Witchcraft and Meditation
I’ve often been asked how important meditation is in the Craft. My answer is that it’s the foundation for practicing Witchcraft. I won’t say you can’t practice without it, but to me a witch not meditating is like an athlete who doesn’t condition. Both can still know success, but not at the level that could be achieved. No matter how much raw talent we start with, I’ve never known a witch who didn’t benefit and improve with meditation. Even with long-time practitioners, ability “growth spurts” are usually the result of achieving deeper levels of meditation.
With that said, what is the problem with meditation? For some people, it comes easily and naturally, but for others, it’s a struggle to get into or stay in the proper state of mind. For still others, a lack of discipline can lead to sporadic meditation sessions, which leads to a lack of noticeable benefits, which leads to a loss of motivation and even less meditation. I can certainly understand how it can simply turn some people off. With all of the “noise” our modern culture offers, it’s more difficult than ever to quiet our minds for long. Our minds tend to race around…we think ahead, relive the past, focus on what we do or don’t want, and even the things we’ll probably never have. Multi-tasking has become the norm so that all too often we’re incapable of living in the moment and accepting things for what they are.
Another problem with meditation is that there is a lot of bad advice on what you should expect and how you can achieve it. Too many people think that “clearing your mind” means turning off your brain, and since this is impossible, they fail from their first attempt. There are also all kinds of posts online about people who experience astral projection and visions during meditation, and when those new to the practice don’t have these kinds of profound experiences they get discouraged. While these experiences are highly spiritual and moving, they simply aren’t the goal of everyday meditation. These kinds of experiences are also the result of practice and time.
Understanding the benefits of daily meditation might motivate you to incorporate it into your daily routine. Aside from helping to alleviate stress, lower blood pressure, easing depression, and helping people deal with chronic issues, meditation has specific benefits for witches:
- It trains your mind to focus on a goal for an extended period of time. There is more to magic than muttering over candles and throwing around ingredients. The power in any magic comes from the caster, and that power comes from the mind. The more focused the mind, the more powerful the working.
- It teaches you to deliberately put your mind into the Alpha state, where your brain waves are between 8 and 12 cycles per second. This is the ideal state of mind for magical and psychic workings because it falls somewhere between alert awakens and sleep, which gives us greater access to the subconscious while still consciously in control.
- It increases our sensitivity to the energies around us. When we are in the Alpha state we are more in tune with and receptive to intuition and energies. This attunement improves our ability to sense and raise energy.
- It teaches you to compartmentalize thoughts and emotions so that you’re able to stay in the moment. When casting a spell, you’re projecting your will in the form of energy on a goal. Distractions, self-doubt, and even emotions that rise to the surface when casting can diffuse, weaken and scatter the energy you are trying to direct.
There are many meditative practices and goals, but for daily meditations, my recommendation would be to focus on mindful meditation. This is the ability to quiet your mind and simply live in the moment. You will be relaxed yet alert, and you’ll be able to find a place of inner calm and mental peace. Remember, meditation isn’t about making your mind blank; it’s about heightening your state of awareness. It’s a state of being rather than a state of doing. You just have to learn to “be” in the moment. You’re bringing your attention to your state of mind and your relationship to your environment in the “now.” You do this without trying to force or guide your thoughts, without getting wrapped up in them, and without letting them distract you from the moment.
It doesn’t take long to get started; meditating for 5 minutes a day can get you into the habit and comfortable with the practice. You can gradually increase the length of your sessions to find what works best for you. The more you meditate, the greater your ability to enter and maintain a meditative state will become. Whether you’re new to the Craft or you’ve been a practicing witch for some time, making meditation part of your daily conditioning exercises can strengthen your mind, and by extension your focus, which impacts the strength and power of your workings.
In love and light,