There are many steps to take before getting started with Astral Travel. The previous article it was discussing the preparation. Research, Spiritual Foundations, and Meditation Skills and Focus. All of these are the key to starting this journey. It is no surprise that there are many different sources to be discovered during research. This includes the fact that all sources will have differing information on the method of Astral Travel, commonly called Astral Projection. While exploring the different methods, one must remember that some of these methods will work for one, and others will work for others.
Having an understanding of all the different methods can help one narrow down the potential skills that will work for them. In gaining a better concept of each, it will be easier to understand that Astral Travel can be seen as various methods lumped together, all of which vary in degrees of clarity or ease. These levels can be seen as easier to achieve than others, or they can be based on a person’s understanding of discernment when experiencing each form of travel.
The “Golden Standard” is the most well-known, which I will begin with. I jest when I speak of the “Golden Standard”, as it is more or less the ideal that Out of Body Experiences is the only way or the most valid way to reach the Astral according to more mass-produced how-to books. Astral Projection can be classified as many different methods because it is a projection of the self into various planes or realms. For many years, I would say that Astral Projection differs from Astral Travel. I actively argued hard that they were different.
They are not different. The method is different, but it is still all underneath the umbrella term Astral Travel. Projection, Out of Body Experiences, Lucid Dreaming, Mental Projection, Guided Meditations, and so many others. They are all under the umbrella that is Astral Travel. The Projection itself has different ways that it can be achieved. This brings us to the first set of methods that you can use to reach the Astral.
Astral Projection is considered the “top-tier”, coveted method that many wish they could achieve. It is not a matter of whether one can achieve it. No, it is the idea that one specific method of Astral Projection is talked about as the “only” way. There is no one way; that way is not the end all be all. Leaving the body is the physical projection in the form of out-of-body experiences. You have this bodily projection – out-of-body experience – where you project your body onto the Astral World. This is the method that many of the New Age books and occult books reference. They teach that you float above it, roll out of it, or have vibrations, and then you leave your body. Rarely is there an in-depth discussion of other methods beyond this one.
Out of Body Experiences, referred to here as OBEs, are coveted because many of those books make it seem like this is the only way to experience the Astral World. This is because when you physically set out of your body, you are experiencing that world as if you are standing within the physical plane. There is no barrier other than your perceptions that can influence the experience. I will keep the method of OBE simple to explain, as there are multiple resources out there that go into depth on the process. One must first be in a relaxed state. Their body must relax to the point where they are vibrational. Once within that vibrational state, they can choose a few methods of leaving. Spinning out, falling, and climbing out are three of the more common methods. Personally, I have rolled out and stumbled blindly for a while. On that note, it is very common to be completely desensitized until you can move further away from your physical body. The further you move away, the more your senses, like sight and sound, will return.
The vibrational state is a key part of learning how to have an OBE, as it lets you know you are relaxing enough that your etheric body is comfortable enough to leave. Reaching this vibrational state can be challenging, as you have to not only be comfortable, but you have to feel the utmost safety within your space. If you do not feel safe, you will find that you are too tense to reach the proper state. The vibrational state is also one to which people attribute the physical reaction of sleep paralysis. This is where your physical body will relax into a state where it will not move. This is a natural body process to prevent the body from moving around too much while in a sleep state. Sometimes one can be mentally awake during this time, and it can trigger more negative experiences in regard to astral or even spiritual experiences.
Some will say there is an aid that works wonderfully for them to achieve an OBE with greater ease. This tool, called binaural beats, is easily found on the internet, especially on YouTube. Scientific research has shown that the brain responds to different frequencies of vibrations, especially sound waves, that will produce different effects within the brain. Binaural beats were observed to stimulate the brain in a way that permitted the person to relax into a deeper meditative state. This, therefore, allowed them to have an easier release when working towards having an OBE.
Now that we understand this vibrational state, of which some tools can help achieve it easier, there is the last part. This is the one that most find the most complex. This is the leaving of the physical body to emerge or merge with the astral body. Many methods can be used just for this. Some work best with spinning, others climbing a rope. You can roll out or even drop backward. I’ve personally lifted out, rolled out, and spun out on the handful of times I’ve managed to achieve the OBE aspect of Astral Projection. It just takes time to develop the process of getting into that vibrational state and then stepping out. Practice is always going to be what drives the ability forward. Even if it is occasionally done, it is still something that you build upon.
