From mainstream Hollywood to children’s cartoons, the thought of leaving your physical body and moving forward into a seemingly different reality yet, parallel existence has been a fascination for many. Moving beyond this, the actual discussion of Out of Body Experiences (OOBES) and Astral Projection is a very large and continuously ongoing one, especially within spiritual, religious, and parapsychological communities. The practice by many is seen as almost a bridge between the physical and non-physical worlds, giving motivation and encouraging those seeking confirmation of the existence of an afterlife or the “soul.” Once experienced, further investigation into its existence is most often unsought by the person experiencing it, yet the phenomenon has been highly researched by the scientific community due to it’s intrigue.
Astral Projection in it of itself is a huge practice with various beliefs surrounding it. It has no simple definition, although the current adopted understanding of the practice is that an individual intentionally separates from the physical world and enters the “Astral Plane.” This plane of existence is understood to be parallel to this reality on lower “levels,” but also contains with it higher levels of existence that the projector may access with practice in raising the vibration or resonance of the astral body. These higher levels are said to go fairly high and there are those individuals who say that with practice they have even reached a level of resonance high enough which enables them to see and even communicate with Angels. Regardless of the many understandings of the practice, it is an ongoing one and can be extremely exciting, as well as scary within early stages.
Astral Projection and the Scientific Community
Astral projection is a practice that is shrouded in myth and mystic, but through this there is a lot of truth and ongoing research. Along with this, it is an invaluable aid for spiritual growth. Our societies scientific method requires us to prove, experiment, and repeatedly prove whatever it is we are researching. The issue astral projection poses to this method is that we currently do not have effective enough technology to record, document, and measure the astral body. Despite this, many different attempts have been made at studying the phenomenon through scientific means. Despite this, numerous attempts have been made at scientifically documenting the existence of astral projection and OOBE phenomenon.
The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) was founded in 1882 by England’s Cambridge University. The goals were to research the spiritual, religious, psychic, and general paranormal events that were reported and discussed world-wide. Essentially anything that science could not put a tangible handle on, anything “unknown” within the world of metaphysics. In 1886 a two volume work called Phantoms of the Living was published by Edmund Gurney, Frederick Myers, and Frank Podmore, three members of the SPR. The work cited a large about of Astral Projection events amongst upwards of 702 overall cases cited within the two volumes of work published.
The American Society for Psychic Research (ASPR) is one of the many organizations who devotes a large amount of time and research to the OOBE phenomenon. They attempt to separate the events of clairvoyant vision from an actually out of body experience. This proves to be somewhat difficult to distinguish between due to the subjective nature of certain psychic phenomenons. What one person perceives as being leaving the body within their astral body, another may perceive as nothing more than viewing or observing an area by means of clairvoyance. In 1977 the ASPR and it’s director Kaelis Oasis, along with his associate Janet Mitchell, did various experiments with the famed psychic and artist, Ingo Swann.
The reasearch into this phenomenon continued and is still taking place today. In the early 1970s Dr. Robert Morris, director at The Psychical Research Foundation (PRF) in North Carolina, worked with a Duke University student by the name of Keith Harary. Keith, an apparently very skilled Astral Projector, was able to engage in various experiments mostly based on what he was able to perceive during projections. He projected into different buildings and successfully read back whatever was on them during the projections. He stated that he could hear sounds within our physical plane, but also heard incredible harmonious things from beyond our current physical plane of existence.
Another prominent round of research on the subject was conducted by the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in Menlo Park, California. Russel Tard, and Harlod Puthoff, both physicists, conducted a large amount of experiments about Remote Viewing between the 1970s and early 1980s. They were convinced that Remote Viewing is actually a form of clairvoyance, as opposed to a form of OOBE. To me this raises a few extra questions because after practicing Technical Remote Viewing for a few years, I don’t see how you can relate remote viewing to OOBES in general. How they came to these conclusions is beyond me, but the research was fairly in depth. They did various experiments with the famed Ingo Swann, giving him the coordinates of a particular location for him to project to, and having him report back successfully. It was stated that he was successful 75 times out of 100 trials, where 14 attempts were missed and the other 6 couldn’t be successfully evaluated. These trials were described as being remote viewing experiments, yet, it was made known and clearly obvious that what he was doing was a form of OOBE or Astral Projection. He described how he would leave his physical body and make his way to the specified location.
