The Astral Realm
Those of you who have done private sessions and/or enrolled in the InnerDimensional Awareness online class will hear me talk about “the astral.” I thought it would be useful to give you a bit more information so you can better understand what I am referring to.
The astral realm – some also call it the astral plane or astral world – refers to the field or medium of sensations, passions, and instincts of the lower nature—the lower emotions. I often think of the astral as the collective soup of all of our illusions, fantasies, desires, fears, and addictions.
In The Dictionary of Scripture and Myth, G.A. Gaskell states that astral is a medieval term for the plane of nature between the physical and mental. He goes on to indicate that in the Sufi philosophy it is known as the “world of similitudes” and in Kabbalah it is called the “world of formation.” In the Indian philosophy the astral plane is called “kama,” signifying desire.
The astral realm is not necessarily a dark place, but it is a murky, swampy, and difficult to see kind of place. Like a weather system of fog or mist or smoke, we can walk in it and have visibility, but what we see is not exactly clear. It’s an easy place in which to get lost, unwisely distracted, or off track.
The astral is full of our collective emotions, exciting phenomena, and some of those spooky things that go bump in the night. The astral can easily deceive us with its flashy colors and eye-catching appearance. Like visiting a circus or a carnival, the lights are bright, the music and voices strong, and we may find ourselves thinking, “It’s so intense, it has to be real!”
The problem with the astral realm is that it reflects back to us based on our projections, so we can easily be supported in our misperceptions when we are experiencing in this realm. In the astral we can get caught up in a concept of being “oh so spiritual.” To illustrate these points, I will share a personal experience.
Quite a few years ago, I was attending a “school” where the teacher would walk into the room, raise her arms in invocation, and literally hundreds of people fell out of their chairs and onto the floor because the energy was so strong. It was physically overwhelming. Most all of us believed that surely she must be a master and/or she was being led by masters. How else could she carry and express such tremendous power and potency? After a few months it became obvious that she was misusing her powers and outright abusing her students. I saw that some people had become so confused and psychologically unstable that they lost their sense of their own way.
How could anyone who was not pure and clear and in God consciousness generate so very much power and energy?
I came to realize that what we were witnessing was a powerful mind, focused and directed to create illusion and to cause experiences for her students so they would feel special. There was the belief floating around that we were the “chosen ones” – here to save humanity. We all had tremendous “Wow!” experiences with this teacher, dramatic visions, and it seemed like there were openings to Spirit. However, for the most part these experiences were not sustainable. It required her presence, her energy, and her “making” of the rarified environment.
Here is what I have since learned: we can have very high experiences in the astral that really look and feel like true Divine connection. But if it is so dramatic and so obvious that it knocks your socks off, and makes you feel especially wonderful and enlightened, or causes distortion or separation, then it is likely astral.
Here’s another example. Someone called me once, all excited because there were bright blue orbs pouring out of her closet and her hands were all tingly and she was convinced this was the healing energy she had been praying to have given to her. She really believed that these lights and all the phenomenon in her room was evidence that this great opportunity was at hand. For me, there was just too much wow factor, too much sensation and flash, and too much personal ego attachment. It was all very impressive and convincing, but it was all too much. That “too muchness” was my clue that she was dealing with the astral.
You will know you are having an astral experience if:
- It is dramatic and dazzling.
- It triggers lower emotions such as fear, guilt, anxiety, shame, or self-importance.
- It causes you to feel separate from others because now you are so high or so low.
- It simply doesn’t feel right. The astral has a particular vibration that you can sense, as if something is off kilter, like a piano slightly out of tune.
From the astral plane not much real development or maturing of the soul can take place. This is due to the inherently illusionary nature of this realm. It’s like confusing the movie with the real thing.
The epiphanies derived from astral plane experiences are limited to the concepts the personality has of what it means to be enlightened, holy or evolved.
Astral experiences originate and stay in the emotional/feeling body. The astral sensations, impressive as they can be, are often taken for the real thing—Divine consciousness. But, alas, they only mimic it.
Generally speaking, an epiphany or change initiated in the astral will not be sustainable. It can feel great in the moment, but it won’t hold.
The astral is related to the water element and the emotions. That alone tells us why this is not a stable or reliable station or location in which to plant our feet.