Astral projection is a form of psychic ability in which your spirit leaves your physical body and travels throughout the world or universe. Some people are able to engage in astral projection intentionally in meditation or trance states, while others are more likely to project astrally by traveling in their dreams, either lucidly or without realizing they are doing so.
Travel in Dreams
Many people travel in their dreams without knowing it's happening. When you are asleep is the easiest time for your soul to take charge and go roaming around the world, into other dimensions, or into the spirit realm. For some people, this may be a nightly occurrence, but when the dreamer wakes, he or she is unaware the soul has been wandering while the body is recharging.
Recognizing Unconscious Astral Projection in Dreams
Often when you wake from a dream in which you traveled astrally, you think it was merely one of those late night pizza-induced dreams where everything was just a bit weird as dreams sometimes can be. Other times, you may wake up and not remember a thing even though your spirit roamed all night. And sometimes, you wake up after having had an extremely vivid dream about meeting and spending time with others. With such diversity in dream experiences, how can you recognize you've astrally traveled while you slept?
- Your dream may be especially vivid and have an almost hyper-real quality to it. If you visited strange places and talked to different people in that dream, there's a good chance your spirit wandered afar while your body was asleep.
- You wake exhausted even though you think you slept all night. Sometimes a roaming spirit can leave the body feeling unrested in spite of a good night's sleep.
- People don't look like people in your dreams. They may appear distorted in some way, be surrounded by light or colors, or you may perceive them as energy instead of as having a human form.
- You visited a place in your dream you've never been in the waking state, but you remember details and the place felt familiar.
- You wake suddenly and feel as if you have been slammed back into your body.
- You see someone in a dream and later discover they also dreamed about seeing you (it's okay to ask them if it's someone you trust).
- You recall unusual sensory experiences from your dream, such as hearing a loud buzzing or ringing in your ears, feeling tingling throughout your body, or seeing patterns of light, energy, or visual distortion.
- You dream you are astrally traveling.
- You dream of flying or falling.
- You arrive in a location quickly and without understanding exactly how you got there. In other words, you didn't take a bus, car, or plane in your dream to arrive.
- If you talk to others, voices may sound distorted or strange, or you may communicate via telepathy or in a language you understand even though it's not one you consciously recognize.
Astral Travel During Lucid Dreaming
The elements of a lucid astral projection dream will be similar to an unconscious one with a big difference: even while dreaming you can consciously control your own choices, movements, and experiences. If you discover in a dream you have conscious control of where you go and what you say and do, you are lucid dreaming. In this way, you are an active participant in the dream instead of being the dream experiencer and observer with no conscious control over the experiences you have. The difference between the two is similar to watching a movie versus playing a video game based on the movie in which you control a character.
When Dream Travel Isn't Astral Travel
Of course, it's possible to travel in your dreams and not experience out of body projection. For example, if in your dream you get on an airplane and fly to Italy, a place you've been before and can easily reconstruct in your memory, chances are you aren't astrally traveling. Instead, you're revisiting a place you enjoyed in waking life while in a dream state.
- These dreams are less vivid and may feel more mundane.
- You visit places you've spent a great deal of time, such as a childhood home, your high school, or your current home.
- These dreams may involve people from your past exactly as you remember them, such as a kindergarten best friend who is a 5-year-old in your dream even though she is currently the same age as you.
- These dreams tend to be less "real" and more symbolic, so the dreams may not make much sense unless you analyze the symbols in them after you wake.
- You spend your dream in mundane tasks doing things you'd normally do, such as working at your job, taking a shower, or cooking dinner.
- You arrive at the location in your dream via some standard form of transportation, such as by riding a bike or taking an Uber.
- You communicate with other people by talking just as you would in the waking world.
How to Consciously Dream Travel on the Astral Plane
Conscious dreaming may sound like an oxymoron, but many people discover spontaneously that they can lucid dream, and they are able to choose to leave their bodies and travel on the astral plane during such experiences. If you are one of the lucky people who have discovered this, then you don't need to do much else other than enjoy your travels as you sleep. However, if you aren't someone who has experienced this ability, it doesn't mean you won't be able to do it. Astral travel both while dreaming and awake is an experience everyone is capable of having.
Practice With Intentional Astral Travel and Lucid Dreaming Separately
Astral travel and lucid dreaming are two separate skills, so it's always easiest to learn each by itself before you try to combine them. You can follow these simple steps to learn astral travel during your waking hours and then set your intention for lucid dreaming just before you go sleep and use simple techniques to enter a lucid dream state. It's important to understand that astral travel always occurs during unconsciousness, but in this case unconsciousness doesn't necessarily mean sleep. When you are awake, you can reach a state of consciousness where you are able to astrally travel during meditation, trance, or hypnosis. Work with each of these techniques until you become proficient and comfortable doing them separately.
State Your Intention Every Night Before Sleep
Once you are comfortable with both practices, it's time to combine them. Do this by setting an intention before you go to sleep every night. When you are in a highly relaxed state just before you drift off, state silently or aloud your intention, "Tonight I will consciously travel the astral plane in my dreams." You may need to repeat this a few times or even write it in a dream journal just before you turn off the light. With your focus on your intention, allow yourself to drift off to sleep. It may take a few (or several) nights of trying before your intention manifests but make sure you continue affirming this nightly. If things aren't clicking, you can also try affirming it during meditation and several times throughout the day as you think of it. The more you focus your attention and intention, the more likely you will be to slip into a lucid dreaming state where you are able to travel astrally.
Once in Your Lucid Dream, Leave Your Body
Once you are aware you have entered your lucid dreaming state, follow whatever procedure worked best for you when you left your body when you were awake. This may take a few tries, as well, but keep at it and eventually you'll be able to head out nightly on the astral plane as your body regenerates and recharges.
Tips for Improving Your Chances of Success in Dream Travel
Along with the steps noted above, you can do some things to improve your chances of achieving astral projection while dreaming.
- Keep a crystal next to or under your bed or pillow that supports dreaming and astral projection, such as an ametrine, amethyst, or moonstone.
- Visualize yourself astrally traveling during your meditations.
- Write your dreams in a journal as soon as you wake up so you don't forget them.
- Create a sleep space that is conducive to peaceful, undisturbed sleep by managing temperature, ambient noise, and distractions from pets or sleeping partners.
- If you have a friend you trust, plan to meet on the astral plane on a certain night. Keep that friend and intention in your mind as you drift off to sleep.
- Consider using a sound machine app (such as Brainwave) or a sleep track like the video below with a binaural beat that supports lucid dreaming.
Risks Associated With Lucid Astral Projection Dreams
Some people warn against dangers associated with astral projection, such as demonic possession or getting lost on the astral plane, but chances are slim anything will go wrong during an astral travel session regardless of whether you're sleeping or awake. After all, your soul has likely left your body many times during your sleep when you weren't aware it was happening. Your soul is connected to your body at all times as it travels, and it can return in an instant if something goes wrong. Because of this, astral projection is safe. However, some people do risk becoming so entranced with visiting the astral plane they start to devalue their waking life. If this happens to you, remember you have been gifted with your human life so your spirit can learn, grow, and advance. Your waking, embodied life is of as much (if not more) importance to your soul as astral travel is.
Traveling in Your Dreams
Dream travel on the astral plane is equal parts fascinating and beautiful. It provides a way to enhance your life, explore other realms, and have different experiences, but it isn't your everyday waking life. While you can journey in astral realms as you sleep, don't neglect the human life your soul has been gifted. Your physical presence here has meaning and purpose outside of astral travel, and it's important to live a rich and fulfilling waking life with your feet firmly planted on the Earth.