LOGDOS MEETING - 22 July 2000
ASTRAL PROJECTION TECHNIQUES
FROM DAMANHUR AND ELSEWHERE
by Lynda Whall
NB: this term will be used interchangeably with 'out of the body experience' (OBE). Simply, the projection of the consciousness outside of the physical body, either accidentally, or as a willed act. Researchers have estimated that between 10% - 20% of the population have had an OBE. My own approach is based on the Theosophical model, which views the human being as composed of 7 separate bodies, of progressively finer density, nested within each other like a set of Russian dolls. The outer, most material body, is of course the physical one, which contains the other 6. The next densest is the etheric body, then the astral, followed by the mental and causal bodies, and others even higher. Each of these bodies operates in its own plane of reality, which exists at a corresponding level of density.
The existence of these more subtle bodies has been known since ancient times - for example in Egypt 5 bodies were recognised, with the astral body corresponding to the ka sometimes seen hovering over the deceased's coffin in tomb wall paintings. The Norse tradition also recognises a number of different bodies with different functions. In many other cultures, shamans and witches were expert at leaving their bodies for journeys into other levels of reality or to engage in healing, remote viewing, or various other psychic activities.
There are many reasons for wanting to astrally project, and a wide range of powers and personal benefits can be gained by doing so. Here are some that have been reported by astral travellers:
i Exploring the inner universe - When you learn to consciously astral project, a whole new dimension, that of the astral plane, opens up. This is an almost limitless territory in which you can contact a huge variety of entities from angels to demons and everything in between, including fairies and other nature spirits. You may also be able to contact dead people, especially those with whom you have an emotional link, although this is a matter which does not seem entirely clear. The intrepid astral traveller can experience states of existence far beyond the limitations of the physical plane. This is also the location of the Akashic Records, where everything that has ever happened on Earth is recorded. And beyond the astral plane there are even higher levels for those who want to explore further, and who have sufficiently developed their higher vehicles of consciousness.
ii Accelerated spiritual development - Many astral travellers report a great increase in spiritual development and psychological benefits. Deeper perspectives on the purposes of human life and one's own place in it can be gained, along with a greater realisation of your own infinite potential. Many people also report other benefits such as increased clairvoyance, ability to see auras, precognition and telepathy.
iii Increased intelligence, memory recall and imagination - It seems that OBEs may stimulate parts of the brain which are largely untapped during normal physical existence. Research has shown that electrical stimulation of the right temporal lobe can cause OBEs. And this lobe also seems to be stimulated during death and near-death experiences, when the astral body leaves the physical.
iv Healing of self and others - There are many reports of people being able to heal themselves and others while out of their body.
v Past life regression - Past life memories can be accessed, and can help to explain some of the issues or problems in one's current life.
vi Decreased fear of death - Being able to separate at will from your physical body instils the confidence that life continues after death.
vii Accelerated human evolution - The evolution of the human race depends on the evolution of consciousness. The more people are able to access higher states of being, the more the human race as a whole will benefit (the 100th Monkey Syndrome).
vii Astral sex - Apparently it does exist, and is reported to be even more intense than the physical variety.
ix Projecting on the Physical Plane - As well as exploring the astral world, the projector can also visit other locations in the physical world, or to use the current trendy jargon, engage in remote viewing.
As there can be some confusion between these two states, it is worth noting that they are NOT the same thing.
|1. Occurs only during sleep.|
|2. Dreamer can consciously program the dream.|
|3. Dreamer and physical body are still integrated.|
|4. Consciousness is often vivid, and can have mystical qualities|
|5. Dream usually seen as personal (subjective) production of dreamer's mind.|
|6. REM type dream with occasional alpha.|
|7. Physical body not visible to dreamer.|
|9. Few have lasting positive impact.|
Lucid dreams can be used for astral projection. In the lucid dreaming state, it is possible to 'program' yourself to astrally project. And if you dream you are astrally projecting, it is quite likely that you are doing so.
Astral projection can happen without any preliminary signs that it is about to occur. However, there are some classic symptoms that you may experience just before or during a projection. Being able to recognise these can be a confirmation that your astral body is becoming loosened, and will enable you to consciously help the process. These signs often occur just before dropping off to sleep, or on waking up.
