The art of Etheric Mind Projection, or Astral Body Projection, it is all part of a learned process that starts with first seeing into what some believe is a mysterious realm. However, there have been cases where spontaneous Astral Body Projections have occurred – even to those that felt they were not of the psychic category; but those are rare occurrences usually brought on by stress or some other unknown factors. The norm is to prepare, and then project into the Spirit Realm. You can call it the Astral Plane, but the two places (The Spirit Realm vs. the Astral Plane) are all the same.
Visitors that are not residents (spirit energy) call it the Astral Plane. Astral energy differs from pure spirit energy. When you mind project, it is a projection performed only with your mind via your third eye. When you astral project, it is a projection of your shell and celestial spiritual energies but you are still connected to your physical body by an invisible chain of energy particles. It has a built-in “jerk back” effect if you come under some type of stress or other unknowns that make you feel uncomfortable on the planes. It is not a pleasant effect to be jerked back, so it’s best to try and keep your emotions in tact.
There’s nothing out there beyond the first lower plane that will try and harm you. The upper planes are policed by the Powers Order of Holy Angels. The lower plane is policed by the Cherubic Order of Holy Angels. For the most part, unless a rare occurrence occurs, you are protected.