As the research continues various other systems of measurement have been developed in attempts to measure such phenomenon. Most recently, Kirlin Photography, a form of photography first developed and named after the Russian inventor Seymon Kirlian in the early 1940s. The process is reportedly able to record the aura or bio-field of an individual, and so has been used or attempted, to capture an image of an Astral Body. Kirlin Photography is still highly controversial today, despite the images that have been recorded. Whatever the research, it’s safe to say that proving the existence of Astral Projection is still a difficult task within the scientific community. More importantly than the current findings, is figuring out what would prove Astral Projections existence. Either way, we can rest assured knowing that the practice, research, and experimentation that revolves around this extraordinary phenomenon is one that will continue throughout the years.
The Difference Between OOBEs and Astral Projection
It’s often debated whether a difference even exists. I decided to mention this only because I tend to use the terms interchangeably, which seems to confuse a lot of people who are under the impression that there is actually a difference between the two. An Out of Body Experience is said to occur to those nearing death, or where the body actually dies for a brief moment. It can also be achieved consciously and when someone experiences one, the environment seems to be as real as it gets. By that I mean physical. Your location appears to you just as it would if you were awake and moving about in your daily life. In Astral Projections people seem to experience a large array of colors, and a generally different vibe.
The only other difference is that within an Astral Projection, in time an individual can “ascend” to different levels, whereas in an OOBE an individual is essentially entrapped within this one level of resonance. If you do move up in a level or plane of existence while in an OOBE, then you are automatically considered to be Astral Projecting. This is somewhat of a logical fallacy I should say. Assuming that one is different from the other based on minute differences in perception. My personal opinion on the matter comes from my own experiences. A low level Astral Projection, more commonly in the first stages of the practice is pretty much exactly like one would experience while during an OOBE. To me, an OOBE is simply a low level Astral Projection, the lowest level often achieved. The issue lies within the practitioner. If you learn that there is a difference, and then strive to achieve one or the other, the idea that you will perceive what you think you are going to perceive is a pretty feasible idea.
What this means is that, if you believe an OOBE is a very real, physical experience whereby everything seems exactly the same, with the exception that you can move through walls and the usual rules don’t apply, then you will probably experience that. If you believe that in an Astral Projection you will see things differently, you probably will. Not to say that the entire nature of the two are subjective, I’m speaking on first encounters. It’s no different to me at this point, having pursued both on their own terms. If I project and everything seems to point to an OOBE, I have no issue calling it that. But if I think raise my vibratory state, I can then feel comfortable in saying that I am Astral Projecting. I believe that an OOBE may be just the same thing, but on our physical plane of existence. As in, we project, but are still walking around in the physical reality, as opposed to flying around in the “astral” plane.
My most recent projection experience was completely unintentional. My alarm was going off and I had a terrible nights sleep, so I was pretty exhausted. I hopped up and leaned over to turn it off, but as I hit the button it wouldn’t go off. The noise irritated me and then I hopped up again to turn it off and was finally successful. I kind of looked around for a minute in confusion then realized that I had unconsciously projected. I suppose I was so startled by it, having just recently fallen asleep, that I was jolted out of body, or rather, never returned to my physical body before trying to turn off the alarm. I would equate this experience with an OOBE because it was no different than normal behavior. If I were to hop up, fly out, and increase my current vibrations to move up in the planes, I would then call that an Astral Projection.
It’s really not that complex, and I don’t feel that an OOBE is beneath an Astral Projection at all, I just feel as though there are levels within the practice that are hard to really get a feel for unless you practice yourself. So if I refer to an OOBE, it’s safe to assume that I am referring to a lower level projection whereby I still have room to move up. Likewise, if I refer to an Astral Projection, I am more than likely making reference to an instance where I’m right above basic level projection. Within these levels though, there is a large amount of practice required to explore and develop your ability, and many uses within each. There are some who only pursue OOBE experiences and find more than enough to do and explore while doing so. Others seek out more diverse and “out there” experiences. Whatever your goal, it depends on your intent. Not too coincidentally, both forms of projection are achieved in exactly the same way. The difference lying in this intent, whether you are intending to OOBE or Astral Project.
