Sensing Subtle Energy Pt 1

What is Subtle Energy?

For that matter, what do I mean when I say “energy” in the first place?

If you have not already checked out my post on defining energy in a magical context, you may want to read that before you continue with this article. In the aforementioned content, I address the oft-abused term of energy and set the record straight, at least for my own material, on what this and similar words actually mean.

The term subtle energy refers primarily to energy of a psychic or magical nature that is not universally detectable, or able to be seen, touched, etc. by most of the population.

Beyond the three dimensions in which we have our material being exists a matrix of currents and channels that, in Magic Theory, consist of the spirit world, astral plane, etheric plane, web of life, and collective consciousness. The fundamental energy and substance of this matrix is subtle, unknown to modern science and presumed imaginary because it originates from and exists mainly within dimensions of space we cannot measure nor access in our typical state of consciousness.

In many magical paradigms the substance of consciousness is a subtle form, and the fabric of the unconscious mind is identical or nearly identical to the substance of the astral plane (known as the world between worlds in some lore). Hence a bridge between realms or dimensions exists in our unconscious mind. Perhaps this is among the reasons scientists who study the emergent property of consciousness have difficulty understanding how and from where the phenomenon of human consciousness arises.

How do you See the Unseen or Feel the Intangible?

 The answer to this question is not an easy one to give or interpret because it goes beyond the parameters we all understand. How indeed can you, for example, see a thing that exists outside of the light frequency range accessed by the human eye?

In the case of psychic visions or seeing imagery connected to spirits or subtle energy, I would say we are using our mind’s eye, commonly called the “third eye” chakra. This energy center is found between and slightly above your physical eyes, and it processes subtle energy for a range of reasons, to include the development or application of psychic seeing. This chakra, along with the crown, are often associated with the pineal gland in the center of the human brain, and said gland contains cells similar to those found in the retina.

I don’t know if the latter statement correlates to the experience of psychic vision, but it may. Even if there is correlation, that is of course not proof of causation. Still, it is compelling, is it not?

I think what really matters for the nerds who want to know how these things work is the fact that our eyes are simply collection devices, and vision occurs on the surface of the brain, just as all other sensory experiences take place in specific regions of our brains. Knowing this it should not be too difficult to suppose we can see, hear, etc. those things undetectable by our sense organs, if some other method of receiving the appropriate signals were to exist.

Just as people have varying degrees of acuity with the five standard senses, with some seeing better than others, hearing more or less keenly than others, etc., each person also has a unique psychic sensitivity and range of personal capabilities. Some people can’t see at all with their physical eyes, and I believe an individual can be blind in the psychic sense as well.

Simple meditation with the intent to know or discover, coupled with daily awareness practice will give you a good indication of how your psychic senses operate and what areas may be your strongest. Some of the more common abilities or psychic senses (I really just think of them as experiences.) are:

  • Clairvoyance is psychic vision.
  • Clairaudience is psychic hearing.
  • Clairalience is psychic smell.
  • Clairgustance is psychic taste.
  • Clairtangency is psychic perception as touch.

Each of these warrants at least one long article – probably a book or two – in its own right, but that’ not y task for today. I just wanted to touch quickly upon them as part of the overall discussion, which, alas, is likely too short as well

For every avenue of psychic perception there are corresponding chakras and elements. Such associations have been interpreted differently by different cultures and teachers over the centuries, and individual makeup and experience certainly play a part in the correspondence that work best for individual practitioners. I like the following relationships and recommend them as a starting point.

  • Psychic vision relates to the third eye and elemental fire or air.
  • Psychic hearing relates to the throat chakra and two other chakras found just above the physical ears on each side of the head and elemental air.
  • Psychic smell is of earth and the root or base chakra.
  • Psychic taste corresponds to water and the sacral chakra.
  • Psychic touch is centered in the heart chakra and the elements water or air.

Sometimes You Just Know

Rather than seeing or hearing subtle energy you maty have the experience of simply being aware of it, or knowing when a certain energy is present, when energetic values increase or decrease, and so on.

This form of psychic perception can be difficult to explain or understand, as it often arises spontaneously and without warning. It may involve a sense of “just knowing” something to be true, even if you cannot explain how you know it. Some people may experience this type of psychic perception as a physical sensation, such as a tingling or warmth in the body. Others may simply have a strong sense of intuition or insight that guides them. Clairsentience and claircognizance are two common terms used to describe this type of psychic perception, and they may be associated with the crown chakra and the element of ether or spirit.

Emotional Awareness as the “6th Sense”

For many, the feelings or emotions are heavily involved in subtle sensory or psychic awareness. This can be purely feeling-intuition or, more often, any combination of normal sense perception with emotional stimulation. For example I sometimes get abstract visual info alongside a vivid sense of happiness or sadness, depending upon whether the energy encountered is beneficial or detrimental in nature.

Our emotions can provide valuable information about the world around us, and they can serve as a form of psychic perception. When we are in tune with our emotions, we may be able to sense the energy or intentions of others, even if they are not expressing these things verbally. This can be especially useful in situations where we need to make quick decisions or assess potential threats. However, it’s important to remember that our emotions can also be influenced by our own biases and past experiences, so it’s important to approach emotional awareness with mindfulness and self-awareness. This type of psychic perception may be related to the sacral and/or heart chakra and the element of water, as it involves a deep connection to our emotions and our ability to empathize with others.

Simple Energetic Awareness

I have prattled on (and on!) about psychic awareness, which is in essence what sensing subtle energy is, but I started this post with the idea of simple energetic awareness.

A way to apply the concepts discussed in this article to detection or awareness of subtle energy is to meditate upon any/all of the seven main chakras and try to sense the varying types of currents in and around your body. Perhaps right away, or perhaps with time if you commit to this work you will become aware of the mystical frequencies, and with more time you will recognize the differences in quality and quantity of different energy centers, of your aura at different times, and so on.

This experience will eventually extend beyond your personal energy sphere into the environment and the matrices of other living creatures. You will know when “fire” is present in another’s intent or when a room has a definite “water” quality, for example.

You will even begin to perceive spirits and other invisible entities, as well as interpreting what magicians and astrologers call planetary energy. It all begins and ends with the basic intent to experience the unknown energetics of the mystical and magical paradigm.

It’s as real as you’ll allow it to be.

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