Identification, The Need for Identification and Accidentally Bypassing All That With Some Anxiety and A Shot of Buddhism

I work part-time in the family motel.  What I find interesting is that many of our latino customers will ask me where I am from.  At first, I thought it was just something common to the culture, to ask where you were born–as a conversation starter.  I would answer honestly–I would tell them that I was “from here.”  Often, they would look confused.  Judging from their facial expressions, it always seemed like I responded incorrectly to them, even though I was honest and accurate.  From there, they would often “clarify” by asking where I was born–in case I misinterpreted their question to mean, where did I live?  I answered that I was technically born a couple of towns away, in Fresno.  Since this was apparently not the answer they were looking for, the latino motel guest would then ask me where my parents were born.  Again, I answered honestly.  My Mother was born in Mendota; my Father in Firebaugh. (California.)  At this point, most people are confused or surprised–insinuating that I am still not answering the “real” question.

The next question always became the one about where my grandparents are from.  Once I eventually realized what was going on in this game, I began to answer the question by letting them know where my GRANDMOTHERS are from–one from Hanford, California and the other from Chicago, Illinois.  Once I name where my Grandfathers are from or where my Grandmothers’ families are originally from, then the person asking me is finally satisfied.  They know WHAT I am.

Today, whenever anyone asks me where I was born or where I am from, I answer honestly.  However, many of the locals (who are predominantly Latin American immigrants) are not satisfied with my response.  I’ve noticed especially that immigrants from Mexico (which is where my family lines come from) narrow that down to the state that a Mexican comes from.  As someone from the USA, that is much more used to our variation of pop culture, I am much more interested in someone’s Sun sign than someone’s birthstate.  I was often blown away that not only did many local latinos not know their Sun sign, but that quite a few weren’t even sure about their exact birthdates.  It is just not that important to this particular socio-economic group that comes to our area to work.

Contrary to what is normal for me, I’ve listened to Mexicans use state of origin in the same way that some of us use Sun signs.  People from Jalisco are generally thought to be sweet and friendly, while people from Sinaloa might be louder and a little more colorful with their language.  When my motel customers were asking for my state of origin, they wanted to identify me the same way that people shorthand other’s personalities as Leos, Scorpios or Capricorns.

Why this doesn’t work when they try to pinpoint my personality through my family’s state of origin is that I am second- and third-generation Chicano.  Although we share our national origin with Mexicans–being in a different area, we can have a whole different sub-/culture at times.  Chicano culture can be a more amorphous creature, and a hybrid of Mexican and other American traditions.  I have many different cultural references and tastes that vary and stray wildly from the bloodlines of my family tree.

I might identify with very little that a traditional Mexican would, even if we can trace our lines back to the same families and states.  I’ll respond that I am Mexican-American, Chicano or “Pocho” depending on context….but as a human, my nationality or heritage isn’t something that I identify with on a deep personality level.  I’ll categorize myself according to audience, relevant conversation and communication; but it isn’t something that I internalize and tell myself that this is what “I am” on a soul-level.


I started exploring spirituality as a teenager.  Haphazardly, clumsily, but I started to explore concepts and practices while I was in my teens.  Part of my incentive was that I thought I could find some kind of healing, some kind of peace from the constant anxiety and panic disorders I suffered from.  Because of the anxiety, I never really fell in love with too many things in the world.  I couldn’t envision any sort of clear fantasy that I wanted to fulfill when I was “old enough.”  Constantly in a state of panic or anxiety, I was exhausted from the moment that I awoke to the moment that I finally fell asleep.  My main escape was reading.  I could temporarily find peace in other people’s stories, but the panic was a constant for MY LIFE.

Since I couldn’t fall in love with any imaginary future life for myself and I certainly couldn’t fall in love with anything of my past or present, I couldn’t ever identify with seeing myself as any particular thing.  My panic was all that I felt as I tried to get through each day.

I had a rich fantasy life, though.  There were things that I WISH I were.  However, I couldn’t ever feel settled in any daydream or wish.  Nothing ever felt right.  I was intuitive in other areas.  I was logical and analytical in others.  But because of my self-esteem issues, any information which dealt with self-perception was naturally skewed.  My earliest attempts in self-contemplation and self-exploration were already heavily colored with a sense of self-loathing.

Instinctively, I began to explore concepts in spirituality for my emotional self-healing.  And because I went from being unable to use my intuition to explore concepts that might ring true for me, I completely missed out on any notable progress in self-inquiry in this area.  When I first explored spirituality, I became introduced to the concepts of reincarnation and the journey of the soul through our human incarnations.  From early on, I was becoming versed in differentiating between the nature of the eternal soul and the illusion of the human personality.  It was early on that I learned that the latter is very much tied into whatever was its current physical incarnation.

In the beginning stages of healing my emotional body, it was partially from contemplating the concept that “what I was” was actually the Soul, not my human personality.  Thoughts come and go in our psyches, our minds change out thoughts and ideas.  But, that still center, that place beyond thoughts is what we can consider The Self.

Everything that is based on thoughts, perception, analysis can possibly change throughout our lifetimes.  They are mutable.  As we pass between incarnations, in and out of physical existence–what is dependent on thought (the mental) can be dropped or picked up in exchange for another.

So, in my process, I went from being unable to intuitively identify as anything to the idea that what “I am” can only be unchangeable to the Soul, therefore it can only be the Soul.  Therefore, “I am” the Soul.

….but after all of this contemplation, I had to come back to Earth.


For better or worse, I have to come out of meditation.  My stomach growls.  I have to pee.  My back hurts or something eventually falls asleep from staying in one position too long.  So, while I return, remember and relate to spiritual awareness….I am very aware that my physical body, family, and all my more human needs call me back down to material reality.

So, as part of my spiritual nourishment, I eventually became part of groups–online and in-person.  At this point, earthly-identification (“I’m an ice cream lover.  I’m a Scorpio. I’m a vegetarian.”) are useful for quick communication of likes and dislikes, and occasionally for necessary physical needs.  However, by the time that I became part of online metaphysical groups…I’ve had quite a bit of shapeshifting and glamouring under my belt.

