What is visualization
I think that not once somebody has questioned the importance of "imagining" in the occult, but as you will soon find out, visualization and day-dreaming are two different things. Specifically speaking the visualization is something that aids in your focus while day-dreaming shatters it. And yes, you can do Magick without visualization, just like you can fry eggs without pan and write on paper without hands.
To make a little bit better distinction, we could say that imagining is something that draw the attention away from your real perception while visualization actively participates within. Or to be less mysterious we could say that if you imagine apple, you can see it falling from the tree, if you visualize an apple, you can see it right before your very eyes.Benefits of the visualization skill
Metaphysically speaking, visualization creates a very vivid hallucination which can be used as a focal point. If enough willpower and concentration goes in, astral will start shaping, too. What is shaped and how depends on a couple of factors, but important part is we can use visualization to help as focus on whatever we are doing and guide us like tracks.
There is also a mundane benefit. Being able to perfectly "see" something in the front of your eyes is a great way to double-check sides of that square you just drew in school (if you visualize a ruler), to "draw" (outline) greatly from memory, or at least to draw a decent straight line.Practicing the visualization
This skill can occur naturally and a lot of artist actually have it as they can already "see" the art, whether on canvas or in stone, they just need to get rid off the remaining pieces to reveal the statue that was hiding in the piece of rock for this long, same as painters just need to paint over the white spaces of the canvas to reveal that hidden masterpiece behind the blank. But for the rest of us: we have to acquire this talent, we have to deserve it. So, let me jump right to the exercises.Basic exercise
Everything starts with imagination. First you have to exercise your imagination and its stability. For that you need to chose a simple object. Start with basic shapes and simple colors. Imagine just a shape, just a color or a colored object (always only one object per session, don't jump back and forth as that would be counter-productive).
Once you reach the time when you are able to imagine something for a few minutes with no trouble, you can start with more complex objects (no plasticity needed, yet).Eyelid exercise
Once you have gain experience with the imagination, you can start practicing the basic visualization. With your eyes closed (and preferrably in a room with rather dim lighting), focus on the object you wish to visualize and try to actually see it before your eyes, on the eyelid background. Once again start with simple shapes and work through your progress up the complexity scale. At this stage you can also start visualizing plastic (3D) objects.
Once again, when you can hold this visualization for some time, move to the next exercise. It is also going to happen that sometimes when your concentration slips and your visualization falls apart, you will still see a vague outline of the object in the blackness of your eyelids, like it was imprinted into it.
It is also good to note that practicing trataka can be beneficial for the eyelid exercise as it can get you used to maintaining the after-image.Paper exercise
Once you got the previous exercises down, it is a time to project your visualization to your area. Take a blank sheet of paper and place it on a clean table that lacks other distractions (like Elvis wobble head statue). Your task is now to visualize the object on the surface of the paper. Once again start with simple shapes and work your way up.
After this is done, you can start with 3D objects, visualizing them lying on the surface of paper rather than being part of the surface. Try to keep the depth and orientation of the object in mind and try to keep the visualization steady for as long as you are able to.
Once again, trataka helps with this exercise, especially during the beginning, as for the plastic imagery, that's a little bit harder, but what is interesting about it is its place in the environment. The visualization seems to be affected by your surroundings. You can actually place an object between you and the visualization and the covered are won't be visible to you (unless you want otherwise).
Once you conquered this exercise, as well, you can begin practicing on other surfaces with more complex textures (your table, the carpet in your living room, pavement, grass, on the tree, anywhere), or even in the middle of nothing, for that I also recommend to practice the gaze as referenced in the article below.References