Much of what will be said in this chapter can be generalized to apply to other types of magical work as well as to healing. To a large extent the methods are basically similar: the difference being in the ultimate change one wants to bring about. Thus, on a broader scale, the following will also be a treatise on magic in general.
In healing and other magical work the concept of “power” is mentioned frequently. This power is, basically, an energy that one uses, harnesses, and directs, in order to bring about the desired effects. This power exists on different levels, and may be used on one level or another, or in combination, depending on the task to be accomplished and the way a particular healer feels he can best work. There is a type of power that is “of the gods”, the force discussed in the chapter on paganism. As briefly stated in that chapter, magical work depends on the ability to contact, direct and utilize this power, and in order to do this one must be in tune with the harmony of the whole universe. In Spiritualistic and other circles one often hears people speak of healing as being “magnetic” or “divine”. Divine healing consists of the use of this power from the higher sources.
The force we are talking about exists throughout the universe. The Yogis call it prana. The psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich called it orgone energy. Baron Von Reichenbach referred to it as odic force. It is also know by other names. To all who have studied this power it is know to exist both within and without the human body. As just stated, on the highest level this force emanates from, also IS, the Divine, Absolute, Source, Great Unmanifested, Logos, or whatever term on chooses to refer to the ultimate level of existence.
Everything that exists above also exists below and everyone who has studied and worked with this power has recognized its presence both within us, emanating from us and in the cosmos. Our own states of vitality or lack of it are a function of the circulation of force within us. Both the etheric double and the aura of the human body are composed to a large extent of this power, and a person who is in a vibrant, highly charged state, by virtue of personal well-being and/or occult work will be able to project a considerable amount of this power from himself. It is the use of power on this level that is known as magnetic healing.
One cannot say that one type of healing or the other is more valid, or that it shows greater evidence of a persons state of “spiritual evolution”. For certain types of work one use of force may be appropriate, for another something else. As mentioned before there is often a blending of that which is from within and that which is from without.
Beginning healers, or magicians in general, should focus much of their attention to the direction of this power. Exercises aimed at direction should precede the actual work. There is an important principle here: power manifests where attention is directed. Meditate on this, ask questions about it, see if you can prove this statement to your own satisfaction. Make this concept a part of yourself; it is a primary ingredient in magical work. One beginning exercise is to concentrate your thought on various parts of your body, one part at a time. See if you feel the power. How do you experience it? When you have mastered this concentrate the power by directing the attention outside of yourself. Stare at the back of the head of a stranger, on a bus, on the street, in a meeting, etc. In many instances the power will be felt and the person will turn around to you. If you’re anxious to leave a restaurant and want to get the waiter or waitress’ attention, stare in the appropriate direction and project the thought of the check being brought to you. It beats yelling across the room. You can also begin to project ideas into objects, to magnetically load them with some suitable thought. An example would be in the making of a talisman.
If there is any difficulty in feeling the power as it emanates from oneself a good method is to practice the “accordion” exercise. Hold your hands in front of you about two feet apart, then slowly bring them together, then slowly apart again, and so on. When you are bringing your hands together note the point at which you begin to feel a resistance, a sensation that something is pushing back — like to magnets being pushed toward each other. It is that sensation that is the power from the etheric body. Practice with another person, so that you can each feel the power emanating from the other’s hands. Due to the laws of polarity one can generally experience this more intensely in working with a person of the opposite sex.
It will take a little longer to experience the power as it comes from and through the cosmos. This is generally best experienced in a situation of magical ritual. One must first learn to experience the magnetic force as it comes from himself and from other people. As mentioned before the projection of this force depends in part upon the individuals state of personal vitality and also on his ability to understand the nature of the magnetic energy to be attuned to it and to direct it outside of himself. Since it is partly contingent on the state of personal well-being it is important to state that the would-be healer of magician eat a diet composed largely of natural, unprocessed foods and in general follow a way of life conducive to good health.
