Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Review: Astral Projection for Beginners by Silvia Hill

Review: Astral Projection for Beginners

by Silvia Hill

Today I'm reviewing Astral Projection for Beginners by Silvia Hill. The subtitle is The Astral Travel Guide to an Intentional Out-of-Body Experience. The copyright is 2021.

Okay, I was not prepared for this. I expected another cut-rate astral projection book with a pretty front cover, written by a clueless person (or an AI) with scant (or no) research and no personal experience. But it's actually really good! Finally, a book by someone who gets it, who is intelligent and articulate, but still relatable to the younger generation. It's not only informative and accurate, it's refreshing.

Her writing is young--like talking to a twenty something--but professional. She's a good writer; competent, organized and intelligent.

Although Silvia Hill really doesn't give many personal experiences, I can tell just by reading it that she's had a fair number of experiences. For example, she describes getting parcels of telepathy--what Robert Monroe called "rotes"--but she calls them "thought blocks." I like that; it's simple but accurate.

She's done tons more research than the average author in the genre.

Here are some interesting things to note:

Part 1 is "Astral Projection Basics."

Part 2 is "What is Astral Projection."

First, Hill claims we have three bodies: physical, astral, and causal. This is in contrast to many books, such as those from Theosophy, that claim we have 7 bodies.

When it comes to the subject of lucid dreaming, Hill explains it well:

"Lucid dreaming and astral projection are both fantastic, yet they are not the same. Lucid dreams are subjective. They are your own experiences and allow you to play with infinite scenarios. However, astral projection is objective because the planes you visit really do exist, and much like in the physical realm, they have their own limits and laws." (pg. 13)

She also suggests decent ways to test whether you're astral projecting or lucid dreaming. For example, she says:

"You cannot control other beings on the astral plane. It just doesn't work. In a lucid dream, you can get others to do your bidding..." (pg. 122)

and also:

"You can't change the environment in the astral realm. Wherever you find yourself, you can't change the setting. It is what it is. In a lucid dream, you'd be able to make night day and vice versa." (pg. 122)

Hill is also up to date with modern (2024) lingo. She talks about dreaming journaling apps for your devices, like EverNote, Penzu, and Google Keep. She talks about the show Behind Her Eyes and how it's really not possible for someone to take over your body. She uses acronyms like FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). 

Hill has a good section on breath work, explaining Holotropic breathwork, and why breathing matters in astral projection. She explains a few different breathing exercises, such as Alternate Nostril Breathing, also known as Nadi Shodhana.

Chapter 8 is Self Hypnosis.

Part 3 is "Getting In The Astral Plane"

I can't say I agreed with everything Hill said, but we do have a lot of common ground. About the only thing I disagreed with is the subject of itching. According to Hill:

"As for the itches, there's nothing to do but resist them." (pg. 88)

In my opinion, itches indicate you're not close enough to the sleep state. I've always maintained that it's best to just scratch the itch and go back to your out-of-body focus. Think of it this way: you don't have lots of itches when you're falling asleep, so you need to get into that pre-sleep groove where you won't itch.

Hill covers yoga poses for astral projection, and she even includes photos of various stretches and poses.

Chapter 11 is Focusing with Music and Mantras, and she covers the subject well. She correctly says you don't need music to astral project. But if you insist, surprisingly, she recommends Baroque music. She also talks about Hemi-Sync by The Monroe Institute. She also covers Shamanic Drumming to reach a trance state, as well as brainwave entrainment audios, binaural beats, monaural beats, Isochronic beats, and Sound and Light machines.

 As for mantras, she recommends the system taught by Samael Aun Weor, which includes:

  • La Ra
  • Tai Re Re Re
  • Fa Ra On
  • Rustic
  • Sssss

Hill has a very good techniques section, including:

  • Robert Monroe's Meditation Method (with imagined vibrations)
  • Wake Back to Bed, a mainstay of Michael Raduga

Chapter 14 is Other Astral Projection Techniques, and it includes:

  • Robert Bruce's Seven-Step Rope Method, and she actually explains it well. This is the best explanation of ROPE I've found outside of Robert Bruce's own words.

Hill brings a unique new astral projection technique to the table. (At least one I've never heard of). She calls it the IMP Method, where IMP stands for Impossible Motion Practice." Basically, you use your imagination to simulate movements that would be physically impossible. For example, bending your arm at the forearm instead of at the elbow. Interesting! She writes:

"Feel the chosen body part bending and moving in the most ridiculous of ways." (pg. 127)

You repeat this over and over until the sensations become real.

Other techniques in the book:

  • The Free Fall Method, similar to the "Falling into a well" technique in my first book.
  • The Yo-Yo Method, similar to the one in my first book.
  • The Listening Method
  • The Exhaustion Method
  • The Forced Sleep Method
  • The Rotation Method
  • The Body Strain Method
  • The Brain Strain Method
  • The Running Method. What's interesting here is that she instructs you to imagine running and smacking into a wall, and separation occurs when you do. Clever!
  • The Tunnel Method
  • The Third Eye Method
  • The Swimming Method
  • The Eye Movement Method
  • The [phantom] Wiggling Method
  • The Recall Method
  • The Room Method
  • The Backflip Method
  • The Levitation Method
  • The Roll Out Method
  • The Train Method
  • The Hammock Method

Most of these techniques appear in other books, but Hill only gives credit to a few of the originators: Robert Monroe, Robert Bruce, Michael Raduga.

Another place I disagreed with her is on the subject of the vibrations. According to Hill, you can increase or decrease the vibrations "with your intention" (pg. 126). In my experience, the best way to increase the vibrations is not with your intention, but by making your mind as blank and emotionless as possible.

Chapter 16 is "Problems and Mistakes to Overcome" and like the others, it's balanced and well informed.

