Exercises to Further Grow Your Visualization Skill

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Visualization seems to be one of the skills that the majority of the people I have encountered struggle with most. Last post, I talked about how this is an important skill for those seeking to practice witchcraft. Today, I want to dive deeper into this skill and give some exercises and examples on how you can grow your visualization skills.

The simplest exercise is to look at an object – really study it. Now close your eyes and mentally develop a picture of that object in your mind. You could even act like you are developing a photo or waiting for a polaroid to develop. This builds your skill of observation and also stores images in your mind for future use in your visualizations. You can vary the time you allow yourself to study an object to improve upon your speed of observation. Your observation doesn’t have to only be about sight. You can grow into using aroma, audio, palate, and tactile observations.

You can take this exercise a step further by finding a friend or partner to take turns describing items to each other. One of you closes your eyes while the other one will start to describe an item to you until you are able to guess what item is being described. Try not to guess too fast wait for all the details. This isn’t an exercise of quickness. It is an exercise of mentally forming a picture.

Another exercise is to revisit adjectives and adverbs. In case you forget (or get them mixed up like I do), adjectives are the describing words for nouns. Adverbs are the describing words for verbs. Adverbs often in with the suffix: -ly. Look up the definitions of different adjectives and adverbs, then use a thesaurus or thesaurus.com to find their synonyms. Pay close attention to their subtle differences.

Let’s take the word: “cast”. There are at least eight different definitions for the word “cast”, but I want to focus on the definition that best describes how it is use in casting a spell. That definition is “emit, give”. Thesaurus.com gives sixteen synonyms for that definition. The top one being “direct” and my chosen top one being “bestow”. “Direct” is defined as “point in a direction; guide” or “put all efforts towards”, but there are also six more definitions. Now, let’s explore “bestow”: “to present as a gift: give; confer” or “to put to some use: apply”. When we cast a spell, we are directing the flow of energy to manifest our goal and some times we bestow blessings with our spells. As you can see, there are subtle differences in the words that can paint different pictures of the same subject. I honestly find that fascinating!

This is one of my favorite memes and it illustrates how a synonym’s subtle change in definition can paint a completely different picture.

Now you can take this exercise a step further by remembering a fond memory and either mentally, verbally, or manually (by writing) retell that memory, but take every opportunity to describe the scene. What was the weather? What did your clothes feel like? look like? If you are eating, what does the food taste like? How does if feel in your hands? What about in your mouth? Recount every detail possible. I found that when I was first beginning, it was helpful to write out these memories, especially using an electronic method, because you can write the story of your memory and then go back to edit your details. “That strawberry was so yummy and juicy,” can turn in to “That ruby red strawberry with its countless seeds bled juice down my chin and fingers as I bit into it and the succulent flavor of summer exploded into my mouth.” I know that can seem intimidating, but I’ve had a few years of practice. Also, I will let you in on a little secret… I used the thesaurus to find that perfect synonym for “yummy”.

Do you see how the first sentence about the strawberry creates almost the equiveillance of first grade finger painting of the strawberry? (My son is in first grade right now and learning about adjectives and adverbs, while also enjoying creating finger paintings, so this reference is coming from that experience and not from a place of judgement.) The second sentence almost transports you into that moment. You can imagine the feeling of the juices rolling down your chin and fingers. You start to imagine the minute details of the seeds and the color of the strawberry. You can almost taste the strawberry yourself and the sentence starts to lean you into the emotions that we might experience around summer.

I have found that exploring new words has greatly enhanced my ability to visualize, but it helps me create an aspect of my visualization by just thinking of a word rather than struggling to find mundane words that don’t quite describe what I am trying to portray in my mind. The last side of this exercise is to read descriptive nonfiction stories and visualize what you are reading. This can be much like how I lead you though a visualization above with my strawberry sentence.

