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Author Topic: Magic Exercises?  (Read 22960 times)
Mithril
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« Topic Start: September 25, 2007, 07:16:41 pm »

Practice makes perfect, right? So how can I practice manipulating my energy or magic or whatever it's called to get my spells stronger? I feel like one of my problems is that I feel nervous when I do spell work like 'is this gonna work, is this gonna work, is this gonna work?' rolling over and over inside my head and keeping me from concentrating on what I'm doing, and I think that if I get into a routine of working with magic, the actual spells won't seem like such a big deal and I won't get as nervous.
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« Reply #1: September 25, 2007, 07:19:56 pm »

Practice makes perfect, right? So how can I practice manipulating my energy or magic or whatever it's called to get my spells stronger? I feel like one of my problems is that I feel nervous when I do spell work like 'is this gonna work, is this gonna work, is this gonna work?' rolling over and over inside my head and keeping me from concentrating on what I'm doing, and I think that if I get into a routine of working with magic, the actual spells won't seem like such a big deal and I won't get as nervous.

I get that way when just trying to do a devotional (daily, small) for Dionysos. Its pretty much "isthisgoingtoworkisthisgoingtoworkomghe'snot goingtohearmeifeelsostupidimsorry".

... I really do think I think like that. Smiley

I heard of a technique involving rubbing your hands together, and trying to form a ball. But I don't get what its supposed to feel like (and therefore that is my hang up, and possibly yours: thinking too much), so I 'think' I can't do it. But I most likely can.
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« Reply #2: September 25, 2007, 07:27:19 pm »

I get that way when just trying to do a devotional (daily, small) for Dionysos. Its pretty much "isthisgoingtoworkisthisgoingtoworkomghe'snot goingtohearmeifeelsostupidimsorry".

... I really do think I think like that. Smiley

I heard of a technique involving rubbing your hands together, and trying to form a ball. But I don't get what its supposed to feel like (and therefore that is my hang up, and possibly yours: thinking too much), so I 'think' I can't do it. But I most likely can.

yeah, that's it *exactly*

is the ball thing when you rub your hands together really fast until you work up a lot of heat from the friction and tried to shape that into a ball. I like that one, but I still feel stupid sitting there rubbing my hands together. lol, I'm hopeless...
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« Reply #3: September 25, 2007, 07:30:56 pm »

yeah, that's it *exactly*

is the ball thing when you rub your hands together really fast until you work up a lot of heat from the friction and tried to shape that into a ball. I like that one, but I still feel stupid sitting there rubbing my hands together. lol, I'm hopeless...

Yeah, I think it is. I remember reading somewhere (I think from a Cunningham book) that the tingly sensation you feel is energy, not the scientific friction (at least that was the tone I saw it written in). And theres me going: "..But.. it IS friction!"

And don't worry, I feel a bit stupid too. But I suppose practice makes perfect (and make sure no one is watching!), especially when you're using your hands!
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« Reply #4: September 25, 2007, 07:56:49 pm »

Yeah, I think it is. I remember reading somewhere (I think from a Cunningham book) that the tingly sensation you feel is energy, not the scientific friction (at least that was the tone I saw it written in). And theres me going: "..But.. it IS friction!"

There is another sensation you are looking for, in addition to the heat of friction. For me it feels a lot like the resistance of trying to move two like magnets towards each other. It is sort of springy if you push on it.

In doing that exercise, I always find it helpful to use the breath. When you breath out, push energy into the space between your hands. When you breath in, let the pressure receed just a bit. You want to put more force on the out breath, so you build up a little ball of energy that kind of "breathes" with you. You can feel it pulse gently against your hands.

And if you have no idea how to "push energy" anywhere, pretend. Imagine what it would feel like if you knew what you were doing. Eventually, with practice, it'll get to a point where you are not just imagining it. I think that two of the biggest early milestones in magical practice is when you get over the fear of looking stupid and the conviction that you don't know what you are doing. Or at least learn to suspend those feelings for the duration of your practioce session...

