Elemental Balancing Ritual Stability Month 4

1-23-2018 In the power of TED The author shares that how you approach life creates the experience you have and that makes sense. I can recognize when I'm approaching my life as a victim or as a creator and how I feel in both situations. I think the real takeaway, emphasized as much by other things I've been reading, is pick the problems that best serve your outcome. And that only happens when you define your outcome. I've been redefining my outcomes in a couple areas of life and I already see some key differences that are helping me be much more productive and happy. 

1-24-2018 I had a 2 hour conversation with another of Gray's students. It was fascinating to hear more stories about Gray, but also to discuss my ongoing magical work as well as learning about that student's working. I felt another connection click into place through that discussion and I'm very excited to continue the relationship and perhaps collaboration as well. Finding like minded magicians who get my work on a deep level and have a shared spiritual foundation is truly exciting.

The Creative Genius as a Spirit

One of the books I'm currently reading, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear offers an intriguing idea about the nature of creative genius. The author shares that the ideas a person gets and acts on are the result of the genius, but the genius is a spirit working through you.

Kind of like A Genius Locii (a spirit of place), but instead its a spirit of creativity.

I think its an intriguing way to look at one's own sense of genius, because instead of claiming something as you're own, you acknowledge its a gift that's been given to you, an offering that you've been allowed to express (should you take it up). It's an opportunity to be humble and recognize how your creativity is inspired.

How to dissolve identity

In the last few months I've been engaged in a process of dissolution. It is the dissolution of identity constructs that no longer serve me and have become burdens instead of liberators. Why I've done this is because holding on to those identities becomes a form of attachment, complete with tensions that keep a person bound in stasis.

My process for dissolution has involved a combination of meditation exercises and practical exercises where I've made changes in my life.

4 Book Reviews for January 2018

Book Review: On Writing by Stephen King

In on Writing, the author shares both an autobiographical account of his life as a writer as well as his tips and suggestions for being a writer. While the book primarily deals with writing for fiction, I feel the ideas shared can be applicable to non-fiction as well. It had some good insights on both the act of writing and the business of writing. If you are serious about writing then pick this book up to help you on your journey.

Book Review: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

I found this to be a very helpful book because it helped me recognize how I was limiting myself in different situations in my life and it equipped me with processes I could use to call that out and start working through it. Also reading this book has helped me ask what my zone of genius is and start being true to that zone of genius instead of getting distracted and weighed down by work I don't really want to do. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to discover their zone of genius and stop getting in their own way.

Book Review: The Old Sod: the odd life and inner work of William G. Gray by Alan Richardson and Marcus Claridge

I've been a fan of William Gray's magical work since the late 90s. I've also had the fortune of meeting a few of his students and learning about the actual man as well as the magician. I found this biography to be useful as well in filling in some blanks about the actual person and providing some context around his magical work. Whether you're interested in the magicians of the 20th century or a fan of Gray's work, this is a good book that shares his life, faults and successes.

Book ReviewThe Power of Ted by David Emerald

In this intriguing book, The author explores the Drama triangle that many people find themselves in and offers an alternative, The Empowerment Dynamic. He shows how the drama triangle disempowers people and creates a lot of drama because of the conflict generated in it. With the Empowerment Dynamic, the author shows you how to claim the role of creator and change your relationship with yourself and other people by choosing how you approach situations. I found this book to be insightful in terms of recognizing ways I've disempowered myself and been a victim. Implementing the concepts in this book helped me start making changes that have benefited my relationships and business. It's a short and powerful book that will change your life.

Elemental Balancing Ritual Stability Month 3

12-23-2017 Since I made the decision to stop comparing myself to others and start appreciating myself more, I've felt a sense of lightness and happiness and appreciation for my work that I've never ever felt before. I think I've been so busy trying to fit in for so long that it killed a lot of joy in my work. And now I'm simply belonging to myself and I look at the work I've done, am doing, and plan to do and I really, really like it. It's such a wonderful feeling.

12-26-2017 The other day Elephant told me I needed to just be sometimes, instead of trying to do so much. "What about all my work with Stillness?" I asked. You were still doing Stillness he told me...not really just being. And he's got a point.

Videogames, Emotions and Magic

Lately I've been replaying the God of War series. It's one of those videogame series that I play as a way to process emotions and solve problems. Losing myself in the game and in the character of Kratos and his own issues with rage allows me to come to a meditative space. In that space, each push of the button is mirrored in the meditation and what is presented is a space where the problem can be worked through, while the game is being played. 