In order to avoid confusion we must restate that we are talking primarily of power coming from two principal sources — the force of the gods, and that which exists within oneself and can be directed outwards. Actually, this exists more on a continuum rather than as either-or, but for convenience of expression it is permissible to think of it in terms of Divine or Magnetic, or that which is above or below, without or from within. Healing work can further be divided into two categories — contact and absent or distant. In the former, the person to be healed is where you are, and in the latter he is not present. As is true of telepathy and other forms of psychism, healing power knows no boundaries. It is just as possible to heal someone distantly who is in the next room as it is to give this sort of aid to a person who is in another country. To some extent, but not to any absolute degree, one tends to use more of the magnetic sort of healing power when helping someone who is present, and to use more of the so-called Divine type of power in working for a person who is absent from the ritual situation. However, this must only be taken as a relative, not an absolute statement, since the various levels of force generally enter into the healing situation in combination.
The amount of ritual can vary from a lot to a little. Beginners should tend to use a greater amount. It is also essential to use more ritual when the person you are working for is someone you dont know personally and may not have any emotional investment in. If you are working for someone close to you and have a deep personal desire to see that individual well again the emotional investment can in part substitute for ritual. As an aside, it might be interesting to point out that this is the reason that magic done with the intent of harming someone often works more effectively than the so-called white magic does. That is, in seeking to do harm to another, to gain revenge, etc. there us usually a powerful reserve of emotion underlying the magical act. This emotional, coupled with ritual, makes for a potent combination insuring a relatively high likelihood of success. This is, therefore, why one can say that for an experienced healer, especially where there is a very strong personal investment in helping the patient, emotion can be a partial substitute for ritual. Basically, when we speak of the use of ritual in healing we are talking of the sort of work when the person is not present.
In doing a healing where the patient is in attendance there would be less ritual magical work; rather the emphasis wuld be on projecting power into him. It order to best accomplish this, the healer’s hands should be about two inches away from the skin. We are working on the subtle force of the etheric body, not the physical body. Disease is first registered in the etheric body as it is on this double of the physical self that we aim healing power. The hands can be held over the afflicted area of the body in order to implant magnetic vitality, as well as moved about the body to “comb out” the etheric, as it were. Downward strokes of the hands should be used to induce a state of relaxation and calm. Upward strokes add vitality. The hands can be used to “draw out” the diseased condition and once this is done magnetism of a healthier sort can be replaced. When drawing out diseased etheric matter, the healer should snap his fingers in a direction away from the patient in order to rid himself of it; otherwise the healer could find himself taking on the condition he is curing the patient of. Some practitioners prefer using a bowl of water as a receptacle for diseased etheric matter. Each healer will develop his style of working. No two healers practice the exact same way. The information presented here is a general guideline, but allows much variation in practice.
Most practitioners of healing will find that when they are emanating the power one hand seems warmer and one seems cooler. The warmer hand is the one of positive polarity and in most people is the right hand. Conversely the left hand usually embodies negative polarity. In man instances of healing the positive hance should be placed over the area where the disease exists and the negative hand on the other side, allowing the power to flow through from positive to negative and vice versa.
Since the majority of healing work done in witchcraft and pagan circles is of the distant or absent variety most of the discussion will be focused on this. Most people think of pagan groups as doing a considerable amount of chanting and circle dancing. This is true. These methods are pleasurable and impart a sense of joy and communion with nature to the meetings, so are desirable from that standpoint alone, but they are also time-honored means of “raising the power”. In a practicing craft or general pagan circle power will have to be raised in order to do healing, to work to end the war, to stop animal abuse, to help persons avoid being drafted into the military, to promote ecology, etc. No matter what the goal, the power must be raised.
Some groups feel that nudity is a vital prerequisite for raising the power. This writer has worked nude, wearing street clothes and in robes and feels that it is the intent and cohesion of the group that governs whether power can be successfully generated and directed, not the absence of clothing. The arguments in favor of nudity as it relates to power is that clothing supposedly blocks the force from emanating from the body. Since the power can be successfully directed across oceans to heal persons in other countries on can immediately see that this argument is invalid. Also, most practitioner experience the magnetic emanations as being strongest in the palms of the hands and from the forehead.