As a magician who works with energy on the etheric level, astral worlds and dream worlds–I’m very aware of the value of taking on different forms and essences.  This includes those archetypes and beings that I wouldn’t necessarily think of as “me”.  I’ve shifted into or taken on Hermes, werewolves, serpents, bears and an assortment of figures and creatures.  I’ve “been” or projected these energies and images temporarily, and temporarily identified as “being them”–but not felt that it was any sort of long-term, deep-soul, permanent identification.

Because of my extensive experience with temporary identification with concepts for purely functional (psychological or magickal) purposes, it makes me a little more aware that there are many secondary reasons for self-identification.  It is so easy to tell ourselves narratives which actually disguise other mental and emotional concepts.

Before (during) the self-inquiry about one’s true nature, one might find value in being open to eliminate other possible (secondary) reasons for identifying with one concept or another.  In quiet contemplation, take your time meditating on questions such as these–Do I have an ulterior motive for wanting to identify as such-and-such a being?  Would I still identify as such a creature, even if I never shared this information with any other person in conversation?  Do I want to identify as such, because I want to be part of a community?  Would I be okay if it turned out that I was “just human”–could that be enough for me?  Am I really such-and-such a creature or do I just want people to think that I’m special?  Am I really such-and-such a creature or do I need to feel that I’m special because of being unusual?  Does knowing that I’m this kind of creature/being fill holes in my understanding of my past experience?  What does deep identification with this information bring me?


[All images found using Google Image search.]



Divine Love, Being Human and Consciousness of The State


One framework of reality holds that in the Beginning, before any manifest reality, the Divine was all that there was.  For us to become manifest, we had to take on limitation in the form of human-oriented and physically-oriented thoughts and perspectives.  It is not that we ever left the Divine, not in any absolute sense.  We can think of it more like wrapping ourselves up in delusions, illusions and hallucinations to limit our cosmic consciousness, so that we can participate in the human/physical reality.

If we relate to any variation of the above theory–at least, as a working theory of metaphysics or spirituality–we can come to other working conclusions that stem off of this basic concept.  The Divine can be thought of as Pure Love–or we can think of one of the Divine’s essences or qualities as Love, Itself.

When we were an undifferentiated “part” of The Supreme Deity (God/dess), we were in a state of Divine Love.  To have a human experience, we must (by necessity) cut out or cut off full awareness of our Oneness with the Divine. By necessity, we must cut off omniscient knowledge of Divine Love, Divine Joy and Divine Peace.  To have a human experience, we must “hide” part of our spiritual nature from our human intellect.

However, to the degree to which we are “spiritual humans” is the degree to which we retain our awareness of that Oneness with Deity and/or the degree to which we want to COMPLETELY re-awaken to that awareness.  When we refer to someone being “spiritual,” we are referring to the degree to which they are in that state of Pure Love/Joy/Peace, without that state being dependent on physical events, objects or circumstances….AND to that constant intellectual and emotional movement to re-experience that state.

It is my contention that we are remembering or allowing ourselves to be aware of that constant state of Divine Love whenever we experience any moments of love in any of its forms in the human world.  It is not that the person, object or event is “causing” our feeling of love as much as we are remembering that state of Love, while we are looking at or experiencing that earthly “trigger.”  One thing to keep in mind is that we can completely experience all varities of the love-experience both in imagination (not just memory recall) and in the dream state.  Both of which are not dependent on the actual physical presence of the person, object or thing.

So–with all of that in mind, the experience of Divine Love and our internal experience [SENSATIONS] of human-love are dependent on our sensing and awareness of that energy and state.  Given, as humans we tend to mix other feelings and emotions in with the Love experience.  Also, we tend to attribute causality to external objects and events for justification of our internal and emotional experiences.

The way around being mentally dependent on external objects for justifying one’s awareness of Divine Love is to practice being in a state of Love using one’s imagination or meditative awareness.

Ideally, one would be aware of Divine Love without any need for a physical point of focus.  However, when you are first starting to practice, a focal point such as a piece of rose quartz, a candle, meditation stone or anything to help you concentrate is acceptable.

If necessary, energetically cleanse the area and create sacred/safe space.  Breathe deeply, ground, center, any and all preliminary activities which seem appropriate.  Ask yourself if the Love of the Divine looks like anything in particular to you–light, soothing darkness, color…?  As you breathe deeper, ask yourself what it feels like to be aware of Divine Love being everywhere–what are the sensations?  What does it register like in your being, as you breathe?  As you breathe, does the image of light, color or darkness fill you and radiate outwards…or do you disappear and expand into the visual image?  How far do your senses spread when you are aware of this Divine Love?  Do you feel calmer or more joyous?  Do you feel more centered or more expansive?

Now, apply this state of awareness into your physical existence.  How do you interact with other people, while you maintain this oneness with Divine Love?  How much more can you contribute to your human relationships, when you are full of Divine Love?  When you no longer need any emotional fulfillment from other people, how much can you let this Divine energy flow through you to them, knowing that there is an endless supply of it?  Allow any and all scenarios, past, present, future and imaginary to surface–bring this state of Divine Love into every image that comes up.  Practice this on a regular basis in any way which makes sense to you.


An Abundant Universe vs. Limited Resources


Some of our spellwork doesn’t manifest simply because of the default settings in our mental or emotional bodies. Conclusions that we have about the world or the universe that we live in are the conditions that we have set up for the manifestation to gestate in, before our petitions come to full fruition. When we have a conclusion about our reality in place, and we ask for a manifestation that is contrary evidence to that “fact” about reality, the petition will not be able to be manifested.

There are various thoughts about the limitations and capabilities of magick. In the magickal community, we have our hedgewitches and kitchen witches, our schools of thought that we can give the manifest universe pushes and pulls, influence reality– but that humans do not have absolute control over the physical plane. Then, we have other students of the occult who constantly move forward with the idea that we can become almost godlike in exerting our will over reality, while we are still manifest in physical bodies.

With all due respect to everyone’s understanding, interpretation and technical practice of magick–it is my personal opinion that most of the technical instruction on modern sorcery is lacking in clear and practical instruction. Most of what is available on the instructional market still operates on a hit-and-miss basis, because we are not given deeper instruction on the various and individual limitations that we have as negative thinkers.

