the process of magic

Round 5 of the Process of Magic starts in one week

blacksigil_400px-72dpi Round 5 of the Process of Magic class starts on April 3rd, one week from today! This is a class that is appropriate for any magician of any experience level. If you are starting out you will benefit from it by learning the principles of magic, and if you have more experience you'll benefit because the class will help you develop a personalized approach to magic, while also challenging any assumptions you hold about magic. Below is a syllabus for the class and what will be covered:

Lesson 1: An overview of the process of magic

Lesson 2: You and Definitions of Magic

Lesson 3: Results, Change, and their respective roles in magic

Lesson 4: The anatomy of the process of magic

Lesson 5: Culture, Ethics and Ideology

Lesson 6: What isn't essential to the process of magic

Lesson 7: Connection and its role in the magical process

Lesson 8: Intention, Attention, and Magic

Lesson 9: Inhibitory Actions and Magic

Lesson 10: Excitatory Actions and Magic

Lesson 11: Internal Work

Lesson 12: Spiritual allies and the magical process

Lesson 13: Invocation 1

Lesson 14: Invocation 2

Lesson 15: Evocation 1

Lesson 16: Evocation 2

Lesson 17: Divination

Lesson 18: Enchantment

Lesson 19: Astral Projection

Lesson 20: Banishing

Lesson 21: Attunement with the land

Lesson 22: The Role of Limitation in the Process of Magic

Lesson 23: The role of Transformation in the Process of Magic

Lesson 24: The role of Mundane actions in the Process of Magic

If you have questions about what I'll cover or want to sign up, contact me.

The reality of overnight success in magic

R. J. Stewart, in Sphere of Art 2 notes: "It takes a long time to make something happen instantly by magic." I smiled when I read that, because it reminded me of what's said about overnight success, but also because it's true about magic. Magic doesn't just happen. There is a level of preparation and work that goes into a magical working that is important to consider. And even beyond there is also all the other experiences and training a person has which informs his/her approach to magic. It takes a long time to make something happen instantly speaks really to the experience of the magician, and the realization that even a unplanned, on the spot act of magic nonetheless has a history behind it that informs what's happening.

Experiences are the core building block for a magician. Reading books and understanding the principles of magic are important, but experiences are how you make magic your own and how you really come to know it. You can't know something you've experienced it...until it becomes a part of you and your outlook on the world. It's that knowing which allows you to express it in the world, and in yourself. And through that knowing magic can instantly happen because you've invested the time and experience into the magical work you do.

Book Review: After the Honeymoon by Daniel Wile

This is a must read book for anyone who is married or is in a serious relationships and wants to learn how to use conflict to improve your relationship. The skills in this books can also be applied to friendships, and business relationships. What I like about this book is that the author really explores the anatomy of conflicts, and how it shows up. He provides case studies and examples. Best of all, following the advice in the book works. You can turn conflict into a conversation that really gets to the heart of the issues being expressed in the conflict.

Why I think there isn't more experimentation in magic

In response to this post I wrote, another post was written which commented on the lack of experimentation. I think the author was dead on in his assessment, but it also prompted some further thoughts on my part on this subject.  I agree with the author that magic is a highly personal journey in some ways. I've certainly seen that with how people have taken some of my techniques and personalized them. I advocate for such personalization and my point that people should be able to explain how magic works really comes down to being able to explain to other people how they approach magic, with an understanding that is developed based off experience and a willingness to explore the mechanics of magic as it applies to their use of it. Will I get the same result as someone else does if I copy his/her technique? Maybe yes and maybe no. What I know is that if I take a person's technique apart and reassemble it into a process that I understand, I will get results. That's how its always worked for me, and in my books I have advocated for a similar approach on the part of my readers. I'll provide you exercises you can do, exercises that have been tested by myself and other people, but I've always urged people to make any such techniques their own, to personalize and experiment and tinker with the techniques until they have a thorough understanding of the technique from personal experience, which also fits their definition of magic. I don't know that there is a universal theory of magic. I do know that I find certain models of magic don't work for me because they seem counter-intuitive to my understanding of the world, but those same models work for other people just fine. What I object to however is the tendency of many occultists to not critically examine their process of magic. One of the reasons I think experimentation doesn't occur as much as that there's this focus on obtaining results, with an attitude of, "If I got it, why should I care about my process". We see this attitude echoed in the works of occultists such as Grant Morrison and Patrick Dunn, both of who have stated it doesn't matter if you don't know why or how magic works, as long as you get a result. We've seen it echoed in chaos magic, where it's all about results. If it doesn't matter, then why even examine your process?