According to the Theosophical model, the astral plane actually exists in physical space, with the higher, finer levels reaching almost to the moon (the 'sublunary sphere' of the Ancients) and the lowest, grossest level penetrating inside the earth. On this plane the motto "thoughts are things" is literally true, for the substance of the astral plane has a plastic quality which can be moulded into just about any shape desired. It is the plane of emotions, desire, magic and glamour, and also illusion and delusion. What you encounter there depends very much on your own thoughts and desires, for although this realm exists in its own right, it is at least in part a product of the collective projections of the human race. Which does not mean it is any less 'real' than the physical plane.
Communication is telepathic, and colours outside the range of the normal spectrum are said to exist. You can easily move around just by visualising where you want to go.
The higher levels are said to be the various Heaven worlds described in many religions, including the Christian and Muslim ideas of Paradise, and others such as Valhalla, the Happy Hunting Ground of the Native American Indians, and Summerland.
The lower levels are the traditional Hell worlds of mythology, where various demonic entities dwell. Most people will probably want to avoid these areas unless they are engaging in work on the Dark Arts, in which case it can be very instructive.
The astral plane is also the home of the Akashic Records, the celestial 'library' through which one can gain access to the fascinating secrets of this planet's history. Knowledge of possible futures may also be obtained, although this can be tricky as the future is not necessarily fixed.
The inhabitants of the astral world are of several types:
iii Artificial Entities (created by human activity)
6. The Damanhur approach - theory, tools and techniques
The Damanhur approach to astral travel, while similar in some respects to what I have just outlined, does have some unique features. According to this view, the human has two subtle bodies - the astral body and aura, plus the soul. These subtle bodies and what they call the 'inner senses' belong in the middle, or threshold dimension between the physical world and the Real. The inner senses include the sense of the Divine, dream, memory, desire, and exchange. The Real is anything concerning the spirit.
The astral dimension has three levels. You can encounter many other types of being here, including the dead. The astral body remains on this plane for 70 days after death. (This agrees with Egyptian beliefs. In some religions, notably Tibetan Buddhism and Bon Po, the duration, as in the Bardo, is 40 days.) Then it becomes a shell and remains in the lower level of the astral plane, where it can attempt to possess the living. Fairies and thought forms can also be encountered on the astral plane.
In the astral world, different senses are used from those on the physical plane. For example, like Alice in Wonderland, you can shrink to minute size and enter into an object, or you can increase to enormous size. There is no time and space - everything exists at the same time.
Generally, things develop from a lower to higher level of complexity e.g. the first computers were the size of a building, now they are a microchip. This is usually the case with time, which is why it is easier to go from the present to the past rather than to the future. But is can be done if there is a future area of lower complexity than the present.
Damanhur Astral Projection Technique
i Walk around the room at varying speeds, then slow down and walk with your eyes shut, trying to sense when you are near somebody else.
ii Aura sensing, singly and in pairs.
iii Lie in a comfortable position on the floor. If possible, the best position to lie in is north-south (head to the north). Even if it is warm, you may find a blanket useful - you can become surprisingly chilled when projecting. Lying on the floor, progressively relax every part of your body, starting at the feet and working up.
iv When you have entered a relaxed state, visualise blue waves washing over your feet, and then progressing up your body, until you are totally covered. Imagine a small blue disk on your third eye or stomach. Watch as it floats up and away, and float after it.
v Imagine your astral body separating from the physical. Your body is getting heavy and sinking down, and your astral body is growing very light and separating from it. Don't try too hard - stay very relaxed and just let it happen. Don't worry if you fall asleep. Make a mental note of any pictures, sensations, colours, sounds, etc. you experience.
vi When you wish to return to your body, imagine red waves washing over you, starting at the head and working down to the feet, in the reverse of the previous process.
vii Take as much time as you need to fully integrate back into your physical body. They recommend drinking a little salt water to regain energy, which can be lost while projecting. This does not sound very pleasant, but at any rate it is a good idea to eat or drink a little something to help you ground yourself.
viii Before going to bed at night, visualise a flashing blue light at your right temple. Tell yourself that you will project and will remember it.
ix According to the Damanhur view, the best time for projection is between 5-7pm.
i At Damanhur, selfic technology is used for a variety of purposes, including astral projection. The selfs consists of spiral configurations of various metals (usually silver, gold and copper) which can also contain small spheres of alchemically produced liquids. These selfs are regarded as a platform on which certain intelligent entities can anchor, to assist in whatever activity is being carried out. From personal experience, I can vouch that they are certainly very powerful.
ii There are various patterns, rather like circuit diagrams, for a variety of purposes. These are traced with the finger or a special selfic pen for different lengths of time. The astral projection pattern which we have here is to be traced for 15 minutes at a time just before you astrally project.
