The difference between imagination and visualization

That question used to pop quiet frequently while I was practising my craft, especially when working on sigil magick.
While charging a sigil I would often wonder if I was just “imagining” the outcome instead of “visualizing” it as I should.

Now, visualizing is a powerful ,widely used ability and it helps the practitioner shape their own reality and attract desirable outcomes from their actions.
It’s really useful in meditation and goal-setting and it even goes further in evocation for some people.

That being said ,how does one know where the line between imagination and visualization lies?

Lets begin by breaking down the etymology of those two words.

It originally derives from the latin word imagin which means “image” which was later used by the French in the form of “imaginer” which actually means to picture smth.

It derives from the word “visual” which means smth you can see.

As you can see the line is quiet thin , but overall they have some basic differencies:

Visualization is a form of targeted imagination
While with imagination one can create images , “real” or “fake”, with visualization one can only reproduce “real” images and/or modify them.
F.e You can imagine you’re riding a unicorn over the sparkly rainbow ,but you can visualize a set- goal being achieved.

• One can imagine things/events that could have happened in the past or that may happen in the future ,with the latter usually not being based on current actions and decisions.
However, one can visualize events that will be happening in the near future, or in the present tense based off of their actions and choices.

• Imagination uses all five senses ,whereas visualization bases on the sense of sight or rather “mental sight”.
F.e one can imagine the smell of a food while reading it in a book ,but they can’t visualize the smell, only the appearance of the meal.
This leads me to the next difference which is:

• One can imagine things they’ve never seen/experienced before, but they can only visualize something familiar to them.
F.e you can imagine what an alien looks like ,but you can’t visualize an alien dancing because you don’t know its true form.

Hope I cleared some things up.
Feel free to spam this post with your own opinions on this.

M.V :black_heart:


The difference is marginal at best, or so it seems. But what you say fits in the whole concept of magick only working along the laws of physics.

After the debate yesterday about Lucifer’s sigil I got the book (Lucifer and the hidden demons) and it is talking a looooot about imagination in way that brings me some relief since it’s giving me something I can actually do (this is just ME, it doesn’t have to be true to anyone else), opposed to many other things in the occult. Playing to my own strengths, so to speak.

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Your third eye / imagination is like a gun , you can choose which target to focus your intention and will on and manifest what you want,

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Oh I didn’t mean to say that imagination is useless in magick as opposed to visualization. Just stating the differences between the two ,because I know a lot of people like to fuse them together.
Anyway , I haven’t read the book, but you’ve surely given me something to educate myself further. I’ll check it out. :+1:t2:


Oh, yes, I did understand. I was just saying since… it’s kind of synchronicity for me, in the last four days or so everything everywhere seem like pointing to imagination and visualization (outside this forum too, yes), so I’m rolling with it and saying everything I can think of, because I’m sure I’m missing some big piece of information.

In any event, I didn’t know the difference between imagination and visualization, so thank you for the post :slight_smile:

For me , the third eye is not linked with imagination, but with clairvoyant sight. It’s a sense. But, oh well, I knew there would be a collision of different opinions when I decided to address that topic.


No no I’m not trying to argue anything I agree with the post , I’m just explaining how I see it

Oh sorry :sweat_smile:

I’m glad you found it useful! Thanks for your contribution to this topic.

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Yup, I get it don’t worry. After all I did encourage people to write their own point of view. :slightly_smiling_face: