Push, pull, and flow in magic

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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.

Flow: This is a state of being which is effortless, where everything seems to come together. The passage of time is experienced differently and it can feel like you lose yourself in the work. You experience an intuitive approach to the work that shows you what to do without you having to consciously think about it. The experience of flow can occur in many different disciplines.

Push: This is the state of effort for a person, or fire energy in Taoist practice. I think of it as yang/active/movement. Push often seems to be used to force the universe in one’s favor, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Sometimes the right push in the right place is exactly what’s needed to make something happen in your favor.

Pull: This is the passive state, or water energy in Taoist practice. I think of it as Yin/passive/stillness. Pull is a gravitational approach to working with the universe, where you become a center of gravity that pulls exactly what you need to you, when you need it. At the same time you also open yourself to and accept what you need to work with to manifest what you want. For example in my work with the archangels, they end up working through the ritual magic to align me with the circumstances needed to achieve the desired transformation.

If this sounds radically different from what you typically see in magical books that’s because it is. Generally what I’ve read over the years is much more oriented toward a push approach to magic. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think that it can take up a lot more effort than may necessarily be needed. Certainly, in my own approach to push oriented magic, I’ve looked for ways to lessen the amount of effort needed and have often found that by marrying the magical work to mundane actions that already are driven toward achieving a specific result.

My shift to pull oriented magical work has been slowly happening for the last few years. It’s occurred as I’ve shifted toward more of an experiential approach which requires that you pay attention to the journey itself, and recognizes that the result is really just a milestone along your journey. It has significance, but the significance has more to do with the journey and how the result impacts that journey. Pull oriented magic doesn’t require a lot of effort, because the effort is generated by the inevitable gravitational force of your stillness and how it pulls everything to you that is needed.