Such details as robes, incense, candles, music, chanting and dancing are not necessary to success, but do serve as a focus for the mind in directing the power that these same things help to raise. It is much easier to use these external devices than to attempt to work by merely mental means alone. The altar and the ritual tools, the music, etc. further, have a conditioning effect on the mind, so that they come to be associated with the type of work to be done. With these stimuli available one can readily train oneself to direct the power in the desired directions. An additional advantage is that the desired vibratory magnetism can be accumulated in these objects.
Robes are helpful in that they are garments used solely for the purpose of the ritual work and when you enter the robe you enter a different world, or a different state of being. If one does not posses a robe then it is essential to have a special garment set aside for the ritual purpose or to at least dress a little differently than one does for ordinary events of the day. All of this will be discussed in more detail in another section.
Music should be of a fairly primitive sort, something that will evoke feelings of a kinship with nature. Music can be on records or on tape, or members of the group can play simple instruments, such as the flute, recorder, drum, thumb piano, etc. Dancing, which shall also be discussed in another section, should be of a simple, folk type, again expressive of our kinship with nature. Chanting, either general chants, or those devised to suit the situation you are working on, are also very helpful. These methods are all aimed at bringing out the power that is raised from within the individual members of the circle. Once enough power is generated, it must then be directed toward the desired end.
For this purpose a “focus” is needed. This may be an object belonging to the person being helped, a photograph, or some of his hair or fingernails. The latter may conjure up images of evil magic, but it is important to remember that in working for good or evil, the methods are pretty similar; what is different is the intent. Any of these objects will be helpful in establishing a magnetic link with the person being helped. This is why the power is directed into the object. If none is available, the power is then aimed toward the person directly. Again, it is the desire to help, rather than the details of the method, which is the crucial factor. One may wonder quite why and how an object serves as a magnetic link. By way of a very brief explanation some things that belong a to person, or some part of his body (as hair or nails, or even a drop of blood) contains within it the vibratory essence of that person, and through the object you can contact the person. The interested reader is referred to study of the principles underlying the science of radionics. It is a belief among African witch doctors that if a person is bitten by a snake, the first thing to do is kill that snake, because by so doing the magnetic link between the snake and his venom in the victim is broken. They believe that no matter what you do to aid the victim, results will be poor unless the snake is killed.
Sympathetic magic may also be used along with the focus of magnetic linkage. Thus, a wax-image, or even a cloth image or a simple drawing of the person can be made. To these images can be affixed the hair, nails, photograph, etc. Also, one can add substances known to be curative to the condition on a physical level. As an example the writer once made a wax image of a person about to undergo emergency surgery for a bleeding ulcer. To this image, in the abdominal region, some milk and some vitamin C were added. Also a scarf belonging to the patient was sacrificed to the element of fire. This was coupled with an intense projection of group mind force, along with chanting and dancing. Needless to say the healing was a total success, the patient experiencing it while it was happening, although not knowing work was being done for her at that time.
In addition to the creation of images, sympathetic magic can also be done through the use of acting-out that which you hope to accomplish. For example, in working for a person who has some sort of disorder that would make walking difficult, the group could go around the circle moving about with precise coordination, the attempt being made to transfer at least some of this ability to the person being healed.
Sometimes, the group will not use this sort of magic, but will do some dancing and chanting and then when the power is used will merely direct it into the object of focus, aiming the hands at this. Or, as mentioned before, the power can be directed toward the person. It helps, incidentally, to know the persons full name and the condition he is suffering from. If full information is not available results can sometimes be obtained, on the strength of the groups collective intent and through the ability of the God and Goddess to know where the power needs to be sent.
Getting onto a discussion of the more spiritual aspects of healing (remember this is not either-or, actually both are used in combination, generally) a rituals begun with an invocation to the God and Goddess, asking them to descend in power to the group and to help with the work to be done. This is a general invocation, a bringing down of the God power. Wording for this can come from already-written invocations or one can word it as he feels it should be worded at the time of making the invocation.
