Practicing magick puts you in contact with the “other”. Sooner or later, as you progress along the path, you will attract the attention of various entities/spirits/beings/etc. Some of them will be benign, others not so much. However, for someone who is new to the practice, it’s hard to tell the difference between what is “you”, and what is “not you”. That is why it is important to really know how your own energy and thought patterns sound and feel. One way to learn this information about yourself is to cultivate a regular practice of grounding, centering, and psychic body preparation.
In addition to a physical body, we all have a psychic body, sometimes referred to as an astral body, an energy body, or a body of light. This psychic body is as complex as the physical one, and subject to its own natural laws. In order to familiarize yourself with, and be able to attune yourself to, your energy body, you need to connect thoroughly to your physical body. One excellent way to do this is through grounding.
Stand with your feet about eighteen inches apart, with your weight on the balls of your feet. Make sure your knees are relaxed and slightly bent; you never want to lock your knees. Relax your shoulders, and breathe deeply, with even, measured breaths. Next, either flex, or tense and relax, every part of your body, beginning with your feet. Lift your feet and rotate each ankle, really pay attention to each part of your body as you get to it, paying special attention to the lower half of your body. Let yourself become fully aware of your whole body, then concentrate your attention on the spot that is slightly above the cervix and between the ovaries, for women, or roughly two inches below the navel and in the center, for men. Once you feel grounded and centered physically, you are ready to move on to preparing your psychic body.
Like the physical body, the psychic body can collect dust, debris, and gunk. Before doing anyenergy work, the energy body must be cleansed. Visualize a pure waterfall, flowing into a clear stream that winds down to the ocean. Get under the waterfall, and feel the water sloughing off any accumulated psychic debris, to be absorbed by the cleansing earth and the purifying ocean. This visualization can be made simpler by doing it during your daiy shower, and just imagining all the sludge going harmlessly down the drain.
Not everything can be washed off in the psychic shower. Like mucous from a banana slug, some kinds of gunk will only come off when scraped. Most of the time, this kind of psychic debris is baked on sediment that has been there awhile. Placing your hands ninety degrees from your body, physically scrape along it, while visualizing the thick, crusty, or slimy sludge sloughing off. You can either shake the gunk off into a container of salt to be neutralized, or visualize it sinking into the earth to feed the emerging life there. Again, if you do this exercise in the shower, you can visualize the accumulated residue going harmlessly down the drain.
Now that your psychic body is clean, you need to make sure that you have it under enough control to remain psychically open but retain your own awareness. Visualize that you are a flower with many petals, fully open to the sun. Then, gradually and gently close each petal, one by one, until you’re a flower bud.
Note: These exercises, which should be performed daily, are the author’s adaptations of those set out in The Psychic Energy Workbook by R. Michael Miller and Josephine M. Harper
(Aquarian Press, 1986).