How To Begin Magick for Complete Novices

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Note: This post is quite old, and my thinking has changed. If you’re starting with magick, use the exercises in my book instead. (Online version is free.)

In this post:

  • How to control magick through visualization
  • How to know you did it right
  • Tips for overcoming common problems
Mind and Magick

Image from Eddi07 on flickr


The first step to learning magick is learning magickal visualization.

In normal English, imagining and visualizing are basically synonyms.  In magick, imagining is seeing pictures in your head, and visualization is when those pictures trigger your mind to do magick.

This post will show you how to move from imagining (which everyone can do) to visualization (which must be learned).

For experienced mages, read What’s Really Happening and the section after it to see why the exercises work and why people feel energy.

How to Control Magick Through Visualization

What Visualization Does That Imagination Doesn’t

Think of magick as a physical task, like walking.

Imagining walking doesn’t make you move. To move, you need to engage the parts of your brain that control your muscles (your motor cortex).

Visualization is like walking. You engage the parts of your brain that control your mental muscles, which move energy, connections, and other aspects of magick. You communicate your intent through images, but the magick happens when you engage your muscles. We’ll do more with your mental muscles later. For now, just know they’re the parts of your mind that control magick.

How To Begin Engaging the Magickal Parts of Your Mind

Mind and Magick

Image from cle0patra on flickr

The parts of your mind that do magick already listen to your body. Emotions change your energy signature. So do physical activities like Tai Chi. Simply taking deeper breaths relaxes you and engages the cells in your chest, which changes your energy slightly.

To get the parts of your mind that control energy to listen to your imagery, sync the images with one of those activities. For example:

  1. Breathe deeply. This will make your body change its energy a little, and make the mental muscles that control energy start paying attention.
  2. Imagine a white glowing mist (representing the energy) entering your lungs every time you breathe in.
  3. Imagine it leaving its incandescence in your lungs, so you exhale a dim mist.
  4. Repeat with each breath for several minutes.
  5. When you’re done, imagine breathing the incandescence back into the room (the inverse of steps 2-3).

What the visualization represents: The incandescence represents energy. With each breath, you are breathing energy into your chest, which you then release when you’re done. You’ll find this in hundreds of books and websites.

What’s really happening: The deeper breaths are triggering your body to generate a small amount of energy in your chest. This engages the parts of your mind that generate energy. At the same time, you are visualizing images that suggest to your unconscious that you would like more energy. Since the parts of your mind that control energy in your chest are already active, they will pick up this instruction.

That’s the idea, anyway. It may take a few tries before everything connects.

How To Know You Did It Right

Imagining is easy. Recognizing the energy it builds is the hard part.

There’s no universal feeling associated with energy because energy isn’t monolithic. Every energy has a signature. The physical sensations happen when your nerves absorb the energy’s signature, changing their state. Different energies affect different nerves differently, producing different sensations.

I don’t know what what your energy will feel like. But here are some common sensations you can use as a baseline:

  • Energy sometimes makes your skin tingle, like when someone almost touches you.
  • Energy sometimes fills your body with warmth from the inside, like drinking hot tea on a cold day.

Energy is easier to feel as it moves through your body. When you build energy in a specific spot in your body, its signature will match that area’s signature. As you move the energy, it will hit parts of your body with different signatures, causing more obvious sensations. Just visualize the glow spreading from your lungs throughout your body to move the energy.


Mind and Magick

Image via Wikipedia

If You Can’t Feel Energy

Practice. Most people take 4-5 sessions to begin feeling energy, and another 5-10 sessions to be able to move it.

Make your own visualization. Some people represent energy with stars, fire, flowing water, etc. Pick something that speaks to you.

If it’s still difficult, try non-magickal visualization first. My favorite exercise comes from Initiation Into Hermetics, page 86:

  1. Take an everyday object. Study its details.
  2. With your eyes closed, visualize it in as much detail as possible.
  3. Once this becomes easy, repeat the exercise with your eyes open.

You don’t need to learn precise visualization to learn conscious magick. I never did. But if you’re having trouble getting started, it should help.

Try Tai Chi or Yoga. Both are traditional styles for working with energy through physical movement. Combining those movements with imagery may work better for you.

Check the comments below for tips from other readers.

If You Get a Headache

Magical energy excites your nerves. Eventually, it can cause a headache.

To fix it, release the energy (called grounding). That’s step 5 of he meditation: Reverse the visualization you used to build the energy.

The most common reason I see grounding fail is the person spent 10 minutes building energy, but only 10 seconds releasing it. As a novice, it takes about as long to release the energy as it took to build.

If Energy Makes You Anxious

Your energy reflects your emotions. If you’re anxious, your energy will reflect that. Building that energy will make you more anxious.

To fix this, meditate on a relaxing scene (a beach, prairie, etc), then hold that calm emotion while you do your energy meditation. You should make a different, relaxing energy this time.

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93 Responses to “How To Begin Magick for Complete Novices”

  1. Ricardo says:

    How often should i do these meditations? I started today and i have done it about 3 times, but after the last one (a few minutes ago) my head started hurting in the back? does this mean i should not do it so often?

