Sunday, October 9, 2016

Big Magick is Dangerous Magick

Over the years I have heard people say that a test of a magician’s skill is making the improbable happen. My point of view is that making the improbable happen is usually pretty dangerous. In order to make an incredible event happen immediately a lot of probable things have to happen at once. Therein lies the danger.

In a non-magickal life if a woman wants a well paying job the first thing she needs is an education. Some positions do not require a formal education but they all require knowledge of the work and a certain skill set. So the job seeker must obtain some sort of formal training. Then she must apply for entry level jobs that use those skills. After she lands a job and works hard she will obtain experience and more skills. She plays the social game in the organization and people like her. Gradually she will make more and more money. Eventually the goal of obtaining a well paying job is reached.

You would think big magick would skip that process. What sort of event would need to happen to go from a mediocre job to a well-paying one instantly? The answer to that is that even big magick does not work that way.  Instead of one enormous leap a big ball of magick sits on the astral and creates series of smaller events. Each event would be easily possible and not all that exciting. The improbability is the consistent string of occurrences moving towards a single larger goal.

Using the case of our job seeker above the starting point is a position with little likelihood of finding a job with a good salary. The next step for some is using big magick. The result will be that the magick moves the soon to be well salaried person to a place where the unlikely becomes the likely. Magickally this is known as a current. 

Think of that just like you would a river current. If you are on a boat in a river and the current is pushing you south towards the Gulf of Mexico. Since that is where you want to go all you have to do is not capsize and not change your mind regarding your destination. If you are on the Yellowstone moving southwest into the desert you will have a problem reaching that same goal. Big magick picks up your boat and drops it in the Mississippi.  As you improbably sail through the sky towards the Mississippi you may fall out of the boat, freeze to death due to altitude or maybe you are impaled by the bill of an oncoming duck! Whatever the case it is a dangerous way to travel.

A non-magickal person gets out of the boat, finds a way to make a buck to finance travel back to the Mississippi, works some more to secure passage on a boat and reaches his goal.
I used this example because I did this big magick with this same goal. I was in a menial temporary job with no prospects and no college education and decided that I was going to magick myself into a permanent job. The problem was my wording. I didn’t just do magick for a job. I did magick that would “keep me financially comfortable for the rest of my life”. In short, I tried to go from nowhere to a well paying job. Big Magick. I did not know that was big magick at the time.

I did the magick on a Sunday night. Much to the shock of my roommate I received a call from an employer the next day. I had applied with him a year previously but was runner up to the owner’s son-in-law. I was asked to come in for an interview and was hired.  I was later told by all three people that worked there that it was their idea to call me.

I had worked there for about a year when I caught a falling forty pound falling box and injured my back so severely that I had trouble walking for two years. As most readers know I still suffer from chronic back pain. While I was laid up and beginning to heal Ross Perot started his petition drive for president. I was inspired to volunteer despite having never done such a thing before. The timing was perfect. I was just healed enough to be able to work a few hours a day while the Worker’s Compensation case was dragging on. My lawyer told me not to find work yet as that would interfere with my settlement. Very quickly and improbably I ended up running Fresno County’s petition drive.   While working for Perot a mentor latched onto me and began introducing me to people. When Perot took his dive out of the race my mentor took me to work for the Clinton campaign. There I met an up and coming politician that would become the Lieutenant Governor. When I interviewed with my current employer 22 years ago that politician’s best friend was chairing the panel.

I worked my way up in that division. Eventually we came across a problem that no one had the skills to fix. Our order tracking was abysmal. I took a few Access database classes that were offered by my employer at the time. I put together a functional database to resolved most of our problems.

In that job I was a jack of all trades. I could do every job in my division except the manager’s and could help out in the divisions around me. This meant that I filled in for everyone’s vacations but no one could fill in for mine. I was often denied vacation time due to projects that only I could do.

We then came across a problem with my Access database that I did not know how to fix. I obtained some one-on-one time with the instructor. As he taught me how to solve the problem I told him that I had to find a new job. I wanted to be able to take a vacation and be a bit more appreciated. He told me of my current position, how to get there and that I would be good at it.

At this point I am comfortable for life.  My salary is above the median income for my town and my retirement plan is unheard of. Further financial opportunities are now opening up in amazing and unlikely ways.

Please notice that each event was possible. It was possible that someone would not want to spend time interviewing for a new position and would remember me and call. It was possible that I would become injured at work. It was possible to volunteer somewhere. It was possible to be well-liked enough for someone to take me under his wing. It was possible to meet someone important in politics in that situation. It was possible for him to be on an interview panel. It was possible to work hard and create my opportunity there. Big magick isn’t making the impossible happen. It is about making the possible happen with regular progression towards a goal.

That back injury was the magick moving me from one current to another. In fact, that back injury was the most improbable thing to happen. At that time I was a gym rat. I was a big muscular guy and unlikely to injure myself. I could have wound up in the same place or better without the injury had I done any other prep work. As it was I was such a loner for most of my life and relatively unskilled so the only way to get there was to rip me into the new social reality of politics via an injury.

It is much less dangerous to do small magicks to make probable things happen. Had I the wisdom then I would have done magick in the following order:

1.  Obtain any job at all that was not dangerous just to keep me afloat
2.  Reveal an innate talent that I would enjoy developing and using
3.  Engage socially with people of that same disposition
4.  Reveal a path to employment using that talent
5.  Exploit that path into a job with a long term future and retirement plan

There is not a single improbable step in that plan. That course would help me to walk the path to the proper river and easily purchase passage on a boat. The only duck I would see would be flying overhead about to impale some crazy man in a flying row boat!

