Whatever your beliefs or practices, if you identify as a Witch or Witch-adjacent, there are common elements I think are essential to the path of practical Witchcraft. I've broken this into six courses. Each course has several lessons. You can take each course at your own pace. I recommend moving through the courses in order to make the most out of the lessons.
RAISING & DIRECTING ENERGY
In order to effectively raise and direct energy for spells and rituals, a Witch must first master visualization techniques. In order to master visualization, a daily meditation practice is essential.
It takes focused intent to raise energy and then make it go where you want. You might direct energy to your Chakras, an injury, ritual tools, spell ingredients, another person, the Earth, and dozens of other places.
WHERE DOES THE ENERGY COME FROM?
Energy must be created or raised from a source. That usually starts with a strong emotion. We can then amplify that with external energy sources.
I don’t recommend being the primary power source for your work. It can be exhausting and cause unpleasant side-effects, like headaches, upset tummy, dizziness and more.
Whether we like it or not, our Spirits have agreed to wear the meat-suit, and the meat-suit has physical limitations with finite energy stores.
It’s a bit like running a large complex device on batteries instead of using the A/C adapter it came with. The batteries will work for a time, until they are depleted and run down. You always have the option to plug the large device into a sustained energy source that wouldn’t tax the batteries, so choosing to run the device solely on batteries only makes sense if you are not near a power outlet.
As a Witch, you are always near a power outlet, because the Earth and Nature and the Universe – unlimited power sources- are yours to tap into. These are your greatest external power sources for raising energy.
In addition to Earth & Cosmic energy, other sources of spiritual energy include song, dance, drumming and movement. Drawing on the power of Crystals, Stones, Totems, Sacred Power Objects, Elements & Elementals, Winds, Deities, and Spirits are even more of the many options available to the practitioner.
If you're starting at the very beginning of your path, or realized maybe you skipped some steps, start a daily meditation routine before doing anything else. Then work your way into visualization techniques. From there, your work with energy can begin.
Elements of Energy Work
RAISING & DIRECTING ENERGY REQUIRES THREE THINGS:
It’s one of the most basic foundations of Witchcraft yet it remains elusive for many. The practice part of learning energy work can take months and years- not everyone is willing to Do The Fucking Work ™. How much you put into it will determine how much you get out of it. One certainty: Zero effort and practice will give you exactly zero skills.
Start small, something is better than nothing! Take it at your pace because despite what the internet would lead you to believe, there's no race in Witchcraft.
We're all just doing the best we can. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. You'll make mistakes, you'll feel silly, you'll be sure you're doing wrong, and you'll question weather or not anyone can do this. Push through. Don't give up. Your goals are just ahead.
You’ll need to hold a belief or knowing that the energy you are wielding is a real thing; either real in your mind or from a metaphysical perspective, or real in a scientifically measurable way (even if science doesn’t have the ability to measure it yet). However you feel about energy, if you have doubt it’s real on any level, you’re results will reflect that.
If you're unsure how you feel or what you believe about energy, that's OK! Questioning and challenging is like Our Thing. Read everything, and build your own opinions and views about it that resonate with you.
If someone else's definition of spiritual energy doesn't work for you, throw it out and move on. It's not wrong, it's just not right for you. Keep searching and being a pro-active participant in creating a definition you can live with. Then, give yourself permission to let that definition evolve as needed as you learn and grow. What you decide it means today doesn't have to be what you're stuck with for eternity. Stay flexible.
Finally, successful energy work requires confidence that you have the Spiritual Authority to direct energy where you want. If the seas don't part and the ghosts don't git at the mere sound of your voice, it might just mean you haven't found your voice yet.
You are an energetic being locked into a lives-long exchange of energy between you and Source. There is a constant ebb and flow, give and take. As soon as you take, you are giving again, and as soon as you give, it is being taken. This cycle never ends. That energy is a part of you the same way the Stars and the Earth are a part of you. You are One. Knowing that truth is key to confidently working with energy.