Uses Of Astral Projection
Astral Projection is used for various things beyond the general cool factor of flying and exploring another reality parallel, yet separate from the one we move through day in and day out. Many people have used Astral Projection for the purposes of healing and magic(k). Due to being located in a different and higher plane of existence, the use of energy work and similar practices seems to be not exactly easier, but more effective to a certain extent. This is no doubt due to being closer to a source of some form. You are in essence pure energy, as opposed to manipulating that energy within your physical body.
Astral Projecting can be an extremely useful tool in exploring other environments. Be those other buildings to check up on a friend or family member, or different planets. Some even report the ability to travel through time, considering the idea of “time” isn’t even relevant once projected. Imagine being in a world where no rules you currently experience are relevant at all. You have no boundaries and there is pretty much not a single thing you cannot do or achieve. The uses are limited only to your imagination.
The Stages of Projection
When it comes to any metaphysical practice, stages are always relevant. I can’t help but stress them because it seems to help the newer practitioners understand the processes in which they are experiencing. It’s incredibly helpful in understanding where you are with your practice, and where you’re going, as well as what you should to to help you further along your practice.
Stage 1 – The first stage of projection is associated with the sleep state. We are believed to project out of the body as we fall asleep. Many are not aware of this, but a lot of people attribute that jolting feeling, or experiences of falling while sleeping to a forceful return of the astral body to the physical body. This stage is also said by some to occur while even in waking states. During times of extreme exhaustion, some people have experienced partial, or even full projections whereby they are moving around, or doing something only to be brought back into the body. It’s almost as if they were experiencing a day dream, only to be snapped back into consciousness to realize that what they were going through wasn’t really happening in their physical body.
Stage 2 – Stage 2 is experienced when the astral body is forcefully projected a short distance away from the body to consciously escape instances of extreme pain. It’s like a mental escape. Many long distance runners, bikers, or other athletes can attest to this form of projection. It’s as if they were watching their body from a different perspective so the pain or events going on did not directly affect their mental state. Others have experienced this as looking from behind their eyes. I would call this a very low level projection in which your mental state is actually projected, but you retain conscious control over your body. Sometimes, because someone is use to a certain behavior like biking, it seems as though they aren’t even in control over their body, and only watching the events transpire as if the body just remembered what to do.
Stage 3 – This is the first stage of conscious projection. You are free to do what you wish and go where you choose. With more practice you are able to travel at any speed, even instantaneously, and distance is not a factor. At this stage the projector should watch their thoughts, because if we recall that energy flows where attention goes, you will travel or end up where your thoughts are directed. This is because while in a projected state, you are your consciousness, essentially nothing but energy, so where you concentrate or focus on, you will end up.
Stage 4 – This is the stage many more experienced projectors experience. It is the stage that you are “contacted” or being to see and experience contact with higher beings. Some refer these to “angels” or “guardians.” You achieve this stage after practice and time spent during astral travel. Once here a lot of lessons are learned and your eyes are opened even further. Many refer to this stage as being the stage of enlightenment, the stage where the highest level of spiritual lessons and growth can be achieved.
Beginning Your Astral Travel
Prior to hopping right into the practice you should first take some basic preliminary steps to optimize your success. There are a lot of people who experience common issues while attempting to leave their body. Wondering thoughts, twitches, restlessness, and even fear are just a few of the many issues you may face while just beginning. Below are a few exercises you should take up on a regular basis, and even just before attempting to Astral Project to help you along.
Meditation – Meditation is one of the most important practices you can take up during any spiritual practice. It’s especially important for the individual new to Astral Projection because it enables you to get into a calmer, more relaxed state of mind. Quieting your conscious mind is of the utmost importance so that you can be more focused on the task at hand. I have written some other posts about different meditations and offer various exercises which you can find here. Aside from those, we’ll be working with the four phase breath in particular for what we are attempting to achieve.
The Four Phase Breath
The Four Phase Breath is a very popular traditional Chi meditation that utilizes breathing control to help relax, and focus the mind. The exercise it self takes very little work on the part of the practitioner, but I would advise you you to take up it’s practice on a regular basis as opposed to doing it just before you attempt to project. I say this only because being exposed to all of these new things in one sitting can be very exhausting mentally, and even physically, as your body adjusts to the breathing change. This may result in you just falling asleep, as opposed to successfully projecting.