We are given directions on how to practice techniques which are not always failproof. For the most part, we are told to keep practicing the same technique “until it works.” At best, we are offered troubleshooting tips that amount to tables of correspondences–which reinforce a sense of superstitious dependence on waiting for astrological/seasonal/daily cycles or specific ingredients. When our efforts are still not rewarded, we are offered the comfort of the idea that the Universe doesn’t want for our desire to be manifested…or at least, not in the time period that we are expecting something in….a sort of paganized version of Predestination. Depending on what we read or hear, we are taught on hand that we do not have ultimate Free Will…when we are told in other contexts that we are absolutely able to exercise and exert our free will and free choice.

Chaos Magick has taught me that if we strip all of the romance out of the practice of magick and sorcery, the point of magickal practice is to create a change in personal perception of reality. We perform ritual, spells, petitions to shift our belief in what is real. Ideally, magickal practice is a form of psychotherapy–changing the interior landscape of convictions, beliefs and feelings.

If we think of the creation (or at least, the influence) of personal reality as analogous to growing a garden, then the belief-frameworks of what is possible and not possible would be equivalent to the condition of the soil in which our flowers or vegetation grows. If we think of creation of reality as equivalent to pregnancy, the mental-framework of what is possible is roughly equivalent to the amniotic fluids in which the baby grows.

There are convictions and beliefs that are often unconscious–that are set as absolute certainties about the way that “the world is” or “reality is.” When we approach the subject of physical world assumptions in the context of magick, we are not referring to the harder set of assumptions about physical reality, that are summarized by the laws of physics. The laws of gravity are not what we are talking about. We are referring to the life scenarios that come up during the human lifetime. Relationships to other people and objects.  To a reasonable Magician, we are talking about life events and scenarios–we are working with luck, coincidence, chance and synchronicity.

In this world of limitation, it seems that some people have a lot of investment in the idea of scarcity. Sometimes, there is a subtle martyrdom that comes from sacrificing one’s personal good because of the idea that there is not enough to go around for everyone. It is a conviction in the false perception that this world is always in a state of limited resources.

In many aspects of modern Paganism, sorcery and magick, there is little to no counterwork to weed out and eliminate beliefs in scarcity and poverty. There is some in New Thought, Christian Science and such forms of metaphysics–but, unless a student matches up with a really good teacher or well-rounded guide, they are often left standing with techniques which bounce up against the harder, deeply rooted and fixed negative convictions about reality.  We do our money spells and are still left with an empty wallet.

There is this self-destructive attitude that because the world is seen as having very limited resources, it is somehow more saintly and noble (spiritual!) to go without, to do without satisfying one’s desires, so we leave those resources for others. This is based in one’s evaluation of the world as having few resources and assuming that this perception is an accurate one. From personal experience and observation, I have noticed that most people tend to be negative and view the world in a negative way. Being truly positive means seeing the bigger picture from the spiritual perspective and holding the conviction in that truth–not just repeating “catch phrases” on a superficial level.

While many people (laymen, beginning students of the metaphysical and the occult, included) say that they are Spiritually Awake or Conscious….it seems that we have many more people in the magickal communities who believe that as long as they can repeat enough tables of correspondences and author’s quotes, at our in-person meetups and online discussions, than that counts as the personal experience of expansion, spiritual growth and consciousness-raising.

Here we are speaking of the internal world–I come from the school of magick where we do our internal work, then observe what happens in the outside world as a result….if any. Sometimes, the change is purely in the emotional body.  I am talking about changing internal convictions and beliefs, way before acting on them in any physical way.

My working theory is that the physical world is based on the necessary limiting awareness of the Allness and Oneness of the Spiritual Reality. We are either Aware of EVERYTHING (omniscience) or we are conscious of our Human Life.  In this framework, we have to believe that we are NOT omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent in order to manifest as humans in the physical realm. Whichever convictions we have in “how things are” and “how my life is” is in accordance with the physical laws of this plane, as far as the particular laws of nature go. The specifics of my life situations are much more malleable, fluid and subject to change, however.

When we do any sort of conscious magick in any area of life–we are trying to shift conviction from belief in “Reality A” to “Reality B.” As a working example, let us say that “Reality A” is where we do not have enough money and “Reality B” is where we have quite an abundance of money. Now, when I examine my version of Reality A, this concrete reality is in place because of other supporting thoughts, which allow me to experience the reality where I do not have enough money. To get from “A” to “B,” I need to figure out which convictions I have to support Reality A and which descriptive thoughts and ideas support Reality B, where I have an abundance of money.

Reality A could be believed in because I grew up in a world where I saw that it was difficult for my parents to earn enough money, save money or make it stretch far enough to pay the bills. I could see that only a minority of people had the majority of the money….and my conclusion could be that most of us would never have access to that much prosperity. I could believe that truly spiritual or good people were destined to be poor–money is dirty, money corrupts, money is the root of all evil. Crooked people like politicians, lawyers, drug dealers had money….to have money, you had to trade your soul. You can either have money or you can spend time with your family and friends. You have to be incredibly smart, beautiful, charismatic to have/make money–and since I had extremely low esteem, I couldn’t ever meet the qualifications of the type of person who was going to make, earn or deserve money.

Reality B would have me experiencing a world of abundance–and by abundance, it means abundance for everyone. I would have to believe in a Spiritual Substance that is itself omnipresent. This Spiritual Substance manifests as emotional fulfillment and objects which represent physical fulfillment. To be “in” Reality B, I would have to believe in the thoughts which represent and correspond to the abundant universe.

I would have to believe in a Universe or a Deity that manifests as abundance in every and all places. I would have to believe in all of my fellow humans partaking in the manifestations of that abundance. It might anchor my conviction in the abundance universe if I noticed the details of those manifestations in the abundant world, especially in the people around me. This shift in my awareness could come from the practice of “praying for others”….but, more in the form of claiming specific manifestations as real in other’s lives. An abundant universe displays all evidence of abundance in every location. Claims contrary to the abundance would simply be validations of an illusory universe–any observation on the belief/conviction/mental level which does not support abundance for in every corner of the universe is a denial of the omnipresence of the abundance.

For a practical technique, build a working altar in honor of the Abundant Universe.  Perhaps put an image of a Wishing Tree in the middle–or a cauldron, cup or some other symbol representing the abundant source of Spirit.  The main technique will be contemplation and meditation.  As prompts, ask yourself such guiding questions as these–“What does an Abundant Universe look like?  What happens when I experience Abundance in all forms?  How am I different when I accept Abundance for myself and everyone else?  How many ways can Abundance manifest in the World?  How do I feel when Abundance becomes manifest in the World?  What positive effects come from me experiencing Abundance in every area in my life?”

