Astral Projection

by Ceridwen Seren-Ddaear

Winter is the season of turning inward, and – with the lengthening nights – one’s attention can be drawn toward spiritual and psychic exploration of and experimentation with techniques such as Astral Projection. This is something we do every night when we sleep, but there is a lot to be said for developing the ability to do it “consciously”, and learning to control where we go and what we do when we are freed from the limitations of the body…

I have read extensively on this subject and tried many different methods of astral projection, with varying degrees of success. The hardest part for me is the shutting off of internal dialogue when trying to focus on the "void". Sometimes I am able to do so quite easily, but most of the time - and especially if it's been a stressful day - it is nearly impossible for me to achieve...unless I do a specific breathing and relaxation exercise.

This can take the form of a grounding visualization, or tensing and releasing each muscle of the body, starting with the feet and moving upward...but my favourite technique is a chakra balancing visualization, as follows:

After taking 3 particularly deep breaths - the first to relax the body, the second to calm the emotions, and the third to still the mind - I begin by visualizing the colour RED entering in through the soles of my feet, and feel it rising up into my knees and thighs, slowly up into my hips, waist, chest and shoulders, feel its warmth spreading down into my arms and hands and fingers, then feeling its energy rising up into my neck and head and face...I breathe in the colour RED and feel it's energy permeate my entire body...then I release the colour RED out of the top of my head and dismiss it...

Next I visualize and feel the colour ORANGE entering in through the soles of my feet and upward through my body as described above, ending with breathing in the colour ORANGE and feeling its energy permeate my entire body, then releasing it through the top of my head and dismissing it...

The other colours follow in succession: YELLOW, GREEN, LIGHT BLUE, INDIGO, and VIOLET...and once all the colours of the chakras have washed through me, I surround my body with a silver light and protective aura and ask my Higher Self for guidance and aid in leaving my body safely. By this time, I am quite relaxed and ready to proceed...

I also use this technique as a prerequisite to exploring my other lives - it's a good basic grounding and balancing technique that is easy to do and very effective!

Sometimes I imagine myself in another room of the house...in fact, I recall one time that I ended up in the bathroom, standing in front of the mirror, trying to see my reflection - which was quite wavery, like ripples in a pond. I would try to focus in on, say, one eye, and that would become clear, but the outline of the head remained out of focus, and I remember thinking that I needed more light and tried to flick the light switch, which my hand promptly right through...but as I was thinking of more light, the moonlight from the window brightened in intensity and gave me more light! I then started talking to my reflection and began to feel all emotional...and all of a sudden, whoosh! I was back in my physical body, opening my eyes and being VERY surprised to find myself back in bed!

I conducted other experiments with going to other rooms in the house, and eventually I decided to try something harder - going outside into the yard...and then into other parts of the property, and eventually - after much practice - to other places on the planet! I've had many past lives across the pond in Britain, especially Wales and Scotland, and - since I am obsessed with studing and mapping out all the "power spots" over there - I decided to visit them astrally. It's definitely the cheap way to travel! I've had varying degrees of success with certain spots, and seem to have the most success with Northwest Wales - the Snowdon Mountain area - where I have some particularly strong memories...

Another interesting phenomena I've experienced is the 360º vision. It can be a bit unsettling the first time it happens, but one quickly discovers how handy it becomes! It started when I was experimenting one evening, lying on my right side, facing the wall. All of a sudden I found myself able to see - behind my head - my door slowly open (due to one of the cats pushing it open) and a ray of light entering the room...yet my physical body was still facing the wall! This eventually developed into being able to see all directions at once in my travels...

Other times I've experienced a complete flipping of the astal body from the physical position: I'd be facing one way and then find that my astral head was where the physical feet were, and vice versa, and the astral was facing the opposite direction - not sure why this happens, but it's interesting to note...

Oh, and I should mention here that it is never completely "dark" on the astral plane - there usually seems to be a bluish glow to everything - like a phosphorescence of sorts...

As with any form of psychic work, though, I highly recommend knowing how to invoke a protective aura around yourself before experimenting. Not that there is anything particular to be afraid of (especially since we don't always do this before going to sleep at night), but it seems that - when one is trying to leave the body consciously - one's mind can sometimes feel a little skittish about venturing out into the "unknown", and it's more to comfort the mind than any real need for protection. That being said, my experience has been that if I ever did run into anything or anyone that didn't feel good to me, my astral form would automatically snap right back into my body before I even had a chance to think about it - and I imagine it would work in a similar way for most people...

The following is an excerpt from Leaving The Body: A Complete Guide to Astral Projection, D. Scott Rogo, Prentice Hall Press – who draws heavily from Robert Monroe’s Journeys Out of the Body:

One of the chief barriers people learning to project face is fear. Many are afraid that they may die, or be harmed in some way as a result of their projection. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Canterbury Institute, renowned for its occult studies, executed an experiment in projection involving over 2,000 people. None of them were hurt in any way by this, and now, three years later, none have complained of any newly arising problems.

Once you are aware that you cannot be harmed by projecting, you should begin Monroe's techniques, step by step.

Step one: Relax the body.

