(Symbolic visualisation for help with complex goals)


Veronica Verai



            Our mind has such a powerful effect on the way we feel, that even a few minutes a day spent on daydreaming will have a positive impact on our emotional and physical well-being.  But creative visualisation can do more than that - it is a valuable tool when it comes to solving problems and achieving goals.  In this sense, creative visualisation can be considered an effective magickal method on its own right, although bright and vivid imagery certainly adds to the effect of any other spiritual work.

            When performed correctly and diligently over a period of time, visualisation can do a lot to help our dreams come true, provided our desires are positive, and the rewards - well deserved.  It is tempting to speculate a bit on why this is possible and how it works, before we get to the practical matters.

            We know that our thoughts and dreams are woven of energy, and although they appear to be physically non-existent because we cannot perceive them, they do have being in a finer dimension of our complex world - the Astral.  The Astral acts as an intermediary between the ideal and material plane, and all three planes form the basis of the occult understanding of the world. The concept of a plane, in which our thoughts, dreams, desires, memories and fantasies continue to exist on their own, is very old indeed.  In modern times, the American philosopher Karl Popper, arguably the greatest philosopher of our time, divided the world in a very similar way, leaving the Ideal plane to God or Spirit, the Material - to our physical reality, and describing what he called "the Third Plane" very much like the Astral.

            The Astral should not be considered merely a passive collection of partly materialised energy.  It is a living world, dynamic and changeable - although less so then the physical plane.  This means that some of its forms and images may fade away, new ones may appear, and others may become stronger and brighter.  The more energy we feed our thoughts and dreams, by repeating them over and over in our mind, the more they come to life in the Astral.  Presumably, if fed enough psychic energy, some thoughts may become too dense for the fine tissue of the Astral, so will seek existence materialising in the physical world.  It is worth remembering that the materialisation will take the simplest possible route (which may not necessarily be the route we have in mind) and may also suffer some distortion during the 'copying' process from one plane to another. 







            I think we can divide visualisation scenarios into three categories, according to the purpose they are meant for.

            First, most commonly used scenarios for relaxation and emotional comfort.  In this case, almost any scenario would do nicely as long as it is pleasant, bright and not too complex.  Sometimes even we do not need a ready-made scenario at all and can leave our imagination to wander, creating a comforting environment for us.

             Second, scenarios we use for help with attaining simple goals.  'Simple' here does not mean easy, it just means that all we wish for is a single, well-defined object or action, for example we desire a new car, or want to learn how to dance.  This kind of goal can be represented by a single picture, still or moving - the car, or seeing yourself dancing - and as long as materialisation of this picture is all we need, visualising a simple goal as if it has already been attained will be enough to increase our chances to  achieve it.

            Third, scenarios which are intended to help with more complex aims that cannot be described by one image only. Let us suppose that we want a promotion, a better relationship or improved general health.  In this instance, there is no single picture that could fully describe what we aim for, because the change would affect us on many levels, over a long period of time.  Visualising any single picture, such as for example receiving a promotion letter, would not be a complete representation of our wish because it is not just that particular moment in time that we long to happen, but everything that follows logically from it as well - increased salary, responsibilities,  respect, etc.  In fact, a wish for promotion is a wish not for a particular moment in time, but for a long period from that moment on, and therefore can be represented by many pictures, perhaps even a different one for every minute of the working day.  So, in this case, visualising images of reality would not be sufficient.  We need to represent a complex idea and to put in a concise way its many layers of meaning - only a symbol could do that. 

            The differences between the conscious and subconscious mind also obliges us to prefer symbolic way of expression in this type of scenarios.  We rely on the subconscious to convey our wish during the process of creative visualisation, and indeed in any psychic work.  In the above example, it may seem that all we want is just that moment of actually receiving the letter of promotion because everything else that follows it goes without saying for our conscious mind which sees the world in a logically consistent way, based on the causal connection between events.  But when we are deeply relaxed during creative visualisation it is our subconscious mind that has the floor, not the conscious mind we use in everyday thinking.  To this part of our mind rationality and logic are irrelevant, causal connection between events - non-existent, and ideas become symbol-like shapes we know from dreams.  So, images of reality should not be considered a good means of communication with that particular part of our mind because what we call reality is in fact the way our conscious mind sees the world, not subconscious.  Surreal dreams, symbols, visions, subtle feelings fill the world of the subconscious, this is the language in which  it sends its messages to us and that is how we should send ours if we want to make ourselves understandable.


