Looking for Contributers

We are looking for people to contribute their information to the blog. Preferably, we would like people to write regularly, but if you have an article that you would like to share, please send a copy to kylaskyemmc@gmail.com

Blessings,
Skye

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just sitting

That is my suggestion this week. Try just sitting somewhere and just be. Spend however much time you are able to and just take a place in and experience it as fully as you can. Listen to the birds and animals, the breeze. Smell the earth, sink your fingers into it. Take your time (I know, I always say that don't I!)
Let the place reveal itself to you. As you sit, or even lay you'll begin to notice more and more. You'll begin to feel the place sink into your bones. If you're lucky you'll begin to feel a sense of the lands own unique spirit, if you're lucky you'll begin to feel the earth pulse beneath you.

Keep up a practise of just sitting and see how much begins to come to you.
Nellie x

Monday, September 6, 2010

Befriending a Tree

If you haven't got a spiritual teacher (and I suspect this is most of us!) then you could do a whole lot worse than befriend a tree.

In reality there isn't much information written and/or readily available on tree spirits (often mistakenly called dryads - the original meaning of 'dryad' referred to the spirit of an oak tree). This means that most of your work with tree spirits will have to be guided by your intuition. If you were looking for hard and fast instructions, sorry folks!

Befriending a tree will bring a whole new quality to your spirituality and will certainly add your connection to the spirit of the land. Trees are so very different from humanity and there is so, so much that we can learn from them.

How do you find your friend then? Are there any particular trees that seem to reach out to you - either spiritually or literally as you walk past they always seem to brush you with their branches? Is there a particular species that you feel an affinity with? These are good questions when searching for a tree to befriend. If you're lucky you have a tree growing right in your garden and it is already part of the family. If not, there are trees even in the most urban of situations.

I would start off by just showing the tree kindness. Water it during drought. Collect any rubbish that has been left at its base. Sit with the tree and give it time to get to know you - trees don't rush! Slowly you should start to develop a connection with the tree, and then who knows what it will teach you...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Adoption

One of the things I have found most helpful in helping me to feel connected to the land has been to adopt a piece of land. In my opinion this should ideally be somewhere that is neglected, somewhere that is in need of some loving energy.
My adopted land is a very small remnant of woodland that survives the urban sprawl. I get the feeling that it is just a tiny piece and all that is left of what was probably not that long ago a large woodland area.
The path that runs through this tiny wood goes to a new, posh housing estate and to the huge Tesco supermarket. There are no bins along this track, despite the fact that it is heavily used by supermarket pedestrian traffic and as such the trees and the plants are choking on discarded rubbish. The track way is also a favourite dog walking route and unfortunately not many of them (or so it seems) remove their dogs poo. While I don't pick up the dog poo (it might be offensive to me but I don't suppose the trees and the plants mind it much) I make sure that every time I visit that I take a bag along with me and pick up the rubbish that I find, and then recycle what I can of it.
It doesn't take me that long, and the feeling of acceptance I get for it is more than welcome. The feeling of connection that has come from this activity is of a very comforting sort.
I urge you all to adopt a piece of land and show it that humans can and do care. Some of us at least.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Writing in Runes

When creating a spell, runes can always be a good way to write words out, or use as symbols.

If you're using the runes for their described meanings, then there really is nothing to worry about - as you won't shouldn't be doubling them. But when you're writing a word, how exactly are you supposed to go about it?

Well, first off, go to your list of runes, their meanings and associated letters/sounds.

Depending on the Futhark that you're using, you have several options for vowels. If you're using the Elder Futhark, the letters are pretty straightforward; but if you're using the Anglo-Saxon Futhark - there's more room for variation. There are more runes that are associated with the vowels in that Futhark.

For the sake of simplicity, I'll stick with the Elder Futhark here.

The first rule, is that runes do not double!
Secondly, letter combinations like Th or Ng should use the appropriate rune. You shouldn't be using two runes for those combinations.

Be careful about mixing up "e" and "m". The runes Mann and Eh look similar (Eh actually looks like an 'm') but Mann has an extra line. So make sure you're using the correct rune.

