Lucid Dream vs Astral Projection | How To Tell Them Apart

Lucid Dream vs Astral Projection, what are the differences between the two? A lot of people mistake them for each other.

Some lucid dreamers argue that Astral Projection is just a Lucid Dream. Astral projectors in the opposite camp insist that they are two fundamentaly different things. Let’s find out if they are different and how to differentiate them.

Lucid Dream vs Astral Projection Difference

Firstly, let’s go over what both of these are so that we can have an easier time comparing their differences to each other

Lucid Dream

A Lucid Dream is a dream where the person dreaming becomes aware that he is in a dream. In other words, if you know that you are dreaming. You can doubt yourself and there are different levels of lucidity so even if you don’t completely believe that you’re in a dream you are still lucid to a certain extent.

During a Lucid Dream, the dreamer usually gains control over everything around him. They can have superpowers, create objects, teleport and more just by imagining it.  In a Lucid Dream, you can destroy objects with your mind and instantly do anything you  like if you master it and reach the highest levels of lucidity.

DILD and WILD Lucid Dreaming

There two main types of Lucid Dreams:

The difference between these two is that DILD happens when you figgure out that you’re dreaming in the middle in a dream.  In other words, you add consciousness to a dream. This is the most common type. 

WILD, on the other hand, happens when you “add dreaming to consciousness”. It’s when you go directly into a dream from a waking state. This method is a lot harder and it can requires a lot of training to master.

Astral Projection

Astral Projection (AP) is an Out of Body Experience (OBE) of separating yourself from your physical body and entering the astral plane

It happens when your mind is awake and your physical body is asleep/paralyzed. At that point you can lift your astral body out of your physical body and literally watch your physical self sleep in the bed while you go and explore the astral plane.

Astral Projecting separating the body

Sleep paralysis is often compared with Astral Projection. It happens right before a projector would separate their astral body from their physical self. For an unexperienced person that isn’t familiar with AP, however, it can be scary because their body is paralysed and they don’t know what is happening.

Contrary to Lucid Dreaming, most people haven’t experience Astral Projection before. This is because AP is a lot harder to achieve and it can take a long time for beginners to learn how to Astral Project.

Everyone who has projected before (including me) can tell you that a Lucid Dream and Astral Projection are two incredibly different things. Let’s go over what makes them different.

Lucid Dream vs Astral Projection

There are multiple methods to “check” wether you’re in a Lucid Dream or if you’ve projected into the astral plane.

The 5 best ways to tell are:

  • Astral Body
  • Control
  • Dream Text
  • Senses
  • Other Entities

Let’s go over each one and explain it in detail.

Astral Body

One of the best ways to tell that you’re in the astral plane and not in a Lucid Dream is by taking a look at your body.

When you Astral Project, you can see your physical body sleeping while you are coming out of it with your Astral body.

Astral Body

In a Lucid Dream, however, you almost always “start the dream” in a random place. A Lucid Dream never starts the way that Astral Projection starts (by consciously coming out of your physical body).


In a Lucid Dream, you can control everything around you. You can instantly do whatever you want just by thinking it, it’s like magic.

In the Astral World you can’t do that. You can do some cool things like using light to protect yourself but nothing like you could do in a Lucid Dream at a high level of lucidity.

There’s a massive difference in your ability to control the environment in a Lucid Dream vs in Astral Projection. 

Dream Text

Research tells us that the vast majority of people can’t read text in a Lucid Dream because it almost always turns into gibberish.

According to Deirde Barret, Ph. D., this is because Brica’s area and Wernicke’s area (two parts of the brain that are responsible for communication) are a lot less active in a Lucid Dream.

Some people, especially experienced Lucid Dreamers, are able to read text during their dreams. The vast majority, however, can’t.

Reading text in a dream

On the contrary, you can always clearly read text when you Astral Project, without exceptions. All projectors are able to read text in the astral plane.

It’s worth noting, however, that text in the Astral World looks a lot different than in the physical world. This is why projectors can’t just read something that they didn’t see in the physical world. They could read it but it would look a lot different than it actually does in the physical world. Most of us agree that this is because the astral plane has very different rules than the normal world.

To summarize, the vast majority of people see gibberish in a Lucid Dream when they look at some text. In the astral plane, however, everyone can clearly read text.


Similar to reading text, most people don’t have the majority of their senses in a Lucid Dream. Most people can’t smell and a lot of people even have a hard time seeing. It’s even common to not even have your own body when you dream.

In the Astral World, you always have all your senses and you always have your own body (the Astral body).

Other Entities

In a Lucid Dream and in Astral Projection there are other entities. That could be other people, animals or weird looking monsters.

The difference, however, is the way that those entities interact with you.

In a Lucid Dream, you can do whatever you want to the entities around you and they won’t react much. At a high lucidity level they usually don’t react at all.

When you Astral Project, however, the entities that you find always react to you. They always react to you interacting with them by either speaking to you or chasing you off.


In conclusion, Lucid Dream is fundamentaly different than Astral Projection with the main differences being:

  1. Control over the environment
  2. Coming out of your physical body
  3. Interaction with other entities
  4. Senses
  5. Text

The main reason why Lucid Dreams are so different than Astral Projection is because a Lucid Dream is just in your head. This is why your mind can do whatever it wants in a dream. Astral Projection, however, is in the astral plane and not just in your head.

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