What Is Astral Projection? – Exploring The Basics Of This Phenomenon

June 24, 2023 (Last updated on: July 19, 2023)
A woman in the middle of astral projection

Astral projection is a strange and rare phenomenon wherein a person experiences an, out of body experience, out of body experience out-of-body experience or OBE.

Astral projection is characterized by unusual, out-of-body experience experiences, by a person leaving their own body and traveling to the astral plane or a separate realm of existence. This incredible experience can be life-changing and facilitate personal growth, but it can also cause concern for individuals who do not understand it well.

Definition of Astral Projection

Astral projection, also known as astral travel, is a phenomenon where an individual perceives themselves in the third person as leaving their body and traveling through a different realm, the astral or astral plane. This experience involves the separation of the consciousness or soul from the physical body, sometimes resulting in the ability of a third-person perspective to perceive one whose physical body sees one’s surroundings from an out-of-body perspective.

During astral projection, the astral body, a non-physical form of the self, travels through the astral plane, which is believed to be a realm separate from the physical world and filled with various energies and entities.

While astral projection has been documented for centuries, its scientific understanding is still limited, as it remains a topic of debate among scientists, psychologists, and spiritual practitioners.

Brief History of Astral Projection

Astral projection is a phenomenon that can be traced back to ancient times, with references to out-of-body experiences found in various religious texts and traditions.

In Egyptian mythology, the ka was seen as a vital part of a person’s soul that could separate from the body seen either during sleep, meditation, or death. In Yoga, the concept of astral travel is known as samadhi, where the yogi separates their consciousness from the physical body and experiences a state of transcendental consciousness.

In the Middle Ages, astral projection was associated with alchemy and magic, with practitioners seeking to explore alternate dimensions and communicate with angels or demons. The famous philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes wrote about astral projection in the 17th century, describing the soul as a non-physical extension of the body.

In recent times, the astral projection has been studied by researchers such as Robert Monroe, who popularized the concept of astral planes through his books and research at the Monroe Institute. Today, astral projection is still widely discussed and practiced by many interested in exploring the nature of consciousness and the universe beyond our physical reality.

The Importance of Understanding Astral Projection

While some individuals might achieve astral projection spontaneously, most people need specific techniques to get into this state. Understanding the essential concepts of the astral body experience and out-of-body experiences is an excellent starting point for anyone seeking to master this ability.

Understanding the Physical Body

The physical body is the tangible part of an individual whose body the senses can directly perceive. Our muscular-skeletal system, organs, and other parts create the physical body.

How Does the Physical Body Relate to Astral Projection?

Astral projection occurs when the astral body separates from the body. When our astral body leaves our physical body, the physical body remains in a state of suspended animation; nonetheless, it can still breathe, heal, and function normally.

Understanding the Limitations of the Physical Body

The physical body has significant limitations that restrict a person’s travel, such as distances, terrain, and weather conditions. But these limitations do not exist in the astral dimension, and individuals can freely experience out-of-body experiences.

Understanding Out-of-Body Experiences

What Are Out-of-Body Experiences?

Body Experiences (OBEs) occur when an individual perceives that their consciousness has separated from their physical body and is experiencing the outside environment. During an OBE, individuals often report that an unusual body experiences a sensation of floating, flying, or hovering above their body while still retaining their perceptual awareness.

The phenomenon of OBEs has been reported across different cultures and belief systems for centuries, with various theories for its explanation. Some theories suggest that OBEs result from a temporary dissociation between perceptual and motor functions in the brain, leading to an altered state of consciousness.

Others believe that OBEs result from separating the consciousness from the body, leading to experiences in the astral realm or parallel dimensions. Whatever the underlying cause, OBEs are consistently reported by individuals from all walks of life and can range from simple sensations of floating to complex, life-changing experiences.

Different Types of Out-of-Body Experiences

OBEs can manifest in various forms, ranging from fleeting sensations to full-blown experiences. The intensity and nature of the experience depend on many factors, such as the individual’s state of mind, belief system, and experience level.