1. Sit upright, or lay flat on your back. Begin by taking a few deep breaths in through your nose and out of your mouth. Relax your body, go through and ensure that all of your muscles are fully relaxed. Allow your thoughts to pass freely, don’t spend time following any particular train of thought. Instead, allow them to come and go as if you were viewing them on a television.
2. Take in one last deep breath to prepare for the exercise. Breathe in deeply allowing your stomach to expand on the inhale and contract on the exhale. As you breathe in slowly, count to four. When you reach four, you should have inhaled to your lungs’ capacity.
3. Hold this breath for a total of four seconds.
4. On the fourth count, exhale slowly to the count of four. Hold for four seconds before repeating. Continue this exercise until you feel fully relaxed. Remember that each inhale, and exhale should be for four seconds, and you should wait four seconds before inhaling, and before exhaling again.
This exercise is extremely easy once you get more adjusted to the practice it self. In the beginning, if you are entirely new to related exercises you may have difficultly keeping count. This is normal and don’t worry about it right now, you will get use to it as time goes on, and eventually you won’t even need to count, and rather, it will just be natural for you.
Often I hear people complain that they experience constant and irritating twitches. This is due to your body still being wide awake while you’re sitting in total stillness. We even twitch a lot prior to falling asleep. It’s completely normal. Getting around this isn’t as complex as some make it seem. Take about ten minutes out of your day in the morning, prior to going to bed, and before practice to stretch. Stretch all of your body parts fully, careful not to over do it. Breathe deeply as you do this. You can even do one round of the four phase breath per stretch. That will be a sufficient amount of time to perform the stretch as well, so it all works out. A good idea would be to take up some light yoga work to help you prepare. It’s also great for centering.
Astral Projection Methods
After you have fully relaxed and are prepared for your projection practice, lay down flat on your back to not be so comfortable as to fall asleep, or sit in a reclined position. I would suggest that you wear loosely fitting clothes and that the temperature in the area is comfortable enough so that you won’t be too hot or too cold. There are a large variety of different exercises you can experiment with to successfully project, but remember that everyone is different, and something that works for one person may not work in the least bit for another. Everyone and their needs are different, so finding the right method for you may take some work but with consistent practice your success to some degree or another is pretty much inevitable.
Full Relaxation Method
This method is very similar to common relaxation techniques utilized for various means. It’s not that complex and in fact, though the desired outcome is to achieve a full projection, the method to induce it has no direct correlation with projecting. You begin this method by getting comfortable and going through to relax each body part individually. Some people like to start from top to bottom, others from the feet upwards. Pick whatever you feel more comfortable with and begin.
Take in a deep breath and focus on the body part you are relaxing. If you are going from top to bottom start with your face. Take in a deep breath and ensure that your face is fully relaxed. Every muscle in your face should be at ease and with no contractions. Some people like to flex and contract every muscle in that area to help relax it. Continue breathing and relaxing this part of your body and then move on to the next.
Move down and relax the neck and upper shoulder muscles. Get out any lingering movements you need to help this process. Breath deeply while focusing on this area, ensuring that it is fully relaxed before moving on. Continue this throughout the rest of your body and repeat if needed. As you do this make sure that you are taking your time. This is the method in totality, so patience is a must. After some time practicing this method you should feel completely relaxed and your state of relaxation may come to a point whereby you experience a spontaneous projection as your body essentially falls asleep while your mind remains conscious. Some experience projections by this method, others require a bit more conscious effort, but I would advise everyone to use this method first, even before trying any other methods we cover later. The more relaxed you are in the long run, the better.
The Chord Method
As you lay down, either tie a string to something above you, tape it to the ceiling, or use a completely imaginary one. As you lay down fully relaxed, imagine your astral arms gripping hold of this string. Take your time and be careful not to flex or tense your physical arms. Pull on this string and gently climb your way up. The goal is to tug with your astral arms and send your consciousness upwards in hopes that your astral body will eventually follow. You should never technically reach the top of the string, the purpose in having a physical rope there is to assist in the visualization. This method has proven very successful for a lot of people. I have unfortunately only had success once with this. It was my first projection ever accomplished manually and was very brief. For this method, along with others but especially this one, I need to stress the importance of relaxation. I experienced the tenseness in my arms for a long time while working with this method, and only achieved success when my body was completely depleted of energy due to a spell of insomnia upwards of six years ago.
