Tag Archives: What’s in the Box?

Getting the Sight

Vintage Eye

Getting the Sight.  It’s a bit like getting your period.  Those of us who don’t have it, want it.  Those of us who do have it, find it’s messy and makes other folks uncomfortable when we try to talk about it.

My take on it all may not align with other folks’ views.  And that’s okay.  As with all Things Magic ™, even wildly different takes can all be “right,” and you should winnow out what works for you.  Find your own truth; I’ll be cheering you on.

Given that, here are my thoughts on it:  I think the potential for the Sight is within each and every one of us.

In some, it’s a full-blown ability that leads us around by the nose, and if we’re not careful we’re self-medicating with sex, booze and rock and roll.  Or spending our time in institutions.

Others of us listened and believed it when our parents said there is no “monster” under the bed.  As kids, we’re designed to learn and fit in.  So over time (and with a thick enough application of logic), we’re able to stuff the ability down into a box and explain it away.  It’s the miracle of cognitive dissonance – when we see something we can’t explain, we rationalize it into something believable.  And the more uncomfortable it makes us, the harder our brains will work to “fix it.”

So if you want to coax the Sight out and use it comfortably, it may take some work.  Here are some things that I’ve seen help:

1)      Change your filters.  Practice accepting what you see at face value, and being okay with that.  For this, I think the best exercise ever is Phil Hines’ What’s in the Box.”  You’ll have to scroll down to see the exercise — it’s under the heading Psychic Sensitivity Exercises.

2)      Recognize what stands out.  Our monkey-selves are programmed to recognize patterns, and to see when “one of these things is not like the others.”  It works when we’re learning to read, and it can work for you in this instance, too.

Start by making some type of acknowledgement every time you see something “significant.”  Don’t try to rationalize what significant is; just go with your gut instinct.  I developed the habit of making the sign of the mano fico with my hand, and kissing my knuckle whenever I saw something significant.  The first few days I was kissing my hand constantly.  If I asked myself “is that significant?”  then the very act of asking made it so, and I kissed my hand.  After a few days, things settled out, and my subconscious self got better at separating the wheat from the chaff.

3)      Sharpen your focus.  Not only do you want to See, you want to See clearly.  Jason Miller of Strategic Sorcery is your friend here.  Practice his exercise on folding reality (pick up at the paragraph beginning, “in this exercise you should face a wide vista”).

4)       Install some controls.  Once you start Seeing things, you’ll probably wish the Sight came with an on/off switch.  Good idea!  Better install one.

What has worked for me is to think of my third eye as being the center where the Sight comes from, and to think of it as having a dimmer switch – like the ones on light fixtures.

Dimmer switch

I can dial it up for maximum “on-ness,” down for “off,” or anywhere in between.  (Which can be a great relief on those nights when you really don’t want to See One. More. Thing.)  I’ll readily admit, this sounds über goofy, but thinking about it like that, and practicing turning it up and down helped me get a handle on things when I really wanted one.  Who am I to argue with success?

Maybe it will help to get a refresher on your third eye:

The third eye – also known as the pineal gland – is nestled between the right and left lobes of your brain.  You can see it as the little red dot in the spinning skull above.  (Many thanks to Anatomography, as maintained by Life Science Databases(LSDB), and to Wikipedia Commons for making this image available for use here.)

If you put your finger on your forehead between and slightly above your eyebrows, you can imagine the pineal gland in your brain behind your finger.  Or you can imagine it peeking out the top of your head, from between the two halves of your brain.  Both are right.  The little bugger is actually light-sensitive, so it’s pretty logical to call it a third eye.  And I swear, if you think about it just right, you can make it wink.  (No, really.  Although no telling who or what you’d attract when doing it!)

Now that you’ve been reminded where your third eye is, with practice you should be able to work out how to turn the “volume” up and down for yourself.

5)      Make some breathing space.  Sometimes (and by this, I really mean Some Times of the Year) things get a little busy, and it’s hard not to See stuff, and you may really just want a little peace from it all.  So remember you can make yourself a little breathing space.  Here are some of good go-tos:

– For pulling out all the stops, Paul Hume’s Witches’ Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is classic.  It’s his adaptation of the Golden Dawn’s LBRP, using deities rather than archangels.   This makes a lovely clearing.  Please note, however, that if it works for you the way it does for me, you’ll have to come to terms with Things,  their noses pressed against the boundaries, looking in at you.

– The inestimable Phil Hines includes a simple but beautiful clearing in his discussion of banishing rituals/centering.

– Scylla at Root and Rock, has a good, Carmina Gaedelica-inspired Curse against the Evil Eye (and while what we’re dealing with here isn’t the evil eye,  this curse will clear the space).  While I haven’t used the whole of it, I often — with great satisfaction — use the end bit of it, which I pare down to:

I subdue thee  (mano cornuto, horns up)

I supress thee (mano fico, fig down)

I banish thee (flip the bird)

flip the bird

The options truly are endless.  Smudge, shake your fist, draw a banishing pentagram, whatever works best for you.

As I mentioned earlier, these are all things I’ve seen work, but by no means the only things that would.  If something else has worked well for you and you’d like to share it — or share your experiences in general –please feel free to put them in a comment.  Your thoughts may help others!