I did big magick and the improbable happened. Does that make me a good magician? Perhaps. It did reveal me to be an inexperienced and unwise magician at the time.

Figure out what you want and make a plan. Do magick to make the next step in that plan happen. Once that step is taken do magick for the next. Magick is not about impressing people with the improbable. That is just your ego. Magick is about reaching your goals. Most goals are best reached one step at a time.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Case For the Magickal Control of Others

When I first started out I thought controlling others was a great misuse of magick. This control can be exercised through energy pulses that stimulate human emotions. A person can send angry energy into someone and watch that person deal with anger engage in damaging behavior. If a person is feeling insecure they can package that and send the energy to another making them feel insecure. That can create similar results to sending anger. Others control peoples’ lives by determining who they are attracted to or whom they will reject. I still feel that if one continually needs to control others that there is something wrong.  At best these actions reflect that the doer feels out of control and needs to control others to compensate. At worst it shows they have no respect for the person they are attacking or the people that suffer collateral damage.

There are people that we cannot tolerate in our lives. Sometimes we feel it is acceptable to reject them using any means necessary including magick. The problem with doing that often is that ignores certain important questions: Why do we keep attracting jerks into our lives? Why do we keep accepting those that take advantage of our good nature? Why do we accept people as friends who make us feel bad? The answers to those questions always lies within. Until we change ourselves we will always attract people that bring us pain. This is why the summary use of magick is wrong regardless of our moral stance on influencing others. We harm ourselves by refusing to learn. We should evolve, do magick ,  and live our lives to the point where we surround ourselves with people we love and respect and who love and respect us in return. Doing that relieves us of the need to perform controlling magicks very often.

That said there are times when it is spiritually and ethically imperative to control an aspect of another’s behavior. This occurs when someone’s behavior draws one into conduct that denigrates one’s spiritual self or one’s mental or emotional peace.  For example, an apartment manager has a tenant that is an ex-boyfriend. She ended the relationship due his toxic belittling behavior years ago. He takes advantage of the proximity and destroys her confidence at every turn. This creates feelings of anxiety and worthlessness. To add to that she feels he may start lodging complaints and jeopardize her job. Making him go away is an imperative.

Being unable to avoid a physically dangerous person also creates a need to exercise magickal control. Such people can be complete strangers to us and still create a danger. A drug dealer moving in next door is a prime example.

While the main goal should be to focus our own behavior sometimes we fail in that. This is part of being human. In any given situation repeated failure can indicate a fixed energy pattern that cannot be interrupted. The only practical way out of this state is to destroy all the energetic connections. In real terms that means getting rid of the person. Repeated long-term failures to properly deal with someone else’s behavior in a constructive way is a sign that it is time to take away their ability to lead one down a negative path. The energy pattern is simply too fixed to allow for any other solution.

This may sound like a cop out and it may be on the short term. Think of it as backing so far off that you get the proper perspective, not only for the interpersonal problem, but for the core internal problem you have. A dangerous person is a good example of this.  A woman gets into a relationship with an abuser. He messes with her head so much that she has no self confidence anymore. This type of person uses the damage they do as a control mechanism. They are very hard to disentangle from. She does magick to get him to go away. He does. Now she has an opportunity to reevaluate what went wrong. She may learn that she is attracted to controlling and domineering men like her father but such attractions are not healthy for her. She decides that she can use a different measure of manliness. That allows her to make better choices. That isn’t a cop out but an act of courage.

Another example is a man that plays the part of rescuer. He sees woman in distress. Helps her. They have a relationship while he helps but that relationship is always missing something. Usually he is used and dumped when she becomes self-sufficient. This time she stays and he is miserable. She is very good at manipulating him and ‘forces’ him to stay in the relationship. He is so compassionate that he cannot say no. He uses magick to make her go away. That way he never had to say no to her. Once she is gone he learns the warning signs and stays away from rescue situations. Again, this is not a cop out but a learning tool.

Even if the core lesson is not solved in the long term the lesson will come around again. If the fellow above doesn’t learn he is going to become caught up in another rescue project.

You cannot -- and should not -- avoid the lesson forever. So there is little chance of not learning in the long run. Should your lesson repeat you will recognize it sooner or later. Instead of feeling helpless you will know there is an emergency way out. That self-knowledge may create a new starting point that helps one learn the core lesson without the use of magick.

Generally speaking humans have an emotional need to feel secure and safe. This is undermined without a certain level of control over some aspect of our lives. When humans do not have that control we will go to ridiculous lengths to give ourselves an illusion of control. This is trick people play on ourselves to obtain emotional peace. A wiser course is to avoid getting caught up in someone else’s coping mechanisms. The first step is releasing your need for control of pointless things. The control freak is incapable of determining what is important and what is not. If you find yourself doing a lot of control magick start asking yourself what would happen if I didn’t control this? If your answer is some nameless fear. Do not do it. If your answer is unlikely to actually occur do not do it. If your answer is so far off the hook that your best friend is flabbergasted into silence do not do it. It is time to look within. If you want to control pointless things you will be doing control magick forever. If that happens overstepping your boundaries is inevitable and you will work yourself into a trap. The long term control of others is onerous.  The second step is to exercise full control over things that truly impact you.  This is second because (until you do the first) it is very difficult to assess what really does matter. If you do get caught in the trap of other people’s illusionary control mechanisms you have to release yourself from that trap.  If you cannot do it by normal means use your control magick.

Here is an example of not getting caught in other people’s need for control:

Not too long ago I was purchasing donuts to bring to my workplace. The shop carries some cake donuts and raised that have blue icing. These are not popular as the icing tastes like a child’s candy. I ordered two dozen and told the woman to include whatever she wanted but not any of those.

