I was listening to a video on basic instructions in spellcasting. The instructor kept emphasizing how “practice” is the most important aspect of magick. That the magician should not be afraid to perform the spell multiple times until the desired results manifest. “Practice” in this sense, meant repetition of magickal activity.
As a beginning magician, I remember how often the word “practice” was used. The analogy that so many of us go by is that the process of performing magick is somewhat equivalent to any other physical-world skill. Performing a circle casting is supposed to become “easier” once it (physically) happens multiple times. We visualize the flame erupting from our wand, dagger or finger…the image of the flame becomes crisper with repetition. The light becomes brighter. The shadows that are thrown off become darker and more distinct. With practice, the energy seems more solid, more “real”. The other people in the room can sense the circle, the more practice that the magician has casting it. With practice, the circle becomes more and more real in the physical world. In the physical world, a capable magician can cast a circle solid enough for other people to sense.
When practicing physical-world skills, such as learning how to play the guitar or becoming a faster runner, practice is a very important part of becoming better at physically performing any activity. However, as NLP and performance psychology techniques become more mainstream practices, it is becoming clear that it is not only helpful to address the MENTAL/IMAGINARY aspects associated with practice, but sometimes imperative to its success.
Attitudes and beliefs associated with our capability and capacity affect, allow and prevent our physical performance of any activity. The rules of magick and manifestation are very different than the rules of physical activity. In the physical world, success of activity is brought about faster when one is convinced that one can perform the activity….and can perform it not only easily, but well.
Someone who is full of self-doubt, who has a mind-set of defeat, will take much longer to physically practice than someone who is in the affirmative attitude that they will succeed. One must not only address the thoughts specific to the activity, but also their general attitudes towards being successful.
Before kicking the soccer ball into the goal, take time out to visualize that one can successfully make the goal. Involve all of the senses to make the experience a real one. Feel the smallest details–the sensation of your foot inside your sneaker. Feel the give of the grass and ground of the playing field as you stand on it. Feel the pressure of the contact between your foot and the ball, as you kick it. Feel that exact moment when the ball releases away from your foot, as it sails through the air. Feel your foot return back to the ground, the shift in your muscles as you return to standing on both feet, weight balanced between your two legs. Feel the way your body responds to watching the ball sail perfectly into the goal–the tension and release of excitement….and finally, satisfaction. Besides the feeling sensations, be aware of the scents associated with the playing field–the grass, possibly the dirt underneath it, maybe within a park with trees. There are also sounds–the sound of the earth squishing if it is soft….or the thud of your shoe on firmer ground….the sound of the shoe hitting the ball….the sound of the air being cut by the ball. Every sense needs to be involved to create a realistic experience. Once the brain is convinced that the experience has been successfully had, then there sets in the mind the idea that one is capable of performing the activity, in the future. The mind cannot distinct between an “actual” event and an “imaginary” event, when all of the corresponding senses have been involved. A successful and convincing “imaginary” event means that you have done the act, in the past.
A slight variation on this theme is to recall the memory of having experienced the activity in the past. The beauty of this is that the mind, having a presumptive function, will fabricate memories (or the details to memories) when there is no “actual” event in one’s personal history. This is not anything that we do not already make use of. We often skew recall, often in negative ways, to confirm present-time attitudes. When we are depressed, we can only recall memories which make the same emotional atmosphere. In this state, all happy memories do not exist, because they cannot be recalled. This goes for every other mood. We cannot remember happy moments (or relate to them, anyway), when we are depressed–and vice versa.
BEFORE practicing any magickal activity–whether that is a technique in spellcasting, any particular type of spell, or manifesting any particular type of event or object–take time to make sure that you can RELATE to successfully manifesting the desired results in that area.
In metaphysical understanding, we can only physically experience those events and situations that we can relate to being “real” through our physical senses. If the sensory details are real to our senses of sight, taste, touch, hearing and smell–it is a real event to us. The mind cannot tell the difference between an imaginary and a physical event–they are the same thing to our personal senses. We react to dreams, fantasies and any other occurrence that we think of as “not real”, even after we categorize the experiences as real or not real, after the fact.
In terms of magickal activity, we do not rely on physical movement as much to strengthen our abilities. A doubting, skeptical and self-defeating personality can go through all of the motions of spell-casting or psychic techniques multiple times without any success or signs of upcoming success.
On the flipside to that scenario, a new apprentice can perform a new operation with a high degree of success while they are in still that faithful “apprentice” position. It is the conviction, confidence….or simply, innocence….that they will succeed. They manifest because they don’t “know any better”.
Before physically casting any spells or performing any rituals, put the larger amount of time into exploring the topic on the mental plane, first. Be very creative. Come at the subject in as many directions as you can.
To take the example of circle casting, before physically enacting the technique, sit with your work journal or some fresh pieces of paper and freewrite on the concept–Which sensory details are involved in casting a circle of energy? Which physical sensations do you feel when you cast a circle? The Divine energy flowing into your crown? The Earth energy entering your feet chakras, moving up your legs? Does the energy feel tingly, warm or intense as it exits your hand? What do you see astrally as the circle is cast? Does it affect the physical light in the room, maybe appearing as heat waves or distortion to the physical images? Is there a sound that accompanies the presence of the energy? How does the presence of the circle affect your physical senses? How do other people perceive the circle, once it is cast? How do external energies and entities react to the cast circle?
Take it to another level. Because you are successful at circle casting, what does this say about your ability to work with energy? To perform magick, in general? What are other related thoughts and concepts that come from this–because you can manipulate energy easily, what else does this reflect about other parts of your spiritual beliefs? What becomes possible, in your personal experience?
Explore these concepts freely in your journaling or musing. If any limitations come up, ask yourself how you can move past them. For all of the positive experiences, ask yourself how you can intensify and magnify your experience. Keep expanding and clearing out your negative limitations.
Model: Dylan Talisman