It’s a sadly common occurrence for new witches to feel like failures when they don’t get the same results as extremely experienced witches. Online, there can be pressure to over-dramatize experiences. In addition, a gold-standard tends to be formed–Astral travel with perfectly clear vision and awareness, tarot readings with amazing and clear messages, spirit contact with perfectly formatted sentences, and energy with such solid definition you could build a house out of it if you so desired.
Although these are the descriptions that get popular, the reality is that everyone experiences magic differently, and this is especially prevalent with energy work. Last month, talked to eight witches about how they experience energy. I have to say, I think these are pretty amazing to read!
These descriptions have been lightly edited for spelling, grammar, and clarity.
Ana is an eclectic witch who blogs about witchcraft on Tumblr. You can find her as thestillofwinter, or by clicking here. Here, Ana elegantly describes how she feels energy.
“To me, energy is like how you can feel a storm coming hours before the rain, or how you can sense a snowstorm before it starts. It’s something you can sense, but not exactly see. Take the energy in places of worship, for example – the very air in those spaces feels lighter, different, and “holy” if one believes in such a thing. Those are all types of energy to me!
Though there are tons more examples, those are the ones that resonate most clearly.”
Bailey is a baby witch who blogs about their witchy journey on Tumblr. You can find them as wishing-on-raindrops or by clicking here! Bailey’s description of how they feel energy in relation to other’s feelings is incredibly interesting!
“Energy work is weird because ‘Is this my own feelings? Or is this coming from somewhere?’ And to be honest, I don’t know if it’s my own feelings or its coming from somewhere. I can feel other people’s energy, though. As I get to know people better, they have a sort of space in my head, and when I’m around them, that space gets filled with feelings that are not mine.
It’s strongest with my boyfriend, but also weakest almost, because I am so used to it. He gets home and suddenly there is anger in a space in my head. He starts talking about his bad day, and I can feel my muscles tensing up like his are. Or he walks in and a corner of my head feels snuggled and safe, and I know he is feeling good about his day and being home and seeing me.
Its basically like feeling my own emotions, but they are contained somehow in a jar on a shelf in my mind. They are there, I know what’s going on, but they aren’t mine. It happens with my coworker at work. I walk past him and feel an anxiety that feels very foreign to how my own anxiety feels, and know that he’s upset about something. This makes it easier to know that it’s not my own feelings. With my boyfriend, I have known him since middle school and sometimes his emotions mix into mine or feel just as familiar as mine, so the feeling isn’t as jarring as someone new’s emotions.”
Briar is an eclectic witch who blogs about their interests (including witchcraft) on Tumblr. They also offer tarot and pendulum readings and write on Wattpad (including a book of shadows!). You can find them as the-parted-glass on Tumblr as well!
“Personally, I first learned that energy would feel strong and be a powerful feeling. For me however, it is more of a calming sensation than it is powerful. It’s satisfaction in feeling that you were successful in your intentions and your will came across through your actions, whether it be for motivation, confidence, or just to ground yourself and dispel what you need.”
Elo is a baby witch who blogs about green witchcraft on Tumblr. You can find them as witchypsoline for their magickal content, or as eloe-vera for their personal content. Elo describes a very peaceful energy, and I feel that Elo’s acceptance of their limitations and efforts to avoid frustration also apply to those trying out energy work for the first time.
“Energy feels like something fluid and warm flowing in my body, somehow it feels like pouring water on my skin slowly, and the more I can gather my energy the more I feel like I am floating. It always makes me feel at peace. I often struggle with energy because both my mental and physical health are unstable but I learnt to accept my limitations and to not get too frustrated when I’m feeling low.”
Katie is an eclectic witch with a specialty in sanguine, sex, and demonology/dark magick as well as specializing in tarot reading. They blog about witchcraft on Tumblr as moonofdivination. Katie also has a blog called The Witchy Things where they post a lot of informational content–such as spells and correspondences–as well as personal updates and tarot readings which you can check out by clicking here.
Energy for me can be felt in many different ways depending on the type of energy I’m working with. I was told when I first started delving into witchcraft and energy work how energy was supposed to feel, but I don’t agree with it.
If I’m working with clients (I’m a psychology major that does internships with convicted sex offenders and other criminals), I’m dealing with a lot of negative energy. The energy I get from them is very heavy and clingy. I often find that if I’m not grounded before my shift, or if I don’t cleanse myself whenever I get home, I get irritated faster and my own energy will be heavy and negative.
If I’m working with ritual preparation, I find the energy I’m working with is very light and flowing, and almost warm. If I’m doing blood spells or sex magick, the energy is incredibly… warm, intense/draining, but feels almost like electricity on my skin.
