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What Does the Bible Say about Astral Projection?

  • Whitney Hopler Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • Updated May 01, 2024
What Does the Bible Say about Astral Projection?

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like for your soul to be outside of your body, you may be curious about astral projection. What does the Bible say about astral projection? The Bible’s guidance on astral projection is important to know. Astral projection is not a harmless type of out-of-body experience. Nor is it a valuable spiritual practice. While astral projection can seem like a fascinating way to learn more spiritually, attempting it can put you in spiritual danger.

What Is Astral Projection?

Astral projection is trying to project your consciousness beyond this physical dimension into a spiritual dimension. It involves attempting to will your soul to leave your body while you’re still alive. Through astral projection, you may supposedly send your consciousness to a place called the astral plane, which according to esoteric philosophy, is the closest spiritual dimension to the physical dimension we live in – a place of light between heaven and earth. The theory is that your consciousness floats out of your physical body and travels in the form of your astral body (which is made of light) throughout the astral plane, and then your astral body returns to your physical body. People who claim to have practiced astral projection say they can do so while dreaming, meditating, or praying.

Unlike other types of out-of-body experiences, astral projection involves intentionally sending your soul out of your body. You’re not leaving your body spontaneously (such as during a sudden spiritual vision, or while having surgery), and you’re not dying (as in the case of near-death experiences). Instead, with astral projection, you’re choosing to initiate the experience yourself while you’re still alive.

Is Astral Projection Real?

Out-of-body experiences occur when individuals believe they can consciously separate their "astral body" from their physical body and travel outside it. The experience of astral projection is reported by individuals and is described as being vivid and real. However, from a scientific perspective, there is no concrete evidence to prove that one can physically leave the body and travel. Studies suggest these experiences may be linked to brain activities, particularly in the parietal and temporal regions, and might also relate to psychiatric disorders or severe emotional states. Therefore, while people can experience something that feels like astral projection, it is generally understood in scientific circles as a complex mental phenomenon rather than a literal physical excursion.

How To Astral Project

While many individuals share their experiences and methods online through videos and guides, it's important to approach astral projection with an open mind and a degree of skepticism as it is a deeply subjective experience.

Techniques primarily include trying to relax your mind and body, focus on clearing your mind of distracting thoughts, and setting a clear intention of wanting to experience astral projection and understand why you're attempting this disconnection. 

Discussing astral projection with a counselor or trusted mentor would be beneficial, especially if this interest stems from or impacts emotional or psychological aspects of one's life. Therapists or other mental health professionals can provide a safe space to explore the reasons behind the fascination with astral projection, and discern if this interest is a symptom of escapism or a genuine spiritual or personal development pursuit. Conversations with professionals ensure that one's approach to astral projection is balanced and grounded in psychological and spiritual well-being.

What Does the Bible Say about Astral Projection?

The Bible features several intriguing passages about out-of-body experiences and some important warnings, which all relate to astral projection.

An out-of-body experience that the Apostle Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 12.1-4 can be interpreted as a visit to the astral plane: “I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know – God knows. And I know that this man – whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows – was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.” Bible scholars believe that Paul was referring to himself in the third person here. Paul admits that he doesn’t know for sure what happened during this vision, but God knows. Somehow, Paul writes, he traveled spiritually to a heavenly dimension, where he learned mysteries that he couldn’t express and isn’t permitted to tell anyway. It’s important to note that this out-of-body experience was not actually an astral projection, because Paul didn’t initiate the experience. Instead, the experience happened to Paul because God granted it, for God’s purposes rather than for Paul’s purposes. The Bible refers to this experience as a vision, rather than as an astral projection.

The Apostle John may have also had an out-of-body experience at some point when Jesus gave him the visions John writes about in the Book of Revelation. It’s not clear whether or not John’s soul left his body during the various visions, but that could be possible. What is clear is that Jesus initiated those visions, choosing to visit John on the Greek island of Patmos. John writes in Revelation 1:10: “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet”. Then he goes on to describe a wondrous vision of Jesus. In Revelation 1:17-19, John recalls: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. ‘Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.’” Since John fell at Jesus’ feet, he was likely still inside his physical body while experiencing that particular vision. But in Revelation 4, during John’s vision of God’s throne in heaven, it seems more likely that John left his body because God told him to “come up here.” Revelation 4:1-2 reveals: “After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’ At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.” John wasn’t trying to visit heaven of his own accord, through astral projection. Rather, he was invited to do so by God.

Woman looking up to the sky

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/primipil 

Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 mentions a “silver cord” that astral projection philosophy says connects our souls to our bodies. This Bible passage urges us to remember God before our souls leave our bodies at death: “Remember him – before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well, and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”

Other Bible verses that relate to astral projection are those that warn us against practicing sorcery. Since sorcery means trying to control natural forces through supernatural means, and astral projection is a form of doing that, astral projection is a type of sorcery. That’s something all Christians should take seriously, because God specifically cautions us to avoid sorcery. Participating in sorcery dishonors God and harms us. Galatians 5:19-21 includes sorcery in its list of practices that pull us away from God: “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Deuteronomy 18:10-12 lists sorcery among practices that God finds abominable (morally repugnant): “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord…”. The Bible contains many other verses that warn against sorcery, including Exodus 22:18, Malachi 3:5, Revelation 18:23, and Revelation 21:8.

Is Astral Projection Dangerous?

So, while we may have out-of-body experiences if God ever allows them in our lives, we should not seek them out through astral projections. Experiencing a spiritual vision that God brings to us, or going through trauma that involuntarily separates our consciousness from our bodies, is not the same as astral projection. Astral projection is a form of sorcery, because it involves trying to control a natural force – the natural integration of the soul with the body – in a supernatural way. Astral projection attempts to cross natural boundaries without God’s blessing. That’s a recipe for spiritual danger.

We can avoid that danger by respecting the natural order that God has set in place. God has designed a natural integration of body and soul, for our own good. Christians are called to treat that gift respectfully, recognizing that the Holy Spirit lives within us. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 points out: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” We’re not meant to try to force our souls out of our bodies at will by practicing astral projection.

Another vital warning about astral projections is to seek wonder through God, not apart from him. It’s a craving for wonder that tempts us toward astral projections. We think there may be something wonderful we can learn spiritually by leaving the body to explore a dimension we can’t usually access. However, there are true wonders and false wonders – those that come from God, and those that come from evil. As I show in the mysteries chapter of my book Wake Up to Wonder, it’s essential to discern the difference between those. If we seek wonder through relationships with God, we’ll encounter true wonder, like the “signs and wonders” that Acts 2:43 mentions: “Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.” However, if we seek wonder through sorcery practices like astral projection, we can fall victim to “the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

Conclusion

While it may sound like an intriguing adventure to project our consciousness into another dimension, astral projection is spiritually dangerous. It can pull us farther away from God rather than closer to him. By keeping the Bible’s guidance about astral projection in mind, we can enjoy a healthy perspective on out-of-body experiences. That will inspire us to feel awe for our Creator, who has integrated our souls with our bodies for good purposes.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/metamorworks 


headshot of author Whitney HoplerWhitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on X/Twitter and on Facebook