I watched her watch me out of the corner of her eye. Curious as to what she was up to I turned slightly away but kept her in view. She deliberately slipped a blue donut into the box! She smiled obviously very pleased with herself and held that expression all the way through the transaction. My response was to say nothing. If someone has so little control of their life that they need to slip someone a blue donut once in a while I let them. Someone eventually ate it. Letting her have her illusion of control was a compassionate thing to do and it really does not impact me at all.

Not getting caught up in other people’s coping mechanism means not reacting to them. Sit back and watch. When you cannot do that you are saying this person is controlling something that controls you. If you react to the blue donut you are out of control. I have since labeled people that do these petty things as sufferers of Blue Donut Syndrome (BDS). It makes dealing with them easier and often more amusing.

Some behavior is not amusing. Imagine the same scenario starting with, “No nut covered donuts please. We have someone with a peanut allergy.” That is something you must to control. You simply cannot let someone jeopardize another’s health. This extends to emotional, mental, and spiritual health as well though these are harder to see than a physical danger. Be careful ‘protecting’ others because sometimes it is inappropriate. Overprotectiveness results inattempting to  control things that are not yours to control.

When someone is controlling something that puts you in any type of jeopardy they become a justifiable target of any sort of magick that will correct the problem. You can drive them off. You can curse them. You can teach them. You can redirect them.  You have every right to create a harmonious and peaceful environment for yourself. That said you should at least try to have an adult conversation before going to these lengths. You’d be amazed by how many people have no idea that they are impacting you when you think it is obvious.

Once you decide that it is time to exercise your personal sovereignty you need to keep your goal in mind. By personal sovereignty I mean that you have total authority to control your own life, to remain healthy, and be connected. The goal is not control of the person. That is the mechanism. The goal is to return to place of peace. You should therefore do magick to that end. Do not do magick that will result in a further disturbance to yourself.

I am sure there is a reader out there that is saying, But what a minute. This guy is always telling us to disturb ourselves into growing. Why the change? The reason circles back to the why we are doing this control magick in the first place, which is that someone is jeopardizing our spirit and all other attempts to grow internally have failed.  The ultimate goal is to put yourself in a healthy place. You can grow more from there but you can’t grow by continuing the original disturbance. 

There are different paths to different magicks.

One school of thought is to control the method of the magick. In the following example I controlled how the person who was my target would exit my area -- by travel. I used hot foot power and charged it with a ceremonial magick ritual of Mars. The entire spell ran “This evil person is driven from this town.” Frankly, while I did not care what happened to this person the spell implies that the person will still be alive. The target did leave town within a week. Had I said, “This person is no longer [where I didn’t want them to be],” that could have implied death. Given the location where this took place that possibility would not be out of the question. Had the person been killed it would have traumatized a lot of people. My guilt for that would have disturbed my peace a great deal more than her presence. This is true even though her being was unbearable to myself and many others. She was not involved in any form of magick so further interventions never became necessary.

This spell worked quickly because so many people were angry at the target (with very good reason). As a result of her mean-spirited behavior she had few friends to protect her and many faults for which she could be blamed. She damaged more people’s employment, careers, and mental health than anyone I have ever seen. All that damage left many avenues through which my magick could work.

Another school of thought is to conjure a spirit and let them figure out what is best. I am not sure what the technical term for this is but I call it the random curse method. Essentially it involves calling a spirit and providing a task to that spirit. “Get this person out of my life permanently without causing me to leave my usual environment and without causing death of or physical harm to anyone.” This gives the magick a wide birth. That charge also would protect the mage from being moved out of the area instead of the target.

This type of spell can work fast because the spirt has a different perspective and can see the other person’s weak point much better than you can.

Given that wide berth you have to consider various scenarios. What if the spirit drives the person crazy and she ends up being locked up long term due to mental illness? What if the person has a propensity for violence that you are unaware of and the spirit gets her to stab someone? She then gets locked up. What if a relative gets severely ill and your target flies across the country to take care of the person?

Some people would be quite upset if these things happened. Other people would see it as the secondary “victim’s” karma. You have to know yourself well enough to know how you will react to these things and word your spell accordingly.

Controlling others is sometimes necessary. Do so while being very aware of yourself and your own well-being. Always keep in mind that your peace is paramount -- otherwise you would not be doing the magick! In order to keep my peace I often curse someone and bless them. For example, may you lose ten times the amount you stole from me and get a job well-paying enough that you are never tempted to steal from me again. I do not do that all the time. Some people just need to be cursed and I am fine with that. Your standards will be different. You know what you can psychology handle. Protect yourself.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Everything Question

Don't depend on death to liberate you from your imperfections. You are exactly the same after death as you were before. Nothing changes; you only give up the body. If you are a thief or a liar or a cheater before death, you don't become an angel merely by dying. If such were possible, then let us all go and jump in the ocean now and become angels at once! Whatever you have made of yourself thus far, so will you be hereafter. And when you reincarnate, you will bring that same nature with you. To change, you have to make the effort. This world is the place to do it. – Paramahansa Yogananda

