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Astral projection means different things to different people, the common thread that runs through the various impressions those words conjure up is that some part of the consciousness leaves tge physical body and goes "elsewhere." Usually, astral projection phenomena at the location the astral is sent.
Hmm. So what is the astral self?
For simplicity's sake--and this is a great simplification--assume that you have two bodies, one overlapping the other. In one, all your physical powers reside. Breathe, heartbeat, blood, sweat, brain, and so forth. In the other, overlapping and coterminal with the physical form, is your psychic self, astral self, or soul. This self is the "you" that makes your body more than the sum of its parts.
But the two are intimately connected and related even though they are very different things. The tough part is getting them to let go of each other--mostly, that is; full separation would mean death--in such a way that the astral self can experience the freedom of spirit.
It is a fact that, at some point, we were all simply free spirits, capable of instantaneous movement to anywhere or anywhen. But with the assumption of flesh, our spirits adapted to their new homes and new limitations--and, by and large, forgot what it was to be like to be one with the ether.
But in some ways, some of us remember.
Have you ever had a dream wherein you are flying? Perhaps you can recall a dream--or recall having--where you were free of the ground and gravity, and flew everywhere and saw amazing things. Well, then, congratulations! You've already proven you have the ability to astrally project. If you have never had such a dream--relax! The talent to do this is inherent in EVERY person--but most people don't realize it until they die and have no choice but to see. You have chosen to see, and you will be able to do this. It merely requires the desire and practice.
Now, let us get right to the basic formula for astrally projecting.
First, lie down on your back, feet slightly apart, hands resting at your sides, palms up, eyes closed. You should be on a comfortable surface, of course, and the temperature in the room should be comfortably warm. Important: Arrange for some "private time." Interruptions are NOT helpful--not ever, and most especially in the beginning stages. Besides, can't you see your significant other's fear and terror if (s)he finds you comatose on the bed and is unable to awaken you?
Now, having achieved a moderate level to comfort and security, we will now do something called variously "raising power," "brightening one's fire," or "energizing the spirit." Take a deep breath, slowly, counting to five as you inhale--take as deep a breath as you can. Envision a glowing,silver-grey energy flowing into you with that breath. Now hold that breath for a slow count of fifteen; as you hold that breath, envision and feel the silver white energy saturating your physical and astral body. See the energies glowing all throughout your form. Now exhale, slowly, over a slow count of ten, emptying your lungs of all the air they contain. As you exhale, envision and feel a cloud of dark smoke--all the impurities and negativity of your self--flowing out of you and dispersing on the winds, gone. Repeat this a few times, watching and feeling yourself grow brighter and brighter each time, and watching the cloud of darkness you exhale get smaller and smaller as there is less and less to remove. When you have almost nothing dark coming out of you and you have a solid silver glow--like a new coin in moonlight--then you may continue.
Note that if you fall asleep, that's okay. This is a very relaxing exercise, so don't worry about it. And the system cleaning you are doing is good for you in its own right. But as you get used to it, though, you'll find it easier to stay awake, and you can go on to the next step.
Now that you are fully charged and psychically purified, you're ready to start projecting some of that energy. Feel your navel--don't touch it, but concentrate on the sensation of it. Be aware of it. It is the point at which you first had your physical body sustained and nurtured--it is the place where you had your connection and link to another. It is about to become so again.
Still feeling the glow of energy within and around you, begin to project some of that power in a stream to a height of about six to eight feet, and there start to form a cloud of silver mist. Continue to project energy until the cloud is about the size of you. You may want to restrict its growth, then, but continue to project power, making the cloud more dense--a good, solid--looking cloud is better for our purposes right now.
Now shape it--stop projecting energy, but leave the strand of silver light connecting you to the cloud. Lay your will upon the cloud, forming it into your likeness. Only a rough likeness, though; you don't need to make it an exact copy--in fact, don't. Get the head and the general proportions right, and leave the rest as a sort of smooth sheath of astral energy. This gives you an appropriate vehicle to tool around in without confusing you as to which form you are in--and your consciousness WILL be altered while out-of-body; it no longer has the physical processes of the body to distract and influence it.
This construct of astral energy you are creating should be hovering in place, facing you, about six to eight feet above you, linked to you by a silver strand running from navel to navel. If you haven't managed this, go back and keep working at it until you can, because the hard part is next. Don't be discouraged if you can't visualize all this at once and immediately; it gets easier with practice, and it CAN be done--like I said earlier, anybody can do it. And you can.