This is a very well-rounded astral projection book. I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
26 May 2024


If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.

Return to the index of my OBE Book reviews


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Review: The Astral Explorer

Review: The Astral Explorer

by Kensho

Today I'm reviewing The Astral Explorer by Kensho. The subtitle is "My Journeys To the Astral Plane." The copyright is not dated, but the material is recent, so probably late 2023 or early 2024.

When I reviewed Kensho's earlier book, Out of Body Experiences, I was perhaps a bit harsh. I only gave it three stars out of five due mainly to its small size (just 80 pages) and his general attitude of "I know this is how things are." And he didn't really say who he was or where he got his information.

His new book, The Astral Explorer, is much better. It has almost 200 pages, along with beautiful colored artwork and plenty of his personal experiences with astral projection, and if you follow my blog, you know how much I love OBE narratives.

This book is much more mature in writing, style, and overall information. There's even a section at the end for "About the Author" complete with a photo. Throughout the book, we learn who Kensho is, his range and depth of out-of-body experience, and tidbits about his spiritual journey.

So who is Kensho? While his origins are still unclear, he seems well traveled, well-read, intelligent, and most importantly, experienced. He knows several languages, including Italian, English, and Spanish. According to the book, "Kensho" is a Japanese term from the Zen tradition. Ken means "seeing" and "sho" means "nature, essence." It's usually translated as "Seeing one's (true) nature". He has traveled the world and opened meditation centers in Mexico, the USA, and the Czech Republic. He currently lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He met his Zen Buddhist master, Dharmapa Rimpoche, in 2010 and moved to Guanajuato, Mexico to study under him.

The book starts with his childhood experiences, early OBEs, and his beliefs about the different planes of existence, and other general beliefs about the OBE. Early on he won my heart with this quote:

"But just for the record, after projection has nothing to do with invoking ghosts or entities. it's not related to Witchcraft or working with dark forces. Astral projection is a natural skill that connects to true spirituality. It is one of the highest forms of self-development." (pg. 61-62)

He doesn't number his chapters, but on page 64 is a chapter titled "Fascinating Astral Experiences." It contains interesting experiences in which he talks about "The inner father and mother" who are available to call upon for help with various things. To me this sounded like my "invisible helpers" who always seem to be observing my OBEs and ready to help, but only if I ask for it. On rare occasions, he says, they do become visible.

As with his earlier book, I don't agree with everything Kensho teaches or says. For example, he asserts that humans are given 108 existences of spiritual growth, and if we stop evolving spiritually after that, we face inevitable devolution, until we start reincarnating as animals, then plants, then rocks and inanimate objects, until eventually we're absorbed and restart the whole process of spiritual evolution again. He says some people, in rare circumstances, can make it beyond 108, but it's rare, and spiritual progress must always progress.

That sounds to me like Buddhist teachings he may have picked up from his Zen Master, Dharmapa, but I'm not sure I'm buying it. But hey, who am I to say otherwise?

He spends a considerable amount of time talking about Elemental Spirits, like genies, fairies, gnomes, and such, apparently which he has seen firsthand.

Here's another place I disagree with him: He asserts that:

"In short, lucid dreaming is astral traveling; there is just a different dynamic in terms of the way it happens." (pg. 89)

Well, if you've ever read my article Are OBEs the same as Lucid Dreams?, you know my stance on the matter: I believe lucid dreams are astral projections in which we experience a hallucinated "dream" environment, whereas OBEs are some sort of objective non-physical reality.

Like many other astral projection books, he writes:

"Therefore, when the mind thinks about something, whether consciously or not, that thought will instantly manifest in the astral plane." (pg. 91)

While that may be true in a lucid dream, it's not always the case in astral projection. I've thought about many many things during OBEs that definitely did not manifest. Take, for example, the many times described in my first book in which I thought about visiting various friends and family, but absolutely nothing happened.

Sometimes Kensho seems cryptic, occasionally saying he's not allowed to share this or that, at least not at this time.

One thing that got on my nerves is: in several (four or more?) places he clearly says he will teach this or that in his astral projection class. I felt like he was trying to squeeze the reader for more money, as if buying his book wasn't enough. Then again, he left a good degree and potential career to pursue spirituality, so he has to find a way to feed himself, right? For example:

"In my astral projection course, I teach a powerful dream remembrance technique to start training yourself to remember your dreams and increase your chances of lucid dreaming." (pg. 99)

He has some unique views of astral entities:

"Entities are not human beings...I like to think about them as software or viruses. They are mental matter created by the mind. Just like a virus they feed off energy for survival and exist in the astral and mental planes. Sometimes they can make themselves visible in the physical plane.

Most entities are formed by the "fake personalities," the personalities the deceased left behind. These personalities are like thoughts; created by those people during their lifetimes. It is not the spirit of the dead person, of course, and it eventually disintegrates. But in some cases, this mental matter finds ways to keep living by feeding off energy." (pg. 112)

Sounds like the concept of "Shells" in Theosophy.

Like me, Kensho hasn't had many scary encounters. He writes:

"This shouldn't dissuade us from astral projecting, though. In more than 20 years of astral projection projecting, I've only encountered negative entities a few times. They were not that scary and I was even able to scare them off with techniques that I learned in my esoteric studies and which I teach to my students." (pg. 115)

So here again, he's not being very helpful. Instead of telling the reader how to defend themselves or react to negative entities, he wants to get your business and become a student. Not cool. He does, however, talk about how most negative entities are "mind-creations" and how you shouldn't expect negative encounters. You can openly read my advice about it here, taken straight out of my second book, Lessons Out of the Body: http://robertpeterson.org/psychicprotection.htm

Unlike many astral projection books, he talks about the Akashic Records, and his own personal experiences with them. He talks about how "Akash" is a Sanskrit word that means "ether" or "sky" and his theories behind them.