I have made that effort for many years now. I am not saying that I have made myself into someone that will become the next great teacher. I have made some progress though. In doing so I have come up with The Everything Question so named because those answers touch upon every aspect of the theurgist’s life. Answering the question helps you refine your nature.
"What brings me closer to the divine?" was the orignal Everything Question, but it is misleading because being ‘away’ from the divine is an illusion. We are always in a state of intimacy with everything that is divine.
Perhaps a better question is this: "What helps me become aware of my closeness to the divine?"
The word divine can be nebulous. For that reason I will frame my comments with three of the eighteen definitions found on
Definition 1:
Proceeding from God or a god: divine laws;
Divine guidance
 There are divine laws*. The best examples or divine laws are those that we call physical laws. This universe was created with certain physical constants like gravity, vacuums, molecular structures, the list is endless.The fact that we may not know them or know exactly how they work does not make that less true. Gravity works whether we understand it or not.
Physical laws are a subset of divine laws. A non-physical law may be that humans have emotions. This is just part of our existence. As a species (if not always individually) humans have a spiritual/religious drive. Moses gave us a glimpse of divine laws as they relate to behavior. Jesus provided a glimpse of a law of properly applied emotion love/sacrifice. Perhaps I and many other mystics have revealed the law of that regulates the purpose of human existence. If all things perfectly serve to unfold the soul it may follow that the purpose of human existence is to evolve physical energy into the spiritual. While we may find room to argue about this or that law a body of such laws exist whether we understand them or not. Gravity works whether we understand it or not.
Under this definition “What brings me closer to the divine?” is answered with “that which helps me to learn about, understand or work within divine law”. Sometimes this is a spiritual/intellectual understanding, like my view of Perfection, Jesus’s view of Love, Buddha’s view of Awareness.  Other times it is intuition that cannot be rationalized. Perhaps Gibran’s view of thought “There is a place between right thinking and wrong thinking. I will meet you there” applies. Either way, when you follow divine law you feel no resistance
An example of this may be sympathetic magick, the idea that similar things can impact each other. A doll made to resemble a person can be symbolically imprisoned and that imprisonment will impact the person.  If you do such a thing and it works smoothly, quickly and perfectly you have done something so aligned with divine law that no other result was possible.
Frazer [The Golden Bough] broke down the idea further into two distinct parts - the Law of Similarity and the Law of Contact/Contagion. He said, “From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity, the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it: from the second he infers that whatever he does to a material object will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact, whether it formed part of his body or not”(source)
I interpret my vision of perfection as witnessing a divine law at work because what I saw was so all-encompassing, easy to understand, and immediately life changing that it could be nothing less. That law is that all things serve to unfold our souls. I therefore try to work within divine law as I understand it by living in such a way that the Perfection of the universe is obvious. For example I see the negative purely as a lesson and see the positive in the same way. This has become second nature to the point that I use the terms positive and negative/good and bad merely for ease of communication.
Sometimes in the moment I miss out on the understanding that negative and positive events are teaching moments. This is never fun and I look bad. The upside is that I am usually I am able to regain this perspective given time."
By living a life within the understanding of Perfection I live within that divine law. Even during very rough times that would have been emotionally very difficult, I have been calm and peaceful. This is because I know beyond knowing that the Perfection is doing Its work. I capitalize those words as the Perfection is holy to me.
 Definition 2:
Godlike; characteristic of or befitting a deity
Divine magnanimity
What are godlike characteristics?

Have you seen a miracle lately? Probably not. Actually you have seen them. The question is are you aware of the miracles you see? You have seen people change their lives for the better. You have seen the lazy become suddenly studious, the angry become calm, and the lonely married. Have you seen someone hit bottom and realize they cannot fall anymore? This is the divine at work. One godlike characteristic is the ability to make massive changes without any apparent effort. When the divine interferes we do not think, “Oh the gods (or God) must be tuckered out now!". Those transitions are examples of massive changes whether accomplished of the person’s own will, or the hand of the divine.
Another indication of the divine at work is when one person effortlessly instigates another to move closer to her true self.
My mentor was like that from time to time. People around him would struggle and during a conversation with him they would seize onto a phrase that meant little to him at the time but held deep meaning for them. These people would end up making serious changes in their lives. My mentor was not a god but he displayed a god-like characteristic.
People have told me that my soul and tarot readings have changed their lives. They have left my table crying tears of joy. In those moments, I displayed a god-like characteristic. I am not a god.
Humans that live their lives in ways that have huge impacts on society are also displaying a characteristic of a god. These may include individuals such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Andrew Carnegie, [which? Several prominent people, I don't automatically recognize the last name]Getty, Thomas Edison, and the like. Some people may see some of these folks as real s.o.b.s.
As humans we can display god-like characteristics and be jerks five minutes later. Gods can be gods and be jerks at the same time. Reading the Old Testament or Greek Mythology will confirm that. That which is negative to our understanding is not ungodlike. There have been some people in history that were real jerks that display godlike qualities.
Another god-like characteristic which is inherentin the definition above is  divine magnanimity. Further defined from the same source as: "generous in forging an insult or injury; free form petty resentfulness or vindictiveness. Also, proceeding from or revealing generosity or nobility of mind, character etc."
Those traits need no further elucidation.
Under this definition “What brings me closer to the divine?” is answered with “that which helps me to embody or manifest a divine trait in my daily life”.
Every time I have a moment of moment of intuitional awareness I am living within a characteristic of the divine. So what brings me closer to the divine? Any exercise that builds upon my intuition.
Definition 3:
Heavenly; celestial: the divine kingdom.
As someone that has seen the chthonic realms I would quibble with the heavenly celestial part being an all inclusive answer. You only have to be down there once before you know the term heavenly does not apply. No one would describe that bleak painful place as heavenly. The divine kingdom part is another story that conjures the ghost of a particular religion. I will use my preferred term of "the divine realm” which is everywhere.
Most would see the difference only semantically. I see the term divine kingdom as a very Abrahamic term. It implies a state of rulership. Realm may sound like kingdom to some but it has subtler meaning such as a sphere of influence in which the divine occurs. That form of "realm" is everywhere. 
The Golden Dawn has a few greats line in the Zelator (earth grade) ritual.
“The foolish and rebellious gaze upon the face of the created World, and find therein nothing but terror and obscurity. It is to them the Terror of Darkness and they are as drunken men stumbling in the Darkness.” And later “The Wise gaze upon the created world and behold there the dazzling image of the Creator.”

