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About a year ago I was working with a student who was absolutely convinced she could not astral travel. She came to me frustrated, annoyed with herself, and wondering if she was somehow broken or if something was preventing her from being able to cross into the astral. When I pressed her for details about what was happening when she tried to astral travel she exclaimed, “I just can’t SEE anything!”

When I dug a little deeper I realized that she absolutely WAS astral traveling, it just didn’t look how she thought it “should” look! She was a very visual person, she had an active imagination and used visualization in her craft a ton. To her, it seemed only natural that astral traveling should also be visual. The astral had other ideas though.

Her personal experience of astral traveling was mostly auditory. She heard things instead of feeling them but because she was so busy trying to SEE something she missed out on everything that she was actually experiencing in the astral!

These kinds of discrepancies between expectation and reality are quite common with beginner astral travelers so, in this lesson, I’m going to go over the most common misconceptions and stumbling blocks.

I can’t see/hear/feel anything!

Not everyone can see when they're traveling. Not everyone can hear when they’re traveling. Not everyone can feel things when they’re traveling. If this happens to you it's ok! I know plenty of very experienced astral travelers who only ever hear things or see random colors or simply lie there for 20 minutes having a nap and then wake up and just ~know~ what happened even though they didn't directly experience it. These are all valid ways to journey over the hedge! Not everyone will get the hi-def movie version.

I’m watching myself like I’m watching a movie instead of being in my astral body

This is also a pretty common experience. In fact, this is how I experience most of my astral journeys! Just roll with it, it may change as you get more comfortable in the astral or it might not. Everybody has a unique way of experiencing the astral!

Nothing happened?

Ok, so it sucks to just lie around waiting for the show to start but sometimes it happens. It even happens to me on occasion. If this is your first time trying to astral travel, don’t worry. It can take a few tries to get things working! Maybe you were too tired today, or in a bad mood, or having trouble focusing. Whatever the reason, it’s ok. Be nice to yourself and try again some other time. If you consistently have trouble getting into the astral then you may need more help getting *in the zone*.

What I mean by this is that you may need to either remove any extra stimulus from your environment, or you might need to add something to help you get into a trance state.

Examples of extra stimulus that might be screwing you up include too much sunlight, pets in the room, sounds from outside the room, uncomfortable heat or cold, drafts or fans, hunger, pain, etc. Some of these things you might be able to change but something like construction noises or a headache that are more difficult to get away from might mean it’s a good idea to just wait and do your astral traveling some other time.

If too much stimulus doesn’t seem to be your problem then it’s time to try adding something else to your experience. My go-to resources for when I’m having trouble traveling are almost always some kind of sound. Trance drumming, isochronic tones, binaural beats, or meditation music can all help you get into the right state to enter the astral realms. You can also try guided meditations to help you through the visualization process at the beginning of your journey.

You can find a resource guide with my favorite meditations, music, and drum tracks at the end of this module.

I can’t tell if I’m really astral traveling

Nine times out of ten, when someone isn’t sure if they’re really astral traveling or if they’re just imagining everything they ARE actually astral traveling. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t also imagining. The imagination is an incredibly powerful magical tool, we use it to propel ourselves out of our bodies and into the astral realm, why wouldn’t we be able to change things there without imaginations? The astral isn’t a physical realm (at least for us), it’s primarily governed by mental and emotional forces and is highly suggestible. If I want to teleport halfway across the world in an astral realm I can. If I want to change how I look in an astral realm I can. Each individual plane has its own rules to how it works but you will find that often the laws that govern our world don’t apply over there.

This means that often it can feel fantastical, like make-believe. If it does, it’s ok! The only thing you need to worry about is whether or not you’re creating the actions of the people and beings you’re interacting with. This can be tricky to figure out at times but a surefire way to figure out if you’re making things up is to watch for something that surprises you. If events, conversations, or people in the astral surprise you then you’re definitely astral traveling. If everything feels too predictable maybe try relaxing a bit more and waiting to see what happens instead of trying to figure out where the next thing is going to come from. Take a hands-off, backseat approach.

