Sage has been a witch for 25 years. She enjoys writing informative articles to teach others the craft of the wise.
Do Witches Have to Meditate?
There are those young and new to witchcraft who take to meditation quite quickly and naturally, and others who find themselves floundering with it for years. Meditation seems to be one of those "love it or hate it" things. Some have trouble getting into or staying in the proper state of mind. For others, it's a matter of discipline—they mean to meditate more often but never seem to establish it as part of the daily routine. Because they only do it sporadically, they're not reaping many benefits—and since they're not reaping noticeable benefits right away, they're less motivated to stick to a routine. Finally, others find it a flat-out bore and dread doing it.
A lot of young ones who are new to witchcraft and eager to get started will ask outright—do I really need to meditate?
In my opinion, meditation is part of the foundation for learning to practice the craft. I won't go as far as to say you can't practice witchcraft without it—there are certainly those who do let meditation slip or fall by the wayside. But to me, a witch not wanting to meditate is like an athlete who doesn't want to do conditioning exercises. No matter how well you do, you could have done better had you not skipped the simple, basic exercises that enhance your overall function and performance. No matter how much raw talent was present, I've never known a student of the craft who did not benefit and improve with meditation. Not only that, but even among long-time practitioners a 'growth spurt' in craft abilities is usually following or accompanied by achieving deeper, advanced levels of meditation.
If You Struggle
What's the Problem With Meditation?
I can understand how it simply turns some people off, particularly people raised in modern Western societies. Thanks to being bombarded with increasingly busy lifestyles, electronic media, advertising, instant gratification, varied responsibilities, and having the luxury of so many choices, most of us find it difficult to quiet the mind for long. Our minds tend to race around like rambunctious children let loose in a shopping mall at Christmas time after too much candy. We think ahead, we relive the past, we envision alternate realities (the 'what if' thinking). We think about the things we want, the things we don't want, the things we'll probably never have. We strategize and restrategize when plans fall through, we multitask, we worry about being entertained and being bored rather than just accepting things for what they are.
The mind races forwards, backward and sideways so often that somewhere along the way we stopped being able to just live in the moment. In our hurried lives, we no longer promote the value of inner stillness. This is why many people struggle with meditation so much and find it such a turn-off.
Another problem with meditation is that there is just a lot of bad advice and anecdotes to be found. For example, the "clear your mind" myth frustrates those who think they need to literally turn off their brains. This is a misconception, yet a lot of people trying to meditate get tripped up right from the start because they find themselves unable to do this.
Other people hear anecdotes about astral projection and visions, and because they don't have these profound experiences every time out of the gate, they get discouraged. The mundane equivalent of this would be expecting every coffee break to be like an exotic vacation. While these experiences are indeed highly spiritual and moving, they are not the goal of everyday meditation. Further, for most people, they are something that comes in time—you should not go into it with the expectation that you'll have major, life-altering experiences.
How Meditation Helps in Witchcraft
Understanding the benefits of a daily meditation regime might motivate you to fit it into your schedule and persist, even if you're not entirely thrilled about doing it. Overall, meditation is a very healthy practice for just about anyone. It's known to help with alleviating stress, lowering blood pressure, easing depression, helping people deal with addiction or chronic pain and a host of other health benefits.
For the witch in particular, meditation helps:
- Train your mind to focus on a goal for extended periods. There's more to a magical working than muttering over candles and throwing around ingredients. The mind—the focus—is what actually makes it work.
- Teach you to alter your state of consciousness deliberately. The ideal state of mind for magical and psychic workings is the alpha state, in which your brain waves are between 8 and 12 cycles per second. It's this state of mind that falls somewhere between alert awakeness and sleep, in which we have greater access to the subconscious while still consciously in control.
- Increase sensitivity to energies. The alpha state—a light trance—is when the internal antenna is more tuned in and receptive to intuition and energies. This improves your ability to sense and raise energy.
- Teach you to compartmentalize thoughts and emotions so the ones you don't want won't pop up at the wrong times. When you're spell casting, you are projecting your will in the form of energy toward a goal. Imagine that energy like a laser—the more focused the beam, the more powerful it is. Self-doubt or emotions that are not conducive to that energy act like a diffuse. They weaken and scatter the energy you're trying to direct.
What Is Meditation, Really?
Meditation is a broad term that covers many practices and goals. But for daily meditations to improve the mind, the type you should focus on is mindful meditation. This is the ability to quiet your mind and simply live in the moment. It's a semi-hypnotic state in which you are relaxed yet alert, where you're able to find a place of inner calm and mental peace.
