Here's the video of my talk on Magic for the Month of January, which I gave on Facebook Live on Friday and have uploaded to YouTube. At the end of the talk I gave a guided visualisation called The January Garden, which I wrote especially for this month to celebrate what’s happening in nature this time of year in my part of the world.
I based it on things I’ve seen in my own garden, so the themes include nature, wintery weather, and taking a close look at water in its crystalline, frozen form. You can do it even if you can’t physically get outdoors. I've included the words of the visualisation later on in this post if you want to read it through before deciding whether to do it or not.
If you want to do this, make sure you’re in a safe and comfortable place, where you won’t be disturbed. Ideally, guided visualisations are best done with the eyes closed, so first of all I’ll ask you to take a few deep breaths, relax and close your eyes. At points in the narrative I will pause to enable to you continue the story to yourself in your own way. That might be to visualise things as they come to you in your mind’s eye, but some people work better just imagining words rather than images. That’s fine. Do whatever works for you.
Guided Visualisation: The January Garden
Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take three deep breaths in and out, and relax. Visualise the following:
The sun is shining, but outside the air is cold and glints of frost sparkle on everything the light touches. Look around you. Most of the trees and hedges stand bare, yet some are evergreen. There are still some bright berries and rosehips, although many on brown stalks. Some flowers still bloom in wintertime. Few and far between perhaps, but maybe you can spot them. The flowerbeds are mostly brown earth, but you can just see green shoots of early spring bulbs starting to push their way through the soil. The grass on the lawn is green, but under a crisp white coating of frost, and in places there are perhaps some brown fallen leaves left from last year, also frost-rimed.
Spend some time exploring the garden. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you feel?
While examining the things in the garden, you spot a pool of water that has frozen over. Perhaps it is just a puddle of rainwater, maybe it is a bird bath, or perhaps it is a pond or a lake. Whatever it is, you are drawn to look at it. The surface is covered with ice. Look at the ice. It isn’t purely a plain, flat, surface. There are geometrical patterns running through the crystalline frozen water. The sun glints on them, making them stand out and shimmer. Spend some time looking at these patterns. Contemplate them and think about them. Are they all similar, or are there differences? Perhaps they are all, in their own way, unique, or perhaps they all seem to form part of a cohesive whole. How does it seem to you?
Is there anything in particular that draws your attention? Spend some time studying this and looking.
After a while your attention is drawn below the frozen water, to look through the layer of ice into the dark water still liquid below the crystalline surface. Peer into it. Do you see anything there? If so, what is it? Is what you see a natural thing, or something man-made? Is it something meant for you? Perhaps it is something you had lost and have now found once more. Is it something that should be there, or something that would be better removed. Do you want to break the ice and free or retrieve whatever is below it, or do you want to leave it there? Decide if you need or want to do anything, and if so, what. It is your choice, but visualise doing that now.
Once you have made that choice and acted, or not, look at the item again. Does it seem different now? If it is something you have retrieved, is it something to keep, or something to leave in the garden?
Having acted as you feel is right, look up from the frozen pool. Look around the garden again, then make your way back to the doorway. It is time for you to leave the garden and return indoors to the warm and cosy home, and take off your winter boots and coat. Visualise doing that now.
Then, when you are ready, take a deep breath, shake your fingers and toes and open your eyes to the real world.
I hope you found that interesting and perhaps useful. After you’ve done any magical work, or done a guided visualisation, you should ground to make sure you are fully back to reality. The best way to do that is to have something to eat and drink, but if that’s not possible, then stamp your feet on the ground or tap a hard surface a few times.
There are other guided visualisations in my new book Pagan Portals: Guided Visualisations. If you want a copy, Treadwell's bookshop in London has some. You can also order copies from uk.bookshop.org, from Amazon, from Waterstones, via publisher Moon Books’ website and from other pagan bookshops.