            Another reason to prefer symbols in the third type of scenarios is that we need to practice creative visualisation in a relaxed state.  The deeper the relaxation, the more fully we would be able to be present in the scenario and to 'experience', which means a brighter astral blueprint and a faster materialisation.  But how we would be able to relax while keeping in mind a picture which we deeply crave?  This is bound to create some tension, the tension of desire, even if it is not consciously acknowledged.  On the other hand, if we used symbols instead of real-life images and described the goal in a roundabout way, we would have lessened the stress of desire, and thus would have been able to achieve a better relaxation.


            It may be that, regarding scenarios meant for help with complex aims, visualising images of reality instead of symbolic ones may even be counterproductive.  Here is one reason why.

            In dream interpretation, there is an old rule according to which you should interpret on the contrary any event you have dreamt of as if it is really happening.  (Generally, a future event in dream interpretation is supposed to show itself symbolically, not literally).  The interpretation of real-life images in many classical books on the subject is based on this rule.

            We know that the alpha state our brain usually slips into during creative visualisation is close to a dream state.  If we are fortunate or experienced enough to be able to slip even deeper, our brain will go into theta state, which is not only meditative, but also a typical dream state.  When visualising real images in alpha, and in theta, it may be possible to mislead the mind that, instead of visualisation, we are now having a dream, based on the subconscious notion that the event will never actually happen.  As long as this is accepted by our brain, we will not be helped but greatly impeded in achieving our goal.







            Dedicated experience of a symbolic visualisation scenario in our mind can be compared to a consciously provoked, controlled dream state, where we are free to choose our own dreams.

            In my opinion, the right scenario for help with complex goals should be designed taking into account the following points.


            *Well-chosen goal 

            Most important, a genuine, realistic and fully positive goal should be set. This is not always as easy as it seems and is worth some thinking about.

The goal should not be overly specific as this would narrow the range of the possible "doors" through which the success can come.


            *Symbols instead of real-life images 

            As already explained, this point is important.  Strongly exaggerated symbols work best.


            *Right symbols and plot 

            For persons who dream a lot, an easy and effective way to find the most suitable symbols and plot is to base the visualisation scenario on a meaningful dream they had about a previous event in their life, similar to what they need now.  An experienced dreamer will probably be able to think of plenty of ready scenarios, borrowed from dreams and suitable for different occasions.  The subconscious easily understands the symbols we borrow from dreams because they have already been used once to send a message.  In order to choose the right dream, however, a good knowledge of symbols and their interpretation is required.  It is not necessary to 'replay' the whole dream, only the relevant part or the core of the plot.

            If no suitable dream is available, then the scenario can be build on widely accepted or personal symbols, or it can even be inspired by a legend or a fairy tale.  A dictionary of symbols, books on dream interpretation, signs revealed through divination can all be useful, providing material and offering a better understanding of symbols in general.  A good way to test the suitability of a particular symbol is to think about the first impression that it calls to mind.  Simply asking yourself in a relaxed state: "Which is the dream I would like to dream most at this point of my life?" and leaving your imagination and intuition to do the work for you can also help to come to the right scenario. 



            The whole scenario should be kept simple. The fewer details the mind has to concentrate upon, the deeper the concentration is likely to be. It seems that short or moderately long, purposeful and intense visualisation scenarios work best, rather then long, complicated ones, where one inevitably would become distracted from the point, drowning into detail.  The latter type may still have its place in making us calmer, but can hardly help with a problem.  When creating a scenario for help with complex goals, details should be just a few, meaningful, contributing to the atmosphere.

            Besides, too complicated a scenario is difficult to remember and follow, and does not leave space to any twist of imagination during the visualisation process itself.  Simpler scenarios are more likely to develop and grow in your mind in the course of the daily practice.  This makes the practice even more effective, interesting and enjoyable.


