Using Symbols to Improver Your Life Part 2: Practical Application

In the previous post Life Hacks: Using Symbols to Improve your Life, we examined a little on how you relate to any form of symbol, be it an ordinary ad to a metaphysical sigil. Next we will start developing skill sets needed to create your own symbols for life hacking purposes.

Understanding your mental and physical relationship to any sign is a crucial aspect to creating your own symbols for life hacking purposes.

First Principle

What do you consider a symbol?

  1. Do you consider the words you are reading to be individual symbols? How about each letter?
  2. If each letter and each word are a symbol how do you delineate a grouping of letter symbols to make a meta-symbol such as a word?
  3. How far apart from each other do letter symbols lose their word symbolism?
  4. Think of a billboard ad you have recently seen. Do you consider billboard advertisements a symbol or sign?
  5. How many symbols are in the billboard advertisement?
  6. How do all the symbols on the billboard create the unified advertising symbol or meta-symbol?
  7. What about the food you taste? Is that a symbol?
  8. If a symbol is a product of interpretation then do you interpret taste?
  9. What about the wind blowing across your body? Is that sensation a symbol or sign?

Everything that we perceive, everything that we hear, feel, taste, see and touch, is interpreted as a form of symbol. Symbols don’t have to be visual in order to be a symbol or sign. The smell of fresh baked bread or the feeling of wool on our skin are symbols all onto themselves. Take a deep breath and let it out. Repeat that and take another deep breath and let it out. What is that symbolic of? Calm, focus and meditation are the first things that might come to mind. What does the feeling of the air entering deep into your lungs mean? If the act changed to short, quick rapid breaths would it change the associated meaning?

The point of this principal is understanding that everything that we experience is a form of symbol. Even more confounding is that groupings of individual symbolic experience can create meta-symbolic experiences, groupings of individual and meta-symbolic experiences create unifying symbolic experiences and that all three types of symbolic experiences can be found in each other. Confused yet? Don’t worry, we will bridge individual, meta and unifying symbolic experiences in a bit. Just remember that everything that your brain processes is a symbol.

Second Principle

The second principal  solely deals with individual symbols or what I dub the “individual symbolic experiences”. When we examine the human body we can look at the body as a whole (unifying symbolic), we can slice the body open to examine the organs and systems (meta-symbolic) or we can delve deeper and examine the cells that make up our organs and inner systems (individual symbolic). In the same vain we can examine symbols and symbolic experiences.

To clarify, a symbolic experiences is the act of relating past experience, emotion and spiritual states to a specific “present” symbol. As stated earlier everything that we perceive is a form of symbol. In the second principal every symbol can be broken down into sub-symbols. Groupings of sub-symbols or “individual symbolic experiences” can create a new symbol or “meta-symbolic experience”. This would also mean that individual symbolic experiences can possibly be broken down further rending that individual symbolic experience as a meta, unifying or different individual symbolic experience at the same time. A good comparison would be examining the tissue of a human muscle. The tissue is part of the muscle and it contributes to the whole muscle’s form and function, but the tissue itself is comprised of cells which create the tissue.

Here is one example:

Examine the picture to the left. It’s a simple picture of a cup of coffee on a hardwood table. The image is a meta symbolic experience which can be broken down into its individual symbolic parts. There is the hardwood table, the coffee, the saucer, spoon and shadows.  There are also the tactile symbolic parts. There is the wet and hot feeling of the coffee, the hard and smooth feeling of both the porcelain cup and metal spoon and the grainy rough texture of the wood table. This can be broken down for all our senses.

Then there are the associated experiences we have placed on each of these individual symbolic parts. Examine the cup of coffee. There are many experiences, feelings and ideas that are associated with the coffee. For instance, coffee can be broken down into feelings of alertness and energy or experiences of waking up in the morning or fighting off sleepiness. Though the image seems to be shot in the sun, the idea of coffee itself can also conjure experiences of studying at a coffee shop burning the midnight oil. In such an instance, the individual symbolic experience is broken down into a new unifying, meta or individual symbolic experience. The ability to find associated meta-symbolic experiences within an individual symbolic experience is important and is the foundation of the Third Principle.

