You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.
And now, five posts into the series on visualization, we’re finally ready to talk about visualization, and why I don’t use it in my magick.
What Is Visualization?
Here’s my basic model for visualizing:
- You figure out your intent — the end goal, like “send healing energy to this person” or “bring money to me.”
- You figure out a representation for that intent, like imagining the wound healing, imagining green light flowing from the sky into your wallet, or whatever.
- You focus on that visualization, do something to project your will out, and let the magick happen.
Sound about right? (Since I’m the author, I’ll just assume you said “yes.”)
Where’s the Feedback?
Clearly, visualization is good for directing magick: Your image communicates your goal to your mental muscles, and if they know how to implement that goal (that is, if the goal is intuitive and natural), you’re all set.
But what if your mental muscles don’t know how to accomplish that goal? In that case, you need feedback from your mental muscles to design and debug the technique. And that’s the problem: There’s no feedback here.
- In step 1, you pick your goal. No feedback here. (Nor should there be.)
- In step 2, you dream up a symbolic representation. You might get inspiration from your unconscious, but most visualizations are totally unrelated to how the magick actually works. There’s no actual green light (or even magickal energy) actually flowing into your wallet.
- In step 3, you hold that visualization in your thoughts. This means your mind isn’t relaxed and open and flexible, so you can’t receive feedback from your mental muscles as easily.
In short, visualization only directs your magick. It doesn’t help you watch your magick as it works. And so, visualization seems to be designed for intuitive magick, and seems poorly suited to consciously designed magick, which requires a 2-way flow of information.
Intentionally Distracting Yourself
It’s not just visualization. Most approaches to magick are designed around directing the magick, not perceiving it. For example:
- Rituals also pick symbols before doing the magick. The rules are more formal than for visualizations, but there’s still little room for feedback.
- If you intentionally distract yourself to let your unconscious do the work, you’ve lost the chance to watch your unconscious work. There’s no feedback step, so again, it’s only good for intuitive magick.
- Chants, runes, or anything else that fills your focus operates much like a visualization, making it harder to watch your magick.
In the end, I think most styles of magick focus entirely too much on directing magick, and entirely too little on watching it, and therefore are suitable only for intuitive magick, not for consciously designing techniques.
Next, I’ll share the approach I use to simultaneously direct and perceive magick.Other posts in this series:
- Visualization is Overrated (August 25, 2012)
- The Many Substeps of Magick (August 25, 2012)
- Some Magick Won't Come Naturally (August 28, 2012)
- Why We Need Unintuitive Magick (August 29, 2012)
- Directing vs Perceiving Magick (September 2, 2012)
- Visualizations Direct (But Don't See) Magick (September 3, 2012)
- What I Do Instead of Visualization (September 5, 2012)
- The 3 Ways I Direct My Mental Muscles (September 8, 2012)
- How I Develop New Techniques (September 12, 2012)