When you have that mystical moment and behold that dazzling image you will change. For you will know that the divine is hidden by a single molecule of the physical.
Under this definition, “What brings me closer to the divine?” is answered with “that which helps me to perceive and live within the divine realm.” Sometimes that would be disc golf. Playing three or four days a week a few years back allowed me to perceive the subtle changes that foretold the changes of the seasons. The earth and its processes became alive to my awareness.

Having just one experience in life that answers that question in any way is a success. Doing so helps us live a life that satisfies the quote above by actively and willfully working to refine our nature.

*Please forgive me for my lack of education in such philosophies. I fear my explanation is lacking here but am unsure how to communicate more clearly.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Doing is Required
I play disc golf as a hobby. For those unfamiliar with the sport it is fundamentally the same as regular golf only using thrown plastic discs instead of hitting a ball with a club. The holes are baskets with chains hanging above them to stop the discs.

Many people often learn the techniques by watching videos online. They teach driving (a throw from the tee meant to go a long distance), mid-range shots, and putting (when you are close to the basket trying to get the disc in), as well as giving tips on practice methodology. I have watched these videos too, and learned from them. Watching the videos alone would do little, however. I had to go out and use the techniques on the course to really gain a measure of proficiency. 

Until recently my average drive from the tee was about 275 feet. Once in a while I could hit the 300’ to 325’ range. That is a little less than the average for someone at my level of experience.
During a round this weekend I realized that my shoulders tensed up as soon as I stepped up to the tee pad. This would not be something I would notice watching a video even though the advice to “keep loose” may have been mentioned. When I made an effort to relax those muscles I stood more vertically and I could feel the difference all the way through the shot. I was astonished to watch that drive travel 341 feet and land within five feet of the basket. Normally, I would par (the amount of shots one should need to make the basket) that hole but that sort of distance makes for an easy birdie (making the basket with one less toss than par). Further, by adding that additional fifty to seventy-five feet a drive there would be little chance that a second shot would go wild. Basically I have eliminated a lot of bogies (one over par).

After that one change in posture my average drive was over 300 feet. I routinely hit 325. Later that round I let one fly that landed 375 to 400 feet away from the tee. For me this was an incredible distance. I had only thrown 400 feet once before, and that was a fluke.

The downside was that the toss was so long that I threw it out of bounds. In disc golf out of bounds usually means that the disc left the course completely. This is penalized by scoring an additional toss. If it takes four shots to make the basket but one went out of bounds your score would be five. On this particular basket you have to throw a disc over a forty foot tree and have it sail another 20 feet before you pass the out of bounds marker and land in a parking lot. The next time I play that hole I will have to add a little altitude to the same throw. The additional height will drop the air speed a little sooner and the disc will fade (descend while turning left) and drop before flying out of bounds. Because I have played much shorter holes before that I can over throw I know how to deal with this problem. The rest will be practicing that shot.

Playing disc golf takes social courage for some people. As you are learning you look a bit silly out there. Some people cannot face their best throw landing at seventy-five feet only to see some eighteen year old sending one soaring 400 feet down range. That said, it is not a particularly intimidating prospect for most people.

Magick is intimidating for many people. To do it you have to be able to set aside some of the ‘science only’ mindset of the prevailing Western culture. More importantly you have to accept a new form of reality that simply does not conform to anything you’ve been taught unless you were raised in unique social circumstances. New people in particular can been afraid of doing it wrong.   Intangible spirits can be scary. The greatest fear is the one that hides the deepest. Many people do not realize the true nature of this fear, which is that magick eventually requires you to discard your entire world view over and over again. In magick there are many events, tasks, and realizations that trigger fears. Almost everyone has to face some fear early on in their magickal career. Human fears run so deeply that this is a continual process of reinvention for many if not all practitioners.

Unlike disc golf there is no way to practice before taking a shot at magick. You can only do magick by living a magickal life. You can pull off some unplanned spontaneous workings or fire some one-off spells from time to time but magick takes time, effort, and awareness to master. During that process you have to read enough, watch enough, and do enough to find your magickal equivalent to my tight shoulders. With practice you will overcome blockages that you might identify with other things but which are ultimately rooted in fear. You will relax and your skills will increase exponentially.  When they do you will be able to fall back on your experience to make the proper adjustments. Just like you can throw a disc so far it goes out of bounds, you can also use more magickal power than you need. You will never find the sweet spot between skill and power in a book or on a blog. You have to gain experience playing the game. Once you find that critical balance a few times your abilities will grow exponentially.

The only way to gain experience with magick is by doing magick. While I do not advocate you do magick for every little thing or as a recreational activity I do believe that most people who new to magick don't  do enough of it. Everyone has their own reasons for shying away from magick. It is important to assess those reasons carefully. Our fears easily become excuses which masquerade as solid reasons.

If you do not have the necessary skills practice to obtain them. If you do not have the knowledge read a book.  If you have the skills and the knowledge make an artificial elemental. Command it to bring you more knowledge or skills in any area that you like.   If you can do that conjure spirits and ask them how you can improve your life or obtain a greater tie to the land. If you are delaying learning the skills or reading a book you just may be afraid. Have courage! You will inevitably make mistakes. You will also have mind blowing experiences. Live a little!

