One of the most simple and central techniques in practicing magick is visualization. Visualization requires imagination and, to be done effectively, practice. Our hopes and desires, our fears and insecurities all spring forth from the depths of our minds and are given shape by our imaginations. The key to achieving our hopes and desires, as any self help book will tell you, lies first in properly visualizing our goals. This lays the groundwork for achieving them. If one wants to get a better or job, one should visualize themselves getting a better job. If one wants to get a brand new car than that person should visualize themselves in the car, if one wants to gain the affections of another then one is encouraged to visualize themselves getting the boy or girl, etc. This act of visualizing does two things; its helps create a focus and cements the goal in the persons mind, and also helps establishes a strong visual signal which the KOSMOS can interact with and help to materialize.
The imagination functions much the same way as a muscle does; the more it is used the more it becomes developed. The imagination is a valuable resource, it is the fountainhead from which ideas spring forth and it is also an excellent tool for developing other skills. Research has proven that imagining ones self practicing an activity, be it playing a musical instrument or a sport or sculpting or drafting or driving or anything really, is almost as good as actually physically doing the deed itself.
All of this applies to magick as well, perhaps even more fully than anywhere else. The ability to effectively visualize, to summon up from the depths of the imagination, the symbols and thought forms of extra dimensional beings and alien landscapes is critical to the act of interacting with them. This is not to say that these places and beings are mere figments or flights of fancy for they are not, they are as real as anything else, but rather it is up to the mage themself to give form to these things for they are immaterial. It is up to the mage to interpret the signals that are broadcasted and then to visualize them in a manner that the mages subconscious is most comfortable with. This is similar perhaps to the way a persons preferred browser program interprets and displays the the internet.
Like the internet, the KOSMOS is vast and complex network of symbols, all possessed of multifaceted meaning. These symbols may hold different meanings to different people, they can be interpreted in a variety of ways, separated for a myriad of reasons from perceptual to cultural. Reality, be it 'virtual' or 'regular' reality, is subject to who and how it is perceived. Like beauty, reality is in the eyes of the beholder. Reality may be largely a product of general consensus but it is still subject to interpretation. Reality does exist, there is no debating that, but it is not standardized and it can be bought and sold as well given away and free for the taking. This is where imagination comes into play, it can be actively used to construct and manipulate reality as well as passively used to perceive and interpret it in any way the beholder can get away with. If it works for you and no one else is trying to stop you then you're home free.
This is the first step in learning the Art of Magick. If you can visualize it than the ground work has been laid to manifest it and bring it into being. If it has existed before than its signal can be picked up on and the thing can be visualized and perceived. Visualization is the fundamental key ingredient in summoning spirits, affecting your will on the universe, and divining esoteric secrets. Your imagination is the first step.