Magic

How to create long term magical enchantments that enhance your life

The majority of my practical magical workings are long term enchantments or entities I’ve created for the purpose of enhancing my quality of life. Now what does that really mean?

I find that when people talk about practical magical workings, they typically speak of one off workings that are used to resolve a short term problem. Magic is performed to get the desired result, the result is achieved, and off the person wanders into their lives until the next crisis comes along that calls for magical work to be done. Magic is done as a reaction, with little thought given toward long term consequences or design. I’ve never found that approach to practical magic to be terribly effective, because the focus is on reacting to a problem, without really examining what causes the problem, or trying to solve the problem long term.

Push, pull, and flow in magic

In my magical practice, I’ve lately been taking an approach that has incorporated elements of flow, push and pull in magic. Some of this has come about because of my continual work with Taoist moving meditation, and some of it has come about because of my shift toward experiential perspectives that have my embracing a sensual awareness of my spiritual work over a conceptual one.

In a sense, what my magical practice has been shifting toward is a harmonious model of alignment with the universe that works with the universe as opposed to trying to force a desired change on the universe. With all that in mind, I think its useful to define key terms in this approach so that what I’m doing can be more readily worked with and appreciated.

How to deal with the dry periods of magical activity

The other day, in Facebook, I commented on a post where the writer was asking what people thought about having periods of time where their magical practice wasn’t very intense or magical. In fact it was just them doing the work and not necessarily seeing anything from it. My response is that its perfectly normal to have experiences like that in your magical work. In fact, when you have such experiences that’s usually when the magic is working in the background, preparing you for more intense spiritual work.

I do a daily magical practice and I can tell you that more often than not my daily practice isn’t all that sensationalistic. I do my meditation and magical work and nothing intense or magical overtly happens at the time, most of the time. Usually those experiences happen later and occur as a result of doing the daily work at a steady pace. What I’m really doing is seeding the garden of my mind with my daily work, preparing the way for the magical work to come through my life…this is especially the case with long term workings, which is what most of my magical work is.

Archangels, mediation and cosmology

Over the last year or so I’ve been doing a lot of work with R.J. Stewart’s Sphere of Art ritual. With the Sphere of Art you create a sphere by working with the four elemental archangels. I’ve modified the SOA working to include three additional archangels, one for the underworld, one for the cosmos, and one to tie it altogether. This modification hasn’t been done lightly, but rather has occurred as a result of a careful reading of both the Sphere of Art and works by William G. Gray who references the other three archangels extensively.

Why spirits work with us

I’ve lately been pondering the question of why spirits work with us, prompted in part by reading a book where the author claims that angels have no choice but to do what we ask them to do. I don’t agree with that perspective and my experiences with Angels, and for that matter other spirits, doesn’t fall in line this approach. It also seems pretty thankless for any spirit to work us because they have to. But I recognize as well that I’m making a human assumption about the motivation of beings that is likely not accurate.

How to draw on multiple sources of energy for your magical workings

One of the questions that recently came up in the magical experiments Facebook Group was if its possible to draw on multiple sources of energy, instead of using your own for magical workings. The short, flippant answer is yes, but I want to share in detail what this really looks like, because this is an approach to magic that I specialize in.

In my approach to magical workings, one of the questions I ask myself is how best to fuel my magical workings. I’ve rarely taken the approach of using my own energy, because a person’s energy is limited ultimately, and I’d rather focus that energy on my health and well-being. So when I consider the fuel for the magical working, what I look is how the magical working can be tied into existing efforts and actions already being taken. The reason is because those actions and efforts involve some energy, so why not harness what you’re doing and turn it into metaphysical fuel as well.

How I evaluate my magical workings

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about results and magic and how a person goes about evaluating magical work. The obvious answer is that you look at whether or not you’ve gotten the result, and certainly that is helpful, but what I’ve been realizing about results is that too often we stop short at the result itself and fail to examine the ramifications and consequences of achieving or not achieving the result. The focus is just on the result itself, but not what comes after.

I’ve observed before that one of the tendencies I see in magical workings is a tendency to treat the desired result as the end itself. What’s problematic about that approach is that the result rarely is the itself. Instead the result is typically something just another means to the actual end, but we’ve ignored the actual end to focus on the result, because on the surface the achievement of the result seems to resolve the problem. I got the result and the problem is solved…but is it?

The Place of Ecstasy in Magic

I was recently reading Stealing Fire, which is a book that explores states of ecstasy and how people are harnessing those states deliberately. If I have one complaint about the book its that they never really touch on ecstasy shows up in magical practices, but it got me to thinking about the place of ecstasy in magic and why ecstatic states of being are so important to magical work.

I’d argue that any altered state of consciousness can be lumped under ecstasy of some sort because what seems to be a defining characteristic of ecstasy is an the experience of altered consciousness. And ecstasy of some type seems to be essential to magical practices, because what ecstasy necessarily provides us is the suspension of the everyday conscious mind with its attendant disbelief. I think of an ecstatic state as a state where your perception of possibilities and reality is intertwined, where your awareness of past, present and future combines to create a singular moment where you are, and you can connect a desired possibility and provide it a path toward manifestation. An ecstatic state of consciousness is a state of flow.

How to pick your pop culture for pop culture magic

I’ve recently started playing a game called in Inquisitor-Martyr, set in the Warhammer 40k universe, which a is a dystopic universe where humanity has access to advanced technology, but also a medieval mindset about technology. At the same time, humanity is beset by various alien menaces and the forces of chaos. I enjoy the game, but I would never create a pop culture magic working or system based off the Warhammer universe.

In this article, I want to share some thoughts on how to pick your pop culture for pop culture magic and also demonstrate why a viable option for pop culture magic may not be ideal, for other reasons. At the same time I’m going to compare and contrast the 40k universe with that of Kingdom Hearts (for purposes of pop culture magic), which is on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to pop culture based off fantasy.

How Embodiment connects you to your environment

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.

Art as active magic

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?

Liminal Space and experiential magic

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.

Experience and the art of magic

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.

Assumptions, Desire and Doubt in in Magical Practice

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.

Magic for Experience vs Magic for Results

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.

How I use dreams for my creative work

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.

How to maintain a consistent magical practice

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.