Magick begins within us, it’s already there, intuitive knowledge and instinctive ability passed down to us through eons of regenerated reincarnations, and it sits there deep in the back of the mind waiting to be used. The mind needs to be trained in the techniques of meditation, visualization, concentration, and imagination if once again we desire to use these forgotten abilities.
Given the pace of life in society today and the stresses and worries that go with it, it’s difficult for most of us to gain relief and let go of our cares and woes. Meditation is one way to induce total relaxation and normally precedes any act of magick or ritual.
Let’s face it; we cannot begin to work with magick, which requires our full concentration if we are worried about mundane everyday things. Meditation is also the quiet time in which we release our hold on the conscious mind and confront our inner-self, or through our psychic awareness communicate with the deities.
Visualization is probably the most important aspect of any magickal working. It’s what we use to guide and direct the power and energy raised during ritual and while using magick. We all have the ability to visualize, but most people do so randomly. Perhaps when sitting in the car while stuck in a traffic jam, the mind takes flight and begins to wonder? Or when sat in a classroom during a boring lecture, we might start thinking about favorite things, seeing them in our mind's eye while the teacher drones on in the background? This is random visualization.
For use in magick, we need to train and control this ability, so that we can see, hold and shape whatever it is we want to see, and then direct our powers and energies towards it. For instance, I may want to protect my home from intruders. In which case I would raise personal power while holding an image of the home in my mind, then visualize an energy field encircling the house sealing the doors and windows. I then direct my raised power and energies to the visualization, thus bringing it into manifestation and leaving the protection in place to work its magick.
This then is the art of visualization control, the ability to see in the mind what isn’t there, to hold a non-existent image or happening, and shaping it into being what you want it to be. Visualization is not “the power” or “the energy”, nor does it create it on its own, more that it directs raised power and energy to its final conclusion.
Visualization in itself may sound easy and it is while sitting in a chair in a relaxed state of mind. But visualizing is only part of the process of working magick. The difficult part is to retain your visualization with your eyes open, stood in the center of your circle with your hands and mind occupied in manipulating your tools and other tasks. It takes a little training and practice to perfect this technique.
You could start by incorporating a few simple exercises into your daily meditation practice. While still in your relaxed state with your eyes closed, visualize a still object, something familiar to you like an apple, a toothbrush, or something equally simple. Hold the image as long as you can, allow nothing else to interfere, and then let it go. When you can hold the image without interruption for five minutes, try the same exercise but with your eyes open. This is a little harder but practice daily and it will come.
Once you’ve accomplished this, we start again. Visualize the same image, only this time play with it. Turn it around, see it grow or expand, maybe change its colors and textures, or try to see it from different angles. When you can do this, try it again but with your eyes open. As you become more proficient, you might want to incorporate it into your active life, try doing it while occupied with mundane things, see how long you can hold the image in your mind’s eye while performing such tasks.
The final exercise is to visualize a non-existent image or something you have never seen before. Use your imagination to create something, something meaningful to you perhaps. Whatever you use, see it as a real thing in your mind, make it so real you could almost touch and feel it. Hold the image as long as you can, then let it go.
As with the other exercises, we need to be able to see the same image with our eyes open and while occupied with other things. When you can do this, you’re well on your way to using magick.
Finally, a note of caution to anyone new to using magick. Magick begins within the self. It’s already there in the back of the mind where it's tied up with our energy and mental facilities. When working with magick you can be working with some powerful energy and forces. Repeated or excessive use of magick without proper care and attention to the self, depletes the self's resources and can lead to debilitating personal health difficulties, such as mental exhaustion, headaches, migraines, etc.
To combat these difficulties, occultists use a technique called "Grounding and Centering". Before any ritual, magical working, or divinatory activity, an Occultist will first 'Ground and Center' to bolster the self's resources by infusing 'Personal Power' with 'Earth Power' using the techniques already mentioned above. This technique can also be used to calm fear, anxiety, and agitation.
To do this, plant your feet firmly on the ground (some people prefer to do this barefooted, standing on bare earth or grass, but it can also be done seated and regardless of where one is or how one is dressed). Close your eyes, blank your mind and steady yourself.
Inhale a slow deep breath and release it slowly while visualizing any retained negative energy or influences flowing out of the body through your feet and dispersing harmlessly into the ground. Inhale again while visualizing positive 'Earth' energy being drawn up into the body through the feet. Repeat this process until you feel that all your negativity has been released and the incoming energy has touched and infused all your body's chakra points (these are the seven zones within the body that retain energy. You should now be feeling calm and energized to commence with your magical workings.
Once the rite or working is complete, repeat this exercise to disperse any residual energy. Once your work is done and all is completed, a period of self-analysis should follow. Carefully monitor the subject of your magick and record your experiences. This will provide you with valuable information for future workings.
Em Hotep - Patrick Gaffiero