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Step Five: Choosing Your Energy

To spellcast, you’ll need energy! All the other tools add depth and meaning to your magic, but without energy, you haven’t got a spell!

Lucky for you energy is EVERYWHERE. It’s above and below you. It’s in nature, in the night sky, in the spirits that guide you, and it lives inside of you. The question isn’t where you’ll get energy—energy is abundant. It’s about what kind of energy you want to use during your spellcasting.

Using Your Own Energy

We’ll start with the obvious one—how to use your own energy. Because you are the one performing the spell, you will always be using some of your energy, even if the bulk of your energy is coming from another source.

Your energy will usually be accessible to you in three distinct forms—physical energy, mental energy, and emotional energy. The most effective spells draw on all three forms, though you’ll probably find yourself leaning into one depending on what kind of spell you’re doing.

Mental Energy

Visualizing Energy

To use this technique, you visualize energy moving through your body or out of your body. Usually, you’ll be directing this energy into an object like a candle or a paper with your intention written on it. Sometimes you’ll be sending your energy in a direction such as up to the moon, or reaching out across space to connect with a specific person.

Witches will visualize their energy as a silver cord, a golden thread, white light, colored smoke, or colored light. You can use any of these suggestions if they resonate with you, but I invite you to come up with your own mental visuals for your energy. Maybe you see it as a growing vine, a shooting ball of light or a rainbow. If you pick something and it doesn’t feel right, pause the spell, take a deep breath, and begin again visualizing your energy in a different way.

If you’re performing a releasing spell, you can visualize any unwanted energy in your body gathering at your chest and moving out through your hands, feet, or chest.

Visualizing the Outcome of Your Spell

This is one of the most common ways to spellcast with your own energy. It’s simple, too. All you have to do is visualize in your mind’s eye you want the outcome of your spell to be. Lots of witches like to picture it like a scene from a movie. This the scene at the end of the movie when you’ve finally achieved everything you wanted.

Spellcasting With Your Body

Walking

You can spellcast as you walk because it is a meditative activity. You can walk with a destination in mind like a hill with a panoramic view or a spot in the park where you and your beloved had your first picnic together. If you spellcast in this way, set an intention like “As I walk to the top of the hill, a surprising career opportunity moves towards me. It appears to me in the next five days.” To power this spell with your body, notice how your breathing picks up as you climb the steep part of the hill. Notice the sensation of the breeze on your skin. Notice the sweat on your forehead and the beat of your heart.

You can also walk without a specific destination in mind. If you spellcast this way, you’ll still need to set an intention. For example: “As I walk, I call in creative inspiration. After this walk, I’ll sit down with the words to write a poem.” For this spell, walk until you feel complete. As you do this, notice any physical sensations that you experience.

Moving Clockwise & Counterclockwise

Moving in a circle is something that has been practiced in spellcasting for centuries, whether it’s walking, dancing, jumping or whatever other movements you can imagine. Traditionally, you can walk in a circle going clockwise if you are performing any kind of projective spell such as manifesting, increasing, wishing, or abundance magic.

Moving counterclockwise around a circle is used for spells that call for receptive energy like releasing, banishing or calling in.

You can walk in a circle any number of times. Some witches have lucky numbers or numbers that significant to them personally. Other witches use numerology to decide how many times to walk around a circle. Some spells will give you an exact number in the directions, but if not, pick something that is meaningful to you, or walk until you feel complete.

Walking or moving in a circle is a great way to add movement into your magic when you’re spellcasting with a group.

Hand & Arm Gestures

Your hands, arms, and fingers can be used in a similar way that a wand is used. You can point to direct energy into an object, or up into the universe. A lot of times we just do this naturally in spellcasting, so if you feel an intuitive nudge to raise your hand or make some kind of a gesture, go ahead and do it.

If you use arm movements or gesture, notice if you experience any unexplained physical sensations such as a temperature change, any kind of pressure, or a tingling sensation. This is normal in spellcasting. It’s what happens when you are using some of your physical energy to power a spell.

If you notice any unpleasant or painful sensations in your body, my advice is to stop the spell immediately. No magic is worth compromising your health. Take care of yourselves, witches, and stay in tune with your bodies. It’s a powerful tool in your spellcasting, and it will certainly tell you if there’s a problem.

Organic Movement

This is the catchall for any other movement not mentioned here. If you are in the middle of your spellcasting and you feel the urge to move, that’s probably a message coming from somewhere. It could be your intuition, your higher power, your deities, or the energy of the universe telling you to move.

Sometimes when this happens, you will feel an urge to move in random or downright unconventional ways like crawling, stretching, looking up, clapping your hands, opening your mouth, clenching your fists, shaking your whole body, or making circles with your hips or shoulders.

It can add some incredible power to your spellcasting and connect you to your body in new ways. I’ll admit, if I’m spellcasting in a park using a quiet meditation, I’m probably not going to start rolling around like my mom’s french bulldog. Personally, I’m a bit self-conscious about that kind of thing. If you are a braver person than me, and you feel it’s safe to do so, give in to those organic movements. I will definitely move my body according to the energy I feel if I’m in the privacy of my own home.

Again, only move in ways that feel good.

Breathing & Spellcasting

Another way to use the energy of your body for spellcasting is with your breath. You can literally hold magical objects in your hand and breathe on them to send your energy into them. You can lay on your back and send your breath up into the universe, taking your intentions along with it.

