I have been a psychic my whole life. When I was little, my mother and grandmother introduced me into our family tradition of Hedge Witchery and Psychism. Later when I began writing about Psychism, I found it very difficult to sit and draw it all out step by step because it was like breathing—something I just always did without much thought. But as I did so, I realized how beneficial it was to have it all laid out in front of me. Now it was identified and useable instead of mystified and indescribable. In written form, my psychism became a useable tool rather than something that just happened without explanation. Which is when I realized there are many psychics that might benefit from this, too, which is how my book, Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft, came to life.
I used to think my psychism was my witchcraft and magic, but since have learned they are very separate things. To me, witchcraft is how I live with the world and nature and use those relationships. Magic is the action I take to bring about a desired result by using learned correspondences. When I add psychism to the mix, I wholly become the working, not just a technician working the formula. It is one thing to feel energy, but you need psychic skills to manipulate it, amplify it and send it.
When I include my psychism into a magical act, I tap into energies well beyond myself. I then channel them through me and into the magic. This increases the effectiveness of whatever magical work I am doing.
To learn this type of energetic channeling using psychic skills, you can begin with a simple blade of grass. Take one blade of grass in hand. Look at the details of it. The color, the texture, the smell. Then push your senses inside of it until you can see in your mind, the vein inside the blade uses to acquire water and nutrients. Think about how it is a living being and all it does to continue to live. Focus on this to the exclusion of all else. You are succeeding when you no longer notice your body, your surroundings or anything but the blade of grass. Once you have accomplished that, sit down on the grass. Close your eyes and touch the grass around you. Then focus on becoming one with that grass. Feel it, let it talk to you. Feel its spirit: is it happy, or needing water?
Now as a witch, let's do some magic for the grass and call some rain. Now that you have connected to the live spirit of the grass you can project the energy of its request for rain to the elements. You are now the conduit of that energy and spirit as you invoke the elements to be present. Once they are present, you charge your request with the power and energy you gathered as you ask them to respond. This gives the elements an extra connection and reason to respond to your desire, which adds the spirit and energy of the grass, making the magic more effective. This is just one example of how psychism can enhance magic and witchcraft.
The above exercise is an excellent way to begin a practice of bringing your psychism into your magical workings. If you do not have grass available, you can sit with a houseplant and create the same connection. You can connect to something from your dreams, a person, a city, the very atmosphere in the same way. There is no limit to what energies psychism can connect you. The goal is to be able to channel those energies into your workings.
Divining a thing is like having a conversation with it, much like the grass in the above exercise. We call a tarot session a "reading," yet using the tarot is an act of divining because you "divine" or "acquire" information then "read" the information received. I simply call it reading, because I read what the spirit of the thing is putting off.
If you add the skill of reading other things, it will increase your ability to bring energetic connections into magical workings. Being able to divine and read things around you is of great benefit to everyday life as well. It gives you information others cannot tap into. The divining and reading skills tie into your intuition, but goes way beyond that. Intuition is a nudge; divining is receiving specific information.
In the spirit of reading a thing to divine information, let's say you are about to go into an office for job interview. Before you walk in, you pause and touch the door handle. With eyes closed, focus on seeing or feeling the person behind the desk and open your senses to receive what the door handle is telling you. Having your eyes closed keeps your surroundings from being a distraction. I have picked up the mood and energy of the person in the room this way, which can tell you much about the person doing the interview. It can be great fun practicing this wherever you go, and then asking friends and family how accurate you are then journaling your results to use later.
Now let us apply this ability to magic. All things have a life and memories into which you can tap with divination and reading skills and then channel into the work. Imagine you are in ritual and pick up a wand; that wand has a spirit and energy. You may discover that the wand does not want to participate in the working at hand. Using divination and reading skills can lead you to a more appropriate tool to use for the job.
Divination and reading skills can also be used to read the mood and energy of those present. While divining and reading you are in an altered state of mind, similar to meditation. In this altered state you can pick up some of the needs of those present before beginning a ritual and then tailor the ritual towards those needs. After reading the room, you can then psychically reach out and tap the energy you feel is needed to calm the room and bring everyone into the same state of mind. You can then project that energy outward to those present and create a unified state of mind for everyone. Using these skills as you begin a ritual often gets called grounding and centering or creating a sacred space. But those labels fall short of what psychic skills provide, and are rather vague to the details of the skills involved in this kind of practice.
Psychic skills lend a whole new level to magic. Through remote viewing, astral travel and dreamwork, you can go to other locations and do magic and healing there. While in other locations you can use reading and divining skills to know what exactly is going on and what is needed, which will tell you if you need to cast a protection or if you need to get right to work. Reading and divining skills can be used in solitary work, too. They can tell you when it is time for a ritual or spell. It begins with an intuitive nudge or thought, which is the cue to pause and scan before divining the information.
These skills have led me to many personal workings for things that I need for which I would not otherwise be aware. I have had many such workings come to me in dreams. In Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft, I call it "crossing the hedge" where I wake with magic, a ritual, or a spell that I have been directed to do by a spirit, deity, or other wise person. I always follow through on these because they never fail to be accurate. For these I hold a psychic visualization of the experience as I complete them. This creates an energetic connection between the dream world experience and the magical act that is also be used in spell work.
I like to use psychic visualization in spell work. Mental visualization is something most of us do every day—that is not the type of visualization I'm speaking of here. For psychic visualization in a spell, you visualize an encounter you had through a dream, a trance, or astral travel, with a deity, spirit, or element that relates to the spell. You then use that visualization as you call on them to lend their power and hear your desire.
This gives you a greater connection and ability to invoke them. Next, you draw all of that energy and spirit into your core and expel it through the words you use in the spell, giving the spell greater impact. At the end of the words of your spell, shift your visualization to your desired goal until you feel that you are there with that goal. When you feel fully connected, you are now holding enough energy and power to send off the spell. You send off a spell through an action, like burning the correspondences, burying them, or sending them off with water or air in some way. Because when it is all said and done, magic is what we think, say, and do.
Establishing the practice of these skills is not just work and drudgery. It is fun, exciting, expansive, and gratifying as we test out how effective we are becoming in our magic. So, happy casting and enjoy the journey!
Cat Gina Cole (Southern Oregon) was initiated into the magical system of her mother and grandmother at the age of thirteen. She is a hedgewitch, practitioner of Hermetic magic, psychic, teacher, and walker of many worlds. ...