Proponents argue that meditation has upgraded their Craft or that they cannot imagine magic without it. Opposers claim that meditation doesn’t work for them, and they practice fine without it.
Both sides make valid points. For beginners, this debate is especially confusing, so they often ask content creators for their opinions. I’ve received dozens of messages asking about meditation.
Here’s what I think:
People Are Hyper-Focusing on One Specific Practice Instead of Observing the Bigger Picture.
What do I mean by that?
Meditation is one example of the broader magical practice that I will call trance work. Trance work is intentionally entering a trance to calm the mind and emotions.
Meditation is one method of trance work, and it does not work for everyone. To put this into perspective, imagine if someone argued that every magician must use tarot cards. In doing so, this hypothetical person is ignoring all other methods of divination: scrying, runes, pendulums, osteomancy, etc.
As a community, we would benefit more from discussing trance work instead of arguing about meditation specifically.
What’s the Point of Trance Work?
Trance work intentionally dulls the mind. Emotions will relax and stabilize; intrusive thoughts will occur less frequently. While in a trance, the magician is more susceptible to receiving messages from spirits and deities. Trances are especially important in spirit work. Witches use trances to communicate with spirits, receive visions, and hedgecross (travel to another spiritual domain).
If you’re familiar with psychology, this might remind you of mindfulness. I would say that mindfulness is the halfway point of trance work. Mindfulness practices (including meditation) assuage the body to calm a person’s emotions. Trance work doesn’t just calm people down–it also slows your thoughts.
To be clear, you can still think during a trance. And this state is temporary. But if you’ve ever performed magic and wondered, “Is that my thought, or a message from something?” then you might benefit from trance work.
Magicians use a trance to prevent themselves from interrupting their own experiences. It decelerates anxious thoughts and doubts and allows them to just experience the moment. After the spell/divination/hedgecrossing finishes, they can interpret what happens.
What Methods Can You Use Besides Meditation?
That being said, there are some mild hallucinogens and herbs that can contribute to a trance state. And smoke was not the only method. Let’s explore a few others:
Be VERY careful with essential oils; I’ve heard horror stories of people feeling delusional from soaking in wormwood oil or something similar. Always do your research beforehand.
Returning from a Trance
As long as you’re not using hard drugs, everyone’s trance goes away eventually. But it might take a little bit. Personally, I have found that deep trances for hedgecrossing take longer to end, and I might spend a while “coming back to the room.”
If you want to speed up this process, use a grounding technique. Any method of grounding will work, but here are some ideas.
What Did I Miss?
What do you think about meditation in magic? Is it necessary? Are there other methods of trance work that I forgot about? Please let me know in the comments below!
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