Saturday, October 21, 2006

Questions/Theory on "Energy Play" Exercises

I'm reading the "Inner Temple of Witchcraft" book by Christopher Penzack. I'm sort of starting fresh on the Wiccan path after going through some major indecisiveness in the past, and I've decided to start from square one (not that I got much farther previously, regardless.) I think I spent approximately 45 minutes on the energy exercises tonight. I did both of the solo ones; holding ones palms 3 feet apart and moving them together and testing for "sensation" as they draw closer in the form of tingling, temperature change, or repulsion (like opposing magnets)... I felt a little bit of all 3. I also did the same, but when my hands were 6-inches apart, starting to "exhale" energy from my mouth and also from my palms. But I seem to be able to create the same sensation just by mere thought, even without the pageantry of moving my hands around. Part of me thinks that these exercises are centered in getting you to believe the energy exists, and since belief is essential, it therefore empowers you to work magick successfully down the line, by creating an exercise that tricks you into feeling what isn't really physically there, but what was already there all along in a nonphysical sense.

I believe the energy is there but wonder if it is possible for me to feel is through an exercise like this. It is hard for me to differentiate between what is normal "feeling" and what is changed due to the positioning of the hands. I think a lot of it has to do with the mind, for instance, if I so chose, I could tell my mind that my right index finger is feeling cold. And on a half-physical, half-mental, level, I can feel the sensation even though I know that it is not cold. Similar to visualization exercises I've seen in other books. As suggested in books like Scott Cunningham's "Wicca for the Solitary Practicioner," one can mentally place an apple on their desk and "see" it in their mind, but not through their eyes, more of superimposing it in their mind on top of what their eyes see is really there. And yet, such visualization is crucial in certain spells and rites. It's like it's about manipulating the non-physical -- one could hypothesize that such is really "magick" in and of itself, when the end-result is something tangible or visible.

Perhaps the best analogy could be illustrated with food. Let's say I really want pizza, really bad. I know what pizza tastes like. I can generate that taste in my mind and pass it on to my mouth and actually feel the texture and warmth in my mouth and taste the sauce and cheese, in a weird non-physical way. I think that this is how one might experience these "energy play" sensations in regular life, even if one isn't a Wiccan or even interested in anything metaphysical. I think that the "goal" of these energy exercises is to show us that these little "tricks" we've learned to use for mundane things like food can be manipulated and put to work for us in a magickal sense. I think that ultimately, it all ties into the nonphysical (or astral) body tasting something or feeling something even when our physical body can't.

Am I anywhere close to grasping this concept or do I need to keep trying? Thanks for your help!

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