-- Joshua
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« Reply #5: September 25, 2007, 08:39:23 pm »


And if you have no idea how to "push energy" anywhere, pretend. Imagine what it would feel like if you knew what you were doing. Eventually, with practice, it'll get to a point where you are not just imagining it. I think that two of the biggest early milestones in magical practice is when you get over the fear of looking stupid and the conviction that you don't know what you are doing. Or at least learn to suspend those feelings for the duration of your practioce session...

-- Joshua


Thanks for reminding me that looking stupid is just a fear, really. I can get over it. I know how to move energy around, I'm just not very good at it. I discovered how to do it when I was seven, because I was a big dragon ball z fan and wanted to make energy balls come out of *my* hands, too. Smiley
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« Reply #6: September 25, 2007, 08:45:42 pm »

So how can I practice manipulating my energy or magic or whatever it's called to get my spells stronger?

Donald Tyson wrote a wonderful book called A Magician's Notebook. Although it is from a Ceremonialist POV, it is chock full of wonderful exercises that will develop your concentration, visualization and ability to work with energy - all stuff critical to effective spellwork.
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« Reply #7: September 25, 2007, 10:47:10 pm »

Donald Tyson wrote a wonderful book called A Magician's Notebook.

I agree. This is one of his better books. He seems to alternate between pretty good and really weird/really bad.
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« Reply #8: September 26, 2007, 02:59:12 am »

So how can I practice manipulating my energy or magic or whatever it's called to get my spells stronger?

Now, I'm not claiming my idea to be failsafe, but it worked really well for me when I was first learning about magick and again for my wife as I teach her about it.

When I was first learning, I felt dumb not being able to "see" what I was doing. Then my friend got me a pendulum, and that took energy work/play to a different level entirely.

as a tool, a pendulum can be great for illustrating what you are doing to objects and energy fields around you. Jenn got a LOT more confidence in her circle casting because it was able to demonstrate for her how her barrier had affected the flow of energy within it; before and after it was cast and then after it was taken up.

If you can, I would highly recommend obtaining one, in my opinion, it is an indespensible part of my magickal cabinet.
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« Reply #9: September 26, 2007, 03:02:44 am »

When I was first learning, I felt dumb not being able to "see" what I was doing. Then my friend got me a pendulum, and that took energy work/play to a different level entirely.

as a tool, a pendulum can be great for illustrating what you are doing to objects and energy fields around you. Jenn got a LOT more confidence in her circle casting because it was able to demonstrate for her how her barrier had affected the flow of energy within it; before and after it was cast and then after it was taken up.

If you can, I would highly recommend obtaining one, in my opinion, it is an indespensible part of my magickal cabinet.

Could you explain a little more how you used the pendulum for this?  It sounds interesting, but I'm not quite understanding how you did it. Does that make sense?
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« Reply #10: September 26, 2007, 05:16:36 am »

Could you explain a little more how you used the pendulum for this?  It sounds interesting, but I'm not quite understanding how you did it. Does that make sense?

Sure, but I can only tell you methods that have worked for me/ Jenn.

The circle casting exercise is a great place to begin with the pendulum, whether or not you've ever dowsed with one. to do this you will either need a support for the pendulum, or a partner to hold it. Either works as well as the other, the caveat being that your partner must be able to not allow his/her antisipation of an event bias the pendulum's reading. (Jenn and I can't use the pendulum to see if she's pregnant because of this. We always want her to be too badly and get a 'yes').

Your partner or support holds the pendulum and it is pulled back and released to start it swinging. If you are working with a partner, he/she should not actively swing it or change its direction. I have found that in my work, the pendulum's arc will align with the general direction of the energy flow within an area. Observe the tool's behavior while you cast the circle, usually I have seen the path of the pendulum change from a linear arc before the circle is raised, to a clockwise (in the northern hemisphere, though I've never been south of the equator, I would imagine this would be counter-clockwise) circular pattern after the circle was in place. Once the circle is released, the pattern becomes linear again. Also I have seen that, as energy is raised within the circle, the radius of the pendulum's circular pattern widens, although not to great degrees, and this is notalways the case.

