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Author Topic: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?  (Read 2875 times)

Maia

How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« on: September 08, 2012, 04:40:23 am »
Almost everything I've read on the subject of magic says that visualisation is essential.

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Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 04:45:42 am »
Quote from: Maia;72947
Almost everything I've read on the subject of magic says that visualisation is essential.

Yeah, some books can be a bit one-sided...

I'd rather speak of 'imagination'. You can use your other senses as well: Imagine a sound, a smell, the wind on your skin, a temperature, the touch of a surface etc....

F.ex. it's fully possible to cast a circle by imagining a specific sound, smell, feel you associate with it.

Maia

Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 05:08:33 am »
Quote from: Waldhexe;72948
Yeah, some books can be a bit one-sided...

I'd rather speak of 'imagination'. You can use your other senses as well: Imagine a sound, a smell, the wind on your skin, a temperature, the touch of a surface etc....

F.ex. it's fully possible to cast a circle by imagining a specific sound, smell, feel you associate with it.

 
Almost every spell I've ever read involves colours, with the colours having specific meanings and being an essential part of the spell. These would be reflected in the candles used and in the other items too.

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Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 05:33:29 am »
Quote from: Maia;72947
Almost everything I've read on the subject of magic says that visualisation is essential.

What I've read is that, visualisation is a kind of imagination. And if you have to imagine it, then it must not be metaphysically real. After reading this, I would attempt visualisations anyway, because they might work, because every other author was saying so. But something like protective bubbles that I visualised... I could sense, in other ways... were horribly ineffective. From that, I concluded: visualisation is not only not essential, but it's not sufficient either. However a blind person experiences the world, imaginative manipulation of those sensory experiences (smell, texture, sound, emotion, ideation,) can be done just as well as somebody with sight using visualisation. Mind you, neither is necessarily working magic.

I believe that would take a fuller connection to the spiritual, non-physical world, which being non-physical doesn't generally have physical laws. But, since so much of our experiences are physical in some way, the physical becomes symbolic of otherworldly correspondents. This isn't solely the province of sight. To somebody who can hear and has ESP, otherworldly communication can be translated into sound. To somebody who can hear and do magic, they can take sound and translate it into an otherworldly communication. A song can be a spell. Without such a connection, it's just "voices in your head". No visuals needed in any case, but in the case that visuals are involved, it might "just be seeing things".

All of the above is just in my arrogant opinion. ;)


Quote
Almost every spell I've ever read involves colours, with the colours having specific meanings and being an essential part of the spell. These would be reflected in the candles used and in the other items too.

To my understanding, the other world is invisible. So, it doesn't strictly have colors. There is no light refracting at a certain wavelength bouncing off everything, there is only our associations. So, the colors can help, and I think-- I hope-- they're simply overly represented as helpful. But I say: you don't need them.
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Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 05:57:06 am »
Quote from: Maia;72949
Almost every spell I've ever read involves colours, with the colours having specific meanings and being an essential part of the spell. These would be reflected in the candles used and in the other items too.

That's because colors are very meaningful to many people and many 101 magic books work with colors, but that doesn't mean you can't do a spell without visualizing colors. There are different opinions on what each color symbolizes anyway.

Maybe you'd like to look into the magical use of herbs and aroma oils, you could dress your candles with specific aroma oils and easily concentrate on the smell.

You don't have to do every spell strictly the way a book describes it, you can change it a bit while still maintaining the spirit of it.

If you still find colors important you could still use colored candles just without visualizing the color. Most correspondance tables contain other things than colors as well, you could pick one of those. Often colors are also connected to specific sounds/notes/vocals or chakras or feelings, you could look those up and concentrate on one of those. F.ex. if the spell description says to visualize green you could concentrate on the heart chakra and the  note a if that makes sense for this specific spell.

Tana

Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 06:59:27 am »
Quote from: Maia;72947
Almost everything I've read on the subject of magic says that visualisation is essential.

Don't focus on the technique, but on the reason why it is used.
Same for the color coresspondences.

All of the above are tools.
They serve the purpose of setting the 'mood' - so to speak - and help to focus the will.

If you just can't use them, you use what achieves the same for you.
Like Waldhexe said, all other senses are just as valid in a 'visualization'.

