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  • Writer's pictureMichelle

Engage Your Senses: An Exercise in Sensing Energy

I’ve seen a lot of witches and polytheists struggle with doing energy work, often lamenting that they can’t sense energy. But usually after some conversation on the topic, it turns out they ARE sensing energy, they just aren’t doing it the way they expected to. But in my experience (and I’ve been practicing energy work since 1999), it’s rare for two people to sense energy in exactly the same way. The challenge is understanding how you, personally, experience energy. And the only way to do that is to practice. So here’s a simple and fun little exercise that might help you begin to understand how you sense energy.


A hand holding a dried rose with blurred lights in the background and the words "Engage your senses: an exercise in sensing energy"

And, bonus, this technique also helps you begin understanding the energies of items you might want to work with magickally or energetically. You don’t need books full of “correspondences” if you can go directly to the plant, stone, or other being to find out who they are and how they affect you and the energy around them.


So, sensing the energy of a physical item can go something like this:


  1. Choose an object whose energy you want to explore. It’s easiest if the object is small enogh to hold in your hands, especially at first.

  2. Place the item within reach but not touching you. In a box or bag close at hand is great.

  3. Now get comfortable. Some energy workers say you shouldn’t cross your legs or arms, as this could hinder the flow of energy. I don’t always find this to be true, but if you’re new to sensing energy, you might want to take this advice to give you the best chance of feeling the energy move. More importantly, be as comfortable as you can. Breathe as you usually would.

  4. Now engage your senses. How does your body feel? Are you hot or cold? Do you have any areas of discomfort? Do you feel any tingles, flutters, or vibrations anywhere in  your body? Do you feel tired or energized or somewhere in between? Take your time paying attention to input from your senses. What do you hear, smell, taste, see (both with your eyes open, and with your eyes closed)? Pay attention to your breath: is it fast, slow, somewhere in between? Are you breathing deeply, or shallowly? Don’t hurry through this part of the exercise: you’re getting a sense of yourself and your current energetic state.

  5. When you’ve scanned your bodily sensations and made mental note of sensory input, take your chosen object in your hands or rest it in your lap. If it’s too large to hold, place your hand on it or lean against it

  6. Take several breaths and make sure you’re comfortable again.

  7. Now repeat step four while holding or touching the object. Check in with your senses. Do you notice any differences in your sensory input now that you’re holding the item? How does the item itself feel? When you close your eyes, what do you see? Do you have any tingles, flutters, or vibrations you didn’t have before you held the item? How does your body temperature compare to before? What about your breath? Once again really take your time here, paying careful attention to ALL your senses.

  8. When you’re finished, thank the item for spending time with you and set it aside. Jot down notes about the experience so you can compare it to future repetitions of the exercise.

  9. You might feel a little spacy or odd after even simple energy work exercises. So when you’re finished, check in with yourself. Drink a little water, maybe have a small, protein rich snack. Stretch a little, or pat yourself down to make sure you’re really present in your body. An exercise like this one rarely (but not never!) causes a person to feel particularly ungrounded or out of it, but it’s good to get in the habit of checking in with yourself and making sure you're grounded and present before going on with your day.


Repeating this exercise with a variety of items over time will help you begin to understand how YOU sense energy. Energetic sensations vary from person to person, and comparing is really fun as long as we understand there’s no one right way to sense energy. You might feel vibrations or temperature fluctuations, you might hear different tones or musical notes, you might see textures or colors or moving lights, you might feel emotional shifts that have nothing to do with your personal emotional state, or any other of a vast number of responses to shifting energy. It really helps to approach energy work with playfulness and curiosity. I’ve always found energy work to be full of surprises and that’s my favorite part.


Image of a hand holding a rose by Javardh, courtesy of Unsplash


If this post inspired or informed you, or just made you happy, feel free to buy me a cup of ko-fi. Your support helps with the cost of web hosting and other expenses, allowing me to spend more time creating posts for you.


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Image by Annie Spratt

Michelle Simkins

polytheist . writer . maker . witch

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