Fauna of the Lower Astral*

Poltergeist is a composite German word originating from Geist (“spirit”) and poltern (to crash about). If you have a poltergeist in your home, gone is your peace of mind: invisible hands rap on your walls and spooky shadows wake you up in the night. Thanks to Hollywood, we are all familiar with the prototypical story line about the teenage kids who, adrift in their emotional turmoil, trigger such disquieting visitations; what many are not aware of, however, is that anyone who mobilizes a larger-than-ordinary amount of prana can end up attracting astral lowlife. This includes seekers, energy workers, and psychics.

Much religious folklore describes how saints and mystics from various traditions had to contend with “demons” of various kinds, all of whom had an uncanny familiarity with their victims’ vulnerabilities. While this experience does not extend to everyone on a spiritual path, it is frequent enough as to warrant a conversation about it.

To put it simply: Have you ever opened a window during a hot summer night? If your light was on, you probably suffered a mosquito invasion. This is what happens with the fauna of the lower astral: if you shine, you are food.

This is the point where a lot of people get anxious and stop reading. Please don’t—as always, knowledge is power. My intention here is not to scare anyone, but rather to provide some information about how these entities function and what you can do to regain your peace of mind.

For one, you may be pleased to hear that the entities of the lower astral are not particularly intelligent. They are cunning, though, and they see your emotions quite clearly. They notice your terror, and it looks delicious. As adept shapeshifters, they may take on frightening semblances to try and startle you. However, this is just a game of smoke and mirrors. It will work only if you give them what they are looking for–namely, your fear.

As always, the best protective strategy against lower astral fauna is to keep a clean house; this is why a proper emotional hygiene is a foundation for any and all spiritual work. Anger, addictions, lust, and fear are all bait for entities whose presence in your life is not a matter of possession as much as resonance. By pointing to the kind of work you still need to do on yourself, these lower forms of consciousness are really your teachers.

One way to think of lower astral fauna is not as self-standing agents, but rather as barely conscious energies that, like emotions, flow about freely. One moment they are with you, the next moment they are gone. Allow them to resonate with your feelings, and they will gladly stay on. Relinquish your obsessions, and the astral fauna will release its grasp.

* The word “astral” is a catch-all notion of whatever is perceivable through altered states of consciousness or, occasionally, the waking state. Like many of the words that are used to describe experiences that go beyond the ordinary, the notion of the “astral” is riddled with assumptions and received knowledge. For example, this word may induce one to imagine the astral as a separate realm. This approach is inaccurate: the astral is always “here,” even if our waking consciousness is filtering it out. Yet, when things go bump in the night, all we want is a quick fix. Under such circumstances, our maps of the unknown may often come handy, even if they are reductive. More on this topic – and on psychic protection – in my Neoshamanic Techniques course

Image by Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights (1490-1500) via Wikimedia

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