Experiments

Archetypal actions

I've been watching Nikita lately, which is the newest rendition of La Femme Nikita. In one of the episodes, the actress playing Nikita does the famous action of diving into the laundry chute to avoid being incinerated by the missile. You know the action I'm talking about. It's the action that occurred in both movies and likely occurred in the other La Femme Nikita series as well. It's what I call an archetypal action, an action that defines and embodies the archetype or character. It makes you think of all the iterations of that character. It brings that character to life for you.

If you're an actor, or a magician doing that action can also make for an effective invocation, though I'd recommend against diving down chutes to avoid being incinerated. My point being however that if you look at pop culture and mythology in general you will likely find specific actions or activities that a given character, god, etc did and those actions are part of the archetypal consciousness of that being. You may even find that there are actions that repeat across different cultures, with the result being that the action taps into something deeper than the faces that happen to display the action. You tap into the essence of the archetype, something faceless, that nonetheless represents what it is you want access to. An archetype isn't just the face, after all...it's the actions that embody the concept.

Part of my work with identity has involved using space and movement to shift identity. Archetypal actions can be a part of that work, particularly when you want to invoke a spirit by embodying it. Actions allow the spirit to take over, to possess and become part of your experience even as you enter into its experience. I've done such actions in my work with Elephant and Dragon for example, but also with various characters I've worked with. By mimicking the movements and actions, a person invites a different body awareness, and can use that awareness to call to the entity of choice that s/he wants to work with.

 

A new Year, A new you

I saw this blog entry on Twitter and was intrigued by what the person had to say  about reinventing herself. It reminds me a bit of the elemental balancing ritual I do each year. I'm in the 2nd month of my new year, and in a sense the new person I'm discovering as I work with the element of fire. But it also made me think about the fact that I'm in the process of reinventing two of my businesses. I'm reinventing Magical Experiments, slowly but surely, both in terms of offering correspondence courses (I'm working on the magical process course currently) and in terms of branding. But with Imagine Your Reality, I'm reinventing the entire business. I've just gotten the social media piece nailed down, and I'm finally turning toward the business coaching part and redoing my entire business plan. It's a reinvention of identity, both for myself, but also for people I want to market my services too.  It's an ongoing challenge, because I'm not just writing a new business plan, I'm also doing a fair amount of internal work. For example at our class, we were challenged to rewrite our internal stories into more positive ones. What does it have to do with business? Quite a lot actually, because the internal reality you believe is the reality that manifests in your life.

Each year, the elemental balancing ritual is part of my reinvention. The thematic approach provides enough structure to make consistent changes, while providing enough freedom to allow yourself to experience the lessons needed to make those changes happen. A necessary part of that process involves keeping a journal of sorts, which is why I blog on this journal about the experiences each month. The only exception has been a two year gap, wherein I focused on Magical Identity. You won't necessarily find such personal entries in it, but it nonetheless encapsulates the experiences of two years of reinvention.

Change is a constant. Embracing change within your magical practice is how you take control of the change you experience and make it part of your identity.

Tarot Readings and spontaneous spreads

 

I was doing dual deck tarot readings at the local yule fair last week and what stood out to me was how people would create their own spreads, which didn't necessarily look like anything I'd create, but nonetheless made perfect sense for those people. What I liked about that realization is that it proves that fixed spreads are not a necessary part of Tarot reading. In fact, I'd argue that the spontaneous creation of new spreads made the reading more effective because the layout of the cards demonstrated the mental "space" of the person, and how the different cards were situated in that space.

Space, mental and physical, is part of how a person defines his/her identity. The manipulation of space via placement of objects is part of that identification process and it can tell a lot about what obstacles a person is encountered. A spread that is chaotic with elements all over the place still has an order to it, even if its an order that only the person who created the spread understands. A reading I recently did initially looked very chaotic. It took asking some questions to really get to the central issue, but once those questions were asked the spread made complete sense and fit the issue rather well.

What makes this approach dynamic however is that if you use a tarot reading as an act of enchantment, you can make the person's ability to change the spread, to reorganize it an essential part of the reading. In other words, the person changes the spatial identity s/he inhabits by changing how the cards are spatially organized, as well as how s/he understands the underlying message of the card. The result is a different reading, one that plots how the person will make changes to the existing pattern in order to resolve whatever issues are represented.