Another exercise to try in a circle is to cast the circle with a very specific boundary, either lay out some rope or salt, etc. and use the pendulum to sort of "dowse" for the wall of the circle, similar to the technique used to find ley lines. Observe changes in the pendulum's behavior inside the circle, directly over the boundary of the circle, and outside it. Using this technique, whether over a circle or a ley line, you can pay attention to what you feel compared to what you observe. Jenn feels a tingling when over a ley line, while I feel what I can only describe as an internal gust of wind. When we check our feelings against the pendulum, they are usually correct.

From here you can practice feeling energy fields, whether ley lines, circles, etc. and working with and without the pendulum until you finally feel comfortable that you have a firm idea of how energy feels to you.

I hope this helps. And please note that not every technique works for every individual, so if it seems like this isn't helping, don't get discouraged, just try something else.
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« Reply #11: September 26, 2007, 07:17:46 am »

There is another sensation you are looking for, in addition to the heat of friction. For me it feels a lot like the resistance of trying to move two like magnets towards each other. It is sort of springy if you push on it.
-- Joshua


This is one that I do too.  I hold my hands about an inch apart , then like I was clapping but without hands actually touching, start rapidly moving them apart, together, apart, together, while increasing the distance between them. I really do feel the energy repelling (like two magnets).
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« Reply #12: September 26, 2007, 07:22:30 am »

Practice makes perfect, right? So how can I practice manipulating my energy or magic or whatever it's called to get my spells stronger? I feel like one of my problems is that I feel nervous when I do spell work like 'is this gonna work, is this gonna work, is this gonna work?' rolling over and over inside my head and keeping me from concentrating on what I'm doing, and I think that if I get into a routine of working with magic, the actual spells won't seem like such a big deal and I won't get as nervous.

Anytime you feel silly doing something, it is always my impression that what you are doing isn't right for you. Try other methods. You might prefer to use tools such as crystals, stones, or wood or you might just want to get into a meditative state. Different methods work better for different people. You will need to play around and see what feels right.

Blessings along your path.
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« Reply #13: September 26, 2007, 08:13:16 am »

This is one that I do too.  I hold my hands about an inch apart , then like I was clapping but without hands actually touching, start rapidly moving them apart, together, apart, together, while increasing the distance between them. I really do feel the energy repelling (like two magnets).

I just tried that, it's an amazing sensation.

I wouldn't say like magnets repelling, though it is similar. I would describe it as sort of an unseen murky thickness around your hands, the faster you go the better you can feel it. The murkiness is a lot similar to the feeling of repelling magnets though.
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« Reply #14: September 26, 2007, 01:16:37 pm »

Anytime you feel silly doing something, it is always my impression that what you are doing isn't right for you. Try other methods.

I think there's different kinds of 'feeling silly'.

Some initial energy exercises, in particular, are designed to help you break through older 'programming' about what you sense and feel (i.e. they're deliberately meant to feel a bit unusual or evoke childhood, or something else that can make adults feel silly.) Others are designed to blow up a particular feeling (make it more obvious, with flashy neon lights, etc.) so that you can isolate it better and learn to work with it. The 'blowing it up so you can isolate it' part also often feels silly.

I tend to distinguish between "Silly, and I'm not getting anything out of this after trying it a couple of times", "Silly, but I can sort of see why it works: maybe this isn't quite the right approach, though" and "Silly, but effective." The first one, I ditch after a few fair tries (except for maybe passing it onto other people who work differently), the second I do some more research on, and the last, I use until I get the skill down, and note down somewhere.

One thing I'd suggest for people struggling with a technique/concept/whatever is to keep your learning mode in mind. I tend to hear energy or feel it more clearly than other options: almost no one talks about the former, so it can take some trial and error to figure out. But the sensations you get may or may not be the most common ones described. Adjust accordingly. (And ask lots of questions in places you can get multiple viewpoints.)
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