According to Monroe, "the ability to relax is the first prerequisite, perhaps even the first step itself to having an OBE. (out of body experience)”. This includes both physical and mental relaxation. Monroe does not suggest a method of attaining this relaxation, although Progressive Muscle relaxation, coupled with deep breathing exercises (inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3.... until 50 or 100) are known to work well.

Step two: Enter the state bordering sleep.

This is known as the hypnagogic state. Once again, Monroe doesn't recommend any method of doing this. One way is to hold your forearm up, while keeping your upper arm on the bed, or ground. As you start to fall asleep, your arm will fall, and you will awaken again. With practice, you can learn to control the Hypnagogic state without using your arm. Another method is to concentrate on an object. When other images start to enter your thoughts, you have entered the Hypnagogic state. Passively watch these images. This will also help you maintain this state of near-sleep. Monroe calls this Condition A.

Step three: Deepen this state.

Begin to clear your mind. Observe your field of vision through your closed eyes. Do nothing more for a while. Simply look through your closed eyelids at the blackness in front of you. After a while, you may notice light patterns. These are simply neural discharges. They have no specific effect. Ignore them. When they cease, one has entered what Monroe calls Condition B. From here, one must enter an even deeper state of relaxation that Monroe calls Condition C – a state of such relaxation that you lose all awareness of the body and sensory stimulation. You are almost in a void in which your only source of stimulation will be your own thoughts. The ideal state for leaving your body is Condition D. This is Condition C when it is voluntarily induced from a rested and refreshed condition and is not the effect of normal fatigue. To achieve Condition D, Monroe suggests that you practice entering it in the morning or after a short nap.

Step Four: Enter a state of Vibration.

This is the most important part of the technique, and also the most vague. Many projectors have noted these vibrations at the onset of projection. They can be experienced as a mild tingling, or as if electricity is being shot through the body. Their cause is a mystery. It may actually be the astral body trying to leave the physical one.

For entering into the vibrational state, he offers the following directions:

1. Remove all jewelry or other items that might be touching your skin.
2. Darken the room so that no light can be seen through your eyelids, but do not shut out all light.
3. Lie down with your body along a north-south axis, with your head pointed toward magnetic north.
4. Loosen all clothing, but keep covered so that you are slightly warmer than might normally be comfortable.
5. Be sure you are in a location where, and at a time when, there will be absolutely no noise to disturb you.
6. Enter a state of relaxation
7. Give yourself the mental suggestion that you will remember all that occurs during the upcoming session that will be beneficial to your well-being. Repeat this five times.
8. Proceed to breath through your half-open mouth.
9. As you breathe, concentrate on the void in front of you.
10. Select a point a foot away from your forehead, then change your point of mental reference to six feet.
11. Turn the point 90 degrees upward by drawing an imaginary line parallel to your body axis up and above your head. Focus there and reach out for the vibrations at that point and bring them back into your body.

Even if you don't know what these vibrations are, you will know when you have achieved contact with them.

Step five: Learn to control the vibrational state.

Practice controlling them by mentally pushing them into your head, down to your toes, making them surge throughout your entire body, and producing vibrational waves from head to foot. To produce this wave effect, concentrate on the vibrations and mentally push a wave out of your head and guide it down your body. Practice this until you can induce these waves on command.

Once you have control of the vibrational state, you are ready to leave the body.

Step six: Begin with a partial separation.

The key here is thought control. Keep your mind firmly focused on the idea of leaving the body. Do not let it wander. Stray thought might cause you to lose control of the state. Now, having entered the vibrational state, begin exploring the OBE by releasing a hand or a foot of the "second body". Monroe suggests that you extend a limb until it comes in contact with a familiar object, such as a wall near your bed. Then push it through the object. Return the limb by placing it back into coincidence with the physical one, decrease the vibrational rate, and then terminate the experiment. Lie quietly until you have fully returned to normal. This exercise will prepare you for full separation.

Step seven: Dissociate yourself from the body.

Monroe suggests two methods for this:

One method is to lift out of the body. To do this, think about getting lighter and lighter after entering this vibrational state. Think about how nice it would be to float upward. Keep this thought in mind at all costs and let no extraneous thoughts interrupt it. An OBE will occur naturally at this point.

Another method is the "Rotation method" or "roll-out" technique. When you have achieved the vibrational state, try to roll over as if you were turning over in bed. Do not attempt to roll over physically. Try to twist your body from the top and virtually roll over into your second body right out of your physical self. At this point, you will be out of the body but next to it. Think of floating upward, and you should find yourself floating above the body. Monroe suggests you begin with the lift-out method, but argues that both are equally efficacious.

The above should give you a foundation from which to try your own experiments with astral projection. The main thing to keep in mind is that - for most of us - it takes PRACTICE! Do not get discouraged if your efforts don't produce results the first time - or the first 50 times. It mostly depends on how successful you are at being able to relax and trust the process, and how patient you are with yourself.

One thing I CAN say, though, is that it is an extremely rewarding and stimulating experience, and once you are able to astrally travel, there are no limits to the places you can explore - as fast as thought. It's also a very handy vehicle for checking in on a loved one far away. And once you are freed from the limitations of the physical form (yet still connected to it), it can have another result: the negating of any kind of fear of death. Once you see that YOU are so much more than your body, it is not only comforting, but extremely enlightening and a tool for much personal growth and freedom!