31 Days of Magick

2015/12/30

(My Buddhism posts will resume in the new year, holidays eat up too much time)

I wanted to share something that sprang out of a group I’m a part of, the 31 Days of Magick

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Basically it’s just a list of 31 types of magick to do over the course of January. None of them are that difficult, so it’s not asking too much, but it’s asking for a lot in terms of technique, which I like.

Whenever I feel myself in a magickal lull or slump I pick up a book with a good variety of exercises (usually something fairly beginner, as they have the most breadth) and work my way through it. Not because I really need to learn another way to ground, or how to cast a spell with a playing card or whatever, but because I need something different.

I find the same thing with physical exercise, I hit a slump or plateau and have to change something, just a little, to break through and get going again. Even if it’s just putting my hands farther apart or closer together in pushups to work slightly different muscles.

In a magickal slump, you need to flex a few new muscles, and in general I think it’s good practice to do things outside of your normal practice.

That’s what I really like about this 31 Days of Magick. I don’t see myself flipping my life into something even more amazing through it, but I might, but more I see it as something to work my magick a bit differently, to challenge myself and include a few new things, even if I don’t use them again.

So I invite everyone out there to join in with the 31 Days, do something different, after all isn’t magick about the experiment?

(And if you’re interested in looking into the Strategic Sorcery community, then pop over to Jason’s blog, see what it’s about, and consider joining.)

Make it a great new year folks.


S.M.A.R.T. Sorcery

2015/05/23

The following is based on the opening spiel to a class I just taught addressing a lot of the pitfalls of sorcery (those I’ve encountered and see others encounter).

One of the most obvious pitfalls I see with sorcererous folks is the lack of clear and reasonable goals. I have actually seen people on forums asking for spells to simply “make my life better” and in the process of writing this post I just saw a forum post “Best money spells, go!” But even when people focus on something specific it can be too vague, or too big. Wealth and love magick are probably the two biggest offenders here. People want spells to attract money or love, and leave it at that, as if wealth and money were as simple as a yes or no option.

I’m amused by how many people know of SMART goals from their work, but don’t apply it to magick. If you’re not familiar with SMART goals, it’s an acronym, a few different versions float around, but I use it standing for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

When you’re setting a magickal goal, ask the question: is it SMART? Let’s use getting a new job as an example.
I’m doing magick to get a job…is that specific? No. That goal needs more details, if that’s all you have then even if you succeed, who knows where you’ll end up. Flesh that out. What type of job? What field? What pay range? What work environment.

I’m doing magick to get a job as an accountant with a stable tech firm making enough money to be comfortable paying my rent and my bills. Is that specific? That’s a hell of a lot better, and if you just shore up your magick from job-in-general to that job, you’re already way ahead of the game.

Be careful though, there is a difference between tightening your magickal goals, and strangling them. Sometimes people can be so specific that there is only one avenue for something to occur (if that). If your job spell is so descriptive and demanding that there is only one possible job for you, then your chances will be exceedingly slim. (Note: This is different than enchanting for a specific job you know of)

Is it measurable? Yes, you have a success/failure criteria. If you end up working at a Starbucks that’s a failure. But it doesn’t have to be binary, you could end up as an accountant with a large retail company, but everything else is what you asked for, it’s not a complete success, but you can measure where you failed and where you succeeded.

Is it attainable? Hopefully, do you have a back ground in accounting, or a degree? That would help. If you just got out of high school it might be unattainable for you. Or if you’re applying for a job way above your qualifications that’s an issue. Attainable is something a lot of magick folk want to argue with me about, saying if it’s attainable why use magick, or if magick makes things happen why not use it for harder to obtain things?

Magick, in this way, I think is like exercise, you should always push yourself a bit farther than where you are. If you can jog for 15 minutes, then try upping yourself to 17, then 20 minutes. But if you can jog 15 minutes, don’t try for a 45 minute run. Don’t use magick to stay where you are, but there is a difference in the attainability and probability of going from desk clerk to accountant, than from desk clerk to Assistant Vice President. You can work your way all the way up the career magickally if you want to take the time, but you can rarely make the jump. Magick can nudge things in your favour, but only so far.

Another way to look at it is how my one teacher explained it. Magick makes things happen, things that are unlikely become more likely, but only to an extent. If something has a 1% change of happening, with magick we might bump it up to 10, 15, or 20%, imagine making something 20 times more likely to happen. Now look at the lottery, you have a 1 in 7,000,000 chance to win, but magick even if you increase your odds 20 times over, that’s still 20 out of 7 million, or one out of 350,000. So it doesn’t help that much, you’re still unlikely to ever win. Magick for what is attainable, and realistic, but don’t settle for a status quo.