In the Elder Futhark, Wunjo, Jera and Kenaz have multiple letters.

When using Wunjo or Jera for the letter y, think of how it's used. Use Jera for for the more vocal, throaty sound.  Giefu/Gebo can also be used for y, and is more along the lines of Wunjo's usage. If you have more than one choice, take the meaning of the word or your final goal into account and see if you can work it out that way. You can also go with your intuition about what's right.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Letters Home

If you are struggling with feeling your connection to the land I have a simple suggestion for you to incorporate into your own rituals, rites or meditations. Use what ever format suits your personal practise best.

To help draw you closer the the land you can try writing a letter. You might want to write this as you would a formal letter or you might decide to take the same route as me and write a poem. I chose the poem format because I felt the creation in itself was an offering to the land and because the crafting of a poem takes more time and therefore in the crafting of a poem you imbue your words with more meaning. A quick scribble isn't appropriate either way you chose to go forward with it; you need to put real thought into your words and when you write them out you must really feel them - make some effort to make the paper look pretty.
Tell the land that you wish to connect with it and the spirits that live with/within it and tell the land why. Tell the land how much you think of it. In my case I was telling the land spirits about the garden I wanted to create and why, and I was asking for permission and assistance. Be open and be clear in what you are saying.
When you have your final draft and it's all written out lovely (I would suggest handwriting rather than printing from your word processor as something handwritten is more personal and again gives your words more power) you are ready to use it. Begin as you would normally begin your practise, but you must be outside. If you want to make contact with the spirits of the land you must at least show willing! Where you are will obviously effect how you perform any rituals or meditations, but with this side of things you're on your own; do whatever suits you and the circumstance. The aim is to release your words to the land spirits. You might chose to read your words out loud or you may recite them silently. The nest step is to physically release your words. You can do this by either burying your letter in the Earth or by burning the letter in a small heat proof bowl.
After you've done this you must keep your eyes open! If the spirits try to answer you make sure you are listening. Watch for anything that keeps repeating in your life. Maybe a certain animal will keep appearing, either in real life or you'll keep seeing them on the t.v, hearing about them etc. Maybe it will be a word that keeps popping up, or a phrase. It might also be helpful to pay extra attention to your dreams.

Good luck,
Nellie x

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Magical First Steps - Part Six

I know it's been a while, but life gets hectic sometimes. I barely have time to breathe, and finals are coming up next week.

The "last" step for practicing magic is learning to shield.

Shielding is a way of deflecting or redirecting energy aimed at you. (Either consciously or not.)

This practice can come in handy not only for protection, but also if somebody is fairly empathic as an everyday thing.

When working with other people, especially if they're unexperienced, shielding can protect you from "nuclear runoff" or energy that's gone astray.

Okay, enough rambling... Onto the meat of the post, how to shield.

The way I learned to shield, is by putting up a bubble of energy around you, and empower it to do what you want with energy that comes your way. The most common would be deflecting it. Though some people empower their shields to ground the energy, or to reflect it back to where it came from. This will take some practice, but if you've been working with energy, then you should have a pretty good feel of how to do this.

A lot of people do visualizations with their shielding. Barbed wire, or armor are very common visualizations. Many people also put up multiple layers that protect against various types of energies, which they can "take down" and put back up individually.

Personally, I don't find a reason for shielding too often. I put up a shield to protect the vehicle I'm in whenever I go somewhere. I put up a shield when I'm in a public place with a lot of people I don't know so I don't get overwhelmed by the emotions. But when I am home or with people I care about, I have nothing to be protected from.

Some people are paranoid about other people practicing magic against them, but I am not.

There are also more permanent kinda of shields that you can put up around people or places, but these are more allong the lines of a protection spell or ward.

Blessings,
Skye

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Communing with Deity

I've been asked to write this post (and feel free to keep the suggestions coming in - we love to know what everybody wants to hear) by the wonderful Nellie. And now that I'm feeling up to writing again, I'm going to tackle it. This is just the way I connect with Deity, but before I publish, I'll see what I can do to find other people's experiences. It is in no way the only "correct and right" way to go about forming a relationship with your Gods.

