visualization The use of mental imagery to realize and obtain goals. In a magical RITUAL, visualization facilitates the fulfillment of the ritual’s purpose. A strong ability to visualize SIGILS, spirits and gods, SYMBOLS, and other aspects of ritual is a priMary skill of the MAGICIAN. In visualization, a mental picture of the desired result is held firmly and vividly in the mind, as if it were already real. Visualization is most effective when practiced in an altered state of consciousness, such as in meditation or in ritual, when the psychic forces of the mind flow more easily. In an altered state, the conscious mind connects with the Higher Self and aligns itself to the flow of cosmic forces in the universe. The power of THOUGHT, IMAGINATION, and WILL to create reality has been known for centuries; it is an integral part of magical systems and religions throughout history. In modern times, visualization is a tool of psychology and is used for self-improvement, obtaining goals and healing. In 1960 Maxwell Maltz, an American plastic surgeon, published Pyscho-Cybernetics, which discusses self-image psychology and the enormous influence of the imagination upon self-image. Maltz observed in his practice that plastic surgery often altered patients’ self-image so that their personalities underwent positive transformations. Others whose poor self-image remained the same despite the surgery experienced little or no improvement in selfesteem. In psychical research, mental imagery has been found to contain and convey extrasensory information, such as PRECOGNITION and telepathic messages. These skills are developed in the practice of ceremonial MAGIC.