To recap, the Second Principle states that everything we perceive is composed of individual symbolic experiences and groupings of specific individual symbolic experiences can coalesce into a meta-symbolic experiences. Furthermore, the Second Principle states that individual symbolic experiences can be broken down into other unifying, meta or individual symbolic experiences.

Third Principle

The Third Principle is one of the more important principles. Simply put, all symbolic experiences that have a large amount of unifying, meta and individual symbolic experiences associated with it have greater meaning and more influence on your actions and life.

As well, each associated experience can have its own associations making a branching  or tree effect off of the original symbolic experience. The larger and deeper the branching the more entrenched the original symbolic experience is in your life.

Here is a personal example. Coffee has a tremendous amount of associations attached to it. For instance,  alertness, energy and power are some of the associated individual symbolic experiences with coffee. Each of these experiences has other symbolic experiences attached to it. Alertness has experiences of being awake and understanding the world around me, energy has experiences of wild jitters or chi coursing through me and power has experiences of strength and control. Each of these in turn produces more associations. As well, coffee is associate with late nights and waking up. Late nights are associated with friends, studying and magic.

As you can see, in just a couple quick seconds I’ve created a small cluster of meaning behind one simple experience, coffee. In ten to fifteen minutes I could create a complex matrix of 500 plus individual, meta and unifying experiences that revolve around coffee.

Fourth Principle

Groupings of specific individual symbolic experiences can create a meta-symbolic experience where the meta-symbolic experience has its own meaning. Here is one example. If we take three separate letters and examine them they will have their own individual meaning. The first letter is “a”, the second letter is “s” and the third letter is “h”. When combined the letters create a new meaning that differs from the original three letters. This is extremely simplistic but understanding how you group experiences on the simplest of terms is paramount to creating life hacking symbols.

Here is another example

Advertisements are great examples of meta-symbolic experiences. The Iphone ad to the right is a simple one. The individual symbolic experiences are represented by the Iphone, a hand, an image of the world, the time 1:24, the ubiquitous scroll to unlock feature and the black background. This ad is simple yet extremely powerful due to how the individual symbolic experiences play on one another.

First we have a hand holding an image of the world on an Iphone. The amount of power a person would have by holding all of the world in their hand is huge and the way to access that kind of power is to simply unlocking the Iphone. And then there is the time 1:24. Of all the times to display 1:24 was picked. In my opinion (i’m in no way religious and I’ve never read the bible so this could be off), the time plays off the judeo-christian beilief system and references Genesis 1:24. The verse talks about God creating creatures on earth. As well there is the black background or the void of nothing; and god creates everything from nothing. The image would clandestinely imply that if you want the knowledge and power of god all you need is an Iphone in your hand.

On the surface level, very few people think about all of the possible associations that are playing in their head when they view a meta-symbolic experience such as the Iphone ad above. And they generally have little knowledge as to why they want an Iphone so badly or why they think it’s so awesome.

In sum, the Fourth Principle states that combining specific individual symbolic experiences can create a meta-symbolic experience which has new symbolic experiences.

Fifth Principle

Finally there is the Fifth Principle which deals with unifying symbolic experiences. A unifying symbolic experience is the total sum of everything you experience in any given moment. Right now as you read this entry you are perceiving more then just the words on your monitor. There are all manor of sensations that you are experiencing. There are the distractions of your peripheral vision, the sensations of your breathing, the random ideas that pop up which keep you from remembering what you are reading and so on. Most of the time, there is so much information in unifying symbolic experiences that we filter most of it out from our moment to moment perception.

Sometimes though, an experience is so profound, or even mundane, that we remember most if not all of it for the rest of our lives. What is the most memorable moment of your life? Can you remember all the details? If you sit quietly and clear your mind can you relive that moment?

