I recently spent some time reading about the differences between the Hindu tradition, along with the theosophical, and the anthroposophical variations, on energy layers surrounding humans, other animals, plants, etc. It struck me that the energy pattern I dowse around humans, which I call the Human Spherical Field, doesn't match the descriptions found in these "traditional" texts. You can find my crude representation of this field at http://www.geopathfinder.net/Spherical%20Field.pdf
For instance, the outermost field described as being attached to a human, the "causal", is described as being located about 18 inches from a human body and roughly following its outlines. But the causal field I locate when energy dowsing is closer to 7 feet away and spherical in shape. I noted the same discrepancies when locating the etheric and astral fields.
After checking the same phenomena around our house plants and cat, and after asking instead to find the PHYSICAL manifestation of the energies, not their ENERGY manifestation, I got the traditional results. A causal field still had 5 layers but was about 18 inches away from a human and body-shaped, while its energy signature was around 7 feet away, 5-layered, and spherical. Just goes to show that you have to be careful about phrasing your questions!
Also, when checking Rudolf Steiner's notion that plants don't have an attached astral field (which supposedly makes green manures inferior to animal manures as a nitrogen source) I'd have to disagree. All of our house plants have both etheric and astral energy fields, whether I check for their energy pattern or the physical manifestation of it.
"Develop an infallible technique, then place yourself at the mercy of inspiration." (from a craftsman, but it applies widely)