Clearing and releasing of excess energy is extremely important. It's important to do this before a magical working so that your energy will flow freely. It's important to do after a magical working so that the excess energy that may be left in your body doesn't cause you difficulties.
There are many signs of excess energy. Dizziness, lack of balance, feeling giddy or disoriented. Excess energy may also be marked by hyperactivity, inability to rest or sleep after a magical working. There are many ways that are used to clear and release excess energy. The following is a good method of clearing energy, and the one we recommend you start with. Use this technique before a magical or psychic working to release any tension or anxiety that you may be holding from the events of the day, so that your energy will flow freely. Use it after the working to release excess energy.
Put yourself into a comfortable position -it doesn't matter if it's sitting, kneeling, or laying down, but it should not be standing, as you may tend to loose your balance until you become proficient in the technique.
Visualize -that is to say imagine very strongly- a bright white light pouring down from above the top of your head and passing through your whole body, exiting through the soles of your feet. Release all tensions, anxieties, and stresses in your being, imagine them flowing out of you along with the white light. Let it all pour out of you. Imagine the excess energy as little bits of darkness being carried away with the light as it flows through you. When the last little bits of darkness are gone, let the light stop coming down, and let the last of it flow out of you.
Another version of this uses the image of water, rather than light. Some people find it easier, because the image is more familiar. So if you have difficulty using light, try this; Again, find a comfortable position. Imagine yourself lying in a river, with the water flowing through you, entering through the top of your head, and exiting through the soles of your feet. Imagine the excess energy as leaves and twigs and other detritus as might fall into a river. See the water carry these things away from you. Again, when the last is gone, you are clear.
There are many other ways to do this as well. Some people imagine themselves standing before a beautiful lake. They imagine themselves being very dirty. They walk into the lake, until the water completely covers their head. Then they see themselves walking back out of the water, completely clean. Other techniques visualize wind blowing through the person, to blow away the excess energy, or fire burning it away.
Still another technique is to imagine a long root, like the root of a tree, growing down from your root Chakra (your pelvic region, loosely speaking. You'll learn more about Chakras in a future lesson). Visualize this root going down into the Earth. If you are in doors, see the root going down through the floor and through any lower levels of the building, then entering into the Earth. Let the root going down deep into the Earth. Now imagine your excess energy running down through this root to Mother Earth. When you are done, draw the root back up into yourself.
One can also use physical objects to help release energy. One of the simplest ways to do this is to put a bit of salt on the tip of your tongue, or run the tips your fingers through some salt. This will have a natural grounding effect, eliminating the excess energy.
Another technique is to hold a piece of HAEMATITE or an item made out of LEAD. These substances too, have a natural grounding quality, and will have some effect by themselves. But to get the best effect, hold the object and imagine the excess energy draining into them from all parts of your body. When you are finished, hold the object under a stream of cold water (such as a bathroom faucet) and imagine white light pouring through the stone as the water washes it. This cleanses the stone.
In each case the excess energy returns to the Mother Goddess when you release it. She will recycle it, putting it to good use elsewhere. Some people like to say an affirmation when they release such as "I clear and release all excess energy." or "I release this energy to the Goddess, to be used elsewhere." This sets a clear intent, and can sometimes help to focus the process. It is not necessary to say the affirmation out loud.
All of these techniques are good, but we feel the white light, or else the water, are preferable because they tie into things you will learn in successive lessons, and as well as releasing excess energy they also exercise important psychic muscles that you will need later. But as in all things, the most important aspect is that it works well for you.
GOD OF THE MONTH "GENIUS - JUNO"
Paganism has many, many Deities. Each month GOD OF THE MONTH will give you information regarding a specific Deity, class of deities, or group of Deities. This is to help you build a knowledgeable overview of the concept of Deity, and to help you to interact with it.
In LESSON II you will learn more about how Wiccans view Deity. Once you understand that you will be better able to interact with the higher forms of Deity. Here in LESSON I however, we thought we'd start closer to home, with the Deity you may find easiest to understand; your own.
In LESSON I you are introduced to the concept of Higher Self. This is the part of you that lies above your conscious mind. It has access to knowledge and abilities that your conscious self does not, and it is not troubled by the fears and anxieties of the material world. Higher Self is an aspect of your soul, which is immortal and experiences many lifetimes. Higher Self is not a separate part of yourself, but rather a different level. The Higher Self is the part of you that becomes an ANCESTOR or a SPIRIT GUIDE after death, and it has that same ability now. It has knowledge and ability far beyond the conscious self, and it works always for the good -that is it's nature and it cannot do otherwise, not because it is prevented from doing so but simply because it would never occur to the Higher Self to do ill.
The Higher Self is also sometimes called the Spirit, but this can be confusing as the word spirit is used in so many ways by so many people.
Every person has a Higher Self, but most people have little contact with it. The conscious mind is separated from the Higher Self by the VEIL. One of the principle goals of a spiritual path is to part the Veil and see beyond it, accessing and using the powers of the Higher Self. This is what we do in magic.