However it DOES matter, and the magician who aspires to do more than just get results cares enough to explore his/her process in order to understand and cultivate their magical work more effectively, as well as to pass it onto other people. If the magician understands his/her process and can take the time to explain it and provide opportunities to both try the techniques as well as personalize them, there should be no problem in passing on the how and why of magic.

Another reason few occultists share their experiments is because there has been and is a tendency for many occultists and pagans to be judgmental of the people sharing their experiments. Since the late 90's I've experimented and shared my ideas, and for the majority of that time, I received more contempt and insults than people actually interested in what I had to offer. Even with that kind of obstacle, I persisted and found people to experiment with in groups, in order to try my concepts out. Even now, I have a small group I work with and in that group everyone is encouraged to share ideas and experiments so all of us can try them. But finding such a group is rare. I've had people call me too open-minded, fluffy, etc. I've also had people react because they feel if magic isn't done a particular way, it's not real magic. Obviously such infantile behavior has never stopped me in my work or in publishing it. In fact, one of the reasons I founded the non-fiction line of Immanion Press was to make sure that books that didn't fit conventional or traditional ideas of magic would have a chance to be published. Such traditionalism isn't confined to occultism. I've also seen it in academia. The reality is that in any given field of study there are few pioneers and many people sticking with what's tried and true. The pioneers have to be willing to take risks, and try and find like minded people who are willing to advance the evolution of magic by thinking beyond what has already been presented to them.

Recently, I had a conversation with the editor of a Pagan magazine. We were trying to figure out which themed issue we could do an interview of me. She mentioned that her readers wanted material that was grounded and practical, essentially material that fit what they knew. We came to the understanding that I didn't really fit her magazine in a conventional sense, and we decided we'd have the interview for the spell casting theme issue. I remember writing her and explaining that I'm out there on the edge, experimenting with magic, trying ideas out, fitting other disciplines to magical theory and practice. I am out here on the edge and there aren't many of us here, because to be on the edge is to go where the dragons roam and the angels fear to tread. It's to experiment beyond the tried and true, to defy what is considered known in order to bring the unknown into manifestation. And really, truly, I've been out here on the edge for most of my magical practice, experimenting on magic, trying things out, going with ideas that might seemed half baked and talking about them, because I don't care if its won't become more than that if we don't share, if we don't publish, if we don't challenge what's known in favor of exploring the unknown.

I'm out here on the edge. Won't you join me?

Magic as a technology

I tend to approach aspects of magic as a technology and/or a process. I don't think magic as a whole can be boiled down to a set of tools or processes, but I think the actions can be examined as a process and form of technology, and that there is benefit in doing this. The benefit is the ability to personalize your approach to magic, based off understanding it as a process, and knowing what can be manipulated in that process. It interests me that I find what I consider to be a willful ignorance on the part of some occultists. There's this tendency to argue that you don't need to know how magic works and that examining magic as a technology debases the if somehow it's better to not really know or ask how it works. I think such ignorance is wasteful, and of no real value to someone practicing magic.

I don't think of magic as a science, but I do find value in the process and in understanding what factors will lead to a consistent result. And not surprisingly this has resulted in what I'd consider to be consistent results. Viewing magic as a process and technology doesn't necessarily take the magic out of magic or the mystical experiences away from it. But what it does do is provide structure for your experiences, as well as a way of recording them. And it is odd that the same proponents that argue that you don't need to know how magic works, also argue that you need to keep a journal in order to review the magical work you've done. If that isn't examining how magic works, I'm not sure what is, but I will say that knowing how magic works makes your practice a lot more focused.