Relevant can mean a lot of things. Basically it is useful or practical. Think about how many sorcerers brag about talking to gods and ghosts, or how psychic they are, or how often they do magick to “raise their vibrations” or “ascend the spheres” or all the past lives they remember. Now how many of them are actually getting anywhere? (Don’t get me wrong, I talk to gods and ghosts daily, would argue I’m psychic, and I love going up the spheres, but I know I need to handle shit in the real world too)

What about the goals you’re picking, are they useful? Are they relevant? Think about how this goal will or won’t help you get where you want. Then decide if it is worth the effort. I’m not saying everything needs a profound purpose in your magick, but know why you’re doing it. I’m the sovereign of doing useless shit with magick when I learn a new system, just to prove results. When I teach sigils I often get people to pick clear, minor, and useless goals, just to see their success. Things like “I’ll see a woman in a red dress before lunch.” “I will get a piece of cake.” It proves it works. Just know why you’re doing it, and ask if it will be useful.

Lastly time-bound. Especially if you’re working with spirits. Conjuring up a spirit that’s been working with your magickal tradition for centuries, you and they might see time a bit different so even if you ask for a job with all the specifics…when will it provide it? Give an end time to the working, so you know if you’ve succeeded, or if you fail and it’s time to move on and try something else. Even if you don’t use an external entity, being time-bound in your goal is a way to focus and contain the working.

I know this seems unmagickal to a lot of people, but you have to remember, magick is a tool like any other, it’s not just about using it, but knowing how to use it the most effective ways possible, and a surprisingly large chunk of that can just be targeting your magick. Even if you change nothing else in how you perform your magick, just having a clear goal will help you be more effective.

Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. If you can actually ensure that your magickal goals are hitting those five things you’re on the right track.


Wednesday Webshare: Shamans, Doctors, and Mind-to-Mind Communication

2014/08/27

Mercury Web

Jason from Strategic Sorcery did an Ask Me Anything on reddit. It’s a disjointed read (it is reddit), but interesting, and funny. Personally I think the grimoire I’m working on will need some unicorn scrotum now…

Remember that Shaman gathering I mentioned? Here is a fascinating interview with a Russian shaman who was part of the events.

Here is a collection of 21 cool videos of sacred sites around the world filmed by drone. I love the view of Ankor Wat. Which is your favourite?

Alex Sumner reveals who the Secret Chief of the Golden Dawn really is. My response was to ask Who?

Help sponsor Chris Wilkinson translate a vast collection of Buddhist texts through gofundme (More crowdsourcing spirituality, the wave of the future)

I know I harp on articles about the brain and meditation…but a new study shows that Vajrayana meditation produce different responses in the body/mind than Theravadan meditations. Simplified for those less knowledge about Buddhism is shows that “Tibetan Buddhism” is doing something different than Buddhism that mindfulness meditation. Other than tummo isn’t not often studies focus on Vajrayana, so I’d be curious to see more on this.

Mummification starts nearly 1500 years earlier than previously believed.


Are blue eyes going endangered? (No) But some interesting information about where/when we think blue eyes arose. (And if you don’t know why this is relevant on this blog, get back to your Apocrypha)

First mysterious holes appear in Russia and now a huge crack appears in Mexico I think it’s safe to assume this is a sign of various Old Ones shifting in their sleep.

Scientists have found a way to email brainwaves. After a successful test sending “hola” and “ciao” the system was bought by a wealth prince from Nigeria who wants to help spread his fortune to the world.


Wednesday Webshare: Suppliers, Satanists, and Shamans

2014/08/06


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The wonderful Polyphanes created a list of places to buy occult supplies that aren’t Lucky Mojo. I’ve refused to use them for years due to a variety of reasons, and in the last day several more issues with them have come to light that I can’t agree with, from broad perspective things, to targetted attacks on people both smear and cursing. So go support the awesome places Polyphanes listed, whenever possible support smaller independent, local, and awesome suppliers.

Over at the Strategic Sorcery blog Jason continues to address eclecticism in magickal practice. He addresses competency and dilettantism, which while I agree with his point, part of me feel that he’s a bit lax there. Or maybe I just underestimate competency in some people because as is often the case the loudest person in the crowd (eclectics in this case) is generally not the best person to represent them.

Since I wrote the draft of this post Jason has also posted Part 3 of Sane Eclecticism (Alas, his naming convention, not mine) It’s actually a repost of his rules from way back with one additional one.

Occultists debate about how much technology should be a part of what we do, but it’s time we catch up because a priest in Poland claims to be getting text messages from demons. And here I am using a black mirror like Luddite!

