Revisiting my ceremonial magic roots

I think one of the best practices a magician can do is to revisit your magical roots or foundations years later after you'd moved on to other practices and places. Lately through reading R.J.'s works, as well as revisiting Ted Andrews work and taking the Strategic Sorcery course I've been revisiting ceremonial magic. It's good to revisit it, because I'm using the opportunity to do planetary magic as well as revisit core concepts I learned way back when. To me, this re-visitation has been most useful because it's also allowing me to take everything else I've learned and readjust the foundational material to account for more recently learned and worked with practices. I know that revisiting past work has always been beneficial simply because different experiences have been had, and those experiences shape the perspective and what is gleaned from work once read by novice eyes. It's wise to revisit works you've read, because even if you think you've mastered the content, you might be surprised by what you learn through the visitation.

Lately, in choosing to explore planetary magic and start employing it, I've found myself enjoying doing something that I might not consider experimental in the usual sense of the word, but that nonetheless is new territory for me to explore. You never stop learning and revisiting old territory can yield realizations and practices that shape your magical work.


Book Review: The Sphere of Art by R. J. Stewart

This is a must have book if you are interested in ceremonial magic or you are studying R.J.'s magical works and system of magic. What I enjoyed the most was the author's systematic explanation of the sphere of art and how it works and what the magician is doing when s/he is working with the sphere of art. I also found the appendices interesting, especially the author's encounter with Ronald Heaver. The author presents some excellent commentaries on ethics and how they apply to magic. If you get this book, I recommend reading it with a discussion group, as you'll get a lot of insights out of it, through conversation. Remember that what will make it most effectively is actively doing the practices.

Playing in someone else's sandbox

As I've been taking the Strategic Sorcery course, something that has stood out to me is how essentially I'm learning the Jason Miller way of doing magic. This isn't a bad thing per se, because it's fairly clear that how he approaches magic works. Some of it brings back some memories of my early days, especially when I did basic hermetic rituals to the letter everyday, and there are activities we are doing where I know I have my own version of how I do it, and instead I'm choosing to do it via the way the course has laid it out, because the whole point of taking a course like this is learning from the person teaching the course. In fact, I'm really valuing this experience because if it teaches me nothing else, it teaches me not to take for granted how I practice magic or how other people practice it. By doing some practices the way someone else would do them, it forces me to really examine how I approach my magical work and pushes me to be a better magician.

At the same time, I am getting some ideas for how to structure my own courses. I already have the groundwork laid out for one course. I just need to finish writing it up (which should be a bit easier now that MI is out of the way). But what I'm realizing is that this process of developing online classes doesn't have to be nearly as complicated as I made it out to be. Playing in someone else's sandbox can teach you quite a lot, if you are open to it.


In Memoriam Ted Andrews

Earlier this week it was confirmed that Ted Andrews died of Cancer. Most people know Andrews for his books on Animal Magic, but I'll admit that my exposure to his works came from a decidedly different angle, that of the hermeticist. I actually, to this day, have never read his books on animal magic, but several of the very first books on magic I read were Enchantments of the Faerie Realm and How to Meet and Work with Spirit Guides, both by him. Those two books contributed to a fusion of neoshamanic and Hermetic practices I was practicing when I first got into magic. Even today, when it comes to how I work with spirits, it's fair to say that Andrew's work is the foundation for that approach. Andrews introduced me to elemental Hermetic magic, and to some of the concepts of ceremonial magic. My mate, Lupa, tells me she never read those two books. But she's read Animal Wise and Animal Speak, which were two of his books on animal magic, and what I realize is that this person had a wealth  of experience across a variety of different magical disciplines and was able to share all of that with his readers. I really respect the ability to write knowledgeably on a variety of subjects.

I wish the family of Ted Andrews peace and comfort during this time of sorrow, and safe journey to the spirit of Ted Andrews, as he moves on to the next adventure.

Review of Introduction to Magic by Julius Evola and the UR Group

Introduction to Magic by Julius Evola

The title of this book could be a bit misleading, as it's fair to say that the majority of the articles in this book are not intended for people who are just coming into magical practice. The articles requires at least an intermediate knowledge in Hermeticism, Alchemy, or Buddhist Meditation techniques, for the most part. With that said, I definitely recommend this book for anyone who is interested in reading and practicing the different techniques described and discussed in this book.

These articles were written in the late 1920's by a group of experimental magicians called the UR group, lead by Julius Evola. This book presents a fascinating glimpse into ceremonial magical work being done in that time by magicians who weren't overtly associated with magical orders such as the OTO or Golden Dawn. The articles are detail oriented, but all of the writers manage to discuss the concepts with enough brevity to explain what needs to be done and how to do it, without unnecessarily waxing poetic about it.

One article I particularly liked was what I would suggest was the first article ever written on space/time magic...but rather apt for what it suggests about the nature of time and how a person interacts with it. This is definitely a book I will read again and again and get more out of each time I read it. I recommend it to any person who wants to either get a better historical perspective of magical practices or wants to continue honing his/her practices.