Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I’m losing faith in magic! Help!

(Oh for those of you just having read the last blog I would like to mention the next day after I wrote it I happened to find a five dollar bill on the ground with no one in sight…haha magic!)

There are times when even the most rock solid forces n our life come into doubt. Jobs, family, friends, goals, identity, morals, beliefs and even out magic at some point get called before the burning eye of Doubt. Good! If this occurs it means that you have over time collected enough data through life and experience and it is time to re-evaluate something within yourself. The first reaction is typically a fight or flight response, we either double up and try to blindly keep up with the old way of thinking or we drop it like it is a hot coal and run. What is really going on is that deep within us the soul is calling out for a new gestalt, some new way to express itself and the information and symbols it has attained. The only way to really prevent the fight or flight is to ingrain into the mind that first: IAO baby, life, death, resurrection; second: it is time to rethink my conscious experience and patterns (map) that I have from up to this moment held as actual territory. Remember the green images on the map will never ever be trees. All you have is a map, don’t confuse it with the territory! OK? Good!

So, what the hell do you do next? First, evaluate. Go through old journals, recalling magic practices, exercises, victories and failures. Hit the books! Look back and see where you have unconsciously been moving towards. Compare your old goals and beliefs to current ones. Have you achieved what you originally started to do? If so what are some new goals? Have you gone on a tangent, seeking new goals and leaving the other ones un-noticed behind you? Why? Where the old goals not honest, or possible? Condense your work in the journals as a short timeline in order to see what has been done and what is going on. Then take a few days and not think about it. Come back and look at it making decisions on what should be done and what needs to be sought.

Now that you have evaluated the situation look at the tools you are using. Metaphoric tools that is. Has your experiences in life and magic changed you so that once held beliefs and ideals no longer resonate with you? What are you working with as a symbolic system? Do your tarot cards reflect your actual view of the magical universe? Is there another deck that does? What about the magical system you are using. Does it reflect the view of the universe? When you look west is the associated element meaningfully applied to that quarter? By that let us say we use the classical element of water to reside in the west. Is west a barren wasteland of desert? Hmmmm. Does a hot and dry wind blow from that direction? Uh-oh. You see all this time this information was present in your soul (unconscious for you psych majors) but possibly not in your spirit (conscious or mind, again for the more psych driven chaps and ladies) so deep down in your soul a loud and roaring “bullshit” echoed forth that crept up slowly into the conscious spirit causing you to say “Bah, this magic stuff seems rather foolish!” Always as a magician should we be on the look out where our experience of reality meshes with our map of the magical universe. If not then the reflection of above and below is out of synch and our magic is not as it should be. Joseph Campbell in a series of talks (they are on Netflix and should be studied and watched with deep and penetrating focus) talks about how “primitive” peoples when they entered a new location took their symbolic maps with them, so that the new mountain in the distance is now the home to the gods, in fact it is the same mountain where they previously resided. As they picked up and moved so did their map. Where they lived was always the exact point and center of creation, even if they moved a thousand miles from their previous home which at that point was the exact center of creation, duh! That is what is needed here, a revamp of your physical world so that at any moment you are in “The holy Land.” What now for your ritual tools? When you pick them up do they reflect your current and deep feelings about the force they represent or is it just a butter knife? It should be the most awesome sword of justice wielded by the gods and blessed by angels granted to you because of your representation of divinity on Earth! Even if you did steal it from the kitchen drawer. It should also be current with your views on that element. If it has been a few years since a good charge then create a ritual to recharge your tools given your present insights, memories and experiences with the element. Maybe even craft a mythic story on how it came to you. Doesn’t have to be “real” at all, watch…imagine at this moment that you have a succulent, ripe lemon in your hand, the yellow of the lemon is as brilliant as the sun, you slice it open and the fresh juices run out, squirting, the sharp smell enters your nose and brings to mind freshness, you bring the halved lemon to your waiting wet lips. You then suck the lemon and all of its ripe juice into your mouth. How many began to salivate? If you involve yourself and imagine (oooh man, that word again!) it then your brain cannot tell the difference. In fact most of the memories you have are half true or worse. Your brain pieces memory and fantasy together to make a narrative all the time. I bet there is at least once when you thought something happened only to remember it was really a dream. Who says you cannot use that handy trick to your advantage and make your life a deeper experience? This is in fact one reason why many take magical names, so they don’t mix the epic hero of magic and Bob who works as a bag boy at the grocery store up. Little do Bob’s customers know he is an epic hero of magic! Little does the epic hero of magic know he is Bob the bag boy!

