Witches have many tools at their disposal that people don't often consider important, because they are overlooked and ignored. Intuition is that gut feeling, that sense of something without knowing why you feel it. Listen to that little voice, learn to follow your heart (or stomach, as the case may be), and you have learned to follow intuition.

Visualization is that day-dream type feeling where you close your eyes and see an event unfold, where you see what you want to happen. With practice, a witch can use visualization to make things happen, with use of grounding and energy. It is a very important skill in witchcraft, and one that you'll want to develop.

Meditation is just a state of mind where you have let go of conscious thought. I like to start by visualizing a calm, smooth pond. No ripples - thoughts cause the pond to ripple. If I focus on keeping the pond smooth and calm long enough, I lose the pond entirely and find my mind free. It's sort of like having a blank slate. I find that once you ground and center, you are in the altered state (the state ready for magick and ritual) and from there you can easily move into a deeper state of meditation.

This is a meditation/visualization that I used to find my first spirit animal allies, and I often share it with people seeking theirs. Even if you've already made contact with yours, it is a wonderful way to relax, feel connected to the Earth and her children, and find private space to speak with your spirit friends. This meditation works best if you have someone leading you - that is, speaking the meditation aloud while you follow their words with visualization. If you can't find a meditation partner, that's ok. You can visualize this alone just as well.

Again, get yourself completely comfortable somewhere. Your favorite easy-chair, a pile of pillows in a corner of your room, maybe a spot under your favorite tree, wherever that is. Have a cup of tea, read a good book, cuddle with a pet; maybe even cast a simple circle and light a candle and some incense. Whatever will put you most at ease is what you should do. Once you are completely relaxed, ground and center yourself, and close your eyes.

You are standing in the middle of a lush, healthy forest. You can feel moist earth, bits of branch and bark, and small stones underneath your bare feet, and your hands rest on the rough mossy surface of a tall oak tree. You can smell the water after the morning rain all around you, leaving the forest misty and cool, glistening on the leaves and in tiny pools on the ground. The forest smells of pine and oak, birch and cedar, wet bark and damp earth, and fresh wind and rain. Look above you to the canopy of the trees; the sky is brilliant blue through the gaps in the leaves, wispy white clouds draping the heights. The Sun shines full and bright upon the forest, turning the leaves above into dappled stained-glass of different shades of green. You reach down into a small pool and touch your lips with clear, fresh rainwater, tasting its cool pureness. The wind comes through the leaves, whispering off of branch and bush, singing its own song. The birds are singing that song as well, cheerfully filling the forest with their calls, accented by the occasional frog's note. Look at the forest around you. Touch it, smell it, taste it, and hear it. Now feel the forest, inside and out. Feel all the elements, the wind and water, the earth and the sun, and the love of the Gods all around you. Become part of that forest.

See yourself walking down a path - the path will look as you see it, and feel it. The path is your walk with your spirituality, your learning....it is the path that we all walk in different ways. Follow the path until it leads you to a grove of birch trees, tall and slender and glowing white in the sunshine. The outside of the circle is lined with beautiful wildflowers; a pool of deep, clear water stands in the middle and nine stones enclose the circle round. The sun shines bright and full overhead, and the sky moves quickly as the wind brushes its ever-moving veil of clouds along. Stand at the entrance for a moment, using all of your senses to feel the grove. When it feels right, move to wherever is calling you - the rocks, the water, the flowers..... whatever one you feel is the best for you, and is where you belong.

Close your eyes in the meditation and feel the warm sun on your face, the cool breeze through your hair, the dew on your feet and the rock beneath you. Sit and listen to all the sounds the forest makes, especially the animals. Think about how much you would like for an animal ally to come and speak to you in such a beautiful and meaningful place. Don't speak, but just listen to the forest and its creatures; hear the trees speaking, and the wind, and the animals. If you wait long enough, you may hear footsteps through the brush into the grove. Your spirit animal will stand before you from whichever direction it emerged. Thank it for coming, and then talk to it for as long as it is willing to stay.

When your meditation is done, don't forget to ground yourself well and give the energies back to the Earth. If it doesn't work the first time, don't worry about it. Just try it again another day, and perhaps your guide will be ready to show themselves to you. If nothing else, this is a great method of relaxing and communing with Nature and Deity, no matter where you are. You do not have to memorize this meditation; it is merely a guide to finding your spirit animal allies and it is the spirit of the thing that counts.