I’ve received many questions on the subject of lucid dreaming and astral projection, and it’s clear to me that there is some confusion as to the difference between the two, and if lucid dreaming is a pre-requisite for astral projection. I’d like to clear that up now.
Lucid dreaming occurs when you are dreaming and are aware that you are in fact dreaming. Once you become lucid (aware) in your dream, you can control all of the dream characters, albeit with some practice. You can fly in a lucid dream, go out with Brad Pitt, go hang gliding, or even shape shift into a cat and see what that’s like. Knock yourself out (you can even do that!). You’re only limited by your imagination.
Astral projection, or out of body experiences, occur when your soul or consciousness leaves your body and enters a realm known as the astral plane. This is not the dream plane. This is an entirely different place, and it’s definitely not Kansas!
Let’s compare lucid dreaming and astral projection so that you’ll see how distinctly separate these two experiences are.
In lucid dreaming:
- You are asleep
- Your experience is a dream
- Your location is whereever you wish it to be (desert, ocean, future, past, mom’s house, etc.)
- Your consciousness is still inside your body
- You can control the environment and characters
- When the experience is over, you simply wake up
In astral projection:
- You awaken, then you project
- Your experience is real
- Your experience begins in your bedroom, or wherever your body is
- Your consciousness is outside of your body, and your body is left with none
- You can manipulate your environment in the astral realm (somewhat), but you cannot control the actions of the inhabitants of the astral plane.
- When the experience is over, you return to your body and merge your consciousness back into it
Do you have to know how to lucid dream in order to astral project?
No. You could potentially learn astral projection without ever learning lucid dreaming. There are some people who can simply lay down on a couch and in a couple of minutes totally separate out of their body. It’s difficult, but possible. The skill of being able to project your consciousness out of your body is something that can be practiced to a point where you could potentially leave your body while dining at a restaurant or sitting in a movie theater. However, I can definitely say that being an accomplished lucid dreamer will help you learn astral projection.
I recall one experience where I laid down on my bed to take an afternoon nap and immediately, instantly, went out of body. I literally thought I had died because it was the first time I astral projected from a totally awake, not-coming-out-of-sleep state. I stood there looking down at my body thinking, “Holy hell-in-a-handbasket, Batman! What just happened?” It was trippy and unnerving and I just got right back into my body. Fear of death will do that to you.
How can we use the skill of lucid dreaming to facilitate an astral experience?
Mastering the art of lucid dreaming comes with a great side effect. You learn how to wake your mind up while keeping your body asleep. And that is a skill you need for conscious astral projection. In order to separate out your consciousness from its shell – your body – you need to learn how to move your consciousness out of your body and into your astral vehicle, as it’s called. Your astral vehicle is simply your astral body. Think of it like putting your consciousness into a ghostly body. It’s not quite that simple, but it will do for now. So once you’ve become a master at keeping your body asleep while your mind is totally awake and conscious, you’re halfway there.
So how does astral projection take place?
The best and easiest way to learn how to astral project is to learn lucid dreaming first. Listen to my podcast for tips on how to do that. What you want to do is end your lucid dream with the intent to astral project. As you wake up, you’ll notice your body is totally paralyzed for a few moments. This is to prevent you from acting out your dream. In this state, you want to raise your vibration (you might hear a high-pitched whine or feel a buzzing in your body), and then stretch your astral body out of your physical body. It will feel like you’re moving your physical body. It’s supposed to!! This is because you are leaving your body – all of you is leaving your body – and so it will feel like you are simply stretching out and standing up. But when you look down, you’ll see your body still lying on the bed.
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking they simply cast their awareness outside of their body and experience a dual consciousness, or imagine they are getting up out of their body. No. When you successfully leave your body, it will feel like all of you is standing up while your body is still lying on your bed. You will not feel like you’re still lying in bed. You will not feel like you’re dreaming. You will literally feel like you got out of bed and are standing beside it. You will look down at your body and recognize it but you will not feel your arms lying on the covers, you will not feel your head on the pillow. You will only see it. You may feel a pull or tug, however. This is your astral cord trying to get you back into your body where you feel safe, because let me tell you, the first dozen times you go astral you will want to get back into your body right quick!! Get as far away from your body as fast as you can and the tugging sensation will dissipate rapidly. When you’re ready to go back to your body, just think about it and your cord will snap you back. If you get into any trouble out there, call for the angels or your spirit guides to help you. They’ll get you back where you belong.
Other tidbits you need to know
Sometimes I will be having a lucid dream followed by a false awakening where I will dream that I am astral projecting. That’s not an astral projection. Still a dream. If Brad Pitt shows up in your astral experience, you’re just dreaming. Sometimes I will actually begin to have an astral experience but not make it fully out of my body. So frustrating. If my will is not strong enough to get out of my body, I will often snap into a lucid dream very quickly. Not astral, but still a cool experience.
Sometimes people successfully go astral but don’t leave their body! What a waste of a great experience. In this case you vibrate your frequency high enough to get out but you don’t actually stretch out of your body and go anywhere. I’ve done this many, many times. You are in an astral state, you are plugged in to the astral realm, but you simply aren’t going anywhere. In this state, you may attract the attention of some entities who may not be very nice, who will come and look at you, or talk to you, or try to suck your energy away. I wouldn’t let them.
In still other cases, there are beings who can separate your astral body from your corporeal body for you. Some of them are nice, and others are not so nice. If you have friends who are good at astral projection, they can come and encourage you to leave your body. This is so very tricky and requires some precision timing, but it can be done if you’re all really serious about it. This is not a service I offer, so please don’t ask.
I hope I’ve been able to clear up any misconceptions you may have had about how lucid dreaming and astral projection are related. If you are not an accomplished lucid dreamer, you’ll probably have some trouble with conscious astral projection. It took me three years of mastering lucid dreaming before I had my first astral projection. I wrote about that experience in my article, Astral Projection: My first encounter. Hopefully it will take you less time.
For more on astral projection:
Learn everything you need to know to successfully master astral projection. Get Erin’s new book, The Astral Projection Guidebook: Mastering the Art of Astral Travel