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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Your Feelings and The Holidays

Just a quick note for anyone who is even a little metaphysically-oriented:

 

Don’t be saving up your happiness until the calendar rolls around to another holiday or holiday season.  You are connected to Spirit at all times–therefore, you are connected to unlimited Joy and Bliss, at all times.  Waiting until there is a worldly excuse, like a specific date, to become aware of that Omnipresent Happiness does not mean that it only exists at certain times of the year.

On the flipside to that, do not blame the holidays for any unhappiness.  Again, you are connected to Spirit, therefore connected to unlimited Joy, at all times.  If there is any negative  feeling that you become aware of, that is because of thoughtforms that you have associated with this time of the year….or you are using this time of the year as an excuse to become aware of those thoughtforms.

If you are any sort of student of metaphysics, remember that awareness of Happiness has nothing to do with physical circumstances, manifestations or scenarios.  Be Happy just because that is the nature of Spirit.  You are actually more productive and clear-headed when experiencing positive energies, so that you can deal with real-world situations better and faster.

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Practice Is Not The Same As Confidence And Conviction

I was listening to a video on basic instructions in spellcasting.  The instructor kept emphasizing how “practice” is the most important aspect of magick.  That the magician should not be afraid to perform the spell multiple times until the desired results manifest.  “Practice” in this sense, meant repetition of magickal activity.

As a beginning magician, I remember how often the word “practice” was used.  The analogy that so many of us go by is that the process of performing magick is somewhat equivalent to any other physical-world skill.  Performing a circle casting is supposed to become “easier” once it (physically) happens multiple times.  We visualize the flame erupting from our wand, dagger or finger…the image of the flame becomes crisper with repetition.  The light becomes brighter.  The shadows that are thrown off become darker and more distinct.  With practice, the energy seems more solid, more “real”.  The other people in the room can sense the circle, the more practice that the magician has casting it.  With practice, the circle becomes more and more real in the physical world.  In the physical world, a capable magician can cast a circle solid enough for other people to sense.

When practicing physical-world skills, such as learning how to play the guitar or becoming a faster runner, practice is a very important part of becoming better at physically performing any activity.  However, as NLP and performance psychology techniques become more mainstream practices, it is becoming clear that it is not only helpful to address the MENTAL/IMAGINARY aspects associated with practice, but sometimes imperative to its success.

Attitudes and beliefs associated with our capability and capacity affect, allow and prevent our physical performance of any activity.  The rules of magick and manifestation are very different than the rules of physical activity.  In the physical world, success of activity is brought about faster when one is convinced that one can perform the activity….and can perform it not only easily, but well.

Someone who is full of self-doubt, who has a mind-set of defeat, will take much longer to physically practice than someone who is in the affirmative attitude that they will succeed.  One must not only address the thoughts specific to the activity, but also their general attitudes towards being successful.

Before kicking the soccer ball into the goal, take time out to visualize that one can successfully make the goal.  Involve all of the senses to make the experience a real one.  Feel the smallest details–the sensation of your foot inside your sneaker.  Feel the give of the grass and ground of the playing field as you stand on it.  Feel the pressure of the contact between your foot and the ball, as you kick it.  Feel that exact moment when the ball releases away from your foot, as it sails through the air.  Feel your foot return back to the ground, the shift in your muscles as you return to standing on both feet, weight balanced between your two legs.  Feel the way your body responds to watching the ball sail perfectly into the goal–the tension and release of excitement….and finally, satisfaction.  Besides the feeling sensations, be aware of the scents associated with the playing field–the grass, possibly the dirt underneath it, maybe within a park with trees.  There are also sounds–the sound of the earth squishing if it is soft….or the thud of your shoe on firmer ground….the sound of the shoe hitting the ball….the sound of the air being cut by the ball.  Every sense needs to be involved to create a realistic experience.  Once the brain is convinced that the experience has been successfully had, then there sets in the mind the idea that one is capable of performing the activity, in the future.  The mind cannot distinct between an “actual” event and an “imaginary” event, when all of the corresponding senses have been involved.  A successful and convincing “imaginary” event means that you have done the act, in the past.

