In my previous two articles   I covered Lucid Dreams. In one of the article comments, I received a question about Astral Travel. When I say Astral Travel, in this context, I will use the term to describe loosely any way a person can (deliberately or not deliberately) project his self-consciousness to a different time/location, hence the word “travel”. Then there is also the famous “Out of Body Experience” where a person, either awake or sleeping, can experience looking at his/her own body from the outside, as if their “soul” had left their body (for lack of better description).
These phenomena (Astral Travel, Astral Projection, Out of Body Experience) are all different phenomena. For example, to astrally travel is to completely move the consciousness, while the projection, as I understand it, is to have conciousness present at two places or dimensions at the same time.
Why would you want to do astral travel?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could telecommute using your astral senses to accomplish a meeting? Or how about visiting other planets? Let’s not get carried away. I cannot explain the reason why people should do Astral Travel. In my experience it has added another dimension to my experience of life, and it is fun and interesting but it’s not really important to me, maybe except in some cases where I have the time. But to be without it would be to miss a part of experience of life. And for magickal operations it is quite good to know how to work in the Astral Plane, expecially using the technique of the ‘Middle Pillar’ is used in western magickal systems, although the eastern schools work in similar ways (the middle pillar of the Tree of Life correspond to the body’s Chakras).
How to do it?
It’s good to be able to connect to the astral plane using a technique (I use a similar one such as the Middle Pillar) (you can google “middle pillar ritual” to have some idea). Some people use meditation, or drugs, (I don’t recommend doing drugs) or subjecting the body to severe stress (cold, pain, etc) to achieve an altered state of mind, where Astral Travel might occur. As you can see there are safe ways and less safe ways of achieving the correct state of mind. There is however, danger of confusing hallucination with Astral Travel, such as the intake of potent drugs or strong drinks. There is also the risk, as always that you might be afraid of diving into an Astral Travel where you might hear, see, and experience unexpected and frightening things.
Preparing yourself mentally and spiritually will help, as will being in sound physical shape and well-balanced psychologically. A person not psychologically balanced should NOT try Astral Travel. Seeing strange things or entities is part of the result of opening the door to the Astral World. It’s not for the faint of heart, but nothing can hurt you, unless you already are crazy. But it should be noted that people have gone crazy playing with things that they no not understand or know how to handle.
Magickally you should of course do a banishing ritual (as always in this kind of operation). Even if you don’t use magick as your style, be prepared that eastern philosophy also warns of the danger of leaving your body behind, unprotected. There is also the real danger hidden in the fact that, should you be disturbed by a mortal or munade event (mom entering room, phone ringing, etc) you may experience a sudden “Astral Whiplash” where your spirit is drawn too quickly into your body, resulting in a power-surge in your chakras and it can be quite a headache.
But it makes for common sense that your body, once left behind, should be well-protected both spiritually and physically, while your self-consciousness travel elsewhere. Astrally (should your astral vision be well developed) you may notice a thin, silvery string connecting from you back to your body. Don’t cut this line. Bhuddists and Hindu mystics write in their texts how this is the connection between soul and body, and if cut, you will die. I don’t know if that will really happen but I never needed to find out.
I have had some fun chatting with people on the internet, and while being physically awake, I could Astrally “Project” to their room, and correctly describe all the furniture, placement of things, color of carpet, and special details that I could not have known and did not know and was not told in advance.
I’ve done Astral Travel also, where I leave my body behind and have the Out of Body Experience, and continue to rise out above the ceiling, and fly over the city.
Some times I’ve been to some strange places, but as with all these kind of experience you have to take everything with a pinch of salt, and just enjoy the novelty of the experience. Like in all travel, when in Rome, do as the Romans. Try to get with the program and you will have an interesting time.
Some entities will try to interact with you, you may choose to believe they are just a hallucination, or an archetype residing in your conciousness (a piece of your brain). Whatever you do, please note that you are either (a) in the presence of a much more powerful entity than you, or (b) you are messing with your brain. Either way what you believe, try to behave.
These are interesting experiences but should be put into a context that you could use for something good, or useful, or both.