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Sleep Paralysis: A Catalyst to Explore the Astral

Mike L
Experience submitted by Mike L

A Little Background

This account is about sleep paralysis, which was among the most influential experiences I had growing up, ultimately leading me to discover many beautiful things beyond what the eye can see.

But not before some turmoil.

For anyone out there who has gone through, or is going through, sleep paralysis and is scared of the experience: I encourage you to read this full account. Things do start off quite scary, but they eventually turn out for the best.

Having found Belsebuub’s work and learning many powerful techniques and exercises, I now actually really like sleep paralysis, I feel very safe when I experience this natural phenomenon, and I see it as step towards magical and uplifting journeys in the astral plane!

The Experiences

When I was around 11 years old, I was sleeping on my side and woke up in the middle of the night. I went to roll over, but I couldn’t. I tried again, but couldn’t. My body was immobilized. I was awake but paralyzed…

I then became aware of the most awkward sensations: I felt like I was encased in cement, like there was a heavy weight all around me, but at the same time I felt kind of numb – like the feeling of a foot being asleep, except my entire body felt this way.

I tried to move again, but couldn’t. Again and again I tried, but couldn’t, and I began to panic.

Why can I not move?
Am I dead?

I was desperate to move, but couldn’t. I felt a cold presence nearby and my fear quickly escalated.

I tried to cry out for help, but no sound came out of my mouth.

Eventually, I was able to shout out, “Help me! Help me!” I cried out repeatedly.

Eventually, movement began to be restored, starting in my extremities, slowly moving in towards my torso, and I got up with quite a start.

This was the first of what would amount to many, many such experiences in my life. The next morning, I tried to tell my parents what happened and if they heard me screaming, and they said they heard nothing. I was bewildered because I did manage to vocalize something in the end.

Why couldn’t they hear anything?

These experiences quickly became commonplace for me, happening several times a week, sometimes several times a night, for about 4 years! I was actually scared to go to sleep in the dark.

Some experiences were more frightening than others: often, in addition to the paralysis, I would feel hands moving over my chest or neck, trying to choke me, and see visions of demonic entities and fire nearby.

Layered Experiences or False Awakenings

On a few occasions, after having a bout of sleep paralysis, I would get up from bed and walk down the hallway to wake up a little bit (I’d found going back to sleep straightaway increased the likelihood it would happen again).

I would sometimes go to talk to my parents about the experience, only to suddenly find myself in bed again, paralyzed, having only dreamt of getting up the first time!

This could sometimes even happen multiple times in a row, with my never being sure whether I was physically awake or just dreaming.

Some Research

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, a vast amount of information was at my fingertips. After a few months of searching, I did find someone online in some forums, an older lady, who had some knowledge of metaphysics, and who could relate to my experiences. She was able to provide me with some partial answers.

archangel michael
A depiction of the Archangel Michael slaying a demon (sometimes depicted as dragon).
Painting from Mfsad, by [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
She taught me that the experiences were taking place in another dimension called the astral plane, that it is possible to go to this dimension consciously to travel around, and that prayer can be a very powerful tool. She recommended praying to angels, such as the Archangel Michael.

The point on prayer was most beneficial in my situation.

At one point, I was in an extremely intense sleep paralysis experience, lying on my back, with hands choking me. I prayed to Archangel Michael so intensely I could even feel tears in my eyes. Almost instantly, there was a flash of white light, and I awoke on my side!

Despite the experience taking place on my back, I was sleeping on my side. This was one of the first pieces of evidence I gleaned that the astral plane might be real: I must have been on my back in my astral body with my physical body on its side.

With some faith that she was being truthful, I even tried some techniques for astral projection. At the time, maybe age 13 or 14, I had minimal success. There was one experience where I may have partially or fully projected, but I was heavily influenced by my subconscious, something I only learned how to address later with Belsebuub’s courses.

At this point in my life, because my understanding was so limited and I didn’t know the purpose to astral traveling besides maybe just having fun flying around, I maintained an interest in spirituality, but didn’t practice.

After these difficult years, the sleep paralysis mostly stopped and things were kind of quiet for a couple of years.

Inspired by a Classmate

A classmate of mine in high school, for a class assignment, shared his personal experiences with astral projection one day. At this point, a flame of deep yearning to explore the esoteric again consumed me and I spent a long time on the internet the following days and weeks, looking for all the information I could find about astral travel.

This eventually lead me to Belsebuub’s work.

Discovering an entire community of like-minded people, plus free courses in astral travel and much more, was the most wonderful discovery I could have ever hoped for. I learned so much and I began to have a much more complete picture of what was going on.

Later, I even told my classmate about the online courses and he told me he knew about the courses and highly recommended them.

My New Understanding of Sleep Paralysis

I don’t think this story would be complete without going full circle and giving my new perspective on the phenomena.