While not really magickal or occult, a wave of dolls have been left in front of houses, and they resemble the little girls that live in those homes. Definitely creepy, and my first thought was what a great way to nocebo someone into a curse. Don’t do anything to the person you want to curse, but leave a doll that looks like them in front of their house, they’ll freak out and probably do more than your curse would.

Another ancient temple has been found in the Near East, but it’s in danger cause its in a war zone. Seriously these temples are awesome things, hopefully this one survives long enough to really be studied. (Don’t forget, I have a history degree that in part focused on Near East history, so I have a bias)

Speaking of, Sounds from Silence is a CD that includes information on ancient Sumerian music, and instruments, with an example song on a recreated traditional lyre type instrument. I shared a version of this song a ways back, but this is a more complete product.

Also a Shamanic festival was held in Tuva, with the goal of revival of shamanic cultures It sounds really amazing, shamans from Mexico, to Greenland, to Korea, to Russia came to teach, learn, and share. I think it’s also great that they can share and learn. It makes me think about the Christian/Buddhist gathering in the 80s (I think) were all the more booky preacher types got into dogmatic arguments, but all the monastics who practice and meditate could relate to each other. (Also, you have to love that the article says the “World’s strongest shamans” I’d love to see that competition)

In the midst of the Hobby Lobby fiasco in the States (I’m Canadian, like a reasonable person, but I keep an eye on what my boot is up to) there is some good news via the Satanists (who are often the bearers of good news). Women, under the religious rights of the Satanists are allowed to be exempted from the “right to know” laws. Which if you’re unfamiliar basically means doctors are allowed to feed their patient any kind of bullshit (no, seriously, it’s not medical information, look it up) around the “reality” and dangers of abortions. It’s a pro-fetus law meant to coerce women in emotionally fraught positions to not go through with their choice. I don’t know if it will hold up in practice, but good for the Satanists trying to sidestep one religious law with another one.

Also, in the midst of the horrors going on in Israel, an odd story comes out. The Second Temple was destroyed about two thousand years ago, and there are a lot of prophecies and beliefs about the Third Temple. So how will the Third Temple be built? Welcome to the 2010s, where we can crowdfund the Third Temple, via indiegogo.

Harry from The Unlikely Mage replies to my HGA posts with his post Who Has the HGA? I Don’t. In it he addresses having similar experiences and contact, but that it isn’t the same thing, and how it was different. What amused me (as you can see in the comment) was both of our experiences pushed us into Buddhism. (That’s right, a centuries old Jewish ritual summoned an angel that told me to go Buddhist.)


Wednesday Webshare: Exorcists, Experimenters, and Eclectics

2014/07/16

Mercury WebI blamed the chip dip, for the possession mentioned last time, while I was wrong about the dip I was right that it was a chemical contaminant and not spirits. Drinking tea spiked with Brugmansia (a hallucinogen used in South American Shamanism) was the culprit.

The Vatican appoves an international association of exorcists, I assume to handle all the drug-laced tea drinking Ouija board playing teenagers? Actually this is interesting, because it shows the Church is embracing, to an extent, the more mystical/magickal side of Catholicism which they’ve been distancing themselves from slowly over the last while

Like many occultists/magickians/pagans I find the traditional Wheel of the Year doesn’t work where I live. Toronto is a lot colder for a lot longer than the British Isles where the Wheel came from. Anyways Rua Lupa took it upon themselves to make one that is more universal. Here is an entirely redone Wheel of the Year based on Polar astronomy, complete with new months and days and holidays. While I don’t know if I’d adopt it personally (There is no one particular individual who possesses the right allocated time frame to partake in the activity in question) because I’m not in a community that uses the standard Wheel anyways, but I just love seeing innovation and experimentation.

Speaking of innovation and experimentation, my friend Polyphanes has realized/decided that the standard Qabalah doesn’t translate well with Greek, so he’s trying to build a “Greek Qabalah” which he calls the Kampala from the ground up. He’s been doing it for a while, and slowly introducing it. So go check that out, he just started talking about the Tetractys today.

Judge rules against creationist teacher who called Buddhist student’s faith ‘stupid’ and Christians around ‘Murica realized how oppressed they are…wait, no…not at all. Glad to see more reasonable voices prevailed.

A beautiful photo set of what Shamanism looks like in modern Peru. Really cool.

Jason Miller tackles being eclectic, and how it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I really enjoyed this, not just because of my own eclecticism, but because of how well he illustrates some of the ways it really doesn’t work, and how to be eclectic reasonably, and responsibly.

I’m pretty excited, another ancient temple discovered in Iraq, granted it’s only 2,500 years old, but I’m still interested.

The ancient skulls of children found buried near a lake in Switzerland. Perhaps an early offering to the lake gods? Interesting but short look at some evidence of early European religious beliefs.

