Astral projection is a type of out-of-body experience (OBE) in which the astral body leaves its other six bodies and journeys far and wide to anywhere in the universe. The notion that we have seven bodies (one for each of the seven planes of reality) is a teaching of theosophist Madame Blavatsky. On its trips, the astral body perceives other astral bodies rather than their physical, etheric, emotional, spiritual, etc. bodies.
In an ordinary OBE, such as remote viewing or the out-of-body near-death experience, there is a separation of a person’s consciousness from his or her body. In the near-death out-of-body experience, there may be the experience of hovering above and perceiving one’s body and environs,and hearing conversations of surgeons or rescue workers tinkering with one’s body. In astral projection, it is the astral body, not the soul or consciousness, that leaves the body.
The astral body, according to Madame Blavatsky, is the one that has an aura. It is also the seat of feeling and desire, and is generally described as being connected to the physical body during astral projection by an infinitely elastic and very fine silver cord, a kind of cosmic umbilical cord or Ariadne’s thread.