Edain McCoy
Llewellyn Publications, 1999

Many books have been written on astral projection since Robert Monroe's classic Journeys Out of the Body rekindled interest in the subject in 1971. Like any other well-covered topic, books on astral projection instruction run the gamut from horrid to very good. Astral Projection for Beginners is one of the best efforts on the topic, doing a very good job of instructing those new to the out-of-body arena. It would also be a very good choice for those hung up in their efforts to get out-of-body, and for anyone contemplating helping another reach the astral planes. Unlike some other projection books, this one is more on the practice and working of astral projection than on sensational stories of what's "out there," and lacks any hint of crowing about great experiences the author has had.

Edain McCoy conveys a sense of ease and familiarity with her topic, giving the reader hope that they too will be able to astral project. Her writing is usually crisp and to the point, avoiding the aimless wandering that characterises some other books on the topic. She starts out with an appropriately short discussion of projection, what it is, and what it might mean. She also informs the reader that projection is magic in that it is a way of self-transformation,which she feels is one true aim of magic. She also informs the reader right away that a clear experience of astral projection takes desire and perseverence, which has certainly proven true in this reviewer's experience.

The book itself is well written in an easy, informative style. The chapters build one on the next in a very nice progression, showing that the author has indeed taught this subject many times. Some books on astral projection read like copies of other works, in both the methods offered and even the order of chapters; this one is definitely an original work.

McCoy starts with the basics, devoting one-third of the book to educating the reader about astral projection, how beliefs and predisposition affect the results obtained, and the conditions in which one will find oneself once out-of-body. These chapters are very well done and offer a basic course in practical occult knowledge that will serve the reader well beyond the topic of astral projection. The topics are well selected for the needs of the book and for the assurance of any trepidations the reader may have about the out-of-body state. McCoy covers chakras, meditation, use of incense and recipes for herbal preparations (including the recipe for one "flying ointment"), recommendations for travelling safely and two keys for success. The second key is broken into nine checkpoints which are useful for discerning truth from fantasy both while out-of-body and afterward when looking back on the experience.

McCoy then moves on to discussing six techniques for astral projecting. She informs the reader that the easiest technique is not the classical "rising out of the body" technique but rather the "transfer of consciousness" technique. In this reviewer's experience this recommendation is very well made. After months of unsuccessfully working with the rising out technique, the transfer of consciousness technique produced almost immediate results in several of the reviewer's acquaintances. Only later did we find the transfer of consciousness technique was the one taught first by the Golden Dawn, the turn-of-the-century group who legitimized magic in the Western mind. McCoy does her readers a great service by recommending this much easier technique.

Again to her credit, McCoy offers some techniques that require less time and effort on the part of the reader, but which may take more time to fully master. Her instruction in the dream technique, where one first becomes lucid in the dream and then "steps out" into the astrals, is well written and well-advised for those who already work with their dreams, and those who have achieved the lucid dreaming state. And she even includes a good discussion of symbolic gateways, which for years were the domain of the dedicated few who delved into the mysteries of magical symbolism. She points out that her discussion is not complete yet manages to convey the basics in a way that encourages the reader to look further should the desire arise.

The last section of the book discusses activities one can pursue while out-of-body. Top of her list is reading one's own akashic records, which mark the passing of each person as they go through time and space. The discussion is very well done, giving both the reasons why one might find this useful (besides saving big money on fraudulent psychics!) and the temptations one must avoid as one becomes skilled at reading the records. This is followed by a good chapter introducing remote healing, and another on creative visualization to help you shape things here on the physical plane.

Despite the overall high quality of the book, some niggling points arise. One sentence is repeated verbatim several times throughout the book, and contains a phrase you will remember. Won't tell you what it is, rather would urge you to buy the book and find it yourself. And in several places, the descriptions seem a bit thin, lacking the authority of much of the rest of the book. This is just a minor point, as the vast majority of the book is extremely well done and the author shows herself well-qualified in the subject matter.

All in all, it seems we have a new standard which beginning astral projectors can rely on. A very good job indeed.

Reviewed by Mike Hammer

Home | About Obsidian | Current Issue | Coming Up | Archives
Subscribe | Feedback | Special Features | Site Map
Albion Moonlight | Blacklight | Reviews
Contact Us

All material ©1995-2007 Obsidian Magazine. All rights reserved.