If we continue on the line of methods, the next that would be considered is the Bi-Location. It is one of the hardest to achieve but also one of the most interesting in working within Astral. Bi-Location, as it suggests in the name, is being within two places at once. Those who are legitimate Reiki Masters get taught this information and a fair few of the closed religious practices. Bi-Location consists of being able to be within two places at once, in which your Astral self, with a piece of your conscious self, is within another place while you are also conscious within your physical self. Both are operating and working together in different areas. This one is considered to be a more advanced form than even the OBE because it can take years of practice, and even then, some may not be able to achieve it.
Another form of Astral Projection is more well-known and used: Lucid Dreaming. It is incredibly possible and learnable for anyone to be able to reach the Astral through their dreams. Those that travel this way work within their minds to wander. It’s relatively close to the OBE, just that you are mentally projecting out into your Astral body within dreams. Therefore it can make it just as realistic as if you were to have an OBE. Lucid dreaming is another method that is also learnable with a lot of practice. In order to achieve this, you must be capable of dreaming and then remembering your dreams. Moving from remembering to learning to do lucid checks. The one that I was working on training with myself was to touch my nose every time I walked through a door. It was very basic, something that I did within waking hours, but it was training my mind to react automatically to the check. So when you are in a dream and touch your nose but realize that it is a dream, you snap within a lucid dream. From there, you are able to teach yourself to meet with spirits, guides, or beings and travel.
One of the most used methods is Guided Meditation or Visual Meditation. This one is completely mentally aligned, where you remain within the physical, but your mental consciousness connects with your astral body. From there, your astral body is able to move through different realms and planes. Most begin with this method as it is one of the ways that you can not only build foundational skills for all the others, but also you can learn discernment. The hardest part of using the visual meditation method is that discernment will be the largest obstacle to learn.
Discernment is a crucial piece of foundational skill for all spiritual practice. Discernment, in the context of Astral Travel, is all about understanding the truth behind an experience and knowing whether it has truly occurred or was subject to your own imagination. There is a benefit of understanding that sometimes, the imagination is exactly what you want to have when doing this sort of work. At least, you want that in the beginning. A longer post about discernment regarding Astral Travel will come later, as it is one topic that needs its own post to discuss.
This is partially the reason that many use Guided Meditation to begin their work with Visual Meditation because it is guided enough that it is hard for the mind to conjure imagination rather than actual experience. Anyone is able to go through visual meditation so long as they are able to visualize. Guided Meditations or Visual Meditations are a wonderful stepping stone into a wider range of skills to reach the Astral. This is the one that you can develop over a long period, leading to learning Bi-Location or more advanced forms of working within both bodies at once.
Guided Meditations can be considered a form of self-hypnosis or willing hypnosis that allows your mental self to relax and be receptive to those energetic vibrations. With this in mind, it is understandable that this method is preferred for those with more hyperactive thoughts and who stray easily. These allow your brain to focus on something so much that you can fall right into the astral or visual experience. Sometimes even the guided meditations can come off not as visual but as emotions, impressions, concepts, or even just energetic information. Everyone will experience them differently and interpret them differently. This is where you understand discernment, unverified personal gnosis (UPG) vs. shared personal gnosis (SPG), and the astral as one experiences it.
What I had once considered Astral Travel, I would now classify it underneath Projection as well. Instead of the body, it is the mind. Mental Projection is the ability to project your mind or your conscious self into the Astral World. This one is one that I would say is the easiest for people to achieve and have access to. Guided or Visual Meditation is one version of this method that is utilized. For this part, I would say that it is the mental projection of oneself without the use of tools. It is simply meditating to the point where you slip into a trance-like state, allowing your consciousness to project into the Astral. It is a bit trickier without the use of tools, such as guided words or visuals.
Methods are all dependent upon the person that is doing the practice. Some struggle with one type but will excel with working on a different method. Much like how I have spent close to a decade working with Bi-Location and Visual Meditation, it is just as vivid as if I were to have a Lucid Dream or even OBE, though each has its own difficulty for me. Whereas I know a few people who can lucid dream or OBE on command, yet prefer those methods to visual meditation. Each person will have to experiment with each method to understand which one will work for them and their discernment of it. Although, bi-location is considered a more advanced form of OBE and Visual Meditation together and may pose difficulties if you don’t understand the mechanics. Some will not be able to do visual meditations, but their dreams are vivid as walking and breathing. Some will do better with rolling out of their body than lucid dreaming because they can’t dream consistently. Once beginning work, you will be able to learn more about your abilities and what works best for your skillset.