Practice meditating on these meditation prompts.  Journal any observations and manifestations.  Repeat.


My Review of The New Age Rosary to Santisima Muerte

While I respect those magickal and spiritual practices that are traditional in nature, there are some of us that do better with more modern applications and interpretations.

In today’s contemporary metaphysical scene, eclecticism has offered alternative roadways back to the Divine.  At least here in the United States, our occult communities give us options between embracing the preservation of the standing traditions, as well as the creative exploration of those traditions.  With the conscious usage of creativity in our magickal work, we have melded and molded and grafted bits and pieces of traditional magickal practices with each other to create something new.  Just as we have lovingly melded the races and cultures in our modern population, we have birthed new amalgams of the old religions.

Another beautiful example of this process is in Ignacio Ceja’s “New Age Rosary to Santisima Muerte.”  As an eclectic practitioner myself, I found practicality in this structure of working magick.  As a modern magick worker, I recognized how effective this would be for the contemporary magician.

I, myself, am of Mexican ancestry.  However, as can happen with many pockets of people who are raised in a culture outside of the region of ancestral origin, my family raised me to speak only English.  Spanish is a language which is secondary to my internal dialogue and thought processes. While I can communicate in basic Spanish to some degree–I speak, think and express myself much more fully (and quickly) in English.  While I have some degree of interest in La Santa Muerte, I also have some degree of difficulty in fully relating to the accessible body of written occult work that is available to me.  While I can translate Spanish prayers and magickal instructional, I lack the nuances of cultural reference and sensibilities that I would have developed had I grown up in Mexico…more so, in a household which actually worked with Santa Muerte.

This Rosary delineates a working for a more Americanized, English-speaking magician.  While I could absolutely (and have) read a Spanish prayer, it is not as meaningful as working with this particular text.  Given, there are some spells that work for a magician, when read in a language foreign to the user–intention being the working ingredient.  However, because of my specific personality needs as a magician, reading a rosary prayer in my native language made me feel a more intimate connection with Santa Muerte.  Because it was in words that my mind could more readily understand, I mentally experienced the imagery that made the prayer much more relatable to me.

The way that this rosary is written, the experience of working with Santa Muerte was immediately a magickally potent one for me.  The wording of the prayer itself was reminiscent of Marion Weinstein’s Words of Power–as they first appeared in her classic, Positive Magic.  For my Western, New Age/New Thought sensibility….the statements in the rosary were very much in the fashion of the statements found in Christian Science affirmations.  This was another aspect that I related to, because I’ve worked with and enjoyed such affirmation-style prayers in my personal pathway.

Whereas a more traditional devotee of the Santa Muerte approaches Her within the general framework of Catholicism–the rosary is much more adapted to the pagan practitioner.  In traditional devotion to La Santisima, she is seen as a saint of sorts, an agent of God.  Tradition will vary, but she can be viewed as an angel, saint, or the skeleton of The Virgin Mary.  She is not seen as an independent agent, but instead as another servant of the Christian God.  This completely works with a Christian or Christian magician.  With the New Age Rosary to Santisima Muerte, La Santa Muerte is approached as another face of The Great Goddess of the Witches. She is seen as an aspect of the Divine Feminine.  With that, She can be approached as The Divine Mother, which for some pagans, is already a familiar, comforting archetype.

In short, this Rosary is not intended to be another traditional introduction to this wonderful deity.  This working is a bridge to The Lady for those of us who come in from outside magickal traditions and structures.


And in case anyone is interested in checking this out–


Happy Samhain–2017!

Blessed be.

Just a quick thought on the celebration of Samhain.  This is the time to explore one’s concepts regarding Death in all of its interpretations.  Transformation.  Limitations and the shedding of those limitations.  Barriers and boundaries after limitation and change.

Our version of “pagan fundamentalism” is honoring the Dead.  Which is fine, depending on your level of consciousness and understanding.  But, as we spiral up the levels of the expansion of our consciousness, we need to put ourselves face-first into the waters of the River between the worlds and see what lies under the surface.

The holidays of the Wheel of the Year are days to be celebrated at the appropriate times of the calendar.  For the initiated, they are a map of the intellectual representation of the Deeper Mysteries.

Invite Death over to tea, as if She were your favorite Aunt.  Talk to Her about the most intimate details of Her daily life.  Think of Samhain as Her anniversary and promise to spend more time with Her, throughout the Year.

untitled death

An Experiment In Chaos Magick: Therapy Role Play In Place of Ritual

I think of myself as a kind-of clairvoyant, sometimes-clairaudient, occasional-clairsentient, little-bit-claircognizant….psychic-ISH.  I don’t ever claim that “I am a psychic” as a solid self-identification because my experiences tend to be more spontaneous than planned.  If I’m divining anything formally, it’s with tarot or oracle cards.  Without props, I feel like I have to guide myself into an altered state with a sort of free-flowing guided meditation if I want to read any sorts of signs.  I don’t really think about how this ties into or contradicts my artistic side–sometimes, I “hear” concepts like dialog in my head….and I later have to analyze whether this is divinely inspired material or my brain just intellectually working on another article idea.

(That’s my version of a disclaimer.)

I’ve often thought of the acts of magick as a form of therapy.  The extent to which a ceremony, spell, ritual or any other magickal act makes a change, a transformation on the mental or emotional level depends on many factors…depending on the individual magician.  At times, this seems to be a process separate (yet unavoidable) from the intention or goal of the magickal act, itself.

On one level, most (all?) acts of manifestation are geared towards making one feel satisfied or happy as the ultimate result of manifesting the object of desire in one’s personal sensory reality.  It is the desire to feel satisfied that is often the motivating drive behind performing the magick, in the first place.  We somehow think that we will feel different once we have the desired change, object or circumstance.

