What is the Astral World?
In the introduction of this series (Introduction to Walking the Astral Guide), one of the things mentioned was that the Astral, referred to as the Astral World, is an extraordinarily complex and challenging concept to explain. No one perspective is “The One” way in which the Astral World can be described or experienced. Although, what we can do is work to define these paradigms that we experience so that others may be able to relate to or learn from them. It is also referred to as the Astral in general conversation. Still, it is an effective umbrella term used to define or explain a large conglomeration of spheres, planes, realms, and all other forms of dwelling existences. These all exist alongside and outside of not just the Physical Earthly plane but the domain in which we humans live. I will refer to the Astral as the general umbrella term for ease of reading and conceptualizing. Otherwise, I will refer to other paradigms by name.
The Astral World is a complex system many see and experience on different levels. Some will see them as spheres of influence with spheres of realms within and with planes on each of those realms. It’s an intricate web of perception and exploration unique to each person. On the other hand, one could perceive the Astral World as complex pockets of information, much like a web. This web can be accessed and traveled through the web itself, being one of the very webs of woven reality that most do not see. Instead, these webs of information make up the fabric of the reality that people walk within and see the colorful worlds of the Astral. This can make each individual experience something incredibly unique and complex in which manner they can choose to travel to it.
One of the most well-known concepts of how the Astral functions, at least in a section of it – the Astral itself is vast and has many different spheres and concepts – is the Nordic Tree of Life: Yggdrasil. Another frequently used map is the Qliphoth/Qabalah, with the spheres of influence and realms in which certain aspects can be found. While this particular map is not directly related or tied to the Earthen plane like Yggdrasil, it is considered a map of a section of the Astral World. There are many maps and connections to different paths within the Astral from the known sources and those that seek their way through to new undiscovered places. With this in mind, it is very understandable that Astral Travel, Astral Projection, and other methods are seen as a complex technique of releasing oneself from the physical confines to walk around in the Astral World as an etheric being. With this generalization, the “Golden Standard” of what it means to access the Astral has become something of a rite to those of many spiritual practices.
Reaching the Astral World
To reach these existences, we go through different methods. The “Golden Standard” method is the most well-known and could be considered the “main” way to reach the Astral. Although, there are other methods that many use without even realizing that they are and could be more effective for most people. These can be methods such as dreams, meditating, journeying, and bi-location. All are various methods with degrees of complexity. That complexity relies upon the individual’s method that resonates with them. Some may work best with what most consider the primary way, whereas others may excel with dreaming, particularly lucid dreaming, and struggle with Out of Body experience. Although, it is with an understanding that bringing yourself into the Astral World can be as straightforward or as complex as one makes it.
This “Golden Standard”, especially touted by the mass-produced book companies with their ‘HOW TO!’ books, can be seen as the main reason why those who desire to reach it struggle. It’s because it becomes a “standard” way to get the Astral rather than merely a single method of many that can be achieved. This standard is what is typically referred to as Astral Projection. It is the act of reaching a vibrational state, where you then use that to help project yourself into the Astral World. Terminology usage will be explained a bit later on. But how this information is presented is that this is done through Out of Body Experiences, also known as OOBEs. Astral Projection, as I have come to understand through the years, is a more generalized term for a method of projecting oneself and is not limited to bodily experiences but also mental projection.
Reaching the Astral World is the goal of many practitioners, particularly those keen on exploring the unknown or those looking to achieve a deeper working of magic that the physical cannot offer. The Golden Standard of leaving the physical into your etheric or astral body to wander around is appealing. Not only as a method of exploring a more profound and vast set of worlds and realms, but it can also be a learning experience beyond anything the physical can offer. Plus, most of those that do reach the Astral World can say that there is an enchanting beauty and horror that resides in those that walk its pathways—escapism at its finest at times.
These vast amounts of varying descriptions of the Astral World exist because everyone experiences the Astral individually. This means people experience it and gain knowledge through their gnosis or experiences. Although, there has been crossover and correlations with those that have visited the same place. Personal gnosis is a significant basis that the Astral World exists unless it is from well-established gnosis that has become verified through history, ie: mythology. This goes into understanding what the Astral World can be made up of.
Once a person begins to work within the Astral, many different perspectives and outside human ideals will be encountered. Some of these areas and ideals that can be found are different cultures of spirits, beings, and entities. A big part of working with the Astral includes coming into contact with these different cultures. Even if you are building your Sacred Space, or some refer to it as your Astral Temple, you will need to ward and shield it so that there aren’t random spirits wandering through. That is where a lot of Astral workers also become Spirit Workers.
Spirit working within the Astral can vastly differ from the Spirit working within the Earthly plane. It can be just as dangerous, if not more so because you are now physically in their realm or plane of existence. Your energy vibration is much closer to theirs and, therefore, easier to interact with. That is why various levels of Astral Travel methods yield different results. When working within each of these methods, the critical part is that one must understand their discernment practice.
Discernment is the most prominent aspect of gnosis that will make or break your experiences, especially mentally. Elements of Astral Travel will be spoken of in further conversations and articles. Many aspects and topics can be covered about the Astral and working within it, which will be explored with a more in-depth look. Due to the intimate nature of working on the Astral, Spirit Working will also be covered under that knowledge umbrella. With good understanding and foreknowledge, know that most of the articles being written here will be with personal gnosis and years of experience. It will also include knowledge gained through group conversations regarding perceptions and experiences within their paradigm that have subtly influenced the perception within the Astral that is being worked. These articles are just a basis for those seeking to know more about it to get their foundational workings started.