The astral planes can be likened to a vast ocean of reflected thought and emotion and memory that has been slowly filling since the dawn of time. Internal energetic filtration mechanisms of
repulsion and attraction cause this ocean to stratify into layers. Many of these layers develop a cohesive integrity that holds them distinctly separate from any other dimensional area. These areas, traditionally called astral realms and kingdoms, are generated by pools of structured, like-minded energies, thoughts, memories, ideas, beliefs, and fantasies that have collected over time.
An astral realm is best thought of as a specific environment or world. An astral kingdom is an island or city or town inside a realm: a place that has a single theme and consistent structure. Astral kingdoms are usually civilized areas containing groups of like-minded astral beings.
Astral realms vary greatly in size and scope, some appearing to be as small as a country village, while others seem infinite in size and scope. Each realm has a distinct and enduring flavor and atmosphere, and its own unique environment. Many contain native astral inhabitants, with varying levels of intelligence and society. Some appear to be fairly modern structures, while others seem ancient.
Astral travelers will normally experience more than one realm or kingdom each time they project into the astral planes. As the astral level to which travelers project is set by their energetic values at the start of a projection, this will normally be well to their liking. They thus will normally find themselves in pleasant areas each time, where they will always feel reasonably comfortable; albeit often a little perplexed.
For most novice astral travelers, a jaunt into the astral planes can be likened to taking a mystery flight and landing in a strange city. A city is a city, however, and although the language, customs, and laws may be different, all cities are peopled mostly by recognizably human types. In time, as astral navigation experience is gained, it becomes possible to travel to more-specific destinations and to then explore the astral planes, realms, and kingdoms in a much less haphazard way.
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