  2. Mike says:

    Hey Ricardo, make sure to ground: Visualize releasing the energy into the room around you. Headaches are a common symptom of having too much energy. Even if you’ve been grounding, do it again.

    On the plus side, it sounds like you’ve succeeded in making energy :)

    I don’t have a set limit on how much to practice. Generally, if you feel mentally tired, you should stop for the day. If you get a headache, you should see about fixing it (for example, by grounding), then stop for the day. 3 sessions a day sounds good, especially for your first day.

    Let me know if grounding fixes the headache.

  3. Ricardo says:

    All right, so i just did my little 5 minute energy meditation, which i think went better than the last one as far as the grounding, i still feel a little pain but not as much as last time, i think i am having trouble visualizing how to let all the energy go, because to get all the energy i usually visualize that i am inhaling stars and exhaling close to none, i feel like it works ( on this last one i felt like a hot/warm sensation, it is hard to describe, on my chest area) and to ground i tried to visualize my body convered in stars and all the stars just leave my body, (i am not gay lol idk why it is easier for me to visualize stars O.o) anyway, i am sorry for posting so much :/ but isthis a good visual? I was also wondering, is energy meditation something that can be learned faster the more it is practiced? because i can easily do a 10 minute meditation every hour… Thank you very much, this is very interesting :D

  4. Mike says:

    Hi Ricardo, that sounds like good progress. The stars visual makes sense to me, and it sounds like it’s working for you (a hard-to-describe feeling of heat is another common sensation for energy).

    To ground, try reversing the visualization, so you breath the stars out. Or imagine a portal or window opening in your head, feet, or the bottom of your pelvis if you sit to meditate, and the stars flowing out through that. The point is to get the stars that are inside you to leave, and provide them a path. If you imagine stars on your skin, that might just suggest to your unconscious that the energy on your surface should leave. Imagining the stars inside you radiating out through your skin could work, too.

    It sounds like you took to energy meditation quickly. Good job! Here’s the next step:

  5. Ricardo says:

    Mike i am really happy to say that right now just minutes ago i think i had my Strongest feeling of energy. I breathed did everything how i explained it, and after a while i started feeling this cluster of “vibration” around my chest area, i got scared for a second but i didn’t stop, i continued, and then i tried to move the energy down to my stomach, but all i felt was a very small tingle on the inside of my belly button, at this point i was feeling the energy mostly where my heart it, like a ball covering my heart and i was like “holy cow! ” lolol, but then i relaxed did the grounding just like you said, and it took a while ( i thought it was going to be like in 2 breaths) I forgot to mention that i took my shirt off to make sure it wasn’t my shirt the one causing my sensation, and after a while of grounding, it simply left LITTLE by LITTLE, and at last when i felt comfortable again i opened my eyes, checked my chest nothing there ^-^ this is so exciting, im off to bed now :D Thank you for reading my post, ill be back tomorrow :D best wishes

  6. John says:

    Hello, Mike.
    I contacted you a few months ago about my experiences, and was desperately looking for help trying to control the things that I did.
    I think this exercise really helped.

    When I did this meditation, it felt like… what I can only describe as a mixture of ice and light was coming into my body and moving around in
    my chest slowly.

    It was a great sensation, so I did it again 10 minutes after the first try. This time, I moved the energy through my arms at first, and I could really feel the built up energy through out them. I moved it up the right arm, and down to the left, then moved my left arm higher than my right, and moved it back down to my right, each time moving it through the lengths of my fingers.

    I’m going to read your other lessons now, but I just wanted to leave a comment here.

  7. Mike says:

    Hi John, I’m so glad this helped you. Thanks for taking the time to write. What you describe definitely sounds like energy, and I love hearing the metaphors everyone uses, each one is a little different.

    I just added a “next” section to this post and the next one to help guide everyone through the series. The next post I’d recommend is

    Be well,

  8. The next few comments are tips from me or readers that didn’t really fit into the guide.

    Safety Tip: Avoiding Bad Spirits

    Once you start working with magick, spirits may notice you and drain your energy. Weak spirits can make you tired. More powerful ones can change your energy signature, giving you headaches. As a novice, you’ll probably only attract weak spirits.

    These spirits mostly notice you when you’re near someone they’re already draining. Building or grounding energy makes you more obvious. So only do your energy meditation when you’re alone, or with experienced mages who can shield themselves.

    See for more info.

  9. Tip For Feeling Energy from Ricky G

    Quartz changes the signature of energy passing through it, making the energy more obvious. You can buy one for a few dollars at most occult / new age shops.

    Visualize the energy (the white mist in the example) entering the quartz, then physically move the quartz over your body. The feeling of energy should move with the quartz.

  10. JP Alcala says:

    I’ve been reading your blog, and yours is very informative. I like the way you explain things in a very methodic and systematic approach.

    I’ve been searching for some info about the importance of grounding and how to properly do it, and I was led to this post. I have 2 questions:

    1. Should grounding be only used after doing any magick work, or is it something that we need to constantly perform since we learn to tap into higher energies?
    2. Is there such a thing as “over grounding?” And if yes, how do we determine that we’ve not exceeded that threshold?

