houseofchimeras: (Lunatani - Self)
Date First Written: February 2012

This essay is meant to be a walk-through ways to perfect your visualization skills of animal forms if you feel you are having trouble. Not everyone visualizes the same way (or in the case of people with dæmons - projects) the same way is at all, but this is meant to be helpful for people who would like to project a little easier or in more detail. It starts with very basic shapes and ideas and moves on up into more and more complex shapes. May it be somewhat helpful in projecting your dæmon better. 

First, start off with the bare-bones basics - basic shapes. They are much easier to visualize then the complex framework of even the simplest of animals. First start off by visualizing a basic geometrical shape like a triangle or a square. Begin with your eyes closed and image one in front of you. Some people finding visualizing to the blank insides of their eyelids easier at first than trying to see onto things as complex as the world around us, so try these first few experiences with just your eyed closed. If you have trouble seeing the shape in your mind as clearly as you would like - look at a picture of a basic shape for several seconds and then immanently close your eyes and try to visualize one afterward.  Try extending the time between looking at the reference and then trying to visualize it.

Next, try making the shape of your choice bigger like its coming closer to you and then make it smaller likes its moving away from you. If this is difficult don’t worry. Practice makes perfect. Again, if you’re having trouble with this, find or draw an image of a shape on a piece a paper and look at it for some time; moving your head closer and farther away to give the effect, and then close your eyes again and try again. Try and remember what you just saw. Then try and do this without a reference on hand.

After you are comfortable with this shape try moving it around rather than just backwards and forwards. Move it side to side, and then have it move left or right while moving towards or away from you. Try rotating and spinning this two- dimensional shape around and around, and other more complex motions. The more you practice, the more likely it will become second nature to you and from that the easier things can become down the road, so don’t be afraid to dwell on certain levels of complexity until it comes much more second nature to you.

Once this becomes easy, try a three-dimensional version of a shape - a pyramid rather than a triangle, a box rather than a square, etc. Again, still with your eyes closed, have it move forward and backward and then side to side and then all around and spin it. If you have trouble look up an image of the three-dimensional shape or even a video of the shape moving around if you can. Again try and really test yourself with this basic shape and see how well you can see it moving around all around you.

Next, its now time to try all these with your eyes open. Try visualizing these shapes against both stationary backgrounds and active backgrounds. Stationary backgrounds and when you yourself are stationary is often the easiest, while on the other hand moving and active backgrounds while you yourself are in motion are often the hardest. If an active background is too difficult, try a simpler and calmer background and then work yourself up to more active ones. First try and just see first a two-dimensional then a three-dimensional shape around you while you are sitting and what is around you is unmoving. Next try, seeing these shapes on a moving background such as while in a car visualize them zooming by outside or along the car. Finally move on to you moving and the shapes moving with you. 

Now, lets move on to actual animal bodies.

First, find a picture of an animal you are comfortable with - one you know well already like a dog or cat, and/or one you and your daemon seems naturally like for a good start. Look at the image for moment, memorizing the details and take special note of the joints. Close your eyes and replicate the still image in as good of detail as you can. Feel free to go over this exercise with the same image or multiple images of the same animal until you are comfortable with how it looks. Next see these images with your eyes open.

Next, find an image of the animal you have been working with that is in full and showing all of its body (if you haven’t already been using one) and try imagining that same body in the same pose in front of you - cutting out the background around the animal in the image you are using. Don’t try and move anything, simply try and see the image in as best you can in front of you.

If it is important to you  (for some people it isn’t) - try and make the size of the visualized animal in front of you about the same as the animal in real life, even if that means looking up the physical animal’s size and using a tap measure (I’ve had to do it!). Practice your skills now with other little details of realism you care to try your hand at - projected shadows to boot, lighting and shading, etc while the visualized image is not moving.
Next, try and find a video clip of the animal you’ve been using/taking. (If you cannot find a video of your exact animal or can’t find one which will work for you try and pick the next closest animal form you can find). Study the animal’s movements in the clip. Watch the joints and gate of the animal. Next project that in front of you replicating the same movements. Find more videos until you are comfortable and think you have the basic anatomy of the animal down.

Now try  free style, but never feel afraid to look up video or image references like crazy t help you see better.

Projecting the shape of an animal in motion is most difficult while moving and while one is having to focus anything else but just only projecting one’s dæmon. To make this easier, its best to try and become comfortable with visualizing outside of these more taxing situations. Become comfortable with projecting while not trying to think of multiple things at once or doing other daily tasks which require a lot of attention (like driving, working, etc). projecting during more mentally taxing times of the day tends to become a bit easier when you don’t have to really think as hard about seeing your dæmon.
Finally, if you come upon a form which doesn’t seem to flow right while projecting, try going through the second half of these experiences as you see fit to help make the projection feel more natural and be easier to you. Sometimes the mind just doesn’t seem to work right for projecting and needs a refresher on what a form looks like.   

For advice on visualizing and “seeing” things more clearly we also recommend these webpages - 5 Weeks to Developing The Magic of Visualisation and Visualize: How to improve your visualization skills among other websites which give tips for toward clearer visualization because - while a number of really helpful visualization techniques which might be helpful to daemians are actually meant for people of the occult, New Age, or neopagan side of life - using the steps to help improve and refine projection can be easily done for anyone interested.

Best of luck!

- Lunatani

July 2014

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