Projecting your consciousness into an astral form
The desire to be in two places at once.
Astral Projection is the ability to project one's consciousness (or soul) into an astral form outside the body. When a person astral projects, their physical body falls to the floor, slumps over or remains still until they return.
While in "astral mode", active powers are dormant. However, some advanced users have mastered the skill to use their powers whilst astral projecting.
Types of Astral Projection
There are two types of astral projection:
- Projecting yourself onto the physical plane with a corporeal body.
- Projecting yourself onto the astral plane as an invisible spirit.
This form of astral projecting allows the user to interact with other people and vice versa. In Prue's case, telekinesis is used to move her astral form outside the body and to keep her in "astral mode". Because of this, she can not use Telekinesis during the projection. However, this limitation can be overcome after excessive exercise with the power. Though her Telekinesis is neutralized, she still demonstrates the basic witch ability to cast spells.
When astral projecting, the user's body will become unconscious. When new to the power, the body will collapse and fall to the ground, although, more experienced users will be able to let their body stand still.
This form of Astral Projection is most common for beings such as witches and can be recognized by a pink flash that accompanies the projection when it appears and disappears. Demonic beings astral project with another form, and invisible form.
This form of astral projection allows the user to appear invisible and make a telepathic connection with someone. While in "astral mode", the user of this form can implant thoughts and suggestions to other people. The suggestions can be heard by anyone or by an individual, depending on the concentration and strength of the user.
Barbas is a prime example of demons who use this ability. He learned to astral project from another demon, whilst in purgatory, in return for that demon's freedom. Together, with his power to read fears, Barbas gained much strength over his victims, allowing him to plant subliminal thoughts into the mind of his victims and creating illusions. It also allowed Barbas to attack and manipulate his victims without them ever knowing that he implanted any thoughts, as well as attack them from a distance.
When new to the power, astral projecting can be exhausting for its users as it requires a lot of energy to maintain two corporeal selves. This also causes their astral selves to not last very long. Over time, users will master the skill to use their ability without fatigue and maintain an astral self for a longer period of time.
Very advanced users will even master the skill to be awake in both their physical body as well as their astral form. However, this would require a lot of energy, exhausting even the most advanced users.
Teaching Astral Projection
Astral Projection is one of the few (if not only) powers that can be taught to those who do not naturally possess it. However, spells and potions are favored for those who do not possess the power and do not have or want to take the time to learn this ability.
In 2001, shortly before her death, Prue Halliwell taught Leo Wyatt how to astral project. She probably learned how to teach it from books she read during the time that she wanted to refine her skills. Although Leo kept this a secret from the sisters for a while, in 2005, he passed on this knowledge to them when they had to vanquish Zankou. A vanquishing which would not only kill Zankou, but the sisters as well in the process.
Prue was not the only witch to teach someone else how to astral project. Mrs. Winterbourne, the nursery teacher at Magic School, taught the librarian, Miss Donovan, how to astral project before she went on a sabbatical. Miss Donovan displayed her newly acquired astral projection skills to Paige Matthews while trying to get the post of Literature Professor after the death of Mr. Monkeyshines. Although, it seemed like she had began to learn it a few weeks back before demonstrating it to Paige, the power still exhausted her, which makes sense because she was not born with the power and thus will need more time to get skilled with the ability.
List of beings who use(d) Astral Projection
- Original power
- Learned skill
- Through spell, potion, power stealing, etc.
The telekinetic powers of Prue Halliwell advanced during her second year as a witch, gaining the power to astral project, at the time she was at Buckland Auction House. After just finishing a meeting, her sister Piper, who was waiting outside the meeting room, urged Prue to leave. However, Prue's colleague Jack Sheridan urged her to stay and finish a conversation. Feeling the pressure of both her sister and colleague, Prue suddenly slips into unconsciousness and astral projected herself next to Piper. Surprised and confused, Prue returns to her body and awakens.
Prue tried to advance her Astral Projection powers by trying to use Telekinesis while in her astral form, but she was never able to achieve this untill she returned to earth and inhabited the body of Patience and then when she was the Nexus of the all she could literally do anything. However, Prue did become capable of projecting her astral form from one place to another without returning to her physical body; in one case, dematerializing to avoid gun shots then rematerializing at the other side of the room.
