Page 4 – Visualize Your Goal
Visualize your goal.
How many times have you seen that in a spell?
Taking into account everything we’ve covered, you can see how absurd the injunction is.
A better option would be to give ideas for actual concrete images to feed to the unconscious so that whatever wall is blocking the fulfillment of your goal is overcome.
These could be images such as a flower opening up or something like that. I’ll give some more examples below, but I wanted to discuss this idea of imagination first.
Imagination in Magic
There’s actually been quite a bit written about imagination and it’s place in magic in general over the last couple thousand years.
In any old tome you happen to be perusing they usually referred to it as the phantasie. Agrippa wrote whole chapters discussing it and it’s importance in magic.
Probably the key to understanding the place of imagination in spiritual work is to understand where psychologically it comes from. From there we can go into a discussion of the different types of imagination and how to make best use of it.
What is the Imagination to the Unconscious Mind?
The imagination is a unique function of the mind. It seems to touch on all the others and act as a sort of meta-function or a container through which all the other functions can interact with each other. So through the imagination for instance, the conscious mind can experience unconscious ideas.
This experience of containing all the other functions is quite important. It seems to me it’s a very feminine concept and historically this function of containment has been attributed to Goddesses of various forms depending on culture.
In the Hermetic Qabalah this feminine container attribute is given the title of Neschamah, which means Soul or Spirit. So imagination is a “power of the soul.” Qabalistically though this part of the soul is special and is generally considered to be bornless or immortal. She’s generally equated with the Schekinah of the Bible, the divine presence of god.
Another important attribute she is given is the intuition. Every time you’ve had an intuition about something (generally) that turned out correct you’ve had an experience of the Neschamah, and that experience occurred in your imagination bringing with it... unconscious knowledge.
Functions of the imagination
So essentially, the imagination functions to provide an environment within which we can interact with the various aspects of our mind.
Each aspect of our mind that we are interacting with in the imagination can include various beliefs, emotions, thoughts, feelings and intuitions.
Because the unconscious mind uses the language of symbols to express itself, these beliefs, emotions, thoughts etc., will generally be experienced as a symbol.
This means that we can effectively USE our imagination to gain Understanding about the various problems in our life. Understanding will allow us to communicate with whatever part of ourselves is out of alignment with the other parts and more effectively negotiate a resolution.
The negotiation of this resolution (which can happen unconsciously) allows us to change our Self-image and overcome our selection bias (page 2) and more fully express our needs in this world.
Some of my pet theories on how gross acts of magic can be performed will be shared at another time. There is however, in the case of more mundane matters some interesting ideas regarding subliminal communication which show promise as a hypothetical means of producing such magical results as people going from shy and disliked, to becoming charismatic and popular, as well as people having long streaks of “luck” bringing them wealth.
Putting Your Imagination to Work
There are two core approaches to using the imagination in spiritual work, and three methods.
The two approaches are structured/guided and unstructured. The problem with an unstructured approach is that it tends to devolve into uncontrolled fantasy and without proper training and long experience it is very hard to salvage those flights of fancy into something useable. It’s certainly possible, but it takes a damn good understanding of the unconscious language and deep acceptance of everything that is happening. It’s also not really possible to teach an unstructured method through writing or even video courses. It requires direct interaction one on one.
On the other hand, there are many benefits to engaging in guided imagination. To quote Henderson again,
“While uncontrolled, undisciplined fantasizing has a tendency to get out of control, the regular and correct practice of guided imagery leads to more control over imagination. People who regularly practice guided imagery report they have fewer problems with unbridled imagination and irrational fears. And although it is not known why, the regular practice of guided imagery also seems to lower the incidence of bad dreams. Is that because an occupied mind is less inclined to mischief? This is just a guess.”
My pet theory is that it’s because the unconscious mind is being interacted with instead of ignored. But that’s just me.
Here’s a summary from Henderson's book in chart form of the difference between imagery and fantasy:
How To Put It All Together
So now I am finally going to be able to show you how to put all this together. We’re going to focus on guided imagery for spell work, specifically because the unstructured (I call it dynamic) imagination process needs more experience to work with effectively and also has some legitimate dangers associated with it. I will give some examples of unstructured processes though just so we’re clear on what I am talking about.
The Three Types of Guided Images
There are three possibilities for images that we can create for our spell. I call these:
- Process Oriented
- Outcome Oriented
I’ll cover each one briefly so you can see how they will work.
Process Oriented Guided Imagery
We use process based imagery when we are working out how to do something.
For instance, if I want to improve my guitar playing, I will create an image of me performing a piece of music and try and recreate it as closely as possible.
Since our inner world contains all of our senses, I will build up this step by step image with all senses present.
I will smell the wood of guitar and the distinct smell that always seems to come from a guitar case. I will hear the music I am creating, I will spend time focusing on each part of my body in turn, experiencing comfort and relaxation.
I will imagine myself in my chair playing as well as I want to, and also from a third person perspective and make sure I look as comfortable as possible.