Remember, a visualization is your own – it is your own story – thus it can never be wrong. Don’t get caught up in worrying about if you are doing it right or wrong. Enjoy the process, get lost in the descriptions. Apples are red, but in reality, they come in a variety of colors, including: orange, yellow, green and all the shades in between, so paint them how you see them. Lastly, if a black or purple apple fits better in your visualization for your spell, then mentally paint it those colors. You are in control. You are the one with the power and the only limits are the ones you place on yourself. I hope you have a blessed week and I look forward to sharing with you a very descriptive writing of mine about a memory that was my visualization escape for a long time in my next post. As always, may you always have the blessings of your gods!

Three Base Skills for a Witch

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There are three base skills that every witch needs to know in order to practice magic. Those three base skills are meditation, visualization, and energy manipulation. With each of these skills in the witch’s toolbelt, the manifestation of anything is possible.

Mediation is the practice of clearing your mind to enhance focus. It is often done by sitting or laying comfortably, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breath. Every time your thoughts drift away from your breath you acknowledge the thoughts you were thinking, let them go, and re-center your focus on your breath. The use of chants or drumming is sometimes incorporated into the practice. If you are new to meditating, I suggest exploring the app CALM. I have been using it for the past 3 years and I greatly enjoy their daily meditations and sleep stories.

Now that we have briefly discussed what meditation is, how does meditation help your magical practice? Meditation helps you calm your mind and let the stresses of the day melt away from the forefront of your mind. The practice of meditation brings you into the present moment full of focus for the task at hand. While casting a spell you don’t want your grocery list or that fight you had with your partner earlier in the day looming over your head. Meditation helps you release all of that.

The second base skill is visualization which is the practice of mentally creating imagery in your mind. This skill allows you to see your goal and use that energy to manifest your goal. Visualization can also help you explore all the consequences of your spell before you perform it, allowing you to decide if you are willing to deal with all of the possible consequence that may arise from your work. Visualization can also be used as a calming escape when needed.

Visualization is often paired with meditation. After clearing your mind, you can start painting the mental imagery of your goal. With much practice you are able to step into the world you have created and interact with it. Many guided meditations use visualization as a tool for you to access deep aspects of yourself. If you are struggling to paint a mental picture, then you can also a physically create vision boards. Vision boards are a collection of imagery that connect to your goals. If the goal of your spell is prosperity then you would include imagery of what prosperity means to you. Money, a new car, a credit card statement with a zero balance are examples of what prosperity might look like to you.

Energy manipulation is our last base skill. Did you ever do the experiment of creating a ball of energy between the palm of your hands and letting it grow? Frequently, this experiment also included passing or throwing that ball of energy to other classmates. This is energy manipulation and used to direct the energies needed to manifest your goal through your spell.

When we first start off in the practice, we will often we use the sympathetic magic of herbs, crystals, colors, and other materials to help us build and direct that energy. As you progress you might choose to lean on your own skills of directing the energy, or you might choose to continue using supplies, but become better attuned to the energy of those materials. Either option or even a combination are viable because a mentioned in previous posts each witch’s path is uniquely their own.

Energy manipulation is largely used in healing work. The use of the white ball of light to absorb the negativity and dis-ease out of the body is a common method of healing. Often when I am sick, I will run an energy ball over my body to pull out the negative energy. Once that negative energy is absorbed into my ball of energy, I send it into the ground for mother earth to neutralize and redistribute that energy.

With these three skills, a witch is able to manifest her desires. Meditation, Visualization, and Energy Manipulation are the base skills that help ground, envision, and direct the energy of the spell. I hope you find power in these skills and grow in your practice. Until next time, may you always have the blessing of your gods.

Side Note:

Thank you all for your patience while I cared for my fur-baby last week. That experience has taught me a few lessons about managing my blog. Due to this, I will only be posting a blog on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month for the next couple of months. This will allow me to better manage my time in updating the website, managing my social media accounts, working on recording and editing videos, and balancing my family life. Lastly, I want to announce that soon I will be offering the ability to purchase wares directly from this website. I am extremely excited about the changes that are being made here at Knots Untwisted.

