We talk about ritual tools quite a bit, especially when we’re getting started with magick and ritual. Everyone is looking for the perfect wand or athame, but the most important of all ritual items is something that we all possess already and which costs no money at all, but certainly needs some polishing and preparation before we can really put it to use. Our mind’s eye. It’s arguably the most important of all tools a Witch has because without it, the true power behind our work may not be harnessed. And let’s face it, no wand in the world can make up for the lack of ability to ground, focus and visualize our intent and send energy to our goal.
When you’re just getting started you hear a lot in books about the mind’s eye. You’ll see a lot of phrases like “Visualize your desire in your mind’s eye” or “See the elements in your mind’s eye”. A lot of people get a little confused, unsure of what and where the information that the mind’s eye calls on is going to come from. In the simplest of terms, the mind’s eye is your imagination. When we work in meditation, trying to envision something coming to us, or something happening to us, we are working to “see” with “eye” in our mind (aka the mind’s eye). For some people it can help to have almost a physical place to focus on when doing this; if you’re one of those people imagine that the there is a large movie screen or white board in your mind right around where your third eye is located. When you’re eyes are closed, imagine that this eye then opens, and when it does you can now see this screen or board through this eye. This is where you can call up any image or any energy you desire.
If you have ever read either Laurie Cabot’s book “Power of the Witch” or you have read Christopher Penczak’s Inner Temple books or listened to his meditation CDs, then you will be familiar with a countdown meditation technique that can help to develop your mind’s eye as well as help you reach that lower brainwave state that helps to bring us into deep, magickal levels of meditation. The technique that both Cabot and Penczak have used as a reference point is called the Silva Method or Silva Mind Control. This is a technique developed by José Silva, a parapsychologist and founder of the Silva Method, which were developed to help reach higher levels of mental function by naturally bringing the brain to a frequency of 8 to 13 Hz, also known as alpha state. Here the brain could be trained to and programmed to open up the psychic senses, specifically helping people be able to learn remote viewing and develop lucid dreaming skills, as well as help people raise their overall IQ and increase their personal well-being. It is basically self-hypnosis and it helps to open up, train and work with the mind’s eye. (You can learn more about the Silva Method here.)
Some people, when hearing the word “imagination” in relation to Witchcraft become a little uncomfortable, feeling that the deeper work of magick and ritual are being relegated to nothing more than a play thing. Imagination is really nothing more than allowing the mind to wander while calling up and creating images that aren’t physically real but that can be very real within our minds. This is what we often do within magick. We sometimes talk about how when we daydream we are actually in a state of spontaneous meditation, creating realities in our minds that we would like to see in reality. Often beginners will say they can’t meditate or can’t visualize anything, feeling that they will never be able to work magick, yet when asked if they ever find themselves daydreaming most of them say they do that all the time without realizing it. The work of the mind’s eye while daydreaming is the same as what you would use for visualization and meditation, only in those instances you have more conscious control over it than when you daydream. So if you can daydream, you can learn to work with your mind’s eye in a controlled way in order to visualize in magick and meditation.
Creative Visualization is a technique used in just about all forms of magickal work. It is a way of accessing levels of the imagination where we can create images in a visual in our mind’s eye while also creating and raising energy which can then be used in magickal work. So for example if you have a friend who is sick and you wanted to help them get well, after lighting a candle for them you might spend some time focusing on visualizing in your mind what they are like when they are healthy. If you friend is bed-sick because of a chest infection and they can’t breath well enough right now to do their normal activities, you would want to create in your mind the image of them breathing deeply, taking in large, healthy breaths. You’d want to see them doing a physical activity that you know they enjoy such as jogging or hiking, something that right now they can’t possibly be doing. While you’re doing this and creating the images in your mind, you also want to really feel them as well. So you could imagine being with your friend on that jog or hike and seeing them enjoying themselves, being happy and healthy and feeling that joy with them. Then you can send that energy to them in one of many different ways (e.g. direct the energy into the candle and as the candle burns the energy is released toward your friend or sense the energy forming in the shape of a large balloon in a specific color and imagine it traveling to your friend and giving them the energy when they receive it). Different traditions and types of magick have different techniques for sending energy.
