Tuesday, January 10, 2023

How to Create a Manifestation Board For Spiritual Growth and Success

manifestation, success, growth, spiritual, witch, witchcraft, manifest, occult, magick, magic, wicca, wiccan, hedge witch, hedgewitch

It's that time again when everyone is setting lofty goals and dreams for the new year. Its a fresh start, so why not try to live better? While January 1st isn't the first day of the year according to the Wheel of the Year, it is the first day of the recognized calendar year in many parts of the world, which means it's associated with new beginnings, luck, fertility, hope, and manifestation, making it the perfect time to set intentions that will manifest throughout the year. Records suggest humans have been setting new year's resolutions for over 4,000 years, with the earliest form taking place in Babylon where people made promises to the gods. Later, the Romans made sacrifices to Janus, the god of transitions who was capable of simultaneously looking into the past and future. While the practice of setting New Year resolutions has certainly evolved, it's still widely popular today. However, studies indicate that at least two-thirds of people give up on their resolutions by February, so what can be done to help us achieve our goals and manifest our dreams?

One of the best ways to manifest what we want, whether it's something as simple as a new front door (raises hand), something larger like a new job, or even something intangible like happiness, is a manifestation board. This is a wonderful piece of magic rooted in psychology and the Law of Attraction. Nothing like a bit of science to back up the magic, eh? However, research shows that there are specific criteria that have to be met for the manifestation board to actually work. So let's take a look at the research, shall we?

Pham and Taylor from the University of California conducted two different experiments testing the theory of visualization in success among students, golfers, and tennis players. In the first experiment, three different groups of college freshmen were given different visualization techniques 5-7 days prior to taking their midterm exams. Group 1 was asked to visualize doing well on the exam for a few minutes every day; group 2 was asked to visualize studying for the exam, when they would study, and where so they would get a good grade; finally, group 3, the control group, were not told to visualize anything. It was found that those that visualized the process of studying spent more time studying, their studying techniques improved, and they overall performed better on the exam than their group one counterparts. Group 1 students felt better overall about their exams, but many of them still failed as they spent significantly less time studying. The end result is, it's not enough to visualize your goal in order to manifest it, you have to visualize the work required to get there as well. This is the same strategy Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers in the world, did prior to taking a shot while golfing.

Another study conducted by Oettingen and Wadden at the University of Pennsylvania tracked a group of obese women in a weight loss program for a full year. The group was asked to visualize how they would respond to different food-related scenarios, such as being presented with cake or a slice of pizza. Their responses were rated on a system from highly positive to highly negative. Those who had more positive thoughts lost about 26 fewer pounds over the course of the year than their negative counterparts. This says two things to me: First, being positive, which is so often forced upon us from every direction, especially in the love and light community, can negatively impact our life because it blocks valid emotions and concerns from being expressed and therefore worked through. Second, by blocking those 'negative' emotions and thoughts we shut ourselves off from problem-solving effectiveness. And when we do fail, it makes us feel even worse about ourselves, which isn't healthy. This study, however, does not support having harmful thoughts nor does it completely disregard the power of thinking positively; you just have to think positively toward the right goal.

These are just two of the many psychological studies that have been conducted on this topic and they all support the same basic conclusions.

1. You cannot visualize only the end results. You have to visualize the process required to achieve your goals.

2. You have to be practical and realistic in your goal and how you will rate your success. Being strictly positive can be counterintuitive. 

With these two thoughts in mind, you can create a powerful manifestation board. Normally manifestation and vision board directions simply have you cut out some cute pictures and sayings and glue or tack them onto a board and BAM! you're done. This isn't one of those manifestation boards. This one is going to take a bit of work and time to put together, but will be so worth it!

What You'll Need

  • Poster board, cork board, or some other flat surface you can attach your pictures and affirmations to
  • Scissors
  • Glue, pushpins, tape, or another method of attaching your items to your surface
  • Images and affirmations associated with your intentions and goals
  • Rosemary incense and holder or dried rosemary, charcoal, and a heat-safe dish (for mental clarity and wisdom)

What to Do

Begin by finding images and affirmations associated with your intentions and goals. However, you should not only find images of the final result. Be sure to include images showing the process of acquiring your goal. For example, if you are looking for a new job, have images showing the steps of acquiring a new job, such as a to-do list, someone updating their resume, someone interviewing, pictures of the job you want, etc. If you are looking to eat better or lose weight, show pictures of people shopping for healthy foods, budgeting, making healthy meals, exercising, or weight loss progression. Maybe you want to learn runes or tarot. If so, find images of someone studying, taking notes, casting runes or tarot, and doing readings. I like to look through magazines for images the best, but you can also print them off if you don't have access to magazines or can't find images related to your goal. Be sure to include affirmations as well, as these are statements you can turn into daily mantras to increase your chances of success.

