A body you know well
You’re well versed in the Astral/Emotional body. You’ve been living with it for months! Not just your own Astral body, but also your client’s Astral bodies. You’ve probably dealt with a handful or two of Astral issues, relationships, difficult emotions like anxiety or depression, a stuck behavior or two or three. The themes you’ll explore with your clients are finite, there’s only so many Astral issues that get raised in a practitioner’s office, and by now, you may have had experience with 50% or more of them!
Yet, what’s infinitely fascinating and unique is every one of your clients! No two people’s stories are exactly the same, and no two people handle the same issues in the exact same way. If you remain curious and engaged, you’ll be endlessly fascinated with what makes people tick, and you’ll continually bring the tried and true tools to the table and to your clients to address their patterns, issues, needs and concerns.
Yet, it’s important to delve a little more deeply into the Astral plane so that you have a stronger sense of how emotional awareness works, and even how we resonate with and attract people to us who vibrate in similar ways.
All Emotions Exist and are Valid!
In New Age/spiritual communities, you’ll hear a lot of terms bandied about that negate or invalidate difficult or unpleasant emotions. You’ll hear ‘Love & Light’ (one of my personal pet peeves, because so often people who use that phrase have conveniently bypassed their Hate & Dark). You’ll hear, ‘just raise your vibration’ to avoid ‘negative energy’.
Good practitioners, this is all NOISE!
This is a meme I pulled off of a ‘Friends’ page on Facebook. Why am I using ‘Friends’ in quotes? Because no friend of mine would ever post this meme! They’d know. It’s nonsense. It’s NOISE!
The reality is, every emotion exists and is valid. Every emotion. Is it valid to hate someone? Possibly not useful, but it’s valid. For example, white supremacists are a pretty tough lot to swallow. They hate Black, Brown, Yellow, Red people, anyone who is not white. Why do they hate these people? Because they’re afraid. In the case of white supremacists, the hatred is a mask for their fear, for their inability to understand and value differences: be they as simple as skin color or as complex as cultural, societal, religious and experiential differences. I might hate white supremacy, (in fact, I do), I do my best not to hate white supremacists. But it’s ok to hate something that is wrong, invalidating, diminishing or limits our ability to see and connect with one another.
Is fear a viable emotion? Well, if you were walking down a dark alley at 11:00 at night with no one around and you saw 5 people coming toward you carrying baseball bats, chains and knives, might fear be an important emotion? Might it help you make a choice about how to proceed with your travels? If you were standing on one bank of a deep ravine and debating whether or not you could jump safely to the other side, might fear be useful then as a mechanism for checking your assumptions, ensuring you’re capacity to make the leap?
Without fear and hatred *and every other emotion*, how will we know ourselves and how will we know others? Emotions are information and context. They convey the meaning that we derive from our experiences.
The seven subplanes in the Astral body help us contextualize where someone is residing in their emotional awareness. Friedlander shares that most of us vibrate at the 3rd subplane of the Astral plane the majority of the time. Our ‘normal’ emotions are in the third subplane.
At times, we dip into lower or higher subplanes. The fourth subplane of the Astral brings us into connection with some of our darker emotions, like depression, grief, sadness, guilt, shame. The second subplane of the Astral brings us into connection with our higher, more generous emotions, such as compassion, grace, love are generous emotions.
One of the teachings I have most valued in relation to the Astral subplanes is Friedlander’s clarity that the ‘Higher Self’ is actually not a separate part of ourselves that lives up in the stratosphere. Query 10 New Age/spiritual seekers and they’ll likely all have a different definition for what the ‘Higher Self’ is, but in most cases, people will describe it as somehow separate from themselves and operating from a much more elevated perspective than our emotional awareness. The Higher Self, according to Friedlander is two subplanes higher than where we vibrate most of the time! If you want to get a sense of what two subplanes higher means, step up to a piano. Pick any one of the white keys on the piano. If you can play the note, do so. Then, play the next white key to your right. It’s a slightly higher note, is it not? Now, play the next white key beyond that. Again, slightly higher, yes? Two notes higher on a piano doesn’t change the key or necessarily even the octave! The Higher Self is part of your Astral awareness, it does not live in the stratosphere making mighty proclamations about who you are or who you should be, what you should do. The Higher Self is as accessible to you as the part of you that can tip into grief or shame, or the kind of political hatred we’ve seen over the past few years. Just as accessible!
