(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!