After a general invocation is made, whoever is presenting a person to be healed will make a specific request to the God and Goddess pertaining to that situation. It is in the beginning invocation that much of the power from the Divine sources is drawn down, or “earthed”. If this is done successfully, within a tightly formed circle, a change in the energy field of the room will be noted. This, in combination with the power that is raised from the members of the group will provide a potent charge to the circle.
If one wishes to work more in tune with the spiritual forces on a healing and not use a magnetic focus or any sympathetic magic, or even dancing, music or chanting, one need merely make a request to the God and Goddess and then the group stands in a circle around the altar and everyone raises his arms up high and allows this power to descend into him and then he directs it out to the desired end. One may ask why the power needs to flow through the group, why cant it just go from God and Goddess to the sick individual. This is a hard question to answer. No doubt some of the spiritual force is thusly directed, but the healing group is also serving as a channel for this force, and thereby does bring it down to earth level and subsequently re-direct it to those who need it.
There is no “best” method. Many covens and related circles use a combination of these methods, perhaps blending power from the different levels of existence for each healing, but mixing and matching such means as pure meditation, sympathetic magic, dancing, chanting, etc. It seems as though the groups interest is heightened if the methods are varied.
What does one concentrate on during the actual healing ritual? Again, there is no one “best” way. It is important to state that visualization is necessary. This is why a photograph can be very helpful. You might want to visualize the ill person in a state of well-being. Those who are more clinically-minded might want to visualize the condition of disease in the body or mind and strive to right that. Another method is to create an astral temple and put the patient there for the healing. If this method is being used, it is important to build up a consistent image and use it for all healing. When a group has worked together for a long time and has built up a good sense of rapport, everyone might want to cooperate in the joint building of an astral temple. For this, a good painting or drawing of that which has been mutually built up will be essential, as a focus to insure consistency of imagery. The reader can meditate on the possible reasons why the creation of an astral healing temple might yield the best sort of healing results. It should be stated that all three types of visualization mentioned here can be used simultaneously.
The question might arise — why does healing work? This is a bit difficult to explain. Usually one understands after a time through his own realizations. However, we might state that if we direct our emotion strongly toward some desired end we are releasing a very subtle, but potent force. If the emotion is directed toward a tangible end and accompanied by visual imagery, then a thought-form is created. That is, the mental picture plus the outpouring of emotional force becomes a reality on the astral plane. This thought-form which is actually a reality on the astral plane begins to give off its own vibrations and comes to become a cause of the desired effect in the person for whom help is being sought. Through continued practice of these methods certain inner plane “contacts” will be established who will also aid in the work.
Another explanation for the success of healing is that they can be done by telepathic influence, or telepathic hypnosis. One can speculate at great length on why magic works. Suffice it to say that is can and does work, and perhaps succeeds by virtue of more that one explanation.
It is sometimes difficult to evaluate healing success. Groups should be prepared to keep records, perhaps an index card with the persons name, problem, date (s) healing given, and results. It is best to work for people who someone in the group is in contact with, so you can check into the success or failure. The percentage of success depends on many factors: the intent and cohesion, as well as skill of the group, the type of problems healing is sought for, etc. Sometimes there is an immediate improvement, but one must check to see if there are other variables that could account for the success, such as the person getting well anyway, physical treatment given to the person, etc. In other instances, there is no other factor but healing to account for the patients dramatic improvement.
One question often raised in discussion of healing concerns that of karma. Should we attempt to heal someone who’s condition has been brought about due to his or her karma? This is often raised by people who aren’t interested in doing healing; sometimes it is a searching attempt to evaluate whether healing should be done. While it may be true that much serious illness affecting mankind is karmic in nature, perhaps some of us have the obligation to help anyway. To play with words, one can say it is their karma to get sick, our karma to get them well. If the disease is karmic and the person is not “meant” to get well no amount of healing will ever succeed. Therefore, we do not need to worry whether we will be affecting someones karma when we do this sort of work.
Much of this discussion may seem a bIt unclear as first, but should gradually have more meaning as you experience the different types of power and work the various methods of healing ritual.