Powering Up the Circle
by George D. Jackson
One of the problems I have become aware of in our community is the low level of power we raise in the circles we cast. I have noticed this mainly through listening to and reading a litany of complaints from various practitioners in several magickal paradigms. At first I thought perhaps this problem was just in these people’s perception, but after inquiries among some long-time magickal practitioners in the region, I have found that these people are not alone in this observation. I also found a number of our fellows out there seeking solutions.
Several reasons exist why we may be having difficulty in raising high levels of power within our circles. Sometimes, low power levels in public rituals are deliberate so as to shield neophytes from psychic overload. I have some reservations concerning this, as I was originally drawn to my magickal paradigm by feeling the power present in a series of semipublic circles.
Another significant reason for lack of power is that some of us come from the major religious paradigms where group activities were performed in a follow-the-leader type of approach and the magickal dynamics were never explained. The leader of these activities probably had some concept concerning the methods being used to unite consciousness, but he sure wasn’t going to call them magickal. Also, any power that was raised was directed to the benefit of the religious organization involved. The congregation, powerwise, was left in a dead zone and just accepted that as normal. Because people learn from experience and many magick users go from major religions to being solitary practitioners, attendance of public magickal rituals with low power levels was not remarked on.
Another reason why there are difficulties in raising power in the group environment is connected to the personal psychological defense screens that most of us have installed in our individual subconscious minds over the course of our lives. These are necessary for us to go on with our day-to-day lives without being overwhelmed by outside forces. However, many of us don’t know how to lower these screens when the need comes about. The following is an exercise that can give the individual magick user the ability to drop her or his screens at Will when the circumstances warrant it.
This exercise includes a method used in the Huna (Hawaiian magick) paradigm. It involves using a pendulum to talk to your “basic self,” otherwise known as your subconscious mind. The Huna approach considers an individual as a gestalt entity consisting of three selves existing in the physical body. The middle self is the conscious analytical mind, tasked with aiding the evolution of the basic self as well as its own; the high and basic selves are both contained in the collective unconscious. The high self is the most evolved and is the source of individual power; the basic self is primal and is the source of emotion, as well as storing all memory, processing environmental items into energy and running the autonomic nervous system. It is also the conduit between the high and middle self, and as such it needs to be educated.
The materials needed for this exercise are a pendulum and a piece of paper with a circle drawn on it and a cross within the circle. The first thing one needs to do is set up the parameters of the operation. Suspending the pendulum over the center of the circle by finger and thumb, you tell your basic self that forward and back is “yes” and side to side is “no.” Around the circle is “I don’t know.” Now ask your subconscious to show you yes, no and I don’t know.
Once this agreement is set in place, you are ready to proceed. Holding the pendulum over the circle, you tell your basic self to lower its barriers and allow outside energy to flow through you. You then ask your subconscious if it understands this command and will comply. When it answers “yes,” reward it by telling it how much you approve of this decision.
This exercise is designed to be performed by two or more people who have learned to drop their barriers. The people involved join hands and command their basic selves to drop their barriers and allow the energy flow. Power flows into the right hand and out of the left. It should be cycled at least three times or until one can feel the tingle or surge passing through them. Practitioners can then direct the accumulated power into the center of the group and use it to perform operations agreed on before the gestalt (the whole that is greater than the sum of the parts) was formed. Alternatively, the power can be directed outward to form a cone of power. Once the group’s goals are accomplished, be sure to ground the power and raise the pre-existing personal barriers. This kind of work is a temporary magickal bonding. If it is not dissolved at the end of the ritual, you are going to leave with more than you planned on.
Like most worthwhile things, this exercise takes a period of practice. Once it becomes commonly used, it becomes second nature. One thing it does is allow the user to rate the levels of energy in any circle the user participates in. When among close associates, it allows for a lot of fine-tuning. I use this in my “Path of the Adept” magick course, and my students are strong!