What is Energy?
I don’t know if you’ve ever watched one of those ghost hunting television shows, but sometimes, when something particularly gnarly is haunting a particular location, the hosts and ghost hunters call in a Wiccan priestess or priest to clean things up. Do you ever wonder why Wiccans are called upon to perform this service?
The word “wicca” is based on the Anglo-Saxon word wicce, meaning to twist or to work. What Wiccans work with is energy, and because we do, we are uniquely qualified to help clear negativity away.
At its core, every single thing in the world is made up of energy. Quantum physics has revealed that everything that looks solid is actually made up of subatomic particles and space. And what do you suppose holds those particles together?
Spirit is a form of energy. The soul is energy. Our very life force is energy. We as Wiccans have opened ourselves to the energies of the world, to the shifting power of the seasons and the Goddess and Her God. We are attuned to the way energy flow, and we have learned how to smooth that flow when it gets unbalanced.
Wiccans aren’t the only ones who know how to use energy. Shamans have been using energy for centuries. The Chinese have multiple arts based on understanding, working with and adapting to living power in the world. In China, they call it chi or qi. In Wicca, we call it magic.
When you cast a sacred circle, you’re raising energy. When you light a candle as part of a prayer or spell, you’re raising energy. When you perform the Drawing Down the Moon ritual, you’d better believe that you’re raising energy!
Energy can be positive or negative. It’s said that healing is a result of the flow of positive energy, and that the sort of entities that ghost hunters encounter and fear are made up of negativity. Positive energy can be used in positive ways, and negative energy can be neutralized or dispelled.
Gathering and Using Energy
So, how can you tell what energy feels like, and how can you use it? This can be very difficult for beginners, especially people who’ve been raised all of their lives in doubting Western culture, where this sort of thing is dismissed as “woo” (the current favored internet phrase of mockery).
You have to be open-minded and allow yourself to not just believe in senses that can’t be quantified by modern science; you need to allow yourself to use those senses, too.
Energy feels different to every person. To some, it’s like the pins and needles feeling you get when your foot falls asleep. To others, it feels like a breeze or a wind, the rushing of air showing the direction of the energy’s flow. Some people feel it like the heat of sunlight on their bodies. To still others, myself included, it feels like water, ebbing and flowing and with tides all its own.
There are three different kinds of energy. One is divine energy, that which is created by the Goddess and Her consort(s). The second is personal energy, which is created by your own body and is your own life force. The third is earth energy, that which is created by the planet. Every person, every animal, and even every plant has personal energy all his or her own, and that energy needs to be respected – never used. When you’re dealing with personal energy other than your own, consent and intent are absolutely vital. Remember, “harm none.”
The first thing you need to learn how to do is to ground yourself. This is something that will be important whenever you do any energy work, spell work, enchanting, summoning… anything. You need to make sure that you are absolutely anchored in who you are and where you are before you begin working with anything that’s outside yourself.
You also need to ground yourself when your exercise or spell or enchantment is completed, because it will help you to release any excess energy that might overwhelm you. You can’t contain more energy than your body can create.
Here is a simple grounding exercise that can be used anytime, anywhere, and is really good for regaining your calm center.
Stand or sit in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four and out through your mouth for a count of four.
As you breathe, envision a root like the root of a tree extending straight down from you – either through your feet, if you’re standing, or from your spine if you’re sitting.
Envision these roots reaching deep into the earth. In the same way a tree pulls water up from the ground, use these roots to pull good, clean, positive energy up into your body.
Let the energy continue up through the top of your head and out into the sky, almost like a string from the top of your head to the very heart of the Universe.
Feel the energy coursing through you, connecting you to the earth and to the heavens. When you’re ready, continue to breathe and envision the energy receding from the sky and from the ground, until you are once again contained within yourself.
Now that you’re grounded, you’re ready to start working with energy.
There are a lot of ways to use and direct energy. You can use tools or you can use your own body. Here’s another exercise, this time showing you how to feel and manipulate energy.
Sit comfortably and be as relaxed as you can. Take centering breaths, then hold your hands out in front of yourself, roughly at the level of your heart. Hold them with the palms facing but not touching.
Imagine that energy from your solar plexus is traveling down your arms and out through your hands, forming a ball of energy between your palms. You will begin to feel a push/pull sensation, like trying to put two positive magnets together. This is your energy.
Concentrate on the energy between your palms. Push more energy from your center into the space between your hands. The ball will become larger, and the magnetic feeling will amplify. Stretch the energy ball or compress it. Shape it into a rod or a cone.
