Energy is all around us. It constitutes, pervades, and surrounds everything. In my opinion, the vast majority of us are born with some ability to sense and work with that energy. Among many magical practitioners, there is great emphasis placed on one’s ability to “see” energy. As a community, we tend to value and favor those who can “see” the energetic circle raised to protect those gathered and to contain the energy raised in the rite. We tend to seek out those who perceive the energetic universe in technicolor and hear the voices of deities and spirits are clearly as most humans hear other humans. The emphasis on “Sight”, in my experience, often breeds a sort of hierarchy among magical practitioners that can actually discourage those with less acute Sight from attempting to improve it. Instead, those who “don’t have it” rely heavily upon and edify those who do. This tendency can create a kind of mystique around certain people.
While I do believe that Sight, or perhaps better stated, energy perception is critically important for a person on this path, I think the mystique that it creates can be misleading to those who are just entering and who may have a Charmed view of what “Sight” is. In that same vein, as implied in the previous sentence, the use of terms like “Sight” obscures the fact that energetic perception can take many forms. I know many magical practitioners who “feel” energy in various ways; for example, as a temperature or pressure sensation. I know others who hear a hum or drone in the presence of large amounts of energy. Some see energy in their mind’s eye as colors, forms, and textures. The point is that energy perception is a sensory phenomenon and can take many forms. On a related note, oftentimes the voice of a deity or spirit will not be “audible” either literally or figuratively but instead will manifest as a stray thought, image, or idea that “pops” into your head “out of nowhere” with a life all its own, which you could say it technically has because it’s not your thought!
Does this mean every stray image out the corner of your eye, difficult to locate sound, or temperature shift is a message from the other side? No, not at all! But those sensory experiences can be a starting place for figuring out how you perceive energy. If you feel energy, go with it. Don’t discount it because it is not a lush array of colors in your mind’s eye. If you have a thought that seems animated by another being (within reason), go with it. Take it as the voice of a Being and investigate further. Read the tarot, scry, draw a rune, or whatever you do to confirm messages. Whatever you do, don’t ignore it just because it is not how some random magical person told you energy perception is “supposed” to be!
Furthermore, like most senses, our sensory acuity exists on a spectrum. You may not sense all energy types as well as others, also, some energy sources may be more difficult to grasp. This is actually no different than any other sense. Some folks can’t see green. Some folks can’t hear above or below a certain decibel level. Some folks are not as sensitive to cold or low pressures. The point is don’t downplay your ability, but in the same vein, don’t lament what you don’t have. Find a way to capitalize on what you do have. Know your blindspots and watch out for them when you navigate various energetic pathways. Also, I feel compelled to add that energy perception has to be cultivated. I think the vast majority of us have a baseline ability and that it can be strengthened with use.
I chose to write about this because I have struggled with my own ability to sense energy, make sense of my perceptions, and put them to good use. It has taken ages for me to learn to trust myself and my energetic perceptions. Sometimes I falter in my quest to trust myself more fully, but I am improving. I think that when we embrace energy sensation as something that is open to the vast majority of people on some level just like actual sight, hearing, taste, feeling, and smell, we realize that the mystique (not unlike the cake) is a lie!