Answering Readers’ Questions: Sensing Energy vs Sensing Signatures

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A reader asked me:
How does one tell the difference between ‘sensing energy’ and ‘sensing signature(s)’?  Is it a case of ‘tasting enough to start detecting differences’?

The Short Answer

Think of signature like color.  You don’t see a ball, then think about it for a while, then decide that it’s red.  You just see red.  Same with signature: You don’t sense energy, then separately sense its signature.  When you sense energy, what you’re sensing is its signature.

But as a beginner, you might not recognize the signature.  Think about it this way: If you put a red ball against a blue background, it’s obvious.  If you put it against a red background, it blends in.  Same with energy.  If you have energy that matches the energy you normally have in your body, it will blend in.  (We say the energy is aligned to your body).  If it doesn’t match (poorly aligned), it’s obvious.

Now imagine someone has a problem with their eyes, so they can’t tell the difference between similar colors like red and orange.  They might not notice the red ball in an orange room, even though it’s obvious to other people.

Being a novice is like having bad eyes.  You won’t notice the differences in energy signatures that more experienced mages find obvious.  That’s OK.  As you get more experience, you’ll start noticing those differences too.

The Technical Answer

When you sense energy, you’re noticing its effect on your magickal structures (the connection you made to the energy, or your body’s energy layer if you absorbed it).  Those effects are determined by the energy’s signature.

Signatures are made of units, which are made of smaller units, like molecules are made of atoms which are made of protons, electrons and neutrons.  I routinely go 4-5 scales of building blocks down from the top-level signature.

Let’s say the large building blocks (the molecules) are numbers, and the small building blocks (the protons etc) are letters.  So you might have large block “1” made of small blocks abc, large block “2” made of small blocks bde, and so on.  You can represent a signature as large blocks (“1 3 4”) or break those down into small blocks (“abc, cdf, bfg”).

Now, say you have a connection with signature 1 3 4, and someone comes along with energy 1 7 9.  Your connection will easily register the building block 1, since it matches.  And if some of the letters of building blocks 7 and 9 match some of the letters of 3 and 4, you’ll get some sensation on those parts of your connection, too.

But only if your connection is itself quiet.  If you are energizing your connection, you won’t notice the weak sensation from partially aligned building blocks, because it’ll be drowned out by your own energy.

Also, if you only work with number-scale building blocks (not letter-scale ones), you may notice the sensation but not be able to decipher it.

So, when you sense energy, you are sensing the signature.  But to sense the signature well, you want to get used to working at smaller building blocks of the signature, and learn to make connections with very little energy on them.

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