I’ve written quite a bit on this site about Reiki from a traditional perspective, and more from an innovative/mutative perspective. Much of it has been transcription of my notes from when I was taught, while other parts have been material shared by others or “channeled”. But all of this material falls short, in my opinion, of actually providing the reader with an understanding of what Reiki really is and how it really works. This essay, then, is my attempt to provide that.
The fourth in a series of articles on the basics of energywork. This article will cover the creation and use of Thoughtforms. As with the previous article on attunement, this is somewhat of a departure from what is normally considered basic material. This article will also be the final one in the series, though future articles on the site will build on the basics covered here.
What are Thoughtforms?
Energy fuels magic or energywork, but thoughtforms are the “machinery” which use that energy to perform work. From the simplest to the most complex, every magical working uses thoughtforms.
How Do You Create a Thoughtform?
That question is nearly equivalent to asking “how do you work magic”? The history of magical tradition is a cornucopia of methods for creating and utilizing thought forms.
That said, there are certain thoughtforms which are best suited for the beginner. Two such thoughtforms are shields and what are termed “psi-balls”.
The Basics of Shielding
Close your eyes. Imagine a sphere of light around your body, forming a protective barrier like a force field. Visualize it as clearly as possible, the light growing brighter and brighter, more and more solid.
That’s it. That’s all that’s required to create a basic shield. Easy, no? The clearer you visualize it, and the surer you are that it will protect you, the stronger it will be.
Of course, it’s quite possible to get more fancy with it. Instead of light you can use darkness. Or fire. Or water. Instead of a spherical force-field you can use a cube, or a suit of armor, or a tank, or a castle. One very popular technique is to visualize the surface of your shield as a mirror reflecting anything harmful back towards its source.
Two sources for further inspiration for shielding, which may not be immediately obvious to the reader, are Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (the SEP field) and Gimmicks Three by Isaac Asimov (think about it.)
How to make a “psi-ball”
A “psi-ball” – I’ve also seen them termed “ki-balls” – is a thoughtform very similar to the shield you’ve already created. Only instead of a sphere around your body, visualize the “psi-ball” as a sphere of energy between your outstretched hands, as if you were cupping a ball of whatever size you’re most comfortable with from baseball to basketball. Some people find it helpful to start out with visualizing a very large psi-ball and compress it down into a small, dense sphere of energy.
Again, that’s all there is to it. From there, you can do a variety of things with the energy ball. You can change it from light to any other form of energy, as you did with the shields. You can change its size and shape. You can make it move from one place to another, even sending it over great distances. You can use it to charge or attune an object or person, or as a vehicle for healing energy. You can even “program” it with your thoughts and intentions to perform particular tasks, such as gathering energy. Or replicating itself, thus forming the base for what is termed a “viral servitor“.
What comes next?
This is just the start of what is possible with thoughtforms. As I mentioned earlier, a full treatment of them would require almost a complete overview of the contents of every magical tradition throughout history. So I’ll leave you with just one more example, and some hints for where to start your further study.
The Astral Temple
The next thoughtform you may wish to work with is the astral temple. This is exactly what it sounds like – a thoughtform representing a temple or similar sacred space. It can be an exact replica of your physical temple, or limited only by your imagination. As with other thought forms, the more clearly you can visualize the temple the more effective it will be.
The astral temple is most often used for operations of ritual magic. It’s possible to perform rituals entirely on the astral, within the astral temple, or simultaneously in both the physical and your astral temple. Groups unable to meet physically may also use a shared astral temple as a meeting place to conduct ritual work.
A technique related to the astral temple is the “memory palace” also known as the “method of loci”. I will leave it to the reader to research this technique on their own.
From here you may wish to look into sigils, servitors, egregores, and even godforms. One useful reference for learning more on this subject is The Magical Use of Thought Forms by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki.
Obviously there are many, many more ways to create thoughtforms, and a near infinity of things one can do with them. I strongly encourage anyone interested to look into it further. If you find any interesting or innovative ways to create or work with thoughtforms, please feel free to share them in the comments section.
That’s about it for Thoughtforms, and I hope you’ve found it useful. This concludes the Fundamentals of Energywork series.
I haven’t had much time for adventure lately. My present day job keeps me busy 6 days a week, generally from fairly early in the day to quite late at night. But I do have some free time, and recently I’ve begun using that free time to go on adventures.
One recurring adventure has been simply to go for walks in the local park, along Holmes Run, late at night. On some of these walks I’ve left behind the Ellis sigil that I’ve posted about so much recently. On others, I’ve been gifted with interesting objects by the local spirits of place – one of which has become a new technomagical tool for me, and two others of which have now been passed along to someone who can do more with them than I.
Tonight, I neither took tokens nor left them – I simply walked the park with an awareness of the thinness of the veil, the presence of the local spirits, and the Potential of the place. That was enough. And then the park gifted me with something extraordinary.
At the exact entrance of the park, as I was leaving it to come back home, I saw a black shape moving under the light of the street lamps. At first, I thought it was a rat. So I turned my flashlight on and took a closer look. Green eyes glowed back at me in the LED light, and I revised my opinion – clearly it must be a cat. Then it turned and I saw its full profile in the light before it bounded into the woods – it was a young “black” (dark greyish-brownish-red) fox.
It might not seem like much, until you put it together with the fact that a fox of that exact description is currently hanging out in the metaphysical space of someone close to me. A black fox with green eyes.
Magic happens. Get out there and see it.
Don’t be afraid to have adventures.