  11. Hi JP, good questions. I’ll answer them in their own post, since the first step is understanding what actually happens when you “ground.” Should be up later this week.

  12. Griffith says:

    It it strange that when I do the exercises that I get a strange tickling feeling, like electricity? It also seems to make its way to my plam and finger tips. But I can move it to other parts.

    • Hi Griffith, that sounds about right. Tingling is a common feeling caused by energy, and tickling is pretty close. I’d say it means you’re doing it right, and you’re ready to move on to the next step. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  13. Charlie says:


    just wanted to leave my experience, and possibly some insight to other beginners.

    ive always been fairly intune with things supernatural, spirits etc so possibly im a little ahead of the game, but what i did was visualized the energy flowing into me steadily (think water running off of you but in reverse and into yourself) and centering in my body.

    the effect i started to feel is hard to describe kinda like pressure mixed with a rush (though small), accompanied with a sense of happiness/well-being (this must mean the energy around me is positive then right). it started in my head then i moved it into my chest then to each hand before grounding (opposite manner of before).

    i tried to dabble in magicks a few years ago and never had much luck but this worked and is a great start. thank you!


  14. hakeem says:

    I meditated in the shower two times and got two results from my meditations. The first time I meditated my mind was clear and nothing was circling in my head. After a while my body went relax and I had a slight headache. The headache went away when I stopped meditating. My body was my mind and body felt slightly relaxed. The second time I meditated my body was thoroughly relaxed. After a while my mind just acted on it’s own. I don’t know how. I still was conscious just relaxed my breathing was slower. And my eyes opened up on their own. When I stopped meditating I was extremely relaxed.I could barely get up. And I was tired. I don’t want to use the word exhausted but I guess u could say I was. I just want to know are these good signs for my first time meditating?

    • Hi Hakeem, it’s hard to say. Try meditating in a comfortable chair, when you’re not tired. Read the post and the other comments for the sort of feelings that other people associate with energy, to get an idea what you’re looking for. Good luck!

  15. Maddy says:

    I’ve tried it a couple of times, but I visualize breathing in fire and exhaling out the smoke, and when grounding I breathe in normal air and exhale the fire. The second time I did it I tried moving it and got it to go my waist up, and my fingers wouldn’t quit twitching, and I felt really hyper, so I grounded when a head ach started to form and I still felt a little gittery.

    • Hi Maddy, it sounds like this is working well for you. Congratulations. I’d say you’re ready to move on to mental posture (if you’re following the step-by-step guide). Thanks for writing.

  16. Lilly says:

    Is it normal if I feel different types of energy when I imagine different colors of the mist? With white mist, I feel fresh and slightly cold energy within me, and if I direct it to my hands I get a tingling sensation in my fingers. With red and orange I have this warm sensation – red mist alone makes me feel like I’m burning inside, but in a good way, like drinking tea. Green mist leaves a rather neutral energy, which is harder to feel, but it makes me feel awake and aware in some way. Like it’s easier to pay attention to what I’m doing.
    Are different forms of energy coming from my personal view of the color in question, or are they somehow really corresponding with the color? I don’t think any color is “bad” or “good” and I have no problem with experimenting with colors, but is it a good way to go, or should I just stick to the white mist?

    • Hi Lilly, the type of energy comes from the way your unconscious mind and mental muscles interpret your visualization. In this case, it sounds like they’re responding to color, which is fairly normal. Good work.

      And indeed, the different types of energy are from your personal interpretation of the color. The energy you make from picturing red is probably different than the energy I’d make from the same visualization. That’s why I avoid talking about “red energy” and “yellow energy” and so on.

      But for your own practice, feel free to try visualizing different colors and getting a feel for the different energies. Exploration is good!

  17. Tyler says:

    Mike, my first time meditating I went for about 30 min. and it began to feel as though a very large person were stepping square in the center of my chest. Is this a bad sign?

    • Hi Tyler, I haven’t heard of this before. I’d say, make sure you’re breathing enough — maybe you made a point of breathing slowly and regularly, but wound up with not enough air? Or maybe you were sitting in an uncomfortable way, and after half an hour you got a cramp in your chest? Try some normal meditation exercises, make sure normal meditation feels comfortable, then return to energy meditation.

  18. Thesinz says:

    Hello mike, i saw your guide on grounding energy and that too much energy can cause a headache. I have had a constant headache for 5 years now and trie to ground energy. Surprisingly, my headache was alleviated, however it is still coming back at random intervals , does this have any impact on magick?

    • Excellent, I’m glad you found some relief. In my experience, though, a headache caused by too much energy goes away in a few hours, or a couple days at most. So the 5-year headache probably isn’t energy, or at least, it probably has some other underlying cause.

      I’m not a doctor, but any long-term problem like that might be a sign of some other underlying problem. Have you seen a doctor about it?

      And if grounding helps, then keep doing it. Maybe a daily grounding meditation would help?