Here's a podcast episode where I talk about some of my initial experiments with Tarot.

How to learn process and apply it to magic

I talk about the process of magic a lot on here, but a question that might arise is: What exactly is process and how do I learn it? Or more specifically, How do I turn magic into a process? I learned about process from two different disciplines: Academia and Technical Writing. Both disciplines are process oriented, albeit in different ways. In academia, the process is research oriented. If you have an angle you want to explore, you need to do a lot of research and find corresponding evidence that supports your claim, and protects it from potential attacks by other people. This approach to process is more theory oriented than anything else, but it taught me a lot about how to construct an argument, and develop a defense for that argument. It also taught me to appreciate research and the need to ground any work you do in what others have already laid out. To this day, my approach to magic is always based in ongoing research into various subjects that are relevant to the experiments I'm working on. At the same time, academia also taught me the dangers of being too focused on theory. Within the particular disciplines I studied there was very little application, which caused me to question what, if anything, was really being done with the research academics were conducting. I recognized that while research is a necessary and integral part of a process, it must be balanced by something else.

Technical writing was the other discipline that taught me about process. It likely helped that my first tech writing job was at Boeing, where one of the phrases is: "Process is king" In that position, I learned that good technical writing had to address the right audience, while providing step by step practical explanations of how to use a given technology. Research also still played a role, but the practical application was the most important part. If you couldn't apply it, it didn't matter. That made sense to me and I realized it was the missing piece that academia didn't have. If you can't apply it, it doesn't matter. Or in occult terms, if you can't apply it, you're just an armchair magician.

That's how I learned process, but I doubt most people really want to follow my exact footsteps. But the two lessons you can take from those steps are: Anything you do must be grounded in research in order to show others where its come from and If you can't practically apply what you are working on to improving your life, it doesn't matter.

So figure out what you need to research and determine if you can apply it to your life. But there's another lesson I learned from technical writing as well, that can help you develop a process. Everything you do can be broken down into steps.

Once you break something into steps you have a rudimentary process. Apply lessons one and two as well and you have a full fledged process. And lets not forget you also need to measure results. If you have a process, you have a result and you need to measure that result to determine if your process works. A process is only effective if you can consistently achieve the result you've designed the process for.

What makes effective experimentation in magic

When I think about effective experimentation in magic, I think that its essential to have a group of people who are willing to test your experiment. These people don't even need to know each other, but they need to be people who are willing  to give your experiment a try and provide honest feedback. Anyone can come up with an idea, and an idea can even be developed into a process that the person extensively works on and fine tunes. But until that person has shared the the process with other people, so that they can test it, its fair to say it's not an effective experiment. Effective experimentation calls for feedback and input from other people that aren't familiar with the technique and are willing to test it with the appropriate balance of skepticism and open mindedness that is needed for effective experimentation. As an example, when I experimented with a technique to contact neurotransmitters, I knew that to truly test its effectiveness, I needed to find other people who could verify if the technique worked. I ended up having a variety of people experiment with the technique. Some were from the U.K. and some were from the states, so they didn't all know each other. The consistent results that they achieved was what verified the technique and made an effective experiment.

You also need to be able to explain how your process works, so that other people can duplicate it. If a reader just gets lots of vague theories about how it works, but there isn't any practical instructions then what you have is more of an armchair approach to magic. Sounds great in theory, but can I implement it?

Perhaps what is most vital to effective experimentation is curiosity. You have to be curious and open to exploring what's around you. My curiosity is what has motivated my exploration of magic. I've always wanted to know what the real limits of magic are, as well as what my limits are. So if I can test something out, I will, in order to see what I can do, but then I'll bring it to other people and ask them to test it, to see what they can do. Naturally the people I look for are curious as well.

Effective experimentation is about developing a consistent process that can be done again and again and again, with the achievement of consistent results. Its as simple as that, and yet that simplicity demands careful attention to detail, to ensure your process does work.

 

Art and Magic

I posted an updated on different social networks asking people how they got creative with their magical work. I got a couple of interesting responses including one about a coven that uses arts and crafts in their rituals and it got me to thinking about my own artistic approach to magic. I've always been in favor of taking a creative approach to magic and while some of that creativity has focused on blending pop culture into magic or applying principles from other disciplines to magical work, its also focused on using art in the magical work as well. One of my favorite mediums to work in is body paint. The body becomes a canvas, which is painted with body paints that can be used to express and explore the magical work in context to the body.