A slight variation on this theme is to recall the memory of having experienced the activity in the past.  The beauty of this is that the mind, having a presumptive function, will fabricate memories (or the details to memories) when there is no “actual” event in one’s personal history.  This is not anything that we do not already make use of.  We often skew recall, often in negative ways, to confirm present-time attitudes.  When we are depressed, we can only recall memories which make the same emotional atmosphere.  In this state, all happy memories do not exist, because they cannot be recalled.  This goes for every other mood.  We cannot remember happy moments (or relate to them, anyway), when we are depressed–and vice versa.

BEFORE practicing any magickal activity–whether that is a technique in spellcasting, any particular type of spell, or manifesting any particular type of event or object–take time to make sure that you can RELATE to successfully manifesting the desired results in that area.

In metaphysical understanding, we can only physically experience those events and situations that we can relate to being “real” through our physical senses.  If the sensory details are real to our senses of sight, taste, touch, hearing and smell–it is a real event to us.  The mind cannot tell the difference between an imaginary and a physical event–they are the same thing to our personal senses.  We react to dreams, fantasies and any other occurrence that we think of as “not real”, even after we categorize the experiences as real or not real, after the fact.

In terms of magickal activity, we do not rely on physical movement as much to strengthen our abilities.  A doubting, skeptical and self-defeating personality can go through all of the motions of spell-casting or psychic techniques multiple times without any success or signs of upcoming success.

On the flipside to that scenario, a new apprentice can perform a new operation with a high degree of success while they are in still that faithful “apprentice” position.  It is the conviction, confidence….or simply, innocence….that they will succeed.  They manifest because they don’t “know any better”.

Before physically casting any spells or performing any rituals, put the larger amount of time into exploring the topic on the mental plane, first.  Be very creative.  Come at the subject in as many directions as you can.

To take the example of circle casting, before physically enacting the technique, sit with your work journal or some fresh pieces of paper and freewrite on the concept–Which sensory details are involved in casting a circle of energy?  Which physical sensations do you feel when you cast a circle?  The Divine energy flowing into your crown?  The Earth energy entering your feet chakras, moving up your legs?  Does the energy feel tingly, warm or intense as it exits your hand?  What do you see astrally as the circle is cast?  Does it affect the physical light in the room, maybe appearing as heat waves or distortion to the physical images?  Is there a sound that accompanies the presence of the energy?  How does the presence of the circle affect your physical senses?  How do other people perceive the circle, once it is cast?  How do external energies and entities react to the cast circle?

Take it to another level.  Because you are successful at circle casting, what does this say about your ability to work with energy?  To perform magick, in general?    What are other related thoughts and concepts that come from this–because you can manipulate energy easily, what else does this reflect about other parts of your spiritual beliefs?  What becomes possible, in your personal experience?

Explore these concepts freely in your journaling or musing.  If any limitations come up, ask yourself how you can move past them.  For all of the positive experiences, ask yourself how you can intensify and magnify your experience.  Keep expanding and clearing out your negative limitations.

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Model: Dylan Talisman

 

My on-again, off-again relationship with Jesus…Jesus Christ, not Jesus Sanchez.

I’m not sure about the exact moment that I was introduced to Jesus Christ.  Some of the earliest memories that I have are of the mental images I associated with the lines from The Lord’s Prayer.  While I recited the lines, I imagined a crucified Jesus hanging in space, surrounded by a wreath made entirely of holly.

I didn’t really like Jesus when I was little.  The adults around me used the rules and regulations of the church to frighten and limit my freedom of being and expression.  It wasn’t overtly stated, but I had the impression that Jesus was some sort of figurehead or enforcer of their rules.  On one hand, I had the impression that Jesus was the one that answered prayers….so, he was the one that I had to go to or nothing was going to get done.