Three months ago I could only dream about throwing a disc 350 feet on a regular basis. I can do it now because I kept on playing the game. Take that same leap with magick. Do something to improve your skill levels. Do not be satisfied staying where you are. Once you take that leap you magickal life will open doors you only dream about now.

As a personal example, my family is going through a very difficult time right now. That said, I am handling things in such a calm way that most people would never guess how challenging it is. This is not the result of suppression. My being understands the universe with enough depth that life’s difficulties are not mentally or emotionally disruptive. Instead they are merely time consuming and inconvenient. Instead of being anguished and stressed I feel love and sympathy. This understanding comes from opening doors that can only be managed by doing magick.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

This Is Not Hollywood Or Is It?

A friend once asked me if being a magician was like being in Charmed. In the television show spirits (usually demons) manifest physically. Then they interact with a variety of humans wreaking havoc. The witches do various things to make the demons explode in a shower of sparks sending them back to hell. My response was that no, my life is not like Charmed. As I started this post I intended to say no here as well. Then I started listing the exceptions to that statement.

The first I can remember was during a psychic faire. A spirit from the Lesser Key of Solomon which some would call a demon* (but I would not) very clearly walked up to my table and sat in the chair across from me. While he did not have a physical body he almost looked like he did. I told him that he would have to go as I was busy. He left peaceably enough with the parting observation that “Sooner or later you will have to deal with me.” He was correct. I did speak with him many years later as part of a working to skry all 72 Lesser Key spirits. I found him completely amiable. At this point I have not worked with him to the point of a formal evocation. My best description of our relationship put in human terms would be ‘well-liked acquaintance’.

The other night another spirit from the Lesser Key stood at the foot of my bed. He was very real but did not appear physical in the least. He was there to take credit for what was about to happen in my dreams that same night. The dream I had was quite instructive and dealt with something I have been working on for some time. I have no problem with him dropping by to take credit. I am not sure how to assess the one-off visit and help.

I have had working partners tell me that my skin tone and physical appearance change when I invoke gods. The people that have witnessed this were in magical states themselves. I doubt anyone in a normal frame of consciousness would have seen what they did. When I lead soul meditations my voice sometimes has an odd echo to it. This also occurs in Cult meetings where I call upon the gods to appear to the group.   The attendees can all hear that change in voice. I suspect a passerby in a normal state of consciousness would hear it as well.

Not too long ago there was another incident while I was making offerings to the spirits on my property. A tiny blue and white water spirit crawled out of the plastic cup that I was using to make the water offering. The spirit looked like a little angel or faery-like being. The odd thing is that I never think of these events as fantastic or unusual as they are happening.

I did not make any of these spirits explode or send them back to ‘hell’. Aside from some serious mistakes very early in my career I have never conjured anything that turned out to be a danger to myself or others. This is not to say that I haven’t accidently kicked my own butt a few times but nothing ever occurred that did any long term harm to myself or anyone else.

The few dangerous things that I have encountered were sent by other mages or witches. The issue with doing this is that someone may send something to you that they think is a mild slap on the wrist but that slap may hit you like an artillery shell.  Human psychology is weird enough on its own. Since magick finds the path of least resistance what it finds is often the biggest crack in the target’s psychology. Even if you think you deserve a wrist slap (we all deserve one once in a while), send anything someone sends to you back and I mean everything. Here I am discussing magick meant to do you some level of harm. Well-intended magick does not lead to such black and white conclusions.
If want is intended to be a mild wrist slap can do that much damage you can imagine what truly malicious magick can do.

With those and many other experiences in mind I will revise my premise. Magick can be like living in a friendly or not so friendly episode of Charmed, but often it is not.

Making Non-Hollywood Magick Work

Most magick is not visible in normal states of consciousness, at least not for me. The forces do not become so physical that you can touch what you conjure. Most magick merely sets a series of events in motion. Here the advice of Ferris Bueller pays off: “Life [Magick] moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while [pay attention], you could miss it."

I recently made a prayer bag consisting of an herb, a stone, and a petition. I made the bag because I realized that I had grown a great deal spiritually. People from my past would be more than surprised by the difference between who I was and who I am now. They would not be surprised by the fact that in some instances that spiritual success is hidden by the antagonistic aspects of my personality**. I have not fully manifested those changes in all aspects of day-to-day life to the extent that I want. The bag was charged with manifesting all the changes I have made and make them obvious to myself and others.

The next day one of my coworkers came to my office and said without preamble, “I just realized what a peaceful guy you really are.” My bosses paid more attention to my suggestions. Strangers smiled at me for no reason. My internal attitude changed to something I can only refer to as global respect. Very few people would sense magick but many saw me differently. Several weeks after removing the prayer bag the benefits of wearing that bag are still apparent. That kind of result would make for boring television. No one exploded. No one saw any flashing lights. No one saw anything.

I noticed the results because I pay attention to the universe around me. I know what is normal and what is not.

One should not stop paying attention after getting positive results. After a week or two of wearing the bag I was climbing out of my skin. I felt like my body had been plugged into a 220v circuit. Emotionally I was fine but at the same time I felt like I would explode physically. After eliminating any other significant stressors in my life (which I had been handling with the aplomb of a holy man) I was forced to acknowledge my prayer bag was the problem. It was manifesting more of my soul energy than my physical body could process.

Paying attention let me know I was in trouble. I removed the bag. Two weeks later I was back to normal. I will recreate the prayer bag with a variation in formula to temper the effects and see what happens.