Evocation and the process of magic

Traditional evocation is a technique magicians use to work with entities. It differs from invocation in that the magician is summoning the entity into the environment around him/her. Evocation is typically used to summon an entity so that it can perform a specific task that the magician requests of it. Some forms of evocation involve summoning an entity and then compelling it to aid you by invoking other entities that are opposite of it. This essentially amounts to threatening or compelling the entity into doing the task for you. I recommend against it, and would suggest bargaining with entity, and honoring your end of the bargain. When doing evocation, it's a good idea to consider why you are doing the evocation, and if the task you want the entity to perform can be accomplished another way. There will be certain types of tasks that are better suited to entities and certain ones that you can resolve yourself. I use evocation when I want the entity to perform that involves influencing a specific behavior or activity in my favor, but still leaves me with the actual decision. For example, one entity I work with is focused on making me aware of potential opportunities. I still have to choose to follow through on those opportunities, but the entity takes care of an essential task that I simply couldn't do. Its focus is on scanning space/time for the opportunities and than making me aware of them. It's not a skill I have, but it's a skill that entity has.

On the other hand, evoking an entity to do something you could handle yourself is wasteful and also keeps you from sharpening your own skills. It's important to recognize this distinction so that you can improve your skills. For example, I once wanted to buy a car. Instead of creating an entity, I did an enchantment to obtain the money I needed to purchase the card. I already had a job, but I knew I needed more money than I'd have available at short notice. By doing the enchantment, I was able to focus on very specific details the entity might not have considered. I realized I needed to attend to the task, instead of assigning it to an entity. It's a case of picking the right tool for the right job, and with evocation, it's better to have an entity do something you can't do, then have it do something you could've easily handled yourself.

In ceremonial magic, evocation is done with specific tools, incenses, and other props that are used to create a specific atmosphere that accommodates the entity as well as the altered state of mind the practitioner needs to be in to work with the entity. However, evocation can also be done with collages , paintings, and other techniques that are non-traditional but still enable the magician to make a connection with the entity. Although some magicians will claim that traditional approaches are more powerful, I've found that using more artistic approaches to evocation has been successful. I think it comes down to understanding that evocation, much like any other magical technique, is really based on your understanding of the fundamental principles at work. If you understand those principles, you can make evocation regardless of what tools you use.

Evocation isn't limited to evoking entities. The magician can evoke specific behaviors or emotions, or even do an evocation of another person or a past/future version of him/herself. Just as with invocation, it ultimately comes down to connection, and understanding how to use evocation to create and embody a connection you want to manifest in the environment around you. I have successfully evoked people into my life, by using specific attributes as a way to create a connection with people who had those attributes. Evocation operates on the principle of connection and names. The name of an entity, or an attribute, or a person is a powerful tool that allows the magician to create a connection to the manifestation of the entity, attribute, or person. That connection is used to pull the entity or person into his/her life and to embody the attribute from within him/herself in the external environment.

Invocation and the process of magic

Traditional invocation is a technique magicians use to connect with entities. Invocation involves allowing the entity to access your consciousness and take partial or full control of your body.  Invocation is done for a variety of reasons, as follows: Information: Invoking an entity can give a person access to the entity's knowledge, though usually the entity will want something in return. Since invocation is the easiest way to pass information along, what the entity usually wants is the opportunity to enjoy some time in the person's body, having experiences it might not normally have. The magician will share consciousness with the entity, allowing it a taste ofh is/her experiences. It will provide the information in return, so that the magician has access to it when needed. This type of invocation could be considered a form of divination, though usually it's for very specific information the magician wants.

Possession: Sometimes an entity will be invoked in order to give it possession of the invoker's body. For example, in voudon, the invoker will allow the loa to fully take over his/her body. This type of possession isn't limited to just voudoun, but you are less likely to encounter in other traditions. With this type of invocation, it is very important that the magician has other people on hand, both to keep his/her body safe, and to keep an eye on what the entity is doing, while also recording any information it offers.  When the person is possessed s/he will move differently than normal, may talk in a different language, and otherwise will act like the entity. The entity will use the possession to express itself, not just in language, but in movement, and in whatever other ways it can, in order to convey its message to other people.

Healing: An entity can be invoked to help in a healing ritual. The magician will invoke such an entity when s/he wants to heal someone and wants to draw on resources the entity can offer to help with the healing. The benefit of invoking an entity is that it can help guide you as you're doing your healing work on the person. You can also invoke an entity when you want to ask it to heal you. This can be useful, because the entity is drawing on its own energy, as opposed to drawing on the impaired resources of the body.

Worship: In a religious context, an entity is invoked as a way to worship it. The person who invokes it doesn't allow it full possession, but will channel it, so that the worshippers can interact with the entity. The ritual that's performed to invoke the entity is part of the worship process.

