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Psychic Development in Today’s Craft

By Sunfell

 Psychic perceptions, ESP, supernatural talents, psionics… All these terms are a catch all for sensing things beyond the usual five human senses. Skeptics among us would argue that our senses end with our bodies, and that anything else that is ‘sensed’ is a hallucination and propagated by hysteria. And people on the credulous side of the spectrum are more than willing to attribute everything extraordinary that happens to them as being ‘psychic’ or ‘spiritual’.

Both camps are semi-right- and both are wrong. All human beings possess a capacity to process information that is an amalgamate of ALL their senses, and can perceive and work with ideas and energies that are not sensed with the bodily senses. We do this every day, in a practical sense when we use remote controls, wireless phones, or cook with microwave ovens, among other things. These common items use ‘energies’ that cannot be easily seen or sensed; yet we have managed to harness them to work for us.

But what about things like dreams, hunches, or visions? Where does that ‘cold spot’ in the den fit in, or the dowsers working rods or pendulums? How can someone ‘feel’ invisible energies with their hands, or ‘see’ colors around a person? Or ‘speak’ with spirits around them?

All of these capabilities are available to all people. Some are better at certain talents than others- these capabilities are no different than the skills needed to play a musical instrument or create a work of art. They lie dormant within us all, and only need a course of both unlearning and learning to reveal them and put them to work.

As children, we all had the capability to do what would be considered extraordinary things. Our perceptions were naked to the world around us, and we processed everything we sensed. We had imaginary friends, or saw monsters in the closet, or saw pretty lights around people. But as we grew older, we were taught that those things were make-believe, and that we were babies if we kept talking about them. So, through our cultural growth, we lost the ability to see or sense these things.

Now you have decided to take a Pagan path. And one of the ‘perks’ of being Pagan or Wiccan is the permission to utilize these talents. But guess what! They’re buried under years of neglect. You didn’t use them, so you lose them. And sadly, for the most part, this is true- there are some aspects of these talents that can never be recovered.

But that shouldn’t cause despair. Even though you might not be able to see the ‘monsters’ in your closet any more, you haven’t totally lost your capacity to utilize these talents. But it will take a lot of time, patience, and effort to get them back.

First, you have to unlearn your skepticism. The universe is a strange and wonderful place, and the stories of the various psychic phenomena would not persist if there wasn’t a grain of truth in there somewhere.

Next, you have to learn to hone your perceptions and tightly focus them on what you wish to see. A good teacher will teach you how to ground and center yourself, and create around you a sphere that will protect you and also reveal to you the more subtle energies. Learning to detect and work with these energies is a lot like learning how to hear a whisper in a noisy room. But it can be done, and the resulting shift in your perceptions is both educational and enlightening.

I was taught that everything in the universe is made out of energy, and that this energy operates at different frequencies. No thought goes unwasted, and all knowledge is available- if you have the right ‘receiver’ to detect it. There are no secrets in the universe, if you know how to listen, and what to listen for.

Here is an exercise that you can use to hone your sensing capabilities. It uses psychometry, a way of sensing the inner pattern of things by touching them. When you get some personal mail, before you open it, hold the envelope for a few moments with your mind clear. What you want to ‘feel’ for is: "Is this good news or bad news?" Don’t try to ‘force’ the answer- detach yourself from the answer- AND the question. What you are aiming for is that FIRST impression. Feel for it in your gut, or your emotions. Stick with the first impression, and do not try to rationalize it. Then open the letter. Keep a log of the results.

Another thing to exercise your senses is the ‘who is it’ game. First, turn off your Caller ID on the phone. Then, when it rings, ‘ask’ your Inner Knowing whom it might be. The person who is calling you is actively thinking about you- whether it is a stranger or a friend- tune in to that ‘frequency’. Then pick up the phone. Were you right? Log these, too. Gradually, you’ll see your accuracy improve. There are many variations of this exercise. In the days before Caller ID was everywhere, I used this talent to really blow friends’ minds. "HOW DID YOU KNOW IT WAS ME???" "Lucky guess?" I’d shrug- and grin to myself…right again! Now I use this talent to know when to log on to check my email- and again, nine times out of ten, it works. Try it!

I believe that the development of the subtle senses is very necessary for the development of anyone on even a remotely magickal path. If you don’t have an Inner Knowing, how will you know that you’re really talking to the Goddess, or properly creating and directing the energies you invoke during your rites? It would be like wanting to belong to a biking club- and not having a bike. And not having the ability to create and use a proper shield is like driving without a seatbelt- foolish.

There are plenty of good books out there with exercises that will help you to relearn and develop those gifts. Dowsing by rod or pendulum is a good one to start with. Cultivating a good teacher is also beneficial. Just remember this- these gifts are for you to use for the good of all- and to develop yourself. It is unethical to manipulate the weak and vulnerable- and some books actually have exercises to teach you how. Avoid them- manipulating others against their will can create a backlash that will harm you greatly. The Law of Return always works- for good or ill.

I believe that every aspiring Pagan should learn how to use these talents FIRST- then, truly- you will understand and see the real Magick in our world. Good luck, and Blessings Be.

1999 Lorie A. Johnson

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