Learning how to do some basic visualization techniques will help you to grow more comfortable with working with your mind’s eye as well as helping you become more confident with creating mental images. Learning to ground with creative visualization is a great way to start with this or even to refresh yourself on the basics. Give this a try. All you’ll need for this is a white candle and stone of either onyx, black tourmaline, hematite, jet, obsidian or smokey quartz in any size.
1. Sitting either on the floor or in a comfortable chair, light a candle. Make sure your feet are on the ground if you are in a chair so that some part of you is physically connected to the ground or earth. Take up the stone with both hands (if you’re using a small raw or tumbled stone, place the stone in one hand and cup with the other).
2. Begin breathing slow, rhythmic breaths and close your eyes. Take the time to feel yourself comfortable and solid in your physical position. Then begin to visualize that thick tree roots are growing either from your feet if you are sitting in a chair, or from your spine if you are sitting directly on the ground. See them going down into the earth, cutting through the earth’s crust, through the soil, and moving down around rock and stone below. As you do this think about how strong tree roots are but also see the tiny, vain-like roots that grow from the larger ones. These roots help to connect to the soil to gather nourishment and to help anchor the tree. Feel those roots as well as the larger ones and visualize your roots moving downward, toward the center of the earth.
3. Turn your mind back to your breath again, but still sensing the tree roots. As you exhale, visualize the roots move deeper, going further toward the center of the earth. Take the time on your inhaled breaths to feel what the roots feel under the earth. Are they damp from hitting ground water? Are they gritting with rock and sand? Are they getting warm as they reach the molten center of the earth’s core? When you exhale feel the roots moving, see them move through the rock, dirt, and water.
4. When you get to the point where you can feel heat, or where you feel or see heat, imagine that you roots come to a halt. You are at the center of the earth. Being to feel that warmth come up through your roots, up all the way through to your feel or spine, up your body, down your arms and out the top of your head through your crown chakra. See it as a bright white light, of if you can, visualize it the color of the molten core of the earth. Feel it heat up and energize your roots and your body.
5. When you have this feeling running firmly through you, being to feel the energy withdraw back into the earth. Imagine closing a hatch over the crown chakra and the energy retreating down your body. Feel your body cool as the energy retreats. Feel it flow back down your trunk, your legs and feet, down into the earth through your roots. When you see and feel your roots have released the earth’s energy, begin to bring your roots back. See them retreat upward just as you saw them move down. Feel the tiny roots release from the earth as your larger roots return back to your feet or spine.
6. Once you see the roots completely return to your body focus back on your breathing, relaxed breaths in and out. While you are doing this, if you feel there is any left over energy that may make you anxious or nervous, visualize that energy running down your arms like drops of water and collecting in the stone in your hand. The stone will ground the energy for you. Gently open your eyes and come back to waking consciousness.
Some other simple ways to practice include visualizing a piece of fruit, like an apple or orange, hanging from a tree branch in front of you. Imagine picking it from the tree and taking a bit. Taste the fruit, smell it, feel the juice in your hands and on your chin. As you advance, another way that you can work with visualization that can also help you with your psychic development is to work on visualizing a friend who is not with you at the moment (they can be anywhere else, even if it’s just in another room) and imagine what they are wearing. If you are in the same location when they leave the room you’ll want to ask them to change a piece of their clothing. When you get a strong visualization of what they have on either call them on the phone and describe what you see, or in the case of being in the same place you can simply ask them to come in the room and you can tell them what you are getting but don’t turn to face them until they give you some feedback. Practicing things like this helps with not just creative visualization and being able to create solid images in your mind but you’ll be able to slowly develop the psychic senses, especially remote viewing.
The mind’s eye is your most critical magickal tool. Learning to develop it from the beginning of your practice and taking the time to give it regular tune-ups along the way is key in being able to do successful magick of all kinds.
For more help with creative visualization, check out the classic book Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life by Shakti Gawain.