As with his first book, he talks about the different dimensions and how he believes they fit together. But some of his assertions still seem odd to me. For example, he writes:

"Most animals have a two-dimensional consciousness: they perceive life as a plane: length by width. Any surface or angle is perceived by them as a moving body, they lack the ability to discern between a fixed and moving body." (pg. 144)

Now that just seems wrong to me. Birds, for example, need to think three dimensionally. Their lives depend on it. They need to predict how high up or down branches are. Most of my dogs could follow a laser pointer up a wall, in three dimensions, and many a cat owner has led their cat up the curtains with a laser pointer. And as for fixed versus moving bodies, I remember during a trip to Africa in which I was in an open-air jeep near some lions. Our guides told us not to move our arms or legs because the lions didn't care about us as long as were moving with the vehicle, but if we moved our arms, the lions would see us as like a monkey in a tree: something to eat.

As I wrote in my review of his other book, I believe "time" is the fourth dimension of this world. Kensho writes:

"As it has been discussed, while we have an astral body to which we can transfer our consciousness to explore the fifth dimension every night, the only vehicle we have in the fourth dimension is the etheric body, the body that gives us life, and though this body is endowed with many properties, our consciousness cannot be transferred to it for the moment, because our vibration ties us to the third dimension." (pg. 144)

In my 2002 article about Awareness during Sleep Paralysis, (ASP) I wrote about how it seems and feels (to me) as if, during ASP, our conscious awareness is located in the energy/etheric body, and how to free yourself by transferring your awareness from the etheric body to the astral body. I also wrote about how the etheric body cannot move away from the physical body unless you are a spirit medium, as per the findings of author Robert Crookall.

Despite all this, Kensho talks about having direct experiences of the "fourth dimension" but only through a special rare practice that's rarely taught, called Jinas Science.

Maybe, like before, I'm focusing too much on the negative and where we disagree. I actually enjoyed this book and was glad to read many of Kensho's experiences and get his perspective. He has a good discussion, for example, on parallel lives. He talks about a few special experiences in which he seemed to have a second physical body in another parallel place in which time seemed to move much differently. He's only the second author (not counting my own childhood experiences from my first book) who described that; the first being Robert Monroe's "Locale 3" from Journeys Out of the Body.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5. It's much better than his earlier book, Out of Body Experiences. It doesn't really contain any astral projection techniques; apparently you need one of his classes for that. Then again, it doesn't purport to be a teaching book: it's about his experiences. There's plenty of content to satisfy and the writing is mature. I found only a few typos and grammar problems.

Bob Peterson
09 April 2024


If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.

Return to the index of my OBE Book reviews

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Review: Amazing Astral Projection by Melissa Gomes

Amazing Astral Projection

by Melissa Gomes

Today I'm reviewing Amazing Astral Projection by Melissa Gomes. The subtitle is How To Astral Travel, Have Complete Lucid Control Over Your Celestial Body And Powerful Journeys Through Dreaming And Astroprojection.

Sigh. Where do I even begin?

This book, like many others I've complained about, is apparently written by someone who cranks out book after book, each of which has a captivating title, alluring cover photo, and hastily thrown-together information compiled from shoddy research, with no personal experience. Apparently her goal is to make as much money as she can by having a trickle of royalty income from dozens of books. In other words: It's bad. I've read worse, but it's bad.

First of all, the author, Melissa Gomes, gives the reader absolutely no information about her credentials: Where did she get her information? What's her level of experience? After reading it, I doubt whether she's had any out-of-body experiences herself. So it's all just book-learning, or worse, Internet-only research, at best echoing what other authors have said.

Second, the writing is immature, like a regurgitated high-school paper. Some chapters follow the familiar paper writing pattern taught in High School: Tell them what you're going to say, then say it, then tell them what you said.

Almost every sentence in the book is written in "passive voice," which drives me crazy and is very difficult to read.

Third, there's blatant misinformation in the book, which does everyone a disservice. I'll give you way too many examples below. For example, Gomes writes:

"Unconscious Projection is when you are unaware that you are projecting. This is the most dangerous projection level, as you can get lost in the astral plane and may not be able to find your way back to your body." (pg. 15)

That is complete nonsense; a fabrication that disagrees with almost every other astral projection book ever written. For the record: we all have unconscious projections every night, but because we're unconscious, we usually don't remember them. They are completely normal, natural, and harmless. It's impossible to not find your way back to your body.

Gomes has plenty of confused statements in the book, such as:

"When you astral project, you will be simultaneously aware of both your physical and spiritual bodies." (pg. 17)

This blanket statement displays Gomes' lack of personal experience. When I leave my body, I can sometimes have brief awareness of both my physical and nonphysical body, especially when I'm very close to the physical. But if I'm at least 15 feet (5 meters) away from the body, all my awareness is in my nonphysical body, and my physical body is, as I've said many times, "Just another inanimate object in the room."

Here's another example of Gomes' confusion:

"Lucid dreaming during an astral projection amplifies the experience." (pg. 19)

Sorry, but in my world, lucid dreaming and astral projection are two different things, and it depends on whether your experience is of some objective reality or a self-created hallucinated environment (the dream world.) You can transition from LD to OBE by dispelling the hallucination. You can transition from OBE to LD by using your imagination to play "what if" and fall back into the hallucinated environment, but you can't do both at the same time. For more information, see my article Are OBEs the Same as Lucid Dreams?.