When I first started trying to "meet" my deities, I wasn't sure what I was doing. I've figured all this out by trial and error. This was about two years ago. I was researching the Norse Gods, and learning all that I could about them. (Keep in mind, that learning about your Gods really is a life-long endeavor. A lot of what was known back in ancient times was spread by word of mouth, and is lost to us now.)

There were a few Gods and called out to me. Eir was one of the firsts. In the long run I never really formed a relationship with her, so much as an acquaintance. Thor was a fairly obvious one, when I look at my life. And Frigg came along a bit later.

The first time I went to commune with Deity, I was trying to contact Eir. Having no training or knowledge of how to do this, I meditated and called Her name repeatedly. I didn't feel the presence of any higher being, but I "heard" singing. I knew it wasn't coming from my environment, because it sounded different than if I heard it with my ears. I never hear anything in my head (if it comes from me) in a voice other than my own. This was a very light and airy (Eir - pronounced just like air) voice, and a high soprano. I didn't catch the words, and I was so shocked that I got directly out of the meditative state and couldn't get back for the life of me. I tried!

Since then, I've formed relationships with Frigg and Thor, and I'm working on a relationship with Odin now.

My experiences with these Gods are more stable, and I can usually expect what's going to happen when I'm talking with them. The first time I started meditating to talk to these Gods, a location came to my mind instinctively. With Thor, it's an open field surrounded by trees with a large rock in the middle. When I meet up with Frigg, it's in a house, right by the hearth. And I see Odin standing by a cliff looking out to sea.

A (very vague) Guide to Connecting with Deity
Learn everything you can about your chosen deity. (Pick one or two to start off with.)
Meditate while "calling out" or "inviting" the God/dess to join you.
Take note of any feelings you get from them (if they come and join you - they might not.)
Be open to any kinds of messages you get from the Gods. It might not be in words - it could be symbols, sounds or impressions.
Don't be disheartened if things don't go as planned. You can always try again later.
Keep trying to commune with the Gods. They might want to be sure of your dedication to forming a relationship with them before they make themselves known to you. Patience is a virtue.

Don't forget to leave offerings or blessings for your Gods. A bit of your meal left out for them, pouring them some of your drink or just offering them thanks or praise before a meal is a good way to let them know you're sincere.

http://hubpages.com/hub/paganpatrongods

Monday, August 2, 2010

Learning the Land - Part 4

Now this week is a fairly simple suggestion, though again it will take longer than a week to come to fruition (quite literally).