I now understand that sleep paralysis is a natural part of the body falling asleep, and for anyone interested in astral projection, it is a sign that the physical body is on the verge of sleep, meaning a conscious out of body experience is within reach. Many times now, I have been able to take advantage of sleep paralysis to leave my body and explore the astral plane.

Because our consciousness can be in the astral dimension during sleep paralysis, this is why shouting cannot be perceived in the physical world and why my parents never heard me.

I also learned other methods of protection. Demonic entities can try to scare us while at the verge of sleep or even when are are traveling in the astral plane, and while they can never cause us physical harm, they can be very unpleasant as my early experiences showed.

I now use a Circle of Protection to block out evil influences as I fall asleep, and I know how to fend off negative presences if I encounter them elsewhere in the astral plane by using recitations.

Another very important point that I’ve come to understand is just how valuable the astral plane is. The very first time I heard about the astral plane, it just sounded like a cool place to explore – like how people go sightseeing. But I now see the astral plane as a place to receive profound teachings about my personal inner journey and the hidden laws and forces active in the world today.

With the knowledge I now have, I wish I could have spontaneous sleep paralysis experiences more often!

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17 comments
  • It is natural and we all should not relate it to some demonic. I also had the similar experiences in my teens and I thought that some ghost has captured me but, it was all natural and I learned that this happened to many people. The person in the blog shared his experience and I am not shocked by that.

  • I can also relate to your experiences of sleep paralysis, Mike.
    For me, it started when I was in early teens and it lasted up until I learned the recitations for protection. The experiences were also very intense and frequent and eventually, I accepted it as a part of my life. After reading about it from a psychological point of view I was convinced that something was wrong with me mentally but on the other hand, I knew that something very real was happening and that those beings that were trying to frighten me where in fact real entities. It was interesting that soon as I started to use the recitations almost everything stopped and my astral projection experiences were based on other sensations rather than the sleep paralysis.

  • Your story is so similar to mine however I have epilepsy and I thought I was about to experience a fit each time paralysis came for roughly 4/5 years. One afternoon I dosed off and woke up with paralysis but this time (last year) something inside of me just said relax and enjoy it – so I did. It was the most amazing experience i’ve ever had, the energy and vibrations pulsating through my body felt so, so good. After experiencing the energy I felt myself pop out of my body and I was floating until I managed to reach the floor. I found it hard to walk so I turned around to see what I looked like on the sofa and I heard and felt a whoosing sound as I was quickly pulled back in. The vibrations came back over and after I realised all I had to do was breathe a certain way :-)) however at some point (still fully aware) I went into a dream where i knew I was dreaming.

    Since last year i’ve tried Hemi-Sync, Binural tones and solfeggio tones to try and reach that state again but nothing works and unfourtanatly the sleep paralysis won’t return :(( What can I do to have an OBE again please help

    Jay

    • Hi Jay,
      That’s pretty cool how your first experience happened, and how you were able to understand it right away what was going on! Did you already know about OBEs before that? Personally, the first time I had a conscious OBE was after I learned about them, and I wasn’t really aware of what they were until then, but I was familiar with lucid dreaming.
      Have you had a look around the site? There are people who describes what was their first OBE like and how they did it. There are also lots of resources on other pages of the site you might find useful, and I really like the Astral Codex by Belsebuub as a resource for understanding more about the astral and what you can do there.

  • Wow, pretty serious experiences for an 11 yr old Mike. I’m glad you made it out of that OK and were able to find answers. I never experienced sleep paralysis previous to learning how to astral project, but I met many many people who came to the classes based on Belsebuub’s work trying to understand their sleep paralysis experiences.

    It’s also interesting, that I found books from my Grandfather about AStral projection and gave it a try a few times around age 13/14 as well. But then highschool (& hormones) took over and I wasn’t exposed to or interested in it again til post university. I wonder if I would have picked it up again if someone presented on the topic in my high school class!

    Hopefully some other folks struggling to understand sleep paralysis can find your experience here.

  • Very interesting account, Mike! I’ve heard quite a few similar experiences from others.

    Personally, I’ve only become conscious of sleep paralysis after learning about astral projection. It’s always a pleasant sensation for me because I just feel my body being really relaxed and in a state of deeper rest / recuperation. I find I experience it more often upon waking up and I enjoy observing the feeling. I guess learning about the phases of natural sleep from the perspective of practising astral projection helped me to experience this paralysis in a positive way.

    • I’ve had the same experience Jenny – basically perceiving the sleep paralysis as a very joyful and restful stage of falling asleep/waking up. I know i can’t move my body at this stage, but in the same i know that if I move it A LOT, I will wake up. But I usually don’t move, as I don’t want to interrupt that nice, relaxed and numb state.