  19. Thesinz says:

    Hello mike, thank you for the response but i have already seen doctors but tey could not seem to find out the cause of it. Anyways, i saw on another magick website(not to offend you) that if you visualise a flame on your fingertips and pour in energy, i will become visible. So, i tried it and threw in other things such as imagining the heat, colour and texture of the flame and all i got was a buzzing sensation and some pressure on my fingertips (i have inferred that it is how i feel energy). Is this practice feasible and if it is, am i doing it right?

    • Good, glad you’ve seen the docs, sorry they couldn’t help you.

      On putting enough magickal energy into your fingers to produce a visible flame: No, I don’t think that’s possible. Magickal energy doesn’t interact with light, so it won’t create anything visible. It is possible that someone might “see” that energy in the way people “see” auras, that is, as an image projected by their mental muscles into their mind, but that’s different than producing an actually visible fire you can see with your eyes. (It’s also possible to hypnotize someone to believe they’re seeing something that’s not there, so this vision of a flame may simply be non-magickal suggestion, too.)

      The short answer is: Anyone who tells you an easy way you can visually and obviously demonstrate magick to yourself and your friends is either mistaken or lying. If such a thing existed, everyone would believe in magick already. Sorry.

  20. Thesinz says:

    Hello Mike, thank you for your response but i have another question regarding psionics.

    So, i have read articles on telekinesis and the such and i am somewhat convinced because the instructions are quite constant in the different sources.

    I have attempted to perform TK on objects such as pens and psi wheels, so far, i have been been mildly successful in the way that the objects move minutely.

    I am posting here to ask you for your opinion because you are the most active magick practitioner on the internet. :D

    • Scientists have been looking for psi phenomena for over 100 years. Now, absence of evidence isn’t proof of absence, but if smart people have earnestly looked and come up empty, that’s pretty good evidence of absence.

      Based on my own experience with magick, along with limited testing of telekinesis as a teen, I’d say that the standard psi view — that many people innately possess the ability to move objects with their mind if they simply focus hard enough — is unlikely to be accurate, and that any abilities like that would take not mere practice, but some set of non-obvious techniques that would probably sound quite technical and unapproachable to the layman.

      This post might be interesting to you:

  21. Seth says:

    Hello Mike,
    I was wondering how one would know if all the energy is grounded? For beginners, you said it takes about 10 minutes. I just started and I’m not really sure what im sensing (its not consistent yet i guess, or i havent yet done it enough).

    Does the energy that is collected deplete, so for example you can only spread the energy from the lungs ‘x’ amount of times (unless you once again imagine breathing in the glowing mist)

    • Hi Seth, I’m not sure what you’d notice — energy feels different for everyone. But whatever you notice when you notice energy, you should notice that stopping when you’re grounded.

      Don’t worry about over-grounding. Grounding actually isn’t about the amount of energy, it’s about the signature of the energy. After a certain point, you won’t notice any changes when you ground, but you won’t hurt yourself.

      You might find this series helpful:

  22. Seth says:

    I was reading the grounding, and how do I know what type of signature of energy Im building up? You said if its your body’s normal signature, youlll just feel alert (in the grounding series). For a novice, what sort of signature of energy would be building up by visualizing the mist, would it be the same as the body’s?

  23. Seth says:

    I’ve been trying out energy meditation by first using a white mist visualization, but it didn’t really call out to me. It felt a little stale for some reason. Ive tried it for a while, and am still sticking to it. Ive noticed some interesting sensations, one time I felt really down to earth and calm when I opened my eyes, but the effects of the visualization differ per day. I am probably just not used to noticing these sorts of subjective sensations. I think I need to keep trying for two or more weeks because I just got the visualization consistent (my imagination likes changing imagery. A white mist might morph into a cloud and then steam, and then god knows what!)

    But, during my 10 minute debugging session today, I tried a new imagery out and got some spectacular results! I have previously only felt one sort of energy before, and this is a tingle/vibration which is sometimes very full and vivid, it happens when Im particularly inspired or feeling really really good.

    Its fun to share visualizations so here it is: I imagine a bubbling stream of water flowing into my chest and filling it. When I breath out, I imagine white soft mist. Then, a few breaths later, I imagine a great gust of fire plunging into the water and filling it with energy, the water then starts boiling and thus there is energy! When I breathe out I imagine steam puffing from my body. This visualization helps alot because for some reason Ive been having alot of trouble associating white glowing mist with energy. Particularly difficult is the leaving the energy behind in the chest part, I went to the point of just assuming my mind would take care of that part, since it was hard to visualize mist and energy separating.

    Anyways, with this imagination, I felt, for a while, tingles sweeping through parts of my body and some of my head.

    Then I tried to switch back to the normal “white glowing mist in, dim soft mist out” visualization. I didnt feel any tingles but the visualization did seem more significant.

    A successful debugging session where I allow myself to try out different visualizations and tried to think through some things…

  24. Thesinz says:

    Hello, mike
    I have a question that has been bugging me alot for quite a long time. So, i am able to feel numbing or prickling whenever i visualise manipulating energy. For example, i visualise a ball on my palm and supply energy from both within me and the surroundings to it and fill up the space, then i would feel the prickling and numbing on my palm. I have discovered this ‘ability’ since 4 months ago, at first it takes quite a while to feel the prickling and i would hurt to do it for prolonged periods but now, i could do it almost instantaneously and at most feel numb when doing it for a prolonged period of time. Do you know what this is and could you please give me some advice?

