Many of you probably don’t remember this, but for a time, Patheos was experimenting with paid subscription blogs, and I established one that was using videos mostly recorded from my in-store classes, along with blog posts, to teach classes in the Witch’s Eight Paths of Power. Patheos didn’t get a big response from them, so they decided to close those blogs down. My posts were migrated over to this blog and have been sitting here, unpublished, ever since.
Now I’m adapting those lessons to a platform called Teachable, which is designed for hosting online classes. For the next couple of weeks, I will be posting lessons here and there to give you samples of what you can expect with the first two courses: Intent and Trance. Like I do in my book, I start with the basics, and I work up to advanced practices as I work through the Eight Paths.
Most of you are probably already familiar with the concept, at least intellectually, of meditation. So why is an Eastern mystical practice important to Wiccan magick? Meditation is the simplest way that I am aware of in which to still your mind, remove distractions, and induce a slightly altered state of consciousness that accesses the astral plane.
We’re going to do a couple of basic exercises to teach you this art. If you already meditate regularly, you may want to skip this lesson.
It is traditionally recommended that you begin to practice meditation in the morning when you are fully rested. In our culture of busy-ness, we are trained from a young age that being relaxed and drifting into an altered state of consciousness means that you are sleeping. So you may fall asleep if you try to meditate!
I think you should pick a time of day that works for you when distractions are unlikely, regardless of when or where that is. I think it is better to meditate for even a short period of time, and frequently, than not do it at all. Maybe even do it on the bus on your morning work commute, or in the carpool! (It really should go without saying that you don’t want to try this while you are driving!) In addition to your other assignments, I would like to you find five to 15 minutes every day to meditate.
Exercise 3: Candle MeditationPeople beginning to meditate are often under the impression that they need to completely blank their minds in order to succeed. This is only one form of meditation, and is really more for seeking enlightenment, knowledge and visions. Most forms of meditation involve contemplation of one particular thing without active consciousness. Let me share with you the method that my first mentor taught me.
Light a white or a beeswax candle and place it on a table or on the floor in front of you. Dim the lights and make yourself comfortable.
Look steadily at, and then into, the candle flame. Fill your mind with thoughts of the flame only; nothing else. Consider the way it flickers, the intensity of the light, the color. Stare at it with a softened, unfocused gaze.
Stay in the present. This is different from the Onesight exercise in that you are not going to make any effort to notice any details whatsoever. Allow yourself to blink if you need to, and close your eyes if they get tired, but continue to visualize the flame in your mind’s eye.
If you get distracted, bring yourself gently back to the moment. Allow any intruding thoughts to float away like a soap bubble on the breeze without judgment or emotional attachment.
Whenever you are ready, you can stop and bring yourself back to conscious awareness.
Practice this exercise whenever you feel the need and desire, and try for that “unfocused focus” for longer periods. And you know what? Congratulations, that’s meditation!
Check out these reviews of The Witch’s Eight Paths of Power!