Every unifying symbolic experience is composed of meta and individual symbolic experiences and they can be the components of individual and meta-symbolic experiences. They represent our lives in totality.

Sixth Principle

The sixth principle is the last principle.  This principle is broken into two parts and deals with value judgments. The first part states that there are no values to symbolic experiences, only symbolic experiences . The second part states that it is impossible remove symbolic experiences from your life; you can only change how you associate with them.

In the first part any value distinction is removed from the actual experience itself. For instance, the concept of good and bad are different for every person and it would be difficult to say which experience is truly good and which is truly bad. It is only a matter of individual preference, which can change at any moment. To that end, every symbolic experience is neutral, it’s the connotations you attach to the symbolic experience that give it value. Which brings us to the second part of the Sixth Principle

Every symbolic experience we have is with us for life. We cannot “unhave” a symbolic experience because of the value judgments placed on the symbolic experience. We can, however, change the values we placed on a symbolic experience thus rendering the experience irrelevant or obsolete (it is possible to do the reverse by finding old forgotten symbolic experiences and changing the values to make them relevant). In such instances symbolic experiences become less important in our lives and the symbolic experience stops gaining new associated symbolic experiences.

Practical Application

Hopefully you have constructed some ways in using the above information to create your own Life Hacking Symbols. I have some exercises for you to use as well.


The first exercise is rather simple. Decide what you want to change in your life. It could be your financial situation, your love life, your sense of style or weight. It can be anything

Part 2

Examine what the life hacking concept means to you. For instance, lets say you want to create a symbol that will help you lose weight. Why do you want to lose weight? What does losing weight represent in your life? What symbolic experiences do you have associated to your weight? What will change in your life if you loose weight? What value judgments are you placing on your weight and people that weigh less or more then you? Write out the answers to these type of questions.

Part 3

Set a specific goal the symbol is to accomplish. Using the weight loss scenario, the symbol will help achieve a target weight of 175lbs.

Part 4

Part 4 is the meat and potatoes of this exercise.  Write out each individual, meta and unifying experiences you associate with your goal. As well, for each symbolic experience write out their associated symbolic experiences and so on. The net effect should be a branching or tree effect from the target goal. Once you are done compare your unifying, meta and individual symbolic experiences to one another. Try to find similar images, feelings, sounds, smells and emotions. The more they are linked the stronger those commonalities are in your mind.

Part 5

Now it’s time to find an image that will encapsulate all of those symbolic experiences. There are two ways to go about this. You can create your own or you can pick an object that has already been made.  If you chose to create your own symbol then grab a pad and paper and start drawing shapes that you feel represent everything you have written so far. Try not to focus on any one aspect of your experiences. For instance, an image of a dumbbell might lack the full range as to why hitting the 175lb mark is so important. As well, the shapes you draw can be abstract images. In fact, my best Life Hacking Symbols are abstract ones. Draw as many shapes as you can until you find one that resonates with you. I’ve done this with many people and the resonating bit never fails. At a certain point an image you drew will just “be the one”. Don’t fight the instinct. Once you have the image, draw it over and over again while thinking about all of the symbolic experience you have written. Say the experiences out loud while drawing. The more you draw the image and associate it with the target goal and experiences the stronger the image will become in reinforcing your desires. On average you will need about three days of reinforcement. The first day you should spend at least 3-5 hours of reinforcement, the second 1-2 hours and the same for the third day.

If you decide to pick an image that is already created then start finding images in your writing that are common throughout most, if not all, of your associated experiences. For instance, I really like learning new things. I love writing and I love reading, but I’m as lazy as a drunken Lemur with a massive hangover on Sunday morning. I personally needed a Life Hack that would help me circumvent my sloth like nature and motivate me to do what I love doing. After fishing through my symbolic experiences coffee and the coffee bean was the image that came up the most. Intellectual conversations and coffee where always hand and hand. Reading and coffee equals the same result. Studying, reminiscing, pondering, writing and everything else that falls under the domain of advanced intellect included coffee. My symbolic image was clear. Coffee, in one form or the other is with me most of the time to help me stay alert, positive and motivated to work towards higher levels of intellect.