If I’m working with another’s energy (like in group rituals/celebrations or even in my BDSM practices), I find that my energy is able to mingle and flow with others; its very adaptable and always changing.
I remember my first “official” interaction with energy. It was my first full moon ritual with a whole new group of people I had never met before and it was before Yule. The energy in the room was very heavy and thick, and almost invading and smothering. A couple in the room had recently lost a family member to cancer and that grieving energy was incredibly intense.
During the ritual, we started with a meditation and I didn’t realize it until after the ritual but I was crying during the meditation because of the amount of energy around me. When we finished the ritual and I opened my eyes, everyone (including the ritual host) was looking at me. A lot of them said that they felt as if their energy had been diminished or dealt with while my own energy felt heavy, but cleansed. They believe I absorbed the energy in the room and basically purged it for everyone through my crying. It was crazy and intense.
Quinn is an eclectic witch and tarot reader. They are one half of the blog wildeandquinn on Tumblr, which you can check out by clicking here! The pair share great content and offer readings. Quinn talks about how sensing energy comes naturally to them, and discusses how they can sometimes get images from strong emotions or sense the energies of an object or location in a really interesting way!
Feeling someone’s personal energy comes naturally to me, I can sense very easily the kind of person someone is and the kind of emotions they are going through, and if I am close enough with a person I can pick up images from very strong emotions. I also pick up on objects and the energies that are tied to the object. The same applies to anything that has a strong energy radiating from it, from buildings to fields.
Seeing energy is a rare thing for myself as it takes a lot of energy from me and even when I do, it isn’t always clear to me. I do sometimes get very clear glimpses of energies however this only applies for negative energies, it almost feels as though my instinct kicks in and tries to seek out the “danger” so I know to avoid it.
Saturn is a witch and tarot reader. He blogs about tarot and witchcraft on his Tumblr as blackwitchsaturn. Saturn also has a blog called Saturn Illuminated where he shares insights about tarot and magick, which you can read by clicking here.
I’ve found my way in practicing energy work through many science articles; I’ve been reading on how our bodies produce electricity/energy, and how we receive energy.
I normally get my mind into a meditative state where I clear (most) of my thoughts and become conscious of how my body and mind feel. I’ve learned over time that I have to pay more attention to my mind versus my actual senses, because it can be a little overwhelming for me.
I’ve always thought I should feel voltages of electricity flowing though me as if I were a current in a wire, but it’s a totally different feeling. I feel more like waves through and on my body and it tingles. I’ve always figured the tingles are the vibrations I always see people say they feel.
Once I’ve discovered how to always channel this feeling, I’ve gotten deeper in my meditation where I started focusing my breathing into it. Breathing when you think of it is receiving and putting out physical energy. Many don’t think of it that way. When I take my breaths in slowly, I feel these very low waves/vibrations and if I don’t focus my mind, it can be a very nauseating feeling. If I can focus and control, I notice my mind and body taking control of a certain energy, but I haven’t really gotten to the point of discovering what it exactly is.
The same goes for when I focus on vibrating higher. The waves are more frequent and if I can’t catch up, I become light headed and dizzy. Once I control these vibrations and how to use it in my own way, I can make better sense on breaking down that energy but I’m still studying myself and how to use it. I can say that through energy work, I have noticed my visualization helping me become a better clairvoyant and spell caster. My mind can visualize crystal clear, and from there I can bring a balanced energy to help conjure or banish.
I do feel that practicing energy work over the years is making me feel like high and low vibrations help us tune into certain “channels” or dimensions. Look at it as if you’re watching television, constantly tuning into a different channel of your choice. Energy helps us tune into different forces, but we have to actually understand what those forces actually are.
Wilde is a Heathen and diviner who works with runes, tarot cards, and pendulums, as well as with spirits. They are also the other half of the Tumblr blog wildeandquinn, which you can check out by clicking here. Wilde’s description of sensing energy on the skin is particularly interesting to me!
To me, energy feels different for different things. My own personal energy feels as if it’s constantly vibrating, almost like TV static? It can feel very strange at first, and can feel a little like heart palpitations or an increased heart rate, especially whilst I’m meditating. If I’m doing spells or readings, my energy seems to change, almost like water? It feels like flowing water filling up an empty space as it trickles around.
I normally sense energy via meditation, its just the way that is easiest to me, especially in a controlled environment because I tend not want to read auras and such unless the person asks me to because I almost feel as if it’s invading someones privacy (unless you can’t control it, of course). I also sense energy via skin on skin contact! It sounds a little cheesy but it’s kinda like in romance movies when they get that little zap when they first met, except not romantic at all, haha.
Thanks for everyone who participated–I loved reading these descriptions! It’s wonderful to see both the differences and unique experiences people had, as well as to see the similarities and common themes. For those of you who have done energy work, how do you experience energy?