The Etheric Double: The Health Aura
ASTRAL PROJECTION IN THEOSOPHY: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
II. The Etheric Double: The Health Aura, by Arthur E. Powell, 1926 (Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 1996).
The existence of the etheric body is unknown to most astral projectors, yet it may be the first energy body they encounter. Because this body is unable to move very far from the physical body, out-of-body experiences that are confined to the bedroom are likely to be projections of the etheric body.
Much of the book is taken up with theosophical theories of esoteric anatomy, including the chakras. It’s difficult to evaluate such material, since it differs from currently available teachings on the chakras from the Eastern tradition of tantric yoga (considered by some to be the only authentic information on the chakras) and the Western New Age tradition (often channeled or clairvoyantly perceived).
Some of this material has its origin in teachings of H. P Blavatsky. Some has been elaborated or added by the clairvoyant investigations of Besant and Leadbeater. It may also have been influenced by Besant’s study of Sanskrit and yoga philosophy under Indian teachers while living in India. Though fascinating, this information is not likely to be of much practical use to prospective projectors, since it doesn’t deal directly with the dynamics of etheric body projections.
The book gives much space to the explanation of phenomena associated with spiritualist seances, such as ectoplasmic materializations. Such phenomena are attributed to the etheric body. This subject is no longer a hot topic among esotericists, so these portions of the book are primarily of historic value.
Scattered throughout the book are some useful hints about the “faculties” (i.e., inner sense abilities) of the etheric body. This information is not directly useful for people making their first attempts to get out of body–indeed, there’s no instruction of this nature in any of the Powell books. Yet these abilities often show up over time as projectors seek to refine their craft. Most people have no idea what they mean or where they come from. Thus the value of this book lies in its explanations of the psychic effects we’re likely to experience as the etheric body develops so we’ll be prepared to understand these effects should they happen to us.