Everyone has heard the saying 'you are what you eat' no doubt, and it really is very true in quite a literal sense that goes much further than your health.
One of the things I have found to be most helpful in connecting with the land has been to grow some food and eat it. By doing this you are quite literally eating the land. It becomes part of you on a molecular and chemical level, just as you become part of the land itself when you die and the physical body decomposes (yeah I know, lovely imagery while I'm talking about growing food!) I'm talking provable science here again, and it's something you can read up on if you are so inclined :)
Everybody can do this. Sure it's best if you can actually grow something in the Earth itself, but if you can't it doesn't mean that growing your own as a method of connection is lost to you. Even if you grow in pots on a patio or window box - or even if you only grow something on a pot on your windowsill - you are still connecting to the spirit of the land. The soil is only part of the equation. You can still grow plants that are exposed to the air,and water them with collected rainwater, all unique to the place you live and therefore part of the whole. This will still bring you closer to the land and also its natural rhythms, which is also the point of the exercise. How can you expect to come closer to the Land if you don't know her natural rhythms? This isn't something you can learn from a book as each place will be slightly different. Optimum temperatures for growth will come at different times, differing length of daylight hours etc. Fruit, vegetables and leaves will be ready at different times in different places, and as part of your connection to the Land it's nothing but beneficial to know about when these things are happening.
So go get growing! Sure it might be getting too cold where you are, but you'd be surprised what can grow with just a little protection. At the least there are some salad crops that are suitable for growing during the cool times so long as you give them a little protection (cloches, bubble wrap, horticultural fleece - heck even half a plastic bottle upturned will do the trick).
If you can't grow in the Earth it's no big matter. Anyone can grow some herbs on their window. If you've got a sunny window you've got limitless choices of what to grow. If however you have window space but it's not very sunny, don't despair! Mint and sage for example will still grow for you (mint makes a lovely tea and you can get countless varieties to chose from. Sage is very useful for ritual and magickal purposes but that's a subject for another post! Again there are lots of different varieties - I grow pretty purple sage).
So grow something. PLEASE! Not only will it bring you closer to the Land in a local sense it will also help the Land in a global sense. Eating closer to home means there's that little bit of food that isn't being shipped half way around the world to your door. If you can try to source local food more frequently you really are doing the Earth a favour.
As a side note - plants are always cheaper to grow from seed and many cheap supermarkets often sell some of the more popular varieties seed packets quite cheaply. If you're looking for something a bit more unusual the best place is probably the Internet. Some seeds are difficult to germinate though so you might want to buy them as plants. Sage for example is supposed to be difficult to germinate. This doesn't mean you shouldn't try, just that you should be aware of this fact. I grew Sage from seed the first time I tried with no experience what-so-ever so difficult does not by any means mean impossible! Other plants self seed prolifically (like lemon balm) so if you can find a friend with plants you can probably beg some for nothing, and other plants are so voracious (like all the mints) that they spread all over the place, and again if you've got a friend with plants you can probably beg some for nothing!
Good luck - please give this one a go if you haven't already!
Nellie x

Monday, July 26, 2010

Learning the Land - Part 3

- on a personal note, I hope you'll forgive the late posting, it's been a bit of a busy time of late. Also with thanks to Ellie from Wandering a Lonely Road for the award nomination; I'll be posting about this on my personal blog so I don't clutter the place up here at Working Spirituality. -



And onto our relationship with the land.

This week I'm going to suggest you really throw yourself into your research! The land on which you live has seen and felt so much before you or I came along. Find out all about the history of the place you call home. Does it correlate with any of the feelings and impressions you've been getting while spending time with the spirit of the land?

Use what ever you can get your hands on for this. Local libraries and history books are more than helpful, and access to the county records office will be invaluable (ask for help if you need it because they are usually staffed by wonderful people - note any rules before you go in as often you'll not be allowed to take pencils/pens into these places. However they are usually happy to offer photocopying services for any information you'd like to record). As ever the Internet is your friend with any research such as this. Be careful though, not everything you read comes from a trustworthy source so it's worth cross referencing to check if something is right.

Find out what the main economy of your land has been in the passing ages. Chances are this will have changed as time has gone on. Was your place mainly agricultural, was it the site of factories and mills, or a fishing port etc? How did life change where you are when the Industrial Revolution hit for example? How did people get by during the World Wars where you live? Did many of the men who went to war make it back? What ghost stories abound? Was there once a 'lord of the manor', does a manor house still stand? What religion did the people who lived on this land follow? What festivals did they celebrate? What ancient tribes once inhabited the lands? What happened to them? Where are the natural water sources and how have they been used in the past? Are there any battle sites nearby? All this and more is what you should aim to be discovering because these are the things the land has been witness to. These are the things that have shaped it and helped or hindered its evolution.

This isn't something you can do in just a week of course, this is an on-going project. To know the land you have to be willing to keep learning. Ask the land about the things you find out and see if there's any response. Maybe, maybe not.

Good Luck!

Nellie x

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Magical First Steps - Part Five

Grounding and Centering

You may have noticed that you're feeling a bit tired/headache-y/irritable after practicing raising energy. This isn't uncommon, and it happens to all of us. (Even if we've been practicing for years.)

The best way to counteract this is to "ground" any excess energy. To ground energy means to send any extra energy into the ground, or to pull energy from the earth to replenish your own "stores".

There are many ways to do this, but sitting down on the ground, in a chair with both feet on the ground or standing straight up seem to be the most common methods.