Important: It doesn't matter where you start on the diagram, but don't lift your finger off the pattern. This means you will have to re-trace some of the lines; this is OK.
iii Press the thumb and ring finger together for 5 minutes before you astrally project. This is supposed to help activate the astral body.
iv Pyramids are also supposed to be helpful for astral projection. Either sit inside one, or suspend a small one upside down from the ceiling and lie under it. Alternatively, you can suspend a blue light about 6 feet above your feet and project yourself towards it.
v If you are concerned about protecting your body while you are out of it, imagine a thin golden thread emerging from your head. Wrap it around your body like a cocoon, leaving a small hole at the feet so you can get back in.
7. Some other techniques
There are many other methods of astral projection, a few of which are outlined below. You will undoubtedly be able to think of your own variations. It is generally agreed that the best time for projection is just after waking up in the morning. You may want to set your alarm clock a bit earlier than usual to give yourself time to practice. It is much easier to do it in bed at night, but then the usual result is that you fall asleep and don't remember a thing. You can also try it sitting up instead of lying down, as you are less likely to fall asleep. Before attempting to project, do a relaxation exercise to prepare for it.
It is also recommended that you remove any jewellery or metal object such as watches. Aligning your body north-south may be helpful if this is possible. Finally, before you start projecting, repeat an affirmation to yourself about what you want to do.
Although spontaneous projections are quite common, to consciously project at will takes a lot of time and practice, so don't worry if you don't achieve results overnight!
i The Lift Out Technique
Similar to the Damanhur method - just visualise your astral body lifting out of the physical. You may wish to imagine someone or something helping you. Another variation of this technique is to visualise yourself rocking from side to side and rolling sideways out of your body.
ii The Rope Technique
Either attach a rope or ribbon to the ceiling, or imagine that there is one there. Imagine yourself reaching out and grasping the rope. Visualise your astral body being pulled out as you climb up the rope.
iii The Anchor Technique
Focus on an anchor point outside of your body, such as the end of the bed. Visualise your astral arms reaching out and grasping it, trying to draw it closer to you, until you project out of your body.
You can try this technique with a moving object - visualise yourself grasping it, and pulling it towards you, and then imagine it moving to and fro like a wave until the momentum pulls you out of your body.
iv The Doppelganger Technique
Visualise a duplicate of yourself standing in front of you. Then transfer your consciousness into the double, so you are looking at your own body. You can also imagine your astral double floating above your body, and practise switching consciousness from your body into the astral form and back again,
v The Thirst Technique
Avoid drinking for as long as possible so that you go to bed thirsty. Leave a glass of water in the kitchen, and before you go to bed pick it up and imagine yourself getting up later on, picking up the glass and drinking the water. Keep this thought in mind while you go to sleep. This may trick your astral body into action.
vi Ophiel's 'Little System'
Memorise every detail of a familiar route between two rooms in your home, concentrating on several objects along the way. Lie down and attempt to project to the first point and then continue to the rest. You can either visualise yourself watching your astral body doing this, or imagine your consciousness in the astral body.
vii Misplaced Object Method
A similar approach is to deliberately leave some item out of place, and go to bed thinking about this. Visualise yourself getting up during the night to put the object back in place.
viii 'Alarm Clock' Technique
Will yourself to wake up at some ungodly hour in the middle of the night and tell yourself you will astrally project when you do so. (You may need to set your alarm clock for this.)
ix The Christos Technique
This requires three people. The subject lies down and one helper massages his/her feet, while the other rubs the forehead. The subject then imagines his feet becoming longer by about an inch or so, then returning to normal. Then do the same for the head. Now, alternating between the head and feet, practise elongating them to greater distances, until your body fills the room.
