The Astral World by William Walker Atkinson and Lon Milo DuQuette - Read Online
The Astral World
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Master of modern occultism, Lon Milo DuQuette, (author of Enochian Vision Magick

and

The Magick of Aleister Crowley

) introduces the newest Weiser Books Collection – The Magical Antiquarian Curiosity Shoppe. Culled from material long unavailable to the general public, DuQuette curates this essential new digital library with the eye of a scholar and the insight of an initiate.

Almost everyone has had dreams of flying or falling. It’s a common and universal experience. For centuries mystics have maintained that such dreams are more than dreams. They referred to this ‘dream’ environment the Astral World and the experience, Astral Projection. Today modern researchers are starting to sound like these ancient occultists when speculating upon the powers of the human senses to transcend the limits of the body. There is perhaps no aspect of magick and mysticism that is more fascinating and important then these out of body experiences (OBEs), and one of the finest introductions to this amazing subject is Swami Panchadasi’s (William Walker Atkinson) classic,“The Astral World”.

Published: Red Wheel Weiser on
ISBN: 9781619400450
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The Astral World - William Walker Atkinson

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ENTITIES.

Introduction

Do you ever dream you are flying—or that you are running effortlessly, taking huge leaps through the air and landing painlessly; then springing forward again as if you weighed nothing? Do you ever find your dream-self walking up a flight of stairs or up a hill and then suddenly feel your legs becoming heavier and heavier until eventually you can't seem to move at all?

Since I was a child, I have had such dreams. I would fly through the air as if it were as natural as breathing. I'd stretch my arms out in front of me like Superman and watch the scenery pass by beneath me with perfect optical perspective. I'd feel the exhilaration in the pit of my stomach. Then suddenly it would dawn on me: I'm flying! How can this be? Then, as if I were being held aloft by pure unquestioning faith, my doubt would destroy my flight abilities, and I tumbled like Icarus.

Almost everyone has had dreams of flying or falling—dreams in which you float in the air or breathe under water. Such dreams are a common and universal human experience. For centuries Eastern mystics have maintained that such dreams are more than dreams. They call the strange and surreal environment, the dreamscape in which these adventures occur, the astral world.

Toward the end of the nineteenth century, the subject of astral projection became of special interest to Western mystics, especially those inspired by the work of various Indian yogis, and Madame Blavatsky and her Theosophical Society. Astral travel and traveling in the spirit vision also became the cornerstone of the practical work of European ceremonial magic adepts, most notably the magicians of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It seems that much of the serious work a magician must do takes place while out of the body.

Taking the Egyptian Book of the Dead as their operations manual, these modern magi set to work to educate and exercise the astral body so thoroughly they could leave the physical body at will—a skill that once mastered could be the central secret to overcoming death itself.

Today, students of human consciousness and modern researchers are sounding like these ancient occultists when speculating upon the power of the human senses to transcend the limits of the physical body. There is perhaps no aspect of magick and mysticism that is more fascinating and important than these out-of-body experiences (OBEs), and one of the finest introductions to this amazing subject is Swami Panchadasi's 1915 classic, The Astral World: Its Scenes, Dwellers, and Phenomena.

I found my copy of this little gem in 1972 at Gilbert's Bookstore in Hollywood. It would be nearly two decades before I would discover with any level of certainty that Swami Panchadasi was actually William Walker Atkinson, and that Atkinson was also the legendary Yogi Ramacharaka whose works had first introduced me to occultism in 1967. The more I find out about this remarkable mystic and writer, the more I realize how indebted we all are to his work.

It is with particular pleasure that I bring my patrons here at the Magical Antiquarian Curiosity Shoppe, The Astral World: Its Scenes, Dwellers, and Phenomena.

Pleasant dreams.

LON MILO DUQUETTE

COSTA MESA, CA, 2012

CHAPTER I.

THE SEVEN PLANES.

Every student of occultism, from the humblest beginner to the most advanced pupil, has a full realization of the wonders of that strange plane of being known as The Astral World. The beginner, of course, has not the privilege of actually viewing life on this plane, except, perhaps, in exceptional cases, or under extraordinary circumstances. But even he finds constant reference to the subject in the treatise his studies, and soon discovers that that particular plane is the scene and field of some very strange phenomena.

As he advances, and learns more of the occult laws and principles, he develops still greater interest in the subject. And, when he reaches the stage in which he is able to actually sense (by astral vision) on this plane, he finds that a new world of experience has opened out before him.

The oldest occult teachings, as well as the latest, inform the student that there are Seven Planes of Being. The lowest of these planes is that which is known as the Material Plane. Second in order is that which is known as the Plane of Forces. The third is that which is known as the Astral Plane. The fourth is that which is known as the Mental Plane.

Above these four planes are three higher planes, known to occultists, but which have no names that can be understood by those developing only on the lower planes, and which are incapable of explanation to those on the lower planes. I shall refer to some of these higher planes, in this little book, as we proceed, but shall make no attempt to describe them for the reasons just given. Our subject for the present consideration is merely the Astral Plane, and we shall find sufficient interesting facts in considering the phenomena of that plane without attempting to penetrate the veils of those still higher.

It should be mentioned at this point, that each of the Seven Planes has seven sub-planes and that each of these sub-planes has its own seven subdivisions; and so on to the seventh degree of subdivision. So, you see, there is a most minute classification in the occult teachings.

The student of occultism, at the beginning, usually experiences difficulty in forming a clear conception