Non-Traditional Invocation

I mentioned traditional invocation, which implies that there is non-traditional invocation, and in fact there is. I developed non-traditional techniques, which I've discussed in full in Multi-Media Magic, when I realized that invocation is a two way street. In other words, if I can invoke an entity into me, it stands to reason that I can also invoke myself into the entity. Pathworking, which is a type of meditation, where a person creates a virtual reality, can actually be used for that purpose if you're working with an entity. Invocation works on a principle of identification. In order to successfully invoke an entity, the magician needs to identify with the entity, and through that identification provide a pathway that it can use to access the body, mind, and spirit of the magician. But this same pathway and identification can also be used to invoke yourself into the entity. It's a matter of being able to understand it enough to access its consciousness. I've found this type of invocation most useful for obtaining information from the entity, but it can also be useful in a situation where you want to do an exchange of essence with the entity. By being able to access the entity in its native environment, you can get a better handle on the essence it provides you, in return for what you give to it.

You can also invoke yourself into a person. Since invocation is based on connection, if you can connect with the person, you can invoke yourself into him/her. I've invoked myself into people to help them unblock or heal themselves. I've also this practice as a way of aligning with other people when we do long distance rituals. This kind of invocation should only be done with the permission of the person you are invoking yourself into. It's important to remember that you will be getting access to that person's emotions, memories, etc., but that person will also be getting access to you and could just as easily invoke him/herself into you. I think it's ideal to use this kind of working to help someone work through an issue or to synchronize people before doing a major magical working.

Am I missing anything? Would you add anything else about invocation?

The six core techniques of magic

There are six essential techniques that a magician utilizes when doing magic. Although we might come up with a variety of derivatives of these techniques, from my own observations it seems that all derivations ultimately boil down to these six essential techniques. Here is an overview of each technique: Invocation: This is an act that involves drawing an entity or person's consciousness into your own for either partial or full possession. The benefit of doing this can be to obtain information, achieve union with an entity, or as part of an offering ritual to the entity. I've experimented with the process of invoking one's self into an entity or person, because I've found that invocation is a two-way street. Invoking yourself into someone else can used to help that person work through a trauma, though it can also be used for less ethical purposes[1].

Evocation: This is an act which involves evoking the entity (or person) into the environment around you. Evocation can also be used to evoke emotional forces or behaviors so that you can work with them in an external environment. Evocation is typically used when you want to manifest a specific possibility and need help from an entity to accomplish the task.

Divination: If you want to obtain information, divination is technique that can be used. It typically involves using Tarot, runes, ogam, or some other kind of symbol set that is randomly shuffled or mixed before he person draws and then places the cards, runes, ogam, etc into specific patterns. The cards, runes, ogam are read in order to obtain the information that is desired. There are also other techniques of divination, that rely on entheogens or other forms of hyper stimulation in order to create visions the person can then interpret.

Enchantment: An enchantment is an act of magic that is directly done by the magician to bring a specific possibility into reality. The magician directly applies magical force in order to make the possibility into a reality.

Banishing: Banishing is used by the magician to ground and center him/herself, while cleaning the space of any lingering magical energies. Banishing can also be used as part of daily practices to help focus the mind and will of the magician.

Astral projection: Astral projection is where the magician projects his/her spirit or mind into the astral planes. The magician will do this in order to do a magical working on those planes or to access resources that wouldn't be found here. My personal take on the astral planes is that it's partially derived from our imagination and is where we can directly interact with imaginary time in order to find possibilities that we'd like to bring back with us to reality.

Are there any other core techniques you would and if so what?

[1] See Inner Alchemy and Multi-Media Magic for more information on invoking yourself into an entity or person.

Excitatory Actions and Magic

Excitatory actions are the second basic type of action that a magician can use to induce an altered state of mind. Excitatory actions involve hyperstimulating yourself through activity. A runner's high is an example of an excitatory action. The adrenalin caused by the running helps to stimulate euphoric state for the runner, which in turn can allow him/her to ignore more pain and tiredness. The benefit of doing excitatory actions is that they can help you achieve an altered state of mind in a relatively quick and easy fashion. However, it's also worth noting that some excitatory activities don't leave you with as much control. For some people that can be preferable, but it also has its own dangers. Below are some examples of Excitatory Actions: Running, Weight Lifting, & other Exercises: I mentioned the example of the runner's high earlier, but you can also experience such a high with other exercises. Exercising long enough will push the person into an altered state of mind that can be used to focus on a magical activity. I used to do a series of exercises that I would use for my daily practice, to help me exercise my body, while also using the exercise as a purging/purification from whatever issues I was dealing with at the time. It was definitely effective in both regards.