Focus on the energy that you have in your body - but make sure not to accumulate anymore or to concentrate it any more than it already is. If you're feeling jittery or overwhelmed with energy, channel the energy down into the ground. If you're feeling drained, draw some out of the earth and into yourself. The purpose of grounding is to balance out the energy in you to where it should be.

Visualization can help with this; many people visualize roots from their feet into the ground or some other similar imagery. (Personally, I use an anchor, which has significant meaning to me.) Try a few different ways to see what works for you.

Another reason to ground is to bring your mind and body to the present. It helps you focus on what you're doing at the moment, rather than be scatterbrained and all over the place.

Centering is just pulling all of your energy to one place in yourself. It helps you focus. It is usually done when grounding.

When you feel your connection to the Earth, and your energy is all balanced out - focus on whatever the task at hand is. (If you're just grounding to get rid of excess energy and not to focus, you don't really need to do this step.) Set your attention to whatever it is you need to do or want. And that's essentially the gist of it.

Physical methods of grounding are eating something, jumping hard onto the ground, laying down for a couple minutes. Sometimes food and physical rest can be better than going through all the energy work involved in grounding.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Learning the land - Part 2

So once you've identified the places in your locality that might hold the energies of the earth a little closer to the surface so to speak, the next thing you need to do it visit them. Don't set out to do them all in a day - show the spirits of the place your respect by taking your time and not rushing.

Spend some time in each of these places and try to 'feel' them. You might do this by meditating, or you might do this by lowering your energy into the ground, or you might simply open yourself up to the place. Does each place feel different? How easy is it to feel the essence of each place - are some places easier than others? Which places feel special? See what feelings and images come to you in each of these places and slowly start to build up a connection with the land around you.

Once you've done this identify one, or possibly two, places where you think you can work with the energies present. Alternatively if you feel like your relationship with the land is really coming along, or if getting to other special places is difficult, you can start the next step in your own back garden. If you are planning on working your spirituality in your garden this is as good a time as any to start - just make sure you've got the hang of sensing the energy in the Earth first (this is why I have suggested you start off feeling the energy of special sites first - because for a beginner the land's energy is going to be easier to sense in these places).

Chose your site and find a place within it to leave offerings. I'm not suggesting anything elaborate - infact if your chosen place is the middle of a public park then I suggest that you keep things as simple and unobtrusive as possible. Keep in mind that this is not an alter to a Deity, it is a place to connect to the land and leave the spirits that possess it offerings. Maybe you'll opt for a pretty plate, or a shallow bowl if you're working in your garden, or possibly a wooden tray. Maybe you'll decide to simply draw a circle on the ground, where ever you are. Give it some thought and decide what seems appropriate to you.

As to what to offer? Try some wild bird seed, or a libation of water, some flower petals, or even a strand of your own hair. I prefer to keep things natural, but if you're working in your own garden and you want to offer statues or carvings and such like then that is fine too. The key thing here is that whatever you offer it should be from the heart.

Just let the land get to know you a bit, visit regularly and try to make it known that you are listening.


Nellie x

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Learning the Land - Part 1

I claim to be no expert but I invite you to join me on my own journey in connecting more deeply with the land. For everyone this is an extremely personal journey, and so what is right for me may not feel right for you. So take my suggestions during this series of posts, tweak them, adapt them; do what feels right for you and the land you are living on. I'm going to aim to give you one activity or idea to work with every week in the hope that it gives you time to personalise these ideas/rituals, making them as formal or informal as you like, and giving you time to work through any impressions, dreams, visions, and impressions that might come your way as a result of your work.

There is nothing more important (in my humble opinion!!) than your connection with the land, your mother, your source. The Earth and the spirits that live within the land have so much to teach us - and what could be more fulfilling than learning from the forces of nature rather than spending all your time with your nose in a book? (though I do adore books so please don't ignore them completely)

As with all things worth doing, this is worth taking your time over. Show the land some commitment by taking it one step at a time.