Confidence doesn't come easy for some. Ask yourself, 'Am I being held back by old, toxic programming?' Consider if any of these statement apply to you:
Systematically shsh'd or silenced
Treated like you don't know what you're doing
Convinced working with the forces of Nature is unsafe, unnatural, ‘of the devil’, or off limits to mere humans
Unconvinced of your inherent rights as a Spiritual Being
If you can answer 'Yes' to any of these, you’ll need to confront those obstacles and clear the path in order to fully Walk in Your Power ™. If you can answer yes to either of the last two statements, however, the path of the Witch is not for you until these are no longer true.
The path of the Witch is to Know Thyself. It's worth the time and effort to dive into the things that hold you back so you can get back to the business of achieving your goals. This might require a professional or therapist who can help you work through your blockages.
Raising & Directing Energy can best be achieved when you are fully empowered. The road to empowerment looks like many things, many practices and disciplines. It can include journaling, yoga, practicing mindfullness, addressing your mental health, becoming more active, eating better, finding balance in your life, cutting out the drama, boundary setting, and prioritizing self-care.
Why Raise Energy?
Energy is the power source for magick. Without energy, your spells will not work, your intentions go nowhere, and your ability to slip in and out of astral spaces and spiritual realms does not exist. Everything in life has energy, it is within us and all around us. Learning to use this energy around us for our own purpose is called magick.
In order to perform most magick, we must raise the vibration of an object, feeling, thought, intention or space. Sometimes we must raise our own vibration, or the vibration of others. There are also times when we must lower the vibration of a person, object, space, etc. If you know how to raise energy, you can more easily learn how to dissipate or lower it. Lowering energy is a more advanced skill that we will cover another time.
Sources of Energy
People are not excellent sources for energy. I repeat, we do not use people for energy, including ourselves. As discussed in an earlier lesson, the life force that powers your physical form is limited. Your personal energy is provided to sustain your daily life. It is not abundant enough, nor does it renew quickly enough, to dependably power your magick. When we deplete our own energy, we become exhausted and sick.
For ethical reasons, we also do not tap into or draw on the energy of others or take from their life force without their permission. This is wrong. We call people who do this psychic vampires, (not to be confused with people who self-identify as Vampires as part of their newly emerging cosplay religion- most Pagans & Witches do not recognize the validity of or seek to legitimize these predatory beliefs & practices in any way - consider yourself warned).
Psychic vampires (again, not to be confused with those who identify as such) often have no idea they are draining the energy of the people around them. For most, it's quite unintentional. Some people get depleted in social situations and crowded spaces, and replenish in solitude. Others replenish in social situations and feel depleted in solitude.
As a protection tool, draining another's energy in a potentially dangerous situation in order to de-escalate or diffuse that danger can be helpful. We won't cover this here, because we are discussing Raising Energy, however as a more advanced skill, we will cover it at another time.
In the course, Protection Magick, you'll learn how to properly shield yourself so others are unable to tap into your energy or life force without your permission.
Certainly there are times when interacting with the energy of another person is appropriate, such as during sex, for healing, and when parenting to name a few. The goal in most cases is that everyone is aware of what is happening and the exchange is consensual. For example, covens often pool and share energy as do families and other close groups.
In general, however, for the purpose of working magick and performing spells, taking energy from others is wholly unnecessary. We have abundant energy sources everywhere we go.
Take Responsibility For Your Own Energy
There's a phrase we often say when gathering for ritual or with other magickal people, "Take Responsibility for the energy you bring into this space." It means you are responsible for your life. You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you're responsible for the energy that you bring to others.
Energy v/s Law of Attraction
Law of Attraction
To really understand raising energy, take some time to become familiar with Law of Attraction philosophy. Because this topic is so well covered on the internet, I won't take up much space here explaining it in great detail. Essentially, it's the belief or idea that like attracts like.
The Law of Attraction is not a modern invention. It has been used, discussed and written about by people from a wide variety of different spiritual, philosophical, and occult backgrounds for several centuries, including practitioners of magic. For Witches, this basic universal principle is inherent to all spellwork, whether they realize it or not.
Law of Attraction does not mean you gave yourself cancer or had a car accident because of 'negative' thoughts. It also doesn't mean that all the good things that happen to you are because you brought 'Positive Vibes Only', which is toxic bullshit.
