I have been able to see the ether ever since I was a child, which looks a little like tv snow but in color. I thought it was normal. As I got older however I found out few people could. Although I do think that everyone but the most uncreative person can have psychic and empathic abilities, our modern technological culture stifles our abilities. Certain things can aid in development of these abilities or to deliberately free them. Mine happened to be an adaptation to being emotionally abused growing up. This is also called neuron mirroring.
I was also able to astrally project, as children have greater awareness of these abilities which decrease as they get older. Often I was daydreaming, lost in ‘another world.’ This helped me escape what was going on.
It turns out that I can also see auras and the etheric double, but this is going to take practice along with more astral projection and scrying.
Psychic/empathic abilities make up a double-edged sword. On the one hand you are emotionally and clairvoyantly sensitive and are able to intuitively anticipate others’ desires and needs, but on the other it can come at the expense of your own. Balance is needed. It sounds cliche, but we are human and not masochists. Mastering these abilities will lead to knowledge and understanding of one’s emotional makeup, and hence the ability to use the skills and insight as one sees fit without having to expend so much emotional energy all the time.
Emotional projection (aka psychological projection) is a little different than astral projection, but as a related topic I am including it here. It can be a positive and even common mechanism, since we project our values onto the world around us. To wit:
“Projection is not always a negative mechanism. Although the Freudian theory of projection assumes that the projected feelings tend to be undesirable, there are other types of projection that are more positive and productive.
Complementary projection, for example, is a type of projection where one assumes that other people share the same opinions that he or she does. This phenomenon is quite common. For instance, whenever you hear a story about an animal that has been mistreated, you are shocked to discover that not everyone shares the same views regarding animal cruelty as you. Likewise, although you cannot possibly see how other people perceive color, you assume that everyone sees the color blue the same way you do. In this sense, you are projecting your perception of color onto everyone else.”
It is interesting to note that Muldoon in Projection of the Astral Body states that nervous/sensitive types are the best to experiment with astral projection; they project fears and other emotions. However, there are abusers who also project – that is, their negative qualities onto others – so they can get validation from others while appearing to be the victim. By emotionally projecting, one becomes dissociated; that is, they are dissociating themselves from the issue. For the extreme, we have phrases like,”He hit the ceiling,” “She jumped out of her skin with fright,” “They were beside themselves with rage,” illustrating disembodiment or feeling overwhelmed and emotionally uncontrollable. In another but related vein, people who are in love (said to be “head over heels,” “crazy in love,” etc.) project good qualities onto their partners, idealizing them — never seeing the bad until the phase is over. While nice-feeling it doesn’t speak to the real nature of the partner.
Astral projection (aka “traveling in the spirit-vision”) is done with one’s eyes closed. In a similar manner to emotional projection, you will be able to see aspects of yourself but rather than in another person, you will see them in the ‘landscape’ of the astral realm as you project your astral body (hence, it is considered an out-of-body experience). Another difference is that rather than projecting the accountability to another person you will be accountable to yourself; astral projection thus becomes a means of emotional empowerment and insight. If you are very upset or intoxicated this will weigh the astral body down and make it heavy and unable to control for astral projection. Likewise meat makes the astral body heavy, so if you having trouble lessen your intake of meat. This is why shamans were deprived of food (as well as drink and light), another reason being in order to induce hallucinogenic states with or without the aid of drugs. A good thing to have after a session is some fruit or fruit juice.
Also, people tend to astrally project unconsciously without knowing it. I think those wanting to do so consciously have a different idea of what it’s like based on what they *think* it should be like, and if they finally get it they will be surprised to find it is something they have already been doing.
Is it possible for someone’s physical body to move while astrally projecting, or to meet someone in the astral realm?
In Motta’s Astral Attack and Defense it is recounted that both of these things happened to Dion Fortune (Violet Firth) as she was psychically attacked by Moina Mathers (quoted below). Another female member of the A.’.A.’. was said to have physically moved while astrally projecting but since I did not hear this from her directly, I cannot be sure as to what exactly happened nor how it was done. More than anything else, it sounds like a type of sleepwalking to me.
“The Spring Equinox had come. I must explain that this is the most important time of the year for occultists.1 Great waves of force are flowing in the Internal Planes, and are very difficult to manipulate. If one were to have astral danger, usually the situation comes out at this time. There are also certain meetings that occur in the Astral Plane, and many occultists appear outside of the physical body. In order to do this, we have to put ourselves in a sort of trance, and then the mind is free to travel. It is usual to ask someone who understands these subjects to be on guard beside our physical body while it is empty, in order to hinder it suffering any damage.2 Usually, when we are suffering an occult attack we seek at any cost to remain at the normal state of consiousness, sleeping during the day and remaining awake and meditating when the sun is below the horizon. But, as bad luck occasionally imposes itself, I was obliged to leave on an astral trip on this occasion.3 My attacker knew this as well as I.