So for your first steps with your land you will need some maps! If you live somewhere you've been born and grown up then you will likely have some resonance within you with the place you live, but if you live hundreds of miles from your birthplace there's no reason at all why you cannot become part of the land too. What you need is love. It comes down to that very simple fact.

So! Start off with a local street map, and an ordinance survey map is handy too (sorry I don't know the equivalent to this outside of the U.K. I'm talking about a very detailed map that you'd likely use should you decide to go rambling in the country side) Look for places that could have held special significance that's been forgotten from days gone by. Old track ways that have somehow survived urbanisation, old park land that holds some remnant of the wildwood; ancient fortifications and earthworks. All these are indications that a place has something special about it. Look as well for old churches that have been there forever - chances are they were built upon earlier sacred sites. Take note of any unusual place/road names that draw you too. Mark all of these places down and then just look at your map for a bit - is there anywhere your eye is drawn to without there being anything obviously special about it? Mark down these places too - your intuition could be giving you a heads up!

Now go do some research on these places you've marked down and see what turns up. When I did my research I found the starting point of an energy ley line which I was very excited about. I also found some old town/parish boundaries that still remained as public footpaths through new housing estates and held a real feeling of the Earth pulsing through them. I found some sites that had histories of various hauntings and the stories that went with them. It was all very illuminating!

So go look for the places around you where the Earths energies are closer to the surface and easier to perceive.

Good luck to everyone who decides to have a go with this. Be sure to let us know how you get on! We're all on similar journeys here and I for one would love to hear what everyone else finds!

Nellie x

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Magical First Steps - Part Four

The fourth step in learning to work magic is raising energy.

Raising energy isn't like drinking an energy drink. It's not the same as feeling energized, but rather a feeling of power - of something that can be put to use in a better way than just physical. It's a deep sensation in the stomach. (For me at least, though I'm sure it can radiate from other places.)

To start with this exercise, figure out which hand it your strongest. It's usually your writing hand, but whichever hand you feel has more ability to send out can work. You can also try this exercise with both hands, or alternate until you learn which one works better, or you prefer. Personally, I use both hands, as they are fairly well balanced for me.

Start out by getting into a fairly meditative state. Make sure that you won't be getting interrupted, keep outside sounds to a minimum. Ask any roommates or family members not to bother you for a while. Take your time.

Once you're nice and relaxed, put your hands out in front of you and shape them like you're cupping a ball. Your hands can be a bit straighter, or nicely curved - whichever is more comfortable for you to keep up for several minutes.

Focus on sensing the energy around you, then narrow down on your own. Pull the energy into your stomach/chest. Then funnel the energy into your hands, then finally the space between your hands. It will pool up and eventually feel like a squishy nerf ball.

You should be able to feel the density of the area.

After trying this, if you're capable of seeing the energy, you can try to change the colors - or you can try to change the temperature or other aspects of the energy.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pagan Paths - Overview

There are many different Pagan paths out there, and many are capable of some degree of personalization.

Pagan religions - according to most of the world - are anything that isn't Christianity, Judaism or Muslim. But if you are part of the Pagan community, the general consensus is that it is any nature-based religion, including reconstructions of the pre-christian religions of our ancestors.

Most - if not all - Pagan paths have a high respect for nature and the cycles of the seasons. Many are polytheistic (believe in more than one God) though monotheistic or even atheistic are common. Some people believe that all Gods are One God, but there really is no set rule.

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Common Pagan Religions (Not Including Magical Practices)


Wicca - Modern Pagan religion founded by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. This is usually the first Pagan religion people hear about. There is a belief in both a God and a Goddess - the Lord and the Lady - and the main rule is "Do as you will, but harm none."

Heathenism - A Norse Pagan reconstruction. Many followers try to practice as closely as possible to the way their ancestors did. There is strong roots in family, and most Heathens are Germanic or Scandinavian of some sort. They worship the Norse Pantheon, and believe in the Nine Noble Virtues.

Druidism - A Celtic reconstruction religion. (Need more information.) Druidism is very nature-based and promotes peace and balance.