Ok, so we have evaluated our lives, goals and work up till now. Revaluated our tools and metaphoric maps, anything else? As Dom from the movie Inception would say “We need to go deeper!” Let us look at the big symbolic map. Our Tree of Life needs a good shake. For many it is like our Aunt, we keep meaning to visit, but later. What the hell is it good for really (The Tree, not your aunt)? Well, if you have not begun to model your life experiences, memories, ideas, ideals, dreams and personal symbols into it then not good at all. That’s like buying a top of the line computer with a video card and then playing solitaire on it. The tree is a massive super computer just waiting to be loaded up with your stuff! That is the whole point!!! Do several exercises where you imagine the Tree big enough to walk or fly through. Now look at each of the spheres. Take in the whole Tree. Which ones seem off balance, not right color wise, misshapen, hard to see? Which ones seem more alluring, easier to imagine, more fun or exciting? This will and should teach you a lot about your soul-psyche. Now, focus on one, any of them. Think of a emotion, memory, idea, ideal, experience, dream, feeling, book, movie, painting, jobs, schools, lovers, friends, foes, myths, legends, fairy tales, teachers, relatives, locations, monuments, words, states of being, habits, traits, faults, video games, movie stars, pop icons, drinks, drugs, places you wish you could go,whatever and by whatever I mean anything and everything. Now decide if it goes into the sphere you are contemplating. Really feel and experience the energy within you when you focus on the current inner experience, is it heavy, light, colorful, what color is it, how much, where is it at within you? Draw that out and then place it within the sphere. Does anything change? Have fun! Go wild! Experiment! What happens if you send a romantic memory or feeling into Hod? Pay attention to anything that comes to mind once you load a thought into it. Do this for quite sometime, loading all the spheres with at first emotions, memories, ideas, ideals, experiences, dreams, feelings, books, movies, paintings, etc (lets call them experiences from now on) that belong to that sphere and then a few experiments where you send an experience that does not seem right to the sphere to see what occurs within you. Be prepared for revelations and insights and write them down! Once you have worked on this for quite some time filling all the spheres with as many congruent experiences as you can muster leaving nothing left then it is time for the real fun. Explore the spheres! You see, hopefully for quite some time you have studied and patterned the ideas of the Tree of Life into your memory (if not spend two or three years doing that now and come back or create your own tree based off the concept the Tree illustrates and get to loading) but now you have loaded your personality and life into it, brought life to dead bones! When you step into your sphere now, you will have created a half way gate between divine reality and personal, symbolic soul!!! Oh the fun you will have! But wait there is more! Travel from sphere to sphere, don’t worry about the paths right now, enter Yesod and then jump into Binah then leave Binah and take in the experience. Have fun and play, it is a map of your soul and mind as well as a map of the divine soul and mind bound together for you to explore the connections. No book on Kabbalah will ever touch what you have now! Oh, and you should do this for the 4 quarters as well. You may think this is a bit much but this is a HUGE part of magic. There are some chumps who spend their lives memorizing 777 when they should be making their own 777!

Now we have evaluated our work, metaphors, maps, and have a new exciting program to explore that allows us to have direct communication with our personal symbols and with the universe. So, not only have we stitched the wound of doubt but we have created a system where when our maps begin to change we get the first direct message of it from our soul and can begin to integrate the change into our consciousness right away bypassing the crisis of faith. But, what about those already neck deep in doubt?

If you are at the point where you just doubt magic, and no longer wish to practice then first read my blog on magic becoming a chore, see if that is a better one for you. Really, at that point the soul has so much it needs to unfold to you it will take a journey to go through it and live the change. Just go with it, learn what needs to be learned and one day you will come back to it and have a much more deep and refreshing view of magic anyway. It is within you now, just you don’t have the inner language skills to directly read it from your soul so the journey must take place and that is how you learn what it was trying to communicate all along. No seminars, no money, no books, no teachers or adepts can really help. Just follow your gut and do what you *need* to do, grow and from that growth become mighty!

21 comments:

  1. What book of Joseph Campbel you recommend?

    Thanks!
    and awesome post!

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  2. Hei JB!
    I have a couple question to you:
    1) What book you recommend to a first step to study qaballah?
    2) What is in your view, magical maturity?
    Thanks!
    ps: I love you and your posts!!!!!! lol

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    1. Hello!
      I recommend three books actually for starting out, Dennings and Phillips' Planetary Magic (i have an ancient copy, idk if they republished it or not) Donald Michael Kraig's Modern Magic and honestly you cannot go wrong wrestling through Crowley's 777 it will seem hard but go line by line after reading the book a couple times. It is worth it. If you go in studying the kabbalh as a way to make a filling cabinet or a memory palace for your soul in order to reflect the macrocosim you will do just fine.
      Well, i see the progression as this, first the initiate is lost, the go around looking everywhere for answers (the wandering fool stage). Once they have what they think are some answers they try some magic. The ones that get lucky then look deeper and start searching for more, the ones that miss a few point and do not succeed either search more or give up. Stage two the initiate is doing magic and studying various works and is all on fire about magic, they eat, sleep and breathe it. They learn what works and what doesn't. After a while they reach a confidence and build a style. That brings them to the third stage where they really start seeing their bond to the all or divinity. The fourth stage is when they realize that they work with and along side the universe, or it works through them. They start to manifest the divine qualities. That in a quick snippet and glossing over a lot of detail is magical maturity to me.

