Visualization – 5 Exercises to Improve Your Abilities

Visualization is something that is very often used in witchy, as well as more mundane practices.

You often hear motivational speakers use phrases like “Picture this” or “Visualize your ideal self” or other commands of that nature. That is them asking you to use visualization!

You will also find it in guided meditations, again, for both witchy and mundane purposes.

Visualization is used in a variety of spell work making it important for those of a witchy persuasion to be comfortable using it.

My history with visualization is a little rocky. It used to come pretty easily to me, this was before I delved into my witchy side. These days I have a hard time visualizing anything more than a vaguely shaped and colored haze.

I decided to spend the next couple of weeks focusing on  improving visualization skills.

Every day this week I’ll try a different exercise. Next week I’ll tell you about how they went and which ones I’ll continue!

*I’ve added brief reflections after the explanation of each exercise!*

exercises to improve your visualization abilities

Exercise One: Dots on Cards

This is the first exercise I’ll be trying. All you need is white paper or card stock, and a black pen or marker. And some intense focus.

To set up you’ll cut four rectangles out of your paper. Make sure the paper is solid white. You could also use the blank side of note cards!

Next you’ll draw one dot in the center of one card, two on the next, three and four on the last two.

visualization exercise - dots on cards

Now for the exercise itself:

  1. Set a timer for five minutes
  2. Hold the card with one dot. Stare at it taking in the dot and the white space surrounding it. Burn the image into your mind.
  3. Close your eyes and visualize the dot. It might just be a shadow or the colors might be reversed, that’s okay.
  4. Keep bringing the dot back into the center of your focus if it strays.
  5. End the exercise when time is up or you lose your dot.

The goal is to hold the dot in your mind for the full five minutes.

Once you have achieved this, move on to the card with two dots. Once you’ve mastered that one move to three and so on.

You can also shift the pattern of the dots for even more of a challenge. Try putting three dots in a triangle or four in a box!

*This one was pretty challenging for me. It took me a little bit to get the image and when I did it was definitely reversed. It was hard to keep it in the center of my attention and it faded easily.

It was difficult but I would definitely do it again.*

Exercise Two: Binaural Beats

What even are binaural beats? I had to go look this one up to be sure.

Essentially it is a form of sound therapy in which each ear listens to a slightly different wavelength. There are binaural beats for many purposes including relaxation, sleep, creativity, and focus.

This is a super interesting topic that I’ll likely cover in more detail at a later date!

In my searching for methods for improving visualization I found a binaural beats video on YouTube. I’ll listen to it while I do my morning meditation.

You can listen to it while doing something else as well, but make sure it is not something that takes a lot of attention or focus, and definitely not something that takes ALL of your attention like driving.

Other things I might do while listening to it would be knit/crochet, take a  bath/shower, take a walk-especially outside.

Also, make sure you listen with stereo headphones, the whole point is to hear something different in each ear!

*I was really excited for this one. Sadly it was kind of boring. I definitely chose a simple video which I didn’t find very engaging. But it was a relatively nice meditation.

Next time I want to try this one, it’s a lot more upbeat and seems to have very positive comments!*

Exercise Three: Picture

This is an exercise I saw pop up in a few different places. It is very similar to the dot exercise above, but probably a little more difficult.

For this one find a picture. It could be of your family, the sky, or one single rock. Doesn’t matter. Find a picture and stare at it.

Notice every detail. Every color, shape, word, face, anything and everything you see.

Then close your eyes. Recall all of the details you observed and recreate the image in your mind.

If you need to, open your eyes and look at the picture to remember more details. 

I’ll probably do this one for around five minutes, maybe ten if it goes well.

*This was a fun one, though a little overwhelming. It was interesting to periodically open my eyes to see what I had forgotten about.

I like that this exercise really forces you to work on your observation skills which I think is very important for visualization.*

Exercise Four: Guided Picture exercise

This is essentially a guided version of the last exercise.

The video guides you through observing pictures of items, then recreating them in your mind.

Doing guided meditations often helps people stay focused better than when they meditate on their own, I would imagine the same might hold true for an exercise like this!

I am excited to see which version of this is more helpful!

*This one was okay. It started with simple items like a mug and a spatula and increased in difficulty.

There was an okay amount of time for each item and the prompts were helpful. However, I would have liked a little more time and the prompting was definitely just copy and pasted over the video of each item which I found distracting and less engaging than if the prompts for each item were slightly different.

I probably won’t use this video again, but it would be helpful to those who are just starting out.*

Exercise Five: Just Do it, with an open mind

This is a bit of a mash up of advice I got from some fellow witches.

This has two parts to it.

The first, just do it. Pick something you really want to visualize. Maybe it’s your ideal vacation spot, clothes you want, your dog, a concert.

Pick something and decide to go to it and just do it.

But, part two, keep an open mind about what getting to this place, or thing, or person, is like. You might see it crystal clear. You might get a strong emotional feeling. Be open to how the experience presents itself.

This one will be hard for me, I get so caught up in wanting to see things when I visualize that I forget to pay attention to my other senses!

*This was a lot more fun than I expected it to be.

I was trying to decide what to visualize when I remembered a dream I had a while back about a beautiful dance studio. I decided to go back to that studio in my visualization and made some changes to it.

I did my best to let my intuition guide me and to not take too much control, it went pretty well.

It was a really great experience and probably my favorite of the five.*

Final Thoughts:

I am very excited to get started with these exercises, I hope you’ll join me!

Remember that everyone will progress with this at their own pace, you may be a natural, or it may take you months to make noticeable progress.

I’m going into this with an open mind, knowing it may take a while, and my visualizations may not show up in the ways I desire. Here’s to stronger visualizations!

Let me know where you’re at in your visualization journey and if you have any other exercises to share!

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List of visualization exercises
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