Can I trust the people/beings I meet over there?

The short answer: No.

The long answer: The astral is not all that different from Earth. Some of the beings you’ll meet there will be super cool and fun and have amazing things to show you and teach you. Some of the beings you meet will be rude, or mean, or sneaky, or liars, or want to hurt you.

How do you tell the difference?

Well, how do you tell the difference here? Generally, you withhold your trust and protect yourself until the person in question has proven themselves to you. Not once but many times. Treat the beings you meet in the astral like any stranger you would meet here on Earth. Are you going to give them your home address the first time you meet them? Follow them into a dark alley? Trust them when they tell you they have deep insights into your being and proceed to tell you that you’re the most special, magical person they’ve ever met?

NO. Of course not. You would immediately run the other direction if they tried to push you to do any of those directions and you should do the EXACT SAME THING if an astral being pushes your boundaries.

Build relationships and trust over time. Is this a foolproof method? No, of course not. Even here on Earth sometimes we don’t realize someone is a narcissist, sociopath, or just a general asshole until it’s too late. But you can greatly reduce your chances of falling prey to a less than well-intentioned being by protecting yourself and not being overly trusting right from the get-go.

Why don’t I look like me?

This surprises a lot of people but it’s an incredibly common experience. You might get over to the astral and realize you look NOTHING like your normal self, you’re a different gender or even a different species. My one word of advice is to just roll with it. How you appear likely holds some deeper meaning about who you are at your core. Take note of it and use that to learn a bit about yourself!

It’s also possible that your appearance will change over time. It may be gradual or very sudden, it may be temporary or permanent, and you may be able to effect such changes intentionally as you become more comfortable with astral traveling. Again, the best approach is just to take it one step at a time and go with the flow.

Can I [fill in the blank] in the astral?

If you can think of it, it’s probably possible in the astral. Whether you want to fly, shapeshift into a wolf, talk to trees, or shoot fireballs out of your hands the answer is probably yes. If you’re finding yourself incapable of doing something in the astral it’s either because you don’t know quite how to control your astral self fully yet or because that particular plane you’re on is governed by natural laws that prevent it. Both can be fixed by either learning and gaining more experience or by just going to another realm.

It’s also worth noting here that while it may very well be possible for you to do something, that doesn’t mean that it will be without repercussions. Murder, arson, and just generally being a dick can all get you into trouble.

Can I be injured/killed/etc in the astral?

The answer is yes… sort of.

It is entirely possible to be injured, killed, or otherwise harmed in the astral realms. That said, it’s unlikely to be permanent. Your astral body will heal to some degree and you will come back to life in the astral. The amount of time this takes and degree of long-term effect this leaves can vary though.

For instance, losing a limb may result in permanent limb loss on the astral, other injuries may cause scarring, etc. Recovering from death may take months or even years to recover from depending on the circumstances. it’s also possible that you will remain “dead” on whatever plane of existence you died on and thus, will only be able to access realms that you have NOT died on.

The only way to really find out how all of this affects you personally is to find out through firsthand experience which, for obvious reasons, I don’t recommend.

I don’t like the astral plane I ended up on, how do I go to another one?

You can change planes in the exact same way you got onto this one. Find or create some kind of doorway with the intention that it will take you where you want to go. The important part of this is to BE INTENTIONAL. If you keep ending up in places you really don’t like, try being more intentional with your destinations. While it can be educational to let the universe take you where it will, ending up in a demon realm may not be your idea of a good time (then again, maybe it is!)

The only time I don’t recommend doing this is when you’ve gone to the express purpose of learning something or finding an answer to a question and your familiars are guiding you. Even if it’s unpleasant you should probably stick it out since that’s the only way you’re going to get what you came for.

A word about the Fae

I get asked about working with the Fae a lot and while I know many excellent witches who work with the Fair Folk I personally do not and also do not recommend it without adequate preparation. The Fae are fickle, unpredictable and there are many rules one should follow as a beginner to stay safe. If you’re set on working with the fae I would highly suggest finding an experienced fairy doctor or another practitioner who is well versed in their ways and consult with them first.