Breathing, energy, and magic are about as tightly wound together as a DNA helix. There is absolutely no breaking those three apart, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that changing your breathing pattern can be an effective energy-raiser (or diminisher, I suppose).
In regular breathing, inhalations and exhalations are generally shallow, and they don’t actively move large parts of your body. Magical breathing really focuses on consciously and fully expanding the abdomen, lungs, and ribcage on the inhalation, and fully emptying the lungs and the exhalation. Yoga and other physical work concentrates on this, too. One very basic way to differentiate physical breathing from magical breathing is to weave numerology patterns into your breath control. This way, the number of breaths you take in a pattern has symbolic significance in addition to the energy changes that it physically induces.
Practice: Power Breathing
The following power-breathing technique comes from the ancient Polynesian system of magic called Huna. The word Huna is similar to the English word ‘occult’; both mean ‘secret’. The benefits of using this technique to raise energy include:
- It is silent, so you can practice it anywhere
- It involves a completely internal process, so you don’t need candles, drums, incense, or anything else to aid you.
To begin, find a quiet place to sit with your feet planted solidly on the ground. Close your eyes. Imagine that you hear soft, rhythmic drumming in the distance. Begin to inhale. Using the imaginary drumbeat as a metronome, inhale on an even count of four. Hold the breath for another even count of four. Exhale the breath to an even count of four. Hold in that exhaled position for another even count of four. That entire cycle of inhalation-hold-exhalation-hold is counted as one breath in this magical technique. In order to create power, you must complete forty magical breath cycles. This may take about fifteen to twenty minutes to complete.
To further enhance this technique, use the following visualizations:
- As you inhale, imagine that you breathe in pure, raw energy.
- As you hold the breath, imagine that this energy transforms in color to a deep blue.
- As you exhale, imagine that you aim the blue energy to the area just above your head; while you continue on with all forty cycles, imagine that the pool of blue energy increases in size.
The Polynesians believe that this energy you first inhale is unrefined. They say that the human body converts this energy into a useable form. The pool of energy that gathers about your head does not dissipate; it remains intact until you use it.
When you are finished with this technique, be sure to ground and center yourself by pressing the palms of your hands, your knees, and your forehead to the ground.
Let it never be said that breathing isn’t difficult! I’ve done a similar breathing practice of inhale-hold-exhale-hold when I practiced Kundalini meditation, and it took me a good long while to get the hang of it. It’s been a few years since I last practiced, and boy–did I ever notice! I didn’t last with this more than five minutes before I got all lightheaded and couldn’t keep my inhale-two-three-four hold-two-three-four exhale-two-three-four hold-two-three-four count.
That being said, I think that I’m better off with a breath power-raising practice when I can accompany it with repetitive motions. A kundalini yoga set is especially great for this as you envision energy moving up each of your chakra points and have a different motion repetition for each of the points. I think I will try to keep practicing this huna set and see if I can’t get a better hang of it, but I’m going to see if I can’t find my Kundalini DVD and re-teach myself a few beginner’s sets, too.