As someone who meditates, and teaches meditation, I’m really not surprised that most people would rather do anything than sit and think for 15 minutes. Let’s face it, dealing with ourselves can really suck.


Review: Financial Sorcery – Jason Miller

2012/08/23

Financial Sorcery: Magical Strategies to Create Real and Lasting Wealth – Jason Miller
New Page, 2012, 224pp., 9781601632180

We’ve all encountered that person who asks if magick works, why aren’t we all rich? We all probably have our own answers too, but when we pause to think about it, it is a good question. Why do so many occultists of varying stripes have trouble with money? We summon lovers, find jobs in odd places, protect our homes, and yeah magick the money to get us out of trouble, but outside of that emergency most of us have trouble with money or money magick.

“[T]he magic itself is fine: our spells usually work … The problem is in the application of our magic … …The attitude for most people seemed to be that when everything was okay, it was better not to give much thought to money at all.” (14) As Jason points out when people try money magick outside of emergencies, it’s often for exceedingly unlikely goals like winning the lottery. I’m in that boat. I’ve experimentally tried my hand at the lottery to no notable success, and while I’ve done great with having enough money to get by while in school and then some when I shouldn’t have the money, it’s always been that survival emergency money magick mentality.

That’s not what this book is about. There are sections about it, a sigil for getting some money fast, and a chapter on emergency magick, but for the most part it’s about prosperity and abundance. Repeatedly the message Jason gives is cut debt and expenses, increase income, and grow wealth. Emergency magick, is bad magick. Strategic magick, is good magick.

In this book Jason introduces a wide range of information regarding financial sorcery. Drawing on various traditions we’re given a list of figures to work with, from Vajrayana to Ceremonial Magick, from Catholicism to Taoism to African Diaspora Religions. Frankly I never like the section in books where the author lists a bunch of figures and says go work with them, but they’re not offered “as is” but more as a sample of who is out there, and that we should find whatever figure of prosperity we can to work with and develop a relationship with.

In Jason’s usual manner this book is a mix of different traditions and technology, as well as heavily grounded in practical magick and real world activity. Most chapters that explain how to do something magickally also give some options for the mundane side. Looking to get in a bit of extra cash in a crunch? Jason gives a website to sign up for focus groups in your area. Needing to manage and understand your expenses better? Here is a website that tracks all your money so you know where it is going. Most of these resources are only for Americans, the Canadian version of the focus group site has five focus groups listed across the country since March for example, but can give you a starting place to work from, ideas to look into.

Jason sets out to analyze our perspective on wealth and wealth magick, and by intelligently understanding and strategizing from there help the reader build stable and lasting prosperity. He takes us through daily offerings to spirits to help keep the gears going, to 16 Lightning Glyphs of Jupiter –a collection of 16 sigils for financial magick with all sorts of practical and specific applications–, to understanding how we hold ourselves back from financial freedom, to killing debts, to getting jobs and promotions, to starting our own business, to investing. Step-by-step through big picture and little detail magick Jason works to get the reader to a more prosperous place in their life. While not an advanced book in regards to technique –anyone with basic magickal/meditation experience could make use of the book– it is advanced in the strategy and process. Whether you’re drowning in debt, just getting by, doing well, or just looking to do better this book will have techniques, technology, and ideas that are relevant to you. Unlike most things in life, money will always be there, and it is always something we must deal with, so I really can’t think of anyone this book wouldn’t benefit, and would recommend it to most anyone.

And of course, if you like this book or just want to know more about the author you can check out his blog here.


Wednesday Webshares: Wealth, Rootworker Advice, and More Rules, Laws, and Rights

2011/06/29

I’ve been writing recently but haven’t really had a chance to finish much, so time for a webshare in no particular order.

First off, Jason Miller over at Strategic Sorcery is currently selling White Mahakala Wealth Talismans. Now personally I have a silly issue with Mahakala, and I’m not linking this so you buy one, but feel free to. More I was greatly amused by his tongue-in-cheek (in parts) sales pitch for why White Mahakala is better than other Wealth Deities.

Dr. Raven, of Dr. Raven’s Conjure posted an excellent article on Tips for Working with a Rootworker and Reader. It’s a great read for both people looking for magickal help or people considering offering it. I don’t think there is anything there I disagreed with, a lot had matched what I cobbled together for my own work, and he gave me a few more points to think on.

Speaking of more to think on, last week I posted Rob’s Laws, Rules, and Rights of Magick. Since then Ananael Qaa has posted his thoughts on Rob’s Laws, and Rules, and Rights which make an interesting supplement and contrast to Rob’s original posts. And no need to fear, even in three posts Ananael Qaa is far more succinct than Rob was.

Book reviews, rants, and articles to come.


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