Here's another example of Gomes' confusion and lack of research:

"You can also travel to locations you have seen before while dreaming or having lucid Out-of-body Experiences...This freedom is not limited to the astral plane either; it can also be used on the physical plane while you are awake through a process called lucid dreaming." (pg. 28)

What exactly is she trying to say here? That lucid dreaming is done in an "awake" state? Nonsense. You can visit the "physical plane" in a lucid dream? Whatever she meant to say, she missed the mark.

When describing the "Main Steps of Astral Projection" Gome writes that after "the body falls asleep":

"Now that your body is asleep, it's time for your conscious mind to take over. You'll still be aware of your surroundings and what's happening around you, but your physical body will be completely unresponsive." (pg. 42)

But she doesn't say how your conscious mind regains control. How exactly do you go from "You'll find yourself in a deep slumber" (end of page 41) to becoming conscious again? The reader is left clueless.

Here's some more misinformation:

"So if you want to visit a certain location or person, all you need to do is Picture [sic] it in your mind and you'll be transported there instantaneously." (pg. 43).

Readers of my first book may recall that I struggled with this a long time early on. I wanted to visit my friend Lisa, or her apartment, so after I left my body, I'd think of her, but nothing happened. I'd vividly visualize her, but nothing happened. I'd say her name, or demand, "Take me to Lisa!" but nothing would happen. I'd recall what it felt like to be with her. Nothing. I'd try to imagine her apartment. Nothing. On and on it went until years later when I finally learned the trick. For me it's never been as simple as Gome (or others) have said. It's hard to describe, but it's more like sending out a thread of awareness to the person (or place) and pulling yourself there.

More of Gomes' misinformation:

"It is important to focus on your third eye chakra to return to your physical body." (pg. 50)

Wrong. It has nothing to do with your third eye chakra. In fact, some people focus on their third eye chakra to induce the OBE state, not end it.

Most astral projection authors agree: To return to your physical body, you only need to think about your physical body, or any body part. For example, William Buhlman says to think about moving your little (pinky) finger.

Better yet, try to prolong the experience as much as possible, because your body will pull you back automatically when you've been out too long. But Gome never says that.

I'm sorry, but I find it absurd when a book recommends procedures to end an out-of-body experience because to me it's like ending a roller coaster ride. Why would you want to end it in the middle and what would you gain by it? You're a hundred feet up in the air having the time of your life! Or better yet, it's like wanting to end an orgasm. The only times I've ever deliberately ended an OBE is when I've been out a long time and worry that I'll forget something. "I better get back before I forget all this." But I digress.

Gome describes all the things you can do from the out-of-body state. Unfortunately, she pretty much uses the same exact technique for all of them. For example, to find your higher self:

"To find your higher self, focus on your breath and imagine yourself surrounded by white light." (pg. 52)

To meet your animal guides:

"If an animal guide appears to you in the astral realm, simply focus on your breath and imagine yourself surrounded by white light." (pg. 53)

To explore past lives:

"Explore your past lives, focus on your breath, and imagine yourself surrounded by white light." (pg. 54)

And more. Here is how Gome describes "Transitioning into the Astral Realm":

"Continue to focus on this light while your thoughts slowly drift away into a state of deep relaxation. After some time, you will find yourself drifting out of your body and into the astral realm..." (pg. 51)

Really? You just magically find yourself drifting out of body? I think she missed a step. 

Another example of the author's confusion:

"Once you learn how to become relaxed in the physical world, then you can begin practicing relaxing your physical body." (pg. 59)

How in the world can I become relaxed in the physical world before I relax my physical body? Or is this just bad editing?

Here's some more blatant misinformation:

"On the one hand, having strong emotions can make it easier to leave your body and enter the astral plane. On the other hand, emotional turmoil can make it harder to focus and maintain concentration, two things essential for successful astral projection." (pg. 61)

Wrong wrong wrong.

Let me make myself perfectly clear: While it's true that desire is a powerful (some would say necessary) motivating factor, strong emotions make it harder, not easier, to leave your body. In all my books I've stressed the need to remain completely passive when leaving your body. That means no thoughts and no emotions. Quiesce your mind completely. Just be a watcher.

Gome also warns against sleep paralysis:

"You can do a few thing to reduce your risk of experiencing sleep paralysis: 1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule and get plenty of restful sleep..." (pg. 62)

This is more bad advice. Researchers know that broken sleep often causes out-of-body experiences. In fact, many authors leverage it with the Wake-Back-To-Bed technique. Also, in my experience, sleep paralysis is an excellent jumping board for out-of-body adventures, as per this article I wrote 22 years ago!

Gome clearly doesn't know what she's talking about, with statements like:

"A person in sleep paralysis suffers from the inability to move or speak while dreaming. This state can stimulate several REM periods during the night when a person is normally asleep, leading to vivid dreams." (pg. 65)

REM periods naturally occur to everyone, every night, during several normal sleep cycles. Sleep paralysis doesn't stimulate it.

Here's another dubious claim. Gome writes:

"For example, one study found that people who regularly astral projected  had lower levels of pain after surgery than those who didn't." (pg. 27)

Really? She doesn't cite the study or give any references, so am I supposed to just take her word for it? I don't think so. I'm too much of a critical thinker. If Dr. Charles Tart or Susan Blackmore made this claim I'd be more willing to accept it at face value. But they'd cite their reference, wouldn't they?

Here's another dubious claim:

"Studies suggest that Out-of-Body Experiences occur as a fringe of consciousness during dreams, and their ability to function while out of the body is dependent upon the depth of the dream experience." (pg. 66)

Again, Gome doesn't cite any of these supposed studies. Give me a reference or it's means absolutely nothing. On the contrary, the work of Charles Tart in a real sleep laboratory with Robert Monroe and "Miss Z" indicated that OBEs did not occur during dreams, as per measurements done with EEG machines and eyelid sensors. Their OBEs occurred in the hypnopompic state, after REM sleep, and were accompanied by strange theta brain waves.

