So, what is next in helping your magic grow and develop? There are several ways in which to develop and improve your magic. One is practicing your skills that make magic more potent, by working on the basics it brings more depth and potency. We will look at those methods which will help you do just that. Another tool which is necessary in my opinion is working on your personal programming which I will walk you through in depth. Lastly, we will look at finding your personal magic. Discovering your personal magic path is key in making you a potent mage because finding your own way will always be better than following another's. This is not to say using others work for inspiration and guidance is wrong, simply that discovering the magic that is unique to you is what will make you a true magician.
Practicing your skills and developing your talents as well as overcoming your deficiencies goes a long way in empowering your magic. The first things to work on that will aid you is developing your will and imagination. Willpower is developed in many ways. Challenging oneself, pushing your comfort zone is one of the easiest in working the will muscle. Some of the most obvious methods is deciding that when one is hungry or thirsty to wait a certain amount of time and not eating or drinking until then. Short fasts help with this as well. A fast for a day, drinking only water and taking a vitamin can really be powerful. Just make sure you do not strain or overwork yourself that day and you are in good health. Taking up a new asana and staying in it without moving is another time tested method of producing a powerful will. In fact I recall a Chinese legend that one of the most powerful mages stood motionless on a mountain peak for a year and gained his magical powers because of the amount of will it took to do such a thing. Now, one does not need to find a mountain peak to freeze and starve on for a year, legends are just exaggerated stories of something that may have occur ed that can show us the way. What should be taken from the legend is that asanas practiced, especially in natural settings, once mastered can produce a tremendous willpower. Weightlifting and exercise programs work both the body and the will when you stick with them. Actually any challenge when it is consciously decided and stuck with until completion makes bold strides in a will development program.
Developing the imagination can be very enjoyable. Trying new things like reviewing art at a museum, reading books that are rich in imagery and make the mind produce fantasy are excellent. The real trick is discovering what makes your mind and soul get inspired. I have found that certain works of art really get my imagery going. I have several picture folders of artists and my own art work that are sectioned off by element and sphere. Before a working I review the art and images until I can close my eyes and I see the images running through my head easily. This usually takes just ten or twenty minutes of review. What is really important is that the imagery is rich and detailed. Here are a few sources to check out that I have found help me: The movies Spirited Away, Howl's moving castle, the art of Alex Grey, greek sculpture, cave paintings are simple yet evocative. Fractals can be an amazing source of imagery, Mandalas, stained glass, ornate churches, beautiful natural settings and then I have gone through the book 777 and added images related to the associations for the spheres and elements. Tarot cards are perfect for this, especially the Thoth deck. I have also found that a drive through different and scenic areas will fill the mind with very strong images and help produce clear and strong imaginations.
Next is developing the skills that can produce powerful manifestations. Working with the elements is key in this. The more skilled in drawing and calling the elements you are the better the results will manifest. Start by spending several days to a few weeks on each element. First, spend time meditating on the various aspects of each element. Start with fire. A little later in this blog I will explain programming so instead of writing all of this twice I will just refer you to that section in doing the meditations on the elements. The next step is developing new and strong imprints and memories for the elements. This means for fire, seeking ways to directly experience heat and expansion. Light a candle and feel the warmth, see the light start from the initial spark to a gentle flame and how the light fills the room outwards from the flame. Next, build a bonfire in a safe location. Spend time feeling the heat, meditate on the power of the flames. Keep seeking out any experience in your life where you can find heat, fire, flame, warmth and light in your life and keep building these associations in connection to your programs related to fire. By building these memories, experiences and feelings and connecting them the programing of the element of fire you Will produce a stronger thoughtform to be used in your magic. Essential to magic is the practice of thoughtforms, the clearer and more developed the thoughtform the more powerful the magic that comes from you will be. Do the same exercises for air, water, earth and akasha.
A very useful skill to develop in magic is vibrating words of power. Divine names, mantras and formulas can add dynamo like power to any magic. However, to get it to that level one needs to have a developed thoughtform and a clear channel to call that force. It is done simply enough by practice and meditation (programs). As a simple example we will use is the divine name YHVH. The word of power represents the four elements and creation itself. To make the formula work its magic for you one would need to first of all develop through study and meditation the ideas each one of the letters produces as well as the full meaning of the name. Now, the beauty of this name as an example is that if you have done the elemental studies in the previous paragraph these will further empower this divine name. You are taking the separate potent forces of the elements you worked on and adding them together as a single force of directed power. By connecting the associations of the elements to the study of the Hebrew letters and their in-depth meaning and then developing a connection to the divine name through study, meditation and chanting you create a empowered super thoughtform that acts as an immense battery to be used in attaining your desire. All that is left is the proper vibration of the name. You start slowly. First, vibrate the name after taking a deep breath and slowly intoning the formula. As you vibrate it imagine what the formula means, the power behind it and imagine the divine current vibrating through the entire universe. Keep repeating this process over and over, slowly at first but getting quicker and stronger with each repeat. The goal is to be able to feel the force come on full force with one vibration, as if all of creation for you is that one force, and that you are instantly one with that power. If you can bring this on with one vibration of a divine name or formula then you are ready to use it in magic work. Using it by vibrating it in the ritual usually three times at least will fill you and the rite with great power. Now, just imagine how powerful a ritual is when you use several formulas together such as the LBRP or Watchtower opening.
Another skill we will work on is personal power or vital force, mana called by some, chi by others. There are many methods for developing this force, Bardon has the exercises in which one draws the force in and builds up a sun like radiant force to be used. This is a very good training exercise to develop the ability in order to have a great channel of energy to be used. Any power raising exercise is good for vital power usage. Some use chanting rites, others the middle pillar or kundalini raising. Any method which is used again and again in which you draw in power to use for magic is just fine! Many magicians in the past would raise tremendous power and store that energy in wands, rings, charms and other such magical trinkets in order to save time and effort in their spells. Having several of such items filled to a glowing sun level of power will certainly aid you in your work as it did our magical forefathers.
