By intentionally making contact with the physical body of a conscious (and more importantly, living) individual, a practitioner of astral projection is sometimes able to, upon awakening, "trick" their projection into entering the new body rather than return to their own as normal. This results in the practitioner being able to obtain control over the individual's motor functions and mental faculties; in effect possessing them.
The amount of time a practitioner of astral projection is able to possess an individual using this method is limited by an array of factors including, but not limited to, the following:
Level of exhaustionEdit
If the practitioner is fatigued when they attempt to possess an individual, their ability to maintain the possession for any length of time can be severely limited. This can, in turn, lead to an increase in the possible side-effects.
Level of proficiencyEdit
As with many things, the amount of practice the practitioner has had with using this ability can impact its effectiveness. For the first time, they may experience difficulty moving as they become accustomed to coaxing another person's body into motion. This could also grant the victim an opportunity to resist and eventually evict the foriegn prescence from their mind, forcing the practitioner to return to their own body.
Due to the "unnatural" exposure to the mind of another person that possession of this nature can often entail, there are a number of possible side-effects. As of late, all of the side-effects relating to astral possession have been temporary, but the possibility that repeated use, and indeed overuse, of this ability resulting in permanent psychological damage is likely. The side-effects which are known to occur are:
Temporary Disassociative Identity DisorderEdit
Upon returning to their rightful body, it is possible for the practitioner to become temporarily afflicted with a form of Disassociative Identity Disorder, where they fall under the belief that they in fact are the person they possessed. This can, and often does, carry with it some level of memory transferrence to supplement the new "personality".
After being exposed to the mind of another individual in such an intimate manner, the practitioner can experience a period of time where some of the memories and experiences of the individual they managed to possess are confused with their own memories/experiences. With some more vivid memories, it is entirely possible that the practitioner is able to experience the emotional factors that these memories evoked in the individual.
Limited Emotional EmpathyEdit
With some particularly vivid experiences, the memory of the event is intertwined with emotional trauma. It is possible that, when recalling these memories post-possession, the practitioner can expose themselves to this trauma, provoking a sudden and unexplained emotional response, such as the urge to cry or a feeling of intense rage.