Our present physical surroundings and circumstances reflect our current mindset, emotional reality and beliefs.  In Chaos Magick theory, to manifest our desired change, we need to change from our beliefs that we do NOT have our desired object/event into the conviction that it IS our current reality.  Within this framework of thought, we are manipulating physical objects within the ritual space–moving external representations of internal factors as a sort of sympathetic magick.  We repeat the same exact ritual, or perform “backup magick” until our psyche accepts the “new” reality as real.  Once that change in perspective is performed internally, then the external reality changes to reflect the new internal landscape.

If we acknowledge that most forms of psychological therapy are simply moving around the conviction in which SOME of our thoughts are current BELIEFS and changing whichever emotions one identifies with, then magick can be one of the most powerful forms of therapy that we can work with.

With my mental understanding that since the goal of ritual is to move personal conviction and emotional identification from one concept to another–I spontaneously experienced watching an imaginary scenario of performing a magickal ritual in the form of a therapy session.

As an experiment in a modern form of ritual, let us consider performing this two ways–with a partner and by yourself.  For purposes of example, we will use the manifestation of a new television set–the manifestation of a physical object.  Although, in theory, this process can apply to any sort of manifestation–objects or changes in life scenarios.

With a partner–one is the client/patient and the other is the therapist.  The therapist is there to challenge the client to re-evaluate his perception on the current situation that s/he does not possess a new television set.  The current reality of not possessing a new television set in one’s current physical surroundings is treated as a delusion, and challenged by the “therapist.”  A loose script of questions and statements is prepared beforehand for the “therapist” to work from–such as, “What makes you think that you do not have a new television set?  Are you sure?  I talked to your sister/friend/uncle, who described your television set to me.  I came over to your house and saw the television set in your living room.” Etc.

Also, using leading questions pulls on the mind’s automatic search factor and presupposition factors.  Asking such questions as, “I want you to remember the day that you found your television set in the store….which store was it?  What did you like most about your television set?  How did you get it home?  Where did you first put it?  What was the first program that you watched on your new television set?”….and so on.

Doing this as a solitary exercise, I would suggest doing this in more of a therapy-like setting than simply using straight visualization.  Use two chairs and speak out loud the dialog between the therapist and the client.  Play both parts like a ritual drama.  Read the leading questions while sitting in one chair–then move to the other chair and speak your response out loud to the imaginary therapist “sitting” across from you.

Prepare ritual space in any way that feels correct.  Cleanse.  Smudge.  Cast circle.  Perform this dialog for as long as possible, so that it feels emotionally real.  Close and clear ritual space in a way that feels correct.  Repeat as necessary.


Why Your Magick Sucks And How You Can Start REALLY Fixing It

After all this time, I still love the idea of performing magick.  My techniques and my tools have changed over the years, but the feeling that I can say something in some way to the Universe…and then SOMETHING responds….still gives me that warm and fuzzy tingle inside.

While I still love crystals, incense and all the traditional modern tools of spellcasting…I would say that most of my current magickal work resembles prayer and petitioning.  I would also have to say that most of it probably looks more like a negotiation and agreement with Reality…a back and forth conversation, as opposed to commanding angels, spirits and forces.  At this point, I think of manifest reality as a reflection of each individual’s consciousness.  Not as much as a collective creation, as much as a projection of each person’s independent psyche.  My Grandmother used to say something that translates to “Each mind is its own world.”  So, if we really boil the cauldron down–conscious acts of magick are a form of psychological healing or transformation.  We affect the specific convictions and beliefs that reflect to us as our personal realities.

Once upon a time….when we first entered that “beginner” stage of studying and practicing magick, the place where we become excited about all of the possibilities that could manifest, we were in a state of complete faith mixed with excitement.  We forgot to be doubtful, at least for a little while.  In that elevated state of awareness, we temporarily rose above the personality issues that we were born with or had developed up until that point, the limitations and negativities that we returned to once we eventually came down from the elation of first realizing that magick is a very real, very workable thing.

Whether one relates to the idea of carrying over past life lessons (including those things that we didn’t learn, last time around); coming into our present incarnation with agree-upon lessons and missions (for this lifetime); learning our flaws and quirks from our parents; or a combination of any or all of the above….there are some particular mental and emotional trends which affect our ability to directly manifest our wishes.

One of the biggest factors that needs to be evaluated and possibly changed is the magician’s particular sense of entitlement.  By this, I am addressing the degree to which the magician feels like s/he actually deserves to have what s/he is asking for.  This concept not only covers personal ownership of the manifest object or event, but also the ability to accept that s/he CAN magickally manifest the object of desire.  We can technically perform a ritual correctly, but when the energy comes up against the filter of how much we really feel like we deserve to have what we ask for, it might be like crashing into a brick wall.

Related to this concept of deserving, we also have the concept of supply or abundance.  To whichever degree we observe this in the physical world, it is very helpful to be aware of our personal EXPECTATIONS of universal supply.  We can be hiding some negativity in our ideas of a limited universe.  To believe in limited supply on a spiritual (imaginative) level, is to simultaneously manifest lack in some way, because of the belief that there is not enough to go around.  This could possibly manifest in an instance of magickal “robbery,” where to give to ourselves, we see it being taken from someone else.  Just as misleading is for the failure of any manifestation at all, excepting the pride of feeling a sort of self-induced martyrdom.

Along the same line of believing in a limited universe, a belief in a mean or uncaring Deity can also prevent successful magickal manifestation.  The question is not whether or not the Universe/Deity is helpful or generous, but rather, is it more conducive to manifestation to have the conviction that the Universe WANTS to give you what you want, without taking it away from anyone else? When dealing with manifestation, it is not only “how things are,” but also “how they can be”.

…And since we’re linking together concepts, anyway–we sometimes carry the negative expectation that we cannot get cooperation from others, under the presupposition that people have the free will to refuse to be helpful or cooperate with us.  Whether or not this is true in any particular circumstance or for any specific people in the given scenario, it is helpful to be aware of when you are open to the possibility of “someone” BEING ABLE to align with your intention or somehow gain good karma from being a participant in your manifest event….as opposed to the possibility that you might be manifesting opposition to someone helping you, because of your unconscious need to fail.  Putting energy in wondering if someone would benefit from helping you is a lot more productive than the underlying certainty that no one will help you.

Finally, it can be helpful to accept that we do not need to understand or have a concrete idea how we will manifest something.  This is harder for some analytical, controlling personalities.  Sometimes, simply spelling out that we don’t know how something is going to get resolved….but that the Universe [insert angels, spirits, Hecate, whatever…] will manifest it, even if we don’t intellectually know how or even really have a lot of faith in it….will direct your consciousness into accepting that new reality.