The point is that you cannot expect Hollywood special effects to let you know what is going on. You have to pay attention to your universe. You must do this after a working but in order to make that effective you have to pay attention continually. This gives you a baseline to compare things to in order to guage results. Just because the results of magick can be subjective or appear to be subjective that does not mean you can get away with a sloppy approach to life.

Let’s say you do magick for a promotion at work. You have worked hard but never been in the running for anything other than keeping your job. In this scenario magick would not usually manifest in a way that you’d be handed a sudden promotion. People have to have a reason to do things. They are not going to wake up and say to themselves, “Phil has always been okay. I think I will make him a manager today.”

Magick is more likely to create a scenario in which you can prove yourself and help you do that. This then gives your boss a reason to begin thinking of promoting you. Your boss will not act in a way she perceives as irrational. Going from not thinking of you to promoting you without a cause would feel irrational to her. Magick will make her feel like promoting you but then you have to play an active role that aligns with your magick and your goals.

To make magick work in this instance you have to pay attention. Magick will most likely create a situation which you can take advantage of. For the sake of discussion let’s say your magick creates an emergency.  Chances are that you will not notice that your magick created anything. To you and everyone else it will feel like a normal work experience. While I am not quite sure why it works this way I think it is because it drops you into the flow of what used to be an unfulfillable potential reality. That current of possibilities feels so normal that you do not notice the change. Once you are in that current you will naturally do what it takes to make that impression on your boss.

Of course it works this way until it doesn’t. Sometimes the universe requires you to be more active. You will instinctively know when this is happening because you will be required to make a conscious choice. This choice involves reacting in a ways you have not done before. Your previous actions left you in a current where promotion was not possible. After the shift in behaviour the promotion becomes a tangible opportunity. When this happens you are being taught much more than that your magick is working. You are being taught that you can willfully change your habitual responses when you want. Being able to do that makes one powerful and aware.

If you do magick without paying attention to its results you will miss these critical opportunities.
To avoid that you should actively strive to feel what the magick is trying to encourage you to do and trust in that. Many magicians lose confidence not because their magick is ineffective but because they are expecting irrational or dramatic results  and consequently miss the subtler situations magick creates.  Always remember that people have to explain themselves to themselves. Give them a reason to act on what the magick is prompting them to do.

While I am not generally in favour of love magic I will use it here to serve as an example. Desiring a life partner, you  do love magick and charge it with the following words: “Bring to me someone that I can respect and love, who can respect and love me, and who desires marriage.” The next day you see an acquaintance in a whole new way. You realize she has been right next to you the whole time. Up to this point your relationship has only been cordial. She is not likely to suddenly walk up to you and plant a kiss on you even if she has always wanted to. That would take too much courage on her part. You have to give her a reason to either start thinking of you in a new way or to give her a reason to be brave and reveal how she has felt all along. In this case it the suitable reaction may be as simple as asking her out for a cup of coffee.

Ultimately the success of the bag I created was not subtle at all. Neither would the path to promotion or the appearance of a love interest. Such opportunities will be obvious to you and maybe others. Even with that lack of subtly sometimes you might not notice in the moment. The most likely person to be aware of the change would be a close magickal confident whom you told about the magick. Most of the time those people have the good sense to keep their mouth shut and wait to point out the obvious after everything has played out. Most mages do not have a person like that in their life. To everyone else the events which lead to your promotion or the woman entering your life were just normal life experiences.

Magick is often a hidden thing. It's typically not flashy and showy like Hollywood would lead you to assume. Expect your magic to be subtle and appear mundane. Sometimes there is that bright flash of light but most of the time things just change.

*I would use the term demon to describe something utterly malicious for no reason that a human could perceive. With the spirits of the Lesser Key you get what you expect. If you call them to be mean and nasty to someone you will get a mean and nasty version of them. If you call them to be of aid in your life you will get a version of them that is helpful (though it may appear to be the case at first). Or, if you are not ready for the energy of your working, you will have your butt kicked and they will feel every bit like a demon.

**That which is ‘negative’ is not necessarily non-spiritual. It is still part of our perfection but it does hide spiritual gifts from those that may otherwise benefit. For example, being an antagonistic teacher with the wisdom to know when to confront a student would be beneficial in the long term. Random antagonism would mask the teaching moments making them totally ineffective.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Silent Words

We all know that what you say can impact the people around us. We also know that what we say internally can impact ourselves. What fewer people realize is that there are silent words within us that have an impact on ourselves and our magick.

Silent words are things we believe so deeply about ourselves that we do not need to speak or think them. Spiritually speaking one of the worst of these is I am unworthy. This can also be expressed as I am not good enough, I am a bad person, or Who am I to… These internalized judgments are part of the Western paradigm. In his autobiography the Dalai Lama speaks of learning about Western self-loathing for the first time. Such modes of being are unheard of in his culture. He had to ask his monks in the West to explain them to him and his fellows. This self-abasement occurs in other cultures as well.

Self-Judgment may be born of many sources, original sin, abusive parents, cultural messaging, social structure and the like.

Those that feel this pain acutely often seek to externalize it or deal with it in self-destructive ways which become a form of self-punishment. Here we have abusive parents, the terminally angry or sad, addicts (drugs or behavioral, criminals, extreme hedonists, extreme ascetics, flagellants, and the like.

No matter the source of this internal anguish, as magicians we must move past it. This is true whether we are aware of it or not.

I teach a spell based on Paul Huson’s reverse Lord’s prayer. The idea is that we write down what we do not want backwards. Only the intent -- for this example only the intent, to lose a little weight -- and the words matter. I have not included the rest of the working because it is not germane to this post. For more information see my post, Huson’s Theurgy.