More Gome misinformation:

"The most common type of Remote Viewing is probably telepathy, which is the ability to receive thoughts from another person without them having to verbalize those thoughts." (pg. 68)

Wrong. Remote Viewing is not Telepathy. They're two very different things.

So is there a positive side to this book? Well, kind of. To Melissa Gomes' credit, she does provide several astral projection techniques in chapter 8. Those include:

  1. The Rope Technique (which is given in most books in the genre) but like so many, she misses the point of it using "tactile imagination" (imagined touch) rather than visualization.
  2. Displaced Awareness (which is basically just imagining yourself floating, etc.)
  3. The Monroe Technique (which has nothing to do with Monroe' "Lines of Force" Technique I wrote about and used successfully.) She's mostly talking about using binaural beats.
  4. The Mirror Technique (which is an old Occult favorite).
  5. The REM Technique. Her description of this technique is very confused and unclear. Mostly she talks about using triggers for lucidity.
  6. Watching yourself sleep (which is in chapter 5 of my first book).

Chapter 9 is "Advanced Astral Projection Techniques", which are:

  1. Hypnosis (which is very old, but the best discussion about it is in Jerry Glaskin's book Windows of the Mind: the Christos Experience)
  2. Autogenic Training
  3. Guided Meditation / Guided Visualizations
  4. Affirmations (Intention setting, etc.)
  5. Breathwork
  6. Meditation
  7. Retrocognition Technique
  8. Eidetic Imagery Technique (which is very confused).
  9. Lucid Dreaming
    but again, she clearly doesn't understand it. She says:

"The experience of lucid dreaming is known as a hypnagogic illusion." (pg. 102)

Good lord. No, that is absolutely not what lucid dreaming is. Lucid dreams occur in REM sleep, and hypnagogic sleep is post-REM.

The book is 119 pages, with decent font and margins. The grammar and spelling are generally solid with only a few typos. I found a paragraph that just abruptly ended in the middle, another sentence that's repeated multiple times, and a few other nits. But the biggest problem, as I said before, it's almost all written in passive voice.

I'm giving this book 1 star out of 5. On the positive side, it has more techniques than some books, albeit copied from other sources, and not explained as well as those sources. On the negative side, there's way too much misinformation and redundancy.

I'm sorry, but I cannot recommend this book to any serious seeker.

Bob Peterson
26 March 2024


If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.

Return to the index of my OBE Book reviews

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Ekstasy: Out-of-the-Body Experiences

Ekstasy: Out-of-the-Body Experiences

by David Black

Today I'm reviewing Ekstasy: Out-of-the-Body Experiences by David Black. The copyright is 1975.

David Black is a researcher who became interested in out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and did some very serious research on the topic in the early 1970s. After the obligatory introduction to the topic, he gives a detailed history of the OBE, which is as good as, if not better than, the one in Anthony Peake's more recent book The Out of Body Experience.

Black's research brought him literally to the doorsteps of some of the foremost scientists who studied it. Scientists like Dr. Janet Mitchell, whom I idolized in my Trip Report from the 2018 SSE/IRVA conference. One of my heroes, Charles Tart, Prescott Hall, Karlis Osis, Melvin Morris, Gertrude Schmeidler, Andrija Puharich. Big time name dropping. He explains the scientific tests that were done in various laboratories, what the conditions were like, and the outcomes.

He talks about some of the greatest adepts the subject ever had to offer. People like Stuart ("Blue" AKA Keith) Harary, Ingo Swann, and Alex Tanous. He met with Robert Monroe after Journeys Out of the Body was written, but before Far Journeys or Ultimate Journey, although he discussed other subjects with Monroe like "loosh." If you don't know what that is, it's too a long story for this blog.

What's great about this book is that Black shows a personal side to all the people he met during his research. I can't stress this enough. If you want to hear the personal side of these people, there's no better book. Black is all about the research and the people doing the research: both the scientists and the adepts.

He does his utmost to bring the reader into the lab and explain what was going on, in a personal way. For example, he talks about what the people looked like, the clothes they were wearing, their mannerisms, their outlook on the experiments, and other personal details.

For example, Chapter 8, "Blue," is dedicated to Harary, but he goes into great detail about who Blue was (at the time) and what he was like. He talks about how Harary grew up "on Long Island, East Meadow, out in Hempstead, near Levittown" as well as tidbits about his parents and his childhood. He also talks about the experiments done with Harary, such as the one with his two kittens, Spirit and Soul, who were part of an experiment when they were two and a half months old. I won't leave you guessing:

"During the control periods, the kitten ["Spirit"] continually ran around the cage and maeowed [British spelling] thirty-seven times. During the time Blue had the sensations of being out of his body, visiting the kitten, the animal stopped running around the cage, did not maeow once, and seemed to be attentive to a presence in the enclosure that no human in the room could perceive." (pg. 76)

In chapter 9 Black talks about another interesting experiment (different lab, different scientists) in which Harary was instructed to go out-of-body and visit a snake in a cage:

"When Blue visited the snake in his out-of-body state, it stopped its typical maneuvering around the cage and started literally to attack. It sort of bit at the air, viciously, for about twenty seconds. Twenty seconds which were right in the middle of the time Blue, without knowing what was going on in the laboratory, claimed to be out of his body and in the cage with the snake." (pg. 80)

Chapter 11 talks about another famous out-of-body adept, Ingo Swann, who was born on September 14, 1933, in Telluride, Colorado, as Ingo Swan and he added the second "n" himself. Swann had some very interesting and amazing lab experiments. For example, he could raise or lower the temperature at a distance:

"Swann sat about three feet in front of a Dynograph which was used to record the temperatures of four thermistors [sensitive scientific digital thermometers] that had been taped to pieces of either bakelite or graphite to facilitate his possible PK. Each thermistor recorded independently of the others, and all were extremely sensitive. All four were sealed within Thermos bottles so that there would be little likelihood of their being affected by any force other than Swann's apparent paranormal abilities."

