Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is is licenced
for free non-commercial distribution only.


  Astral projection (OOBE, out of the body experience) is a
popular area of occult literature; for traveling to see other
worlds and places while the physical body sleeps or is entranced
is an exciting notion. Astral projection is not dangerous. It is
as safe as sleeping.  Most dreams are probably unconscious astral
projections, anyway.  Although there has been quite a bit written
on the subject, astral projection is difficult for many people.
The main difficulty is the tendency to forget dream consciousness
upon awakening.  Accordingly, the successful practice of astral
projection requires work.

  Modern psychology discounts the idea of actual OOBE (that the
spirit temporarily vacates the physical body).  However, the idea
is very ancient. The Tibetans have an entire system of yoga (dream
yoga) based upon astral projection. And here we have an important
assumption: you are involved in an OOBE (at least to a degree)
whenever you dream. What sets it apart from a full OOBE is your
hazy consciousness during the experience and poor recall
afterwards. Many people forget most of their dreams completely.
Learning astral projection requires a kind of inner mental clarity
and alertness.

  Dreams are a door to the subconscious which can be used for
psychological and spiritual insight, and sometimes for
precognition. Dream content is influenced by external sounds and
sensations. For example, a loud external noise (such as a train)
will likely appear in your dream (if it doesn't wake you up!).
Dreams are also influenced by events of the previous day, by your
moods, and by suggestion.  Everyone normally dreams 4 or 5 times a
night (about every 2 hours). The longest dreams occur in the
morning. Everyone dreams. You are more likely to remember the
details of your dream when you first wake up. By keeping a dream
diary you will improve dream recall. Have writing equipment or a
tape recorder at your bedside for this purpose; also a light which
isn't too bright. Suggest to yourself several times before you go
to sleep, "I will awaken with the knowledge of a dream." Then when
you do awaken, move quietly (sometimes just turning over drives
the idea away). Remember first, then write the dream down, and
then add as many details as possible. The next day check for
objective facts and expand if you can (by remembering 'what
happened before that'). Once you start remembering your dreams in
this way, it will become easier to do so. (If you are unsuccessful
at this, and *really* want to remember your dreams, you could
arrange for someone to sit by your bedside all night long with a
dim light on. Then when he sees your eyes moving back and forth --
rapid eye movements, a sign you are dreaming -- he can wake you
and ask for a dream report.)
  Astral projection may be subdivided into three basic types:
mental projection, astral projection (proper) and etheric
projection. And your OOBE may shift between them.  Mental
projection is really simple clairvoyance ('remote viewing'), and
'traveling in your mind'. Imagination plays a key role. The
experience of mental projection is not particularly vivid, and you
will more likely be an observer than a participant. Nevertheless,
mental projection is an important 'way in' to astral projection

  During mental projection and astral projection you are able to
travel through solid objects, but are not able to act directly
upon them or to move them (if they are in the physical world).
This is not true during etheric projection. Whether it is simply
subconscious expectation, or whether it is a true etheric
projection which in theory means that part of your physical body
has been relocated with your projection (the etheric or vital
part) may be difficult to determine. Etheric projections generally
travel at or very near the physical world. There are even cases
reported (very, very rare ones) in which the entire physical body
is transferred to another location (teleportation), or cases in
which the physical body exists and acts in two separate places at
once (bilocation)!

  But our primary interest is astral projection proper, and mental
projection to a lesser extent. Astral and mental projection are
not confined to the physical world.  Travel in the mental and
astral realms is feasible, and often preferred. Nor are astral and
mental projection restricted to the realm of the earth (you could
even go to the moon and planets).
  The electrical activity of the brain has been observed and
classified with EEG (electroencephalograph) equipment; signals
picked up from the scalp by electrodes, then filtered and
amplified, drive a graph recorder. Brain activity has been found
to produce specific ranges for certain basic states of
consciousness, as indicated in 'hz' (hertz, or cycles/vibrations
per second):

        delta -- 0.2 to 3.5 hz (deep sleep, trance state), 
        theta -- 3.5 to 7.5 hz (day dreaming, memory), 
        alpha -- 7.5 to 13  hz (tranquility, heightened 
                                awareness, meditation), 
        beta  -- 13 to 28 hz   (tension, 'normal' 

  As you can see, some form of physical relaxation is implied in
the alpha, theta, and delta consciousness. These states are in
fact reached through deep breathing, hypnosis, and other
relaxation techniques. OOBE occurs during these states, and delta
is probably the most important for it.  The problem is really, as
we have said, one of maintaining mental awareness and alertness
while experienceing these altered states. Experimental subjects
hooked to an EEG do not show a discrete change from drowsy to
sleep; it is very gradual.

  At the threshold between sleep and waking consciousness is a
drowsy condition known as the hypnogogic state. OOBE seems to
occur during this state, or a variant of it. By careful control of
the hypnogogic state (not going beyond it) it is possible to enter
OOBE directly.
  Most methods of astral projection are methods of conditioning.
Some form of trance or altered consciousness is always involved.
No one ever projects consciously while fully awake (some may think
that they do). Although there are many techniques used to produce
an astral projection, they boil down to nine of them. They all
sort of overlap.