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A good place to start when looking for your specific path is to read the basics of Wicca, as it isn't a reconstruction, but a newer religion all together. From there, read up on the mythology from different pantheons, and if you feel a strong pull to any of the Gods or Goddesses check out the religion of the people who originally worshiped them.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Looking for Energy

All life, thoughts, emotions and matter are energy. If you work at it you can train your eye to see this energy. Different people can see it to different degrees, and I myself am still working at it even though it's a talent that came to me quite naturally.


Lighting is crucial when you're first starting out, and even when you become used to looking for this kind of energy it's still difficult on say a bright sunny day. Start off slowly, because it can be easy to strain your eyes trying to see something.

Low light conditions seem to be best when looking for energy, and somewhere with a plain background can be helpful as busy backgrounds tend to distract the eye. As a first experimentation hold your hand out in front of you. So what are you looking for, huh? Well, to start with you're just looking for a fuzzy sort of outline going around the outside of your hand. It will probably only be a few millimetres or so wide.

And how do you go about looking for it? The best way I can explain it is that it's like trying to look at one of those 3D hidden image pictures. You need your eyes to unfocus to a certain degree because you are trying to look inbetween the physical spaces that your eye can see quite naturally. To begin with this energy will look similar to watching heat rise off the road on a hot day. Like I said, don't push it because it's so easy to strain your eyes. If it's not coming, just try again later.

When you first manage to see this energy the chances are that you'll be so chuffed that your eyes will snap back into their normal way of 'seeing' but the more you practice the easier it gets.

After you've managed to master finding energy this way you can start to look for colour in this energy. What sort of colour does the energy around your hand appear to you? Don't push your eyes, they do need time to pick this up and it isn't easy to hold onto the colours your eye is picking up in the beginning.

When you've started picking up impressions of colour you will probably start to notice that you are starting to see another band of energy surrounding the first band. When you get this far you might want to do some research on the auric field and its assosiated colours.

For extra practice here are some other things you can try. When you're talking to someone see if you can notice a field of energy around the persons head. For some reason it seems to be easier to see energy around the head. The band of energy will appear much larger than it does around your hand. You probably won't see colours unless you've gotten rather good at this because it's hard to look around somebody's head during a conversation for too long without making them wonder what you're looking at!

At dusk or dawn time see if you can notice a field of energy around trees. Needless to say the energy field will be much larger. Try to do this on a still day as branches waving around in the wind can be very distracting!

And, maybe surprisingly, try looking for bands of energy down the sides of cuboards, chairs etc. In low light conditions it can be quite easy to pick out bands of energy running down the straight lines of furniture!

Now what's the point in all this you wonder, right?

Once you can 'see' energy in this way you can start looking for energy patterns of non-physical things. I personally find this more easy inside a building than I do outside. Beware though, and make sure that you do really want to see as this can be... disconcerting shall we say?

In some ways it can be easier to do this but of course you have nothing physical to concentrate on. I personally found this easier to master than finding the energy of physical things. To look for energy in this way you have to focus inbetween places. The easiest way to do this is to pick two physical objects and focus on the empty space between these two things. Your eyes should focus on the inbetween spaces by doing this. Don't try to move your eyes around or they will quickly try to focus on something tangible. Instead keep your eyes still and use your peripheral vision to scan your surroundings. Are there any blocks of energy that stand out to you? Take this slowly and give yourself time to find your feet and understand what you're seeing.

Good luck!
Nellie

Monday, June 28, 2010

Magical First Steps - Part Three

Visualization 

This part is something you should be practicing along with meditation and sensing energy. I probably should have written this before doing the sensing energy post, but there's nothing that I can really do about this now.

Visualization is seeing something in your mind without it necessarily being real. This can be something like a memory or a dream, or it can just be an object in empty space.

To start off, get into a comfortable position and spend a few minutes winding down. When you're ready to start, close your eyes and picture whatever it is that you want. It is best to pick an image or a picture rather than a scenario to start off with.

It isn't uncommon for the picture to fade quickly in your mind, just keep bringing it back. Do this with the same image for 5 minutes or so, or until you start to feel tired or worn out.

