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Author Topic: How do you know it's working?  (Read 5618 times)
High Adept Member
Last Login:February 23, 2020, 06:56:44 pm
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Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
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« Reply #2: May 24, 2011, 03:09:49 pm »

But I don't see how I can improve if I can't even see what I'm doing, so hopefully someone can give me a bit of guidance.

The place I start is "Is this thing I'm doing making things better? Or are they the same? Or worse?" And then "Is anything else in the situation changing in ways I might want to take into consideration?"

For example, if I center and ground, and feel better afterwards (and don't have any negative impact other than taking a minute to take a few deep breaths and think about me rather than the busy world around me), there's a certain point at which it doesn't matter if it actually helps because it's energy work, or if it's helping because taking a few deep breaths and relaxing consciously triggers a whole bunch of things in our bodies that can be quite helpful.

Likewise, if I create a shield, and it helps me deal better with a busy store, or a concert, or some other public event, and it doesn't take more away from me than it gives me, does it matter if it's energy work, or if it's me talking myself into making it easier to deal with a complicated setting?

In practice, I think that magical and energetic work is at least a quarter psychology, at least a quarter neurobiology (how our brains interact with our bodies) and at least a quarter, direction, and decision. I think it's totally possible that there's esoteric energetic stuff going on that isn't trackable by any other means - but at the same time, I know that many of the magical and energetic techniques I use have at least some basis in actual biological and psychological sciences and tools that are good for me. (Like taking a few deep breaths, destressing, using techniques to focus intention and goals in a particular way.)

So, some days, I think it's almost all psychology, neurobiology, and intention (and stuff that science is beginning to be able to describe clearly.) Other days, I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of esoteric and spiritual stuff in there that's beyond the realm of science. (My *ritual* and religious and spiritual work, there's a big element of the esoteric and spiritual in, of course.)

The real trick comes if the magical/energetic stuff is something that's *detracting* from other areas of your life. In that case, the question of what you do gets more complicated.

For example, I had experiences during my training as a priestess that were energetically impossible to explain logically in any other way than "There was a deity here who did some stuff, and who changed the energy of this space - and sometimes of me - in ways I could not have done on my own." Most of those experiences are amazing, wonderful, and stunning - but they also left some after effects that left me feeling tired and worn out for a few days, distracted from other things in my life, and so on.

Personally, I think as long as that's moderate and passes given a reasonable amount of time, it's generally fine - sort of like someone who chooses to act in a theatre production, or run a marathon, or have a baby is going to be distracted and tired and need to readjust priorities for a period of time. That's part of having a rich and fulfilling life. But if it's all the time, or if someone's using those peak experiences to hide from other important things in their life, then something may need fixing.

In terms of sensing what's happening - well,you may not be able to see energy, but most people can learn to sense it. The trick is that it takes some practice. People who can work with someone else (even someone who isn't very experienced themselves) tend to learn faster - there's a bunch of stuff where it's easier to sense if someone else does something, or where the other person can give feedback that helps a lot.

But one thing that books often don't cover well is that different people have different modes of learning. Lots of books talk about 'seeing' energy - but if you're like me, and visual stuff is one of your weakest senses, then you might get really frustrated. (Instead, I hear it, and to some extent feel it.) There's some ideas and additional resources on my website at that might help you figure out if some of that is what's going on for you.

So, when I'm centered and grounded, I feel it in my body, and I 'hear' myself in ways that sound differently than when I'm not. Tuning into that sensation and sound can quickly help me figure out what I can do to fix things.

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