|While you are traveling on the astral plane, you will not necessarily always be traveling alone. You may meet other astral travelers, perhaps friends or lovers whom you have arranged to meet there. You may also meet (as we shall see a bit later) spirits of the dead.
Possibly, too, you will encounter astral guides??"benevolent, protective superbeings who have been known to help people in trouble. One such person was a young writer from Pasadena, California, named William Dudley Pelley.
One night Pelley awoke terrified. He knew something was terribly wrong with him??"his body was paralyzed and he was sure he was dying. Suddenly he projected upward through a sort of "whirlwind" which had abruptly appeared above him. He was carried through a medium he would describe as "blue space."
Two guides appeared to him and one said, "Take it easy, old man. We’re here to help you."
The beings carried him in their arms to a marble slab and laid him on top of it, then stood over him in a protective manner. When he looked at his body, Pelley saw that he was naked. The guides directed him to a nearby pool, where he bathed. As he got out of the water, he sensed that he was clothed in some kind of garment but he couldn’t tell exactly what it was.
The environment in which Pelley found himself was of "a beauty and loveliness that surpasses chronicling on paper," he would write in a 1929 issue of the American Magazine.
Then he was swept up in a whirlwind once more and returned through the blue space back to his bedroom and his physical body, which was sitting up.
Pelley would always insist that he had been fully awake all the time and that he had visited, for a period of seven minutes, the land of the dead.
Among Spiritualists astral guides are called "controls." They take possession of the medium’s conscious mind and help direct messages from discarnates in the spirit realm. Psychical researcher Nandor Fodor says, "The control is a communication exert who watches over the fluency of the proceedings, often steps in if he vacated his place to explain confusion and repeats unintelligible expressions. . . . Mostly they bring along a religious atmosphere but not all are saintly.