Saturday, 04 October 2014 00:00

Learning the ever so important magickal art of visualization

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Creative VisualizationVisualization is one of the most important skills to master when it comes to magick, yet many have said that this is one of their greatest challenges.  I hope to offer you a bit of help through my own insights here.  Don't give up because you cannot do it as of yet. As with anything, practice, work and patience will get you there. 

In Wicca, we use visualization to see the portals to the elemental realms, the elementals that stand at them, and the circle as it is cast around us.  Witches use it in practically all magicks that we work.  We visualize our desired goal, empower it with the energy we gather from the earth, the moon, the planets and stars, and direct it into a channel for it to manifest on the physical plane.  Without skill at visualization, we'd have a hard time getting much of anything done.  Visualization is essential to the proper working of the psychic senses.  It's an essential skill for any witch or magician to know.

In our circle, we say "as above, so below."  That statement has been used by magicians ever since the days of Hermes Trismegistus.  Anything that you expect to have in the physical world, you have to see in your mind's eye first.  Even in the most mundane of tasks, this is true.  A builder doesn't just get a bunch of boards and nails and start hammering them together and expect to get a nice house out of it.  She starts with a plan, a blueprint.  Even an expert chef, who might not follow a recipe, can see in his head the end result of what he wants to make before mixing the ingredients.  The point of visualization is to create something on the "above" so that it may manifest on the "below." Create it in the spiritual realm, the realm of possibility unmanifest, and the magick sets the wheels in motion so that it may manifest in the physical realm.

You can start developing your ability to visualize by working with known objects. To get good at visualization, you must first get good at paying attention to your own senses. If you aren't in tune with your senses in the below, how can they work well in the above?  It's easy to get lost in one's own head, and to be so wrapped up in our thoughts that we don't pay attention to our bodies.  The point of this exercise is to get you back in tune with your senses, to learn to work with them more effectively on a plane that you are familiar with - the physical plane, so that you can extend that familiarity to a less familiar plane - the astral plane.

Take a piece of your favorite fruit. Mine is an orange, so I will use that as an example. Take some time to really get to know the object using all of your senses.  Despite the name, visualization involves all of the senses, not just sight. Ground and center.  State aloud your intention of bettering your attunement with your senses.  Then proceed. 

First, open your sense of touch up.  Your sense of touch has the largest sense organ devoted to it - your skin.  Rub your hands together and feel the nerves awaken in your fingers and palms.  Then, pick up the fruit.  Feel the roughness and the smoothness of the skin.  Run your fingers all over it, and appreciate the roughness and smoothness of each part.  Give it a gentle squeeze, and feel the consistency of the fruit.  Pop it open, and feel the squishiness of the individual segments.  Feel the texture of the thin membrane that holds the segments together. Open a segment up and observe the small sacs filled with juice inside. Run your fingers along them. Feel the fruit as if your were handling a fine piece of silk.

Next, open your sense of smell up.  Take a moment to pay attention to your nose.  Take a few deep breaths, appreciating how your nostrils flare and the feel of the rushing air against the insides of your nose.  Now, take a deep breath of the fruit's scent.  Let the scent molecules from the fruit play on the inside of your nose, and delight it.  Does the outside of the fruit smell differently than the inside? Do different parts have different scents?  Explore!  Smell the fruit as if you were smelling a fine fragrance or a rare flower.

Now, open your sense of sight up.  Pay attention to your eyes.  Blink a few times and let your eyes wander around the room.  Stretch them from side to side, up and down by looking as far in each direction as is comfortable to do so and holding that for a moment.  Now, observe the fruit.  Look closely the texture, observing all the little details, the variances in the surface.  Pay attention to the colors.  Is the color consistent throughout, or does it vary?  Are there patterns or is it sold?  Look at the curves, shapes, and angles, and how they meet inside and outside of the fruit.  Admire the fruit as if you were admiring a piece of art or a fine diamond.

Open your sense of taste up.  Take a moment to drink a glass of water to wash down any previous flavors that might have been in your mouth. (Obviously, don't do this right after you've brushed your teeth and still have that minty flavor in your mouth).  Touch your tongue to the roof and sides of your mouth, and note the tastebuds on your tongue, ready to transfer to your brain information about the shapes of the molecules it comes in contact with.  Take a bite of the fruit, slowly.  Let it roll around on your tongue. Feel the textures on your tongue. Note how the flavor changes from start to finish. Chew slowly, feeling the flavor burst between your teeth. Let the taste fill your mouth, and enjoy the pleasure of the sensation.  As a sidenote, this is a great thing to do when you're dining.  You'll enjoy the flavors of the food more intensely, and find the meal to be far more satisfying.

After you've had a bite or two of the fruit, open up your final sense, your sense of hearing.  Take a moment to pay attention to your ears, those wonderous things that gather data from near and far, beyond the limitations of sight.  Pay attention to the ambient noises.  Are there birds singing outside?  Is there traffic?  Is the heater or air conditioner running?  Is there a computer humming nearby?  Can you hear your own heartbeat?  Now, listen to the fruit as you're eating it.  This might be tricky, but it does make a sound. The crunch of an apple is an obvious one, but you might hear a squish, a slosh, or a snap, or something else entirely. Listen to how it sounds as you tear it open. Listen to the sounds your mouth makes as you grind the pieces with your teeth, and the sound of the muscles working in your throat as you swallow.

Do this every day for a week with different fruits. As you do this exercise, you'll notice that the experience of eating the fruit will become deeper, more aware, more real. You are getting more in tune with your five senses.  Once you've done this for a week, do the exact same exercise twice in a day for a week - the first time with a physical piece of fruit, the second time with the same piece of fruit, only without a physical presence: an astral piece of fruit.  Re-create the exact sounds, textures, flavors, colors, and smells on the astral, and enjoy your fruit.  On your third week, stop the exercise with the physical fruit, and just eat an astral fruit in this deeply sensual way every day for a while.  The more you do this exercise, the more your ability to shape things in your mind and make them truly real will increase.