Most magical traditions have some method of raising and directing Life Energy, called Mana, Chi, Prana and other names. The traditional methods of raising energy differ, as some call for the magician to be perfectly still, as in yoga, while others require bodily motion, as in Huna or Sufism. I realize that this is an oversimplification of the traditions, but this essay is not about traditions.
A common thread in the various techniques of raising energy is the notion that the life energy flows in and out of the magician's body with his breath. By controlling the flow and holding of breath, the magician can control the intake, output, and retention of life energy, as well as direct it to specific areas, internal or external.
Begin by finding a situation in which your body is at equilibrium. For some, this may be sitting perfectly still in a Yogic position called an Asana. For others, this may be walking or sitting and rocking. The situation that provides the magician with bodily equilibrium may also change from time to time. Once the magician's body is at equilibrium, he should direct his attention to the flow of his breath. With eyes closed, he should attempt to "see" the breath flowing in and out of his body. Maintaining that visualization, the magician should then attempt to direct that breath to various parts of his body.
The Chakras are useful centers to which the magician might direct and store energy. Their location and functions are as follows:
Top of Head
Middle of Breastbone
Attachment to Spirit
Emotion and Intuition
Sex and Reproduction
The natural state of the human spiritual body is for all the chakras to maintain a certain amount of energy, but in modern man, these regularly get depleted and not recharged due to stress, overwork and lack of proper rest or nutrition.
The chakras are traditional, but by no means the only, useful areas to which the magician might direct energy. Life energy can and should be directed to any area the magician wants or needs an excess of energy. For example, energy could be directed to saturate a broken bone, or into the magician's hands to heal another.
Charging objects with energy is done in much the same manner. The magician would draw an excess of energy into himself, then direct that energy into his hands. Then the energy is directed into the object the magician is holding, and this may be continued until a satisfactory level of energy is instilled in the object, or until the magician is unable to maintain the visualization any longer.
At all times, the magician should beware of depleting himself of too much energy in any one area or the body in general!
A similar technique can be used to "read" objects to determine what sort of energy they possess. Even mundane objects never used by any magician hold some sort of charge. To read an object or person, the magician "draws" energy out of the object using the same techniques of breath control, and analyzes the energy so drawn. This may be enhanced by use of the chakras. For example, the magician might hold an object to his Third Eye, and draw energy from the object into that chakra in order to receive a visual impression of the energy in the object. Such a process may also produce visual images of persons recently in contact with the object being read.
Bear in mind that these examples are only that---a creative magician will doubtless invent viable methods of energy control.