magical experimentation

In with the new, out with the old

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I don't subscribe much to tradition or sticking with classical approaches to magic, just because everyone else has done them ad infinitum. At a certain point, a lot of my skepticism boils down to the fact that we're relying on outdated information or wishing to be part of ancient culture so we don't have to deal with the ugly reality in front of us.

A while back I mentioned that I don't use the classical model of the five elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit. It's an outdated information and categorization based off Aristotle's observation of the world around him, some 2,500 years ago. It worked for him then. It even worked for a while after that. Now its outdated. People can still use it and obviously they do, but why not change it up? What is it we are really holding on to?

The majority of resistance I've encountered has usually boiled down to: Don't change what's already there. It works and all you're doing is reinventing the wheel. And maybe they are right. Maybe I am reinventing the wheel by not sticking with what's tried and true. But my resistance to what's tried and true is why settle for the wheel you've been provided. Why not upgrade it? Why not experiment with it?

R.J. Stewart says the following in Sphere of Art 2:

While our huge spiritual and magical revival, from the late 19th century to the present day has liberated many from the suppressive tyranny of authoritarian religion, it has also created an artificial comfort zone of false, or at best harmless and reassuring, pseudo-knowledge. The deeper esoteric traditions have been glossed over, in a process that has steadily created a new body of dogma no less restrictive than that of religion...signs of such dogma are most easily visible in the many boiler plate books on chakras, Wicca, and more recently neo-shamanism, repeating the basic material over and over...After three generations or more of basic material within our overall magical/spiritual revival, material that has, in some streams, noticeably rigidified over the years, the time is right for further work and radical reassessment.

I'm all for further work and radical reassessment. I'm all for doing something different for the sake of exploration and experimentation. I get the need to have a solid foundation. I used the classic model of elements at one time...but at a certain point, you've got to look around and start getting curious about what you can change and experiment with. Information in disciplines evolves and the same should hold true for magic. If we only stick with the way its always been done at a certain point it just becomes another form of religious dogma and doctrine.

My radio interview with occult of personality is now available. You can go here to listen.

Some experiments I'm working on

I'm currently working on some different experiments. Some of these are in concept phase, while others are being developed as practical applications. All of them represent ongoing work I'm involved in. 1. Neurotransmitter work: I've been working with neurotransmitters as entities for over 7 years now. The current work I'm doing has involved working with multiple neurotransmitters at the same time, for purposes such as emotional regulation, healing, and related work. I'm writing about this work in Neuro-Space/Time Magic.

2. Web of Space/Time: This is my system of space/time magic. I've been working on it for a while now and its partially related to the work I've been doing with movement and space, as well as exploring time's role in navigating space. There's also some work with possibilities in imaginary time. I'm writing a thorough explanation in Neuro Space/Time Magic.

3. Movement/space work: I've been exploring how to use movement as a form of magical work and expression for a while now. It's another of those current projects that's focused on the book, but also focused on working with the body as the main form of magical expression.

4. Brandscapes: This has been inspired by the class I'm teaching on pop culture magic. At this point it's a concept, but one I want to explore further as a way of working with a company entity in a purposeful, and focused manner.

These are a few projects that are on my mind. What about you? What's something interesting you are experimenting with in your magical work?

Blending my practices

As I continue to evolve my personal magical practice, something which really stands out to me is that the practices and techniques I've learned from various paradigms and belief systems are inevitably becoming blended together. Tonight, for example, I met up with a brother in magic and we discussed ceremonial magic and evocation, Taoist and Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques, and pathworking methods. We then experimented with my Tesser-act board (which is based on chaos magic) for doing evocation and incorporated some the dissolving techniques we discussed to end with a pathworking. This all worked quite seamlessly together, even though, or perhaps because it was a blending of different esoteric traditions that nonetheless could be of aid to the overall work we did together. While I recognize the importance of being able to distinguish one tradition from another or one methodology from another, I also think it's important to know when to look for complementary connections in those traditions or methodologies in order to fully benefit from them. The effectiveness of a person's practices is dictated to some degree by how that person utilizies the resources s/he has access to. So for me, being able to blend western ceremonial practices with chaos magic and Taoist Dissolving techiques is an effective process. For others it might not be, but from my own observations it does seem that sometimes the main reason a person doesn't blend one practice with another boils down to an issue of being perceived as an eclectic or fluffy practitioner. It's as if each tradition, discipline, etc., should be kept separate in order for the practice to have authenticity. I recognize that doing an eclectic practice for Eclecticism's sake isn't necessarily a good idea and that it's important to study and practice a discipline, tradition, methodology, etc., in and of itself, in order to really understand and appreciate those practices, but I also think there is a place and time for where a person can blend different practices and techniques together in order to benefit from that blend. The effectiveness of that blend will show itself through the mastery of the traditions that the blend originates from. In other words, you need to have a well -rounded foundation in order to pull off a blend of different practices successfully, but the blending of those practices can lead to innovation and experimentation, which in turn can lead people toward learning new skills and methods for helping themselves and others. It's one reason I experiment with magic.