Like attracts like is really just about the spiritual belief that magickal energy is drawn to other magickal energy that is familiar, and is repelled or maybe not as easily welcomed when it is very different.
For example, if I am working on attracting a home loan, to make my magick work well, the energy I use will need to use the same language as my goal. A home loan wants my energy to be responsible with money, be a bit frugal, have some savings and fair credit, be gainfully employed, prudent, not wasteful or reckless, possibly have some basic home repair knowledge, have the tools and skills to maintain my home and be a good neighbor by keeping the grass trimmed, not be the 'loud house' people, etc. The language of my goal is seeking energy that speaks to it in a way that it both understands and can feel friends with.
Using friendly language means I'm more likely going to be able to attract my goal into my sphere. Using unfriendly language (wasteful, lazy at work, always on notice and getting written up, not stable, careless with money, etc.) makes my goal not want to be my friend and work with me.
The more energy I align with my goal that speaks its language, the more the Law of Attraction, or Like Attracts Like, is reinforced. This raises the probability that my spell work will be successful.
There's no point raising energy or directing it anywhere unless you're ready to do the work to be a good ally to your goal.
Learning What Energy Feels Like
Energy in the context I am using it is describing the power that emanates from:
All Living Things
Spirits, deities, Ancestors, Elementals
Cosmos / All / Source
Many folks describe it like a force field. I personally experience it like the force between two opposing magnets. Some may even liken it to The Force from Star Wars. As an Animist, I believe a Spiritual energy field emanates from all living things, including things we as humans may not recognize as 'alive', like mountains and stones, dead plants or bones. I believe we are surrounded by this energy and that we are interacting with this energy all the time whether or not we realize it. Different cultures call it different things. In Chinese medicine, for example, it might be called “qi” or “chi,” the core principle of tai chi.
Most often practitioners draw on energy from their personal field or body, from a Divine Source, or from Earth. Many use all of these sources.
Each type of energy will feel different. What you do with the energy will also affect how it feels. Passively interacting with a flower's energy field v/s actively raising power will each have their own flavor and feeling.
People experience energy in different ways, too. Our senses are extraordinary tools with which to interact with energy. Some people taste energy, others feel it as a physical sensation, and some see it with their eyes or in their mind's eye. Some may hear it and others may associate a scant with energy. All are right, none are wrong and many people have a multi-sensory experience.
Energy Follows Thought
Visualization skills are essential to raising and directing your energy. Visualize the energy in your mind’s eye and “see” yourself receiving it or directing it where you want it to go. It’s like your thought acts as a beacon or trail for the energy. And the more you practice your visualization, the more likely you are to be able to feel the energy in your body.
Practice: Energy Exercises
To Raise & Direct Energy you first must learn how to sense energy.
Try this simple exercise or game to teach yourself how to detect and 'feel' the energy field of your own body.
1. Sit or stand with your back straight. 2. Hold your palms facing each other in front of your chest with about two inches between them. 3. Focus your attention on your hands, especially your palms and the space between them. 4. Inhale and separate your palms from each other. 5. Exhale as you bring them toward each other. 6. Continue this in and out motion with a relaxed mind while concentrating on your palms and the space between. Feelings of tingling, electricity, lightness, heat, cold, stickiness, or pressure are sensations of energy. 7. After a few minutes, lower your hands and take three deep breaths.
Work with this exercise and when you feel confident, try it out on other parts of your body.
Can you detect the energy field around your heart? Your legs?
How far out can you go while still sensing the energy field between your hands?
Do you detect any changes or differences in the energy you sense over parts of your body? What do you think this could mean?
Practice increasing the 'buzz' or vibration or density of the energy between you hands. How concentrated can you make it?
If any of these exercises make you feel unwell, don't worry, that's normal! It just means it's time to ground out the excess energy. You can quickly do this between exercises by keeping a bowl of salt nearby and burying your hands or feet in it for a minute or two.
Next, attempt your previous exercises on another person or willing pet.
If the person has an injury or illness, can you detect any change or difference in their energy field over or near these areas? What does it feel like? Is it more dense, hotter... try to describe it as best you can.
How does their overall energy field feel to you? How is it different from yours?
Now it's time to work with the energy field of other things...
Dried Herbs v/s Fresh Herbs