(Maat's note: This is used in many traditions.)
The energy and magical powers at work in Wicca are real. They aren't of some astral plane. They're within the Earth and our selves. They maintain life. We daily deplete our store of energy and replenish it through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the powers that stream down from the Sun and Moon.
Know that this power is physical. Yes, it's mysterious, but only because so few investigate it in magical ways. Following are some exercises to help you do just that.
Calm yourself. Breathe deeply. Rub your palms together for twenty seconds. Start slowly and rub faster and faster. Feel your muscles tense. Feel your palms grow warm. Then, suddenly, stop and hold your palms about two inches from each other. Feel them tingling: That's a manifestation of power. By rubbing your palms together and using the muscles in your arms and shoulders you're raising energy - magical power. It's flowing out from your palms as you hold them apart.
If you don't feel anything, practice this once or twice a day until you have success. Remember, don't force yourself to feel the power. Trying harder won't accomplish anything. Relax and allow yourself to feel what's been there all the time.
After you've actually sensed this energy, begin to fashion it into shapes. Use your visualization to do this. Directly after rubbing your hands, while they're still tingling, visualize jolts of energy - perhaps electric blue or purple - passing from your right (projective) palm to left (receptive) palm. If you're left-handed, reverse the directions. *Note- Remember the science fiction and fantasy movies you've seen wherein a magician sends power from his or her hands? Remember what it looked like in cinematic form? If you wish, use a similar image to visualize personal power streaming from your palms. Though that was just special effects this, of course, is real, and we can use this picture to actually send out that power.
Now envision this energy slowly swirling in a clockwise direction between your palms. Form it into a ball of glowing, pulsating magical energy. See its dimensions, its colors. Feel its force and heat in your palms. This is a bit of energy which you've released from your body. There's nothing supernatural about it. Cup your hands around the ball. Make it grow or decrease in size through your visualization. Finally push it into your stomach and absorb it back into your system.
This is not only great fun but is a valuable magical learning experience. When you've mastered the art of energy spheres, go on to feel energy fields.
Sit or stand before any plant. Herbs and plants in bloom seem to work best. In a pinch, cut flowers can be used as well.
Breathe deeply for a few moments and clear your thoughts. Hold your receptive (left) palm a few inches above the plant. Pinpoint your consciousness to your palm. Do you feel a dull throbbing, a hum, a wave of heat, or simply a shift in the energies within your palm? Do you feel the inner force of the plant?
If so, good - you've felt energy. After you've felt energy. After you've accomplished this, try sensing the energies of stones and crystals. Place a quartz crystal, Stretch out with your feelings and become aware of the non-visible but viable energies that pulsate within the crystal.
All natural objects, remember, are manifestations of divine energy. With practice we can feel the power that resides within them.
If you have difficulty feeling these powers, rub your palms lightly together to sensitize them and try again.
This energy is the same power we're filled with when we're angry, nervous, terrified, joyous or sexually aroused. It's the energy used in magic, whether we pull it from ourselves or channel it from the Goddess and God, plants, stones and other objects. It is the stuff of creation which we utilize in magic.
Now that you've felt the power, use visualization to move it around. You needn't rub your palms together to raise energy - you can do this simply by concentrating on doing so. One of the easiest methods is to tighten up the muscles - tense your body. This raises energy, which is why we must relax in meditation. Meditation lowers our energy and allows us to drift from this world.
When you feel yourself bursting with power, hold out your right (projective) hand and direct energy from your body, through your arm and out your fingers. Use your visualization. Really see and feel it streaming out.
For practice, stand in your home. Build the power within you. Direct it into each room, visualizing it sinking into the cracks and walls and around doors and windows. You're not creating a psychic burglar alarm but a magical protectant, so visualize the energy forming an impenetrable barrier across which no negativity or intruders ca cross.
After "sealing" the house, halt the flow of energy. You can do this by visualizing it stopping and by shaking your hand. Sense your protective-powered energy resting within the walls. A secure, safe feeling should flood through you as you stand within your now guarded home. Yes, you've done this with your mind, but also with power. Energy is real, and your ability to manipulate energy determines the effectiveness of your circle and rituals.
Work with feeling and directing the power daily. Make this a sort of magical play until you reach the point where you won't have to stop and think, "Can I do it" Can I raise the power?"
You'll know you can.
~ Scott Cunningham, from "Wicca A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner"