Giles: “Uh, the boy's been in a coma for week. How can this be possible?
Buffy: “What, am I knowledge girl now? Explanations are your terrain.
Giles: “Uh, well, um, there's astral projection, uh, the theory that while one sleeps one has another body, a-an astral body, which can travel through time and space.
— Buffy Summers and Rupert Giles[src]

Cordelia astral projects out of her body.

Astral Projection was the supernatural occurrence or ability wherein the consciousness of being who was in a state of slumber or a coma left their body, into an "astral body" where they could travel into the real world or in different planes of existence, throughout time and space.

Astral Projecting

Achieving Astral Projection

A number of reasons could cause astral projection, though most cases often involved the user being subjected to violent trauma or injury [1][2][3] along with external factors such as the influence of a Hellmouth,[1] the intervention of higher beings,[4][5] mystical substances[3] or a curse.[6] Magical practitioners could also voluntarily achieve astral projection via spells.[7][8] According to Tara Maclay, astral projection was similar to accessing the nether realm, something very intense.[9]

Astral bodies

A book passage on Astral Projection

Astral bodies were capable of traveling into people's memories,[3] their dream space,[6] the real world where they could interact with the environment[1][4] or into the "astral plane". According to Skip, when most people went "astral", their astral body would often manifest as an idealized version of themselves.[2] Though this didn't seem to be the case with Cordelia Chase when she first astral projected on her birthday, but possibly so when she went out of her coma two years later since Wesley Wyndam-Pryce thought she looked "really hot" despite her ordeal.[4]

The Astral Plane

The astral plane seemed to reside alongside but separately from the physical plane, allowing any astral bodies to witness real world events but remain incapable of interacting with the physical world as well as being noticed by physical elements, though they were able to possess people's bodies in order to do so.[2]

Instances of Astral Projection

  • In Sunnydale in 1997, Billy Palmer manifested as an astral body after he was beaten into a coma. Along with his consciousness, the nightmares of the people of Sunnydale manifested in reality.[1]
  • During her 21st birthday, Cordelia Chase entered the astral plane after a vision caused her to be knocked unconscious. During her time as an astral body, she was unable to be seen or heard and was rendered intangible, but could communicate by possessing Angel. Her astral body was then taken by Skip who showed her what life could be like if she never joined Angel Investigations. She was eventually returned to her body when she decided to become part-demon.[2]
  • In Los Angeles 2003, after dosing herself and Angelus with the mystical drug known as orpheus, Faith Lehane and said vampire entered a mystical walk in Angel's mind, witnessing past events in his life. During these trials, they were unable to interact with any of the scenery and this period took a close when Angelus began to fight Angel, cumulating to the point Angel's soul was restored.[3]
  • A year later, the comatose Cordelia again became an astral body and used her last day on earth to assist Angel and his team in preventing Wolfram & Hart's failsafe being released by Lindsey McDonald. This time, Cordelia's astral body could interact with the world but she was confirmed dead after her time was up.[4]
  • After the destruction of Sunnydale, Willow Rosenberg traveled to the Himalayas via astral projection. Since she was on a different plane, she could not return to L.A. to help Winifred Burkle who was dying.[7]
  • When Amy Madison placed a magical curse on Buffy Summers whilst she was sleeping, preventing her from awakening until she was kissed by someone who loved her, Buffy was trapped in her dream space, consisting of all her thoughts, feelings, memories and dreams where she was guided by Ethan Rayne who was able to enter her mind, presumably by astral projection.[6]
  • While being subjected to Warren Mears's forced surgery, Willow was astral projected by the Elemental Goddesses from her body to their plane.[5]
  • Willow took a mystical walk on an astral plane, a tradition for witches. The features of this journey were largely based on Willow's own subconscious.[8]
  • Willow and Buffy astral projected into Spike's mind when it was plagued by the gruesome actions of Archaeus.[10]



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