This is an excerpt from the upcoming Animist Workbook by Minta Ann Carlson about using a manifestation workbook.
The Animists Workbook: Summoning a Steed, an exercise in manifestation
Note from the author:
I like this exercise because it is an opportunity to practice manifestation and it strengthens the natural magical tools all of us have. It is my belief that every human being alive today has the capacity to do magic, but most lack the training. Because of our history of institutionalized dismantling of magical and folk spiritual practices, we also have developed the very bad habit of hunting our magical teachers into extinction; yes, even a number of the ones that we’ve built popular modern religious movements around.
I hope this guide will help you in your Great Work.
Yours Most Fondly,
There are times in life where one finds it necessary to summon a noble steed. Perhaps one is imminently approaching a great battle. Or they find themselves in a pit, so deep that they cannot lift themselves out. Or one could simply be experiencing loneliness. All of these are acceptable reasons.
There are no rules that limit you from asking the universe for what you want.
Defining the Steed
For the purposes of this guide, a steed is an animal large enough to carry you. There are no restrictions surrounding what type of animal you may find yourself summoning. Mythical animals are fairly common.
The common misconception is that this steed must be a horse. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. That line of logic is limited, and defeats the purpose of the exercise. (It is true that a certain kind of person might find themselves summoning a horse, but that is a result of what a horse represents to them, and not of what a steed is.)
In summoning, one should take into account the usefulness of the steed. If you are a person who lives on a boat, you may want a steed with fins or wings.
If you are a person who lives in the trees, a horse might cause more problems than you are prepared for.
If you are a vegetarian, you may not be happy in your relationship with a carnivorous steed. It is advised to know yourself before attempting to manifest anything. This rule should be applied generously to any other practical magic.
Take everything into consideration. I suggest drawing a picture of your life, your overarching quests and their individual restrictions and requirements. Make a list of helpful traits a steed might have. Compile all these details onto a sheet of paper.
Think of the steed that you most want.
Preparing Your Mind
It is common for beginners of the art of manifestation to question and restrict their imagination. For practical reasons we are instructed as children on how to differentiate between the physical world and the spiritual world. In many ways, this is a very important lesson.
However, the spiritual or energetic world does not cease to exist. We’ve defined it as non-physical or untraditionally physical. It has not been destroyed. We’ve simply created a system to manage our physical boundaries and support our own safety.
In magical training, we are asked to reintegrate the natural tools we possess. These allow us to connect with the universe. They are like extra senses – like a special kind of listening or seeing. This can be confusing to new practitioners, because in the media these tools are made to look as though they behave the exact same way as our other senses. But, that isn’t the way that they work, so you have to come up with creative methods for training them.
Take your list of helpful traits, life circumstances, and notes about yourself. Fold it very carefully, and hold it in your right hand. Hold in your mind a space where the energy that will form into your perfect steed will fill. Breathe in slowly, so that your energetic body fills with universal energy. Hold in your mind a formless blob of energy. On your slow exhale, blow onto the folded up paper.
Summoning the Steed
Depending on your living arrangements, you may decide you want to proceed with the last step outside.
Light a candle outside or in a place where you are comfortable burning something. Bring the folded piece of paper outside with you. By this time, your mind should scrubbing clean traces of the words written on the paper. This will be easier for some than it is for others, but imagine scrubbing the words away with bleach, leaving a clean white paper behind.
Catch the paper on fire and let it burn. It is worth letting it burn out. Watch the flame, and let it tell you anything it needs to. There is the distinct possibility it will have nothing to say. Just leave space for it.
Call in the help of your ancestors. Pour a little wine or leave a little bread for them beside the fire.
Say the name of your steed. You may or may not already know what your steed looks like. That depends entirely on your specific magical lineage and the gifts it imparts on you. If you do know what the steed looks like, simply call it into the space with you.
If you aren’t yet familiar with it, ask it to show itself. It could look like just about anything, but should be large enough to ride. If anything seems amiss in its size or form, ask it to try again. It may have been some time since it’s been summoned by you, and may not remember how to come together.
The steed is with you now. It may take time before you feel its energy as any physical sensation; that is a skill that takes a good deal of work to unlock. Nonetheless, it is with you, and will aid you however it can. I recommend asking it for support and guidance telepathically.
Also, you can be comforted in knowing it is always with you. You may, at any point, dismiss it, but you will not need an entire ritual to reform it. It may also evolve over time – this is natural. It is a part of your spiritual body, and thus follows the same general rules.
I hope this guide has been helpful to the reader. Until next time, good luck on your adventure. Don’t forget to write this in your daily log, and take notes of all the details.
Happy journey using your manifestation workbook. Check out these offerings from The Alchemist’s Kitchen to help further with your manifestation this new year!