  25. Alejandro says:

    Hi Mike!

    Thank you so much for this website and the articles on this!

    I got questions if you don’t mind :)

    Whenever I meditate or do energy meditation, but mostly just regular meditations, I can feel prickling or tingling sensations in my hands and feets, strange thing is mostly I just do normal meditations and not energy meditations, is it really energy that I’m feeling? Or is it something I read on a different website called “Biofeedback”?

    Would appreciated your comments on this! Thanks! :)

  26. Rose says:

    Hey Mike,
    I am just now wanting to explore the power of meditation & magick. I also am hoping that sometime soon.. I can finally awakin the sixth sense that we all have, and have the potental to use. I was just wandering… how to I make myself visualize? I have been trying to study up on it, and sometimes when im meditating i see random colors and shapes, but nothing is clear..? what can I do?

  27. Thesinz says:

    Hey Mike,
    I just realized that i am able to draw energy without doing energy meditations the whole time by just concentrating what energy already present in my body and the energy from the surroundings all on a body part usually the tip of my finger(s). I have done a few experiments on the energy such as using it to form sensory connections but i still cannot recognize energy signatures, however it has brought on some side effects that are quite interesting. What i do is first to concentrate energy onto my finger then i use that finger to touch someone to form a connection ( what i visualize is a line of energy made from the energy i gathered connecting my finger to the other person’s body part) then after some time of unsuccessfully trying to sense his emotions, i tried to touch the line connecting us with my other hand and i actually was able to ‘feel’ a real line there with both my hands – the one touching it feeling a presence of a line as it passes through the visualized area while the other one feeling the start of the line react to the touch of my other hand-. Could you give me advice on what i am doing wrong and an explanation about what i experienced?

    • Interesting. First, very good on building energy without the meditation, that’s where we want you to get.

      On sensing other peoples’ energy: The key is to make your connection, then not send your energy along it. If you send your energy, all you feel is your energy. You want a quiet connection, without your energy, so you feel theirs. I cover it in this post:

      On why you feel the connection: If someone made a connection to an object across the room, and I didn’t know it was there, and my hand came between the person and the object, I don’t think I would feel anything. Connections generally don’t work like that. If I were experimenting with you to figure out what happened, my first hypothesis would be placebo: Just like focusing really hard on one area of your body, or almost touching your forehead, can create a tingling, expecting to feel something can sometimes create a tingling. No way for me to know what happened, but that’s the first hypothesis I’d go with. If you want to test it, get a friend to make a connection, not tell you where it is, and see what you notice. (Be sure they don’t stare at the connection or otherwise non-verbally hint at it.)

      Hope that helps!

  28. Lorenzo says:

    Question about the energy meditating. does it matter if i’m sitting up or lying down while doing the visulization?

  29. Lorenzo says:

    How would i be able to tell if i’m feeling energy or if it’s a placebo effect since i read on how some other people feel energy? When i’m doing the energy meditation i try to just visualize the glowing mist in and dim mist out, but then i think on how energy feels for others and i start to feel “something”.

  30. Tanner Stillman says:

    Hey Mike I just tried the meditation out the other day for the first time and I felt a very warm feeling like a ball in my chest. Then when I got up from my couch something strange happened it seemed as if time slowed down and all the background noise seemed to quiet and I heard something but I couldn’t make it out. I also felt an over whelming sense of happiness. I was a little confused but I’m also curious could you please explain what this was.

    • That sounds like a wonderful experience. Awesome.

      In terms of what happened, it’s hard to say. Could be as simple as you going into trance from the meditation (time distortion is a common sign of trance), and feeling wonderful at taking that time to just be still. Whatever it was, I’m glad it was such a great experience.

  31. Tanner Stillman says:

    Also this was such a strange and new experience for me that I forgot about the final stage and left for school without grounding could this be a problem?

    • Well, if you encountered a headache, this would be a likely cause. But if you didn’t experience any problems, then don’t worry about it. Not grounding is the kind of thing that results in a headache half an hour later, not the kind of thing with subtle, long-term consequences. Good luck!

  32. Tanner Stillman says:

    Hey Mike it’s me again when I was lying in my bed the other night I felt a sharp pinching on the nerves of the back of my neck but it didn’t really hurt exactly then there was a static shock that went through my body. I felt as if something was connected to me in a way and then I don’t know how to explain it but I connected to whatever it was and it disappeared.

  33. Tony says:

    I started using the techniques listed on your website, and I wanted to share my experience. I have been meditating for a short while to learn to focus my mind, and I did experience some energy surges. When I used the method you mention in this post, with a slight variation on my personal visualization technique, I found the results were amazing. I was able to move the energy around in my body from appendage to appendage with relative ease. It was a slow process, but I was able to succeed. I also did not get a headache afterward, so I believe that grounded properly. I also liked that I did it in a more conscious state that with the more tradition method of meditation I was using.