Dancing: Dancing, especially combined with some kind of repetitive, rhythmic music can be used to induce an altered state of mind. I've also witnessed cases where a person would wear an animal skin and do a dance to the animal in order to create a trance state where she connected with the animal spirit. Dancing is particularly effective as a way to invoke the spirit, allowing it to possess your body and move it through dance. A person can just let themselves go in the movement and then invoke the spirit to allow it to take over.

Entheogens: Entheogens are foreign substances used for the purpose of inducing an altered state of conscious. Alcohol is an entheogen as are drugs, both legal and illegal. While these substances definitely work, it's worthwhile to be cautious in employing them, both in terms of avoiding addiction and also avoiding overreliance on them for achieving altered states of consciousness. If you are going to use them, make sure you have someone on hand who can watch over you and keep notes.

Video Games: I include video games, because of the sensory stimulation, and also because played long enough they can cause altered states of consciousness. I've used video games for sigil work and know of one case where a person used a game to help him coordinate his physical exercise. He created a character that represented him and used that character to model the changes he wanted to accomplish with his exercise. It seemed to work rather well. Video games can be addictive, so it's important to employ some caution in utilizing them for magical work. There are cases, particularly in South Korea, where people have killed themselves because they focused on playing games to the exclusion of anything else.

Yoga, Tai Chi, etc: Yoga, Tai Chi, and related activities uses specific postures and motions to achieve an altered state of consciousness. Some movement is slow, some fast, all of it is used to create a hyper aware state of the movement. Moving meditation is an example of a hyper aware state. The focus is on doing the movements and using them to meditate in the process. This kind of movement is different from dancing, because the movement is far more controlled and focused. Moving meditation can be quite useful for both internal and external magical work. The movements can be thought of as aligning the magician with a particular goal or purpose, with each movement directing the magician toward that goal. The focus on movement is ideal for also focusing on the goal, and incorporating the purposeful movement into the achievement of the goal is useful because the movements condition the magician to pursue actions that will bring the goal about. Doing the moving meditation every day conditions the mind and body of the magician to achieve the goals s/he invests into the movements.

BDSM: BDSM involves using pain, either physical or emotional, to create an altered state of mind. It can also involve using sensuality and arousal for the same purposes. For some people a need to submit or dominate will also be part of what puts them into an altered state of mind. In BDSM, you can encounter cases where some use of sensory deprivation is involved, but it's usually done for the purposes of enhancing other senses. The end goal is to create an altered state, which along with the ritualistic aspects of BDSM, makes it ideal for magical workings.

Sex: Sex has been used for magical purposes for a long time. Tantra and Taoism include sexual practices that can be used for magical purposes, and Western magical traditions also have sex magic practices. Whether a person is masturbating or is have sex with a partner or partners, sex can be used as an excitatory action. It does take some discipline and focused will to effectively use sex for magical purposes, and many people who think they are doing sex magic usually aren't, especially if they end up focusing on the pleasure to the exclusion of the specific purpose they are supposed to be focused on.

Excitatory actions are useful for achieving an altered state of consciousness quickly. A person can get caught up in the feeling and sensations and use that to put them into the proper mental space to pursue magical work. But the magician shouldn't focus solely on using these types of activities. A good balance of inhibitory and excitatory actions is wise to cultivate. I've known people who tend to rely exclusively on excitatory actions for their magical work, and what I've found is they tend to be more strung out and find it hard to do meaningful internal work. That said, excitatory actions are especially useful for doing magical work that is focused on the world around the magician. Since such actions already involve raising energy, the magician can easily direct that raised energy toward the specific problem or goal that s/he is using magic to achieve. As I mentioned above with moving meditation, the magician can imprint on him/herself specific goals s/he wants to achieve by using excitatory actions. The actions will reinforce what the magician wants to achieve by fully conditioning both the body and mind to seek to achieve those goals.

