Lately I’ve been thinking about ways to help faciliate the raising of energy during circle casting and ritual work as a solitary witch. I can sometimes feel a little lonely when casting a circle; I imagine that if there’s more than one of you, you can bounce energy off each other and work together in building a tangible sense of power. Sometimes I feel a little unsure of what I’m doing- have I raised enough energy? Is it really raised effectively or do I need to stop and start again? Can I really ‘see’ or sense my circle or is it not strong enough?
The irony is that the more I question the less confident I feel and so the sense of energy can quickly fade. With this in mind I set out to research how best to create a sense of energy when working alone. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:
1. Working outside with nature immediately heightens energy. Although my Esbat ritual didn’t quite go according to plan first time around (due to the neighbour’s cat wandering into the circle!) I did find that being outside under the sky helped give me a stronger sense of connection with the elements. I unconsciously started meditating on various natural sensations, such as the feel of the morning wind against my face and the damp of the stone slabs of patio beneath my feet. Because I was touching and seeing the elements it felt easier to connect with them and therefore build energy. However, when it’s raining and bitterly cold I don’t always want to stand or sit outside! In which case, the following steps have helped when working inside.
2) Scott Cunningham recommends various energy exercises in his books Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitoner and Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner. He suggests the simple act of rubbing your hands together quickly for thirty seconds, creating a physical sensation of energy and potential power. I’ve started doing this before casting the circle and before starting spell work, and having a physical action really helps focus my mind. I’m much better able to then visualise energy flowing out of my finger when casting the circle, so much so that yesterday I was sure I could almost see a blue light pouring from my finger tip. That in itself boosted my confidence and heightened my senses, meaning I felt able to generate even more energy.
3) Cunningham also suggests tensing the muscles in your body in order to encourage a physical sense of energy production. I also curl my hands into slight fists and clench and unclench them rapidly, which again provides a tangible sense of power.
4) A very kind Twitter user suggested drumming as a way to generate energy. Funnily enough I have an old drum in the corner of my bedroom; it used to belong to my Dad when he was younger and could quite easily be incorporated into ritual working! I think I’ll give it a try and see what happens. I’ve also come across a few CDs that might help in focusing the mind, enabling a steady building of energy. I’ll report back as to how it all goes.
5) I’ve been practicing visualisation as they say that the ability to visualise is the most powerful tool of all in witchcraft. Another kind Twitter user suggested envisioning a ball of light surrounding you as you cast the circle. I tried this when I cast a circle earlier on today and it really did help! I imagined a bright white-purple dome of energy surrounding me, a spherical dome of energy around my circle and it definitely helped me feel as if I’d created something ‘solid’. Cunningham also suggests ‘testing’ the boundaries of your circle once cast; can you sense the circle walls? What happens when you touch the sides or top of your circle? I tried this after casting my circle and I’m sure I felt a tingling in my finger tops when they reached out for the circle edge.
6) Hand in hand with visualisation comes meditation, which I’m finding really helpful. I’ve been trying to focus my mind on a specific scenario, building it up visually in my mind. I’ve started meditating on each card drawn in a tarot reading in order to develop a deeper understanding of what the cards might mean in that context. This morning, for example, I held the High Priest from the Druid Craft Tarot in my hand, closed my eyes, and meditated on what he might be trying to tell me. What was he thinking behind his strong gaze? What did he want me to know? I did this with each card in the spread and I was suprised at some of the thoughts that popped into my head. I’m sure that through this type of meditation practice I’ll become better able to hold images and scenes in my head, thereby positively charging my circle and ritual practices.
Perhaps the most important thing I’ve realised is that these things may take time. I may not be 100% confident at energy raising every single time yet, but that doesn’t mean I won’t improve. It takes practice and dedication to make progress and I’m determined to keep on going. It’s encouraging to hear from others on Twitter and on blogs and to know that so many people out there have been through similar things or are able to do things I aspire to do. I may be a solitary but that doesn’t have to mean feeling alone!