Then imagine yourself outside your front door, and describe what you see. Now rise above the house until you can see the surrounding landscape. Visualise it changing from night to day, the sun rising and setting. Then fly off and land wherever you like.
x Astral Doorway Method
Focus on your third eye area. Visualise a blank screen in this area, like a window or monitor, and fill it with an appropriate colour such as electric blue, royal purple, lavender, gold, silver or white. Visualise an image of yourself appearing in the centre of the window. Visualise yourself floating away from the screen and standing in front of you, and then going wherever you want to go.
xi OM Technique
Concentrate your attention just above the crown of your head. Intone "OM" seven times, letting the sound resonate throughout your body. Now repeat the sound mentally seven times. Let the sound rise through the top of your head. Focus all your attention on the sound as it rises towards the ceiling. Feel your awareness merging with the sound and becoming one with it.
xii The Target Technique
Think of a person, place or object to which you have an emotional attachment. (This should be someone or something that is not physically present.) Visualise the person, etc. in as much detail as you can, so you feel as though you were physically there. Then imagine your astral body projecting to that person or place.
xiii Magical Methods
There are almost infinite possibilities here, limited only by the magician's imagination. Pathworkings, Tarot or other divination methods, mantras, visualisation of god forms, sacred groves, astral temples or astral vehicles of various kinds, can all act as anchor points for projecting onto the astral plane. Hypnosis, either by oneself or someone else, is another possible method.
Herbs and drugs have been used for the same effect for millennia and this is really an entire subject in itself. A list of helpful herbs is included at the end of this paper.
xiv Lucid Dreaming
As dreams occur on the astral plane, they are an excellent point of departure for anyone who is able to achieve the lucid dreaming state. One way of doing this is to think of a dream in which you are flying, going up in a lift, swimming, etc. Another variation is to imagine yourself floating in a tank which is gradually filling with water. There is a small hole near the top, through which you will escape. Every night, while falling asleep, visualise this.
There are a number of herbs and incenses that are said to be helpful in astral travel. Poisonous ones are marked* and are included for information only. These include:
benzoin, cloves, *datura, dittany of Crete, dragon's blood, *hemlock, *hellebore, hemp, mugwort, reed, sandalwood, vine leaves
*belladonna, bistort, blackberry, *bluebell, *bryony, cypress, fern, forget-me-not, *foxglove, hemp, *henbane, hops, mandrake, mistletoe, parsley, poplar, poppy (red), tarragon, valerian, *yew
acacia, apple, ash, cloves, fern, frankincense, hawthorn, jasmine, lemon balm, lemongrass, marshmallow, nutmeg, oak, reed, sandalwood, vervain, violet
Psychic Awareness, Meditation, Clairvoyance, Divination, Trance, Visions, Contacting Higher Beings, etc.
aloes, angelica, anise, bay, benzoin, bergamot, camphor, clary sage, damiana, eyebright, honeysuckle, kava kava, magic mushrooms, mandrake, morning glory, myrrh, peyote, pipil-tzin-tzintli (diviner's sage), rowan, sandalwood, skullcap, tlit-litlzin, wormwood, wild lettuce, yarrow
Madame Hex's Magical Flying Ointment
base such as beeswax and oil, or vaseline - 4 dessertspoons
dittany of Crete - 1 desertspoon
mugwort - 1 dessertspoon
sandalwood oil - 2 drops
benzoin oil - 1 drop
tiger balm - ½ tsp (optional)
Gently heat the base until it melts, stir in the dittany and mugwort and stir on low heat until the herbs are thoroughly absorbed (about 10 minutes.) Remove from heat and strain. Allow to cool (but not set) and stir in other ingredients.
Traditional Witch's Flying Ointment
For information only - most ingredients are toxic!
Add to base and prepare as above: cinquefoil, *aconite, *hemlock, parsley, *belladonna, *cowbane.
Astral Projection Incense
3 parts sandalwood
1 part benzoin
1 part mugwort
1 part dittany of Crete
1 part dragon's blood
There are also some stones which may be useful as an additional aid, such as:
amethyst, azeztulite (a rare form of quartz), danburite, labradorite, kyanite, lapis lazuli, sodalite (for the Akashic Records) and sugilite (dreams).
For protection while you are out of your body, obsidian and black tourmaline can be helpful.
Tom Robbins: Adventures Beyond the Body
Robert Bruce: Astral Dynamics
Keith Harary and Pamela Weintraub: Have an Out of the Body Experience in 30 Days
Sylvan Muldoon and Hereward Carrington: The Projection of the Astral Body
Robert Monroe: Journeys out of the Body
J.H. Brennan: Astral Doorways
A.E. Powell: The Astral Body
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