The astral plane can be divided into seven sub-planes which are also known as “the seven levels of the astral consciousness”.


In the genuine theosophical teaching, the following classification is given:

 atmic or auric consciousness astral sub-plane
 buddhic or spiritual astral sub-plane
 manasic or mind astral sub-plane
 kamic or desire astral sub-plane
 pranic or psychic astral sub-plane
 astral astral sub-plane
 physical or objective astral sub-plane

And those names are in correspondence with the septenary structure taught by the original Theosophy:

And on each of these astral sub-planes, Blavatsky gave a short description about it:

1st division: physical or objective astral sub-plane

It corresponds with everything with the physical world that we know, however, in this sub-plane everything seen must be inverted when translated in terms of the physical plane. It's like the image inverted in a mirror.

2nd division: astral astral sub-plane

It is similar to the first division, but the objects are extremely tenuous, so to speak they are "astralized". And this plane is the limit to which the average and ordinary medium can usually reach, and beyond which he cannot go. For a non-mediumistic person to reach it, he must be asleep or in a trance, or under the influence of a laughing gas or some drug. And also when an individual is in a state of ordinary delirium, his consciousness usually accesses to this plane.

3rd division: pranic or psychic astral sub-plane

It is of an intensely lived nature. The lunatics are often in this state of consciousness and see the most terrible visions. And also when a person is in a state of extreme delirium can enter in this sub-plane. And also when the drunks have hallucinations (known scientifically as the Delirium Tremens) and popularly known as "they see pink elephants", but in reality they are not delirious, but perceiving the psychic astral sub-plane and interpreting it in their own way. And they can even go to the next plane, since the two overlap.

4th division: kamic or desire astral sub-plane

This is the worst and most terrible of the astral sub-planes, and it is the state of consciousness that is reached in the most acute cases of delirium tremens. And from here come the images that tempt men to incite them to commit all kinds of depravity, vices and crimes. And individuals of a weak nature or prone to those behaviors fall under their influence, falling into those vices or committing those horrendous crimes.

Here are scattered the seeds that cause the epidemics, the disasters and the general catastrophes of all kinds that occur on Earth. And men for years (even generations) by dint of creating subtle negative entities with their bad thoughts, emotions and actions, inevitably one day end up returning these manifesting in the physical world in the form of calamities. (Karma)

5th division: manasic or mind astral sub-plane

It is in this sub-plane that premonitions and dreams are given, and glimpses into the past and the future, as well as the reflections of the lower mind and of the objective and non-spiritual things. The mesmerized clairvoyant can reach this sub-plane and if he is good, he can still go to the next higher sub-plane.

6th division: buddhic or spiritual astral sub-plane

From this sub-plane come all the beautiful inspirations of art, poetry, music and high types of dreams, as well as flashes of genius. And from here we can catch reminiscences of past incarnations, although it is not possible to locate and analyze them.

7th division: atmic or auric consciousness astral sub-plane

The consciousness is in this sub-plane at the moment of death or in exceptional visions, remembering all the past events of your life in a flash.  The memory of this consciousness must be kept in the heart, "the seat of the spiritual soul" (Buddhi). Then it will remain there, although impressions of this state of consciousness cannot affect the physical brain.

(Blavatsky taught this classification to his Inner Group students at the meeting on 11-26-1890.)


In the pseudo-theosophical teaching later invented by Leadbeater and Annie Besant, the following classification is given:

 atomic or divine astral sub-plane
 sub-atomic or monadic astral sub-plane
 atmic or spiritual sub-plano astral
 bhuddic or intuitional astral sub-plane
 manasic or mind astral sub-plane
 astral or emotional astral sub-plane
 dense or physical astral sub-plane

(Note: they reversed the numbering but we will keep it as the original to facilitate the comparison.)

And those names correspond to the modified septenary structure and taught by Leadbeater of the Solar System planes:

And about this new classification, Leadbeater gave the following explanation:

« The seven astral sub-planes form three worlds:

First Astral World

Formed by the 1° division: the dense astral sub-plane.

It penetrates to a certain depth inside the Earth. It is wrapped in darkness. The environment generates an unpleasant sensation as if one made its way through a viscous black fluid. In addition the dwellers and influences that are there are completely undesirable. The humans whose consciousness are attracted to that sub-plane are those who have low and rude desires (vicious, depraved, criminal, etc.).

Second Astral World

Formed by the 2°, 3° and 4° sub-planes.

It is like the physical world, but without the physical body, which implies that one no longer needs to eat food or drink water. The third and fourth sub-planes are becoming less material.

Third Astral World

Formed by the 5°, 6° and 7° sub-planes.

Here the inhabitants lose sight of the physical world and the earthly aspects. Most are almost unaware of the realities of the sub-plane, but live in imaginary environments, created in part by their thoughts, partly with collective thought.

This is how all kinds of cities, landscapes and places are found. These are in general beautiful though transient, and will last as long as the energy is sent to them. Visitors tend to wander between different scenarios, although if they prefer they can also build their own stage according to their fantasies.

The sixth sub-plane is especially the abode of the religious, selfish and unspiritual, and there creates the stage to worship the deity of their religion and era. We find paradise imagined by Christians, or Muslims, or Jews, etc.