"...Seven of Ingo's ten scores are statistically significant, and five are highly significant. . . .Each of the significant differences is in the direction specified by the instructions; that is, the recordings show more change to hotter temperature in the test periods with "Make it hotter" instructions than in the test periods with "Make it colder" instructions." (pgs. 95-96)

Another of Swann's interesting experiments is when he used his mind to visit a visual target in a lab:

"Swann, sketching what he saw on each side of the partition, achieved a perfect score: eight tries out of eight. The odds against this happening by chance are approximately 40,000 to 1." (pg. 97)

The scientists took a lot of care to try to determine if Swann was actually "seeing" visually at a distance or whether it was "just" ESP or clairvoyance. This also gets into long complex arguments about whether this was really just "Remote Viewing" or whether he was actually "out of body." According to David Black:

"Swann smoked cigars and sipped coffee while he was 'remote viewing.'" (pg. 115)

Later in the book, it talks about another amazing experiment with Swann done at Stanford Research Institute:

"In the preliminary work, using a shielded magnetometer, Mr. Swann apparently demonstrated an ability to increase and decrease at will the magnetic field within a superconducting magnetic shield." (pg. 112)

Black also talks about author D. Scott Rogo, who was both a researcher and an out-of-body experiencer, who was apparently influenced by the spirit medium, Mrs. Keeler, whom I recently referenced in my previous book reviews.

Next up, Black talks about another famous out-of-body adept, Alex Tanous. Again, he gives personal details like:

"Tanous, quietly mysterious, with hypnotic eyes, looked like an MGM mystic. Part of his magnetism was an appeal to vanity. He gazed at you with rapt attention, all the furrows in his brow tending down to a point about the bridge of his nose as though they were caused by a pulled drawstring...He was born in 1926 in Van Buren, Maine, a small town on the New Brunswick border." (pg. 101)

Tanous took place in experiments that involved optical targets, like Ingo Swann.

"According to [Karlis] Osis, Tanous's out-of-the-body consciousness appeared able to adjust to its environmental situation--in certain cases, for example, he had to move his point of view higher to peer into the window of the illusion box. This ability to interact with the world in a disembodied state would not be manifest if he were receiving information through ESP." (pg. 106)

You won't really find any OBE induction techniques in this book, but there are a few scattered hints. For example:

"The experience is hard to describe," said Andrija Puharich, "but it's certainly not a trance. It's like intense concentration. The essence of it is learning how to switch the body onto automatic pilot. You switch the heart system, the brain system, the respiratory system, all those systems that keep you from getting out of your body, onto automatic pilot, and you're free." (pgs 201-202)

Here's another hint:

"Most of the conditions that can induce the out-of-the-body experience seem to involve this typical movement from a state of greater to one of lesser excitement. Dick French tended to have his feelings of being out of the body when he lay down to rest after doing exhausting physical work." (pg. 203)

Black also echoes a key point of my own book Hacking the Out of Body Experience:

"And the conditions of sensory deprivation which [John C] Lilly used to spark his out-of-the-body episodes probably work in a similar way. The disorientation which results from blocking off sensory reference points prompts the subject to construct temporary reference points which mimic those usually given by the senses; and, since consciousness then begins operating in relation to those temporary points of reference, it feels, perhaps is, freed of the body, which it then objectifies." (pg. 204)

I loved this book, but then again, I've always loved the experiments and the science behind it. Some people might find it boring, but I loved how Black made the people and experiments come to life with every page. The down side is the lack of techniques.

The book is 243 pages, with good font and margins. There's plenty of good content. I give this book 4 and a half stars out of 5.

Bob Peterson
12 March 2024


If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.

Return to the index of my OBE Book reviews

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Review: Astral Projection by Arundell Overman

Astral Projection

by Arundell Overman

Today I'm reviewing Astral Projection: Flying Lessons for Witches by Arundell Overman. The book was published in 2021, although there doesn't seem to be a copyright notice.

At first I was put off by the cover art: A Halloween-style purple crone witch flying on a broom with her Familiar cat, accompanied by flying bats. Really?

But the book started out really good. I was impressed by Overman's approach and knowledge, and he wrote from personal experience. So right away, the reader learns his level of experience and some of the things he encountered.

How many OBEs has he had? He doesn't exactly say, but he does offer this:

"For every time I did get out of body, there were at least ten failures. So, when I say that I have had a hundred out of body experiences, that means I must have tried the technique a thousand times." (pg. 27)

And actually, that sounds about right to me. My success ratio is about the same: 10 failures for every successful OBE. So if you "fall off that edge" or awareness, don't get discouraged; get back on the horse and try again.

Early on, Overman joined and started studying the techniques of the famous occult organization Golden Dawn (think "secret society"...or maybe not so secret) "20 years ago" which tells me he has considerable experience. According to Overman:

"The Golden Dawn practices so much astral projection that they have been accused of "astral tourism," just going to various planes because they can, to look and see what is there." (pg. 12)

He claims to have studied "over 1,000 pages of material" from the order, and from it, successfully astral projected many times using ritual-based techniques such as the famous occult "Body of Light" technique. He shares some of this information, despite the fact that initiates are supposedly sworn to secrecy.

The book also contains an interesting ritual in which he spent 36 hours in a coffin, only coming out to pee when he had to. This led him to an intense out-of-body experience in which he thought he was physically flying.

This OBE made such an impact that Overman later built his own coffin and tried to replicate it, with mixed success.

