I learned astral projection by accident, or at least unintentionally.
In 2007 I had to quit my job. It was not a happy parting. I’d been set up to fail, to make room for a reorganization. When I realized this, all I could think about was smashing my boss’s kneecaps with a baseball bat and destroying all of the organization’s data — wipe the servers, wipe all backed-up data. I could have done it. I’d been the sysadmin for years. But I didn’t really want to hurt anybody, deep inside, so I went on disability. In conspiracy with my then psychiatrist and therapist I was conveniently and quickly diagnosed with major depressive disorder. All those years at half the pay I could have made in the corporate world — I earned that disability. Those five months of hideous stress — I was in truth majorly depressed.
I didn’t get any better though. I started driving 90 miles an hour down country roads full of curves, and doing other dangerous things which I don’t feel like divulging. I was suicidal in other words. I think I didn’t get better because I was in such deep denial of my transsexuality. I was in trouble.
I started seeing another therapist who specialized in clinical hypnosis. The first thing he taught me was to meditate. The second was self-hypnosis, which he was honest enough to just call trance.
I was good at entering a trance state, really, really good. I was reading C.G. Jung at the time so I knew about active imagination. I read Michael Harner’s Way of the Shaman, which is a terrible book anthropologically but is a pretty good guide to journeying in your own mind, your own psyche, and the Imaginal World, as scholar Henry Corbin termed it. Another term for the Imaginal World is the Astral Plane. The big secret about astral projection is it’s easy. The reason it’s easy is sort of mind-boggling, at least when you experience it in so-called normal consciousness. There simply isn’t any boundary line, astrally, maybe even energetically to some extent, between you and the computer screen you’re staring at right now, the chair you’re sitting in. Also, Paracelsus rephrased the famous Hermetic maxim As above, so below to As within, so without. La Société Voudon Gnostique has taken it one step further: What is inside is the same as what is outside. And they’re right. The Voudon Gnostic Workbook may seem like a huge joke, but it conceals (I have this on the most excellent authority, a sorcerer whose skills I admire tremendously) a flexible, powerful system of magic. You can experience this yourself if you become familiar with your subtle body. The channels or meridians that end at your fingertips do not end at your finger tips. They don’t even end with the keyboard you have in front of you right now. They don’t really end at all. When you literally feel this, when you feel that there’s no line of division, no terminus, between you and the cocktail table in your living room — well, the first time it can make you feel a little crazy.
But I digress. The point to take away from that is that it’s easy to astral project because you already have an astral body, and it’s not, not all of it anyway, firmly attached to your physical body the way your chi or prana or energy is. Journey enough inside, and one day you may accidentally journey outside, projecting part of your consciousness outside your physical body and into the Astral Plane.
That’s what happened to me. I thought it was all crap, after all, shamanism, the Astral Plane, occultism, all of it. So I knew no fear and pushed my inner journeys farther and farther until they weren’t inner journeys any more. I was astral projecting and I didn’t even know it.
Astral projection isn’t dangerous. You can always just open your eyes, snap out of trance and be back in your body. You only need to project a portion of your consciousness outside your body, not all of it. Projecting all of your consciousness into an astral construct, a procedure so often recommended by some magical organizations, is difficult and potentially dangerous. Project part of your consciousness, and part is still with you — there’s no possibility of getting lost because you can always snap back by opening your eyes. Project all of your consciousness — you might well get lost. There is no silver cord as so many books state attaching your astral body to your physical body. It’s a myth. Also I was taught that creating a stable astral construct to house your consciousness conceals an even greater danger. Upon death, the energetic body dies. Normally, the astral body decays in a few days. If however you have created a stable construct to house your consciousness and astral self, then getting stuck — not moving on to wherever the destination of your yet more subtle bodies is — becomes a possibility. Supposedly it seldom happens, but it can happen. So, as for me, I trust no book that says you must loose consciousness completely or that astral projection is difficult or that you must create an astral construct to house your consciousness. None of that is necessary for safe and completely successful astral projection.
So there I was having a blast. It was so much fun that I limited myself to two “Travels” as I called them per week, because I have a bit of an addictive personality. They say that on the Astral Plane men like to fight, women like to have sex. When I projected I almost always, without intending to, assumed a female form (even that didn’t fully clue me in to my transsexuality — though eventually I began to believe I had a woman’s soul, a belief later mentioned to me as a truth by several spirits I’ve evoked). Having striven for many years to be the man I could never be, and being truly a woman, I did both: I fought monsters and I had astral sex with spirits. I saw spaceships around the planets of Sirius (not necessarily the star Sirius you see in the sky — the Astral Plane is complex in ways I can’t describe, redundant and unmappable). I spoke with Gods, and one or two of them may really have been the Gods to whom I thought I was then speaking, I just don’t know…
It got to the point where I had trouble some days not spontaneously entering a trance state every once in a while. Especially during meditation — at some point I stopped meditating and all my meditations were really trances. It was at this point that something happened that changed my life forever — I saw my first astral being, a spirit in other words, while I was going for a walk in the woods. How did I know it wasn’t a figment, a hallucination?
I’ll save that for another post.
I’m not going to teach you how to astral project. There are already too many how-to’s in print and all over the Internet. I recommend bearing in mind my two warnings above: don’t project your entire consciousness and don’t create a permanent astral construct to house your consciousness. Other than that, it’s easy. You may not succeed your first time, you may not succeed your tenth time. But if you persist, you will succeed.