What Does It Mean To Be Powerful?

What does it mean to be a powerful magician? It has nothing to do with mentally amassing a huge collection of correspondence lists or even performing a particular magickal act multiple times.  When we think of someone who performs magick successfully, we are referring to someone who has a high frequency of manifesting their conscious-level desires as closely as possible to what they imagine or state that they want to manifest.

Becoming a more accurate magician is the same as becoming a more accurate manifestor.  The process of physical manifestation depends on how and how much the magician accepts that something is true.  Any act of magick is effective to the degree that it changes the magician’s consciousness to accept something as a concrete fact of their reality.

Being an effective magician is being able to decide that some fact is true–and in the shortest amount of time with the minimum of interference, experiencing that fact as real on the level that that fact belongs to.

Effective magickal practice is a form of psychological therapy or reconditioning–moving around belief; adding and removing conviction in one’s perceptions of what is real to eventually manifest those perceptions as sensory experience.


Wisdom, Knowledge, Information and Technique

Fantasy, as a temporary escape from your everyday world, gives you emotional release–a mental or emotional break from your day.  As entertainment, role playing can allow you to release stress and possibly elevate your mood.  As a magician, I tend to take the more practical route to collecting information and performing ritual, magickal and psychic techniques.

Magick is meant to produce results–some sort of change on the mental, emotional and/or physical levels.  When people say that magick AFFECTS spiritual levels or produces spiritual effects, that might be more of an error in interpretation and understanding.  The spiritual level cannot be affected–however, our consciousness can be affected to be aware of the spiritual level.  According to one model of reality, we exist on the spiritual level as complete beings, at one with the Divine.  At this level, we experience Oneness, wholeness.  The spiritual level cannot be affected, because it is the state of Completeness.

To have a human experience, we take on mental identification with limitation and boundaries.  According to this theory, we are actually “hiding” things from ourselves in our awareness of them.  We play “hide and seek” with the universe.  We lock in these human concepts and therefore experience the emotional level, creating dependence on mental justification to allow ourselves to feel particular emotions/feelings at particular times, according to particular triggers.  Because of our emotional and mental experience, we project those specific focuses as the physical world as our personal likes, dislikes, fears and hopes.

From the perspective of the Spiritual level, pure Spiritual consciousness is distracted by the activities and events of the mental, emotional and physical dimensions.  The more that one identifies with any one level, the more that his/her actions are inspired by that level.  While I am not advocating ignoring the practical aspects of human life, one should keep in mind that the more one is focused on spiritual peacefulness WHILE they perform the actions of daily life (chopping wood and carrying water while focusing on spiritual peace–rather than giving importance to gossip, envy or pettiness), the easier human life is, as well.

This is what I keep coming back to–a spiritual way of living my human life.  The energy in which my awareness sits, while performing my daily activities.  What I need now is a little different from what I used to need back when I first started studying.

I am more discerning with the techniques that I invest my time into, nowadays.  When any of us say that we want Wisdom or Knowledge, it might be more productive to define what it is that we really want….or want to accomplish.  With all due respect for everyone’s process or reasoning as they navigate their course–it seems that most of us have a very vague idea of what Knowledge or Wisdom is, so consequently most of our spiritual pursuits are also very unfocused and do not make life better in any concrete sort of way.

One of the problems with what most people pass off under the umbrella term of Spirituality is that many of the techniques, exercises and rituals that people practice are mainly exercises in daydreaming, with no real or lasting effects on any other level.  Given, there is no exact, universally-agreed upon definition for Spirituality.  I can only share my interpretation, for whatever it’s worth.

My understanding is that Spiritual being can be characterized by what we consider as the “higher” essences of Love, Peace, Joy and Oneness.  When we rest in those energies, we are in our Spiritual state.  Anything which is not those energies is not spiritual…simply energies and concepts on another level.

What distracts us from the Spiritual level are those concepts on the mental and emotional levels.   When we explore the deeper meanings of spirituality and magick, what we end up doing on the emotional level is calming and deactivating those triggers which normally keep us in negative states–any feelings/emotions which do not represent those energies of Peace and Love are not spiritually-oriented.  We have logical reasoning and justification about why we might experience anger, sadness or disappointment….and according to that logic that we’ve learned as humans…and by the fact that they are socially acceptable responses/reactions, we find it normal to experience and express negative emotions.

However, one aspect that we need to do as spiritually-oriented beings is to question–How productive and practical is it to keep feeling negative emotions?  What are the effects of allowing ourselves to continue to experience negative emotions?  Are there any real benefits to allowing ourselves to feel negative emotions?  What are the very real-world consequences of staying in negative feelings?  Do these negative feelings move you in any way towards whichever goals you have in mind?

On the mental level, it would serve us to think in terms of healing our life situations.  By this, I mean that instead of just resigning ourselves to keeping our life scenarios as they are, it might reflect the wholeness of spirit to constantly expand our perspective of what we can possibly do to make each scenario better and more reflective of the blessings of our spiritual nature.

By giving more attention to the spiritually-oriented aspects of the mental and emotional level, physical world manifestations will tend to shift towards more positive versions and variations.  What we consider positive manifestations in life are those that reflect the abundance and blessings of Spirit–what tends to remind us of Love, Peace and Joy.  These positive manifestations are constant reminders of and brought into manifestation through positive emotions and feelings.  These positive physical manifestations reflect positively-oriented thoughts.  In short, we can either focus on the positive essences of Spirit or use the reflections of those positive energies as they appear in the mental, emotional or physical plane.

Keeping this in mind, I tend to gauge the validity of magickal teachings as they affect my focus back into the spiritual level.  Personally, I tend to not be interested in very much mythology (–or as some might consider it, history–) or alleged events which happen on other planes.  This is simply because I do not find a study of mythology as personally useful as other techniques.  For me, keeping track of a series of events as purely mental images (in my memory) might not be as inspiring as remembering the sensations of a guided meditation, that I could fully relate to.

When we first begin to consciously explore the theories and practices of magick, we often have goals that we are aware of AND those underlying or hidden goals that we might be too embarrassed to admit out loud.  These hidden goals still drive us, even if we do not express them.  As we come along in our pathways, it might be useful to discern which practices are actually helpful or useful.