Where I'm going next with magic: Experiential Embodiment

I've been thinking a lot about where I want to go next with magic. When I wrote Magical Identity, I felt like it planted a seed for what I'll term experiential embodiment. But like any seed, some time was needed to let it germinate and flower. 

But for the near to intermediate future I'm finished with pop culture magic and I find myself coming back to experiential embodiment, both in the form of the current book I'm writing, and in my magical experimentation in general.

Elemental Balancing Ritual Stability Month 2

11-23-2017 I've been waking up with fear and anxiety each day. And each day I've been doing the Taoist dissolving meditation and working with Elephant to be present with what I'm feeling. I've also been reading Rising Strong by Brene Brown lately and its extremely relevant because its really a book about how you come back from failing.

And something which really stands out to me is that she explains the importance of being really present with those messy, uncomfortable feelings you have around failing. She basically says we need to be curious.

3 book reviews for your spiritual path

Book Review: The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely

In this book, the author provides further social experiments where he explores irrational behaviors and shows why people make the decisions they make based off emotions and other factors that aren't rational. It's a fascinating book which explores human behavior and provides insights and glimpses into why people behave the way they do. The author also explores how irrational behavior can benefit us, in the right context. If you're interested in understanding human behavior, this book will provide some fascinating insights that you can apply in your life and work.

Book Review: Rising Strong by Brene Brown

In Rising Strong, Brene Brown explores how to reset your life when you've experienced adversity. This book was very timely for me to read because of some tough experiences I've had n this last year. Reading through it gave me valuable techniques to draw on as I work through those experiences. It's helped me work through some tough emotions and behavior patterns and provided me a way forward. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone dealing with some life changing struggles, who needs some guidance on how to move forward, but also to anyone who wants to improve how they work through difficult situations.

Book Review: Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

In Braving the Wilderness, The author explores the topic of belonging and how to discover true belonging with yourself, as well as how to brave the wilderness and stay true to your journey and message instead of trying to fit in. Reading this book has been timely for me as I've gone on my own metaphorical journey into the wilderness with my business and life. I particularly found the idea that I belong to myself and that I can give permission slips to myself to be helpful, because its allowed me to look at my life and give myself the necessary breathing space I needed as I made some tough transitions. I highly recommend this book as a guide to help you brave your own wilderness and find true belonging. 

The Problem with Prescience: How Observer Effect muddies up the water

I was recently re-reading Dune Messiah and what fascinated me about the book is how the character relies on prescience to direct his actions, but also how he recognizes that prescience can be problematic. With prescience the character is always scanning the possibilities and trying to choose the best path forward, but the very path becomes the trap that takes away all his choices.

In my own spiritual practice I've used a variety of tools that can have prescient applications. Those tools include Tarot cards, writing, and collages. I've also used meditation as a way to access prescient probabilities.

Elemental Balancing Ritual Stability Month 1

10-22-2017 On Friday I switched from Stillness to Stability, from working with Zadok to working with Elephant. One of the reasons I chose Stability is because I feel a need for grounding. One might think with Stillness that I'd already be grounded, but Stillness isn't about that. And to move forward from Stillness requires a measured approach.

When I connected with Stability, I felt Elephant step in and communicating with Elephant is quite interesting because part of the communication process is done through vibration and the paths of memory. So today for example Elephant on a journey of memory and used vibration to steer the course.  

A couple of book reviews

Book Review: Tao of Letting Go: Meditation for Modern Living by B. K. Frantzis

In this book, the author introduces readers to the Taoist water Breathing meditation. This book is similar to his other book Relaxing into Your Being. If anything it's a bit more stripped down and focuses on the basics, but its a god book to start with and I'd recommend it because the author takes the time to explore how to apply this technique to internal work and emotional blockages that's a bit more grounded than his other books on the same topic. I found it useful for revisiting what I'd previously learned and it will also be helpful for anyone who wants to learn meditation. 

Book Review: An Outlook on our Inner Western Way by William G. Gray

This is a book I will read again and again and each time I know I will discover insights and perspectives that will blow my mind. Reading it the first time, what struck me the most is how concisely and clearly Gray predicted modern society and the place of magic in society. And he does something so rare for frankly any magician to do and its that he advocates for experimentation. Actually that's one of the reasons I love all his books. And this one is no exception, with amazing insights that will challenge what you know about magic and push you to experiment.

