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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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?
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Questioning the Validity and Usefulness of Negative Emotion

This might not be the most popular stance to take, but this is as valid a technique in emotional body healing as any other. This technique is simple, however it runs contrary to what we have been taught by the world, since the time we were born into physical form.

This technique is not for the standard human. Because of the tendency to hold onto the past and to validate negative emotions, this technique can even be considered “advanced”, for self-healing and for the serious spiritual student, magician and metaphysician.

If there is the intellectual curiosity and intuitive knowledge that this technique might hold healing power…BUT, there is still some emotional resistance to this process…step back from this technique and explore other possible obstacles to this concept. Does holding onto the past or holding onto negative emotion seem to justify reacting in any particular way? Are you attached to reacting “normally” to trauma, memory or pain?  Are you really ready to let go of the past?

When we hold onto the past….whether it is because of a singular traumatic event, a repeating pattern or an emotional reaction that we think of as normal… sometimes we do so out of the illogical fear that remembering the past or reliving it in some way will keep us safe, from re-experiencing it the same way, again. This would be fine, if in the constant replay, we didn’t continue to feel (re-experience) the same negative feelings we experienced initially. In some cases, we can’t let go of a trauma or let go of blaming someone for our negative experience, because we haven’t figured out how it happened the first time and therefore how to logically prevent it from happening, again.

When enough time has passed from the initial traumatizing (or upsetting) event, we need to keep in mind that some personal and environmental factors have probably already changed, since that time. If the traumatizing event happened when one was a child and one is now an adult, physically most of us are much stronger, know how to enlist legal and professional help, often have others in our lives who could help prevent the event from occurring in the present time, and have a wealth of resources in terms of information and otherwise that we did not have as children. As far as prevention of a reoccurrence of the event goes, we need to keep in mind that being aware of and utilizing those resources can take place only when one is fully aware of the present moment and not living outside of the current time and place….that is, in one’s mind.

When one is reliving a traumatic (emotionally and/or physically) event in their mind, one is taken out of the present moment. In the present moment, one can be aware of their physical surroundings. If there is a physical danger, one can be aware of the warning clues present, including whichever other factors that might keep one’s self safe or able to escape. If the triggering factors are emotional or mental in nature, staying in the present moment will allow one’s self to stay grounded and clear-thinking, so that they can respond and react in as positive and empowering a way as possible.

Even though it seems counter-intuitive, staying in the trauma of a memory or replaying the constant emotional reference usually does not allow one to get past the mental event. There are the chances that one will EVENTUALLY burn out on a particular emotional reference, given enough repitition, but there is no guarantee and certainly no timeline on when it is supposed to happen. Especially when one can build up other mental associations to justify the replay of the memory or reference.

When the trauma or emotional reference is strong enough to keep a “memory” of sorts repeating in one’s psyche (like an internal mental video loop), then changing the submodalities will help break the repetitive playback. Consciously allow the memory or the visual representation to come into full awareness, complete with all of the sensory elements. Within meditation or imagination, distance yourself physically from the visual image/s–see the scene as becoming separate from your personal body. Change ALL of the sensory elements–if there is any dialog, change the pitch and volume of the voice so that they are more comical and less threatening….with the visual factors, change the colors to pastels, stripes, polka dots, black-and-white….change the texture and temperatures….imagine different tastes in your mouth and odors in your nose….add circus music or any other background music….be creative and see how many sensory elements you can make up and alter. When you are done, take an internal inventory. Do you feel any different towards the initial event? Finally, send the dissociated image far away, maybe into the Sun.

Now, with the traumatic event emotionally deactivated and defused, you are free to explore the various aspects on a more mental level. This will be working with the mental references, in general. For our working example, let us pick something (relatively) less charged. Let us work with Sadness.

Create sacred, safe space using whichever methods you find appropriate. Cleanse the physical space with incense or salt water. Invoke the elements or other spirits. Cast a circle. Whatever seems intuitively correct. In this safe space, center yourself. Either in meditation or free association, ask yourself if Sadness enriches your life in any way. Can you get your goals met through being Sad or expressing Sadness?

Expressing negative emotion works for children. Most feeling adults will attempt to rescue or soothe babies and small children, when they are expressing distress of any sort.  As these children grow, there might be less inclination on the parts of adults to respond to their signs of distress, as they might be seen to be old enough to either take care of their own needs or that they are overreacting to external circumstances.  By the time that they are adults, crying or expressing upset is not necessarily responded to with as much sympathy by the general public.  As a matter of fact, some expressions of neediness can be seen as unappealing and unattractive, rather eliciting distaste or some degree of revulsion by the other surrounding adults.

By the time we become adults, we are not supposed to convey distress in the same way that we did as children.  We might not have been told explicitly to stop expressing a need for rescue….but, to some degree, there might still be that expectation that someone will fix our problems for us, even though we will have learned different ways of asking for rescue….even if it is by trying to manipulate someone else’s emotions into running to our rescue.

When we think we need someone to emotionally rescue us, we force ourselves to stay in that negative emotional space (Sadness) where the emotional cues to non-verbally ask for rescue live (appearing sad or hurt, expressing that through our bodies, facial expressions, tone of voice).  We want someone to satisfy our needs, while we must remain in that Sad, Depressed, Unhappy state.  We cannot ever be satisfied emotionally because we would have to leave that emotional state where all of those childhood tools and techniques are kept.  Once we leave that dependent state, we no longer have access to those tools of expressed distress.  As long as we rely on using those tools, we cannot ever experience anything resembling positive emotion or happiness.

The negative state (Sadness) that we want to be rescued from holds our tools (expressions of Sadness, that hopefully people respond to) for asking for rescue….we cannot use those tools of expressed distress, without being stuck in that sad, negative-emotion state.