    All in all, it is a great experience. Thanks!

  34. Sofia says:

    Hello Mike,
    I am just initiating, and meditation is a tough thing for me to do at home, it just feels like, every time I try to meditate, I can’t seem to empty my mind completely, I have no idea why, though, even if the house is quiet and peaceful. At least I’ve found a spot on a river trail, a little dock on the river where no one goes there to do anything, and it’s much easier for me to do the meditation (once again, IDK why). But, nevertheless, is it normal to feel warmth on the chest and on the areas of your skin where your breath touches? I sometimes (not all the times, though, it’s very irregularly) feel that, sometimes I feel my chest heat up a lot, or sometimes I have sort of a delayed reaction (I guess that’s the name?), in which the heat only comes afterwards.
    Also, I wanted to ask you about a VERY strange event that happened some months back, when I started meditating. Actually, it was the very first time I did that. I was meditating on the little dock, and I had managed to easily clear my mind and focus on just feeling everything around me, and I’ve started thinking this mantra, which I don’t really remember what was it, but it was something like “I am one with all around me,” and, on that moment, a giant flock of crows just started flying overhead, all towards the same way, covering most of the sky, which sort of startled me, because of the noise, but they just kept on flying overhead for some more minutes, until the last ones passed. What was that? Was that coincidental?

    • Hi Sofia, I’m so glad you’re starting meditating. A few tips:

      It’s not actually important to quiet your mind or become peaceful. I’m focused when I do magick, but it’s the same focus as reading, or playing chess, or doing some other focused task. I’m terrible at quieting my mind and becoming peaceful, but that’s simply not important for direct magick.

      Warmth could be energy, or it could just be warmth. Try using it in the meditation and moving the energy around your body, see if the warmth travels with it.

      And yes, the crows were probably coincidence.

      Good luck!

  35. Simon says:

    Almost everyone is terrible at ‘quieting their mind’ because it seems people have unreasonable expectations such as wondering why they can’t ’empty their mind completely’ at the first try. But most importantly trying to quieten the mind WITH the mind is a hopeless task. You can try concentration practices in which the objective is to FILL the mind with only one thing. Which is still extremely difficult but not impossible.

    The meditation style I practice makes use of putting awareness gently on the throat center and causing a slight friction and vibration in that area- and then on the 3rd eye area (and no its nothing to do with risky practices of trying ‘force’ energy through these areas as in kundalini practices. You also don’t visualize any ‘chakras etc..). This practice is ultimately about shifting the focus of awareness away from ordinary mind or ‘ordinary mental consciousness’ to awareness of these etheric structures. It is using energetic structures to shift awareness and is a very literal way of ‘getting out of the mind’ (again – you can’t get out of the mind WITH the mind.

    If you simply counted your breath you might eventually activate this process to some degree but it might take much longer and you probably wouldn’t use the model I described above. I think the model above has the potential to take us away from the more ‘airy fairy’ connotations of meditation and back to its rightful place as a technology of consciousness. (yes I know you’re not keen on talking about consciousness in your model but I think it can’t be avoided in the area of meditation. There may be some overlap here with your concepts of etheric muscles.

    • George says:

      People trying to quieten the mind by using the mind: that is such good point. It took me a long time to give up on that. Distracting by focusing on something else doesn’t really work either; you really want something that can be used longer term and for longer stretches.

      In the end, I think the answer is that you shift focus to include the space around you instead, you ‘change context’ to an open focus and leave the mind (or rather, thoughts rising and falling, because there is no mind-container as such really) to settle by itself. Just leave it be and stop fiddling, and wait.

      The books ‘Standing As Awareness’ by Greg Goode and ‘The Open-Focus Brain’ by Les Fehmi initially tipped me off on this. It works a treat.

  36. Cody says:

    I have meditated in the past before and came out feeling very relaxed and down to Earth, more attuned to my surroundings then I already was. I did a 12 minute session today (after not meditating for close to a year) and something, a bit strange happened about three quarters of the way through. First my palms got relatively warm (which i’m assuming was the Energy I wasn’t necessarily trying to give it a characteristic at the time) then my chest got a “strange” sensation. Kinda like it was extremely thick and layered, but there was dull pain in it. I was worried that I wasn’t grounding enough, so I spent the last of the time visualizing the energy leaving. After my timer signaled the end of my session, the weird sensation in my chest didn’t leave. I’m not sure if this is an underlying medical cause or maybe I didn’t leave the meditation state entirely. A little insight on the topic would be nice.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Cody, I’m glad the meditation was positive on the whole. It’s hard to say what a weird feeling in your chest means. Could it be energy? It’s possible. Could it be something else? Absolutely. If it happens every time you do the meditation, that suggests it’s energy (though doesn’t rule out medical conditions). If it persists despite not doing any more meditation, that suggests it’s something else.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help, but everyone experiences energy differently.

  37. Miya says:

    Hey Mike,

    Sorry to bother you but I have had some problems with energy meditation. I can build energy but I can’t really direct it properly to other parts of my body. I can really only do up to my neck and a little bit of my chest but it is really hard and takes a lot of time. Do you have any tips? Thanks for everything.