Emotions vibrate in the Astral plane
We experience them through our Astral body. Each one of us has an Astral body that is connected to the Astral plane as a whole, where all of these emotions exist and vibrate. When we experience an emotion, it’s plucked from the Emotional plane. It’s our version of that emotion, applied to that experience in the moment. In other words, what feels buoyantly joyous to you may only create a sense of mild pleasure in someone else. Your expression of joy might be bubbly and effervescent and for someone else it’s a quiet radiance. We all have access to every emotion and they are accessible to us through the Astral plane.
Beyond that, we live in a vast field of polarity. We see things as black & white, light & dark, good & evil, right & wrong. Polarities. Opposites. Extremes. Bypass emerges when we acknowledge only the good things and believe that as a result, we’re vibrating above and beyond the ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ things.
Years ago I closed on a house with a representative from the title company that was chosen who was all sweetness and light. She was sweeter than sweet, friendlier than friendly. She couldn’t say enough nice things to those of us in the room. As we progressed through the signature pages, it became clear that there were a few documents missing from the pile that would require all parties to sign. She blew her top. ‘I’m going to report [the employee] to her boss. This is the third time this month these key documents have been missing. I have no tolerance for this lack of attention to detail!’ She went from sickeningly sweet to fully enraged in under 3 seconds. She caught herself and snapped back into sweet mode.
When she left the room to pick up the missing pages, the sellers and I shared an uncomfortable laugh, and one of the sellers said, ‘with all that sweetness, I knew there was rage in there somewhere’. There’s the polarity! All that love and light and little connection to her hate and dark. Where have I seen that before?
The title agent simply reflected what we have all likely seen or experienced at some point in our lives. Love & light is only sustainable if it’s not masking hate and dark. Yet all emotions exist and are valid. If this title agent had a deeper connection to herself, she might not need to move to either extreme of cloying, sticky sweetness and razor sharp rage in her attempt to relate to others.
When Emotions are Repressed or Suppressed
We’ll be exploring this in more detail in the Etheric program, but suffice it to say for now, that the Astral body is always and forever in communication with its other bodies, the Mental/Causal and the Etheric/Physical. When emotions are repressed or suppressed, either because we’re taught they’re bad or wrong, or because they make us uncomfortable in some way, these unprocessed, disallowed emotions end up in the Etheric energy system, and over time, they can bog down the workings of the physical body.
It’s called somatization. An example that everyone can relate to? Butterflies in our stomachs before giving a presentation or concert. For many of us, if we allowed ourselves to feel all of the anxiety we’re experiencing prior to the performance or speech, we’d be unable to move forward with the task. So we repress the emotions into our physical body. And then? Those fluttery, whispery sensations in our tummy. That’s somatization. Of course, once you’ve given your presentation or performed your piece, the sensations are gone, as is the anxiety.
But think about someone you know who is uncomfortable with anger, or sadness, or anxiety, or fear. Or who has a strong inner critic that constantly belittles and impacts esteem. That kind of somatization goes on for years, perhaps decades, and left unresolved, can increase the likelihood of disease or illness, or perhaps exacerbate symptoms.
The 7 Astral Subplanes do not Correlate to the Astral chakras
Please keep this straight in your mind. The 7 subplanes are not coincidental, but they are not tied to the seven chakras. These are different systems; the Astral plane informs the Astral body, which has 7 chakras. But the number sequencing of lowest vibration (1st chakra) to lowest subplane (7th subplane), does not compute. See you in Office Hours?
As you begin to integrate the Etheric body into your client practice, so that you are able to support physical healing along with emotional awareness and evolution, your role expands to helping your clients see the Mind-body connection. It’s talked about everywhere – bodyworkers, yogis, spiritual healers, it’s ubiquitous. But often, it’s just talk. There’s nothing actionable to anchor into to help shift, heal, evolve and grow.
Over the years I have spent hour upon hour with practitioners in supervision sessions helping them understand the planes, and more importantly how to convey to their clients that unprocessed, unexamined, unhealed, unresolved emotional experiences can keep the body from healing and symptoms from abating.
You’ll discover that when treating a physical illness, disease, syndrome or suite of symptoms, the Astral body is always in the room! And in fact, between 70 and 80% of a treatment session for most physical illnesses is spent working on resolving energies in the Astral body!
Proceed to the final Lesson in this series on the Mental/Causal plane. [There will also be a very brief explanation of the four additional planes in the Seven Planes of Consciousness.]