Thank you for your patience

This weeks post is delayed due to a medical emergency with my cat yesterday. He cut his paw up pretty badly and is now wearing the cone of shame. I’ve had to help him eat, drink and move around. I greatly appreciate your patience while I finish polishing this post and taking care of my fur-baby. Many blessings to all of you!

Update: I had hoped to get the post out by now, but taking care of my fur-baby while making sure my son did his schoolwork proved to be more time consuming than expected today.

My original post for today was going to be about Beltane and the Full Moon. Due to already being behind schedule on Beltane and the rest of my post doesn’t really make sense after the fact, I am choosing to skip a post this week.

I’m going to spend the rest of my time tonight doing some full moon self care to re-energize to continue caring for my babies tomorrow. I hope you all have a blessed Esbat and may you always have the blessings of your gods.

Chey glaring about the cone of shame

I Want to Be a Witch: Where Do I Start?

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“The essence of Witchcraft is transformation.” -Silver Ravenwolf in Solitary Witch

According to my experience and research, I have observed that witchcraft is an umbrella term for many practices. Witchcraft is a practice or a journey of self-discovery and growth by carrying out actions with specific intentions. Witchcraft can be, and often is, spiritual for the practitioner. As mentioned in a previous post, I do not believe that Witchcraft is a religion, but it can be paired with religions.

You feel it in your bones and the decision to become a witch has been made. You have chosen to accept responsibility for your power and the continual transformation of your life through self-growth. Or maybe it isn’t that poetic and you just want more information to help you make your decision on becoming a witch. Either way, due to the very personal nature of witchcraft, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. There is such a vast collection of topics to choose from, how could you ever know where to begin?

The best place to start is with interests you that already have and allow your practice to grow from there. Do you like going to the beach? Explore sea lore and history and allow that to lead you into sea magic, water magic, astrology or another theme. Do you really love to garden? Spend time really getting to know your plants and their metaphysical properties and that might lead you to green witchery, kitchen witchery, and many more paths. By choosing a topic that you already enjoy, you are able to begin your path with some familiarity and comfort. This will help you not feel consumed by the vast amount of knowledge you could learn. But to help you find your starting ground, here are some suggested topics for your consideration:

  • Moon Phases
  • Astrology
  • Lore
  • Crystals
  • Herbs
  • Religions
    • Nordic
    • Greco-Roman
    • Buddhism
    • Wicca
  • Divination Styles
    • Tarot
    • Runes
    • Pendulum
    • Scrying

Please do not consider this to be an all-inclusive list. These are merely ideas to get your research ball rolling.

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In my previous post, I addressed the matter of labels and my preference to not label my personal practice because I believe this practice of assigning labels leads to assumptions instead of true understanding of another’s practice. Nevertheless, these labels can come in handy be supplying keywords to spark inspiration on where to start your research. Sometimes, learning about the types of witchcraft and what they entail can offer you a stepping stone for where you would like take in your practice. Below, I included a list of different types of witchery to help inspire you. Again, this is not an all-inclusive list and I encourage you to delve into as many as you can.

  • Sea Witch
  • Earth/Green Witch
  • Druids
  • Shamans
  • Kitchen Witch
  • Hearth Witch
  • Candle Witch
  • Crystal Witch
  • Hoodoo
  • Voodoo
  • Shadow Witch
  • Herbalism
  • Hedge Witch

It is my humble opinion that you really shouldn’t label yourself in the beginning of your practice (if ever) because you are still learning and exploring what everything truly means to you. I hope these lists help inspire you to begin researching and finding your own path.

If you still are struggling to decide where to start your erudition, I have this suggestion for you: Write down every topic you want to learn on little slips of paper and put them into a container. Mix all the slips up and draw one out. At this point, one of two things will happen, you will either be: A) excited and motivated to start exploring the topic you drew or B) you will be disappointed and wishing you would have drawn “X” topic. If you have scenario A, Congratulations! Start your research! If you are in scenario B, you have two choices once again: 1) Decide to see what the universe or your subconscious chose for you to discover, or 2) Start investigating the topic you wish you would have drawn. Ultimately, the decision is your own, because this path is yours alone, but I hope this technique will help you be a little less afraid to take the first step.

