One of the questions I’m most frequently asked is, “How do I improve my ability to visualize? I can’t see anything.”
And it’s no wonder that people ask this. Practically every book that covers magic and spellcraft, as well as books on the Law of Attraction and those that disguise their occult links by calling what they describe as “visioning” or something else, not to mention all of the books on creative visualization, are rife with techniques that begin each exercise with “visualizeâ€¦” What most of them don’t describe is the very nature of visualization. How can we visualize without a specific definition of what visualization is?
You may be thinking that this is kind of a stupid thing because everyone knows that visualization is the skill of forming a visual mental image. Â “Everyone” would be right, tooâ€¦ in most mundane instances. However, they’re incorrect when it comes to magick.
For magickal and spiritual purposes, visualizationâ€”as in creative visualizationâ€”means to use all of your mental abilities to create a desired outcome. This is not limited to the visual only. In creative visualization you also use your hearing, your taste, and your olfactory senses. You use your ability to touch and sense movement. Â You listen to your inner emotions as they express how you feel when you exist when you have the desired goal. All of your senses are involved. It’s not limited to vision only. Although important, a visual make up of this is only one aspect of visualization, so if you don’t “see” your visualization, it doesn’t matterâ€”as long as all of your other senses are intensely involved in the experience of magickal visualization.
Of course, the reality is that even if you think you can’t see anything in your mind’s eye, you’re simply not yet aware of it. For example, if I were to ask you, “What color is your bathroom at home?” the vast majority of you reading thisâ€”including the vast majority of those who insist they cannot see visualizationsâ€”would instantly be able to tell me the color. If I presented three paint chips with different versions of that color, you’d be able to tell me which of those chips were closest in color to that of your bathroom. There is only one way you could know this if you are not in your bathroom: you see it in your mind’s eye. Everyone can visualize! You simply have to become aware of it and improve it.
So How Do I Improve on My Abilities?
Since we all actually do have visual abilities, and we all are capable of working with all of our senses to achieve magickal visualization, how can we make them better? Â The answer is that we have to extend that period when we’re using all of our senses to create a desired outcome. And frankly, that can take a bit of work. The ability to create and hold something in our senses requires increased concentration, and in this day of fast cuts on TV and movies, shorter articles, and shorter attention spans, increasing concentration is a subject that is rarely taught. But if we approach it as a fun game, it is easy to learn and, at the same time, become more aware of the visual imagination. I describe how to do this in my book, Modern Magick:
Exercise to Improve Concentration
Needed: a timer and four cards. The cards should be pure white with no lines. On the first card place a large black spot, and on the second place two spots side by side. On the third card make a row of three spots and on the fourth card, a similar row of four spots. A black marker is perfect for making such cards, although if you are comfortable using graphic programs on your computer, you may wish to create your cards that way.*
Set the timer for five minutes. Look at Card One until you have a very good idea of that single spot. Burn it into your mind. Now close your eyes and only think of that spot. You will see in your mindâ€™s eye an image of the card. It may not be perfect. It may be reversed or a shade of what you saw. Thatâ€™s exactly what it should be.
This is not some magickal power, it is physiological. The mind records an image and holds onto it as an â€śafterimage.â€ť In this exercise we are working with it to attune your mind to improve its visualization abilities. If the image in your mind begins to drift to a side, just let it return to the center of your focus. If any other thoughts come into your mind, simply bring back your focus to that one spot. Cease the exercise when you can no longer see the spot or when the timer goes off. Your goal in this exercise is to keep that single spot visualized in one location for five minutes while you allow nothing to interfere with your concentration. Practice once or twice daily.
When you have very few breaks in your concentration, move on to Card Two with the two spots and repeat the exercise. Continue this practice until you can keep the two spots in your mind for the full five minutes. When you can do this with Card Three and then Card Four and its four dots, you will have excellent concentration abilities.
Although this exercise sounds easy, it is not. The first time I tried it, I broke out into a sweat and was drenched within five minutes. Do not underestimate its difficulty.
It won’t take long to improve your concentration and visualization abilities, and I would encourage you to try it. This, by the way, is just one tiny bit of the techniques, tricks, ideas, and instruction you’ll find in Modern Magick,Â especially in the current 3rd edition which has 40% new material and all new art. Besides being a great gift, it’s a great investment for yourself!Â
*Alternatively, you might want to try different patterns with the dots. For example, the three spots could be in a triangular pattern. The four spots could be in two rows, making a box pattern.
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â€”â€” THIS SUNDAY! â€”â€”
Noonâ€“3:00 p.m. Eastern Â â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ Â 9:00 a.m.â€“Noon Pacific
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