The use of sensory deprivation is not new to the astral projection world, and the use of social isolation is reminiscent of Native American "vision quest" rituals.

Unfortunately, the book didn't live up to its promise. Halfway through the book, Overman talks about friends who were "witches" and that led him to the books of author D.J. Conway. He includes three long excerpts of Conway's book "Flying Without a Broom" which are more or less guided meditations. But since the book is only 59 pages, they take up a large percent of the book. He tried to replicate two of Conway's experiences, with interesting results.

Overman agrees astral projection is different from ordinary (non-lucid) dreaming, but he says:

"In an astral projection however, there is no loss of consciousness. You are wide awake the whole time. This is a distinct difference between dreaming and astral projection." (pg. 50)

That disagrees with other books. For example, Robert Crookall, who studied and collected more than a thousand OBE narratives, found that out-of-body experiences were almost always accompanied by a momentary blackout both before and after the OBE.

The vast majority of my own OBEs also had a short blackout either at the beginning or at the end, but I've also had a small number of OBEs in which there was absolutely no blackout: I had no loss of consciousness from start to finish.

But what about lucid dreams? Overman says:

"Most magicians I have spoken with agree that a lucid dream, a dream where one knows they are dreaming, is the same as an astral projection." (pg. 51)

I've always maintained that OBEs are different from lucid dreams in several ways. For more information, see my blog article Are OBEs the same as Lucid Dreams?.

I give this book 2 stars out of 5.

On the good side, the writing and editing are professional quality, it's based on personal experience, and it contains some solid astral projection techniques, even if they're from Golden Dawn and DJ Conway.

On the bad side, it's way too short to be of any value: only 59 pages in a small format with lots of unnecessary white space, and some of that comes, apparently, from D.J. Conway's book. This just made me want to re-read Conway's book. So look for that next Blog Tuesday.

A quick search of the Internet shows that Arundell Overman has lots of books out there, so I guess he's just pumping out lots of short books to make money from lots of royalty sources.

Bob Peterson
20 February 2024


If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.

Return to the index of my OBE Book reviews

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Review: Psychic Travel

by Christopher Dane

Today I'm reviewing Psychic Travel by Christopher Dane. It's kind of a vague title, but the back of the book says "The awe-inspiring, eye-opening world of out-of-body experiences." The copyright is 1974 by "Eugene Olson" which might be Dane's real (non-pen) name?

If I had to describe this book succinctly I'd say it is all "Sensationalized Grocery-store Tabloid-style astral projection narratives." It's all fast-food OBE stories, one after another. These are supposedly true stories about out-of-body experiences, but they're certainly embellished by the author the way the movie "Titanic" sensationalized the events of April 14, 1912. In fact, some of the OBE narratives are even excerpted from the "National Enquirer," a United States tabloid known for its sensationalist "JFK Abducted by UFOs!"-style nonsense.

All of the narratives are short, just a page or two, sometimes three, which makes the book easy to read, but they all lack depth.

Most of the stories are about out-of-body experiences, but several are near-death experiences as well. A few delve into bilocation, autoscopy (doppelganger), and even some death-bed apparitions.

A few of these stories are about well-known astral projection authors like Oliver Fox, and some were lifted from Robert Crookall's books and the famous book Phantasms of the Living.

On the one hand, Dane echoes the words of Fox:

"Once this stage had been reached, the student must guard himself against the appearance of apparitions and frightening sounds. These should be ignored. One should especially resist the illusions that will come and seek to interrupt the student, breaking his trance." (pg. 53)

Good advice, and I gave the same advice in my article about the "Guardian of the Threshold." But later, Dane does some fear mongering himself. For example, he quotes one of Brad Steiger's books which cautions the reader:

"And there are always evil entities which one must truly be on guard against during the projection experience. These creatures of darkness are always seeking a passive living body to invade and inhabit." (pg. 135)

Let me assure you: this is a non-issue, and as Fox says above, "should be ignored." I don't believe for a minute that an astral entity can take over your body while you're away.

In fact, I've been astral projecting more than 40 years and in all that time I've only felt "unsafe" less than a dozen times, and most of those OBEs I aborted due to an over-abundance of caution.

One of the book's chapters is titled "Sex that is out of this world" but it didn't sound very authentic. Frankly, it sounded like complete fiction to me. Maybe some editor somewhere suggested Dane could sell more books if he added a chapter about astral sex, so he pulled this out of his imagination.

The chapter isn't even about astral sex. It's more about a man who has a physical sexual encounter with a supposedly bilocated promiscuous woman. In other words, a woman who allegedly could leave her body and bilocate to the man of her choice for sex. The subject of astral sex is another topic for another day, but if you're curious I did write about it in my FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about halfway down.

Dane also talked briefly about Dr. Charles Tart's lab experiments with "Mr. X" (later revealed to be Robert Monroe himself) and "Miss Z", but there are much better renditions of that information in other books.

The book is 192 pages, with small footprint and tight margins. I'm only giving this book 2 stars out of 5. It's not exactly "bad." It just isn't good. There are much better books out there.

Bob Peterson
06 February 2024


If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.

Return to the index of my OBE Book reviews

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Swinging Arms Technique

Swinging Arms Technique

by Bob Peterson

The admins of the "Astral Projection - Techniques" Facebook group (myself included) decided to share some of our favorite astral projection techniques to the group.