Some common types of OBEs include:

  • Spontaneous out-of-body experiences occur without intentional effort and typically happen during sleep or extreme emotional states.
  • Hypnotically induced OBEs: These occur under the guidance of a hypnotist, who helps the individual to shift their consciousness out of their body.
  • Dream-induced OBEs occur during lucid dreams, where the individual becomes aware that they are dreaming and can take control of the dream environment.
  • Near-death experiences occur when the individual experiences temporary clinical death or near-death situations and then reports having left their body and perceiving their surroundings from an external perspective.

Why Do Out of Body Experiences Occur?

The explanations for why out-of-body experiences (OBEs) occur are still debated among researchers and practitioners. However, several theories attempt to explain the phenomenon.

Dissociation Theory

One of the most popular explanations for OBEs is the dissociation theory. This theory suggests that OBEs occur when the perceptual and motor functions of the brain become temporarily disconnected, leading to altered conscious experiences. In situations such as near-death experiences, the brain’s response to trauma and persistent stress could also cause dissociation.

Neurological and Physiological Explanations

Some researchers suggest that OBEs result from neurological and physiological changes in the body. For example, during REM sleep, the brain disconnects from the body, leaving the individual with the sensation of floating and flying. Other physiological changes, such as depressive symptoms and lack of oxygen, can also lead to OBEs.

Spiritual or Metaphysical Explanations

Many spiritual and metaphysical traditions interpret OBEs as evidence of a non-physical aspect of the self-existing beyond the body. These traditions suggest that OBEs occur when the soul or the consciousness separates from the physical body, enabling individuals to perceive alternate realities or communicate with non-physical entities.

Psychological Explanations

Another explanation for OBEs is psychological. It suggests that people who experience OBEs without psychiatric illness might have a history of psychological disorders such as dissociative disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Despite the explanation, OBEs and psychiatric disorders are widely reported and studied today. Understanding the various theories can help individuals make sense of their experiences with personality disorders and may provide a basis for exploring the potential benefits of OBEs.

The Astral Body

What is the Astral Body?

The astral body is considered a non-physical form of the self separate from the body. It is often described as a duplicate of the physical body but consisting of finer and more subtle energies.

According to various spiritual and metaphysical traditions, the astral body is the vehicle for consciousness, which can separate from the body during an out-of-body experience (OBE) or astral projection. The astral body is said to travel through the astral plane or the world of spirits, a realm perceived beyond the physical world.

Characteristics of the Astral Body

The characteristics of the astral body vary depending on the tradition or perspective. However, some standard features of the astral body include:

  • Non-physical: the astral body is often described as a non-physical form separate from the physical body.
  • Energy: the astral body is believed to consist of finer, more subtle vibrational energies than the physical body.
  • Resemblance to physical body: the astral body is often described as a duplicate of the physical body, sharing many of the same attributes.
  • Can travel beyond physical limitations: the astral body is said to be able to travel beyond the physical limitations of the physical body, enabling individuals to explore alternate realities and dimensions.

How is the Astral Body Different from the Physical Body?

The astral body is composed of finer vibrational energy, looking much like the physical body but less dense. Unlike the physical body, the astral body is not constrained by physical limitations and can travel to places that the physical body cannot.

The Role of the Astral Body in Astral Projection

The astral body experience is the key to experiencing astral travel or astral projection. When the astral body separates from the physical body, we can perceive realities beyond our ordinary senses.

Techniques for Astral Projection

There are various methods to induce astral projection, like body relaxation, self-hypnosis, lucid dreaming, or meditation.

Here are some techniques that can help facilitate astral projection:


Meditation is essential for many spiritual and metaphysical practices, including astral projection. Meditation regularly can help develop mental focus and concentration for astral projection. Meditation can also help reduce stress and promote relaxation, making it easier to achieve a state of mind necessary to separate the consciousness from the physical body.


Visualization techniques can help enhance the ability to imagine and create vivid mental images. Practicing visualization techniques significantly helps foster the ability to control the astral body during an astral projection experience.


Self-hypnosis is often employed as a way to help facilitate an out-of-body experience. It involves taking oneself into a hypnotic state, which tends to create relaxation and mental calmness – vital elements needed to achieve an astral projection experience.


