The etheric body is made up of chi and forms a structure of meridians throughout the body. These meridians run through all the major organs, glands, nerves and energy centers. This system of etheric energy permeates the physical body, supporting and sustaining it.
All life forms including plants and animals have an etheric body. Nothing physical can be alive without the etheric body as it feeds the physical with energy which is vital for its health and survival. Astral forces interact with the etheric layer and thereby transform basic life-force chi into many other types. The astral actually grasps the etheric and this is how it incarnates and creates with the physical substances.
To explain how the interaction works I would like to talk about weeds and plants. Weeds, like all other life forms, have an etheric body. However, they have very little interaction with astral forces and this is the reason for their rapid growth. Without astral forces grasping the etheric of weeds their life force energy is allowed to expand easily. If unhindered they will grow and grow, taking over an entire area. Plants are different in that they have more interaction with astral forces.
They do not have an astral body as such but there are astral beings like fairies or nature spirits that are involved with their growth. A fairy has an astral body but does not have an etheric or physical body. They do not incarnate like humans and animals but do interact with the etheric and physical planes. By the interaction of the fairies’ astrality with plants, the growth of the plants is slowed. The life-force chi is transformed by the interaction with the specific astral forces creating a different kind of chi specific to the particular plant. Flowers are a result of this astral interaction along with slower growth and a specific type of chi energy. This is the reason for plants having healing properties that may not be explainable through the actual physics of the plant. There may seem to be no interaction on a physical level but the chi of the plant can affect the chi of a person, which leads to healing. Understanding the astral forces and resulting chi energy of plants is where healers and medicine men of various tribes and civilizations gained their knowledge. It was not a trial-and-error science but one of feeling the essence of a plant and knowing what it may be used for.
This interaction between the astral and etheric is the same in humans and animals. The main difference is that humans and animals have their own astral body whereas plants receive astral forces from fairies and other beings as well as the astral fields surrounding the planet. A human’s astral body concentrates certain astral forces in various places throughout the body with the organs and glands being the main locations. By the interaction in these areas the chi is transformed into organs and glands chi which is then circulated throughout the meridian system. The health of the astral body directly relates to the health of the etheric body which in turn affects the physical body. If any channels are blocked or there is poor circulation of chi the physical will suffer as well as the astral/mental and emotional state of the person. All disease and weakness of immunity comes down to the health and strength of the etheric body.
So basically you have a body of energy that permeates the physical body, giving it sustenance, health and vitality, without which the physical body could not be alive. All etheric energy comes from the lower dimensions.
The strengthening and clearing of blockages in the meridian system is extremely important for spiritual growth. Tantric sex techniques are vital in increasing the vibration of the etheric and with proper techniques is the most powerful way available to give it strength and vitality.