There are many parts of the craft that create doubt in people. This is not necessarily a bad thing! Witchcraft calls us into a place of personal sovereignty over our spiritual life, and part of that is deciding for ourselves what we do and don’t believe in. Doubt is an innate part of that process. That said, doubt can hold many witches back, beginners and experienced witches alike.
One of the more common roadblocks my students experience is being unsure if what they have felt or experienced in their spell work or their spirit work is real or if they’ve “made it up”. I can understand their concern! We live in a society that tells us that magic is make-believe. It’s hard to separate ourselves from what we have been taught enough to suspend disbelief in the realm of magic. The problem is that this can create a kind of belief wall that halts progress. If you can never be sure if the incredible experience you had during ritual is real or all in your head, then you will be constantly holding yourself back, waiting to find the certainty that what you are doing is real enough.
This causes all kinds of problems with practices such as spirit work, energy work, astral travel, and the many other practices we use as witches that rely on our extrasensory and imaginative faculties. Yes, you read that right. I count your imagination as an important sense and tool within any magical practice. This holds so many witches in a state of doubt! They believe anything created by their imagination is fake or not real, and as a result, they end up stuck. In this blog post, we’re going to be looking at how imagination impacts the craft and how you can best make use of this vital tool in your magical practice.
Imagination Isn’t Fake!
First things first, the things happening in your imagination aren’t fake! Sure, maybe it is all happening in your head, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t still having very real magical effects. Your mind is a powerful thing and you are inherently plugged into the magical energy of this world. If you perceive a spirit in your mind’s eye rather than using your physical sight, that does not mean that the spirit isn’t there. In fact, perceiving subtle energies using physical senses is unusual. There are only a handful of very gifted extrasensory people who sense these more subtle energies physically.
For the rest of us, we perceive subtle energies, like spirits or auras using our subtle senses. The imagination is one of these subtle senses!
This doesn’t mean that everything your imagination comes up with is real. Ask anyone with anxiety or invasive thoughts and they will tell you as much. Making use of the imagination in your magical practice requires you to learn discernment between the types of output that your imagination will give you. Making use of divination or consulting with more experienced witches can help you learn to tell the difference between extrasensory input and the run-of-the-mill anxiety thoughts that everyone’s brains sometimes come up with.
When someone comes to me with concerns that their magical experiences are “all in their head” I always have to laugh a little. Everything is all in your head! Your mind is an incredible machine that is taking in so much information and turning it into the reality that you see around you. Hell, even your personality is all in your head! Are you fake because your personality exists only inside your head? I should think not! Your imagination is no less real than any other part of you.
Why Your Mind Is Your Greatest Tool
If I were put in an empty room with blank white walls and told to do magic without a single tool, I could do it using my imagination. Your imagination is the single greatest tool you have in your magical arsenal. It is the one tool you can use no matter what is happening, no matter what you have on hand, no matter what ingredients you do or don’t have. Recognizing the advantages and the power of this tool and training it for use within your witchcraft practice is a vital part of growing as a witch.
Every part of our lives, our practices, our magic, comes originally from the mind. When you design a spell or ritual yourself, you are using your mind and imagination to create that ritual. When you visualize imagery in a spell, you are using your imagination to hold that image or sensation in your mind. When you perform energy work, you are using your imagination to move and manipulate energy to suit your purposes. Imagination goes far beyond simple mental visualization as well!
Our imaginations can recreate any sensation that we experience in our day-to-day lives. This means that our imaginations can create images, sounds, physical feelings, and even taste and smell. Not everyone will have the ability to produce all of these senses using their imagination from the start, but with some practice and training, nearly everyone can create a variety of sensations in their imagination. This means that in the absence of all tools, all stimuli, all the typical trappings of ritual, you can mentally recreate the sensations of magic and, in doing so, create magic itself.
How Imagination Can Supercharge Your Magic
We are all using our imagination every day for many purposes. You are using your imagination in your magical practice whether you know it or not! That said, treating your imagination like a tool or a skill to be honed and carefully using it in your magical practice has incredible benefits to your witchcraft.
1. Imagination creates sensation and sensation is the movement of energy
Imagination is the mind creating sensory input internally rather than perceiving it externally. All sensation is a movement of energy inherently. This goes beyond even our magical practice! The sensation of warmth is the movement of thermal energy from one place to another. The sensation of sound is energy waves traveling through the air and into our ears. Our vision is created by the movement of light photons into our eyes. All sensation is a kind of movement, it is how our bodies interpret the world through these transactions of energy. On a magical level, we use many of these physical sensations to create magical effects. We use music to create changes in our headspace. We use incense and the scents of herbs to create magical effects. We use the light and energy of a candle to move magic and hold intention. These are all ways of using our physical senses to adjust and manipulate subtle energies to create magical effects. We can do the same thing and move the same energies by using the internal sensations created by our imaginations.
2. Visualization is the basis of many spells!
I’m sure it has not escaped your notice that visualization is incredibly common in modern witchcraft. In fact, it can be pretty hard to find spells that do not utilize visualization in one way or another! This is no mistake. Every visualization exercise you do is simply you using your imagination to create the desired result in your mind. This is why so many visualization teachers try to get more than one sense involved. They will tell you to see the result, to hear what it might sound like, to feel the emotions that that situation would create. This is all a way of triggering your imagination to create the sensations necessary to move energy in a way that will align with that eventual reality.
3. Imagination is how your mind interprets extrasensory input
So far we’ve talked a lot about how imagination is used to create sensation and move energy, but imagination is far more than that. Imagination is one of the many ways that our minds interpret extrasensory input. Your imagination is hard at work when you see a spirit in your mind’s eye. Your imagination is responsible for allowing you to change the color of the energy that you are working with. Your imagination is responsible for allowing you to astral travel and perceive what is happening during your astral traveling. For all but the most gifted extrasensory individuals, the imagination is how we perceive nearly every subtle energy and psychic impulse we receive.
You can think of your imagination as a radio or a TV receiving cable input. The energetic input that these devices are receiving is nothing more than unintelligible electrical or radio wave data. Without these devices, we would have absolutely no way to interpret these signals. Feeding these signals into the correct device, however, allows us to decode these signals into sound and image in a way that makes sense to us. Your imagination is the same. Much of the extrasensory input that we receive would be unintelligible or undetectable to our physical senses. Our imaginations act like translators, allowing us to perceive these extra sensory energies in a way that makes sense to our minds.
In the light of all this, discounting everything that our imaginations come up with is insane! Our imaginations are a rich source of extra sensory input and a powerful tool for witchcraft. Rather than doubting and discounting the information that your imagination is giving you, take a deeper look at it. How can you use this incredible magical force in your craft?