In this blog article I'll share a technique I call the "Swinging Arms" technique, or perhaps a better name is "Kettlebell" technique. I used to do this technique a lot in 2018 when I spent a winter in Sedona, Arizona where there are a lot of hiking trails, but I still use it occasionally. Here is what I'd do:

  1. In late afternoon/early evening, go hiking on a trail for about 45 minutes. Sometimes at the top I'd stop and meditate on a large flat rock. I used to work until 3:00p.m. (15:00), and go hiking after that.
  2. Come home, take your shoes off, and lie face up on a couch / sofa (a recliner works too).
  3. Close your eyes and get comfortable, rest your hands on the tops of your hips. You may want to use a eye mask to block out the afternoon sunlight.
  4. Take two or three deep breaths in and exhale naturally. Try to ignore all your physical senses.
  5. Drift toward sleep but maintain focus and don't fall asleep. Just try to clear your mind and still your thoughts.
  6. As vividly as you can, imagine you are swinging your arms up and down. Swing them so hard (in y our imagination) that it causes your entire (imaginary) torso to move along with the arms. If you want, imagine a weight, like a kettlebell (shown above) at the end of your arms that increases the pull.
  7. Focus on the movement of your imaginary arms to the exclusion of everything else. Tell yourself the swinging arms are your real arms.
  8. When you start to feel as if you are really moving, just go with the movement and let it propel you forward, out of your body.
  9. At that point you may suddenly feel the vibrations sweep in and fill your whole body, and your body may feel like it's not moving anymore. Follow the directions given in my article What Should I do When the Vibrations Hit?.

Feel free to adapt this technique according to your needs. For example:

  • With this technique mid-afternoon seems to work best for me, but you can adjust the time as needed.
  • A couch or recliner may be most effective, but you can do this from your bed or a comfortable chair if you have no other choice.
  • A nature trail (with uneven surfaces) works best for me, but if you live in a city, sidewalks may also be used.

Bob Peterson,
23 January 2024

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Review: More About the Spirit World

Review: More About the Spirit World

 by Frederick Sculthorp

Today I'm reviewing More About the Spirit World and Experiences in Astral Projection by Frederick C. Sculthorp. The copyright is 1975.

This is an obscure, hard-to-find book that's been out-of-print for many years. As a matter of fact, it was so rare that when I found a copy in a local library way back in the 1980s, I actually made a photocopy with a copy machine for my book collection!

This is actually the sequel to a much older book written by Sculthorp titled Excursions to the Spirit World, which I still have never procured in book form. I'd still like to get a copy, so contact me if you've seen one for sale for a reasonable price. I recently got a digital copy of the book, so I may read that very soon.

My previous two book reviews were by author Robert Crookall, who documented the early history of astral projection and out-of-body experiences. Sculthorp was considered by Crookall to be an astral projection expert on the same level as Sylvan Muldoon, Oliver Fox, Yram, and others. So reading Crookall's books made me want to read Sculthorp's books.

This book is mostly just astral projection narratives: personal out-of-body experiences by the author. If I could sum up the book, I'd say it's a collection of "reheated leftovers." It has the feel of "In my first book I forgot to say these things, and document these OBEs, but they are equally important." Kind of like my second book, Lessons Out of the Body. Ouch.

Sculthorp's OBE narratives seem genuine enough. He describes many of the same things I've encountered. He makes several interesting observations. For example:

"I have found that in the spirit world water can flow, is buoyant, and can be drunk, but it does not wet my spirit clothes if I enter it." (pg. 2)

Here's another example: 

"In my out-of-the-body experiences in the Spirit World I have often been taken to cities where life goes on just the same as on earth." (pg. 20)

Indeed, so have I, and many others. It reminds me of some of the narratives from Jurgen Ziewe's Vistas of Infinity or William Buhlman's Adventures in the Afterlife.

Although he describes himself as "Not a churchgoer" (page xii) Sculthorp also describes a couple of OBEs in which he claims to have seen Jesus Christ delivering lectures, and also personally interacts with him. His descriptions are strangely similar to some of Paul Twitchell's descriptions of "The [Eck] Master" which almost seem to be semi-personalized to the experiencer him/herself. (There are only a handful of authors who claim to have seen Jesus Christ face-to-face, myself included.)

Strangely, Sculthorp often references the works of a channeled entity named "Zodiac" whom I've never heard of (and I've got a lot of books on channeling and mediumship!). It doesn't have much to do with OBE, but I guess he was a fanboy.

One of the most interesting things I found in the book is Sculthorp's description of what seems to be a lecture delivered by an iPad, Smart phone, Tablet, or a device similar to what we have today in 2024. Bear in mind this book was published in 1975, (most of the author's OBEs were many years prior), but the iPad wasn't invented until 2010:

"We went over the building where the corridors were also thickly carpeted and stopped at an open door of a room where a lecture was in progress. I looked for the lecturer, but no one was addressing the people and all were looking at an instrument on the table. It had an upright wheel over which there was a "chain" of oblong tablets linked together. When I looked at the instrument (the spirit body emits a ray or surge of enquiry) I gathered that it was delivering a lecture, with each tablet containing a subject and, of course, ready for use when required--a kind of spirit tape-recorder." (pg. 22)

Doesn't that just sound like an iPad or Galaxy Tab showing a selection of podcasts on youtube or spotify? Yes, tape recorders were around in the 1970s, but they were very big, clunky, and analog.

Unfortunately, all this book did was make me want to find and read a copy of his first book, Excursions to the Spirit World, which I'm sure is better.

The book is 43 pages, with small font and tight margins. There's barely enough content to satisfy. I'll give this book just 2 stars out of 5. Maybe his earlier, more successful, book is better?

Bob Peterson
9 January 2024


If you want me to review a book about out-of-body experiences or astral projection, send me an email: bob@robertpeterson.org, but please check the index first to see if I've already reviewed it. Also, I've got a huge pile of books I'm planning to review, so don't expect a quick turnaround.

If you like my work, visit my website, robertpeterson.org, where you'll find lots of other free OBE advice and links.

Return to the index of my OBE Book reviews