We now look at magical programming. I have brought this up before in previous blogs and that should tell you how very important I find it. It is very simple to work with and improve this aspect of your life. I use the term program and programming in the sens of our minds being like software packages on a computer. There are some programs that are automatically loaded on the hard drive, such as biological drives such as hunger, reflexes, reproduction and various other traits and forces that are to vast to speak of here. A study of evolutionary psychology will give you insight in to what I speak as well as a better understanding of what makes you and everyone else do what they do. Those are the basic programs that we all start with, experience, childhood, schooling, relationships, friendships, movies and TV shows, books, beliefs, religions, pop culture and our likes and dislikes get built upon the bedrock of those biological drives and forces. Now these things affect us so profoundly in the way we act, engage others, the things we do and don't do that it is like water to fish. It isn't until we know about these programs that we see how much they make us do what we do. Like robots we follow these programs to the letter. Notice how in events that we have no precedent for we are dumbfounded, speechless and look around as if lost. Those moments are when we have no previous program to use and just like a robot we either shut down or walk in circles looking for guidance. Look at the victims of Hiroshima and the 9/11 attacks and you will see this in action. So, back to its use in magic. Now consider a love spell. Even if you just sit down and chant some divine goddesses name and ask simply for love a whole host of programs sneak into the spell to cause either success of complete failure. First before doing a rite consider what kind of love you want. Based on the type of love consider your past experiences, memories, expectations, dreams, fears, and what you really think about what you are doing and want. All of what you come up with is what will sneak into your spell. So, lets say that you think there is no such thing as true love or your thoughts on the opposite sex as a stereotype (not the bad connotation of stereotype, just the idea of women or men as a whole, you can catch these whenever you say things like "men are_____" or "all women are_____") even if you know many who do not fit that type that belief is in there as the basic code of your program and will be a part of the spell you cast. So say you are a lady who has the stereotype all men are cheating pigs, but you do a spell to find a nice guy who will treat you right. Well, you are loading up a potent thoughtform that has the bedrock ideas of human reproduction drives, then then stereotypes of all men are cheating pigs, then the frosting of what you seek. So, depending on how powerful the desire for a good guy would be it will either fall prey to the stronger stereotype, cancel itself out against the stereotype, find a ok guy who is a slight cheating pig, or a really good guy who might always cause you to worry he may cheat and is secretly a pig.
Now let us look at the programs for the elements. Take each element as I mentioned above and break them down to the ideals, feelings, traits, drives, motivations and so on that those elements represent to you. Imagine as if each element was a part of your personality, or like one of many multiple personalities. What if you had a fire personality, or an earth personality, separated from the rest and fully its own self. What would it think like, act like, what would motivate it, what does it enjoy, hate and love? If you do this for the elements and spheres you will understand not only what Bardon was trying to accomplish in the soul mirror work but what every magic system is trying to do in working with the elements and spheres and working alchemy. You take an aspect of yourself, know it (know thyself) develop it and make it a divine force. By doing each aspect and developing it into a divine force, the whole becomes divine. The ancient mindset was that any aspect of who you were WAS A GOD OR DIVINE FORCE! Your intellect was not some part of a brain, it WAS HERMES! Introduce yourself to all of your parts using the elements and spheres as a phone book. Mythology was an ancient book of psychological forces, why they are the way they are and how to bring each to full health and ability. Magic is the method for perfecting the parts and then the whole. Work with each aspect through imagination, study, fantasy, in depth meditation and you will slowly make all of your programs potent forces in making magic work for you. As above, so below. By evoking and working with your personal "spirits" and getting them on your side you can then go into the macrocosm and get those spirits which are the templates for your inner spirits, and when the reflection meets the source it grows in power and makes a potent channel of magic. Tarot cards are another ancient source for finding, working with and developing the many programs within you. Each card shows an aspect of your personality that affects your magic. Know them well, work with them and make each your friend and spirit ally.
Personalizing your magic. This is the key to making your magic great. It is different for everyone, I use images, art, telesma, glyphs and evocation to work my spells. Each is highly developed by me and totally personal through years of working with them and my programming. A friend of mine is a musician, he uses movement, singing, chanting as well as years of musical singing and programming in his magic, and if I tried to use his method I would never get his results or he mine by using only my methods. Another man's suit may fit but it will never fit like a custom suit. What inspires you? What turns you on? what fascinates you? What makes you feel "witchy" as a friend of mine says when she feels the magical mood sweep over her. What are your talents and skills? By making magic personal and using your talents and skills in magic you slowly make magic yours. It will be different for each as it should be. Check out your horoscope for clues as well, I being a Capricorn follow constant goals and hardwork in my magic, always striving to be my best is a very key driving force in my work, others may be more intuitive and just naturally flow with the cosmic tides and forces of the cosmos. Look at family histories, my father was a pastor, went to seminary school and even studied kabbalah, is facinated with the unknown and mysterious, my grandmothers were natural healers and seers. Nearly all my family memebers were either teachers, artists, spiritual or had brushes with the unusual or even the occult. You may be following a long history before you. A.O. Spare followed his own magic and became famous for it, as did Crowley, Bardon, Merlin, and countless other famous mages. That is they key, that is the HGA, the guide and guru. Let go of all your fears and insecurities of having to follow another, seek magic from its source, within yourself. For every god in mythology that could create did it from themselves, they did not go find other creator gods and ask how, they formed it from their own might and mind.