The seventh sub-plane is especially the abode of intellectuals and scientists. Here they do not build imaginary creations, but use for purposes of study, almost all the powers of the entire astral plane, because they are capable of descending almost to the physical plane, following certain marked lines.

This way they can reach the astral counterpart of a physical book and extract the required data from it. Sometimes, they delay for a long time their departure to the celestial world because of the avidity with which they pursue lines of study and experimentation in the astral plane. »
(Based on “The Astral Body” by Arthur E. Powell, chap.16)
_ _ _

And as you can see, there are big differences in those two descriptions.


Because Leadbeater believed that Blavatsky’s teachings was wrong (which is not true since she was supervised by the Masters), and he decided to modify them based on his own psychic investigations, but he made many mistakes as I showed you in the numerous articles that I have written in this blog about that subject.


In Christian education, it is considered that the bad and the negative is “down,” while the good and the positive is “up”. And that is why in the popular consciousness it is conceived that hell is below the earth while paradise is above the sky.

And when Leadbeater altered the original structure, he did it with that religious belief, and that's why he put the lower astral in the densest sub-plane. However, from an esoteric point of view, the original structure has more coherence, and now I will explain you why:

All the parts of the Creation have a role to play so that the Universe can exist and if God created the lower astral it is because also the lower astral has a function to play.

And the function of the lower astral is to help through its heavy vibration, to densify the energy so that it can be transformed into matter. Because if the lower astral did not exist, then the matter would be converted back into energy and the physical plane could not exist.

So the lower astral has an important role to play in the Creation, but we must not approach to it.

To give you an analogy, the lower astral is like the bile, which is a very powerful acid, which when used where it should be used, helps to keep the body alive by disintegrating the food that human feed, but when the bile goes out of its place, the bile begins to destroy the body itself.

(This function of the lower astral is more detailed in the article: the underworld) [later I will put]

Then it is logical that the lower astral is localized just before the two denser sub-planes that are the mold of the physical plane (as is taught in the Original Theosophy). Because the lower astral is like a magnet that attracts the energy down, densifies it and then sends it to the molds so that they transform it into physical matter.


And from the information that Blavatsky gave us, we can regroup the seven astral sub-planes in the following structure:

     -   The anteroom for the superior existence plane (The Kama-Loka).
     -    The higher astral.
     -    The lower astral.
     -    The mold of the physical plane.

atmic or auric
Anteroom of the post-mortem trip
Subtle higher astral
manasic or mind
Dense higher astral
kamic or desire
Subtle lower astral
pranic or psychic
Dense lower astral
Subtle astral mold of the physical world
physical or objective
Dense astral mold of the physical world

And this structure also agrees with the fact that the different sub-planes of the astral plane are composed of the same substance that as it becomes densified, it takes different forms and properties (such as water that as it cools passes from steam to liquid and then to ice).


And if you ask: why do people who have died not dwell in the astral plane in general? (As is usually thought it) it is because the astral plane is only a transitional world for the human souls and it is not a world of residence for humans.

And in fact, the astral plane is the subtle counterpart of the Earth and therefore still part of the terrestrial world.

Instead, human souls will dwell in the following two worlds during their post-mortem stay between two reincarnations:

  • Those who have something good to carry with them will reside in the divine world (Devachan). 
  • And those who were very bad will reside in the intermediate zone (the Kama-Loka).


To facilitate the explanation, the astral sub-planes are drawn in the diagrams, placing them one above the other (as if they were the different floors of a building), the densest below and the subtler above.

But this representation induces the erroneous idea of thinking that the sub-planes are positioned "one above the other," when in reality the sub-planes interpenetrate with each other. In other words, taking up the analogy of the building, the floors would not be one above the other, but all the floors would be on the ground floor.

And in the same way the seven sub-planes of the astral plane are in reality occupying the same space as the physical plane.

Another way of illustrating this occult reality, it would be to imagine the sub-planes as the Russian dolls: one inside the other.

But with the difference that the dolls are hollow and the sub-planes are not.

And there they will surely ask:

How is that possible?

And the answer is because as the substance of each sub-plane vibrates at a different intensity, that allows that each sub-plane occupying the same space but “in another dimension.”

And that is why esotericism explains that the different planes of existence and their sub-planes are occupying the same space as the physical plane, but at other levels of vibration, which allows for "coadunation with each other but not in consubstantiality."


1. So if we are crazy it is because we have our consciousness connected to the third sub-plane?

It is the other way around, and by this I mean that when you are in a state of madness, you can more easily alter your state of consciousness and connect to the third astral sub-plane, which can sometimes cause you to start seeing images of beings and rare things. And since people usually do not understand what is happening to them, then they usually get even more delirious thinking that they are getting crazier when in fact they are perceiving images of the third astral sub-plane.

2. And in order to be creative, do we need connect to the sixth sub-plane of the astral plane?

No, but it can help you. And to give you an analogy, it is as if you were asking me if, in order to be creative, you need to connect to the Internet. And the answer is no, because you have your own creativity, but connecting to the internet can help you find ideas, and the same thing happens when you connect to the sixth astral sub-plane.


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