  • Hi Mike,

    Your sleep paralysis sounds pretty intense – I don’t know how I would have endured so many successive experiences! I had it quite a lot as a child/teen, and it was always accompanied by terror, and that awful feeling of trying to shout out but not being able to make any sound. For me, it simply became less frequent as I grew up, but the memory of it also was part of the urge to look into the mystical side of life. It’s such a raw and real experience, and so glossed over by people, “oh yeah, that’s horrible”, or “oh yeah liver problems” (actually no I never heard that!”.

    Now before I sleep I say some protective recitation and the terror with any paralysis isn’t there – the negative beings that cause it just aren’t around I suppose. And yes, now it’s a helpful indicator that I’m mentally awake but physically asleep …

    Hope your experience helps others find a way out of a scary mystery!

  • It was wonderful how you related your story here Mike. As others mentioned I wish all the people who are experiencing it could have the chance to read and take from your experience. I know that as a grown up, or when you have gained the understanding of what’s going on, or if it doesn’t occur anymore etc. then it’s easy to sort of forget about, but when you’re actually going through it, especially as a child, it’s a very impactful thing!

    I experienced sleep paralysis in my youth as well, probably on more occasions than I’m able to remember now. However not nearly as frequent or strong as you have. It seemed to have played it’s part though in making you look and search for the spiritual side of life though.

    That moment of instant divine help with such a strike, how beautiful! Thank you.

    I also like how you started to investigate and put things together as a sort of scientist or detective from early on 😉

    • I guess those younger years of our life are the most important time for these experiences because we are still so open to many things. It would be such a shame for some to go through these sorts of experiences but not discover their origin or to just brush it off in adulthood.

      Yeah, that flash of light was amazing. It really gave me faith that there is help out there for us if we ask!

  • Hi Mike,
    You must be glad now when it happens, a sign that you are getting ready to go into the astraI fully conscious : – )
    Personally, I remember having some sleep paralysis happen to me when growing up, but because it was so infrequent, it did not really worry me. I remember in one occasion thinking, “oh, here we go again, I can’t move or do anything” and I would wake up the next day and wonder about it, but because I think it was such rare occasions, something that happened to me only from time to time, it wasn’t scary. But I can understand how concerning it would be if it happened so many times a week, a night, and not knowing why, or what was going on.
    What used to happen to me more often, was the sensation of falling back from great heights right before I would wake up – now that I used to really wonder about, as it was so vivid and recurred often. But no one had a logical answer for it. I remember even one family member saying, “Oh that’s due to liver problems” and I was like a 6 year old kid and of course, never had a liver problem…! But I accepted it as it had been an adult giving me that answer.. Now I know it’s just another part of the process of the astral split, this time coming back into the body, which is exactly what it feels like too.. But it is amazing how little we, as a society, have lost the knowledge of the natural process of astral projection. In any case, I am very glad that you were able to find the answers you needed to be able to not only remove that fear, but also use sleep paralysis to your advantage.
    You know, funnily enough, I’ve heard of several people who used to have sleep paralysis quite a lot, and once they understood what was happening, it became so infrequent that they wished it came back so that they could use it to astral project more often.

    • Liver problems… wow! What a strange “grownup explanation” for the phenomena. LOL!

      I am very grateful to have later discovered what sleep paralysis is all about. It’s interesting to see that it’s not just me who had such frequent experiences of sleep paralysis, and who later, after learning about astral travel, want sleep paralysis more often. It’s very much like the hierarchs have guided us to discover the teachings and then we have to do our own work to have more experiences.

    • Ha ha Geraldine, I think I have also experienced those “liver problems” a couple of times. 😀 Sometimes its even accompanied by the “merry-go-round” feeling in my stomach (like i am in a vortex), until I “land”, wake up and everything settles.

  • I don’t remember having any experiences of sleep paralysis. I guess this shows that it’s more common for some than for others.

    I wonder whether the reason for this is because I do not try to move early enough in the process of astral projection. In general I have very little success with astral projection, but much better success with lucid dreaming, where I missed the entire process of the split.

    I am interested to explore this and will try to to move during astral exercises and see if I can experience sleep paralysis too.

  • Thanks for sharing this account Mike. It’s great that you were able to gain understanding about sleep paralysis and its connection to astral projection, so that it stopped being a frightening experience and became a positive indicator that projection was about to take place.

    Good luck with your future efforts!

  • Hi Mike,

    This is a great account on sleep paralysis. I’ve often come across people on different forums sharing about being frightened by the experience and not knowing what to do with it. I hope they would be able to find your article and be able to use sleep paralysis to take the next step towards astral projection.

    Thanks!

    • I hope so, too, Pavlin! And that they can practice the astral exercises taught by Belsebuub to make the most of the sleep paralysis and the astral plane.

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Mark Pritchard (Belsebuub) is a British-born spiritual teacher and author who has published several books on OBEs and spiritual transformation... Read more

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