Therefore, I executed my rituals with all the precautions that I could launch at hand: I gathered a group of disciples carefully selected to guard the circle, and sealed the place of the operation with the usual ceremony. I did not have much faith in this last precaution under the circumstances, since my attacker was of a much higher degree than mine,4 and such a person could pass any of the seals that I knew to impose. More or less, the seals would protect me against the lower forces. The method of executing these astral trips is highly technical,5 and I cannot explain myself here on the subject. In the language of psychology, one handles self-hypnosis through a symbol.6 In accordance with the chosen symbol, we get access to the different sections of the Aethyr. The trained initiate, therefore, does not wander through the astral as a disturbed ghost, but comes and goes through certain corridors. The task of my enemy, therefore, was not difficult, since she knew the time I would have to make this trip, and the symbol that I would have to use to leave my body.7 For this reason, I knew that I would have to face opposition, even though I did not know in what form this opposition would appear. Astral trips are in reality discerning dreams where we hold back all our faculties of choice, power of will, and discernment. Mine always start with a symbolic colored curtain,8 through whose folds I pass.
Thus I passed through the curtain on this occasion, saw my enemy waiting for me, or if another terminology will be preferred, started to dream of it. He appeared to me in the robe of his Degree; that is magnificent,9 and barred my entrance, saying that by virtue of its authority it forbade to me to use these magical corridors.10 I replied back that she did not have the right to bar me only because she was personally angry with me, and that I appealed to the Secret Chiefs, which in such a way as we were obliged. Then started a battle of wills in which I felt the sensation of being hurled into the air and falling from a great height; and I perceived myself in return to my body. But my body was not where I had left it, but huddled in the most remote corner of the room, where everything was knocked down and spread as if a bomb had blown up
there. Through the reflexive phenomenon, the astral fight was apparently communicated to my physical body, which did somersaults around the room while the agitated group of guardians removed the furniture from its path!”
– From chapter 3,”Use of the Astral Body in Occult Attacks”
~EDIT 8/23: I wonder if this has anything to do with projection of the etheric double rather than the astral body but it’s not clear how one can be in the astral realm rather than traveling IRL as it is written, or how the physical body is moving around while astrally projecting. cf. Psychic Self-Defense on this.~
~ UPDATE 8/27: I have been attempting for 3 days to retain some extent of consciousness during sleep in order to atrally project in dreams. It makes for very vivid real-seeming dreams and also there were 2 instances where I banished (sign of Silence). There are unexpected things that happened because I was not in full control like in conscious astral projection, and I couldn’t stop from falling asleep because I was tired, but it did work. I guess this is more of an “objective astral projection” similar to an OBE (Muldoon-style) than a “subjective astral projection” (using a vivid imagination). Also I was able to induce sleeptalking. But I have more of an idea of what was described by Fortune and also what happens during sleepwalking or sleeptalking — that stuff does get relayed to the physical body. And since I am to the point now where I can consciously feel my astral body floating up and out of my physical body I can attest that it is indeed easier to do this in the stages of consciousness before waking up rather than going to sleep. cf. Projection of the Astral Body. Otherwise, what I think happens during sleep and dreams (when not astrally projecting) is that consciousness or the astral body remains close to the physical body. ~
UPDATE 9/14: ~ I have figured out a great method for getting to astral project quickly, every time. After reading some past emails from a female colleague, this is her idea: stamp on the floor of your astral temple with your “astral” foot until you can feel it well enough and get a sense of your surroundings being vivid enough. Also, you will probably get a tingly feeling in your physical foot as the sensation is communication to your body.~
Scrying is done with one’s eyes open. You look into a symbol, a bowl of water or a crystal ball, and active imagination takes over. If you are searching for whether or not one can do astral projection with one’s eyes open, this is known as scrying.
In both scrying and astral projection, you are relying on your third eye (pineal gland), not your physical eyesight. However, I must note here that some clairvoyants in the other-described abilities (seeing auras and the etheric double) say it is both the third eye and physical eyesight, since the aura or etheric double appear to be very physical or ‘solid’ to them.
Both of these practices should be done after casting a circle and doing a banishing ritual, and/or doing an auric cleansing and chakra balancing exercise. And of course bathing unless you recently bathed and are still fresh; also, physically cleaning the space you’ll be in. Remove jewelry and heavy clothing. That negative feeling – even increased depression – some people get when they’re in a stagnant, messy room? Cleaning helps.
Lucid dreaming is done when one is asleep. You remain control in your dream as you are still a little bit conscious. Sometimes people, while they do not lucidly dream, are very aware of the physical jolt and movement of consciousness when they wake up. Drugs have this effect as well. When asleep, one’s consciousness seems to remain very close to the body into which it returns upon waking.
Etheric projection: “This is where the Consciousness, the Astral body & the etheric body separate together from the physical body. The ectoplasm of the Etheric body can been seen by others. The physical body is reduced to a state of near catalepsy during the projection and must be protected from sudden shock or disturbance as there is a rare occurrence of physical death.” (source)
Here are some resources with more information:
The below deal largely with the same topics but may also be of interest: