Each week, on Facebook and Google plus I will ask people if they have questions and if they do I will post answers on my blog during the following week. I was asked two questions this week. The first one is: Are there any effects from yoga practice upon the magic development? I think with any form of physical exercise or activity there is the potential for it to apply to magical development. In the case of Yoga, it can certainly help you improve breathing, body posture, etc., as well as help you learn how to meditate using different poses. In fact, I'd say one of the chief benefits of Yoga is that it gets you out of your head and into experience of the moment. It can be hard to think of lots of other things, when you need to focus your attention on holding a pose. A deeper exploration of Yoga can also reveal spiritual benefits in terms of allowing you to access internal energy reserves as well as build up those energy reserves. I think the same applies for Eastern Martial arts, but also any form of exercise you do consistently. Exercising requires you to focus on your body, and it can consequently reveal internal reserves, as well as places of tension and stress.
I'm reading The Complete Book of Demonolatry by S. Connolly. One of the points the author makes is that demonolatry finds the practice of evocation to be disrespectful to demons and as a result doesn't use it. Their perspective is that evocation involves summoning a demon against its will to perform a task, while threatening it with Angels and other sundry threats in order to induce it to do said task. And I agree that when evocation is done that particular way it is disrespectful. That particular approach to evocation can be found in a variety of grimoires that are based off hermetic Christian practices that ironically enough rarely involved doing the practice of magic, but loved to focus on the theory, as well as provide the occasional homage to the church to avoid being burned. Sadly that hasn't stopped people in more contemporary times from utilizing those practices.
I've never agreed with the class approach to evocation, and I also disagree with Joseph Lisiewski's assertion that if you don't do evocation the way it was classically done, its not effective. I think there is a respectful way to do evocation that doesn't force an entity to work for you, but instead involves working with the entity cooperatively. I've discussed such approaches in more depth in Multi-Media Magic, but it's worth conversing on it here as well.
When I do initial work with a given entity, I do an invocation to make contact and establish whether or not a working relationship can be developed. Once that initial contact is made I ask the entity's permission to evoke it. If it is open to being evoked it provides me a personalized sigil or symbol that I can use to evoke it. I usually integrate that sigil into a painting of my own design, which is used as an offering to the entity and a gateway to its home plane of existence. When the evocation is done, it is done by opening the gateway and allowing the entity through to do whatever it will end up doing. And even then I don't command it to do something. I make a deal, where I provide something in return for it doing something for me. There is an equivalent exchange, so to speak.
I have found this approach to be respectful, and from what I can tell the entities I evoke also find it respectful. I get where demonolaters are coming from and why they'd view the practice of evocation to be disrespectful, especially in regards to the classic approach to evocation, but I think an approach to evocation which is structured around creating a relationship of respect isn't disrespectful. The misuse of a technique shouldn't determine if the technique is in and of itself an inherently wrong technique and if a given technique is done in a way that a person considers wrong, there's always the option of changing the technique.That's my take on it, but others might disagree and that's fine. I do know that my evocations have always worked and I've yet to have an unhappy or angry entity as a result of doing said evocations.
One of the messages I consistently offer to other magicians and people in general is the importance of cultivating imagination and wonder as resources for living life and inspiring your spiritual practice and overall success in life. I can't emphasize enough the importance of these resources or why it can make such a difference in your life to cultivate them, but I think that whats make them so important is how they can enrich your life.
Your ability to wonder and imagine is a great gift that will take you on adventures if you are willing to let it inspire what you do. Simply allow yourself to be open and ask questions that seem silly or self-evident, but then explore those questions from a place of great curiosity. What don't you know as opposed to what do you know? Use what you don't know to inspire you to discover, leaving all assumptions aside...whatever you discover won't necessarily be true, but at least it'll be something you didn't know, prompting you on to discover angle upon angle upon angle...