Collage is another medium I've always enjoyed. Cutting away the meaning from text and picture and then reassembling it into my own image has always appealed, because it gives a person an opportunity to create something that runs counter to the messages that were previously imbedded in the media.

Painting with water color is another medium I've liked using. I tend toward abstract paintings, and there's something fun about letting go of any shape and just painting, but I think you can have a specific concept in mind and still make it magical.

Singing, whistling, and lately playing with my harmonica has been another creative activity I've applied to my magical work. I'm doing some experimentation with Tuvan throat singing as well. I think exploring what your voice can do or what a musical instrument can do in terms of magical work can be a lot of fun. Certainly listening to some of the musicians I enjoy has taken me to some novel spaces with their intentional blending of magic and music.

Wood work is something I haven't done recently, but I used to do it a lot and actually created a couple of altars. It's something I'd enjoy doing again, with the proper tools and facilities.

I think applying creativity to your magical work can be a lot of fun. It's a great way to get flexible about your magical work, and challenge yourself to come up with something that's customized to you. If you haven't applied your creativity to your magical work, give it a try and have some fun!

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 heresay...it 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?

Music and magic meditations

At the most recent magical experiments night, we decided to do three meditation exercises with music out of the book Arcana V (affiliate link). I was intrigued by the exercises, partially because of the focus on space, sound, and silence, and partially because it reminded me of my own experiments with music and magic in my early 20's. The first experiment involved a minimalistic approach to sound. The goal was to focus on the silence that occurred between sounds being made. I chose to ring a bell for this exercise. I'd ring the bell and as the sound faded, we focused on paying attention to the silence. What we all agreed on was how little silence there was! Whether it was the bark of a dog, the hum of the refrigerator or the sound of a lawn mower, all we heard was sounds. I personally think that silence is an artificial construct, as opposed to an actual experience. There is always sound around you...you can't get away from it...at least not on this planet.

The second experiment involved listening to music that could be defined as sensory overload music...in other words white noise. I picked Merzbow for this experiment. The goal of the exercise was to meditate and in the process ignore or block out the sounds. Everyone had varying degrees of success. We noted that when vocals were included it was a bit harder to ignore the sounds.

The third experiment involved listening to layered music, or music with multiple sounds themes (but not white noise). The goal was meditative absorption...absorbing the music without dwelling on a particular theme or noise or word. We listened to Tangerine Dream's Atem, which is richly layered music. I found that relaxing into the music allowed me to be with it. This was the easiest exercise, probably because I listen to music all the time, when writing or working, and actually just absorb it as a way of keeping me focused.

All three of these experiments were fun to do and brought to mind the early experiments I did, where I would use selected albums to create sonic soundscapes for ritual purposes. We'd put the music on in the background, while doing our ritual, using the music itself to create the sacred space as well as any defenses we felt we needed, while we were doing magical work. I particularly liked using Coil's music for that purpose, but have also used Rapoon, Scorn, Current 93, and other such bands to produce sacred space and altered states of mind for doing ritual work.

The other experiments this reminded me of were experiments I did with my voice. I created sound sigils, which I would activate through vibratory vocalization of the sigil, or through whistling specific sounds at specific tones to activate the sigil. I also experimented with using vibratory vocalizations for invocation and evocation work. I still do use these techniques now, but using them now is not so much of an experiment for me anymore, though I suppose it could be an experiment for others. It is something I will write more about for an occult journal or two.

Call For Papers for Magic on The Edge 2.0

Magic on the Edge 2.0 is an anthology of experimental occultism, testing the cutting edges of magical practice to reveal intriguing experiments and new ideas, to push the future of magical practice forward and provide further inspiration for other practitioners. It is edited by Taylor Ellwood. We are looking for articles 3k to 6k words in length on topics that can include the following:

  • Innovative explorations of magical traditions
  • Experimental techniques with contemporary disciplines such as space/time magic, internal alchemy, laboratory alchemy, etc.,
  • Creative meditation practices
  • Got an idea? Run it by me and I'll give you feedback (see contact info below).

The deadline for the first draft is December 15th

For more information or questions contact me.

Please share this with anyone you know who might be interested in participating in this anthology.