Now, having achieved a state of relaxation,empowerment, and constructed what is going to be the spirit's "home away from home," as it were, we are ready for the really hard part.
Imagine, within your physical self, that there is a single point of "I". Where are you, inside your body? Well, you are that point of self, so wherever you want it to be, it is! But this is a key factor, here. You must bridge a gap in thinking and conceive of a place within yourself where "you" are. When you do this, you are half done.
Now, take that "self-center" and move through your physical body, out of the navel, up through the silver cord, and into the body you have prepared. Swim through it to the corresponding place where the "self-center" would be. Now make a conscious effort to merge with your new body. It may be like a recovering sensation after a particularly cold bath, or like feeling something through a thick glove. Once you feel that you are there, open your astral eyes and look down at yourself.
You're probably going to experience vertigo and disorientation, and may "snap back" into your physical self. It's okay, it happens to everybody. Just start over again--and also realize that you DID it, even if only briefly.
Now all that remains is practice, practice. Eventually, you will be able to project yourself in a matter of minutes--but don't look for that for a while. Your objective should be surety, not speed. You get no points for fast, just for right.
Traveling astrally is also pretty simple. You can do it the dream-way, by flying through walls and over towns, but, unless you stick to street level and have a really good lay-out of the city you want in your head, you're going to have problems. Street signs and other reading material is often hard to manage astrally, because your spirit only learned to read in your body--spirits don't write things down. You may not be able to read at all, and have to navigate by hit-or-miss.
Your other travel option is to envision a person or place that you know well. For a person, close your astral eyes, envision him/her, and feel them standing/sitting/lying next to you. Now that you feel them next to you, open your eyes, envision him/her, and feel them next to you, open your eyes. Voila! There you are. By homing in on their unique spiritual wavelength, you have summoned yourself to them! The same holds true for locations; if you can feel yourself there...pow! You are!
Travel to other vibratory planes is also possible with this method, but not recommended for beginners. Once you have the basics down, though, there are several references to consult for advanced techniques, if you desire.
Now, having visited your friend or favorite spot and scared the living daylights out of any sensitive people or mediums who were watching, you are ready to come home. But how?
Adroit students will instantly think of using the second travel method in reverse; visualize yourself lying next to yourself, and poof! There you are.
While true, as far as it goes, remember that your unique spiritual wavelength is currently out and roaming around; the first time you try that method and it doesn't work, recall that you are looking for an insensate husk without a spirit, not for yourself. You're looking for a body, not a spirit. This might help you use this technique but there is an easier way.
Remember the silver cord, connecting the two bodies at the navel? Well, it's still there, even when you aren't paying attention to it. It may seem to fade away a few feet from you, but it is still present, solid and unbreakable. Yes, you could focus on it and follow it back to your body, but I prefer a different approach--and a faster one.
Grasp the silver cord between two fingers. Close your eyes and feel the cord grow taut, like a harp string. Pluck it, gently, and feel the deep, low tone it generates. Good. Now pluck it again, and listen to the tone, concentrating on making it turn higher. Much as a guitarist, that is how the tone would alter. The higher in pitch the note gets, the closer to home you are. When you will the note to as high as you can imagine, you can open your eyes--you're almost touching your physical self.
Which means you probably snap back into your body, then.
You can also reverse the transfer process at a distance. Move your point of consciousness back down through the body into the cord; flow along the cord like an electron through a phone line, and then swim back through your body to you "self-center." Open your eyes, and there you are.
NOW REMEMBER! Draw your astral body back to you--every time! WITHOUT EXCEPTION! See it reeled in like a fish on a line until it hovers above you again. Then let it dissolve back into mist again, and then flow down the silver cord into your body. Feel your physical body brightening with the influx of energies, and absorb every last bit of it, cord included. Once you are fully and completely back to yourself, you can then get up and go back to physical life--but it's inconsiderate to leave astral bits floating about, and is the mark of an amateur and sloppy person.
Some suggestions for making your first trips easier:
First, perform them in a particular spot--your projection room, as it were.
Second, do this every day at the same time--whatever time is convenient, but be consistent and determined.
Third, you might want some very soft instrumental music in the background--but only if it won't distract you from what you are doing--for every time you project to help you "get in the mood."
With some practice and sincere desire, you, too should be able to step out of your body like stepping out of a pair of shoes.
I hope you have enjoyed this little primer on magical working and psychic projection. You now possess another tool to use in your continuing education and personal growth both as a worker of Magic and as a human being. It is my hope that everyone, someday, will have minds strong enough to change the world, and enough heart and soul to change it for the better.
Order of the Purple Rose