The first course organized by subject that was run on the original Mysticweb.org website was Belsebuub’s free introductory course covering a variety of topics related to astral travel and dreams. It was a very popular course, and consistently drew the largest number of people out of all the courses offered on Mysticweb. Over the years tens of thousands of participants joined this course in many different countries around the world either online or in person at a study center.
One reason this course was so popular is that it was very practical and hands-on. The structure of the course was aimed at helping people to either have their first conscious out-of-body experience, or to grow more skilled at astral traveling so they could have experiences more consistently and under greater control if they had spontaneously had astral experiences before. When participants were surveyed about their success with the practices and techniques in the astral course, 67% of people said that they had success in having an out-of-body experience within the first two months of taking the course.
The nine week Astral Travel and Dreams course covered a variety of topics related to the process of astral projection, including:
This course followed a particular structure also shared by the A Course in Self-Discovery and Esoteric Wisdom courses. It ran for nine weeks (when originally written the course was eight weeks, but was later expanded to nine), and each week the course was split into two parts — firstly an information-based component where a weekly topic was given, and secondly a practical aspect containing the weekly exercise. The exercise was chosen to allow participants to actively explore the weekly topic in much greater depth than just reading about it alone.
For those attending in person at study centers, the topic was given as a lecture at the beginning of the session, and then there was a dedicated practice time at the end to explore that week’s exercise in a group environment. Sessions including both the topic and practice generally lasted an hour.
For people attending the course online, the topic and the exercises were available in PDF format, which could be downloaded, read, and studied at home. In addition to the reading material, there were private course forums on Mysticweb where participants could discuss the week’s topic, ask questions, talk to other students and generally interact with others who were attending the same course. This replicated the classroom environment as best as possible given the online format.
One of the key benefits to the interactive, practice-based structure of the astral course (whether taking the course online or in a study center) was that people were able to gain insight and momentum by trying out the exercises together and hearing how other people approached them and what they experienced. For the Astral Travel and Dreams course, this was especially motivating as students were sometimes able to meet in the astral and later verify the meeting either in the center or through chat rooms or forums. It made the course structure much more lively and inspiring than just reading the course material on its own. For those online, this format was also a revolutionary approach to distance / virtual learning at the time, especially in the area of spirituality.
The final week of the nine week course program culminated in a group exercise where course participants aimed to meet up out of the body, in the astral plane, at a set location that had mystical or spiritual significance. Locations chosen included sites such as the Great Pyramids of Egypt, Machu Picchu, Stonehenge, Glastonbury Tor, and others.
With hundreds of people worldwide doing this practice on the final Saturday night of the course round, a lot of group momentum was generated, and participants often reported success in either projecting to the chosen mystical location, having an out-of-body experience, waking up in a dream, having a symbolic dream, or even meeting others from the course in the astral plane.
When Belsebuub first wrote the material in 2001 for the Astral Travel and Dreams course, it was sent out to course participants via email as a PDF. All material was provided freely in this manner, and over the years Belsebuub went back to revise and expand the course information.
Later on the course material was assembled into the print book A Course in Astral Travel and Dreams. It was put into print format as a measure to discourage people from taking the course PDFs and repackaging and selling them for their own purposes, as well as to preserve the integrity of the course material as a whole.
All proceeds from the sales of the print book went back into printing more books. A Course in Astral Travel and Dreams by Belsebuub was very popular and went on to become a bestseller in its category on Amazon.