Being a witch is a lifestyle. It isn’t really something that gets turned on or off. It is a part of you and will start to impenetrate your whole life, so here are a few last tidbits of advice:

Do not put expectations on yourself: Every witch grows at just the perfect speed for what they need. Be kind and gentle with yourself as you grow and have faith in your own power. Also, you don’t have to be an expert on everything, or even anything at all, to get started with your practice. Do not press to be perfect, but instead inspire to learn lessons from your mistakes.

Do not compare yourself or your practice to another’s. Each witch’s path and practice are their own. You are your own beautiful person and witch. You are right where you need to be and walking the perfect path for you. Practice the art of gratitude and enjoy your own path.

It’s not like in the movies. I know this one is a major downer for me as well. I wish I could wave my wand and my house would magically clean itself or my bank account would instantly refill itself. You have to put in the work alongside your spells. You want to make more money? You can do a prosperity spell, but then you also have to do the work to put yourself out there to earn that income increase. Or maybe you need you to pass an upcoming test. You could do a Honey Jar Kit, but you would still need to do your part by attending class, studying for the test, and getting a good night’s sleep the night before the test.

I have a Prosperity Candle spell in progress right now to increase my income through my business. I would love to just light the candle everyday and just watch the orders come flying in. But, alas, that is not how magic works. I light the candle every day while I work on getting my name out there and investing my time and energy into my business. I have to write the blogs, make the posts, record the videos, teach my classes, make my products, and fill all those orders that are flooding in. My magic works to make sure I am getting the biggest return on the investment I have put into my business.

If you are interested in purchasing a Prosperity Candle please visit my Shop tab in the header above or click here to be taken to the listing.

I hope you all are feeling confident to move forward to create your own personal practice. I look forward to sharing a new post with you next week, but in the meantime go out and start researching your topics and transforming yourself. Once you start down this path you will be ever changing and growing which is such an exciting prospect and rewarding experience! As always: May you all have the blessing of your gods!

What Does Witchcraft Mean to Me?

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Witchcraft often gets a bad reputation. It is my belief that this bad reputation comes from misunderstanding and suspicion. In this post, I would like to try to light a candle and shine some light on my perspective of Witchcraft and with this light dispel some anxiety. This entry is going to be used as a milestone marker with my intention being to re-answer this question every year to see the growth and shift in my own practice overtime.

I believe that the essence of Witchcraft performing actions with intentions. If you make a cup of tea with the intention to relax and calm yourself, then you just preformed an act of witchcraft. Making a wish as you blow out birthday candles is also an act of witchcraft. Intentionally wearing the same necklace to interviews because it has always brought you luck is yet another act of witchcraft.

My strongest opinion about Witchcraft is that it is a practice or a craft that is purely personal to each person. Just like most crafts for most people, you are not going to pick up the tools and complete a giant project on your first attempt. Often you have to start with the basics and you work with those until you know them like the back of your hand. You, then, decide to learn more complicated techniques as you grow. Over time you find your groove. You find what works for you. You mold Witchcraft into your own practice.

I also wholeheartedly believe that Witchcraft is NOT a religion. I’m going to say that again for the people in the back: WITCHCRAFT IS NOT A RELIGION. Yes, I feel vigorously on this. Witchcraft can be paired with religions, but Witchcraft itself is not one. It is a practice. It is a way of life that can be done with the power of yourself, gods/goddess, spirits, or even, yes, God, if that is your chosen religious flavor.