Self-induced and guided trance is commonly used to achieve astral projection. The techniques involve putting oneself into an altered state of consciousness to help achieve an OBE state.

Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are used to produce a shift in the mode of consciousness. It involves listening to specific sound frequencies, which can help induce the desired state of mind and help facilitate astral projection.

It is important to note that the techniques listed above are for informational purposes only, and it is essential to practice any astral projections technique under the supervision of a qualified instructor. Also, practice caution while using these techniques. It is essential to acknowledge that not everyone might have an astral projection experience despite practicing one or more of these techniques for an extended period.

Preparing for Astral Projection

Astral projection is a unique experience that requires careful preparation to ensure safety and effectiveness. Here are some steps to take to prepare for an astral projection:

Do Your Research

Learning as much as possible about astral projection before attempting it is essential. Understanding the astral realm’s nature, the astral body’s role, and the potential risks and benefits involved can help prepare you for the experience. Numerous resources are available, including books and online forums, where you can learn about astral projection.

Create a Peaceful Environment

Creating a peaceful environment is crucial for an effective astral projection experience. Choose a quiet, comfortable, and distraction-free space where you can practice the techniques necessary to induce an astral projection experience. You might consider using aromatherapy, candles, or soothing music to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Relaxation and Meditation

Relaxation and meditation are essential components of astral projection. Before attempting to induce an astral projection experience, relax and clear the mind through meditation, deep breathing, or other relaxation techniques.

Focus on Your Intention

Focusing on your intention is critical when it comes to astral projection. Clearly define what you want to experience during the astral projection and why you wish to have the experience. Maintaining focus is crucial because astral projection requires high concentration and mental discipline.

Use a Technique that Works Best for You

There is no definitive technique for inducing an astral projection experience; different techniques work for different individuals. Experiment with techniques like visualization, self-hypnosis, or binaural beats to find the best work.

Practice Safety

It is essential to practice safety when attempting astral projection. Avoid practicing in emotional distress or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, it is vital to maintain a positive attitude and avoid negative thoughts, which can interfere with the projection experience.

In conclusion, preparing for an astral projection experience requires careful planning, mental discipline, and a clear understanding of the nature of the astral projection experience. Following the steps outlined above, you can have a practical and profound astral projection experience.

Benefits of Astral Projection

Astral projection could help reduce stress, lower heart rates, and improve overall well-being. Empirical evidence related to astral projection indicates that it can lead to various physical, mental, and spiritual benefits.

Astral projection could improve one’s peace of mind, reduce depressive and anxiety disorder symptoms, and improve overall mental health. It may also help people develop a connection with their higher selves or the universe, which may lead to spiritual growth.

Risks and Dangers of Astral Projection

Some common risks of practicing astral projection include encountering inorganic entities, experiencing seizures, and sustaining brain lesions sustaining sustained multiple injuries. It is important to note that these risks are generally rare.

To mitigate risks during astral projection, practitioners should perform a thorough premorbid personality assessment and avoid practicing astral projections in severe emotional states.

Uncontrolled astral projection could induce intense emotional states or reality-altering perceptions, which could cause significant distress or mental impairment, especially if the astral project practitioner has a prior relationship with psychiatric disorders.

Astral Projection and Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming is a state where an individual can maintain self-awareness while dreaming, creating a fully-realized sensory experience that mimics physical reality.

Lucid dreaming and astral projection are related because both involve an individual subjectively experiencing a location beyond their physical presence or the external visual space.

Like astral projection, inducing lucid dreams involve techniques like reality checks, dream journals, and meditation.

Despite similarities, astral projection and lucid dreaming differ in their purpose and nature. While astral projection is about experiencing alternate realities, lucid dreaming is about controlling and manipulating one’s dream state.


Astral projection is a fascinating and life-changing phenomenon documented for centuries. While many questions remain about the nature of the astral plane and out-of-body experiences, empirical evidence of astral projection indicates that it can lead to various physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. With an understanding of the basic concepts of astral projection, individuals can practice this ability safely and efficiently.