1.  Diet -- Certain dietary practices may aid in OOBE, especially
    at first. These include fasting, vegitarianism, and in general
    the eating of 'light' foods as discussed in a a previous
    lesson. Carrots and raw eggs are thought to be especially
    beneficial, but all nuts are to be avoided. Over-eating should
    be avoided. And no food should be eaten just before an OOBE
    attempt. If you intend to practice during sleep, for example,
    allow 2 to 4 hours of no food or drink (except water) before
    bedtime. In general, we see here the same kind of dietary
    restrictions advocated for kundalini yoga.

2.  Progressive muscular relaxation -- This is one of the basic
    methods used in hypnosis and self-hypnosis. Physical
    relaxation can assist one in attaining the requisite trance
    state. These techniques involve beginning at the toes and
    tensing, then relaxing the muscles, progressively up the
    entire body.

3.  Yoga and breath -- Yoga, mantra, and breathing exercises
    similarly aim at physical relaxation. The practice of
    kundalini yoga is particularly relevant, since it is concerned
    with altered consciousness. In fact the arousal of kundalini
    requires a similar state of consciousness to OOBE.

4.  Visualization -- This involves a type of extended clairvoyance
    or picturing of remote surroundings. If you can experience the
    feeling of being there, so much the better.  Although this
    technique is essentially mental projection, it is possible to
    deepen mental projection into astral projection through (you
    guessed it!) visualization. Crowley taught a similar
    technique: a) visualize a closed door on a blank wall, b)
    imagine a meditation symbol on the door, c) visualize the door
    opening and yourself entering through it. And J.H. Brennan
    describes similar techniques wherein the door is shaped and
    colored like a tattva, or alternately, a chosen tarrot card is
    visualized and the student visualizes entering into it.

5.  Guided imagery -- In many respects similar to visualization.
    Except in this case, there is a guide (or perhaps a voice on
    tape) directing you by means of descriptions. As with
    visualization, mental rather than astral projection is most

6.  Body of Light -- The old Golden Dawn technique. Imagine a
    duplicate (mirror image) of yourself in front of you. Then
    transfer your consciousness and sensation to the duplicate
    ('body of light').

7.  Strong willing -- Sort of like creative visualization
    experienced in the present. That is you express your strong
    desire to project through your willpower while you visualize
    yourself doing it.

8.  The Monroe techniques -- These are a series of steps developed
    by Robert Monroe: a) relax the body, b) enter the hypnogogic
    state, c) deepen the state, d) develope the senstation of
    'vibration', e) separate from the body. The Monroe Institute
    has developed some cassete tapes which are claimed to help in

9.  Dream control -- This is one of the most important techniques.
    It involves becoming aware that you are dreaming. There are
    several ways to do this. Oliver Fox says to look for
    descrepancies in the dream to realize you are dreaming. One
    occult student I know of visualized a white horse which he
    could ride wherever he wished to go. After a time, when the
    horse appeared in his dreams it was his cue that he was
    actually dreaming/projecting. Don Juan tells Castaneda to look
    at his hands while he is dreaming. And even the tarot and
    Cabala may also be used as dream signals. Another method is to
    tell yourself each night as you go to sleep, "I can fly"; then
    when you do, you will know you are dreaming. Once you know you
    are dreaming you can control your dream/OOBE and go anywhere
    you want. Repetitive activities will also likely influence
    your dreams. For example, if you are on an automobile trip and
    spend most of the day driving, you will probably dream about
    driving. You can condition yourself to be aware you are
    dreaming by doing a repetitive activity many times (walking
    across the room or a particular magick ritual, for example).
    Then when you dream about it, you will know you are dreaming.

  Although all these techniques may appear straightforward, they
all require effort. Astral projection is generally learned.

  The astral world is the "ghostland" into which one passes after
death. It is sometimes possible to visit with the dead, or you
might be called upon to reassure and assist those who have just
passed over (died) or those who are consciously projecting for the
first time. Many spirits, elementals and ghosts exist in the
astral world. The magician should feel comfortable there. Tibetan
belief is that through proficiency in OOBE, you no longer need
reincarnate after death. The astral world is extremely changeable
and subject to your thoughts. Your will can control your movements
in the astral world, and if you seem to be going somewhere
non-volitionally ('astral current') it is probably your true will
causing it anyway. You might also experience heightened magical
ability while in the astral realm.

1) What is the relationship between astral projection and
2) What is mental projection? 
3) List the nine basic methods of astral projection. 
H.P. Battersby, Man Outside Himself. 
J.H. Brennan, Astral Doorways. 
Robert Crookall, The Techniques of Astral Projection. 
Denning and Phillips, The Llewellyn Practical Guide to Astral 
Oliver Fox, Astral Projection. 
Gavin & Yvonne Frost, Astral Travel. 
Celia Green, Out-of-the-body Experiences. 
Richard A. Greene, The Handbook of Astral Projection. 
Herbert Greenhouse, The Astral Journey. 
Jack London, Star Rover (historical occult novel). 
Janet Mitchell, Out of Body Experiences. 
Robert Monroe, Journeys Out of the Body. 
Robert E. Moser, Mental and Astral Projection. 
Muldoon and Carrington, The Projection of the Astral Body. 
Ophiel, The Art and Practice of Astral Projection. 
A.E. Powell, The Astral Body. 
D. Scott Rogo, Leaving the Body. 
J.M. Shay, Out of the Body Consciousness. 
Susy Smith, The Enigma of Out-of-the-body Travel. 
Brad Steiger, The Mind Travelers. 
Yram, Practical Astral Projection. 
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042

maintained by Jeff Morton / /