The title to this is fairly humorous, but that is literally what we are trying to accomplish when utilizing this technique. This method is done by consciously rocking your astral body. Not literally, but rather imagining it rocking side to side within your body. As you rock the momentum of the rocking should cause your rock to get longer and even pick up speed. This occurs until you are rocking from one side of your body to the next and continues until you essentially rock your astral body loose of the physical. People have used this method, only to find themselves falling on the floor, but when they rose surprised to lay back down, they realized they were experiencing a projection.
The Body of Light
Variations of this method are discussed virtually everywhere Astral Projection or OOBES are taught. It is a very effective method but requires a lot of practice and getting use to. Begin by creating a mirror image of your body in front of you. Imagine this body to directly reflect your person. Take some time to ensure that no detail is spared. Jewelry, clothing, hair, every detail of your person should be included. See this body moving around the room. Allow it to explore your current location, go into a different room and come back. As it explores see through it’s eyes, feel what it feels. It should be no different than walking or moving around in your physical body.
Have the body of light come back to where your physical body is, and position it in front of you. Begin to consciously will your consciousness into this body. As opposed to viewing this body in your mind from your physical body, begin to view your physical body through this body of light. After some work and practice many people experience a projection by doing this. There are other variations of this method floating about. One such involves transferring your consciousness into a ball of light, as opposed to a literal body. Which ever your method, have patience and work at it regularly.
A lucid dream is a dream in which you are consciously aware of a dream while you are dreaming. From this dream state I have found that you can consciously project yourself out of your body into an Astral Projection. Lucid dreaming it it of itself is a huge practice with a lot of benefits. This is the primary method I suggest everyone to take up. It may not be the most straight forward method, but it’s one that will ensure success over a period of time. I wrote a much more in depth look at lucid dreaming that you can find here.
The basic method for achieving a lucid dream though, is by keeping a dream log. Every morning when you wake up write down the time, date, your emotional state prior to sleeping and how you felt when you woke up, and your dream in full detail. If you don’t remember your dream at that time write down “I chose not to remember my dreams.” As you get into the habit of logging all of your dreams you will eventually begin to remember them in full detail, and over time you will learn your dreaming patterns. This will result in you questioning yourself while dreaming, which will jolt your consciousness and you will realize that you are dreaming. After playing around with lucid dreaming for some time you can eventually push yourself forwards and out into an astral projection.
Astral Projection can be an incredibly enjoyable and enlightening experience. After you have successfully projected your practice and learning experience truly starts. There are a lot of reasons why people fail at projecting. One of which is patience. Developing patience is a key component in finding success. Using affirmations to help along your progress is also encouraged, Also, if you have fears about the actual projection, affirming that you have nothing to fear will help you. Affirming on a regular, daily basis that you will be successful can improve the speed and likelihood that you are successful.
Many of these exercises can be assisted by having a certain amount of skill in other meditation techniques. I encourage you to expose yourself to meditation to the fullest extent. I stress meditation in almost everything I write about because I feel it’s just that important. Some of these methods require a shift in focus and concentration. Developing your sensitivity can have drastic changes in your progress, especially when dealing with the Body of Light method. It will help you to get a better feel for the energetic body and to shift your focus from one point to another.
There is enough information about Astral Projection for me to easily exceed 10 books. This post is just meant to get you started along your journey and there is a lot more content that needs to be covered. For now, stick with it, experiment, and most of all enjoy what you are experiencing. I suggest that you keep a log of all of your experiences and results similar to the lucid dreaming dream log. It can help you to see what you have been doing, and what you were doing to give you the most results. There are a few methods to achieve projection through Chakra work, and if you want some added help look for some guided meditations or Astral Projection walk troughs, trance or meditation music seems helpful as well. Most importantly, keep at it, good luck, and I’m more than open to any questions you have. I have a lot more posts lined up on this subject, and if you had any success by means that were not listed here feel free to share them.