For several years, Ive been getting together with friends to make magical New Year's Collages on Candlemas. After casting a circle and creating sacred space, we gather together over a table piled with pictures, glue, scissors, glitter, photographs and other items that will help us create a visual representation of what we want to bring into our lives during the new year. I always keep my newest collage above my desk where I can see it every day, but the walls of my room are covered with the old ones, all icons of my dreams.
The first year I made a collage which showed different things in the four directions for the four seasons. The lighthouse picture I put in the east has become the Watchtower of the East for me and I see it every time I call that direction. I also put a llama in the south in that collage and that was the summer I found a llama I could buy and a place to keep it (I chickened out and never called about the llama).
Sometimes I use symbols to represent qualities I want. One particularly creative year the central images in my collage were a nest and a flower. Last year, uncomfortable with being too blatant about what I wanted, I put a glimpse of a rumpled bed seen through a half-closed door in my collage, and that's exactly what I got a glimpse of sexuality. This year I plan to be more explicit.
My friend, Liza, made a collage that became a portal. When she slept with it over her bed, she felt presences come into her room. She eventually moved it to another location where it did not have quite the same impact. I give you these examples to let you know how profound these images can be.
Visualization has always been acknowledged as an important skill in practising magic but, with the publication of Shakti Gawain's pivotal book, Creative Visualization, it became well known in the general culture so that now every book about success in any field counsels the value of clearly visualizing what you want.
Gwendolyn Endicott in The Spinning Wheel suggests making a collage in the shape of a mandala. She recommends putting something that represents you in the center of the picture. Then fill in the different quadrants with images appropriate to those seasons, directions or elements. Or place images of things you want to create at the four cardinal points and images of what you want to attract into your life in between.