You don't need to use other people's correspondences for spells, if they are not helping you along. Maybe scent could take the place of color for the right frame for the spellwork. Or structure.

(Just brainstorming here) Let's say you'd liked to do a banning, you'd might want to pick harsh things. A piece of bramble, a sharp smell.
If you'd go for something like a healing spell, you'd use soft and soothing scents like lavender. For love silk and a rose scent and so on.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 07:00:37 am by Tana »
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Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 08:35:33 am »
Quote from: Maia;72947
Almost everything I've read on the subject of magic says that visualisation is essential.

Most books stress "sight" visualization because sight is usually the stronger human sense. However, there are a lot of people (even among the sighted) who do not think in pictures and so can't really  visualize the way these books suggest. Other senses would just as well, however, just use your strongest sense.  This article on our web site might help: Visualizing by Ear.
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Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 09:21:00 am »
Quote from: RandallS;72960
Most books stress "sight" visualization because sight is usually the stronger human sense. However, there are a lot of people (even among the sighted) who do not think in pictures and so can't really  visualize the way these books suggest. Other senses would just as well, however, just use your strongest sense.  This article on our web site might help: Visualizing by Ear.

 
This is something I struggled with for a long time, even though I am not blind.  Sight is not what I would consider my dominant sense, and so for some things visual based meditations/visualizations are much harder for me than working with touch or smell.

It can be hard, especially when starting out or working with a new practice, but what I have found works is to sit down and figure out what the different parts of a spell or practice are meant to do.  Then if one of those things (like a color used) doesn't work for you, find something else that does work that represents the same thing.  Normally, this ends up working better for me than trying to force myself to work with techniques that don't really mesh well with me.
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Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 10:23:27 am »
Quote from: RandallS;72960
However, there are a lot of people (even among the sighted) who do not think in pictures and so can't really  visualize the way these books suggest.

 
Yep, I'm one of them.  I don't think in pictures at all.  I've found that you can get results equally effectively by working entirely in words.  With anything like this, my advice would be to take what you find useful in the books you're reading, but modify it so it fits your own way of working.  I actually think doing so generally works better than trying to use someone else's spells as written.
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Katefox

Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2012, 10:36:04 am »
Quote from: Maia;72947
Almost everything I've read on the subject of magic says that visualisation is essential.

 
The first question I have is, how blind?  Most people who are blind, unless they physically have no eyes, have a tiny bit of sight, though it may only be enough to tell light from dark, and not really useful.  I, on the other hand, have quite alot of sight for a blind person (though not nearly as much as most people, obviously), so I do use sight when I visualise stuff (along with feeling, as it happens).  Just wanted to point out that being blind doesn't automatically preclude someone from using sight visualisation, if that's what works for them.

And it seems like, while most people seem to focus on sight visualisation (probably because it's easy; most everyone can see), I've also seen other sources encourage one to engage all the senses for a fuller experience, which always struck me as making alot more sense (like how a story can be more immersive if the author tells you what the character hears, feels, &c, as well as what they see).  Someone who isn't much of a visual person (whether or not they are blind) can compensate through using the other senses, and using more than one sense will result in a strong visualisation, anyway.  (It's probably unfortunate that the word we use has 'visual' right in it, when it doesn't have to be visual at all.)

Also, as someone who is colourblind, I tend to assume colour correspondences aren't super essential, even if they might be nice, because I like to think I haven't totally screwed things up if I've accidentally picked something brown which I thought was red, or something blue which I thought was green.

Maia

Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2012, 11:17:48 am »
Quote from: RandallS;72960
Most books stress "sight" visualization because sight is usually the stronger human sense. However, there are a lot of people (even among the sighted) who do not think in pictures and so can't really  visualize the way these books suggest. Other senses would just as well, however, just use your strongest sense.  This article on our web site might help: Visualizing by Ear.

 
Thanks for the link I'll have a read of that.

Maia

Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2012, 11:23:56 am »
Quote from: Katefox;72976
The first question I have is, how blind?  Most people who are blind, unless they physically have no eyes, have a tiny bit of sight, though it may only be enough to tell light from dark, and not really useful.  I, on the other hand, have quite alot of sight for a blind person (though not nearly as much as most people, obviously), so I do use sight when I visualise stuff (along with feeling, as it happens).  Just wanted to point out that being blind doesn't automatically preclude someone from using sight visualisation, if that's what works for them.