It’s your energy, and it’s yours to use as you see fit. When you’re done, either draw that energy back into your solar plexus or release it into the air.
This is a simple exercise, but it can very useful in helping you to learn control.
So, what tools can you use to help direct energy? The most popular tool, and the easiest to use, is quartz.
Crystals of all kinds have energetic properties. Some are receptive (drawing in energy) and some are projective (sending energy out). The best crystals to use for energy are clear quartz. These stones are not only beautiful, they’re also highly sensitive and virtual blank slates. Many wands are capped with clear quartz crystals because they’re so good at directing energy, focusing it out like a laser beam.
The important thing to remember about energy tools is that if you believe that the material you’re using works, it works. It’s all about intent. If you’re using copper, wood, water, crystals, flowers, salt… anything at all, you have imbued it with your energy and your intent in the belief that it will be a useful tool in your energy work. A tool that has been “loaded” in this way will be a useful tool, almost by definition.
The most powerful tool a witch can use in working with energy is visualization. Energy isn’t something that can be seen with the naked eye, so we have to turn inward to our other senses instead.
Visualization will help you to “see” the unseeable. Energy follows thought. If you can envision where the energy is and where you want it to go, then the energy will respond and do as you wish. You have to know where you’re directing it in order to use it properly.
Knowing Your Energy:
There’s another way that visualization can help you to get in touch with your own personal energy, and that’s by understanding and feeling the flow of energy in your own body. This is a meditation that I use to get into a sacred mindset, like for a past life regression or spellcasting. It’s very effective for understanding where your energy is bottled up and where you need to help it to flow more easily.
Like with the exercises above, take deep, centering breaths. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, letting your body relax. Continue this deep, even breathing and focus on your center.
The core of your being is a bright glowing orb at your solar plexus, which in the pit of your stomach. As you breathe, concentrate on seeing that light. See its color, its brightness, its warmth. (You might see something other than a ball of light, and that’s all right – you might just be more attuned with a different element.
I envision a bright ball of light about 90% of the time, but the rest of the time, my core is a deep pool of clear water. Your mileage may vary. For the duration of this description, we’re going to go with the ball of light imagery.)
See the energy at your solar plexus and imagine it growing. The glow brightens, the ball gets larger, and the light begins to fill your torso. Your body is made of light, filled with your own personal energy.
Feel the light go into your shoulders and into your hips, filling your pelvis and your generative organs. If you get sexually charged from this, that’s all right. Your body is reacting to your energy. Don’t worry about it, and don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. Your body should activate as the energy flow increases. Just don’t get distracted. Keep breathing.
The light keeps expanding. It moves into your upper arms and into your thighs, then down to your elbows and knees. It expands up into your throat, then your forearms and lower legs. It moves into your wrists and hands, ankles and feet. Keep breathing.
The light keeps moving, going up your neck and into your jaw. It fills your face, your ears, your eyes, your head. You should feel the warmth of your energy from the bottoms of your feet to the crown of your skull.
As you expand your light to fill your physical form, you may notice that there are areas where the energy gets stalled, or where the light dims or turns a different color.
These are areas where you might have an energy block, such as something that’s caused by an injury or an ailment. They might also indicate places of spiritual injury. If you have arthritis in your knees, you may need to take a bit more time energizing that area. If you’ve suffered sexual trauma, you may need to spend time letting your light expand into your pelvic area. As the light moves, it will heal the damaged and hurt places. Positive energy is healing energy.
Let the light flow. Let the warmth of your own energy heal your injuries and hurts.
You can do a little self-protection by extending your energy beyond the limits of your body. This is called shielding or warding, and at a more advanced level, you can shield or ward places and things outside of yourself. For now, though, if you’re a beginner, concentrate on protection.
Perform the self-energy meditation that I described, above, but don’t stop extending your light when you reach your skin. Go ahead and let your energy extend beyond your physical body until you’re surrounded in a bubble of light.
Fill the bubble with light so you’re completely encompassed. Visualize the exterior of the bubble getting shiny and reflective, as if it’s being coated with silver. Charge that silver with deflecting any negativity from entering your sphere. You are now protected by a bubble of pure energy, wrapped in a mirrored skin that will keep negativity out.
This is a very valuable exercise to conduct if you’re going to be going into stressful situations or places that are high in negativity – court rooms, hospitals, nursing homes, crowds, haunted cemeteries and the like.
Now you know what energy is, and how to touch and handle it. The next article will be about how to detect and dispel negative energy.
Until then, I wish you peace!