Magic is the movement of energy to bring about a desired effect. This energy can be drawn from natural surroundings, items such as stones, herbs, or crystals, the gods, or from within ourselves. The key to working magic successfully though, is how to move and charge this energy. How do we focus and direct something that seems intangible? How do we ‘send’ it to our desired goal? Before my students ever set foot in a magic circle or attempt to cast a spell, they have to submit a journal showing their meditation and visualization practices for six months. They must write and perform a guided meditation for themselves and another or a group. The simple fact is that you cannot focus and send energy if you can’t feel and be aware of it first. You learn this awareness through meditation and visualization.
Meditation is the practice of focusing your mind specifically on a single thing and holding that focus. Meditation can be performed on a common phrase or saying, a favorite spiritual passage. It can take the form of self-hypnosis or transcendental meditation where you are using your mind and concentration to move to a different, deeper level of your psyche. The reason we meditate is to teach the mind and body to ‘calm on command’, to teach it to focus and listen as we give it a single chosen purpose. This is the basis for magical training and technique because magic begins in the mind.
Visualization is meditation with the addition of a specific ‘image’ in our mind. People with active imaginations find visualization comes easy with a bit of practice. Visualization is simply understanding that what you see in your mind can exist outside of it. Our minds and our bodies are not separate. We cannot separate our consciousness from our physical being. There is no one place in our body that if removed, our spirit would leave. Our spirit is not in our brain. If our brain stops functioning, our body may still continue on. It is not in our heart. We may go through heart transplants and continue living with a newly inducted organ into our physical body. It is vital that this concept is understood and believed for magic to be its most effective. Our minds and our bodies are one. Not just ‘connected’. They are completely integrated, ensnared, meshed, and every other word you can use to describe this. They are one. We can use this point as the focus for a meditation.
To begin, make yourself comfortable. Sitting helps keep you from falling asleep, so to begin, I would suggest sitting comfortably and not laying down. Otherwise, your body may begin to equate meditation exercises with sleepy time. I also suggest that you close your eyes and breathe deeply. Do not overly focus on your breathing. Do not even try to be aware of it. Just let it happen. Breathing is natural. If you breathe deeply, you are giving your body the optimum amount of oxygen. You are livening it up, giving it energy to run on, giving it fuel to burn to work. You are also helping it to relax without strain. Let yourself relax. Let your muscles loosen and release their tension. You may work on this as from your head to your feet or from your feet to your head. Either way will work equally well. It is your own personal preference. Count from ten to one and let yourself relax a bit more with each number. When you reach one, you should feel totally relaxed.
Now, behind your eyelids you may see different shapes or colors. Don’t try to chase them down, just follow them. They will move and shift and change. As you follow them, see yourself delving deeper into your own consciousness, into your own mind and spirit. Take your awareness inside yourself. Imagine that you are microscopic in size. See yourself descending into your body through your bloodstream. Journey around and look at everything inside of yourself. See all the systems of your body working together. See your heart beating, your lungs expanding and contracting as you breathe. See your bones with tendons and ligaments and muscles attached to them that allow you to move. See the nerves spark and fire as synapses are jolted from one to the other. See your brain as these small electrical pulses fire around and within it. See everything working together in unity. See all of it as a part of your own being. Nothing is separate. Now, see your consciousness in all of this. You. Your spirit. Your life, is in all of this. It is in the blood that pulses through your circulatory system. It is in your stomach as your food is digested. You are alive within yourself. This energy, this life force, is what powers everything you have seen. It is what drives everything you feel. It is you and it is everywhere inside you. See it as a golden, white, or green glow within all of these systems. Your body, your meditation will tell you what color your own personal energy is. For me, it is usually one of these three colors, for you it may be different. But see it. See the glow of this light and energy within yourself. Within all these parts of yourself. This is your life force. It is never ending. As long as you are alive it will be there within you. You can send it out and you can draw it in. It will never disappear. It will only change shape or direction. See it now begin to expand. To go outside of your physical body as you sit there and are aware of its presence. See it fluctuate as you breathe. See it and know that it is there. Draw it back into yourself now. Roost it back at home in all of your cells, in all of your systems. Do this a few more times. Just learn to be aware of it, learn how to move it and acknowledge it. Then, take a deep breath and count from one to ten as you slowly draw yourself out of this meditative state. When you reach ten, you will open your eyes and be fully awake and aware of what you just experienced.
This meditation is great for beginners as well as more experienced meditators. We always need to be aware of how to feel and manipulate our own energy. This is a basic meditation that can be added onto for purposes in healing (focus on a specific area of the body that needs healed and direct more energy to it to aid in healing it.) It can be used as a basis for sending energy out to heal others. That is a more advanced technique though and I will not go into it in great detail on this page.
Meditation and Visualization are practical, necessary tools for the Witch. Being able to focus your mind, to be aware of energy, is the basis for working magic. If this is not understood and practiced, then your magick will have no solid foundation to build or work from. When books you read call for grounding and centering, do you know what that is saying to you? What is it that you are being instructed to do?
Grounding is feeling yourself rooted to the Earth. It is being immoveable, unshakable, steadfast, and sturdily in place. It is the basic technique that children know without knowing they know it. It is what a young child does, what I think we may have all done at some point in our childhood, when they do not want to be lifted or moved. A fifty pound child knows how to make himself ‘heavy’ so that his father cannot lift him without a struggle. This feeling of making yourself ‘heavy’ is grounding.
Centering is feeling your energy inside of yourself and drawing it to a center point within you. Most do this as visualizing it or feeling it in the pit of their stomachs. This is where your ‘ki’ or ‘chi’ is found. When energy is centered, it can be sent.
Practice Grounding, Centering, Meditation, and Visualization. Keep journals or records of your experiences so that you can learn what is the most effective for you and what doesn’t really work. Why keep performing a meditation exercise that you get nothing from? Why not perform one that you feel truly benefits you and helps you to grow? Record-keeping will help with that.