~ Preparing For Magic ~
Preparation for ritual magic of any kind requires
the self-discipline and techniques learned from con-
centration, focusing, visualization and meditation. If
you desire to obtain physical manifestation from
your efforts, it is essential that you actually do and
practice these exercises.
Concentration is holding an image or idea in your
mind without interruption. It is of great importance
during rituals when you must exclude everything not
directly related to what you are doing. No thoughts of
the day's happenings, no extraneous noise, must be
allowed to dominate your attention for any length of
time. If such things do intrude, they must be immedi-
ately dismissed as unimportant at the moment.
To strengthen your powers of concentration, you
will need to practice two exercises. The first exercise
is done with a minimum of supplies. Light a candle
and set it on a table before you. Sit comfortably and
look at the flame. It is easiest on the eyes to look at the
blue around the lower part of the wick instead of the
bright upper flame. Do not stare; blink your eyes
whenever you need to. After a few minutes, close
your eyes and look for the flame. You will see it
against your closed eyelids. Keep your thoughts on
that flame image, and see how long you can maintain
the mental picture before your conscious mind begins
The second exercise is much the same, but uses a
picture instead of a candle. Choose a picture that
pleases you. Tarot cards are especially good for this.
Stand or hang the picture at a comfortable level and
look at it for some time. Close your eyes and see if you
can discern a mental image against your eyelids. Hold
that image as long as you can.
Focusing is important to ritual magic as it is the
process of adjusting your "inner eye" or attention on
a particular object or goal. You must have a clear idea
or picture of what you wish to produce while doing
magic. This is very similar to concentration but more
refined. An idea is harder to hold in the mental realms
than a reflected picture.
It is not necessary to visualize a goal in absolute
detail. Too much detail tends to limit the manifesta-
tion, especially if you could have had something better.
Know what you want, but never restrict yourself.
The gods may be more generous to you than you are
Focusing and concentrating on performance dur-
ing ritual will channel your mental powers, thereby
clarifying and strengthening the function. The act of
casting and consecrating a magical circle (explained
later) must have focus and concentration if it is to be
done properly. If you fail to do this, the circle will not
provide you with the neutral area in which to per-
form magic, and most certainly will not give you
Again, using the picture or card, this time elicit
all associated images. See if you can create movement
within the picture.
Go through the same exercise with the candle
flame, this time changing~ the size, height and color of
the flame. Summon up associated images and follow
them through. Some startling ideas have come out of
Meditation is a great aid in centering yourself,
controlling destructive emotions and gaining insight.
But it should also bring a greater sense of awareness
and increase your ability to visualize. All of these
skills are necessary in the practice of ma~S especially
if you want feasible results.
Meditation is really not a complicated exercise,
unless you lack self-control. If you do, you need
meditation more than ever. Relaxing, smooth music
is an excellent background to help mask minor noises
and help you relax. Turn off the telephone, hang a "do
not disturb" sign on the door, and choose a comfort-
Listen to the music while taking a few deep
breaths. Relax and let yourself unwind. Next men-
tally surround yourself with white light for protec-
tion. Imagine yourself standing on a wooden bridge
over a calm pond. Drop all your problems into the
water, and watch it close over them. This is a sym-
bolic release that tells your subconscious mind that
you need an answer to solve these troubles. Then
visualize yourself walking on across the bridge, leav-
ing everything behind.
To continue the meditation, project yourself into
a meadow on the other side of the bridge. A small
stream runs through the grass and flowers. Shady
trees surround it. Wander through this meadow, soak-
ing up the peacefulness and healing. You may see peo-
ple or nature spirits. Talk with them if you like.
As long as you remain objective and do not push
to hear what you want to hear, you can receive very
accurate guidance while in meditation. If you strain
to hear what you want, you will get only messages
from your conscious mind, which does not believe in
what you are doing.
When in meditation, you are in an astral state.
Therefore, it is always possible that at some time you
will meet a being that makes you fearful or uncomfor-
table. If this should happen, recall the white light
You will be able to escape the meditation any
time you choose. Simply become aware of your body
and open your eyes. As during ritual, time in medita-
tion is non-existent. Time is a limited idea belonging
to the left brain and conscious mind. When working
with the right brain and subconscious mind, time has
no meaning at all.
The symbolism of dropping your problems into
the pond is essential. It is never a good idea to go into
meditation without doing this, just as it is imprudent
not to use the white light. Both are protective measures
to eliminate taking negative vibrations into an other-
wise productive exercise.
Excerpt From D.J. Conway
Celtic Magic, We really recommend you check out
D.J. Conway's Book for more information and as well as some of his other