A common feature of magical acts within many traditions is the idea of manipulating and directing unseen "forces" or "energy." Readers are no doubt familiar with the Eastern concept of "chi," which is thought to permeate the whole of the universe and everything within it, in a generic form. The flow of "chi" within these systems, so some believe, can be influenced within and around anything, the body for example in the case of "aura" or "chakra" work.
Western systems have a similar concept, variously termed "aether," 'energy," "magical energy," "witch-fire," etc. Often, the "energies" in Western systems are specific (associated with a specific planet for example) and can be employed for specific magical purposes. Despite the lack of physical evidence to support the existence of a measurable chi-like/magical energy, virtually anyone who engages in the activities usually associated the experience of it will have a subjective experience that is consistent with typical descriptions of this otherwise undetectable force.
A rough model describing the perceptual mechanisms that account for the experience of magical energy has been developed, and will eventually be detailed in the Theory section of the Neuromagick Library. For now, briefly, the experience can be understood as a function of focused attention and the bimodal perceptual system that, under normal circumstances, serves to integrate visual and somatosensory input in peripersonal space (the immediate space around the physical body). This model does not presuppose an externally extant "energy," but rather explains how the experience people typically describe as "magical energy" can be subjectively felt, and how such sensations can be directed around the body at will. Furthermore, within the larger Neuromagick theoretical frame, the practical purpose and value of the experience of magical energy will be specified.
The mechanisms of the experience, however, is not the subject of the current instruction, nor is the theoretical purpose of having the experience. Rather, the purpose of the this article is simply to develop the sensations that constitute the experience of magical energy, and to gain some willful control of the experience.
To that specific end, this exercise will explore the physical sensations of magical "energy" flowing through and around the body. At first, do not be concerned with differentiated types of "energy" or on using it for any specific purpose. For now, concentrate on "energy" in general, on learning to feel it and direct it within and around the body at will.
Sit comfortably in a chair with your hands resting on your thighs, palms down. Take in a few cleansing breaths, relax your body as you exhale. When you feel good and relaxed, raise your hands to just below shoulder height and extend them away from the body slightly, palms facing each other, about six inches apart.
Focus your attention on both hands at the same time. If you find it difficult to focus on two things at once, you may shift your attention back and forth between your hands very quickly, but work toward getting your attention to take in both hands at one time. The duel focus will become more natural with practice.
Within a short period of time, you will begin to feel your palms warming, and you may feel a tingling sensation begin to develop. When you sense a change in your palms, intensify your attention on the sensations and zoom in on those specific spots where you feel the most change, still keeping your attention on both hands at once as best you can. This narrowing of focus will naturally intensify the warmth/tingling sensations.
Keep the dual focus while trying to visualize a "laser beam" of white light emanating from where you feel the sensations, spanning the distance between your hands. When you are successful at this, you may find that you have sensations within the "beam" as well as in your hands.
Maintain sensations of flow between your hands for as long as you wish. When you're finished, simply separate your hands a little bit, turn your palms downward slowly, and rest them on your thighs again. Take a few cleansing breaths before standing up. A little light stretching is a good idea at this point.
Note. It's also a good idea to eat a little something after doing exercises with sensations of magical energy. You don't have to eat a lot (unless you're really hungry of course), but it's not uncommon for people to feel a little odd after doing energy work, and eating tends to help restore a sense of normalcy. There are a number of formal "grounding" exercises that people use for this purpose, but for most people, eating a little something works wonders.
An axiom (or principle) popularized by some New Age authors states, energy flows where attention goes. The exercise described above puts that principle into action quite nicely. By focusing your attention on two places at once, the experience of an exchange or flow between them naturally results. Most people who try the exercise report feeling warmth and tingling in their palms the first time out, and have some success with intensifying the sensations. Some have to try more than once to feel it, but virtually everyone who works at it enough does begin to feel those sensations and develops some control over them. Once that happens, the principle can fairly easily be applied to any two (or more) points on the body, and from there, many magical techniques and applications can be exploited.
Work on the above until you feel competent at initiating the sensation of magical energy in your hands. Then begin to experiment. For example, you may form a ball of energy between your hands. When successful at forming an energy ball, you may cause it to move around and near your body. You may find that you can sense the energy ball up to several feet away.
At this time it's also worth looking into energy work from a variety of traditions, to gain a historical sense, and to gain inspiration for your own experimentation.
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