The dream soul is liberated to journey during dreams. Astral projection attempts to reap the benefits of the dream state yet also retain memory of the experience, together with conscious control of all situations. For some it is the ultimate form of travel.
According to some occult theories, the journeying soul and body remains connected by a thin silvery cord, sort of a permanent “astral umbilical cord.” Thus the soul can confidently wander with full assurance that that cord will lead back to the body, as surely as Ariadne’s thread lead. Theseus safely from the labyrinth. Easier said than done, the dream soul often resists travel as long as waking consciousness remains. Sleep is what unlocks the gate for the soul. Because of this astral travel during sleep, if you can learn to stimulate and control the process this provides the best of both sleeping and waking realms.
Astral travel can occur while awake or during sleep. Practice during waking hours, together with the study of lucid dreaming techniques, enhances the chances for successful dream astral travel. Some find it an extremely challenging process, while others take to it naturally. The soul consciously journeys, flies to a chosen destination, while the body rests passively below. Descended from shamanic rites, there are various methods to accomplish astral projection and various tools to encourage success. Even when traveling while awake, astral projection mimics the dream state. Take whatever protective precautions you would use in dreams.
The end of the journey, the return to the body, is typically effortless. As soon as you awake, body and soul are automatically re-joined, although ideally this is a natural, gradual process. If you waken naturally, there are usually no re-connection difficulties.
If abruptly awakened, some actually feel a jolt. Others experience a brief moment of shock, panic, or disorientation, which may lead to soul loss.