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{Astral Projection}

Astral projection is the act of separating the astral body from the physical body. Normally, this occurs as part of the sleep process, usually at the deepest dream level. It also can occur in a trance state. When the person is conscious of this separation, it is called conscious astral projection. The separation also is called Etheric Projection or Out-of-the-Body Traveling. To be conscious of this act or event is a highly sought after goal in neo-Paganism.

Through conscious astral projection one is able to remember events occurring during an astral journey. On such journeys the conscious mind traveling within the astral body can explore not only various earthly places, but also different realms within other dimensions. The conscious astral projection can be induced through deep meditative states. Some individuals exit their bodies from the solar plexus area, while others leave from the third eye, or simply discover themselves looking down from above at their physical body. The experience of traveling while in this astral state can be accomplished by methods such as a dream-like flight or by visualizating the destination that the individual wishes to visit.

Preparing For Your First Astral Journey:

Preparations: Place a bowl of water & a bowl of salt by your bed. Bless both, then sprinkle a little of both in the 4 corners of the room. This assures you that the area from which you will start is purified. Choose a time & place where you know you will not be disturbed. Most people do their astral voyages right before they go to sleep, when the rest of the family has settled down for the night. When first learning, many individuals take a ritual bath before traveling, & some add a bit of salt or a magickal herb to the water. You may wish to light at least 1 white candle before your journey. Make sure your clothing isn't too tight, that you haven't eaten heavily the hour before, & that the temperature is comfortable. For your first trip, you will need a purpose. Experts advise that you should stay in the same room & not venture elsewhere until you get the hang of how conscious astral travel works.

Instructions: Lie down in a comfortable position, with arms & legs uncrossed. Take 3 deep breaths {in through the nose, out through the mouth} & imagine yourself surrounded by a pure, white light. Silently, tell each part of your body to relax; for example, "My forehead is relaxing, loose & limp. The muscles around my eyes are relaxing, loose & limp." Work through your whole body. When you feel you are completely relaxed, focus on your forehead, right between your eyes, & imgaine yourself moving out of your body from that point. It is possible you will feel a "floaty" sensation, or you may tingle, feel some sort of inner vibration, or a tickling on your face-these are all natural experiences. Try to go with the flow. If you jerk, brush your face, or physically move to "relieve" the sensationq then you will have to start all over again. This is the most difficult part, learning to let go, & it may take you several tries, or even several nights, until you can get past this stage. Any mental resistance now &
lift-off will not occur in this semi-conscious state. Once you have succeeded, then you are over the biggest hurdle. Each time you practice astral projection, it will get easier. If you continue to fail, don't lose heart. Practice every dayuntil one day, when you are least expecting it, off you will zoom! Once you are out of your body, spend time exploring your own room. Go no further. Finally, visualize yourself returning to your body. Once you have returned, lie as still as possible for a few minutes. Count from one to five, then open your eyes. Wait at least 24 hours before you take your next trip. This is to give your total body time to recuperate. Once you have been practicing, you will be able to take several trips per day.

Astral Travel & The Magickal Person

As with many things in the world of magick, there is a type of etiquette that goes along with astral travel. Peeking in someone's home & spying on the activities there is considered poor taste. It is one thing to run experiments with your friends with their consent & at an appointed time; it is quite another to go lurking about someone's home uninvited. Magickal people often set up defenses against those who might take it upon themselves to cross the etiquette border. Here are some ideas:

°Surround the house with a ring of pickling salt {be careful though, or you'll ruin the grass}.

°Plant specific plants, such as lobelia, around the home to keep out unwanted intruders, physical & otherwise.

°Bless all the doors & windows, then seal them with a banishing pentacle in the air over all windows & exits.

°Setting an astral "guard dog" {usually a mythical beast or a predator from the animal kingdom} on a constant 24 hour watch around the perimeter & outside of the home, supported by a shrine or statue inside the home. Visualization is renewed every month & an offering of thanks is made to the physical animal kingdom.

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