Astral projection is the nearly complete separation of consciousness from the physical body in a secondary vehicle, the Astral Body. Astral projection is used in magical work. Another term for astral projection is Out-of-Body experience.
The leaving of the physical body is often preceded by strong and high-frequency vibrations. Individuals leave through their head or solar plexus or by rising up and floating away. Reentry is accomplished by returning through the head or solar plexus or by melting back into the body.
During astral projection, the physical body appears to be sleeping or in a coma-like state. Consciousness remains connected to the body via the astral cord, which allows the astral body to range anywhere in the universe. The closer the astral body is to the physical body, the thicker the cord. The astral cord is the primary means for return of consciousness to the physical body. According to lore, the cord is severed at death; also, severing the cord causes physical death.
Knowledge that consciousness can separate from the body is ancient and universal. Descriptions are nearly universal and contain many similarities. The ancient Egyptians described a ba, or a soul-like essence that manifested itself outside the body during sleep and after death. It was often portrayed as a bird with a human head. The ka was the vital essence, more of a collective energy but part of every individual and which could be projected outward. In the Eastern mystical traditions, existence of the astral body is acknowledged, and techniques are taught in the yogas for mastering it. In the West, Plato held that the soul could leave the body and travel. Socrates, Pliny, and Plotinus gave descriptions of experiences that resemble astral projections; Plotinus wrote of being “lifted out of the body into myself” on many occasions. Plutarch described an astral projection that occurred to Aridanaeus in 79 c.e. Saints and mystics recorded astral projection and Astral Travel .
Magical work such as rituals can be done on the astral plane by astral projection, using imagination, visual izat ion, and breathing techniques. A symbol , such as one of the Tattvas, an I CHING hexagram, or a tarot card, is concentrated upon until it turns into a doorway to the astral plane. Such work is never to be undertaken if a person is feeling angry or fearful, for those feelings will be magnified. Astral projection can be undertaken for the purpose of Clairvoyance.
- Crookall, Robert. Out-of-the-Body Experiences: A Fourth Analysis. New York: University Books, 1970.
- ———. Psychic Breathing: Cosmic Vitality from the Air. Wellingborough, England: Aquarian Press, 1979.
- Fox, Oliver. Astral Projection: A Record of Out-of-the-Body Experiences. Secaucus, N.J.: The Citadel Press, 1962.
- King, Francis (ed.). Ritual Magic of the Golden Dawn. Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books, 1997.
- Kraig, Donald Michael. Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts. 2d ed. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 2004.
- Muldoon, Sylvan, and Hereward Carrington. The Projection of the Astral Blody. London: Rider, 1929.
The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.
Whereas an out-of-body experience is said to involve a person’s spirit or consciousness becoming separated from the physical body, astral projection is said to occur when the astral body, rather than the spirit or consciousness, leaves the physical body. Believers say that astral bodies consist of emotion; some also say that each human being has seven astral bodies in all, but others insist that a person has only one. In any case, an astral body can supposedly leave the physical body to travel the universe and interact with other astral bodies, but it remains tethered by an extremely thin, ethereal—that is, nonphysical—cord.
One of the leading proponents of astral projection was nineteenth-century psychic Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and her Theosophical Society.
- Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna;
- outof-body experiences
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning