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A set of visualisation and concentration exercises graded in order of difficulty


INTRODUCTION"Magic is a set of techniques and approaches which can be used to extend the limits of Achievable Reality. Our sense of Achievable Reality is the limitations which we believe bind us into a narrow range of actions and successes - what we believe to be possible for us at any one time. In this context, the purpose of magic is to simultaneously explore those boundaries and attempt to push them back - to widen the 'sphere' of possible action" -- Phil Hine, Condensed Chaos
One of the most basic and essential techniques that we employ in the course of our magickal workings equates to focussing the mind ie Visualisation. Everyone can visualise to some degree, but anyone working within any magickal paradigm should have a more disciplined mind than most to achieve successful outcomes in this medium. Effective magickal actions come from a sharply focused mind. We understand this as much as we recognise that our desires and wishful thinking, fear of failure and self-obsessions obstruct result.How do we ensure that our level of visualisation equal to the task?A cursory glance through the sequential exercises given in this document "Mentally Wyrd" and a quick attempt at some of the activities offered here should highlight whether a person has any difficulties or not. However I would suggest that ANY daily routine of magickal practices should include a couple of visualisation and concentration activities. Even the most proficient would benefit from a maintenance program to keep the mind honed. Simple as this might seem, concentrating on some designated image easier said than done. For those starting out, even a few moments of holding an image within the mind, without wavering, worth all the effort in terms of improving mental capacity and function. With practice we shall, in time, push back those boundaries that limit our actions and our success rate to what we can envisage.
"…Within a grain of sand a world appeared,
And in that silent world a web of stars:
Within that weave a universe apart
Began to grow, and in that frame a gap
Sucked in the patterns and the stars collapsed
Upon an orb of Brilliance revealed.A myriad of images then advanced
From fractured light rayed out; a Killing Wheel
So fertile, so intense with pause, that we,
The finders dreamed perpetual, and all
Potential in the instant that was wrought
Upon a grain of sand that held the dance.We spawned our laughter, and the world grew dim,
We wept our ecstasy with bubbled blood,
We drank the air. We laughed, and having done
Our last again, we lit the world, our world,
And leapt into a crusted pool that turned
Our offered foam to frenzied whispering…Extract from "The Harvest King" © 1990
Carpe deum …
MENTALLY WYRDNote: 1). All exercises first mastered with the eyes CLOSED. Once a basic level of competence has got achieved then the same exercises get re-done with the eyes open. Eventually such mental images can get projected onto a blank surface in specific magickal workings eg. the creation of sigils.2). The exercises offered here NOT intended as a complete array but rather as a sample set given in order of difficulty and complexity. 3). Preparation: Asana (a selected and held body position); Pranayama (controlled breathing) and simple full body Relaxation exercise all useful precursors to working with mind focussing activities.4). All work should get recorded in one's daily magickal journal and comments re success, difficulties and insights given.
SET 1: COLOUR CODING1). Select one colour and hold that image within the mind. The aim here to expand the colour until all that one can "see" equates to that particular vibration. I would suggest working through the colour spectrum ie Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet in turn. Move on to the next colour in the sequence indicated after managing to hold the focus for a minimum of 5 minutes. 2). To those elements in the colour spectrum, try the following:
--- Black
--- White
--- Silver
--- Brilliance
--- Opalescence3). Extension activities:
a). Practice switching from one colour to a second choice and back again.
b). Expand the perceived boundary until there seems an infinity to that colour.
c). Explore any personally favoured colour (not listed above) or one that seems disliked. Record impressions and insights into journal for future reference.
d). Visualise one or more banded colours. See a rainbow.
e). Examine "nothing" ie absence of colour. Note that this may seem a somewhat difficult concept for focus and mastery might not occur until competency on the other levels has got obtained. Problems here should not get seen as a no-go zone. Continue on to next level.
SET 2: LINEAR LAY-OUTS1). Concentrate on the image of a straight line (horizontal then vertical). Maintain this sharply delineated image for as long as possible.2). Experiment with seeing lines in the following ways:
--- A dotted ie broken line
--- Diagonal line
--- A "V" shape
--- A jagged line
--- Lightning flash
--- Tally marks.3). Extension activities:
a). Change the thickness of the line. Add colour to the image. Alternate colour and thickness.
b). Find a crack or line in a wall or ceiling and transfer that image to mind.
c). Visualise a moving line and follow the thread for as long as possible.
d). Find a piece of string and learn to do Cat's Cradles ie string figures. Attempt to reproduce some simple string figures in the mind.