Meditation does not mean you make your mind a blank. You should not be slipping into blackness, or feeling like you've left reality. You do not zone out or go into a trance (well, you can-- but these would be advanced techniques and done deliberately; it's not something you should strive for on a daily basis, and you certainly shouldn't be afraid of losing consciousness against your will).
Meditation is actually a heightened state of awareness. You shouldn't be trying to do anything, because that defeats the purpose of meditation. Meditation is a state of being, not of doing. Trying is doing; you have to learn to just 'be;. You bring your attention to your state of mind and your relationship to your environment in the now. This is done in a detached way, without trying to force or guide your thoughts, without getting wrapped up in them and without letting them drag your attention away from the moment.
It doesn't take a lot to get started—just giving it a go for five minutes per day can get you into the habit and comfortable with the practice. You can increase the length of your sessions gradually, and improved ability to enter and maintain a meditative state comes with practice.
If you're a beginner to The Craft, consider meditation part of your daily conditioning exercises—to condition your mind. You'll find that once you do begin practicing energy and spell work that you're ahead of the game. Even if you've been practicing the Craft for a while now but have not given much attention to your meditations, you can renew your commitment and give it a try—don't be surprised if you find your abilities get a boost.
Want to Learn How to Meditate?
Here is an article I wrote on beginning meditation:
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on September 24, 2020:
Yes, that sounds like a light Alpha state. As I said we go in and out of it all day, most people just don't know what to call it. Sorry it took so long to get an answer.
CrayolaSheep on April 03, 2020:
Pardon me, I'd like to ask something about the Alpha state. You mention it as being in tune with your subconcious whilst still in control on the concious. Usually, I tend to lose myself in my own thought mulling over an idea and my gaze is usually lost when I do that, something pointed out by my family. It can happen just about anytime and I've grown used to it as well, even when eating I lose my sight and enter into my own thoughts but, sometimes my mom will try to take my food as a joke, only for me to move my arm up and take her hand and then come back into being into the outside world just to look at her and say how that won't work.
Would that be considered the Alpha state?
Angie from Cusseta on June 09, 2019:
Hey. I .have always had certain gifts but am just finishing up on ALOT of reading and I cannot find the article on thanking a tree for taking a branch. Could you help me with that please?
Angrysockmonkey on February 23, 2019:
I am wondering if the witches of old...the old craft, meditate?
awaiting on December 30, 2018:
i have had 3 times almost fallen asleep standing and still working. not sure i would call it sleeping. a person i work with says in drifting and i need to learn to fine tune this ability. any clues how i should do this.
prophet michael on May 30, 2018:
i nee magical power
Nia on May 15, 2018:
I have been doing witchcraft for about 3 years now and my god mother is a witch and she teaches me and she said we have to have a clear mind and meditate but i never really got in to it
Victor Benedict on December 06, 2017:
is this spell working or just a gimmick..
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on October 02, 2017:
Awesome, thank you for letting me know!
Mary Ruff-Bloedoo on September 27, 2017:
Leaning so much!
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on July 21, 2017:
You're welcome, and thanks so much for your comment!
QuittyQuat on July 21, 2017:
Thank you again for a wonderful article and your awesome guidance! :-)
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on October 28, 2016:
Meditation is the key to mental discipline for many different spiritual pursuits. So yes, I would meditate.
Xavier DAH from Utah on October 27, 2016:
i can do astral projection but i can't control when it happens what do i do? meditate or something else
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on December 29, 2013:
Old Witchcraft, so good to see you! I've missed you and was so sad to see you 'closed up shop', so to speak. I agree, I've always seen it like eating my veggies. It's good for you and the benefits make it worth it.Too many people have no patience for things anymore, they want to enjoy it or want instant results, it's hard to appreciate something that has long-term benefits but that you don't feel like it's paying off right at the moment. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I hope to see you around more!
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on December 29, 2013:
Thanks so much Carolyn, I appreciate your votes.
OldWitchcraft from The Atmosphere on December 28, 2013:
Yes, anyone interested in actually using witchcraft needs to be able to do different types of meditation. It's not really fun, in and of itself, but the results are amazing at times and that part is fun.
Carolyn Emerick on December 28, 2013:
This was an interesting read. Upvoted :-)
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on December 28, 2013:
Thank you Mystic. I find it easy to fall out of and harder to get back into. My solution is to try not to fall out of it, lol. But then life happens and what can you do? It's always well worth the effort, particularly for beginners. Thanks for commenting. :-)
MysticMoonlight on December 28, 2013:
Great, great hub, Sage. Wonderful advice. I'm one of those that want to meditate more often but fail to make the time. It does have absolute wonderful benefits that I could certainly put to good use. Perhaps this is a resolution I need to pay mind to this coming year! :)