When I was a child, men were the problematic figures in my life.  I wanted nothing to do with another powerful male image (even if he was the Son of God), so I went to the Virgin Mary with my prayers.  In my mind, she had to be like the other females in my life–more accommodating, much more nurturing, much more attentive.

Now, as an adult (and as a chaos magician), I tend to be drawn more towards the model of magick in which the manifest gods are more like thoughtforms, created by the wishes, fears and expectations of the thinker.  As a child, I wanted little to do with the males in my life, so Jesus was something I had an aversion to, simply because he represented the powerful male authorities in my life.  The Jesus that was presented to me upheld and enforced the agendas of the men around me.  I might not have been able to articulate it at the time, but I was aware of it on some level.

As I began to explore the Goddess pathways, I kept a mostly matrifocal attitude, in the beginning of my studies.  Male gods were presented gently to me.  The Son, The Lover, The Father.  My comfort was in The Mother Goddess being the most powerful figure.  In this comfort zone, I could explore that The Father God of modern witchcraft was not the same bully that was presented to me in Catholicism.  This was a nicer version of a male Deity.

When Jesus was presented to me as another vegetation god, a sacrificial god….that gave me a whole different perspective.  If Jesus was originally presented as another aspect of the Nature God, then he was a much more benevolent creature than what had been presented to me in my childhood past.  In eclectic Witchcraft, there are parallels between Jesus the Christ and Horus as well, which suddenly made the idea of this Christ presence more palatable to me.  I’ve always been more pragmatic in my approach towards spirituality and magick.  I want immediate results and effects.  I can’t say that I was as interested in historical accuracy as much as finding gods and angels that worked for me, on a very personal level.  I didn’t care if there was any real, historical Jesus to be found in history….I had already been having a personal, internal experience with him and because of him.

My family had made sure that Jesus was associated with punishment and fear.  I already had Jesus so woven into the threadwork of my mental landscape, that I couldn’t throw him out completely.  Since I already had him imprinted so strongly into my emotional structure, I wanted to work with him in a more functional way.  When I found Leo Louis Martello’s “Witchcraft: The Old Religion”, I gained the idea that Jesus was seen as a more benevolent figure in the early Catholic Church….much like the Father God of the pagans.  I began to gently accept the possibility that Jesus could have (originally) been another manmade representation of the Masculine principle within Nature.

All of the negative things that were presented to me, with Jesus as a justification, were suddenly invalid.  I lost my belief that Jesus was an independent spirit, with intentions of punishing, withholding or controlling me in any way.  Now, there was two Jesuses–Jesus, the sacrificial god, son of the Goddess….AND the childhood thoughtform of Jesus that people held over me as a threat, if I didn’t conform to their ideas in some way.

Since I am no longer afraid that Jesus is an overpowering, independently-acting spirit, I can sometimes work with his image in my workings….mostly, when I think his energy will be compatible and familiar to the people that are going to experience it.

There are different schools of thought when working with the manifest gods.  There are those people who believe that the gods of mythology are actual, independent entities….spirits with their own consciousness and free will.  Then there are those of us that believe that the gods are thoughtform-constructs, which is how we can have different versions of the gods (Hecate, Venus, Jesus, The Devil and so on) “acting out” in different ways in our individual lives.

To some magicians, the manifest gods are essentially servitors or genies, carrying out individual prayers or requests.  To those who have faith that Jesus will fulfill their prayers, Jesus is a good thoughtform to work with.  To keep from mixing manifestations, the magician can work with Jesus in his various aspects–The Good Shepard, The Divine Child, Santo Nino de Atocha….  There are even more modern  “found gods” variations, such as found in Latin America….Jesus the Doctor, for example.

Another interesting way of working with the Jesus thoughtform is through the process of godform assumption.  Taking on the energy of what one would assume the Christ would have and intending how the surrounding environment (including people) reacts to that is worth trying out as an exercise.  This can be an especially healing exercise to reclaim all the power that was projected onto our childhood projections of Jesus.