Where research fits into experimentation

Research is an integral part of experimentation for magical work. When I'm working on a project, writing a book, or looking at working with a pop culture icon or brand, I do a lot of research. Whether its researching the history of a character, or reading up on neuroscience, I know that to get an accurate understanding of what I want to work with I need to do research that will support my experimental work. An experiment is defined, in part, by the information you have available to you, as well as by the desired outcome you want to accomplish. An experiment can't be structured effectively until you've examined relevant information that can provide an understanding of what you'll be working with.

When I first began my experimentation with neurotransmitters I'd already done my research by finding out what they were and how they worked in the brain. I couldn't have developed a neurotransmitter entity technique if I didn't already have some information on what to look for and what to potentially expect. My real test was sharing the technique with other people who hadn't necessarily done the same research. When they got similar results, that told me that the technique was sound, but also that the research had paid off, because I was able to provide enough information to help people work with the neurotransmitters effectively.

Magical experimentation doesn't occur in a void. Every magician I know who experiments isn't just coming up with something off the top of their heads They are researching information, looking up what others have done, and putting together a technique to experiment with, based in part on the research they've done.

What about you? What research do you do, in order to improve your magical work?

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?

Radio interview with Jaymi Elford

I just finished interviewing Jaymi Elford about her Tarot Business. We had a couple callers cal in at the last minute and I apologize to them, but if they wish to contact her with questions, please visit her website. Jaymi offers Tarot Readings, Tarot Classes, and Tarot pouches which can hold your tarot cards. She's also writing a book on cutting edge Tarot techniques. To learn more about her, please visit her website.

You can listen to the radio show interview below. Next week's topic will be Magical Groups and will air on Friday June 10th at 2:30pm.

Listen to internet radio with Experimental Magic on Blog Talk Radio

The Adjustment Bureau

I recently watched the Adjustment Bureau, an intriguing movie that looked at predestiny, free will, and chance, from a perspective where human beings lived fairly pre-destined lives, lived according to a plan, and were monitored by "angels" who would insure they didn't deviate from the plan. The angels monitored the time line of the person by checking a tablet and seeing if the actions of the person deviated from the plan, and if they did, the angels, would make adjustments, either to the choices the person could make, or to his/her thought processes. Pretty interesting concept... I tend to approach possibilities in a similar kind of way. I'll use tarot cards, sigil webs, or other such representations to manipulate possibilities, aligning specific ones with my time line, in order to make adjustments that bring the right possibility into reality. I don't even always rely on tools. Tools, such as Tarot, make it easier to conceptualize space/time possibilities, because they act as representations of what you're trying to manipulate. But it is also possible to interact with the possibility field directly. It involves entering an altered state of mind, where you are receptive to those possibilities and can understand how they can fit into your space and time , as well as being able to keep up with the changes that occur to the possibility field, if you align possibilities into your space and time.

The ability to interact with time non-linearly, whether through tools, or through an altered state of mind, is a lot like the concept of the adjustment bureau. You aren't necessarily making a lot of big changes, so much as you are making adjustments with possibilities. Some possibilities are easier to bring into alignment, while others will require more effort. It depends on how likely the possibility will turn into reality, as well as what other possibilities you'll need to bring into alignment to make it happen. They key is to remember to be flexible in your work...don't push it too hard. Let the possibilities flow over you, and open yourself to the expression of them in your life, but only bring them into alignment when you are ready to handle the consequences.

Book Review: A Cognitive Theory of Magic (Affiliate Link) by Jesper Sorenson

This is a dense read with a lot of academic jargon. If you aren't familiar with conceptual blending or cognitive theory, I recommend reading up on those before reading this work. The other area where this book suffers is the lack of examples. The author does draw on some anthropological examples, but for the most part he obsfucates what he is trying to explain. It doesn't help that he is relying on the anthropological work of other academics, as opposed to doing some of that work himself. With that said, a careful reading of the material will provide you with an explanation of how magic seems to work, from a cognitive perspective. It's an interesting reading and the author has some intriguing ideas about how magic works from a temporal/spatial perspective, but I'd recommend reading this book carefully and in short doses, to really get where he's coming from.

