On New Years Eve I fell in my shower, and I ended up bruising my ribs. I fortunately didn’t break or fracture them, but even bruising them was painful and for the first couple of weeks it hurt to pretty much do anything. It typically can take up to 6 weeks for bruised ribs to heal and I knew as a result that I was going to have to take a break from my usual exercise routines and just focus on letting my body heal. But I also figured there was no reason I couldn’t also help my body with that process of healing.
The majority of my current magical experimentation is on experiential embodiment, which is focused on entering into a conscious relationship with the body, as opposed to merely inhabiting it and treating it as an object. Yet what I’m finding with this work is that it’s not merely helping me continue to collaborate with my body as a living universe in its own right, but also connecting me more intimately with the environment and world I live in, as well as with the fellow living beings I share this space with.
I’m reading the Spell of the Sensuous and Processmind and both books explore how connecting with your body also opens you up to connect with your environment. What both authors recognize is that the choice to be sensually and experientially present with your body necessarily also opens you up to becoming present with the space you are interacting with in your everyday life. Embodiment teaches us not to take for granted the world we live in or the bodies we are fortunate enough to have access to.
I’ve been reading The Courage to be Disliked and one of the ways this book has been helping me involves how I look at creativity and jealousy. When I look at my own experience as a writer and magician I can point to moments where I have felt jealous and have reacted to that feeling in ways which really hasn’t helped my spiritual practice or my writing. But jealousy is all too easy to feel and respond to.
2018, for me, has been this huge process of coming face to face with the things in my life that serve to destabilize my work, productivity and overall life quality. And since I switched over to creativity as my element to work with that too has brought me face to face the issues that have haunted me.
Art is one of the techniques I use for working with magic. A painting or sculpture can be used to help embody and express a magical concept or provide a “home” of sorts for an entity or spirit. But art can also be used to set up your environment for magical work, or it can become a shrine and altar to the spirits you’re working with. It’s these latter two aspects I want to explore, as well as share a few examples of my own art employed for this purpose.
At the same time I also want to explore something else that I feel underpins the two points above: Art is an active collaborator in your magical work. I mention this because I think that other than the act of creating art, art is typically considered to be passive. And what I mean by that is that you see art on a wall and appreciate it, but its just there, in the background, or is it?
12-23-2018 I’m away on holiday visiting Kat’s family in Canada, but today I work up did my moving meditations and then did the sphere of art work. I hadn’t done it during the move, having gotten special dispensation to pause the work but now its time to get back to it. For the next few days it’ll just be reattuning to the sphere, but when I get back home, I want to resume the work with the elevations and holy fires. The move itself has been an exercise in creativity. I’ve been working with the new space a lot, figuring out where to put things and how to set spaces up. It’s my hope we won’t move from our new place for quite a while and so a lot of my setup is reflective of that, and how to encourage my creativity.
I ended up getting a new desk, a black glass desk, and I have it facing the large window of the bedroom, where I can see bamboo. I think it will be quite beautiful and a wonderful place to do my creative work.
My latest book, A Magical Stillness is now available. This is the 4th volume in the magical journal series and contains all my blog articles from 2015-2017. Click the button below to pick up your copy.
Book Review: Seasonal Occult Rituals by William G. Gray
In Seasonal Occult Rituals, Gray lays out the structure of 4 occult rituals that can be done for the seasons and explains the methodology behind the rituals. Just as importantly, Gray also provides readers an opportunity to build their quarter cosmos for each season and for each quarter of the circle. whether you do the rituals or not, you’ll learn a lot about how to build your cosmology from reading this book.
Book Review: A whole new mind by Daniel Pink
In this book, the author explore right brained thinking and how the job market is being defined by right brained thinking. While this book was written a while, the premise that the author has shared has only become more true since the book was written, and its worth reading the book because it provides readers a way to understand how the modern world is changing and being defined by right brain thinking. The author also provides some useful exercises that can help you apply right brain thinking to your life.
Book Review: Playback: The Magic of William S. Burroughs by Ashe Journal
This is a collection of essays and poetry about William S. Burroughs. The essays touch on some of Burroughs spiritual interests and one addresses his magical work, but for the most part this collection doesn’t do justice to the magical work of Burroughs and that’s disappointing. There’s a lot of magical concepts in Burroughs work and it would be good if there was an actual book that explored his magical practices. This collection isn’t it.