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Why Love Magick Doesn’t Work*…And Why We Should Keep Practicing It Like Crazy–

[*why it doesn’t work like we think it should]

[Ahem.]

I am a huge fan of Love Magick.  I love the tools and ingredients associated with this form of spellcasting.  I love the roses, the aventurine, the rose quartz, the pink/red/green/orange, Venus and the Moon, water and fire….I loved that part of the movie Practical Magic, where Gillian said that she couldn’t wait to fall in love.  I’ve cast spells that have been met with amazing accuracy….a check list of qualities that have manifested in exact detail.  I’ve casually read a spell from a book and had it manifest, without lighting any candles or burning any incense.  It is the anticipation of what COULD happen that is so inspiring and the confirmation that something did happen, because of my desire.

I’ve come up with many theories about why Love Magick is valuable, why it has value in our arsenal of spellcraft tools.  Most of these theories have come about because of my own personal self-exploration, usually within the context of my spiritual growth.  Some of these theories are complete guesses, working hypothesis–some are still valid…some might be applicable at different times, in particular areas of my life.

I’m still not married.  At the moment, I don’t have a regular boyfriend.  Why have I not gotten frustrated with the whole idea of Love Magick after all those candles I’ve burned, all that incense I’ve set on fire, stones I’ve energized and angels/devas/gods I’ve called?  Because of my context, my framework, my way of understanding the world, myself and the cosmos.

Being in love has nothing to do with another person.

Don’t get me wrong.  I will manifest another love, another love interest, another  relationship.  But, the way that I have come to perceive physical reality is that our worldly interactions (physical, emotional and mental) are a reflection of what we carry inside of ourselves.  What we carry inside of ourselves includes conscious and unconscious, present and deep-rooted past, thoughts, emotions, feelings, fears, hopes, wishes.  Whatever shows up at our doorstep….however we immediately react to it…AND how we eventually respond to it are all found in our psyche.  This is not blaming the victim…because we have a wealth of internal resources that we can draw on to react and respond in any way conceivable.  Through reflection, meditation, self-growth and self-empowerment, we can learn how to respond in better and better ways to the same stimulus.

When we are born into this world, we come in with particular limitations….these are reflected as the scenario known as “home”, in whichever form we find it.  False ideas are taken on–that, as spiritual beings, are only job is to expand beyond them and reclaim (remember) our spiritual nature….way beyond our human personality and human potential.  As spirit, we are loved, loving and Love, Itself.  One metaphysical theory is that we are constantly and intuitively trying to reaffirm that state of Love.

Because humans use the outside world to justify internal reaction, we “fall in” with the perfect partners….they reflect our negative perceptions and human obstacles, while at the same time maybe reflecting some of the hopes and wishes we have for eventually experiencing that state of pure Spiritual Love, that is our essence.

One of my theories was that people who tend to cast a lot of love spells are instinctively attempting to heal their emotional bodies.  My theory is that these love magick-loving magicians are attempting to eventually flood their energy bodies with high-vibration essence to replace the illusory hurts that are taken on in a temporary human lifetime.

Part of the impetus to cast a love spell is the fantasy of what will happen once “true love”, a “soulmate” or “Prince/ss  Charming” manifests.  We justify touching on that Love/Satisfaction/Fulfillment energy that IS ALREADY INSIDE OF US, when we dwell on why we want to perform an act of love magick.  On an energy, feeling or awareness level, we are already experiencing that state–without a physical form or event to justify feeling it.

We might make a list of which qualities we want to experience in the beloved or in our relationship with them.  However, with EVERYTHING that we experience in this physical world, the thoughts and feelings that we associate with “love” and relationships will also manifest in some form with the love spell.  Rather than become frustrated that our spell did not manifest completely (purely) in the form that we CONSCIOUSLY attempted, it is another wonderful opportunity to explore the flaws in our regular, everyday perception.

