A common struggle for those who are new to working with spirits is not being able to perceive them (such as feeling, seeing, hearing, etc). This can be extremely frustrating for those seeking the experience, especially if they put a considerable about of hard work into their ritual. Developing the ability to use our “normal” senses beyond their usual physical functions is a task that varies on the individual. It could take weeks or years. Some may get it fairly “easily” while others may have to take the long road to get there. It is not something to be rushed or get frustrated about, as all things take their time. To pharphase one of my favorite quotes “In trees and in men, struggle makes good timber”.
That being said, here is an exercise you can use to help. You will only need an orange (or any fruit really), some time, and patience. Take the piece of fruit and look at it. I mean really look at it as if it was a piece of art. See the changes of color, the pores, the shape, the stem, everything. Take the time to gather as much information as you can from the fruit. When you are satisfied, put it down and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths and begin to recreate the fruit in your mind.
Start with it’s shape, focusing solely on that. then slowly fill in the details as thoroughly as possible. Keep pushing the details into the shape as vividly as you can. the goal is to get as close to a replica as possible, until it is so strong in your mind that you could reach out and grab it. When you felt you are at your limit, focus back on your breathing, allowing it to disappear. Take notes on how far you got and where you fell short so you know where you ended up at for future practice as the next goal to surpass.
You can then repeat this with the other senses. To practice feeling, take the time to examine how smooth the fruit feels, any lumps, temperature, its weight, etc. Recreate the experience through mediation by visualizing it’s basic shape in your hand and building the physical sensations as vividly as possible just like with the sight exercise. Record just as before.
For hearing, repeat this exercise by slowly peeling the fruit by your ear, really paying attention to the sound and then recreating it as vividly in your mind through the mediation of peeling the fruit. For smell and taste, slowly smell and taste the fruit, really getting all the information you can, so you can recreate the experience.
When you have mastered the fruit in time, move onto a larger object. Keep going and eventually, you will be able to recreate entire rooms in your mind, including atmosphere. This will help you to better pay attention to shifts, which will in turn will help you notice and perceive spirits when they appear. I hope this is interesting and a bit helpful for anyone needing a bit of a tip.
One final parting note:
“Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It could be near when it seems afar.
So stick to fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst
That you mustn’t quit.” -John Greenleaf