3 out 5

 

Upcoming Neurotransmitter Entity Class

On May11th I'll be teaching the Neurotransmitter Entity class, and we'll be meeting for 3 weeks via a teleclass to learn about how to work with Neurotransmitters and other aspects of the human body. It should be an exciting class and if you haven't signed up yet, I invite you to, as it's an opportunity to explore your relationship with your body from a different angle. I find the body to be a universe all its own, complete with mysteries. This class provides techniques that can help you start to unravel the mysteries of that universe and develop an entirely new relationship with your body. Most importantly it's an opportunity to have some experimenting with magic and seeing what you can learn about yourself in the process. If you haven't signed up already, click on the link above, or this one here and RSVP for the class. The cost is $60, and what you'll get is a free chapter of Inner Alchemy and a free chapter of my upcoming book Neuro-Space/Time Magic, as well as recordings of our class and access to a members only site.

 

Further thoughts on theme music and magic

When I think about theme music, I think of how I can graft a particular song to an emotional mood and then use that song to inspire emotional energy I can use for my magical or business work. Not just any song will do. For instance, I'm listening to DJ Soulslinger while I write this. It's good music, but it doesn't pitch an emotional response in me, so while I enjoy listening to it, I wouldn't use it as a theme. The song has to be something that resonates on an emotional level, something that gets you to feel something, and something that you can sing within your own head, when you can't listen to it. And the emotional response needs to be something you can actually use. If a song makes you feel depressed and you can't find a magical use for it, then it's not a theme song. It might be a song you listen to when you feel down, but a theme song is a call to action, a call to make a change. Now if you can use that song as a way to channel your feelings of depression then it could be a theme song.

Your song doesn't need to have words either. I love the score to Dynasty Tactics 2 and can hum it and find inspiration from it. I've used that score in magical work, as a way to charge my energy. There's no words, but the sounds are enough to invoke an emotional response and that's enough to make it work.

It really comes down to finding music that makes your soul sing and consequently stirs the very power within you necessary to make magic happen. Different music can and does embody different themes. What I would use for a wealth magic working would differ from what I'd use for a love magic working. So long s you can identify a theme that a song fits...use it. You don't need to listen to it to invoke the theme. Just sing it and let it carry your emotions into the magical work you'll be doing.

Banishing people

Over time, I have found it occasionally necessary to do a banishment working to banish people from my life. I've found that continuing to tolerate their influence, energy, or presence in my life makes me unhappy and so instead of continuing to compromise the overall value and happiness in my life, it's easier to just banish the people. When I talk about banishing someone, I'm not talking about harming the person. While I may not like the person and may not want him/her in my life, I also don't want the person harmed. I just want him/her gone. For me, its not a matter of harming, so much as removing something that no longer belongs in my life. I wish them the best (even the people I don't like), but I don't need to continue to put up with them.

There are several techniques I've developed for this purpose. One is to create a sigil web and include in it all the people, experiences, events, etc that I currently have in my life. The ones I want to keep, I strengthen and the ones I want to banish, I cut out of the web. I then burn their symbols and put the ash on the road. I don't want it on the ground I live, since that would invite them back into my life.

The other technique is somewhat similar, but also different Instead of creating a web, I create a sigil for the person I no longer want in my life. I put in that sigil all the feelings I have about the person. Then I burn the sigil take it off property. By putting the emotions I feel toward the person into the sigil, I'm able to free myself of an feelings I have toward that person. This is a good technique to use for someone you don't like.

I think its healthy to banish people from your life. You can't and won't necessarily be friends with everyone and it's important to maintain your boundaries and protect yourself from undesirable influences. Banishing allows you to do that and also allows you to ground yourself.

Using the dual Deck system for enchantments

While I find using Tarot for divination useful, I typically use it for enchantment purposes. My latest experiment with the dual deck system involved doing an enchantment for a specific situation. If you go to the Facebook page for magical experiments, you can see a picture of the latest dual deck working, which is the enchantment I did. Here's a link to a close up of the photo as well. The core issue of the reading is at the bottom of the picture. There are two arms to the reading as well. The left hand arm represents the enchantment to control and mitigate negative influences that would effect the enchantment adversely. The right arm represents the desired outcome as well as specific node points and influence factors that will be drawn on in order to make the desired result manifest into reality. The three nodal points that spread out from the right arm, are the specific spheres of influence to be drawn on, with the connectors representing the best possible avenues to manifest those influences into the actual desired result.

