you can through meditation, as well as certain spells and rituals, these do not require astral travel. traveling to the astral is just a good thing to know when you work with any type of astral being.
poke around the Dragon Magick coven, after it was retired everything was opened up for the public, they've got a lot of great information. you could also checking out fox-moon.com, Eidolon Moon is very knowledgeable on the subject. [being a practitioner herself]
there's a few articles and spells on the site you can find useful, but trying to find sites on the subject can prove difficult since most searches will come up with D&D sites, but you can find stuff. i'd avoid D.J. Conway, but she's got a really good guided meditation in her first book 'Dancing with Dragons' i found very helpful. i think the book can be found in google books, but if not, let me know and i'll type it out for you.