What does feeling Sadness get us?  What does expressing Sadness do?  It is a reaction to not having our reality the way that we want it, at the moment–but, metaphysically speaking, positive manifestations cannot be made with negative energies.  It might get us some temporary sympathy….perhaps, it can gain us some attention.  But, ultimately, if the goal is to eventually be happy in any way, expressing Sadness chains us to further Sadness and the need to feel Sad in order to garner sympathy and rescue.

Which is the imaginary goal in using Sadness….is it that by feeling Sad, someone will take pity on us, give us attention, show us how much they care, therefore expressing their Concern, Love or Caring for us?  Most often, people who relate to other people who are Sad are reminded of their own Sadness–present, past, internal or hidden.  There are much more people who react to Sadness by mirroring it in some way, matching it because of the other person expressing it towards them.

More often than not, because of similarity of vibration, Sad people can only resonate with other people who are just as sad or close to being just as Sad.  A victim cannot emotionally resonate with someone who is not some sort of victim, themselves.  Often an emotional victim wishes for someone who will rescue them in a one-sided sort of way, like a lifeguard rescuing someone drowning in water or a paramedic rescuing someone from physical distress.  Unless the relationship is one between psychologist/psychiatrist/professional counselor and client/patient, it is highly unlikely that someone will rescue us the same way in a personal relationship.  The person who is emotionally rescuing us will usually need something back in return or will be off to rescue someone else as soon as we are out of our current level of distress.

In the same meditation session, ask yourself–What are alternatives to Sadness that will help me reach my goals?  Which positive emotions will be more functional?  Is it really practical to be Sad?  What is the positive emotion I would want to gain by showing Sadness to others?  Work with that positive emotion, directly.

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The Energy Model and An Unusual Approach to Love Magick

This approach involves looking at energy in a slightly different way than what we are taught is standard, even in most modern metaphysical schools.  Rather than thinking of the point of manifestation as using energy, visualization and other magickal technique to manifest the physical experience of a romantic relationship, a sexual encounter or a specific person….we are looking at the internal reaction afterwards as the last event, the final manifestation of a scenario.

The manifestation of an object or event in the physical is not the final stage.  It is always the internal reaction of the manifestor/magician that is the true end result.  Once the car is made manifest in reality, the magician responds to the manifestation with positive and/or negative emotions.  Mental realizations come up as everything from a self-affirming “Ohmigosh, I did it.  I am a powerful magician.  The Universe loves me” to the negative “Holy crap.  How can I keep from losing this?  I can’t afford this.”

We change reality–we alter circumstances and conditions, move objects in and out of physical proximity–because we consciously strive to evoke a reaction and subconsciously want to bring our hidden thoughts and feelings to light.  In the perception of the more enlightened magician, all we are trying to do is transform our internal self.  Looking at reality in terms of eventually evoking internal reaction, we are simply trying to remind ourselves, giving ourselves triggers, to remember particular energies.

We are manipulating complicated life-structures to justify our personal perception of particular energies.  These energies are already and have always been in existence.  We are manipulating worldly form to justify the belief that we CAN perceive these energies in our mental and emotional bodies.

Using this model of reasoning, it can be seen that the desire to manifest a Love Relationship is the desire to manipulate enough material circumstance and events in a way which will culminate in manifesting those feelings that one’s psyche associates with being in a Love Relationship.

The frustration that the magician can feel before the Love Relationship is manifested (“not real, yet”) and/or the frustration that the magician can feel when they attempted to manifest the Love Relationship (and it didn’t happen or didn’t happen exactly as consciously requested) is….using the Energy Model of Magick….the justification of the false belief that the mage cannot access those particular “emotional” energies that one has associated with Love Relationships.

To make this more concrete, let us start with a common example.  Let us assume that one has associated feeling Adored with the experience of being in a Love Relationship.    Although, we can sense any and all energies, regardless of physical scenarios….let us work with this example to break down the idea that a seeming lack of the physical experience of a Love Relationship can prevent the mage from any desired internal experience.  Let us work with this concept of association more directly to defuse any of its previously-held power over us, especially on a more subconscious level.  Not everyone can jump to the idea that all happiness comes from self or The Universe.  Some of us still work with the association of feelings to material-world events and objects.

Rather than believing that I cannot possibly be Adored until I am in a Romantic Relationship, and until I am experiencing particular acts with or hearing particular dialog from my Beloved–I am questioning what I previously thought a Romantic Relationship held for me….that I could not experience without it.  With honest questioning and reflection, I have come up with a list of feelings and convictions (feeling loved, the ecstasy of good sex, feeling whole, being content, feeling cared for)….and among them is the feeling that I am adored by someone.

Now, that I am aware of what essences, concepts and energies that I have mentally hidden on the other side of successfully manifesting a material-world event….I am ready to work with these concepts on another level.  Using our target of feeling Adored, I can recognize that it is actually the internal experience of those particular feelings that I really want.  As a spiritual being, I fully recognize that I am able to sense any and all energies, including those of Adoration.  I can do a full ceremony, invoking a magick circle and calling elements or guardians.  If I choose to work with Adoration in an energy meditation, that is also acceptable.

I can sense Adoration as an essence or vibration of The Universe.  I can feel how far this energy extends.  If I want to, I can play with other associations–the color of the energy of Adoration…and other associations that can manifest from that energy (such as animal spirits, elemental associations, and so on).  I would free associate during the meditation itself, rather than research or plan ahead before the meditation.  These would ensure more personal triggers and possibly give further insight to other personal associations.

Do this for all of the energies associated with the manifestation of a Love Relationship.  Once all of the energies have been worked with, note which changes have been made internally and possibly, in the external.  Repeat this cycle of energy work.  See what happens.

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