e). Explore the structure of a spider's web. The spider begins with an extended thread and then intersects at mid-point creating a "Y" pattern before continuing. Attempt this mentally.
SET 3: CRISS-CROSS1). Hold the image of a simple equal armed cross in the mind for as long as possible. 2). Visualise the following crosses as a focus:
--- Diagonal cross ie St Andrew's cross
--- Arrow headed cross (four arms)
--- Gammadion (or swastika, fylfot or cross cramponnee)3). Extension activities:
a). Change the thickness of the lines in the cross.
b). Add colour to the image. Alternate colours.
c). Try rotating the cross mentally, clockwise and anti-clockwise.
d). Find crossed lines in the immediate environment and attempt to reproduce image mentally.
e). Flip or twist a cross in the mind, seeing the shift in perspective.Note: Avoid focus on any cross which seems personally meaningful eg crucifix or ankh. The object of this set of exercises equates to developing a strong and clear unwavering focus. Images which suggest to the individual specific potent symbolic content may well detract from these practices.
SET 4: CANDID CURVES1). Imagine an arc mentally, such as the letter "C" as shape and maintain the focus.2). Explore the following curved images:
--- A lunar crescent
--- A wave
--- Chalice or cup shape ie "U"
--- Part of a waterfall
--- A rainbow
--- A coiled spring
--- Spiral3). Extension activities:
a). Add colour to a curve.
b). Play with the thickness of the edge of the curve.
c). Mentally add colour to a curve like a fluid gradually filling a transparent tube.
d). Focus on some curved object in the room and attempt to reproduce that curve in the mind.
e). Dance to a sinuous piece of music, visualising arcs extending from the fingertips etc. Become one with the images, the music and the dance.
SET 5: SIMPLE SHAPES1). Visualise a circle about fist-sized. Mentally play with depth of edge/circumference. First thin, then thick. Quarter the circle with lines. Practice rotating the image.2). Play with the following shapes:
--- triangle (equilateral, isosceles, and right angled triangles)
--- square, rectangle, parallelogram
--- trapezoid, rhombus
--- polygon, pentagon, hexagon and octagon
--- any shape that has personal appeal.
3). Extension activities:
a). Add a letter of the alphabet, a number or a simple mark to the surface of the shape and hold it there.
b). Find tessellations ie repeating patterns composed of interlocking shapes (usually polygons) that can get extended infinitely. These seen in man-made materials, artwork, architecture and also in nature.
c). Explore fractals as endlessly repeating patterns of geometric art.
d). Study the work of the Dutch graphic artist M .C. Escher, world-renowned for his spatial illusions, seemingly impossible buildings and repeating geometric patterns ie tessellations.
e). Create computer-generated tessellations and fractals. Attempt to create such an image in the mind.
SET 6: SUAVE SOLIDS1). Begin with the image of a circle, apply an opalescent sheen to it and have it become a lustrous pearl. Play with the sphere as a ball adding colours or textures to it. Visualise the sphere as an orange and mentally have it unfold into segments. In the same manner explore a cube. Rotate the object. Open up the cube and explore it as a box in which something could get placed or as a surface on which a word or symbol could get written.2). Explore the following, paying attention to the three dimensional imaging:
--- cylinder
--- cone
--- prism
--- pyramid
--- tetrahedron, octahedron.3). Extension activities:
a). Apply two or more colours to a solid and rotate, maintaining the distinct faces.
b). Practice opening and closing a solid shape.
c). Mentally add a letter of the alphabet or some mark to one or more sides. Hold these in situ.
d). Add dice markings to each side of a cube and attempt to hold those aspects clearly on rotation.
e). Place a mark or simple glyph on an opened cube. Close it and then re-open to reveal the mark.
SET 7: WYRD WONDERS1). The c/k/qabalistic Tree of Life.
The ten spheres and connected pathways within the Judaic Tree of Life make one example of a pattern that could get used for more extensive visualisation and concentration. Start with reproducing the image off a page into memory then work with seeing this glyph in three dimensional form. Similarly the molecular pattern of water for example could also get used as a more complex focus to reproduce in sharp detail within the mind. 2). Patterns in nature.
Utilise more complex images such as a cascade of water, rock formations, the branches of a tree or a cluster of stars to practice working with more random design.3). The Spider (an opened eyed visualisation)
Visualised a silver thread coming from the centre of your forehead and attach it me to the first thing that gets your attention. Mentally travel down that first thread of the visualisation and extend the thread to the next thing you see and so on and so forth as you move around. Do not expect to maintain this for more than a minute or two in the beginning of this practice. Built up the exercise from there. With some determined practice and concentration everything appears as connected within a shimmering field of silvered glow. An unusual exercise perhaps, but one that can highlight just how potent the inner mind's eye can seem."You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus" -- Mark Twain


"Mentally Wyrd" by Su Leybourn © 2004

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