Simply be honest with yourself, even if you are embarrassed to share your thoughts and feelings with anyone else.  If you really want to be aware of your nature as a spiritual being, weigh out how much of your magickal activities bring your focus back to the spiritual essences of Love, Peace and Joy.  Be aware of what your magickal activities do to you on the mental and emotional levels.    If you simply want to manifest physical objects or affect life scenarios, be honest about that–but don’t kid yourself that earth magick is as direct and equivalent to a more spiritual focus.

Magick is practical, in the general sense.  It is supposed to produce effects on some level.  There is nothing wrong with performing a spell or ritual for purely inspirational purposes or for the beauty of the experience, but be aware when your intentions to manifest do not make any changes in the intended area after your performance.


How To Perform Magick Without Looking Like A Complete Moron Or A Total Jerk

I have recently been enjoying some atheist podcasts. Not that I am an atheist. If I were pressed, I would say that I probably am more of an agnostic. If I were speaking the hard truth, I would admit that I admit that I am probably more of a metaphysical “scientist”.   
Some of my more materialist friends might object to the usage of “metaphysical” with “science.” What I mean by this is that I have theories on how the universe works. I experiment with technique–which can simply be holding a particular belief–and observe any and all possible effects from that point onward. Within the same process, I question whether there could be any connection between my magickal/metaphysical actions and the manifest world.  I repeat the process. 
However, in metaphysics, I operate under “working conclusions.”  If a technique or belief COULD be working, MIGHT be helpful, AND does not interfere with the rest of my life (OR impact it in any negative way)–THEN, I will probably keep with it, until a better technique, explanation, method or belief comes along.  Magick is very personal.  I will share my working conclusions with my fellow magicians, but I will not pass them off as absolutes or dogma.  To the metaphysicians, magick is fluid.
I don’t need to be absolutely right about my convictions.  I just need to use what works.
….I grew up in a fairly religious environment. While it was mostly Catholic, there was a strong correlation taught that the actions we took….including the internal reality of which thoughts we held and emotions we felt….resulted in consequences. Even though it wasn’t explicitly stated, this was the foundation of teaching us that the way we used our energy (intentions and thoughts) affected our personal reality. We were taught the concept of magick, even if it was not presented that way. Pretty early on, I caught that my family benefited from my “behaving” and following “the rules” as they were supposedly set up by God.
However, I also eventually caught on that some of my prayers were answered, even though they were desires contrary to what my parents/family wanted or had told me
were the right things to desire. I started to formulate the idea that maybe God wasn’t necessarily what my family was telling me (or what the local Church was trying to enforce), but that God answered prayers in a way that I didn’t quite understand the formula for.  Maybe my family didn’t quite understand how God worked, either. 
What initially attracted me to the practice of magick was the idea that I could influence my immediate surroundings and the people in it. It is considered bad form to admit that; but if I were going to be honest, that was really the underlying motivation behind me. I was suffering from panic and anxiety disorder. I was in a constant state of fear about my well-being and my future, no matter which practical steps I took to live in a healthy or comfortable way. The prospect of “real magick” working appealed to me in ways that I couldn’t even imagine. I had been raised on stories of Catholic miracles and brujeria tales. Growing up, there was no reason why I shouldn’t have taken these stories at face value. These magickal accounts were reported by the same people who gave me very real-life, physical interaction and experiences. I had no reason to believe that their reports of magick were inaccurate.
I had already had clairvoyant and precognitive experiences that I couldn’t explain away in a logical way, so the idea of magick seemed possible. One mistake that newcomers to magick make is the same incorrect assumption that people outside the world of the metaphysical make–we are taught that magick runs under some formulas and recipes….and that everyone who practices magick is on equal ground. To make the new practitioner comfortable and more confident when first exploring and practicing, this is a useful (working) concept to pass along. As a working tool, this is a valuable one when someone is initially exploring the limits of possibility. However, there comes a point at which this concept becomes more of a hindrance to one’s continued growth. This comes when one is faced with the realization that one is not currently omnipotent in the immediate point of incarnation; but then they also have no clear direction on which way to go to become more powerful, in a very real-world way.
In religion, there is the idea that we must behave and perform activities without the benefit of feedback from the Deity that we are supposed to be pleasing. At best, we have a guideline (however vague) that outlines how we are supposed to be acting. For many of us, we start practicing magick because we want to create changes in our physical conditions–whether that is manifesting physical objects or affecting our life-situations. We look for concrete results. It’s all about demonstrations. Many of the magicians that I know did not explore the practice of magick because of simple curiosity.  The objective view of seeing if it worked.  It was more of an emotional need to do so–sometimes, a desperation.  In many cases, there is an emotional investment.
As part of the initial training, we are taught to look over our personal histories to see if we can find instances of causality.  In magick, we are taught that magick occurs when there is an abundance of emotion fueling a thought into manifestation and/or a thought forming into the physical when there are no contradictory thoughts blocking its manifestation.
In this training of our powers of observation, we learn how to notice when we manifest thoughts into form in the future.
Just as we cannot go into a materialist’s realm and argue from a metaphysician’s point of view–the framework and reference points are completely different–there are some criticisms of the magickal viewpoint that need to be considered.  These are questions that can help the magician in their personal growth, as well.
When a magician starts on the magickal pathway, they are taught that they simply need to master particular techniques and their spellworking will manifest as if by recipe.  If there is no manifestation, the technique needs to be practiced more (the skill of the magician is lacking) and/or repeated until results solidify.
Beginning magicians are given a very simple, working explanation of how magick works.  Occasionally, there are small clues as to how complex it can actually be.  The problem that most practitioners would have is that magick is a pathway of self-transformation.
The metaphysical explanation for manifest reality is that the world is a projection of the beliefs and perceptions of whatever is in the psyche or personal energy of the observer.  This means that magick occurs when one shifts one’s beliefs of what is real (or true)–when one shifts one’s beliefs, the manifest world follows suit.
In this sense, the “external” world of experience is tied into one’s personal psychology.  To change the “outside” world, one must change one’s internal–to change one’s internal world, one must face what is inside one’s mind.
Because not every magician is willing to explore what one really thinks and feels….including what one holds inside as memories, subconscious belief and everything else that the tricky unconscious can hide from conscious awareness.
