Working with energy is fundamental to the practice of Witchcraft for it is the very basis of its practice. Magick involves feeling and recognizing the energies around us, then reaching out and making changes to that energy. This is done by raising the appropriate amount of energy and sending it out into the Universe, where it affects the goal and causes change to ripple outwards.
But, to be able to do this, one must first learn to recognize the energy that exists about and within us. Without being able to recognize energy, it makes it incredibly difficult, though not impossible, to work magick. Consider the act of casting a Circle, fundamental to Wicca and used frequently within Witchcraft. You can say all the Words you want, wave around some tools, but if you can’t feel the energy change or see the Circle cast about you, how are you sure you actually cast a Circle at all?
So, how does one go about learning to recognize energy? Thankfully, it’s really not that difficult. One of the simplest ways is by learning to first feel it. To do this, one needs a physical object that naturally has a strong vibration rate; trees are good to use, as are certain crystals like Quartz or Amethyst.
To start, it’s best to be calm: quiet your mind and try to be open to whatever may or may not come. Sticking with the above suggestions of a tree or crystal, lay your hand gently on the tree or hold your hand over, but not touching the crystal. Close your eyes and pay attention to any sensations you get in your hand.
You should start to feel something. What you feel may differ from what someone else feels, but, generally, you may feel warmth, cold, and/or a tingle that may spread all the way up your arm. That is the energy within your object. And that is the same type of energy that is used within the practice of Magick.
Once you know what energy feels like, you can begin to try to work with it and even see it. Raising energy is the next step, as it easiest to learn to work with your own innate energy before learning to work with external energies. A simple exercise to this effect is in the creation of energy balls.
Stand or sit comfortably. Relax. Hold your hands out in front of you, palms together, as if you were praying. Close your eyes and visualize a small ball of light forming between your hands. Move your hands about an inch away from each other. Open your eyes and gaze (do not stare!) at the space between your hands. Concentrate on that little ball of energy forming and existing there. Push more energy through your hands and into the little ball, feeding it and making it larger; move your hands apart a bit more to accommodate the size change. Continue to see and feel the ball of energy you created. Feel the warmth in your hands as the energy moves through you and to the ball and the warmth of that ball as well. You may see the ball as well, perhaps as a swirling ball of pale light.
Play around with the ball of energy you’ve created. Push more energy into it, making it larger, squish it to make the energy denser, or stretch out into a ball so large that it surrounds your entire being.
Exercises like these are a great start to building competency in working with Magick, but they are, of course, not the only ways that one can learn to work with energy.