I will hear the sounds of the music clearly and exactly how I want them to come out. With the exact tone and the precise rhythm.
Nothing is left out.
So I’ve walked myself through the entire process, step by step, of playing my piece of music on the guitar. I might start with me setting up, warming up, playing the piece and experiencing that from the first person perspective. Then I would switch to a 3rd person perspective and observe myself doing it. From this vantage point we can use this image to invite unstructured unconscious content into the imagery. By allowing that to happen I can gain insight into how my unconscious is experiencing the piece of music.
So now, ask yourself, when I visualize in a spell, how complete is my visualization?
Goal Oriented Imagery
Goal oriented imagery is used for those outcomes which are NOT processes. So these are things like having more confidence, making more money, feeling happy etc.
It’s important to make the differentiation here. Asking someone out on a date, is a process, having more money, is a goal. There are many possible processes that can lead to more money, but to ask someone out you just have to walk up to them and do it.
So we can see that these two types can blend into each other and as noted above into unstructured methods as well. Gaining the skill to use all of them in the same session is where real magic starts to happen.
When developing a goal oriented image, you want to make sure you are just as precise as in the process oriented imagery. Each of the 5 senses should be present and leaned into. It’s also a good idea to open up some space for unstructured content to come through.
The unconscious mind loves metaphor. It swims in it.
These types of images take some time to develop, but they can work very well. Generally I like to “discover” my metaphors through dream work and through using a pendulum.
The example given above is perfect so we’ll run with that.
“…a flower, for example, to symbolize an “opening up” of a person to more experiences, or to be more creative. Or to stop being so afraid of the world.”
This symbolic image can “mean” many things. When called up during a deep trance state, it will have an effect. We generally cannot be 100% sure what that effect will be though, since there are so many factors which determine how we interpret any experience at any given time.
We’ll return to this image in the next section.
Some examples of Unstructured Imagination
The practice of using the unstructured imagination is very long and deep in the Western Spiritual Traditions.
Probably the most well known examples of these processes are pathworking/astral projection and Skrying.
Both of these methods when done effectively, bring a ton of unconscious content to the surface. And a short stroll through any occult forum will demonstrate the trouble people have with that. From difficulties in interpreting the image's meaning, to believing it all to be “the work of the devil,” people have trouble when unconscious content comes bubbling to the surface, even when they're inviting it!
Imagine for a moment how you would respond if that metaphorical flower opening up wasn’t delivered by your conscious mind to your unconscious, but instead came to you after spending 30 minutes in prayer to the Angel Gabriel. It takes on a bit of a different meaning now doesn’t it?
As an aside, I talked earlier a little bit about imagination in history, and that experience I just described of the flower image being delivered after a conjuration, would generally be taken very differently 500 years ago than it would be today. Back then it would just be accepted that the angel gave you this image. Today people might fret over whether such a simple image would come from an angel or from themselves. Agrippa wouldn’t have cared. It’s the total process from candle lighting to closing that’s important and that image came to mind during that process, therefore it came from Gabriel.
A Final Example of an Image to Use With the Previous Money Spell
“Visualize a teller’s window, as in a bank, and your subconscious mind is sitting on the inside of the cage. Imagine your subconscious looks like a hazy version of you. You are bringing large amounts of money—or bonds or gold coins or whatever you like—to the cage and your subconscious is accepting it, putting it in a large drawer, and complimenting you on your success!”
HENDERSON, CHARLES. ALL-IN SELLING: MASTER THE ART OF SUBLIMINAL PERSUASION (pp. 240-241). Alfadore Press.
NOTE: the image says nothing about how you acquired the money.
I like this image for a lot of reasons. The main purpose of this image is to help you and your unconscious mind to become more accepting of gaining money. Most of us have hang ups there unless we were raised wealthy.
It’s also important to know that an image like this can actually be dangerous. One of the things we learn growing up is how much we’re worth. Any deviation from that worth is taken as a threat by the unconscious mind and you WILL be “protected” from that threat.
Usually by making stupid decisions with your money until it is all gone!
So you should only use this image with amounts of money that are slightly higher than you feel you could earn. No more than say 10%.
After a week or so of using this image you can use a pendulum to ascertain if it’s OK to imagine a little more.
Also, after a week or two of working with this image daily for a little bit, you should find it easier to accept money from others, either for work or however it may come.
When to use imagery
Finally, I don’t want to give you the idea that all you have to do is imagine yourself giving cash to your unconscious mind and buckets of cash are just going to show up. I certainly wouldn’t be writing a blog if that were the case! The beach is waiting!
No, I still suggest going through the whole procedure. The image can be used when you’re told to “visualize” your goal.
Remember back on page 2 though, I said that every aspect of the spell was a symbol. That means every action is a communication with your unconscious.
We’ve just scratched the surface on how complicated the imagery part is. What about making a suggestion / communication to your unconscious/soul/a spirit through movement or a gesture?
What about words, sounds, colors?
All communication is symbolic and capable of use just like the image above.
How Limited Are We?
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