Simply taking 1-3 minutes to sit with the moon can help you align with the moon’s cyclical energy. Just as your breath changes as you inhale and exhale, the moon changes in the same way as it moves through its phases. The new moon phase corresponds with the moment right before you inhale. The waxing moon corresponds with your inhale. The full moon is similar to the moment at the top of your breath, right before you begin to exhale. And the waning moon is the exhale. Using breath energy during a moon bath is a great way to spellcast with the moon in an informal, but powerful way.

Spellcasting With Emotions

Spellcasting with your emotions is powerful, especially when you feel like are bursting with feelings. It can help you put that excess energy to work, and get your emotions moving if they have become stagnant in your body.

To do this, you can simply “open up the floodgates” and let your emotions come out in whatever way they want. Sometimes this is best done when you’re practicing solo witchcraft, but you can certainly do this with other supportive friends or witches that you feel comfortable around.

Your emotions might come out in the form of tears, yelling, sobbing, laughing, or sighing just to name a few. The key to this kind of spellcasting is to align your emotion with the intention in some way.

Let’s say I’m feeling sad, but I want to perform a financial abundance spell. Typically we associate feeling financially abundant with joy and contentment. If I’m sad, that energy appears to conflict with my intention.

Just like how we “guide” our thoughts to a more positive, helpful perspective, we can “guide” our feelings. If you’re feeling really sad and you want to use that emotion to spellcast with a happy intention, you have two options.

You can either perform a releasing spell and allow the emotion to flow and release out of your body. As this happens, meditate on the intention to release any money “blocks” or false beliefs that have been blocking your financial abundance.

Another option is to take that sadness and merge it with a similar, but more beneficial intention. In this money example, I’d use my emotion of “sadness” to fuel my intention of “surrender”. You can let your sadness flow, and say something like, “I surrender my money situation to the universe. I trust everything is unfolding for me in the right way at the right time. Show me my next step to call in financial abundance.”

Energy Of The Elements

There are four cardinal elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Some witches also include a fifth element, spirit, which you can include in your elemental spellcasting if you choose.

When you call upon the four elements while spellcasting, this is called “calling in the quarters”. You can make this as formal or relaxed as you choose. Some witches will call in the elements by facing each element’s corresponding direction.

Earth = North

Air = East

Fire = South

Water = West

If you’ve never used elemental energy before, here’s a few keywords to get you acquainted to the elemental energies.

Earth—creativity, fertility, grounding, and manifesting energy

Air—mental clarity, a burst of inspiration, problem-solving, and intelligence

Fire—passion, enthusiasm, excitement, motivation, and endurance

Water—flexibility, psychic abilities, intuition, emotions, and strengthens relationships

Call all four of these elements to participate in your spellcasting, or use one or two that you think will bring the most appropriate energy to your magic. You can include an object on your altar or sacred space that represents the elements your using. If these items also have personal significance to you, all the better.

Make sure you tell the elements when it’s time for them to go, and thank them for lending their power to co-create with you.

Calling On Personal Deities, Spirit Guides, Or Your Higher Power

You can call on whatever spirit or energy you think will bring the most appropriate energy to your spellcasting, or ask if any energies, spirits or higher powers are drawn to co-create with you at that particular moment.

You might not “know” if a certain spirit or energy is present during your spellcasting. There’s no scientific way to prove this (yet). You have to trust what you feel in your body, in the space, and in your heart. Some witches use divination tools to see who or what kind of spirit or energy is present. You can ask a pendulum, runes, perform a quick scrying ritual in a bowl of water or cauldron, or ask your tarot or oracle cards.

If you use magical cards, you can ask something like, “What spirit is here to co-create my intention with me?”

Shuffle the cards and draw one. Whatever card you draw is what will best describe the spirit or energy that is present. If you get a “scary” card, like the Devil or Death, you have a couple options.

You can ask that spirit to leave and perform your spell with a different energy. Another option is to ask your tarot cards, “How can a spirit with the energy of the devil tarot card help me?” Do this if you feel a positive connection to the spirit or energy in your space. Even the “scary” tarot cards can carry wonderful power. The Devil card can help you heal addictions and the Death card can bring powerful messages from your intuition or the spirit world.

Using The Energy Of A Group

Groups of people, animals or even plants carry a sort of energy that is distinctly different from the energy of that thing on its own. That energy can and will change depending on who the people are in your group, what kind of moods they’re all in, and how they feel physically.

This can absolutely be powerful energy. Just think of the different energy you feel listening to music on your phone in comparison to the front row of a sold out concert.

Remember, one isn’t necessarily better than the other. If you’re feeling tired and withdrawn, you might benefit more from performing magic in a quiet place on your own than in a big crowd of people.

If you do choose to use the energy of the group, make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of intention, and the “rules” that everyone can agree to in order to honor and respect everyone else in the group. Be prepared for unexpected things, and embrace them with a spirit of love and compassion. This is all part of spellcasting with a group.

Using Other Energies

There are other energies that you can call on during your spellcasting. Perhaps you have an old book that you sense has powerful energy. Maybe you want to go to an old historical landmark to spellcast and draw on the plentiful energy that resides in that space. Places like the Grand Canyon or Denali National Park might feel powerful to you. Use the natural energy of any place that feels right.