First off, what is Astral travel?

Astral projection (or astral travel) is a term used to describe an intentional out-of-body experience (or OBE, for short) that assumes the existence of a soul or consciousness called an "astral body" that is separate from the physical body and capable of travelling outside of it, to what is known as the astral plane.

To note: People often experience this state during illness or when involved in a near-death experience, but it is also possible to learn to practice astral projection at will.

Tips for preparing to practice astral travel:

- Start in the morning. Rather than practicing astral projection at night, right before you go to sleep, start in the early morning hours when you're still feeling drowsy. Some say that it's easier to reach the necessary state of relaxation and heightened awareness around dawn. Yet it is possible to astral travel at any time so there are no hard and fast rules. It is a personal preference or simply astral traveling when we feel empowered to do it.

- Create the right atmosphere. Astral projection requires a state of deep relaxation, so it should be performed in a part of your home where you're completely comfortable. Lie on your bed or sofa and relax your mind and body.

- It's easier to perform astral projection alone than it is with someone else in the room. If you usually sleep with a partner, choose a room other than the bedroom to practice astral projection. A good time to do it is when no one else is in and make sure no one is going to walk into the room when you're in astral flight.

- Draw the shades or curtains and rid the room of distracting noises. Any type of interruption could disrupt the state of relaxation you need to achieve.

- Lie down and relax. Position yourself on your back in your chosen room. Close your eyes and try to clear your mind of distracting thoughts. Concentrate on your body and how it feels. The goal is to achieve a state of complete mind and body relaxation.

- Flex your muscles and then loosen them. Start with your toes and work your way up to your body, gradually making your way to your head. Make sure every muscle is completely relaxed when you are through.

- Breathe deeply and exhale completely. Don't hold tension in your chest and shoulders, just relax.

- Focus your mind on your breathing. Don't get carried away with thoughts of outside worries, and don't get preoccupied yet with the idea of your soul projecting from your body. Just let yourself sink into relaxation.

SIDE NOTE - It can be helpful to use a quartz crystal to raise and speed up your vibrations as preparation. Gently hold the crystal on your third eye slightly above the centre of your eyebrows with closed eyes and breathing deeply. Feel the vibrations and your head clearing; you can envision golden, white, purple or any colour light if you like. During the meditation and astral travelling you can hold the crystal in your hand or place it on your chest or abdomen. The crystal can empower and protect you because of its high vibrations; negative energies have lower vibrations.

- Reach a hypnotic state. This hypnotic state is normally known as the hypnagogic state. Let your body and mind approach sleep, but don't completely lose consciousness. Being at the edge of wakefulness and sleep, a hypnotic state is necessary for astral projection to occur. Reach this state using the following method:

- Keeping your eyes closed, let your mind wander to a part of your body, such as your hand, foot, or a single toe.

- Focus on the body part until you can visualize it perfectly, even with your eyes closed. Continue focusing until all other thoughts fall away.

- Use your mind to flex your body part, but do not physically move it. Visualize your toes curling and uncurling, or your fingers clenching and unclenching until it seems as though they are physically moving.

- Broaden your focus to the rest of your body. Move your legs, your arms, and your head using only your mind. Keep your focus steady until you're able to move your whole body in your mind alone.

Enter into a state of vibration. Many report feeling vibrations, which come in waves at different frequencies, as the soul prepares to leave the body. Don't be afraid of the vibrations, since the presence of fear might cause you to leave your meditative state; instead, succumb to the vibrations as your soul prepares to leave your body.

It is natural to feel afraid the first few times you achieve astral projection. Remember that you are safe and anchored to yourself, you can return at any time. It is important to also know, that is it a good idea to have a method of waking yourself out of the travel. This can include, imagining a thread tied to you and your body, so you can follow it back home if you are feeling fear or danger. Simply touch this thread in your visualizations, to return.

As opening your eyes can be a bit of shock, when you first return, it is also recommended to have some way to restore your energy, such as with a snack or a drink. Something to help ease you back to reality. even a simple glass of water can help.

Things to bear in mind going forward: I recommend researching ways to protect yourself before attempting ASTRAL Travel. There are many things you may encounter on the astral plane. It is important to make some effort to ward or protect yourself before starting an astral projection / travel session. - One way to do this is imagine a silver ball of light between your palms, in your hands, and then visualize the orb of light growing until it forms a shield of light around your entire person. This is one simple ward that can be used.