Astral Projecting (while awake)

Many guides seem to focus on astral projecting while you are asleep. Personally, I feel this is not the best way to do astral projecting. When you are asleep there is a chance it is simply a very vivid dream and not really being experienced as anything other than a dream. I also dislike the idea of inducing sleep paralasis as this is traditionally considered not fun. So, how do you astral project while awake? Quick rundown of the method I use.
The ones marked with * have their own pages and will open in new tabs if tapped/clicked.

0: Cleanse and protect yourself and the area *
1: Meditate * (Page not up yet)
2: Fade out
4: Step forward
3: Say hi! *
4: Break concentration

Bonus section: advanced tricks

Cleanse and protect the area (how? Click here!). Then cleanse and protect yourself. This keeps away any trouble makers. You may want to invest in protective wards cast on yourself and your astral body as well. More on those later in this tutorial in the "Advanced" section.

Start to meditate. (troubleshooting page here) You want a nice, comfortable space without disturbances for at least an hour initially. It can be tricky to get the hang of the other steps so giving plenty of time to work is wise. More quet time to work is always better. You can always stop early but having to quit due to lack of time sucks.

Fade out. Let go of your body. AKA stop being aware of your physical form. Some people identify this step as "letting go of the ego" but I'd counter with the fact that you will remain in control even when in astral form. The ego is the self and awareness of the self. The spirit is energies held together by intelligence and self-awareness. Without self-awareness there is nothing but energies. Therefore it would be more correct to see this step as letting go of your physical awareness as to become more aware of your non-physical self.

Rant aside, I learned to do this via visualization initially. Try envisioning letting your form blur slowly, bit by bit, until there is nothing but a smudge. From there it's like smoke dissapating. Notice how the smudge fades into the background and the background fades through the smudge. Let the smudge fade until it is all gone.

You can also add in some energy work if you are comfortable with that. Start by feeling for your own energy. Then feel the energies around you. Feel carefully for where you energy begins to interact with the ambient energy. Now, relax your energy and let it flow into the space around you. Allow yourself to become one with your surroundings. When you are done there should be no "you", just "the world".

It's time to step forward. Your mind is still there even if "you" are gone. Move your focus and your energy to the side of where you are sitting. Let it separate from where you are physically. Allow yourself to collect in this space. If using visualization, try to visualize yourself flowing into and pooling into the space beside your physical form. Once pooled, visualize yourself re-forming from the pool. If doing energy work, try feeling the energies around you. Try using them like a rope to pull yourself away from your body. From there, collect yourself kind of like the visualization method.

Learning to step outside of the self may take a few tries. It's one of the hardest steps, but you can do it! Just keep trying until you find what works for you.

Congrats. You are now outside of your body. Time to look around. Focus on the energies around you. You may notice a shift in perspective and how you see things. This is normal! Try walking around a little if you like but stay within the cleansed and protected area. This should help you stay safe until you get stronger and better able to protect yourself.

While astral projecting you may run into patches of condensed energy that seem to move and act on their own. If you are lucky you might even pick up on a shape. These are spirits. In time and with practice you will be able to see them more clearly. You will want to try communicating with these. (how? Click here!). When you are done talking be sure to say thank you and goodbye.

It is time to return to the body. Move back to your physical form. Move the energies into the same space as your physical self. Envision yourself fading back from a smudge into your normal form. Feel your breathing and heart beat. Let your thoughts return to your head. You may feel a "snap" feeling as you return to yourself. This is OK. Either way, keep working until you are fully aware of your pjysical self as normal.

You should be fully aware of yourself before you break meditation. Failure to do so may result in an "echo" effect as part of you is lingering outside of the self. The echo will fade as you return to normal activity, but for your safety, it is best to be fully returned to yourself before you exit all warded/cleansed areas. This helps prevent attacks on your astral self (like astral parasites).

That's it. You are done.

Advanced techniques

Once you have gotten some control over your astral self and projecting it's hard, feel free to try adding in some of these extra fun things you can do. Some may require extra study into other disciplines, but all of them build off of astral projection.

Cleanse, protect and ward your astral self!

You can protect the mind, body, and astral/spiritual self separately or as one entity. Spells and blessing may be targeted at whichever area needs the most protection. Cleansing rites work the same, however, you will need to either have someone else physically perform the actions or you will need to set things up and move your astral self into the cleansing area. For example: start a hot shower, then astral project. Move your astral self under the water. Let the water's energy cleanse your astral form.

Interact with spirits on their terms

Once you have become friends with a spirit ask if you can touch them. Explain you want to try to use your astral form to reach out to them. Most of them won't object as long as you are polite about it. Try moving just your arm. Reach out to touch someplace non-sexual such as a shoulder. I found that early on it helped to put a little extra energy around my hand. This may take repeated attempts. In time you should be able to do basically anything you could do with your physical self via your astral self. This method also works for reaching out to the living who can sense spirits.

Let the spirits interact with you

Initially this one may be easier than working with them on their terms. Send your astral self just slightly off-set from your physical self. This should let you see and hear. Envelope your physical self with your astral self adding an extra layer of energy along your skin. Ask the spirit to try touching you. If they can't, try asking them to touch the energy on your skin instead. Feel for the energy interaction between their energies and yours. This is them touching you. This technique can make touching you easier for someone who is astral projecting out to you.

Defensive maneuvers!

Practice basic defenses in case you decide to astral project outside of your wards. Learn how to scale your energy levels up and down in intensity. This can be used to go stealth (low energy to the point you blend in with the surroundings). It can also be used to burn away attackers (turn it up as high as you can while condensing your energies into as small an area as possible). Try playing with your energy frequencies to see if you can make things disruptive to outside entities as another defensive weapon. You can also draw as much ambient energies as possible around you as a shield. Do not aborb the energy, just hold it temporarily before letting it go. Absorbing the energy will draw attention to you- a bad idea if under attack as it can potentially draw more attackers.

Astral travel

Once you are warded/protected in all forms and have a good idea of how to defend yourself, you are ready to travel. While in astral form you may see energy streaks or "strings". Choose a string and follow it. You are now astral traveling. In time you will learn which strings go where and how to feel for the energies of specific people/places. Following these specific energies you recognize allow you to choose where you go. Have a friend throw you an energy string to follow and you can use it as a highway to visit them.