Excerpt From: Wicca-A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
This is the most basic and yet advanced technique called for in magick and Wicca. The art of using our brains to "see" what is not physically present is a powerful magickal tool used in many Wiccan rituals. For instance, the forming of the magick circle relies in part on the Wiccan's ability to visualize personal power flowing out to form a sphere of glowing light around the ritual area. This visualization, then, directs the power that actually creates the circle; it doesn't create it alone.
Because of its usefulness in changing our attitudes and lives, many books are being written on visualization today. Each book promises to show the secrets of visualization.
Fortunately, nearly all of us already possess this ability. It may not be fine-tuned, but practice makes perfect. Can you, at this moment, see in your mind your best friend's face, or your least favorite actor? What about the piece of clothing you most often wear, the exterior of your home, your car or your bathroom? That's visualization. Visualization is the act of seeing with the mind, not the eyes. Magickal visualization is seeing something which is presently non-existent. It may be a magick circle, a healed friend, an empowered talisman.
We can raise energy from our bodies, visualize it streaming out from our palms, and then form it into a small glowing sphere, fashioning it psychically as if into a snowball, and mentally by seeing it as we desire.
In magick, I might raise energy and, while doing this, hold an image in my mind of something I need -- a new car, for example. I visualize the car, see myself signing the contract to buy it, driving it on the road, pumping gas into its tank and making payments. Then I direct energy to empower the visualization -- to bring it into manifestation.
In other words, visualization "programs" the power. This could be explained as a form of mental sympathetic magick. Instead of creating a physical image, we create pictures in our heads.
Thoughts are definitely things. Our thoughts affect the quality of our lives. If we constantly moan about being broke, then do a fifteen minute visualization to bring money into our lives, that fifteen minutes of energy will have to counteract 23 hours and 45 minutes of daily, self-induced negative programming. Thus we must keep our thoughts in order and in line with our desires and needs.
Visualization can help here.
To hone this tool, try these simple exercises, widely known within Wicca.
Exercise One: Sit or lie comfortably with your eyes shut. Relax your body. Breathe deeply and still your mind. Pictures will continue to pop into your head. Choose one of these and stick with it. Let no images intrude other than the one you've chosen. Keep all thoughts revolving around the image. Retain this picture for as long as you can, then let it go and end the exercise. When you can retain one picture for more than a few minutes, move on to the next step.
Exercise Two: Decide upon an image to hold and retain it within your mind. You might wish to have it physically present and study it first, memorizing each detail -- the way shadows play on it, its textures, colours, perhaps even a scent. You might choose a small
three-dimensional shape, such as a pyramid, or something more complex such as an image Aphrodite rising from the sea or a ripe apple.
After studying it thoroughly, close your eyes and see the object before them -- just as if your eyes were open. Don't look at the object again with your physical eyes but with your magickal imagination -- with your powers of visualization.
When you can hold this image perfectly for five minutes, move on.
Exercise Three: This is more difficult, and is truly magical in nature. Visualize something, anything, but preferably something you've never seen. For instance, let's use a vegetable from Jupiter. It's purple, square, a foot across, covered with quarter-inch green hairs and half-inch yellow dots.
This is just an example, of course.
Now close your eyes and see really see this vegetable in your mind.
It's never existed. You're, creating it with your visualization, your magickal imagination. Make the vegetable real. Turn it over in your mind so that you can see it from all angles. Then let it vanish.
When you can hold any such self-created image for about five minutes or so, continue on to the next exercise.
Exercise Four: This is the most difficult. Hold a self-created image (such as the Jupiterian vegetable) in your mind with your eyes open. Work at keeping it visible, real, a palpable thing. Stare at a wall, look at the sky, or gaze at a busy street, but see that vegetable there. Make it so real you can touch it. Try having it resting on a table or sitting on the grass beneath a tree.
If we're to use visualization to create changes in this world, not in the shadowy realm that exists behind our eyelids, we must practice such techniques with our eyes open. The true test of visualization lies in our ability to make the visualized object (or structure) real and a part of our world.
When you've perfected this exercise, you're well on the way.