Anything I missed? What would you include or add to this information?

Book Review: Practice of Magic (Affiliate Link) by Draja Mickaharic

This is an excellent book for both beginners and advanced practitioners. I was impressed by the clarity of thought and focus, as well as the author's definition of magic. I was also impressed by his willingness to critique Crowley's thoughts and ideas, which is always refreshing to see. The author also provides some useful exercises that can help the magician enhance his/her own practice. What is most evident from reading this book is that the author has done the work.

5 out of 5

Inhibitory Actions and Magic

Inhibitory actions are one of the two basic types of magical actions a person can use to induce an altered state of mind, and in that state of mind do a magical working. Inhibitory actions involve inhibiting sensory information in order to force the magician's attention inward.  The benefit of doing this is that it removes sensory distractions from the magician. At the same time it should be noted that there's no such thing as true sensory deprivation. The magician is always experiencing some kind of sensory information. Below are some examples of inhibitory actions: Meditation: The goal of meditation is to focus the attention of the person. While some will argue that successful meditation is being able to empty your mind, I'd argue that empty mind is just one form of meditation. Taoist Water Breathing Meditation doesn't focus on emptying the mind, but instead focuses on dissolving emotional, mental, and physical tension in the body in order to help the person circulate his/her internal energy or Chi. In fact, from my own studies, the majority of meditation techniques are less concerned with emptying the mind and more concerned with teaching a person how to harness his/her internal energy.

All the same, meditation does involve learning how to tune out or ignore sensory information and distractions occurring around you. A good meditator is someone who can meditate in diverse environments with different levels of noises and other such information without being disturbed by it. S/he will hear the noises, or see the people, but not acknowledge them, because s/he is able to ignore it as extraneous information.

Meditation can be useful for achieving an altered state of mind. Moving meditation, which I'll discuss in excitatory actions, is useful for magical work focused on the world around you, while breathing meditation is useful for doing internal health work (physical and emotional), and/or focusing your mind on a virtual or astral environment where you are working your magic.

A good best practice for meditation is to focus on your breathing. When you inhale, breathe in with your diaphragm. There are different types of breathing, but with each type it's still important to breathe into your diaphragm. This allows you to use the full capacity of your lungs and greatly aides in inducing an altered state of mind. Focusing on your breath can also teach you to be aware of your body and the way your internal energy flows. Because breath is a cycle it allows you to tap into the cycle of your internal energy and its circulation. Breath is the rhythm of your internal energy.

Sensory Deprivation: Sensory deprivation involves depriving yourself of one or more senses in order to focus your mind. There are multiple methods and tools of sensory deprivation. For example a sensory deprivation tank is a tool that a person can use to achieve an altered state of mind. The person is put into a tank of warm salted water, with no light. S/he will float in the water and lose sense of his/her body and in the process achieve an altered state. A bath with salted water can also be used. Turn out the lights and get the blinds shut and you can create something of an environment that's ideal for sensory deprivation.

Another method for sensory deprivation involves some kind of bondage or restraint. Putting an eye cover over your eyes, ear plugs in your ears, or having your wrists and ankles bound to restrict can induce a state of sensory deprivation that you can use to create an altered state of mind. When you find that you can't move or that one or more of your senses is somehow restrained it tends to sharpen the other senses, but it also sharpens the mind, which can then be directed. It's important to be careful with bondage. Make sure the skin has enough room to breathe and if your limbs start to get numb, it's time to get out of the restraints.

Dream Work: When you go to sleep you are shutting down your awareness of your body. Your dreams are a way for the mind to process information received during the day, but they are also much more than that. If you can enter into lucid dreams, you can use them to do internal work and for other magical activities. I'll admit, I'm not impressed with Western techniques for dream work, mainly because they mostly focus on keeping a dream journal. I have found The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche to be helpful, partially because he provides specific exercises to do to help you induce a successful lucid dream state.

Inhibitory activities typically take more discipline and dedicated time to learn than excitatory activities. The benefit however is that over time a person is able to enter into very deep altered states of mind and can apply the discipline to all magical activities (and for that matter to life in general). Because the focus is learning to quiet and focus the mind and senses, the magician ideally is using some type of inhibitory activity as part of their daily work.

What else would you include about inhibitory actions? Are there any types I've left out?