I mentioned above that Witchcraft is a way of life. For me, Witchcraft is the practice of taking an active role in your own life. It is taking responsibility for your actions, reactions, and future. It is not sitting by, passively waiting, and allowing life to happen to you. It is owning your power and going after your goals. Now with expressing all of that, I don’t believe that active means aggressive. Active mean knowing when to pursue a goal and when to set everything up to allow the opportunity to come to you. It is also knowing when to rest and care for yourself and your environment. Your home, the people you allow around you, as well as, Earth are your environment and all affect your mind, body, and energy. We respect the Earth because we could not survive without it and all things on it are connected by the energy that flows through all of it.

Witchcraft can be self-care. Also, in my opinion all self-care is Witchcraft, because self-care acts are or should be done with intention. It is taking care of your body, mind and soul to help you to continuously grow. Being a witch means that you are always in the state of changing and growing to become your best self. You also care for your environment to give yourself the best opportunities and surroundings.

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Now I would like to archive where I am in my practice. In this section, it will mainly be a little bit of record keeping, but I will be also including elaborations of my view of a few Witchcraft topics. I invite you to keep reading!

What energies or methods of energy direction do I use?

  • Crystals
  • Dried Herbs
  • Container Spells (Jars/Bags/Poppets)
  • Astrology/Zodiac
  • The Moon’s Energy through it’s phases
  • Meditation
  • Kitchen/Food
  • Tea
  • Candle Spells
  • Nordic Runes

What energies or methods of energy direction am I learning?

  • Sigils
  • Living Plants/Gardening
  • Glamours

What methods of divination do I use?

  • Intuitive Readings
  • Nordic Runes – I am still learning to use them for more than charging myself and items, but they are my favorite reading method.
  • Oracle Cards – I tend to only use my oracle deck for myself.
  • Tarot Cards – I use these the most when reading for other people

How would I describe my method of magic?

The way I preform my magic is mainly intuition based. I have found that I accomplish optimal results when I trust my instincts. I do have a few rituals that I use. These rituals are used when I am working a spell that requires a build-up of focus and energy. More often than not, when I am doing a spell for someone else I do it in a ritual format. When working spells for myself; I know the vibration of my energy and the energy I am seeking, so I don’t need a ritual to harmonize those energies. Occasionally, on a holiday, a full moon, or other special occasion, I will throw in some ceremonial magic. I perform ceremonial magic to make the event memorable and give it that unique touch. These are usually times when we are practicing Witchcraft as a family. It adds a flare that our family can enjoy and create memories around.

What kind of witch am I? / What labels do I put on my craft?

I don’t! I truly detest labels. Labels are designed for other people to classify and understand those around them. I also find that labels often have different meanings to different people and this causes assumptions or misinformation to circulate. I would rather skip the short hand and have conversations about what Witchcraft means to me and what kind of materials and methods call to me the most. These conversations are a two-way street; I want to know about others’ craft and what it means to them instead of assuming and getting the wrong impression. Also, it gives me the opportunity to learn about different experiences and ideas. I don’t want to pass up opportunities for growth.

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What deities, spirits, etc. do I work with?

I work with spirits and deities, but I do not worship them. I tend to treat them like mentors or friends. I call on them for guidance and knowledge. I listen to their experiences and wisdom. I believe that there is a universal power that we are all made of and have access to through our own divine nature. This universal power is a collective of all the experiences of the beings that have come before us. This is how we also hold the answers within ourselves. We just need to trust ourselves. Trust our intuition.

Now, after that clarifying note, these are the spirits and deities I work with:

  • The Nordic Pantheon – Namely Odin and Freya
  • My Spirit Guide
  • A few fey – I am mindful and careful working with these beings, but I do have few in and around my home.
  • Persephone – I have not begun working with her yet, but she keeps showing up on my radar and keep hearing her call. I will be beginning my research on her soon before I begin to work with her.

Thank you taking your time to indulge on my opinions. Let me know if you have any questions or want to know more about topic listed above. I am excited about being on this journey with all of you. I am intrigued to see the direction in which I develop over the coming year. Until next time, may you always have the blessings of your gods!