Visual Aids to Spellwork

A million years ago when I was in education, we used to divide skills into “right brain” and “left brain” skills. Right brain skills were those that involved music, mathematics, understanding where your body was in space, and so-called “spatial skills” such as (from early IQ tests) figuring out how an oddly-shaped figure would look once it had been rotated. Left brain skills were those that involved words, abstract concepts, philosophy.

Science has recently cast some doubt upon the notion that certain skills are necessarily housed in certain hemispheres of our brains.

But that doesn’t, for me, discount the validity of distinguishing between “right-brain-type” skills and “left-brain-type” skills. And that may be particularly true given that I have, thank Athena, a boatload of left-brain-type (aka verbal, abstract-concept-type) skills and almost zero (it’s truly embarrassing and sad) right-brain-type (aka visualization, knowing where my body is in space (can’t dance, can’t walk w/o falling down, can’t find my way around town even with a GPS, can’t keep rhythm, can’t do math) skills.

And so it’s a bit odd that I was drawn away from Catholicism (with its emphasis on abstract learning and left-brain-type skills, where even my name saint, a woman, was considered a doctor of the church) to Paganism (a religion built upon the sacredness of embodiment). But it’s not surprising that my entry into Paganism was through a left-brain-type book The Politics of Women’s Spirituality by Charlene Sprentnack.

In some ways, the practice of Witchcraft has been difficult work for me. One of the first exercises given to many novice Witches is to learn to visualize. A common exercise is to visualize an orange. See it, smell it, taste it, touch it. Work as hard as you can to experience the orange in the absence of an actual orange.

And it’s good and necessary Witch work. If you’re going to send energy to a remote location, person, institution, etc., well, then it’s good for you to be able to really, clearly visualize that location, person, institution, etc. It will help your spellwork. And I’ve worked on that skill for years and will, for all the years that the Goddess gives to me, continue to work on it.

One thing that I’ve found helpful, thanks to modern technology, is to gather a collection of visual aids. Pictures and videos that help me when I want to do spell work. Here are a few of my favorites, shared in the hope that they may inspire you in your own spellwork and encourage you to share some of your own favorites in comments.

First, the classic. Peeling an orange. If you can watch it without your mouth watering, you’re even more left-brained than I am.

Second, for those of you who live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and want, from time to time, to send magic or energy to your wotershed:

I use this one almost once a week.

I also like to use this one:

I use both of them along with Derrick Jensen’s Pretend You Are a River.

Here’s a live-stream of the United States Capitol, helpful whenever you’re doing political magic for the United States or for Columbia’s District.

Here’s Lady Liberty.

Sometimes, you want to do a spell for the entire globe. There are a lot of visual aids for this kind of spell. Just this week, this one’s been going around the web:

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.

I especially love the Moon on the Ocean and the lightning storms as great aids to visualize spells.

Here’s another.

What visual aids do you use?

2 responses to “Visual Aids to Spellwork

  1. Isn’t that funny, it never occurred to me to use video for visualization. That’s a great idea. Whenever I need imagery, I just take a very long stroll through the Wikimedia Commons, or do a Google image search. Not a very original method, but it works. Thanks for this post — I’m loving the Lady Liberty cam.

  2. This TED vid w Iain McGilchrist is an up to date visual aid on the “divided brain.”

    -Research has shown that certain tasks we thought of as being localized to one hemisphere v. other are actually comprised of many subcomponent tasks that light up several different parts of the brain simultaneously.
    -Research has examined the dichotomy and (survival) value of narrowly focused attention (left brain) v. broad awareness/vigilence (right brain), and likewise, therein found some degree of overlap.
    -If we are to dichotomize with descriptive accuracy, the left brain tends toward: fixed, isolated, static, deconcontextualized, closed and perfect systematizing, whereas the right brain tends toward: individualized, evolved, interconnected systematizing. Obviously, we need both in order to make sense of our world. Imagination requires both sides.

    I absolutely LOVE the TEDvid illustration that “the end point of rationality is to demonstrate the limits of rationality.” It reminds me of the highly touted self-consistent models (algorithms) rolled out on WS as clever money-makers, but that have essentially placed the rest of the economic ecosystem in an untenable bind.

    You can take an intuitive mind, criticized for supposedly being math-deficient, yet which is far more likely to grasp broad view of teh maths across paradigms, ex., that the reason flat taxes don’t work is the same reason a debt crisis is more visible, sooner, in smaller countries than in larger ones. Or, yet still, the metaphysical value of understanding that “the laws of physics do not select for any one moment over another.” – People, and institutions do that.

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