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What is the Astral Plane?

The astral body is a subtle body between the intellectual Soul and the mental body and is made of a subtle material. In various recensions, the concept ultimately stems from Plato’s philosophy, although the same or comparable ideas existed worldwide long before Plato’s time: it is tied to an astral plane, which consists of astrology’s planetary sky.

History of the Astral Plane

Theosophists and neo-Rosicrucians coined the phrase in the nineteenth century. The astral body is sometimes visible as a swirling aura of colors. It is now commonly associated with out-of-body experiences or astral projection. Where this is used to allude to a claimed movement around the real world, as in Muldoon and Carrington’s book The Projection of the Astral Body, it is consistent with Madame Blavatsky’s usage of the phrase.

Proclus, the late Neoplatonist who is credited with being the first to speak of subtle “planes,” proposed two subtle bodies or “carriers” (okhema) that stood between the rational soul and the physical body. These were: 1) the astral vehicle, the immortal vehicle of the Soul, and 2) the spiritual (pneuma) vehicle, which was aligned with the vital breath and was regarded mortal by him.

Scientific Reception

To support the existence of an astral body. there is no scientific evidence.

Donovan Rawcliffe, a psychologist who believes the astral body is a myth, wrote that “delusions and hallucinations owing to acenesthesia or hysteria have surely contributed to propagate the concept of the astral body.”

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