There are 7 plains of beings. There is Earth, our touchable world, and there is the Astral, or, the other 6 univereses. This was explained to me by a very dear friend of mine, the Magician's Apprentice. I'm not sure if I can explain it as well as he can, but I'll try.
Think of the 7 universes as balloons all tied together. When you squeeze one balloon the air pops into another, so the air is never in two balloons at once. that is kind of how our universes work, in simplest terms. They operate in a never- ending cycle.
There are a ton of ways in which to access the astral. One is something every human being is done: dream. Others are meditation, OBE's, Astral projection, and a multitude of different ways. Each one gets harder and more complex, especially OBe's and Astral projection. I'm sorry to say I haven't been able to accomplish either, except for one very strange occasion.
The following is a very easy meditation, the first one I've used, adapted from the book, "Wicca", by Vivianne Crowley.
Put yourself in a very comfortable position. You may want to light a few candles or some insence, in fact insence is known for it's enhanced clarity effect. Breathe deeply for a few moments, and clear your mind of all thoughts. Make sure you are in kind of a deep stupor, so you don't notice things around you much.
Once you are thouroghly relaxed, feel the walls of your bedroom or wherever you are melt away. Now, you are sitting in a BEAUTIFUL vineyard. You are no longer in your room, you are in the vineyard, in a circle secluded by large grape vines and purple forests. It can look however you want apart from that, night or day, mountains of valleys in the distance.
A warm breeze tickles your neck. This is the element of air. Feel it all around you, not just the wind, but the whole concept of the element air. The Air cleanses your sole, provides wisdom and clarity. Notice everything in your life that is related to air, including the way the breeze makes the leaves of autumn fall off the tree, to the way your mind feels refreshed and clear after you've dived into the pool.
Do this with all the elements. For fire, maybe notice the sun shining over heard or the stars off in the distance, or perhaps even a earth renewing wildfire. For water, something simple like a pond or the dew on the leaves. Earth could be the ground you sit upon or something likewise.
After you have noticed and thought about all of the elements, a beautiful raven swoops down from our of knowwhere, beconing for you to follow him. At first you don't know what to do, because the raven had just flown up towards the sky, but then you discover you have wings. You can fly! You follow the raven up through the clouds and into space. After you have been flying for quite a while, a white light appears in the sky, somewhere where you can barely see. as you come closer, you realize it is an exotic gemstone, sparkling with the kind of light you only see in your dreams. It is the diamond of all life. All faces of humanity, religion, ethnic groups, and races are present on this jewel.
As you turn to head back down to Earth, you see a glimpse of a lady winking at you. She is beyond beautiful, even though you only caught a fleeting glimpse of her. You realize, this is the Goddess, and you have just seen your first glimpse of Spirit.
Now, slowly come back into reality.Don't move to quickly and try to get up and stuff too fast, because u might get dizzy. I know I do. It's kinda like waking up from a deep sleep when you're sick.
So What Exactly is an OBE?
An OBE is an Out of Body Experience. I haven't ever tried it, so my information on it isn't a lot. I do know, however, that when you leave your body you are still connected to it with a silver cord. This cord will always be attatched, but if I were you, while I was having an OBE, if for some reason I thought the cord wasn't holding on, I'd come right back to my body. I've heard that OBE's can cause heart problems, because sometimes when you get jerked back to your body, it can scare the hell outa you. You probably shouldn't try this if you have heart problems.
If you really want to learn more about OBE's and Astral Projection, I suggest you buy a book. Don't, by all means, go entirely by my information. This is what I have read about some helpful tips on leaving your body:
Take off all clothes and jewlery and lay on your bed or the floor. Go into a meditative state, and just focus on separating yourself from your body. Imagine you are dropping through the floor in short, swift drops. Make sure the drops are short and fast. When you feel yourself leaving your body, get far away from it, but stay in the same room. And make sure you don't go much farther than how high up you would want to be if you were jumping into a river. It probably helps not to look at your body, lest you get yanked back to it. When you want to return, do it slowly and calmly, to prevent the yanking. I've heard that's really unpleasent. And again, don't base your whole trial of Astral Projection on my probably warped info.
My experience with an OBE
I was meditating, talking to the Goddess Arianrhod, who I am named after. She asked me if I wanted to see a glimpse of a former life. I don't know why, but for some reason I was scared and told her no. During the same meditation, I also talked with Blodeuwedd, another Celtic Goddess. She asked me if I wanted to see magick. Determined not to be a chicken this time, I said, Sure, ok. Blodeuwedd made something weird happen to the mountain we were standing on. The mountain seemed to bubble, and the sea below us rose up. But I was way more distracted by the fact that I, in this plane, suddenly lurched forth from my body. I wasn't out of it, but I was on an odd angle. Before I had been sitting cross legged facing my wall, but now I was sitting cross legged facing my bed. I only opened my eyes breifly, because I was scared out of my mind, and I kind of forced myself back down and left Blodeuwedd without saying goodbye. To this day, I'm not sure if I was really out of my body, or if I just imagined it.
More creatures, beings, spirits, ghosts, spooks, whatever you wanna call them live in the Astral than anyone can ever know. Some beings can talk and interact with humans, some can't or don't want to. In any case, you should always be careful in dealing with astral beings.
Some of the more common Astral entities are Faeries, Elements, Divas, Dieties (which live in all planes) and spirits. All of these can access this plane if they want to, but there are a lot of beings that can't, and we can't access their planes either. Faeries are just that- all kinds of Faeries, which I will explain more in my Faerie page. Elementals are spirits of the 4 elements. Divas are plant spirits. And we all know Dieties are the Gods and Goddesses.
You may not realize this, but you deal with Astral beings whenever you call quarters to your magick circle. Those are real, hard-core Astral entities watching over your circle. And the actual circle is an Astral wall, not nesecarily alive, but it's really there.