Astral Catalepsy is something that has been happening to me for quite awhile and quite frequently. When I was younger this happened almost every time I went to sleep. Now it probably happens to me once or twice a week. When I was younger it use to really frighten me because I really thought I was dying. I would be jolted awake, I would know I was awake, but I would be unable to move, it was hard to breathe and I would just lay there unable to move or speak or call out to anyone for help. After this had been going on for quite awhile I began to get use to it and it became not as frightening. I would just keep telling myself that it would pass in a minute or two and I would keep trying to move my fingers until I finally snapped out of it and woke up.
Maybe some of you reading this have had similar experiences and have wondered what causes this phenomenon. Once I read more on this subject it helped to ease my mind that there was nothing wrong with me and that it was just a sign that my spirit had been out astrally traveling (I’ll write a blog on astral travel in the near future, Google “astral travel” or “astral projection” if you want to know more about it). Anyway I’ve read a lot of material on the subject from different books and from various websites. The following is an excerpt from Sylvia Browne’s book “Phenomenon”:
You’re sound asleep when suddenly you’re jarred awake by one or more of the following frightening sensations:
- Shortness of breath, often from some oppressive weight on the chest
- Being touched by something or someone lewd or menacing, but invisible
- An overwhelming vibration
- Being pinned down and prevented from moving by an unseen evil presence
- Loud noises, from a buzz or hum to a blaring clamor as if fifty different radio stations are blasting at the same time.
- The appearance of strange lights.
- A certainty that threatening entity is sitting on the bed or moving the bedclothes
If any of the experiences on that list have happened to you, please take heart: You’re not losing your mind, you’re not in any real danger and you’re certainly not alone. In fact, cultures around the world have created folklore that dates back hundreds of years to explain these phenomena, from witches to a giant devil to an old hag to a baby ghost. And some UFO enthusiasts attribute it to the results of painful experiments during alien abductions.
In truth, though, the explanation for all of those sensations when they jar you from a sound sleep is an unnerving but fascinating occurrence called astral catalepsy.
The term “astral catalepsy” was coined around 1930 by a researcher named Sylvan Muldoon, who spent much of his life recording the astral trips his spirit took during the night while his body slept. The first of those trips that he was aware of, when he was twelve years old, illustrates beautifully the birth of his intensive study of what he’d heard referred to until then only as “sleep paralysis.”
Muldoon’s first recorded astral trip during sleep started with his waking up in the middle of the night to find himself unable to move, see or hear, with a painful sense of severe pressure on his head. As his senses and ability to move slowly returned, and the pressure on his head subsided, he realized that he was actually outside his body, floating above his bed and able to look down at himself and watch himself sleep. He was conscious of his spirit being pulled from a horizontal position to a vertical one as it left his body, and of embarking on a very detailed tour of the house in which he, in his spirit form, was able to move with great ease through doors and walls. He also was very aware of trying to shake his parents awake because he was afraid of what was happening to him, but they never seemed to feel him touching them.
And then, when he was above his body again, his spirit was pulled back into a horizontal position, and he experienced the same paralysis, loss of senses and pressure on his head that he’d gone through earlier. After a feeling of being jerked abruptly back into his body, he sat bolt upright in bed in a complete panic, able to remember and immediately write down the whole sequence of events with crystal clarity.
Sylvan Muldoon had an advantage in that experience that few who go through astral catalepsy enjoy – he had full memory of all the events before and after the sleep paralysis occurred, which gave him a context for what had happened to him. Without that context, it’s no wonder astral catalepsy feels like such a terrifying assault. So here’s the context, and the explanation behind it.
Several times a week, whether we’re aware of it or not, our spirits take temporary breaks from our bodies during sleep to go visiting, exploring and simply running free outside the confines of these goofy earthbound vehicles we occupy while we’re here. These breaks are as refreshing a nourishing for our spirits as they are for our conscious minds, not to mention a frequent reminder that our spirits can and do thrive as the separate, eternal entities they are, no matter what happens to our mortal bodies.
The vast majority of the time, our spirits slip into and out of our bodies with the greatest of ease, without disturbing our sleeping conscious minds for a moment. But on rare occasions, depending on the level of sleep the conscious mind happens to be in, it can “catch” the spirit coming or going from the body. And in its less-than-alert state, the conscious mind, realizing that the spirit is half in and half out of its body, jumps to an obvious conclusion: The body must be dying. It panics and promptly sends “your dying!” signals to the body that correspond exactly to many of the sensations of astral catalepsy – the paralysis, the loss of the senses, the inability to breather or cry out for help, a whole series of physiological and neurological “short circuits.” But when the conscious mind realizes that the spirit is safe and sound in the body again and it’s not dying after all, the signals stop, the sensations subside and another jarring but ultimately harmless incident is over with.
It’s also worth pointing out that the spirit world we’re part of when we astrally travel is a whole other dimension that the one we live in her on earth. The spirit world’s vibrational frequency is much higher than earth’s, not to mention the fact that gravity and other earthly laws of physics don’t exist there. So a half-asleep conscious mind catching its spirit literally traveling from one dimension to another, from weightlessness to gravity, could understandably be jolted awake by perceptions of noises (like sonic booms) and oppressive heaviness. “Understandable” doesn’t necessarily make it any less frightening while it’s happening, of course, but it’s also affirming proof that while we sleep, our spirits are off having beautiful adventures, reunions and Homecomings for our benefit whether we’re consciously aware of them or not.