Astral projection (or astral travel) is an interpretation of out-of-body experiences (OBEs) achieved either awake or via lucid dreaming, deep meditation, or the use of psychotropics. Proponents of astral projection maintain that their consciousness or soul has transferred into an astral body (or “double”), which moves in tandem with the physical body in a parallel world known as the astral plane.
Astral projection is often associated with the occult and the New Age movement.
The traveller finds him- or herself in an apparently real domain, analogous to the “other worlds” experienced by traditional peoples, which have no parallel to any physical setting or to consensus reality, described by New Agers and occultists as the astral plane or the astral.
Environments here may range from populated to unpopulated, artificial to natural to completely abstract environments and from beatific to horrific. Here, normal physical laws often do not apply and humans can often, for example, float or fly. Quality of physical detail ranges from crude and un-detailed and depressing to bright, vivid and fascinating as detailed, among other writers, by Robert Bruce in his Astral Dynamics (1999) Travellers may travel from one realm to the other. Projectors may find access to visions of the past or future and to the Akashic records accessible from here. It’s been said that space and time don’t exist on the astral plane nor the higher planes – but no explanation is given as to how forms and entire environments can exist without spatial dimensions, nor why there can be a sequence of events and yet no such thing as time. Many travellers have theorized that people having dreams actually travel to the astral realms, unaware, and, again as reported in Astral Dynamics, travellers have reported seeing dreamers enact dream scenarios on the astral plane, unaware of the more extensive and varied non-physical environment surrounding them.