The wording of my spell was something like “I am overweight.” That became “thgiewrevo ma I”. One of my students worded it “I will not care about my appearance” or “ecnaraeppa ym tuoba erac ton lliw I”

Even though the intent of the spell was the same I lost fifteen pounds. She gained about as many because she stopped caring about her appearance and therefore ate more than necessary. In magick intent plays a part but so do one’s words. It is therefore always a good idea to be mindful of the wording of your spells.

The silent words within play a role in this process. Very few spell casters would use wording like “Provide this thing that I am unworthy to receive.” This is self-contradictory wording. My opinion of Crowley is mixed but he was correct when he said that Will must be one not two. Having part of us reject our worthiness to receive something while another part asks the universe for it is splitting the Will. This is not beneficial to our magick.

The silent words of unworthiness that have been culturally or otherwise ingrained within us restrain our magick. They make our magick fail or manifest with less than fully satisfying results because every part of our being is involved in the magick we do. If those silent words are in you they are in your magick.* If they are in your magick they will impact your results.

To make our magick more effective we must rid ourselves of these silent words.

One way to achieve this is to look around at the people you know and respect. Do you think they have spent their life without committing misdemeanors similar to your own? For those transgressions do you think a job, a mate, some good luck, or contact with the gods should be withheld from them? I hope not. Accept within yourself that you are worthy of what you need or want just like they are.

Even if you do not have words like this silently poisoning you, you still may have words like “Magick does not work" or "Science has proved that magic isn't real”. These or other culturally accepted thoughts that can sneak into magical work and wreak havoc.

There is a simple exercise you can do before each act of magick which can help rid you of silent words. Better still, you can do this every day. I challenge you to do this even if you do not think that you have any silent words that restrain you.
  •  Sit quietly in a straight backed chair with your feet on the floor. (Other meditative postures would work equally as well.)
  • Think “I am worthy of the divine” or “I am worthy of manifesting the goal of this spell.” Use whatever phrase is appropriate. 
  • Repeat this thought while paying attention to your body.
  • Working from the top of your head down become aware of any area of muscle tightness. This is your resistance manifesting physically. Relax the muscles in that area knowing that you are releasing resistance and accepting your worthiness. Do not attempt to ascertain why your doubt manifests in your left arm or right hip. Figure that out later. Just relax the muscles.
  • Continue this all the way down to the bottoms of your feet. Do not forget your arms. 
This next portion is a bit more difficult.
  • Pay attention to areas of mental resistance. This may feel like a lack of confidence or (in computer speak) the feeling of a hard null value. By that I do not mean a place of ‘no thought’ like in meditation. This is more of a mental wall that encapsulates a thought. This is a part of your thinking that you are complicit in hiding from yourself. If you try to find the thought behind the wall you will either face massive resistance or get so distracted that you will come out of the exercise at less than your magickal best. Instead just visualize or ‘feel’ the wall disappearing. You do not want the wall to fall down, explode, or anything else. Let it fade away like the insubstantial ghost that it is. 
  • Think “I am worthy of the divine” or “I am worthy of manifesting the goal of this spell.” Use whatever phrase is appropriate. 
  • Repeat this thought while paying attention to your emotions.
  • Any emotion that does not feel like it is unified with your purpose or quiet confidence should be gently released. Determination is not an acceptable attitude. Determination is about forcing your way through resistance. It implies you are accepting the resistance as real and potentially more real than your magick. Again, this should not be forced. Let those emotions fade away like the insubstantial phantoms they are. Emotions can also be found within various parts of the body. Perform a head to toe survey releasing resistance when necessary. Do not contemplate the emotions. Do not investigate them. Just let them go.
This is more work than it appears to be. The first time just go through it once. Give it a try. If you pay attention and are willing to accept what you find this will be an educational experience. Your magick will improve.

*They also impact your every thought, assumption, emotion and action.

Note: I feel compelled to thank an anonymous friend that assisted with this post. Her input helped clarify my ideas and writing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Stupidly Effective Foolish Magick

There is one form of stupidly effective foolish magick. This warning applies to newbies and experienced people alike.

Qabalistically speaking, there are many levels of the soul. The lowest is the physical body. The one above that is the instinctual body that rules fight/flight and reproduction. Basically, it keeps you alive long enough to reproduce and to keep your offspring alive long enough to do the same. These two soul levels are not usually capable of a lot of thought but they have a lot of energy.

When we are motivated by these lower needs and draw upon the power of these souls we can do some effective magick. For example, if a person is frightened that their children might starve, the blind energy of those fears (generated in the lower souls) gets poured into the magick. That energy has a powerful but low vibrational rate. There is no thought to it at all. This sort of energy is the equivalent of a magickal hand grenade. When we are worried about starving children we don’t have a great deal of ethical concerns. We are going to feed our kids.

The problem is that most of the time things are not that dire. You do not need ten dollars that badly. You do not need a date that badly. You do not need the promotion that badly. However, our lower psychology can convince us that we do. This sort of thing comes from the survival instinct. We convince ourselves that one more dollar an hour will keep us alive.

Is one dollar an hour worth throwing a hand grenade? No.

The warning signs for this sort of magick are desperation, nervousness, apathy towards others, feeling like you’ve drank twenty cups of coffee and feeling a bit out of control. Never do magick in these states unless your kid is starving.

You can do magick for that dollar an hour raise when your rational mind guides your actions. It is even safer (and more effective) when you are guided by your soul. At the very least, make sure your rational mind is in control before tossing a grenade or you will eventually regret it.