Book Review: Evoking the Primal Goddess by William G. Gray
Evoking the Primal Goddess was the last book Gray wrote. It’s an interesting book which explores the divine feminine and Gray has some interesting theories and ideas. At times the book wanders a bit and I would take some of what he shares with a grain of salt, but its worth a reading and pondering because as always Gray makes you think.
Book Review: The man who lied to his laptop by Clifford Nass and Corina Yen
This is a fascinating book which explores how people relate to technology by attributing human behavior to the technology. The authors share some experiments that were conducted that demonstrate that people often view their technology from an anthropomorphic lens. They then transfer their observations over to human behavior in general, showing how these lessons can be applied to your everyday interactions. Worth a read if you want to understand how to relate to people (and machines) better.
Book Review: Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
This is another excellent book by Brene Brown which explores how to apply the principles of her work to team settings in workplaces, but can also be applied to your personal life. I particularly found the story technique helpful, as well as the value exercise, but the entire book has excellent perspectives that can help you become a better communicator with yourself and others.
I’ve started re-reading the Spell of the Sensuous, which is one of those books I’d make mandatory for any magician. In the book the author notes that the magician’s place is on the edge of society, mediating both the human community and the community of nature and spirits that the magician connects with. This role is essential and the magician maintains it in order to connect with the wild, with the spirits and as a result bring about equilibrium in the human community.
The author shares this contextual definition based on his experiences in SE Asia, and so I found myself asking if what he defined as the magician’s place is applicable to Western society. And I think it is. Not the least perhaps because I’ve always seen myself on the edge and that I prefer to live in hard to find places that have a connection to nature, but just as importantly because I think that regardless of where you live, its necessary to find a way to connect with the larger world around you, and with what awaits in that world, both in terms of life and spirit.
I recently finished watching the first season of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Its a fun show to watch, but as I watched it I also found that there were a few key themes in the show that provided useful lessons to consider on one’s magical journey.
If process is the methodology of magic, experience is the art of magic.
When I talk about experience, I’m talking about engaging your magical work on a sensorial level, opening yourself to the subtle nuances of magic as it expresses itself in your life.
Experiential aspects of magic can happen during ritual workings. In fact a lot of magical workings are purposely designed to engage the magician sensually in order to alter the consciousness and prepare the magician for the spiritual workings, but ritual is just one example of experiential work in magic.
Lately I’ve had a few other magicians express doubts about their magical work and when they tell me they feel doubt they feel as if expressing that doubt is somehow bad and makes them less of a magician. I actually find it to be refreshing and see it as a good thing to express and feel. Having some doubt is healthy and is what keeps us grounded when it comes to magic and life. The danger of not entertaining some doubts is that you can make assumptions about your magical work that you aren’t verifying. Doubt is what helps us do our due diligence and check against what we’re doing and how its aligning with the experiences we’re having.
I find that where a magician can start making assumptions is when they don’t entertain any doubt. Certainly I have sometimes made assumptions instead of critically questioning what I was experiencing. A good example of this would be when a situation seems to resolve in your favor, with everything lining up the way you would expect it to when you’ve done a magical working…but you haven’t done a magical working.
11-22-2018 I’ve been reflecting on my work with creativity so far and I realized part of that work isn’t just around the obvious expressions of creativity, but also around the not so obvious parts. For example I realize how much I haven’t believed in my own creativity and how right now that’s exactly what I’m being challenged with. Can I believe in my creativity and trust it and myself? I guess that’s as much as what this year is about as anything else.
11-24-2018 I still feel angry at myself about last year. I realize I had to make some tough choices and ultimately I made the right call, but there’s still that feeling around failing that I’m working through. I feel this creativity work will help me with that process, help me come to a place of forgiveness with myself or something along those lines.
At the same time, one theme I’m finding with my creativity is the importance of taking breaks and not working myself to burnout. That was a huge problem for me when I was self-employed, and now that I’m employed I find it easier to take breaks, to recognize when I just need to do something fun for myself instead of always being on. Or finding a different way around the block. Last night I felt blocked and instead of trying to force myself to write I stepped back and took a look at the problem and realized I needed to start organizing my research for the new book. When I approached the problem that way I got inspired and started getting the research put together in my mind. It reminded me that working on a book isn’t just writing and that I can make progress in other ways as well.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference between magic done for the sake of experience and magic done for the sake of results. I don’t think either type of magic necessarily better than the other, but I think the underlying purpose for doing the magical work is significantly different and worth recognizing because it also informs your own motivations for why you’re doing magic.