And it seems like, while most people seem to focus on sight visualisation (probably because it's easy; most everyone can see), I've also seen other sources encourage one to engage all the senses for a fuller experience, which always struck me as making alot more sense (like how a story can be more immersive if the author tells you what the character hears, feels, &c, as well as what they see).  Someone who isn't much of a visual person (whether or not they are blind) can compensate through using the other senses, and using more than one sense will result in a strong visualisation, anyway.  (It's probably unfortunate that the word we use has 'visual' right in it, when it doesn't have to be visual at all.)

Also, as someone who is colourblind, I tend to assume colour correspondences aren't super essential, even if they might be nice, because I like to think I haven't totally screwed things up if I've accidentally picked something brown which I thought was red, or something blue which I thought was green.

 
I have no light perception at all. I have optic nerve hypoplasia (I was born without optic nerves).

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Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2012, 01:59:11 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;72960
Most books stress "sight" visualization because sight is usually the stronger human sense. However, there are a lot of people (even among the sighted) who do not think in pictures and so can't really  visualize the way these books suggest.

 
My primary "visualisation" is tactile.
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Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2012, 03:15:35 pm »
Quote from: Maia;72947
Almost everything I've read on the subject of magic says that visualisation is essential.

 
Other people have touched on a bunch of this, but:

1) Visualisation is the term most people use, but that's because we don't have a good single word in English for "creating a complex reconstruction of the thing you're talking about entirely inside your head."

2) Our society - Western modern society anyway - seriously privileges vision above other senses, and it has for centuries. The usual breakdown I've seen is that about 60% of the population is vision-dominant for learning and processing, about 20% tactile and kinesthetic (movement) and about 10% audio. However, we can't really tell if that's the actual split of human beings, or if that's because people who are somewhat visual and somewhat something else tend to defer to the visual-dominant learning, rather than the other, because that's what society makes easier.

(It's actually a bit more complicated than that: I'm word-dominant and sound-dominant for learning and magical work. I am perfectly happy if they are written words, rather than spoken, but pictures and other visuals don't work nearly as well for me. But as a good rough approximation, the above will do.)

3) You can 'visualise' with all the senses, and in fact doing so is a really good practice - by which I mean "create stuff in your head that full and real and complex." You can do that with scenes and pictures - but you can also do it with sound (the sound of a bell, recreating a song or the sounds of a place), with taste (an orange, a piece of chocolate), with scent (woods, perfume or incense, etc.) or touch (silk, velvet, bark, whatever.)

There's an article on my website with some more ideas, and ways to build from simple to more complex.
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Maia

Re: How do you do visualisation if you're blind?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2012, 07:13:55 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;72991
Other people have touched on a bunch of this, but:

1) Visualisation is the term most people use, but that's because we don't have a good single word in English for "creating a complex reconstruction of the thing you're talking about entirely inside your head."

2) Our society - Western modern society anyway - seriously privileges vision above other senses, and it has for centuries. The usual breakdown I've seen is that about 60% of the population is vision-dominant for learning and processing, about 20% tactile and kinesthetic (movement) and about 10% audio. However, we can't really tell if that's the actual split of human beings, or if that's because people who are somewhat visual and somewhat something else tend to defer to the visual-dominant learning, rather than the other, because that's what society makes easier.

(It's actually a bit more complicated than that: I'm word-dominant and sound-dominant for learning and magical work. I am perfectly happy if they are written words, rather than spoken, but pictures and other visuals don't work nearly as well for me. But as a good rough approximation, the above will do.)

3) You can 'visualise' with all the senses, and in fact doing so is a really good practice - by which I mean "create stuff in your head that full and real and complex." You can do that with scenes and pictures - but you can also do it with sound (the sound of a bell, recreating a song or the sounds of a place), with taste (an orange, a piece of chocolate), with scent (woods, perfume or incense, etc.) or touch (silk, velvet, bark, whatever.)

There's an article on my website with some more ideas, and ways to build from simple to more complex.

 
Thanks. I do understand all this, at least in a theoretical sense, but to be frank it sounds like it's written by a sighted person. Just as every text I've read does. I can't really form the connections that are implied in the written sources. I have no idea what colours look like, and have no emotional connection with the "meanings" of colours. Everything seems to be filed under colours.

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