How Pop Culture Magic works: A guide in theory and practice

If there's one perception about pop culture magic that stands out to me as being inaccurate, its the idea that people practicing pop culture magic are winging it. It's as if people think that pop culture magic is an undisciplined approach to magic that's really about wish fulfillment as opposed to a genuine magical practice.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

When I started practicing pop culture magic, I knew that in order to make it work, I needed to draw on my previous experiences with magic. In fact, I wouldn't recommend pop culture magic to someone who didn't have at least a couple of years experience with magic under their belt, because you need that experience to make sure that what you're doing actually works and isn't wish fulfillment on your part.

How I became a Practical Magic Minimalist...

At one time, whenever I would do a practical magic working, I had to break out the bling...

You know the fancy tools, the smelly incense and candles, and all the other stuff we're told we need to have in order to do practical magic (and other types of magic for that matter). 

And don't get me wrong, those fancy tools, incenses, and candles could be a lot of fun to use. They can really set the tone of a ritual, create an atmosphere and experience that whisks you from mundane reality and opens you to the sacred mysteries of the universe.

But as I continued doing practical magic, I began to wonder if there was an easier, better way of doing practical magic, without all the bling and other stuff.

And as it turned out, there was.

How to use meditation for internal work and magic

When most people think about meditation, the first idea that comes to mind is a person trying their best to empty their mind of any thought. And no surprise here, but the idea of doing that successfully can actually be intimidating.

But while emptying your mind can be part of what meditation is about, its not the entirety of it. Sometimes its not even the purpose of the meditation. 

I've had people tell me over the years that they can't meditate, but I'd argue that any person can meditate. However there isn't a one size fits all approach to meditation.

How Magic Works: A guide in theory and practice

If there's one problem that stands out to me about how Magic is taught or explained, its that people rarely take the time to really explore how magic works.

Yet's what really worse is the lack of curiosity in exploring how magic works. Instead we're told, "Don't worry about how or why magic works. Just do it." 

What frustrating advice!

How can you just do magic, if you don't understand what you're doing or why you're doing it? What's being taught is basically push button magic. You push the button and you hope something happens.

That's not an effective way to practice magic and it doesn't empower anyone when they are told to just do something. Additionally, it makes it very hard to personalize magic or experiment with it. 

4 Reasons you aren't getting the results you want

One of the frequent issues I notice magicians experience is they don't always get the results they want, or they get the results, but then the results slip through their fingers. So they went to all that effort to get that result, and yet it hasn't worked out. It's enough to make a person really doubt whether or not magic works.

Yet, so many people do practice magic and do get results, so surely it works. The question is, "Why aren't you getting the results you're shooting for?" And in this article I'm going to share 4 reasons you may not be getting the results you want as well as what actions you can take to remedy that issue.

Magical Experiments Podcast August and September 2017

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Magical Experiments Podcast: Traveling to Sacred spaces with Vyvianne Armstrong

Magical Experiments Podcast: The Magic of Melusine with Annwyn Avalon

Magical Experiments Podcast: Home Herbalism with Victoria Pike

Magical Experiments Podcast: Pop Culture Magic systems with Terra Akhert

Magical Experiments Podcast: The Pop Culture Magic of Digimon with Eryk Adash

Magical Experiments Podcast: Pop Culture Magic Systems 2 with Wild Healer and Coleen Chitty

Magical Experiments Podcast: Opening the Doors to Psychic Perception with Ivo Dominguez Jr

Book Review: The Arch of Heaven by R. J. Stewart

In the Arch of Heaven, the author shares a prayer/working that he has used to deal with lingering ghosts. He then explains the origin of the working and offers some insights on spirits, death, and related topics. It's a short, focused book on a specific type of magical working, within the magical tradition that the author is part of. People in that tradition or in the Avalonian current will find this book valuable. For other practitioners it does provide some useful gems on working with inner contacts and some insights into the tradition the author is part of. I found the material useful and accessible and would recommend it to anyone.

Book Review: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

In Daring Greatly the author explores what it means to be vulnerable and how being vulnerable can help you become a wiser and stronger person. As I read this book and applied it to my life, I found that I had deeper, more intimate conversations and connections and that I was able to create a space for myself that truly helped me embrace who I am. I highly recommend this book for internal work and meditation.

Book Review: Keys to Perception by Ivo Dominguez Jr

In this book the author shares the keys to perception and walks readers through a variety of exercises he's developed that can be used to cultivate psychic abilities. What I think stands out to me about this book is how the author manages to make the book relateable to people regardless of what their spiritual background is. So while Pagans and magicians will get a lot from this book, so will anyone else who has psychic abilities or simply wants to learn more about them. The exercises are well developed and described and its clear the author has done the work, but he also makes a point to describe the mechanics of the workings, which is helpful if people want to experiment with it.