I’ll admit that a lot of my thought around this topic is driven by my own magical experiences and experiments of late, which have driven more by a desire for the experience than for a specific outcome. Practicing magic for the sake of experience I find is changing my perspective on magic. Before I get into that further though let’s briefly define and clarify what magic for results and magic for experience looks like.
One of the ways I’ve been cultivating my creativity has involved using lucid dreams to discover what I should write about, both for fiction and nonfiction. In order to have lucid dreams I’ve found it helpful to change some of my sleep patterns, just enough so I can remember my dreams and still get enough sleep for my health.
If I get a full night of sleep I usually need 7 hours. When I’m doing dream work, I aim for getting around 6 hours of sleep. I find that if I only sleep 6 hours, I wake up around the time that I’m having vivid dreams and can remember those dreams. If I have a journal on hand, then I can write the dream down.
10-22-2018 Today I transitioned over to the element of Creativity. this year I am changing how I work with elemental energy completely, by using the Sphere of Art as the elemental invocation and balancing force. And I am working with archangel Metatron in particular, but in tonight’s working I was reminded that I am really working with all of them. I did the Sphere of Art full invocation and then I meditated and in the meditation I was taken deep and experienced all 7 of the archangels as 1, which makes sense because they are ultimately reflections and embodiments of each other. They told me I would be building off everything I had learned this last year and this work would play an integral role in manifesting my path forward.
I’ll admit I found it appropriate that the final book cover, for Manifesting Wealth, came in today. It was a further confirmation from the archangels. I feel primed and ready to explore creativity and my relationship with it this year.
Book Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Living Kabbalah by William G. Gray
The title of this book is a bit of a misnomer, because while people just learning about Quabala can benefit from reading this book, it really is a book for anyone interested in Quabala. The insights you will get from this book will benefit your spiritual practice and help you recognize aspects of the Quabala that you might not have considered. The author makes all of these explanations very easy to understand. And you gt a treat with the last essay, which explores how spirits are communicated with and presents an innovative approach that is still not matched to this day.
My only complaint about this book is that the editors did a poor job. There are mispelled words, missing words and spaces between letters in a word, which diminishes the enjoyment of the book.
One of the topics that comes up frequently when I talk with other magicians is the challenges they have around doing a consistent practice of magic. They want a consistent practice of magic, they start to do it, but then the consistent practice falls away. They may have done the practice for multiple weeks in a row, but suddenly they stop.
It’s a frustrating experience when you are trying to develop a consistent practice and you’re doing well with it and then suddenly you aren’t. You can feel like a failure, like you aren’t really a magician, because you can’t seem to stick with a practice. And when you feel that way it can discourage you from even trying to practice magic.
I recently wrapped up working with the element of stability for a year. My work with stability for a year is part of a process I’ve developed where I work with a given element, daily, for the course of a year or more in order to achieve balance with that element. It’s basically an intensive form of internal work but it has helped me make significant changes in my life for the better because when I work with an element for a year or more I find that I end up having the experiences I need to help me make proactive changes in my life.
My elemental balancing ritual changes on my birthday so the year is a bit unusual in that it starts and ends on October 21st (for me). I originally started this practice in 2004 and have continued doing it for the last 14 years. In Inner Alchemy I share more about how the ritual works, but what I thought I would do here is share 12 lessons I’ve learned from working with stability for the past year.
9-23-2018 I think its kind of fitting that I’m getting all the old business wrapped up as this year long work with stability comes to a close. I chose to work with Stability as an element, because I needed to stabilize my life. And I think it as the right choice. I look back at the last 11 months and there was some hard work, but the end result is that everything is off my plate that doesn’t belong and now I can focus on what’s really important. Stability isn’t reinforcing that status quo. It’s the deliberate creation of a foundation that truly supports you.
Whenever I’ve come home from a festival or a weekend intensive or wrapped up an intense working, I find that one of the challenges I’ve face is how do I come back from that intense experience. After all I’ve stepped away from my mundane life for a period of time and experienced something outside the norm…and now I have to go back.
Chances are that if you’ve practiced magic for any length of time you’ve had this experience too. And the question is how do you come back from that and go back to your normal life? It sometimes feels like culture shock when you try to go back to the regular routines of life because where you were spiritually, mentally, and physically was so different and going back to your regular life is a shock.