    • Hi Miya, no bother at all, thanks for asking for help. Short answer is, however you’re visualizing energy, visualize that moving. So, the white mist would move around my body.

      Long answer is, I no longer believe an energy meditation is the best place to start. It’s too unreliable — if your ethereal muscles aren’t somewhat awake already, or if your unconscious responds differently to the visualizations, you’ll get only a small result. Instead, I’m recommending people to start with using ethereal software, and get it to help awaken your ethereal muscles. Check out my book-in-progress. The practical stuff is in Part 2.

      Good luck!

  38. Steve says:

    Hi Mike, I’ve been praicing the non-magickal visualization that you have mentioned as your favorite exercise from Initiation Into Hermetics. I’ve been using a white candle image that seems pretty easy to start with. When I close my eyes I can only see the image perfectly for a split second before it fades and turns into a dark, blurry version (like a placeholder or something). Is this normal? Is that image considered a visualization or is it just the affect of light on the eyes (like when you look at the sun and close your eyes, but still see the bright light). How long do you recommend staring at the object? And how long does it normally take before an individual can hold the image for at least a few seconds?

    I have also noticed that there are two different visions. When I daydream unintentionally I can see a clear movie play although I’m not sure how clear it was because my awareness was gone. But visualizing seems to be different from imagining. Hard to explain but I hope you understand where I’m coming from.


    • Hi Steve, that’s excellent that you’re starting to work through these exercises.

      On visualization: I don’t know that much about visualization, actually. It’s one of the ways mages communicate intent to their unconscious, but it’s not my preferred method, so I barely use it. So, the bad news is, I can’t help you with these questions. But the good news is, it probably doesn’t matter that much. Look for signs of energy, or switch over to the book and just start working with ethereal software right away. (I’d recommend the book — this post is quite old, and it’s not my preferred approach anymore.)

  39. Levi says:

    Im trying very hard t feel the energy, but it seems im not feeling anything or i cant tell, or its very very hard to grasp n hold onto, i feel it for a slight seconds or two, like a snake slithering up my back, my head starts to wobble sometimes, idek but i cant seem to focus, how do you know when youve created energy?

  40. Austin says:

    Mike I would like to thank you, I have read a bit of articles on here and it has honestly helped me a lot mostly with realizing what I’I’ve been doing since I was little until today I have not known I could control my energy for real I honestly thought it was just me imagining it I’ve been actually messing with it since I was little and how I learned to is a weird story honestly but I would really like to thank you and because of you I shall try direct magick

  41. Amer says:

    Hi Mike , I’m not sure if I doing this right ,when I do this kind of meditation It feels the same like when I pray to God ,I mean I’m a muslim so I dont know if it’s the same kind of thing like when I do my prayers ?I feeling more fulfilled so to say. Second question, I dont know if this is magick or not ,but sometimes I can just turn off my legs I mean like some one who hasnt legs ,it’s hard to explain hmmm,and then I feel like a sparkling is going from my legs to my heart and I do this only 10-15 sec, and it’s a cool feeling must admit , so my question is : is this a kind of magick ,if yes what kind of magick is this? and thanks in advance

    • Hi Amer, sorry for my slow reply, I lost track of this comment and just found it again today.

      When I do magick, I have a relaxed focus. Not tense, but still focused. Is that what you feel when you pray? If so, then yes, the mental states are similar.

      Sensations like sparkling and tingling are caused by a lot of things, so I can’t say whether this is magickal energy or something else. But keep practicing, and eventually you’ll learn to sense energy in other ways, and then you’ll be able to figure out exactly what’s going on when you do that.

      Good luck!

  42. Carly says:

    When I do the energy meditation I get a faint but noticeable warm tingly feeling in my chest, and when I pray I get intense warm chills all over my body. I’m assuming that the meditation feeling is fainter because I’m much newer to it, but do you know if they could be related, and if so, why they aren’t the same feeling?
    Thank you!

    • I think it’s like that energy meditations tap into many of the same phenomena as prayer. Would be an interesting experiment to run: Connect to a person, have them either meditate or pray (I don’t know which), see what I notice.

      Why aren’t they the same? I’d guess they communicate somewhat different things to your unconscious mind. The human mind has such complexity that identical experiences are hard to come by. Think about it this way: Wouldn’t it be surprising if you could do two dramatically different things and produce the identical result?

  43. Dominique says:

    Hi there

    I have been experiencing energy for quite some time (tingling at the crown of my head, pressure on my third eye) and then did a Vipassana silent retreat where I started feeling it all over my body, but I wanted to start from scratch as I felt there was something I was missing. I always thought there might be a way of doing direct magick – I feel like my cosciousness naturally searches for a muscle to activate but can never find it. So your method seems perfect for me! My question is about visualisations. When I visualise I tend to incorporate my entire body in the visualisation, almost feeling my throat activate as the white mist passes through. In my meditations I have always felt like I almost try to see through my eyes rather than in my minds eye (I feel my eyes flickering) and I have a feeling that all of this might be holding me back. Can you shed any light on this? Should my visualisations be in my minds eye rather than getting my body involved?


