Astral projection is the psychic act of projecting one's astral form; or visiting the Astral plane, which can alternatley be called astral travel. When one does this, they usually visit other realms, which may be too fantastical or surreal to exist with in the realm of the Physical or Etheric planes. Those who practice some form of shamanism, do this to visit the Underworld.
- From the Greek word astra, meaning "universe". This word seems to have been applied to mean a higher state of consciousness, than the ether (see etheric projection).
This term has been inaccurately used to lump-together all forms of psychic projection. Many authors make the mistake of explaining both etheric and astral projection with a unified methodology, but neglect to mention that what happens are two almost completely different activities.
Some speculation remains, as to the validity of astral projection. Those that do it may experience something similar to that which can be found within common dreams. This uncertainty is because the Astral plane is much more subjective than the Physical: thought and perception effect how one views the Astral, as well as how another may view them, from that standpoint. One positive way to validate an authentic experience, is usually some kind of meeting between a group people. Further investigation usually rests within the individual's discretion.
This state of consciousness can be achieved several ways. The most common are: deep meditation, and lucid dreaming. Astral projection methods can be identified by their distinct emphasis on visualization and visual emersion; such meditations may involve peaceful landscapes and the construction of some kind of astral vehicle, or "temple". Authors such as Edain McCoy, Melita Denning & Osborne Philips, Robert Bruce and D.J. Conway employ such visualization methods.
Astral Projection For Beginners, by Edain McCoy (1999, Llewellyn Publications)