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    2. Hei JB! Its me again!
      Thanks your answer!
      When I pick a book I read and put its in practice (dont matter its The Power of Myth or IIH), I use this because its more easy to me learn in practice.
      My question is: some people say, "for you do this first you do that and etc", You agree with this people? You recommend me to put all the things I learn in practice?
      Thanks!

      ps: Im waiting you speak: I love you to! lol

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    3. There are many different learning modalities and that is one of them. I myself have one similar, I read, break it into pieces to figure out the whys and its worth then do the practice then go back and rework seeing if I can make it better, easier and a part of my methods.
      Agape!

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  3. Hei Justin!
    When I try to discover anything new in magic or I do a new experiment, the "demon" of doubt come.
    Anytime happen the samething with you?
    What I do for confront and stop this "demon"?

    (I dont have doubt in magic but in my new experiment or discover)

    Thanks!

    if the question is not compreensive, tell to me!

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    1. In a way that is good, do not doubt the magic, but have a good scientific skepticism. Do not be so hung up on the results, do the work and see what happens. That is a true magical experimenter.

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  4. As knowing the difference between our instincts and imprudence?
    Have you read the books of Carlos Castaneda? I think you'll like it, he talks a lot about things that you seem to like, altered states of consciousness, reality, magic herbs, etc..


    If you read, I recommend you read in sequence:

    The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
    A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan
    Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan,
    Tales of Power,
    The Second Ring of Power,
    The Eagle's Gift
    The Fire From Within
    The Power of Silence: Further Lessons of Don Juan,
    The Art of Dreaming,
    Magical Passes: The Practical Wisdom of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico
    The Wheel of Time: Shamans of Ancient Mexico, Their Thoughts About Life, Death and the Universe,
    The Active Side of Infinity,

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    1. Hello!
      Well as homo-sapiens we no longer have instincts. Well we do but we lose them early on, like a baby who will begin auckling if you rub their upper lip the right way. With the development of the frontal lobes and neo-cortex instincts wouldn't be too useful however we do get drives and impulses that arise and then the frontal lobes have the ability to overide, midigate or ignore them. These impulses are emotionally charged as that is from the limbic system and the origin of many instincts along with the cerebellum (movements of involuntary and voluntary nature originate here).
      I am familiar with his work, yes. I have never read his books but know enough that he tells just enough to not tell anything while telling you enough to make you think he does lol.

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    2. Thanks for the reply!
      Have you ever thought about writing a post commenting briefly on magical systems, their pros and cons, and even giving his personal opinion and how they affect your work style?

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    3. No I never considered that, sadly the only two I know well enough to do such a commentary is Bardon and Golden Dawn. Although I have studied many systems and learned some from wiccans, voodoo priests, traditional witchraft, shamans, chaos mages I cannot say all I would need to say based on not immersing myself in them.

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    4. Got it!
      Is it just me or the natural step after Creating your own 777 would create your own tarot? After all ... to me he is nothing more than a pictorial representation of the universe, consequently of human consciousness, and the tree of life.

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    5. Very astute! That is what you do, but don't think it a one shot. Even crappy novels get a second or third draft and this is your great work. Build a tree of life and paint it. That will give you the chance to see the color interactions between spheres and astrological signs, as well deepen your understanding of it all. Then do the tarot, work with it doing pathworkings, readings, meditations and then re-edit as see fit.

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    6. Ah! A study complements the other, I was seeing as a straight line relationship between taro and the tree of life, but now I think it is more or less like a symbol.

      Reading your text I was thinking, one of the main functions of the oracles is to improve the connection we have with the HGA until our mind interneliaze the symbols and enhanced our connection is done, then we can see not only letters but also wind, the sun, the stars, the shadows, the coffee stain the pages of a book, everything becomes a source for consultation, a channel for communication with the HGA and a final analysis, with the universe.

      I suppose wonders create your tree of life should do about it! Thanks for sharing this exercise. =)

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    7. Oops, more or less like a circle. *

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    8. Exactly! In essence the HGA is a representation of your highest soul and the work that is to be done on this incarnation. By developing the symbolic language and making it a part of your conscious mind it bridges the gap and allows a flow of dialouge. Once that occurs and the language perfected and reflective of the macrocosim then magic is as difficult as thinking. The universe becomes a partner in life and you work with it and see yourself as one with it eventually in every way.
      No problem! Glad you got it!

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    9. And the whole thing gets more interesting when you think that there is no time-space ... Did you know that in Tibetan Buddhism, there is something like a sacred guardian archangel? What would be your HGA HGA, an infinite spiral up the all...

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    10. Yes actually I have studied Buddhism fairly heavy and tibetian more so. One of my students became a buddhist after a while and informed me of this concept...which is something very funny because before he discovered this we had a running joke that all of our inspirations during rituals where from us from the future. This was due to us recieving information that did not make sense until months or a couple years later.

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  5. Just complementing, in Tibetan Buddhism your HGA is you in the future when you've brightened. When you talk to him, is like you, now I talk to her 20 years in the past. Only difference is that now you talk to your future self from the future who has lit up trying to know how to reach the level he is. And your self-illuminated (HGA) has a future-I would be the sacred guardian archangel, and so on until the whole. Tibetan Buddhism is very interesting, shame that the sources are scarce so I can not tell you much more about.

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    1. It is fine, as I commented above I know a bit about it.

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