A cultivated sense of wonder always inspires the person to discover more and question what s/he already seems to know. There is no satisfaction in what is known, but rather a recognition that there is more to discover and what is discovered is seen as a gift in itself, and an opportunity to continue learning. There is an insatiable voracity for learning that is found in wonder...and the imagination feeds that sense of wonder by allowing a person to access the possibilities of what might be.
Your imagination provides you access to possibilities. It shows you what might be and its only limitation is your belief or lack thereof in the possibilities presented to you. Imagination is wonderful because it also gives you a space to examine a given possibility from as many angles as you can think of. Your imagination is where the cooking starts and there's no limitation on how you can experiment with what's presented to you.
Cultivate your wonder and imagination by learning and applying what you learn to your life, while asking questions. Cultivate these resources by never being satisfied with the answers. Let these resources move you to discover, explore and experiment...they'll also show you how to turn your reality into something wonderful.
Every Friday on Facebook and Google Plus I'm asking people what they'd like me to post about. I was asked a few questions and I'm going answer them here. The first question that was asked was what the difference is between astral and mental projection and/or skrying.
I don't think there is a difference between astral and mental projection. In Multi-Media Magic I wrote about how there are a variety of different models of the astral planes and that what really stood out to me is that it seemed liked the astral planes were really composed of a person's imagination, as well as the merging of that imagination with the consciousnesses of other people. I still feel that's the case, so I don't think there's any difference. As far as skrying goes, I'd say it taps into the field of imagination as well.
The second question asked about what I know about shadow and mask workings. In terms of shadow work, my only focus on that has been to do work with the darker aspects of myself, which is sometimes called shadow work. There's always a darker side, and its worth exploring in depth via meditation and other magical work. I do find masks fascinating and part of my internal work has focused on utilizing masks as ways of exploring different aspects of myself or bringing out different types of energy through the mediums of the masks.
The final question was about limits vs unlimitedness in magic. I've posted about limitation in my blog a few times and I include links to some of the posts here as well as the overall search result on my website. I think you'll find a lot of my thoughts on this topic via these posts.
If people ask questions I will answer them on my blog and then post them to relevant social media sites. I appreciate the opportunity to answer questions.
Book Review: The Six Yogas of Naropa Edited and Translated by Glenn Mullin
If you want to learn more about Tibetan spirituality, you need to read this book. You'll also need to read it multiple times, as there will be information you'll get with each reading. This book is especially important if you are doing these spiritual practices as it will provide information that will help you refine those practices. I found the introduction helpful as well in terms of providing cultural context to how these practices are passed on. I do recommend multiple readings as some things may not click in place the first time, and I also recommend reading other books and doing the practices to get further insights into this work.
The end of the current Baktun (Mayan Cycle) is today and a new one starts on Saturday. Some people are getting ready to hold end of the world parties while other people are telling us that its the end of the age of Pisces and the true beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Some people may very well believe that the end times are here and the end of the world is happening. Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and the rapture will finally happen. You know what I say to all that? Whatever. It's a load of BS.
Even if the world did end today, would it really matter? Not really, not in the cosmic scale of things. Contrary to what many people like to believe the Earth and all the people on it aren't all that significant really. We live our lives, we make our mistakes and have our fun and when we are gone the universe continues without us. At some point the human race will go extinct and the cockroaches will take over or aliens will finally visit and ponder what happened to whatever lived on this planet. And the universe will go on.
And if the world doesn't end today (as it more than likely won't), some crackpot will come up with a prediction to say when it'll end. Or you'll have some evangelist who will proclaim the end times are here. And so what? All of these people eager for the end times have bought into a mythical belief of a better after life. And yet there's been talk about the end of the world for longer than any of us have been alive...and it still hasn't happened. It never will happen. And that's the problem when you put so much meaning into a date or a prophecy...inevitably you realize that whatever you read into it was inaccurate, a pipe dream.
We're all still here...so instead of focusing on the end times or whether this or that date will signify the end of the world, lets focus on what's really important: Living a meaningful life.