Visualizing Magick vs. Practicing Magick

In many occult writings and texts, both online and in print, there has been an abundance of discussion concerning the use of visualization as a means to successfully using or casting magic.  This is somewhat troubling.

Here are  some examples. One spell calls to run a warm bath and add basil leaves to the bath. The more the merrier. Once the bath is full the practitioner is to step in, lie back and close their eyes. Then the practitioner is to raise their energy and visualize the basil leaves as money floating all around them. They are to repeat the process for seven days and more money will come into the practitioner’s life.

Another example is for a practitioner to close their eyes and imagine energy moving through their body and opening the Root Chakra. As they imagine the Root Chakra opening the practitioner is instructed to visualize the Chakra flooding with white light and energy. Once the visualization is complete the Root Chakra is considered open.

The trouble with these and other examples is that visualizing magic isn’t actual magic. In the same vain, visualizing weight loss isn’t actually losing weight. This isn’t to say that visualization doesn’t have its place! In fact it’s a very important tool; one that can increase the efficacy of any casting. Visualizing in extreme detail will help clarify your specified intent, but visualization is not a means to successful magic by itself.

There are good reasons to separate visualization as a key component for magic. Visualization is a limited system used to crystallize intent. Meaning you see in your minds eye how a spell or ritual will work and its desired outcome. To that end, when in the process of working magic the prime focus shouldn’t be on visualizations but rather on the energies and/or forces necessary to gain the desired outcome. The visualization process should have been worked out prior to the actual working. In essence, visualization is the prep work one would do before the  spell or ritual work begins.

Keeping the visualization process out of the picture, so to speak, is also important because visualization takes a good deal of time and work. For instance, it’s not enough to just see the process and outcome. What does the whole operation taste like, smell like and feel like? What energies  and/or forces (spirits, gods/goddess, elemental forces) will be used? These are all part of the visualization process. Many times the visualization process is not fully completed when the spell work begins which in turn diminishes expected results. On the plus side, a practitioner will generally only need to work through the visualization process once, that is if it is done correctly the first time. After the initial process the constructs for the ritual or spell are in place and the spell can be repeated many times over.

There is also the concern of  visualizing energy vs. using energy. Again the two are not the same. Energy work is something that takes time and practice. The notion that a person can simply visualize their way through it is misleading at best. Yogi’s and monks spend large portions of their lives learning how to manipulate their internal energies. It is not something that is picked up in a day of trying.


One comment on “Visualizing Magick vs. Practicing Magick

  1. This is an important topic, and skipped by too many books. I think about it this way: Engaging your mental muscles (the parts of your mind that drive magick) is what makes the difference between imagining (but not doing magick) and visualizing, and between theater and ritual. Like how the difference between imagining weightloss and actually working out is engaging your physical muscles.

    So the question becomes, how do you learn to engage your mental muscles? I have some answers, but I’d like to hear what you think. What exercises do you use or recommend?

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