Not all enchantments would need to be conducted this way, but for this instance it has been useful to approach it with an eye toward mitigating undesired influences. The dual deck system is useful because it provides visual symbols that can be manipulated physically, which the person can use to also manipulate possibilities in imaginary time. The cards provide an interface for the possibilities to manifest from, while making sense to the person doing the action, because the conceptualization of the possibilities is mediated through the cards and the maneuvering of them into specific spaces.

Intuition is also a useful component for this process, as a way of accessing imaginary time. Intuition is used in the placement of each nodal point as well as in the placement of the best connector for each nodal point. On the imaginary time level, intuition is used to match the possibilities to the nodal points and connectors, and help the person establish a meaningful connection between the reading and the events the person is influencing via the enchantment of the reading.

It's useful, with enchantment, to recognize that what is being worked with is the placement of a specific possibility into an existing system, in order to turn that possibility into reality and make it an inherent part of the system. Each nodal point represents a specific conceptual space within the system. The connectors (in this case) represent emotional states of being that are key influences for realizing the impact of the conceptual spaces on the desired result. Since we want the positive conceptual spaces to have maximum impact, in order to ensure that the desired result becomes reality, we need to use connectors that will embody the path of least resistance and maximum empowerment of the desired result.

Further experimentation to come...as a note this is a system partially derived from Calyxa Omphalos's work with dual deck tarot readings, and partially derived from ongoing work with using Tarot for enchantment purposes.

 

Weather magic on a dial

When Kat and I were driving back from Bend recently we both focused on doing a bit of weather magic to help us get through Mt. Hood before the weather got cold enough to turn rain into sleet or snow, and wet roads into ice. I made an observation to Kat that it'd be interesting to attach an association link to the cool/heat dial for your car's air conditioning/heating. When you adjusted the dial, you'd metaphysically adjust the weather as well. By creating an association with the dial, you'd also automate part of the process involved in doing weather magic. It was, as I mentioned, an observation, but its those kind of observations that come to me that lead to some kind of experimentation to see if the observation can be implemented into a practical magical working. I'd note that such a dial could not "control" weather per se, but rather would be used to work with specific weather possibilities, such as strengthening the possibility that the weather would stay at a specific temperature or increasing the possibility of rain (or decreasing). Weather magic, much as with magic in general, is all about working with possibilities and influencing the outcome that a specific possibility will become an actual reality.

Book reviews

The Octavo (affiliate link) by Peter Carroll

Reading the Octavo is kind of a rehash of some of Peter Carroll's other ideas, but at the same time is a clear extension of where he has developed those ideas to a level of sophistication that mathematically proves his points. The Octavo isn't an easy read, and I recommend doing some research into the technical jargon that Carroll uses, but underneath the jargon the reader will find a concise explanation of specific magical concepts and how those magical concepts fit into our particular universe. It's worth a read, especially for the magician who is focused on practical magical work.

Four out of five.

An update on the magical experiments course

This is the first year of the magical experiments course, and we are just a month in to it, but already attendees are getting a lot out of the process. Below is one of the testimonials from an attendee. ********

Wanted to say "thanks" for the response. I hadn't heard of mind-mapping before, so I did some research on that and worked with it for a few days, to what I believe is a successful end. I realized I have the most passion and excitement for actual songwriting, and it would be less fulfilling to focus my efforts on the corporate writing, etc. Although uncertain at that point of how the money would come into play so I could achieve my "ultimate goal" most efficiently, I decided to just pursue the song-writing and let the Universe fill in the details in the best way possible -- larger forces know better than me.

So, having come to that conclusion, I had a dream where I was delivered a song title, which I have begun developing into a marketable song I can sell. It's not the type of song that would necessarily fit into my ultimate goal of being a singer-songwriter (not my style, although the message is still something I'm happy to put my name to), so I'm not concerned about "saving it for myself". I'd be happy to sell it and it fits into a market where there is lots of money to be made and songs from independent writers are regularly purchased. I can practice my craft and get some "street cred" as a songwriter, while also accomplishing the financial goal of earning enough money to move away from the day job and pursue songwriting full time.

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At this point the 2011 year is closed, but I will be teaching this class again in 2012. If you're interested in taking your magical skills to the next level, then this class will be helpful for you. Best of all you get feedback from other attendees as well, so you're working with a focused group.

The role of results in your magical process

I think results play an integral role in a person's magical process. If you don't know the result you want to achieve, you can't develop a process that will help you achieve that result. Results help to define and shape the magical process you use. Watch the video to learn more: