When you perform magick you may feel nothing at all. It can be quite disconcerting to find that – despite your preparations and practice – you emerge from the ritual without feeling that anything supernatural happened at all. If it feels so mundane, how can it be magickal? Can it really work if you don’t feel that anything unusual has occurred? And if you do experience something supernatural –such as a flash of light or a strange sound – is that something to be afraid of?
Some magickal workers go through their entire lives without sensing much more than a mild shiver down the spine. Others see the glare of eternity and the faces of angels. More commonly, occultists feel slight changes in the temperature or atmosphere. The presence of supernatural effects seems to have no bearing on your results. I’ve known occultists who sense almost nothing happening, and they still get excellent results.
Unless I’m directly evoking an entity, I rarely feel much more than a slight shift in the atmosphere, and yet my magick is effective almost all of the time. Equally, there were times when I was dabbling with occult techniques that led to a lot of supernatural effects, and although the experiences were dramatic, the results were no better than when I worked with calmer methods. The strange effects were seemingly incidental.
The supernatural experience seems to be a curiosity at best. For some people, it has the power to improve their faith in magick. If you’re completely new to magic, and you feel the flutter of an angel’s wing, or sense a calm presence watching over your ritual, it can wake you up to the absolute reality of the magick you’ve taken into your life. Some people long for these supernatural experiences because they can reinforce the perception that reality is far more malleable than the mainstream would have us believe.
Others see the supernatural as more of a side-effect, which is usually benign, but occasionally inconvenient. The most commonly reported side effects are:
A drowsiness or tiredness that occurs immediately after performing a ritual. For some it happens every time they do magick. For others it’s occasional, and in some cases it only happens when working with particular entities. This is a harmless side-effect, but one that can be inconvenient because you may feel a strong urge to sleep when you become this drowsy. If so, plan your magick to coincide with your need for some post-ritual shut-eye.
Some occultists insist that drowsiness is brought about because the ritual has drained you, but I doubt that is the case. (If you do feel consistently drained, the situation is easily remedied by using the Light From The Dark ritual from Magickal Riches.) I’ve found that this sort of drowsiness usually occurs because the ritual has been either stimulating or calming, and the aftermath of either state can be a luxurious relaxation. It’s as though the ritual has taken you to a place where you are fully yourself, and all the stresses of the world fall away. When that happens, it’s natural to feel drowsy.
There are also times when this sort of drowsiness occurs for no obvious reason. I’ve heard countless theories about vibrations and energies, but the truth is that nobody knows the actual cause. What matters is that this drowsiness rarely lasts for long, and does not affect results. Occasionally, people report utter exhaustion when performing rituals. In those cases, it’s worth ensuring that you’re using some form of Magickal Protection, to ensure that nothing is interfering with your workings.
A Change in Temperature
It is quite common to sense the room heat up or cool down during a ritual. This can be quite alarming, and causes some people to assume that they’re losing control of the ritual. Nothing could be further from the truth. A change in temperature is usually a sign that you’ve relaxed into the magick, or that a spirit is trying to make contact. Rather than getting scared or over-thrilled, it’s worth noting the effect with a curious gratitude for your magick, and then return your focus to the ritual itself.
When you’re sitting in a sealed room or apartment, and there’s a sudden breeze at a key moment in your ritual, you can be fairly sure that this is a supernatural event. When I feel this sort of contact, I try to enjoy the presence of the breeze, acknowledging it as a sign that the spirits are listening and responding.
A Change in Atmosphere
Sometimes there is a change in the atmosphere that can’t be attributed to anything physical. You simply know that things feel different. It can feel as though the magick has switched on and something is actually happening. The experience is so abstract that it’s difficult to describe, but as with all these side-effects, it is not harmful. At the most, it is a sense that you are getting into your magick or that the spirits are making themselves known.
The Sense of a Presence
In most rituals you are trying to contact an entity, or a host of entities, so it’s not surprising that you may sometimes sense a presence. In several of my books I point out that you aren’t just saying words, but you are saying words and names to the particular spirits. You aren’t speaking to empty air, but to spirits that you seek to contact. When you sense their presence, should you really be surprised?
The sense of a presence occurs in many ways. You may feel that you are being watched or that something is protecting you. You may sense a personality, or that a being of some kind is nearby. When you sense a presence, allow yourself to welcome the sensation, and the feeling may expand. If it does not, or even if it recedes completely, do not assume that the spirit has fled. Remember that in most cases, people feel nothing at all during a ritual.
When I call on Raziel, as outlined in several of my books (especially when using the ritual in Magickal Riches), I feel an unmistakable presence, but only for a few seconds. The sensation goes, but I know from experience that Raziel remains with me throughout the ritual.
Something In The Edge of Sight
It is quite common to see something out of the corner of your eye. You can’t be sure whether it was a shadow, light or shape, but you’re fairly certain that something was visible, and it wasn’t your cat! Sometimes, this experience is caused simply because you’re staring at a book, or focusing hard, but it can also be a supernatural effect.
The above experiences are reasonably common. More unusual supernatural effects include:
A Physical Touch
People report feeling the brush of feathers or a hand on their skin. In context, this is not as alarming as it may sound, and is often quite reassuring. (The conception of angels having wings is a relatively recent one, and yet occultists continue to perceive them as winged beings a lot of the time.)
A Change In The Lighting
Sunny rooms can darken and dark rooms can enflame with light that has no obvious source.
Sounds and Voices
If you sit alone in a quiet house you will hear lots of noises. If you perform a ritual in a quiet house you will hear those same noises, but you may assume they are being caused by something supernatural. Most of the time, these noises are ordinary in origin, but supernatural sounds can range from gentle knocks to spoken words and even choral sounds.
A Noticeable Scent
It’s always fascinating when you notice a distinctive scent appearing during particular ritual. If you are lucky enough to experience this, you may find that each spirit has a scent associated with it. These scents are usually quite floral, although you may also detect scents as diverse as ocean spray and hot iron.
What if you have none of these supernatural experiences? It doesn’t matter at all. Magick is about getting results. Experiencing the supernatural is not a requirement. You can get the best possible results without sensing even the slightest hint of magick, when you follow the instructions as written. But if you are lucky enough to sense something that is out of the ordinary, try to enjoy the feeling rather than being afraid. If you are open to these sensations, you will be rewarded with more.