Magick is a way of making our unconscious conscious.  A good magician understands that self-exploration is the key to personal evolution.  Ultimately, it’s all about being Spirit, remembering and expressing real Spiritual being….not theories or philosophies.  Magick makes thoughts and feelings concrete, good, bad, ugly and beautiful.  Love magick generously allows us to see HOW MUCH BEAUTY WE CAN EXPRESS, while showing us the obstacles that we can eliminate to allow even more in.

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How Spiritual Is Spiritual? The Spirit, Manifestation and Focus

  • ….what does “spiritual” mean, anyways?

    What is the meaning and purpose of life? To be honest, I have been a little bothered by that concept, lately. When I first started on what I understand as a “spiritual pathway”, I thought that the more spiritual that I became, the more that my physical life was going to be easier. I had this idea that I would feel calmer, centered, expanded, peaceful, blissful and loved. That was the general concept that meant that I was spiritual. Also, I had every expectation that that would translate into having a lot of money and a comfortable life, doing whatever it was that I loved for a living.

    My expectation was also that once I was “spiritual”, I would be in perfect health….and if I was totally honest, I also expected a few super powers….mostly psychic ones. (Ahem.)

    Looking at the metaphysical community, the vampire community, the pagan community….I can see that there is more of an emphasis on “powers” and “abilities” than there is on being “spiritual”. There is more talk on technical techniques in magick, psychic talents and various other metaphysical phenomena….even what passes as communion with angels/gods/demons is really just making thoughtforms. Most of our communion with non-physical beings is really just interacting with astral servitors in the shape and form of Athena, Beelzebub, Michael and Lucifer.

    Is it even important to be Spiritual? To be honest, I’m not really sure where I exactly got the idea. Was it from eastern yogic philosophy or new thought? And why should I be Spiritual? What does it even mean?

     

    When I was younger, I think that I had the idea that I was supposed to do what “God” wanted….that was what being spiritual meant. In exchange for following all of the rules and regulations, I would be rewarded with getting blessed in the physical world. When my prayers weren’t answered with physical manifestation, I was still assured that there would be my riches in heaven.  A trust fund that I could dip into, once I was dead.

     

    As my religious symbology and personal mythology changed, I think I adapted some of the earlier concepts.  Somewhere, I think my brain translated that into physical blessings being the demonstration for being spiritual. The only way that I could really gauge that I was making spiritual progress was if my magick created real-world changes.

    As I studied further, I came to realize that obstacles to manifestation (of experience) were in the form of thoughts and emotions/feelings. The same things that manifested as personality limitations were what affected how smoothly magick worked. Also, communion with Spirit relied on how easily we could leave behind the thoughts and feelings of the everyday world.

     

    When I began to commune with The Great Mother, being spiritual meant being entirely aware and focused on The Spirit, Herself. Being spiritual means the pure experience of the essence of Spirit….unconditional Love, unbridled Joy, unending Peace. It is an experience that has nothing to do with the physical, mental or emotional world.

    The reason we have no lasting happiness in the world is because the world and everything in it does not represent completeness.  Limitation is necessary for manifestation.  That is the nature of the physical world.

    Any physical form, thought or feeling is not the entirety of the Universe. Happiness is only happiness. It has no form other than itself. We can add Joy to everyday life. We can bring Joy to the table. We can remember to be aware of Joy, but we cannot find it hiding in the everyday world…..Joy has no form. Joy is Joy. That’s it.  We add it to the world.  Our mistake is in assuming that we have to unveil it already hidden in forms or experiences.

    The wonderful thing about magick and manifestation is that they can be great tools for reminding us of Spirit.  Spells let us play with the world of form, to make it easier to remember the Divine.  Magick is not spiritual, in and of itself….but, it helps us take pressure off of our thought/feelings/energy, so that we can refocus on Spirit.

    To be Spiritual is to be aware of that Wholeness before/beyond form or physical-world experience.  It is the option of being aware of that state.  I am not spiritual because I am trying to please any deity outside of myself.  I am spiritual because it feels like a natural place to be.

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