All of this addresses how get the Sight, but not what to do with it once you’ve got it.  That’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, and I leave it to each of you to chart your own course.   A word of warning:  you would do well to be wary of all strangers, be they Worldly, or Otherworldly.  So my advice is to:

–          Be courteous.

–          Be careful of what you offer or take.

–          Did I mention be courteous?

In the next post, I’ll talk about some commonalities of the Sight, as collected from a small group of folks over the years.  Until then, best of wishes to you all on getting your Sight!




Filed under Crooks and Straights

Catch my drift

For the past few weeks I’ve been traipsing down a rabbit hole.   I’m sure you’ve all done this.  You find a fascinating concept, which leads you to another, and still another.  At some point in your happy flight you look up to find you’re perched on a tiny little branch, so far from your starting point that you can’t even see it.

Which is pretty appropriate in this case, since my seed subject was dérive (pronounced “day-REEV”), from the French dériver, meaning to drift.  Usually, the term is applied to a specific, aimless walk of discovery, and touches on how cities and their components attract, repel and affect the emotions of pedestrians.

However, after reading an article on “The Drift: Using a Hoodoo Method in Traditional Sorcery,” by Jongiorgi Enos in The Crooked Path Journal, I recognize that drifting is something most of us have done, perhaps even unconsciously, in a magical context.

In his article, Jongiori Enos recommends using the Drift to locate magical ingredients in our own surroundings, which are then imbued with the resonance of the journey taken to find them, and filled with personal meaning (as opposed to referring to someone else’s correspondence table, and then buying ingredients).  As an added bonus, the act of Drifting builds a stronger connection between witch and working environment. 

Sounds excellent, right?  So, after working with it for a while, here’s my personal primer for Drifting:

Pick your starting point.  If you’re looking for a lost article, start where you think it might be.  If you’re looking for magical ingredients, you could start at the sidewalk by your front door, the wild countryside, or downtown.  You pick.

Center and ground yourself, then let yourself enter a light trance state.  Let your boundaries thin a bit and your energy flow outward to interact with the seen and unseen environment around you.  Exchange some of your energy with that environment — in much the same way you would with a hug — energy exchange with a small “e.”  Wait for a feeling that Something is aware of you, as though you’re being watched.

Vocally or silently, make a clear statement of what you want to find.  Use all your senses to describe it, and engage your emotions for why you need to find it.  This is obviously easier if you’re looking for a lost item you’re familiar with, but just do your best.  This process becomes cleaner as your rapport with the spirits of place develops.

Hold that picture for several breaths, then let it go and wait several breaths for a response.  It could be “No” (or even “Hell no.”)  It could be “Ok, maybe.”  If you’ve done this enough times to develop relationships with the spirits of place, they maybe happy to see you and glad to help.

If you get a non-negative response, disconnect your thinking mind and start walking.  Walk about aimlessly until a course correction or place to check pops into your head.  Do this  without argument or rationalization

If you’ve every danced while someone else leads, the sensation will be familiar to you.  You can follow lead and dance only if you don’t think about it.  If you’re having trouble dancing, it helps to stand closer.  If you’re having trouble Drifting, relax and thin out your filter a bit.  Soften your gaze; items that pop into your consicousness can be considered meaningful to your Drift.  If you’re not sure, go with your very first impression; it will be the right one.  If you’re having trouble with that, do the psychic sensitivity exercise What’s in the Box? for a few days, before trying another Drift.

If you’re looking for your own lost item, you’ll know it when you see it.  If you’re looking for a magical ingredient, it should feel like a bell going off;  a feeling of recognition that makes no logical sense.  If in doubt, try turning away from the object.  Do you find yourself drawn back to it again?  And again?  If so, that’s it.

When you’ve reached the item:  Take it up formally.  Thank the spirit(s) formally.  Ask if there’s something you can do in return.  Wait to hear what that may be.  Often I get a sense of confusion at this point, as if the spirit isn’t sure what I’m able to offer.  So I usually run through the senses — Would you like something with a specific taste?  A certain smell?  Something that looks shiny or pretty?  That sounds a certain way, or has a specific texture?  That has a certain magical resonance to it?

Be polite, but use your common sense.  If an offering’s suggested that gives you pause, politely answer “I cannot offer that at this time” and keep scrolling.  Apply some common sense and basic psychic hygiene — generally if it’s not safe behavior to engage in with a complete stranger, then it’s not safe behavior to engage in with a strange spirit.

With your offering, you’re reaching for a sense of balance and closure, just like the leave-taking between  potential friends.  When you make your offering, do it formally — identify who it’s for and why, identify what it is and why it’s a good offering.  For instance:

          Spirits who have helped me find my lost keys,
          Who heard my plea and answered my call,
          I light this sweet smelling incense for you.
          May its fragrance please you,
          And honor the time and work we shared.
          May there be peace between us.


If you work with this particular spirit often, your relationship, just as your knowledge of  it, will develop.  Your formal offering may reflect that, such as:

          Leaping One.  You of shadows coat and quick, graceful movement.
          You who are curious and clever to the ways of this place.
          You who came to my aid when I asked,
          And guided me to these lost keys,
          I give you this raw milk with honey, for your pleasure and health.
          May it strengthen our ties.
          May there be friendship between us.


I hope your experiences with Drifting are helpful.  Please, feel free to share.


Filed under Crooks and Straights