Q: Why do people lucid dream and astral project?
A: People have their own reasons why, usually they are simply curious or it happens accidentally on occasion but the more advanced of the population, which is typically a rarity, use these practices as tools to connect to the different parts of their higher selves to learn from and evolve. In lucid dreaming we can connect with personifications of ourselves and other Beings in the universe that teach us through the symbols of our experiences yet in the actual "astral plane" we can meet and greet with the actual people and speak with those Beings themselves.
Q: Are astral projection and lucid dreaming the same thing?
A: NO. Anyone who actually knows will be able to explain why and it goes like this: We need to understand how consciousness operates. Our conscious awareness, the part of us that transcends the mind, it can phase itself into different locations of focus. A simple answer is that the two phenomena are different because Lucid Dreaming takes place inside us and Astral Travel/Projection takes place outside of us.
So when we focus our awareness internally (microcosmic) and become conscious in dreams, we are awake inside our dreaming mind most the time. This is lucid dreaming, meaning we have become conscious and realize that we are dreaming. When we focus our awareness in the macrocosmic world outside of us, outside of the dreaming brain, we wake up in the astral world. Most the time it's typical that people can't hold their Will strong enough and the dreaming mind superimposes over what real impressions from the astral are and mix.
SO - dreams are inside you but going to the astral transcends the mind's dream.
Q: What is the astral plane?
A: A simple answer is that it is the next dimension of expanse and vibration above where we are stuck at in this dense, physical world. There are different names and ways to describe it but it is, in simple terms, exactly that.
Q: What is the etheric plane?
A: You can think of it like a "buffer zone" between the physical world and the astral world. It is not necessarily a place of objective form but rather a mental dimension of imagination we experience very lucidly and can walk into dreams from also. There are techniques to wake up from this place and go into the astral if exiting straight from the physical body are too difficult. I've found they are better applied during hypnopompic stages of brain activity but others find the hypnogogic state is better for them.
Q: This goes against what I was taught in my religion. Is this black magic?
A: No. What you are doing with either practice of astral projection or lucid dreaming is that you are simply making use of natural dynamics that are in place. Because allot of people don't understand the nature of some things, for whatever reasons, they go on to say it is "bad" or "black magic." This is the dulaity of how we've polarized our thinking and it is incorrect. These practices are simply using the vehicles of consciousness available to us in order to explore the greater, eternal aspect of our self and place as an expression of a Verb of Being within creation.
Q: Can I become possessed by demons or something else doing this?
A: The simple answer is NO. Although there are beings all throughout creation, and spirits all around you, other Beings can not possess you unless you actively invite them to come in and share your vessel/body or like letting them manipulate your energy meridians. Nobody can be physically hurt, possessed, or die by practicing astral projection or lucid dreaming. Fear is quite an obstacle but still part of the chattering mind's nonsense.
Q: Can someone come "get me" or help "pull me out" of the body?
A: Short answer is yes; However, the work you need to do in order to accomplish something like that is equal in fervency to (or greater than in some cases) the amount or work you'd have to put in by just figuring out how to do it yourself.
Q: Can I see the future by doing Astral Projection?
A: It depends on what you are looking for. You can see "ahead" or accquire a powerful aforesight by internalizing certains lessons immediately and understanding consequence (cause-and-effect/karma) but everything that can ever possibly happen already has at a certain level of Being and tapping into that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to know which outcome applies to you.
Q: What is Kundalini and do I need to activate it to project or lucid dream?
A: Google is your friend, don't mess with kundalini without the instruction of a real teacher, and no - many people have projected without even doing any energy work. Things like kundalini will help with energy but are not prerequisites. Don't try to learn it from the internet either.
Q: Teach me to astral project right now! When can I start?
A: That kind of desire is good and can drive you to success but understand how this stuff works, then you can start at any time. Some people are more adept at it than others but it all has to do with previous state of readiness and this can take quite some time for some people. There's an occluded science to this and it has to be followed to get it to work properly otherwise you are grasping at straws.