The History of Astral Travel
Astral travel and pagans have gone hand in hand since the dawn of time. Shamans, witches, & medicine people from aboriginal and native tribes everywhere have used astral travel to help their people. So what is astral travel? The definition of astral travel is, first, the assumption of an astral body, really a piece of yourself connected to your physical body, many believe by a silver cord attached to your belly button. This cord would then be followed back to return to your physical body. This piece of yourself is an exact duplicate of your own physical body. This energetic self lifts out of your body and travels at your design and guidance.
There are too many accounts of these journeys to list here, but let it suffice to say that astral projection, or out of body experience at will, is a common occurrence. Yet there is limited scientific proof of such to point to. Many people would say that if you have had a dream where you are falling and abruptly wake up, this would be an example of astral projection. The violent way of jerking awake, is your astral body returning to your physical body without training. Many people reach the most relaxed state of mind using meditation, to deliberately lift their astral bodies out of their physical ones to avoid the abrupt return.
There are several documented ways to astral travel dating back to the ninetieth century with the work of a French Occultist Eliphas Levi, where it was adopted as a magical practice by the Golden Dawn Theosophists. It is also noted in Hindu scriptures such as The YogaVashishta-Maharamayana of Valmiki. The Hindu and others of like culture, would use astral travel to find enlightenment, knowledge of themselves and other dimensions for spiritual growth.
Shamans of any native tribe would use astral travel, without necessarily knowing that’s what they were doing, to heal their villagers. Using meditation, prompted by the rhythmic sounds of drums or rattles, the shaman would enter the relaxed state needed to travel, then use their etheric self to find the Tree of Life. After finding the tree, they would climb down the branches to find the dimension of the Underworld. There, they would ask their Guide through the Underworld, to help them locate their patient to discover what type of issue was causing the illness. Once they had worked the issue, usually represented by a bug or tick or other creature, out of their patient, (usually by sucking) the shaman would return to their physical body to find the patient cured of the ailment.
For many pagans who do not meditate to astral travel, they might recall that it became associated with witches and their riding on brooms. Witches would be said to produce a highly toxic ointment to rub on the handles of their brooms sticks. After dancing around in a circle, preferably around a bon fire, the ointment, absorbed through the skin, would produce a state of mind which would allow the witch to lift his or her etheric self to gain insights and other knowledge.
Some of the toxic ingredients used to achieve the altered state are, hemlock, belladonna, aconite, and cowbane. It is highly suggested by this author that you do not try to mix these herbs to journey out of your body. There are other ointments you can try that are not toxic or fatal. An example of one of these ointments: two drops sandalwood oil, one drop jasmine oil, one drop of benzoin oil, one drop of mace oil. Add this potion to a base oil such as almond or even a light olive oil, if you do not have access to an ointment base which is usually created from melting beeswax to reach a certain consistency. Then rub this ointment either on your body, say the chakra energy points, or on a besom, or alter broom. Several metaphysical stores carry an oil specifically called Astral Travel, you could use to place on your chakras to help you reach the state conducive to such practice.
Whatever the reason for astral travel/projection, it is a useful tool still used today, much in the same way it was used in the past.
If you would like to share an account of astral travel, or would like more information please feel free to email me at [email protected]