Not everyone’s spells work, because THE REASONS for the desire manifesting AND not manifesting can vary so much between magicians.  To my observation, there is no “cosmic reason” why the spell doesn’t manifest as much as there are unaddressed mental and emotional factors, which affect it.
It can be fair to say that we don’t know why something didn’t manifest, even after the performance of magickal acts….but to assume a “cosmic reason” why it didn’t work is about the same as dismissing it as impossible.  Even if the desire seems like it will never manifest in the physical plane, to keep exploring possible obstacles is to open one’s self up to personal growth and transformation.  Elimination of the negative is never time wasted.  Even if the particular magickal project is not made manifest, the self growth will lead to positive results in other areas of life.
Any acts of magick [spells, rituals and the like] are not guaranteed to manifest exactly how the conscious mind expects.  The acts of magick are tools within the bigger picture of self-transformation, personal evolution and spiritual growth.  This is not an excuse to give up, but more of a working description of the metaphysical perspective that is necessary at an advanced level of understanding.  Perhaps not for the apprentice, the newcomer….but, when the magician comes to a level of understanding that magick is not necessarily the point in and of itself, but a tool for the spiritual pathway.
If desires do not manifest immediately, why continue to explore magick if it is not an exact science?  Another reason for the metaphysical thinker to continue exploring magick is because influence is not something that can be “turned off”.  Even if one is not performing deliberate acts of influence towards what one wants (the “positive”), there is also the perspective that everyone also influences their worlds in negative ways.  Even if I no longer perform a conscious act of magick, I have come to the point where I notice how my negative thoughts and emotions manifest as my personal experience, anyway.
From the perspective of the magician, I can’t stop influencing my world.
So–let’s take this back to formal workings and rituals.  The more effective magician observes the virtue of Silence.  There is no reason to ever divulge the workings of magick to anyone else.  What is sometimes popular is sharing one’s activities under the umbrella that other’s attention will add energy to the manifestation of the spellworking.   Under the perspective of the advanced magician, this is not actually the case.  What is actually happening is that, to the mind of someone who is not completely confident in the certainty of the manifestation, the IDEA that other’s attention will ensure the manifestation bolsters the performing magician’s personal belief/confidence…..and it is the “bolstering” that is the factor that will help bypass any doubts.
Also on the note of getting others’ attention involved–the magician needs to be aware that sometimes one has unconscious needs to have a negative experience with others.  Some of the more popular excuses for openly displaying one’s interest or identification with magick is that one needs to “be open” or honest about who they “are,” or that they don’t need to “hide” who they are because they are not ashamed of it.  While those might be popular excuses for public declaration of one’s magickal or religious tastes, more often than not, the magician is harboring a need to experience opposition or disapproval, instead.  Outside of the company of one’s fellow magicians, there is usually very little need to come out of the broom closet in day-to-day life.  Honestly question what sort of reaction you get from telling others about your magickal pursuits.  No one needs anyone else’s approval for the way they perceive and conduct themselves on a spiritual level–and I would go so far as to say that in most cases, sharing this part of one’s practices does not always make one closer to their audience.  Honestly contemplate why you want to share….and ask if divulging this information will REALLY bring you closer to whoever you are sharing this information with.
Magicians make use of a particular tool for taking information into their framework, much the same as many religious people do.  Whereas materialists rely on the five physical senses and external machinations which measure physical reality along these same lines–magicians make use of the faculties of imagination to gather and manipulate information on other levels.
Before we go on, let us explore the concept of imagination and define it.  As a tool, it is very valuable when used properly within particular boundaries and guidelines.  However, the seasoned magician will acknowledge that while anyone can use it, it is often used more improperly than not.
When we speak of the imagination in metaphysical terms, we are using this as an umbrella/general term to cover a variety of activities on non-physical levels.  My understanding, although not necessarily a comprehensive one, is that it is a mental process–under the metaphysical belief that all that exists in the universe has already been created and already exists–so that even the act of creation is more an act of observation and sensing of all pre-existing reality.  What we are doing when we experience “creation” is that we are becoming aware of the pre-existing reality and sensing it with our internal (imaginary) senses before we materialize it on a mental, emotional or physical level.
In metaphysical terms, “imagination” can be thought of as “imaging.”  This faculty is available to all beings with a consciousness–meaning, all humans.  The assumption on the part of the materialist is that only that which can be observed or measured through the physical dimensions is real.  The problem with this line of reasoning is that while it might totally work for some people, not all of us are strictly materialist-thinking to the same degree, at all times in all situations.
The mind is used to analyze and process the information that comes in through the five physical senses.  Also, any information which comes in through what we consider the non-physical senses, what we might confirm as intuition if it is useful or valid information, seems to be processed through the mind as well.  Any mental or imaginal information which does not seem to hold any relevance, validity or usefulness is considered delusion or fantasy.  However, this third type of information also seems to be processed in the same centers as the first two types of information.
The metaphysician strives to discern the three types of information and validate them–including sorting the usefulness and application of each type of information.  The goal is to be able to discern the difference between valid intuitive information and delusion.  We recognize that humans have varying levels of discernment between the three different types of information that come into the mind.  We acknowledge that there are those who have a high level of discernment; just as there are those who cannot tell the difference between delusion and intuition….and often lump everything together under seemingly valid, realistic intuitive impression.
We are at various levels of discernment.  Sorting real information from that which will not manifest for us in the real world, within a reasonable amount of time in practical ways, will help us make positive real-world changes.  It will also let us know what our real personal boundaries are…ones that reflect where we are currently in our psychological makeup.  When we know what it is that our specific personality is working with, then we have practical information to actually go beyond the boundaries that are specific to us as individuals.
So–to the serious practitioner of magick….how do we become better magicians?  How do we make real-world changes in the present moment?  First, observe silence unless absolutely necessary.  Unless it is for the purpose of information exchange, announcing your metaphysical leanings to the general populace outside of your coven, metaphysical group of community….you run the risk of creating ego games, possibly using your status as a magician for the purpose of creating shock and drama in your life, rather than sincerely pursuing spiritual growth.  Secondly, include self-perception into your workings.  Which changes will each act of magick and manifestation bring to yourself–how will you react to the end results?