It's good to practice this skill often, as it can come in handy for practicing magic. Once you are comfortable with a single image, turn it around in your mind, manipulate it in some way or another. (You don't need to be practicing with the same image every time unless you want to.) From here you can move onto places.

When it comes to visualizing places, it's something I usually do during meditation, anyways. The places I have came naturally to me. Try moving about it in a way that you would usually do. Avoid animals and people at first, as they will be difficult to manipulate along with everything else.

When you get to practicing magic, this will come in handy during the whole "visualize outcome while putting your energy into a candle" or another similar part of the ritual.

(A small side note: If you're a strong and vivid daydreamer, this should come naturally to you. Also, many good artists are very good at this. I, however, have issues keeping an image in my head.)

Exercises

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Magical First Steps - Part Two

Learning about energy.

After you are familiar with meditation (you don't need to be a pro, but being comfortable with it helps) it's time to move onto energy work.

The first thing to do is to learn what it feels like, and the best way I've found to get acquainted with energy is this exercise:

Start off by gathering several different objects. Make some of these natural, some man made. A good list includes: a (live/potted) plant, a stick/leaf, pencil, mirror, jewelry, candle. Anything you have laying around, really. Make it versicle. Start with 3 or 4 and move up as you feel comfortable.

Meditate to clear you mind. Get in a good state of mind, make sure that you're relaxed. Don't do this when you are very wound up or tired.

Pick up one of your object and hold it in both hands. (You can also hold it in your dominant or writing hand. Close your eyes and get a good feel of the object. Run your fingers over it. Pay attention to the way it feels aside from just the texture or temperature.

This is the hard part to explain. Do the same as you did in the last part of the exercise only without touching the object. Leave two inches or so of space between you and whatever it is you are using. Feel for any energy that it is giving off.

After a while of practicing this, try guessing what object it is that you're feeling. Having somebody arrange them in a random order or putting them in paper bags and mixing them up can help with this step. Don't be upset if you don't get them right at first. It takes practice.

If any of you try this or have any questions let me know. This is the hardest part to explain in my opinion.

Blessings,
Skye

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Magical First Steps - Part I

The first part to becoming proficient in working magic is learning to control your mind. You need to control the inner chatter of you brain and focus on one thing - the magic you're working and the desired outcome.

Regular meditation is the easiest way to achieve this.
When first starting out meditating, it's best to focus on your breathing. Take long, steady and deep breaths. At first I would count "1, 2, 3, 4" or "In... Out... In..." but over time I got over it and I learned to just pay attention to my breath. You can do this in any comfortable position, sitting or laying down, but you might just fall asleep if you're laying dawn. (If you end up falling asleep sitting up, you'll fall over and most likely wake yourself up.)
It's a good idea to set a timer when you're first starting out just in case you do fall asleep. (And you can keep track of how long you're meditating, too.) Smaller amounts of time are best when starting, as they are easier to achieve and it is less likely for you to feel disheartened.
Also, if you're having trouble quieting your mind, just let the thoughts come. Don't dwell on them, but don't fight them either.

Other ways to help with meditating are:
Listening to music. (Preferably without words.)
Visualizing a scene or place.
Doing repetitive tasks and focusing solely on what you're doing.
Stretching - focus on your breathing while you stretch. Like yoga.


Note: A way that I make meditation more spiritual than just about well being or magic is by using it to connect with Deity. I have a place that I go to where I can be with my Patron God/dess and it does a world of good.

(Don't forget to comment with your own suggestions.)

Bing Search on Meditation Videos

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mission

I've created this blog to serve as a how-to for those new to the craft. It'll take from the expertise of people who have been on their own path, and help people find what they are looking for.

It will teach the theory behind practicing magic, as well as other trades within the Craft. We will offer suggestions about how to progress to where you want to be in your life within your spiritual practices. We can help you find what you're looking for by telling you how we found it.

We can guarantee that while we may not have been in your exact situation, we understand the need for something more.

We aren't perfect, we don't know everything, but we are mentors.