            *Introducing light, colours, sounds, other senses 

Bright light is a universal symbol of everything that is good. Besides, it gives the picture more lucidity and makes for a deeper experience, which brings most rapid results.  Colours, as bright as possible, are also important.  What various colours represent tell us most books on chakras, colour healing or magick.  Interestingly, sometimes just vividly visualising a particular colour in our mind may be enough to trigger some welcome changes.  However, finding the right hue for such a purpose is difficult, unless our intuition itself suggests it.

Expressive sounds will add more life to the picture, as well as aromas, textures or taste, bearing in mind that details should not overload the scenario.


            *Avoiding negative symbols 

            Negative symbols and images should never be focused on or used as elements of a scenario.

            The reason for this is that in the course of the visualisation practice some images might separately show their influence on reality before the whole idea of the complete scenario starts to take shape.  That is why it is wise to keep positive not only the whole of the plot and the outcome, but each of the elements of the scenario as well. 

            For example, a visualisation scenario for healing should not start with an image of a wasted, ill body (which gets better later on).  Neutral, not negative images should be used to describe the starting situation, even if it is very unhappy. 


            *Focus on the action, not on the objects 

            As a rule, it is best to focus on the action in the scenario, not on the static objects.  The mind should only glide on the surface of the static objects and should try to experience the action and 'the becoming' in the scenario as fully as possible.


            *Playing the Ideal self  

            In a scenario, we are playing the leading role, observing and acting at the same time.  Our actions and qualities should always be positive, strongly enhanced and exaggerated, and our shortcomings should never be mentioned or implied.  In other words, our Ideal self should be the main character of any scenario.


            *Archetypes instead of real people 

            Introducing in the scenario people we know is best avoided, apart from ourselves, of course.  When certain human qualities or relationships need to be represented, archetypes, which symbolise types of people, are the best way to do that.  Archetypes never behave out of character and their meaning to the subconscious is always clear-cut.

            Of course, we cannot help introducing another person in the scenario if we want to heal a relationship or help somebody else, but whenever possible it is wise to define our goal in such a way that no people are included in it. Besides, images of people would make the goal overly specific and this would make realisation more difficult.


            *Strong emotion 

            Strong emotion contributes greatly to the effect of the scenario, as it charges it with a lot of energy.  During visualisation, we should try to relive the emotion we would have experienced in reality on achieving our goal.


            The chosen scenario should be visualised daily until the first positive changes start to appear.  It should be repeated in our mind over and over, for at least a few minutes at a time, couple of times a day, like a kind of a visual mantra, making some small changes once in a while, allowing the whole picture to grow and to develop as we go along.  Variations come naturally with constant repetition; there is no need to think about them beforehand.  The best time to practise is the blessed time between sleep and wakefulness, just before opening your eyes in the morning and just before falling asleep at night. 







            Here are a few suggestions for scenarios.  They have been created according to the above rules, so they use exaggerated symbols.  


            For success and promotion


            Imagine yourself standing in front of a high staircase.  It is made of cream-coloured stone, has a bright blue carpet and brown banisters.  The stairs are brightly lit and so high that you cannot see the upper landing, only light shining at the end.  You are fascinated by this light and want to get there, so you step on the soft carpet and start to climb.  You feel strong and full of energy as you easily stride over each step.  You can hear your steady, slightly accelerated breathing as you go up.  

            As you climb, the stairs become even more and more brightly lit until they completely dissolve in light and now there is nothing but light around you.  You hear a round of applause.  Now your goal has been achieved and a tremendous feeling of satisfaction is filling you with joy. There is something on your head now and your fingers are telling you that this is a special hat (a wreath, a crown etc.), a recognition of your success. You are very happy.


            For health and vitality


            On a high place a strong and healthy apple tree is growing, tall and green.  Its branches are bowing down, loaded with ripening fruit. You sit on the ground under the tree resting your back on its thick trunk. It is the end of a long hot afternoon and the trunk feels warm from the sun.  The bark touching your back is slightly rough and the grass beneath you is refreshingly cool.  You look up and see rays of sunshine making their way through the intricate web of branches and leaves.  In front of you, up to the horizon, there are vast and fertile lowlands, green and under growing crop. 