Once you have acquired your images, affirmations, and supplies, cleanse and consecrate your space using your preferred method. If you feel inclined, cast a circle and call any spirits or deities you wish to work with.

When ready, light the rosemary incense and close your eyes. Meditate on the intention(s) of your manifestation board. What are you trying to manifest in your life? Visualize yourself not only manifesting your goals but also working towards them. See yourself taking the steps necessary to be successful.

Open your eyes and begin constructing your manifestation board using the images and mantras. How you construct this is completely up to you. I suggest letting your intuition guide the way. No matter what, keep your intention firmly in mind. If you need to, create a chant or song to sing while working. It's okay if your mind begins to wander during this process. Gently redirect back to your intention.

When your board is complete, close your circle and thank any spirits or deities you may have invited. Place the board somewhere you will see it every day, multiple times a day, to remind you of your goals and the work that is required of you. Remember, this will only work if you put in the work as well. I have mine placed in my office at home where I spend the most time so I see it often and regularly to help keep me on track.

However, making your manifestation board is not enough. If everyone could just slap some pictures onto a poster board and end up living their best life, everyone would do it. You have to actively and consistently work toward your goals in order to manifest them. This means taking small, everyday actionable steps toward your goal. For example, I am currently working on getting back to running 3+ miles several times a week. To reach this goal, I have set a realistic deadline based on my current performance, activity level, and available time. I started out walking more and increasing my cardio before running around a mile a couple of times a week, doing strength training to build back muscles, stretching to help elevate muscle pain and tension, and fueling my body correctly before and after runs and workouts. On the days I rest, I make a conscious effort to walk more at work, so I am at least moving my body in a positive way. If you are looking at growing spiritually, start small by incorporating a magical ritual into your daily routine, such as stirring your morning coffee or tea clockwise, meditating for 5-10 minutes, journaling, or even regularly bathing with intention. Heck, brushing your teeth can be magical if you make it so. Your manifestation board is there to remind you of your goals and the steps necessary to manifest your desires as you embark on this journey. It cannot do the work for you.

Magical Suggestions

There are lots of things you can do to infuse your manifestation board with magic. As a witch, I love finding ways to incorporate more magic into my life. Below are some ways you can make your manifestation board more magical and increase your chances of success.

Element Magic
To bring some elemental magic into your board, you can divide it into four sections, one for each element, and add the images and mantras for the goals that align with each element in those boxes. For example, exercising and weight loss could go under Fire, which is associated with energy and activity. If you are looking for a new job, put it under Earth. You can learn more about elemental correspondences in my Elemental Magic Series.

Color Magic
Use colors that correspond with your magical intentions to lend additional energies. This can be done by writing mantras in certain colors, framing the pictures with colored paper, outlining them in the color of your choice, or even using glitter. If you wish to manifest abundance, try using greens and golds. Looking for a new job? Use blues, oranges, and browns. You can learn more about color correspondences here.

Plant Magic
Add herbs and plant material or plant oils associated with your goals and success. For example, bay leaves to attract strength and success, rosemary for wisdom, meadowsweet to increase your chances of finding a new job, or nutmeg and cinnamon for money and abundance. You can learn more about herbal correspondences here. If using oil, dab the corners with your chosen oil, being sure to avoid damaging your pictures.

Crystal Magic
Crystal chips make a great addition to the manifestation board as they are small enough to be easily affixed to the board without weighing it down too much. Pick chips associated with your goals such as quartz to amplify, tiger's eye for courage and strength, or amethyst for spiritual success. Apart from adding crystals directly to the board, you can also use them to charge your manifestation board with magical intent. You can do this when you make the board and regularly throughout the year to give it and you an extra magical boost. This is especially helpful if you are struggling in a certain area.

Lunar or Sun Magic
Charge your manifestation board under the waxing/full moon, which is associated with manifestation, or in sunlight, which is associated with strength and success. If you do leave this to bask in the sunlight, don't leave it too long as it can fade your pictures.

Deities, Ancestors, and Spirit Guides
You can also call about your preferred deities or spirit guides to help you during this process, both in the making of the manifestation board and in the process of manifesting your goals. Much as you would call on them for aid during other times, you can use your manifestation board as a petition. Place it on your altar or altar dedicated to your ancestors, deities, or spirit guides and ask for their assistance. Be sure to leave them daily offerings, communicate your successes and failures, and otherwise thank them for their help. Keep the lines of communication open and remember they are not obligated to help you.

There are, of course, dozens of ways to add some magic to your manifestation board, so if you have some other ideas, go for it! Personalizing your manifestation board helps connect it to you and increases the likelihood that you will be successful in manifesting your desires.

I hope all of you manifest your best year and that all your goals and dreams come true. Remember, you are doing the best you can and whatever you do this year, you are enough. You are always enough.

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