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Visualization, or creative visualization as it is sometimes referred to, is the use of mental imagery to obtain an objective. A vivid mental picture of the desired thing is held firmly fixed in the mind as if it had already happened.
The technique has been widely employed in many fields such as the arts, sports, business, alternative medicine, religious practices, psychotherapy, psychical research, the mystical and occult arts, and self-improvement.
Creative visualization also is known by other terms such as "positive thinking," "positive imagery," "dynamic imaging," "creating imaging," "imaging," and so on.
It is ancient knowledge that the power of thought, imagination, and will does change circumstances. Creative visualization does help the individual to organize the resources necessary to achieve the goal or task that he is presented with. It also is believed to aid in establishing a harmony which facilitates fortuitous synchronicities, or opportunities, and "good luck." With visualization the person is better able to use his advantages because he is more aware of them.
Creative visualization seems to be most effective for the individual when practice in a quiet, relaxed situation, similar to that of meditation and prayer. Some person feel that during the practice they call upon a higher power such as the Divine, the Higher Self, or a spirit guide (see Guardian spirit)or a guardian angel to help them realize their objective.
This visualization technique has been popularized in the West under different names by various writers. One of the earliest books was The Power of Positive Thinking 1952 by Norman Vincent Peale, a Methodist minister. The book encouraged a combination of prayer, affirmative thinking and a faith in God. It encouraged the use of affirmative words and phrases such as I am beautiful and loved, and I am successful. These phrases were to be written down and contemplated on to become part of the consciousness. They were to give reassurance and help eliminate any negative images the person might have.
Another work was Psycho-Cybernetics 1960 by the plastic surgeon Maxwall Maltz. The book discusses the tremendous influence which imagination has upon self-image. Through his work Maltz observed that patients with poor self-image benefited little, if any, from plastic surgery, while patients having a good self-image, or improved it, experienced good transformation following surgery.
In Creative Visualization 1979 author Shakti Gawain compares creative visualization to "magic" in the highest sense of the word explaining that positive energy attracts more energy.
Gawains terminology of "magic" in the highest sense of the word was similarly defined by Aleister Crowley, magick is "the art or science of causing change to occur in conformity with the Will." In both descriptions magic occurs only as the result of mental activity. The thrust of such activity has been labeled power and/or energy. The result is that change or changes occur in conformity to the will of the person or persons exerting such mental power.
One might wonder why such mental activity is associated with magic. The questioning is legitimate when one thinks of the popular definition or usage of the term magic. Customarily when one hears the term he thinks of the young, handsome magician who pulls the rabbit out of the hat of saws the girl in her skimpy costume in half. This is referred to as stage magic which is mostly based upon sleight-of-the-hand manipulation and optical illusion.
However, the type of magic which Gawain and Crowley are describing is something entirely different. By many, especially neo-Pagans and neo-Witches, it is referred to as true or real magick and spelled with the final "k" the old spelling of the word to distinguish it from stage magic. It should be pointed out, however, that there are skeptics that think the spelling of magic with the "k" is just a trick by those believing in the former to make their magic seem more real. Objectively speaking there seems to be no convincing answer to this argument, either one believes in magick or one does not. Those believing in magick claim its function is to make something happen which the person desires or wills to happen. They believe the person is able to do this with the power or psychic energy that the person possesses. There is an admission, although, that at times the persons power may not be sufficient enough to achieve the sought after object or perform the required task and, it is at these times that the gods give the supplemented power needed.
People believing in magick believe that magick become more powerful as the power or psychic energy within them is increased or built up. The power builds up within the individual like steam in a pressure cooker. The individual wants it to build till he can no longer hold it, but he holds it as long as he can. This is why a group of Witches, each building up power within themselves, within a cone of power think when released all of the power flowing from each person can be directed to obtain the sought after objective. The accompaniment of dancing, chanting, hand clapping, and/or cord magic is used to stimulate and build excitement within the individuals. The flow of energetic power increases. Some who have developed this psychic ability claim that one can see the power flowing upward as a shimmering silver or blur-silver light.
Within this build up of energetic power fits the technique of visualization. With visualization, the person establishes a vivid picture in his mind of what he wants to happen. The picture is not of something that will happen, but rather it is a picture of the thing or event which has happen. This last distinction is crucial in the process of visualization. The mental picture must be of an event or thing that has already occurred or materialized. The purpose of this is to eliminate all doubt in the persons mind that the desired thing will come true because the person sees that it already has.
One of the most famous employments of the cone of power occurred on Lammas Day, August 1, 1940, in England. At a sabbat, as related by Gerald B.Gardner, all of the covens in southern England gathered in the New Forest for "Operation Cone of Power." It mission was to send a telepathic message to Hitler to keep out of England. Some of the thought sent were "you cannot cross the sea" and "not able to come." There is no certainty that this cone of power worked but those believing in it no doubt thought it did because the Nazis did not invade England.
In some incidences persons in a cone of power may use visualization for healing purposes. In their minds each person has formed a mental picture of a certain person suffering from an illness as already healed and well. At the zenith of power they all might shout the persons name, saying he is well. All their power is directed toward that person. This process can be repeated.
If the person or Witch is alone, he or she can use the same technique.
For example he may desire money or love. The person will imagine himself
with the money he desires or needs, or he may imagine himself with the person
he wants to love. The image of the money or person grows more and more vivid
till it becomes real to the viewer. When the viewer feels he can no longer
hold the power within him he might release it by shouting MONEY or LOVE.
The person often repeats his shout as his power is released. A.G.H.
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