The core principle of energy work is understanding that everything is energy, including what we think of as spirits. In my experience, spirits are intelligent energies. Obviously, this is a huge simplification, but if you can begin to imagine them in this way it will go a long way toward helping you understand. So let’s use Gabriel as an example. Gabriel is a famous archangel found in multiple religions. They are also associated with the Moon. They are also associated with the West, and with the element of Water. So imagine Gabriel as the energies of the West and Water and the Moon all came together in one powerful intelligent being. As such they are known to have powers associated with that combination of energies.
People throughout history have tried to access those powers through many different methods. They have petitioned through prayer, created amulets with their name, used sigils to evoke, and words of power to command just to name a few.. There is another way. In most methods, you are asking or commanding Gabriel to do something for you. With energy work, you are using the energy of Gabriel to do it yourself. You might think of some methods as passive where you wait on the spirit to do the work for you, and this as direct magick where you are using their energy to do it yourself.
In energy work, you channel the spirit’s energy through your energy system. We all have a spiritual energy system and like how your body has organs that have different functions we have spiritual organs we typically call chakras that help us manage our spiritual energies. When you call on the energy of a spirit that energy enters you through the chakra a the crown of your head and flows down into your heart where it splits off down your arms and leaves through your hands. You then direct it with your intentions which it always obeys perfectly. We help direct our intentions with various techniques that might include visualizations, but it’s our intention, our will, that it obeys.
Depending on the spirit and the energy you can use this for any number of different purposes. You can manifest things, influence events or people, heal someone, or curse them. You can also use it on yourself to bring balance or change. While the energies are spiritual they can affect the world in spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical ways.