The ancient Romans called the Higher Self the GENIUS (masc.) or JUNO (Fem.). They considered the Genius-Juno to be the Divine part of each individual. Every person was encouraged to be in touch with the Genius-Juno and to move in synch with it. In this way they believed that they would act from their best self, moving at one with the universe and learning the lessons life offered them with greater ease. They were encouraged to talk to their Genius-Juno and listen for it's answers, to honor it with offerings and ceremonies which served to strengthen their bond to it.
Every day the whole family would make offerings to the Genius of the head of the family, and sometimes also those of other important clan members, along with the gods who protected the household. In later times many families also made offerings to the Genius of the Emperor and sometimes the Juno of the Empress (This is the practice that horrified Christians described as "Worshipping the Emperor as a God"). By making these offerings they believed that they were helping the person to achieve a closer bond with their Higher Self, and thus to be a better person - because the Higher Self always acts to the good, and cannot by it's nature do otherwise.
The Higher Self is rather like what some people call a Guardian Angel, except that instead of being outside of you it's a part of you -a higher, better part with a clearer viewpoint. Every year on their birthday each member of the family would receive these same offerings to their Genius-Juno from the whole house. This, more than the mere marking of age, is what made the celebration of birthdays so important. It was the time to acknowledge the persons highest, best self and encourage their relationship with it.
Most people also made daily offerings to their Genius-Juno in private. People would tell the Genius-Juno what they wanted to do, or learn, or acquire, in the hope that the Genius-Juno would help with this. These offerings commonly included something to represent each of the four ELEMENTS; incense (for air), the flame of an oil lamp(for fire), wine (for water) and cakes (for earth).
There follows a modern version of the ritual for honoring the Genius-Juno, which you might like to try as an aid to attunement with your Higher Self. It is perhaps different from the ancient ritual in form, but not in function. In keeping with modern custom the term Higher Self is used, rather than Genius or Juno. This ritual can be done whenever you wish, especially on your birthday. You can do this ritual by itself, or in connection with other similar rituals you will learn to honor the Ancestors and the Deities.
RITUAL FOR THE GENIUS OR JUNO You will need;
*some incense (any kind that you particularly like)
*a candle or candles. Your favorite color or any color you like.
*a glass of water, juice, wine, or other beverage.
*a picture to represent your Higher Self. It can be a photograph or drawing of your self, or a drawing representing the qualities of your Higher Self.
Set up an ALTAR using these elements. The altar can be anywhere that you would like, and will be taken down when you are done (or left up to use again, if you wish). You can set it up any way that seems good to you.
Begin by Releasing. Let all of the tensions and anxieties of your day flow out of you, as is discussed in the EXERCISES section of this lesson.
Now light the candle(s). Focus on the flame and concentrate. Make your mind still, so that you are not thinking of anything else but what you are doing here and now.
Light the incense.
Now Say; "I invoke You, O Higher Self."
Now try to imagine the image of your Higher Self before you. You can imagine It looking just as you look in the flesh, or as you would like to look, or might see It as a cloud of beautiful white light. Or some other image may come to you -one that you haven't thought of yourself, but which the Higher Self Itself has chosen. It doesn't really matter because the Higher Self doesn't have a physical form, and the image is only to help you communicate with It better, by giving you something to focus on.
Speak to the Higher Self. These words are only to give you a basic form; you should speak from the heart.
"I attune to my Higher Self. I move in harmony with my Higher Self. I am at one with my Higher Self. Oh Higher Self, I ask You to help me to see and understand the lessons of my life, give me clarity and courage to learn them, and help me to learn them with ease and joy. I rededicate my self to the purposes for which I entered this life and ask You to guide me through them.*"
Lift up the glass. Imagine a bright white light shining from it, as though it were glowing.
"O Higher Self, I offer You this glass in token of the love I bear You."
Now drink the liquid. Imagine the white light entering you along with the liquid-spreading out through your chest and giving you a pleasant warmth. Put the glass back on the altar.
Now take a few minutes and meditate while the candles and incense burn, and the offering stands. Imagine your Higher Self strong and healthy and happy. Concentrate on It. In this way you are sending the Higher Self energy and strengthening your bond to your It.
When you have finished, say; "O Higher Self, I pray that You have enjoyed this offering. I give you my thanks and my love."
Now put out the incense and extinguish the candle. It is an ancient belief that you should never extinguish a candle by blowing on it -Rather you should use a candle snufter, pinch it out with your fingers, or extinguish it with the side of a blade. This is because blowing on the flame is considered disrespectful.
You should also wash the glass under cold running water and imagine white light flowing through it along with the water. Say "I cleanse you," and concentrate on the water and white light removing all excess energy from the glass.
*You can also use this invocation by itself, anytime you feel a need to attune to the Higher Self. LESSON II - COSMOLOGY
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