Reader Questions: What if I Don’t See Magick?

by Mike Sententia on January 27, 2012

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Shadowmist asks:

Visualization is something that I have more or less struggled with for years while trying to learn about magick. I feel more than I see. […] I was wondering if you had any advice on how to better experience a visualization without “seeing” clear images.

I don’t do much visualization myself. Definitely not of the detailed “Imagine a glowing mist filling your lungs” variety.

For me, it’s more of seeing paths (lines, basically) and feeling the signatures* of those paths. So when I talk about seeing some part of magick, I just mean “sense” or “observe,” or a metaphoric “See what I mean.”

*Energy has a signature, but so do structures like paths. The signatures of structures determine which types of energy interact with them.

Same with auras. I’ve never seen auras. But I can feel the signature of the person’s energy and get the same information as psychics who see auras, which is what really matters.

So, I guess my advice is: Don’t worry about visualization or seeing-in-the-literal-sense. Focus on understanding. And if feeling magick is more natural for you than seeing it, that’s fine. That’s how I am too. Go with what feels natural.

Edit: Be sure to read Ananael’s comment below.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ananael Qaa January 27, 2012 at 5:55 PM

This is good advice. A lot of people who take up practicing magick come to it with the expectation that once they learn how to visualize properly they’ll see the same sort of things during their ritual that SFX folks put into movies – bright lines, vivid colors, and so forth. While there are a few people here and there who get to the point where they experience those sorts of things, most people, myself included, experience visualization much more as you describe than as what happens in fantasy films.

Also, in my experience the vividness of your visualizations have little to do with how effective your rituals are. I recommend to my readers that they concentrate their work on achieving magical objectives rather than trying to “see” this or that when performing rituals.

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Mike Sententia January 27, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Well put on the SFX, and on the lack of correlation between vividness and results. I’m glad to know someone with a more traditional background sees things the same way. And good to have you writing again, on your blog and over here.

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ParanoidMagi March 1, 2012 at 2:35 AM

Not to sound like a ParanoidMagi, or anything, but I often wonder if the SFX are used to make it harder to use your imagination by creating expectations. Everybody’s Frodo looks like Elijah wood.

Glad I found this site.

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Mike Sententia March 1, 2012 at 4:45 AM

Welcome. I don’t think anyone said “Let’s use some special effects to make it harder to visualize magick,” but it’s certainly good to keep in mind that, for almost all of magick history, there were no movie special effects. Until around 40 years ago, special effects meant stopping the camera and moving the couch when Samantha wiggled her nose

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