    • It sounds like we’ve both been thinking in the same direction. Awesome! I’m glad you found me.

      On visualizations: Do whatever feels most natural to you. Visualizations are a way for you to communicate with your unconscious mind. You consciously create images that speak to you, and your unconscious mind hears your intent. There’s no right way to visualize. Just do whatever feels most natural.

      (Do keep an eye out for what images mean to you, though. Visualizing green light might make one person think of plants and growth, and make another person think of money and stressful finances. Know what the images mean to you, because visualizations are about communicating with your unconscious, not someone else’s.)

      If you continue with Direct Magick, you’ll eventually learn to consciously engage and guide your ethereal muscles. Similar to how, when you toss a ball, you don’t close your eyes and visualize tossing a ball until your arms move on their own. Instead, you just move your arm muscles, feeling where they are and how they respond. Eventually, moving your ethereal muscles will become like that, too.

      • Dominique says:

        Great advice. I’ve never really thought properly on what energy looks like to me so I will definitely start there. Looking forward to more chats in the future :)

  44. Anthony says:

    So..I’ve been practicing meditation for many years to master astral projection to no avail might I add ..useing your method in less than a minute I can give myself a headache & set my skin to tingleing if I go longer I can make my whole body go warm the opposite token I can make it all go away just as where do I go from there ??

  45. Anthony says:

    Ohh and for the visualization i use is in with the light out with the dark I imagine all white filling my body on inhale and pushing out darkness on exhale ..and the inverse on grounding

  46. Eldrex says:

    Hey there. Recently been getting into magick because as a tennis player I suffer a lot of injuries, and also my mother has permanent knee damage and I want to help relieve her pain. Also think it could be nice to read minds… Anways, I have just started with energy meditation and usually go for about 10 minutes. 5 mins if storing energy, 5 mins of grounding. Today is my first day and I have already done it three times. The first and the third times I felt tingling all over my body, mostly my face, but the third time Some thing strange happened. I tried transferring energy directly from my hand to my foot without making a connection (at least I don’t think I did… Didn’t touch,my foot at all) and I immediately felt a tingling in my foot… Is this normal? Also no head aches yet! I honestly hope I do get one just so I know I’m doing well… Anyways I hope you reply!

    • Welcome! That’s not something everyone experiences, but it doesn’t surprise me either. Good job taking notes and keeping track of your results, that will take you far.

      • Eldrex says:

        Great! I have been continuing my energy meditation though… only been doing once a day though because it has been starting to hurt my head… I am not really sure if I am doing my meditations right…. I read somewhere that the more experience you are, the less tingling and heat you will feel… A year ago or so I was interested in pyrokinesis and telekineses and practiced it for about 3 weeks then gave up… In this time I did a lot of visualization including trying to make a chi ball… I am still not sure if I am doing it right? I still feel a tingling all over my body, and if I try to imagine it going to my hands I kind of feel a slight pulse, but other than that I don’t really get much.. Am I doing this right? I just want to know if I am ready to move on.

        • On headaches: Are you remembering to ground? Make sure to release the energy from your whole body, maybe you’re missing some parts? And if you take 10 minutes to build the energy then a few seconds to ground, you probably need more grounding.

          On tingling: On the scale of years, you will get better at aligning your energy and connections to whatever you’re working with, and you’ll produce less sensations. On the scale of a few weeks, the results shouldn’t change that much.

          On moving fire or objects: Researchers have been looking for psychic phenomena for 100 years or more. If these are real, they are probably not as simple as building energy and visualizing really hard. I’d recommend focusing on things like healing and manifesting that other people have success with.

          Ready for the next exercise? It sounds like you’re getting tingling from energy reliable, so yes, you should be ready for the next exercise. Make sure to check out my book (banner at the top).

          • Eldrex says:

            Ah, yes, I think you misunderstood… I am no longer currently interested in telekinesis or pyrokinesis, not as much as I used to be at least. I simply was wondering if I was ready to move on… I feel that I may be, considering that I can feel energy (or at least what I think is energy) moving around my body, and more so in certain parts that I focus on. As for the headaches and grounding, I tend to not ground as long as I should, all thought the headaches dont really bother me… Thanks for the feedback! Also, I’ve been wondering, should I start a journal for my training, to see what does and doesn’t work? Also, how long and how many times should I be practicing a day… Thanks!

  47. Juan Paulo Ryan says:

    Het Ricardo, I started today and got some a success, really spooky stuff. But then completely forgot my walk home, like couldn’t remember where I’d been till some time later. Is this common? Thank you, Juan Paulo.

  48. Austin says:

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog and I’m having problems clearing my mind and visualizing anything. I’m new at this, so do you have any tips?

    • Franz Bardon has some excellent exercises on clearing the mind (the book linked in the article). But I’ll also say, visualization isn’t that important — it’s one tool for communicating your intent to your unconscious, and there are others. If you haven’t yet, try the book-in-progress, linked from the banner at the top. It has more exercises that might work better for you.

  49. Ryan Stark says:

    How can you test if you’re ready to move on, if there is no one you can attempt to transfer your energy to?

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