat of emotions.
The mental body is the seat of intelligence.
The causal body is the seat of will and memory.
The energetic/etheric body
The bio-energetic body is constantly connected and in dependence with the physical body. The organs of the energetic body are known in the yogic tradition as the "chakra". The etheric body enters a state of trance or sleep during the relaxation, in order to expand and re-energize. Normally, it would remain contracted. Its expansion seems to be necessary for an out of body experience to occur, which explains the use of trance and relaxation techniques to accomplish this.
The astral body
This term is explained by the occultists as being the non-physical planes of consciousness, but these are also the subtle bodies of mankind. Movements such as theosophy separate the astral plane into seven levels, while some Buddhists believe that there are 31 levels. Most authors distinguish numerous planes and sub- planes, such as the lower astral, middle astral and high astral planes.
During experiments, the subjects would encounter various entities of a very diverse nature. According to Wicca, for example, there is an "astral wildlife," composed of many organisms in various forms who feed off energy. This was also suggested by Carlos Castadena. There would also be “negs;” more or less intelligent negative entities that try to feed on the energy of the soul.
According to some beliefs, the danger would be greater once the astral body detaches from the physical body. It is said that one can meet other entities from other worlds who resemble us, and sometimes more advanced or protective entities as recounted in many near- death experiences.
It should be noted that for the majority of scientists, these phenomena simply correspond to hallucinatory or dreamlike phenomena.
The best techniques to induce the out of body experience are those that rely solely on relaxing the body and control of the mind. Relaxing the body can be achieved by listening to some special recordings inducing an "alpha" then "theta" state of the rhythms of the brain.
Relax each area of the body, breathe in a controlled fashion and alternate this with holding your breath.
Meditate, possibly by repeating a Mantra, visualize, strengthen your will, strengthen your Self, strengthen your memory, prepare for your out of body experience by using special objects.
Choose a favorable time
Certain times are particularly suitable for out of body experiences: the equinoxes and solstices (03/21, 06/21, 09/23, 12/21), the full moon and the new moon, magical nights (04/30, 06/24 , 31/10), the period between May 4 and 30 and between September 11 and 24, the night hours, in particular between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., the hours dominated by Jupiter (see the calendar of planetary hours).
Opt for comfortable and warm clothes, do not wear belts, shoes or metal objects, do not use blankets, give preference to purple, blue or white clothing, use materials such as linen, cotton and wool. Avoid silk and synthetic fibers.
Choose a place
Choose a magnetically charged place, opt for an isolated and silent place in which no element will disturb the session, place a hard bed or a mattress towards the North, create the appropriate atmosphere by using soft music and lighting a stick of incense.
A fairly high temperature, absence of atmospheric electricity, pressure greater than 760 millimeters of mercury, absence of humidity, total darkness or weak blue or red light, total absence of noise, preferable by yourself. If the presence of witnesses is necessary, choose friendly and quiet people. Eat lightly and well in advance, take a lukewarm very salty bath.
Consciousness release techniques
Here are the 2 main techniques:
• Imagine that you collapse to the ground and then rise up from there
• Visualize a blue wave rolling from your feet up to your head.
• Control your breathing
• If departing for the astral plane, go feet first.
• Numb your senses.
• Concentrate the most you can on the wish to leave your body
• Direct your concentration on one precise place, for example a flame, or the bridge of your nose
Our advice: Are you ready to travel?
You can have a go at travelling, but make sure that you have read up on this subject to the full before you try this and take some precautions. Protect your body, be aware of the possible dangers and do not leave on your journey for too long a time.