            With your spine connected to the tree you can sense the upward movement of the rich sap, carrying nourishment from the deep roots to all the parts of the tree.  You are now part of this robust tree too, and this sap of life is filling your whole body with power.  You are feeling stronger and stronger, your eyes acquire a healthy sparkle and your complexion is getting rosier, just like the apples hanging above you which are reddening before your very eyes. 

            Still feeling the flow of the energising juices within your body you are now aware of your aura.  It is getting brighter and denser with each your breath.  It is becoming so strong that it starts expanding until its outline reaches the outline of the bright aura of the tree. 

            Feeling energised and balanced, you stand up.  You cast one final glance at the tree, thankful for its support.  Full of vigour, strength and vitality you are heading your way.


            To attract the person you love


            Only if you really must.


            Visualise the person you love standing in front of you.  You can clearly see their face and especially their eyes, looking kindly at you.

            As you are both standing, at some distance away from each other, three strips of pure colour appear, red, pink and golden, as a flowing stream near to your body.  You stretch your arms out and open your hands so that the colourful stream flows now over your arms and hands, and you can feel that it is warm, light and silky.

            Flowing, the strips start to twist, faster and faster, tighter and tighter until they make a colourful rope lying on your hands.  A final graceful twist in the air and a wide loop appears at the far end of the rope.  Holding it as a lasso, you throw it over the person you love, tightening the noose slightly around their waist.  Then slowly and playfully, smiling and looking into their eyes, you pull them towards you, nearer and nearer, feeling very happy.

            When you are already very close, give your beloved a sweet kiss on the lips, still holding the rope.   You now notice that their heart is visible and pulsating. With every beat it grows bigger and bigger until it opens up into a beautiful pink flower, blossoming out petal by petal.   Its wonderful fragrance fills the air.


            For an opportunity and financial gain


            Catching fish is an ancient symbol of financial gain.


            You are in your garden.  It is a bright and sunny day and everything around looks green and full of life.  As you walk around, you spot something unusual at the far end of the garden.  It looks like water shining in the sun and you are curious to find out what it is.

            As you come nearer you see that a busy stream is bubbling there which you have never noticed before. You squat on the bank and look at it.   Golden sun rays go through the crystal clear water right to the bottom of the stream, covered in colourful pebbles.  Now you notice that there is some fish in the water.  You can clearly see its silvery skin and fast movements.  As you look closer, you can see that actually there is quite a lot of fish and it gets more and more as you keep looking.  It almost fills up the whole stream.  You immerse your hands in the cool, transparent, running water and start catching the fish.  It is easy, because you are very dextrous.  The fish is cool, wet and slippery and has a pleasant fresh smell.  You hold each one tightly with both hands as you take it out, high in the sunshine.  When you already have a huge haul, you decide that it is time to go back home.

            Feeling very satisfied, you take your bag and cast one final glance at the stream.  You know that from now on it will be there, in your garden, and you will always be able to make use of it because of your good luck, patience and skills.



            For energy and good mood


            With your eyes closed, in your mind, open your eyes and look around. You are sitting in the centre of a giant orange flower.  You feel its hard seeds, lining the bottom, pressing against your bare feet and naked body.  The flower petals are closed.  Strong bright light is shining from outside, penetrating the fine petals, as if they were made of stained glass, adding even more vibrancy to their lively hue, filtering through them and colouring in orange the whole inside of the flower.  Your face and head, your palms and feet, your belly and chest, your entire being are now coloured and absorbing thirstily the bright orange light.  The light makes its way deep into you, reaching to every cell of your body.

            You take a long slow breath and sense the delightful aroma of the flower, sweet, warm, dense and fruity, and a lovely feeling of anticipation and joy is coming over you.

            Slowly, the petals start to open, little by little, allowing more and more white light in.  Rays of pure white light appear in between them, very narrow at first, then gradually becoming wider and wider.  You are now in the middle of crossing beams of bright white light. They are passing through your body and you feel it tingling with energy. Reaching you, the beams slowly start to rotate clockwise, taking you with them in an exhilarating dance.  The flower is already half open and the light is coming now from over your head, as well as from the sides.  The petals continue their slow movement until fully spread, and you are surrounded now by light from all sides, bathed in it, cleansed, energised and revived.  You can hear yourself laughing with joy.






(C) 2003-2007, Veronica Verai