In Just Harried, it was revealed that if Prue ignored her inner desires for too long a period, her astral form would take on a life of its own and manifest while she sleeps or even force her into slumber in order to project itself.
During her brief time with the power of Empathy, Prue was able to wake up for a short amount of time while her astral form was still outside of her body, much like the power of Cloning. She was also able to selectively decorporealize and jump inside the body of the demon, Vinceres. However, all of this was due to the power surge that the power of Empathy had given her. However, Prue did consider it a taste of what her future powers would be like.
Astral Premonition is the ability to project one's consciousness into a future event, either as a physical astral form or through the body of one's future-self; allowing the user to experience a premonition first-hand. This is a combination of Premonition and Astral Projection and is the closest a Charmed One has gotten to natural Time Travel. The only known user of this power is Phoebe Halliwell. It allows her to see things in more detail and to stay within the future for a longer period of time.
Notes and Trivia
- Kit was able to see Rex Buckland in his Invisible Astral Projection. She's the only being known to be able to see the invisible form of astral projectors.
- Zachary demonstrated the most powerful demonstration of Astral Projection by using his Telepathy to copy Astral Projection and still use both his and Piper's Molecular Immobilization in astral mode.
- A monkey was able to astral project after its blood was mixed with the blood of Prue Halliwell. This was the work of Dr. Williamson who wanted to study the The Charmed Ones' blood after Piper Halliwell miraculously recovered from Oroya Fever. He later accidentally mixed the blood of the sisters with his blood, but never used the power of astral projection.
- While Prue was temporarily an Empath, her power of astral projection was augmented by empathy, which allowed her to stay awake in both her physical body as well as her astral self. Miss Donovan could also stay semi-conscious while in astral mode, pulling herself up before retreating to her body.
- The Demonic Wasteland is located on the Astral Plane. In order for someone to visit the wasteland, they have to astral project onto the plane. When Phoebe had cast the "To Find a Lost Love" spell to bring herself to Cole, the spell manifested her astral self in the wasteland.
- The Halliwell's Book of Shadows contains a spell which allows witches without this power to astral project. Phoebe used this spell once to entice Barbas, who stood on the verge of becoming the next Source of All Evil, to attack her and her sisters. While in astral mode, Phoebe's fears could not be read by Barbas.
- The book also contains a spell that allows witches to summon an astral form to their location against their will, as seen when Phoebe forced Prue back to the manor in "Just Harried".
- In 2005, when the Charmed Ones were to vanquish Zankou by banishing the Nexus, they had astral projected themselves into the manor. The explosion of the vanquish would kill them, and thus, they had left their bodies outside the manor and used their astral selves to cast the spell and vanquish Zankou. It is noted that they had used their powers when their astral selves were in Magic School (specifically Paige, but she may not have been bound by the same limitations that Prue had been at first).
- According to the sisters, they had learned to astral project from Leo Wyatt, who learned it from Prue. She had taught him how to astral project shortly before her death.
- When a being would astral project, their astral self would ways manifest wearing the clothes they currently had on. Only the exception to this was with Prue in Just Harried who's astral body would sport the same outfit each time she involuntarily astral projected regardless of what her physical body was wearing.
- When Miss Donovan and the Charmed Ones (during Something Wicca This Way Goes...?) astral projected, their bodies would glow when their astral selves reentered them. This feature was not present in any other being using this power.
- When Leo taught the Charmed Ones how to astral project, he was a mortal at the time. This suggests that beings can still teach others how to use this power without possessing it themselves (as a non-magical being, Leo couldn't possibly use this power at the time).
- Astral Projection is featured in all televised seasons (either as a power, learned skill or achieved through a spell).
- Whenever Barbas astral projects in or out, a rapid white flash envelops the screen, unlike Rex who would just fade into location.
- The demon Litvack could project images of himself in the minds of others while speaking to them telepathically. When he did this, it closely resembled Astral Projection.