There are many energies used in ritual and magick to accomplish different tasks. Most are very subtle and work purely on the Mental and Etheric levels, but there are some that can have a very real effect on the physical plane. In their most dramatic form they may be the power behind poltergeists and the shorting out of electrical equipment when people experience strong emotions. These are the ones that Craft and practitioners of other Pagan paths learn to use first, both as a ‘confidence builder’ and as a way of developing visualization, sensitivity, and concentration skills.
One of the first exercises I learned in Mexico from my friends at school was the needle and pyramid exercise. Take a square of medium weight paper 2-3 inches square and fold it diagonally from corner to corner twice so you end up with a flattened pyramid. Then take a needle, force the eye end into a cork, and balance the folded paper on the point where the folds cross with the corners pointing downward. Place the whole thing on a table in front of you and place your hands, slightly cupped, either side of it about an inch or so away from the paper and concentrate on it revolving in one direction.
After a few times where the paper spins in both directions you can usually get it to spin consistently in the direction you select. When I first started it took about three weeks of daily practice to get it to spin in one direction, stop, and spin the other way. We used quite large corks so you may have to put the apparatus on an inverted drinking glass to make sure it has free movement. When your skill gets to this level you can cover the device with a bell jar, or large clear sweet bottle, to eliminate any air currents or affecting the papers’ direction by unconsciously breathing on it
One of my friends was studying with an esoteric order which was either the Mexican branch of the Golden Dawn, or a similar organization. One of their exercises was to take a drinking straw, cut it in half, and make a small hole in the centre of one of the pieces. We used the sun focussed through a magnifying lens, or a hot piece of wire, so as not to distort the straw by force. Then either mount it on the cork or, as he did, on a needle pushed through the centre of a piece of cardboard which was marked out like a clock with the numbers one to twelve.
This was a multi functional tool. If you placed one hand over the straw it would turn in one direction, and if you placed your other hand over it the straw would revolve the other way. Then if you put it out of reach and just looked at it and concentrated, willing energy out of your eyes a la ‘Superman’ it would turn one direction and then the other. Interestingly the straw was a lot harder to make turn in a complete circle than the paper.
The secret of both these devices is the lack of friction that the biological energy has to overcome, The other day I balanced a piece of paper folded as described on the point of my Atheme to illustrate this to someone at work and it worked just as well as the needle as it has a very fine point. Other magickal practitioners in Mexico City , such as the local Brujos (Wizards), used other methods bearing the same principle in mind. A needle floating in a bowl of water, or even a directional compass needle were used as training tools in much the same way as the folded paper and straw were for us.
Once you have developed these skills to a degree you can start to use them in other situations. Some of our tricks included causing lightbulbs to ‘blow’ through concentration – basically using our bioelectrical energy to make the filament overheat and ‘burn out’ – and causing cars to stall by concentrating on the spark plugs not working. Sadly we never achieved the stuff you see on TV or film of sending kitchen utensils and larger items flying through the air by merely willing it. The best we could do was cause wind chimes and baby crib mobiles to move as we willed. Victor, the esoteric order guy, could also cause water to boil faster than usual. A useful skill, because the high altitude of Mexico City made boiling water for drinks or cooking take much longer than at lower altitudes.
A side effect of these skills was that random events of an electrical nature would occur when we were stressed or feeling an intense emotion. Usually it was an electrical item going wrong; such as the television picture losing vertical or horizontal hold, or the house burglar alarm going off even when it was switched off. The other week I got stressed when I was at the loading bay talking to a college about the planned redundancy cuts at work and all his van doors locked at once with his keys still in the van! It’s a good job the drivers’ side window was open or it could have been difficult to explain to our manager how that had happened.
We found that regular meditation, or keeping a stone or charm in our pockets and channelling this feeling/energy into that was the best way of dealing with that problem. A small piece of marble stone seemed to be the most effective way of capturing this energy and storing it for future use. The energy captured was particularly potent when released in spells or incorporated into talismans.