Once the association is found linking the image to your symbolic experiences will happen immediately. Unlike the created image that needs reinforcement, the existing image will reinforce itself because it is already present in most, or all, of your symbolic experiences. From there all you need to do is incorporate that image into your everyday life.

Part 6

This is the last part. Once you have the image carry it with you wherever you go. Place the image in strategic places so you see it. If you want to lose weight place the image on your fridge, inside your fridge, in the way of your alarm clock or in plain sight during your workout. If you want to save money place the image on your credit cards, in your wallet and around your money. I carried a coffee bean around with me and placed several beans in open jars around various work stations in my house and office. I also drank, and still do, lots of coffee!

If you have any question or need help with any of the steps please post and I will be glad to help out. Or just let me know how it worked out!

Coming soon, How to create magical symbols.

Visualizing Magick vs. Practicing Magick

In many occult writings and texts, both online and in print, there has been an abundance of discussion concerning the use of visualization as a means to successfully using or casting magic.  This is somewhat troubling.

Here are  some examples. One spell calls to run a warm bath and add basil leaves to the bath. The more the merrier. Once the bath is full the practitioner is to step in, lie back and close their eyes. Then the practitioner is to raise their energy and visualize the basil leaves as money floating all around them. They are to repeat the process for seven days and more money will come into the practitioner’s life.

Another example is for a practitioner to close their eyes and imagine energy moving through their body and opening the Root Chakra. As they imagine the Root Chakra opening the practitioner is instructed to visualize the Chakra flooding with white light and energy. Once the visualization is complete the Root Chakra is considered open.

The trouble with these and other examples is that visualizing magic isn’t actual magic. In the same vain, visualizing weight loss isn’t actually losing weight. This isn’t to say that visualization doesn’t have its place! In fact it’s a very important tool; one that can increase the efficacy of any casting. Visualizing in extreme detail will help clarify your specified intent, but visualization is not a means to successful magic by itself.

There are good reasons to separate visualization as a key component for magic. Visualization is a limited system used to crystallize intent. Meaning you see in your minds eye how a spell or ritual will work and its desired outcome. To that end, when in the process of working magic the prime focus shouldn’t be on visualizations but rather on the energies and/or forces necessary to gain the desired outcome. The visualization process should have been worked out prior to the actual working. In essence, visualization is the prep work one would do before the  spell or ritual work begins.

Keeping the visualization process out of the picture, so to speak, is also important because visualization takes a good deal of time and work. For instance, it’s not enough to just see the process and outcome. What does the whole operation taste like, smell like and feel like? What energies  and/or forces (spirits, gods/goddess, elemental forces) will be used? These are all part of the visualization process. Many times the visualization process is not fully completed when the spell work begins which in turn diminishes expected results. On the plus side, a practitioner will generally only need to work through the visualization process once, that is if it is done correctly the first time. After the initial process the constructs for the ritual or spell are in place and the spell can be repeated many times over.

There is also the concern of  visualizing energy vs. using energy. Again the two are not the same. Energy work is something that takes time and practice. The notion that a person can simply visualize their way through it is misleading at best. Yogi’s and monks spend large portions of their lives learning how to manipulate their internal energies. It is not something that is picked up in a day of trying.

Life Hacks: Using Symbols to Improve your Life

I use symbols in my magic to help unlock large amounts of energy instantly. I also use symbols to unleash large amounts of energy over long periods of time. Using symbols in your magic isn’t all that hard but it does take practice. One easy way to practice is to create symbols and use them as life hacks.

Most people generally understand how symbols work and what they mean . But using them effectively is a little more complicated. Before we can start throwing symbols around it is important to understand how they work and why.

An important aspect to symbols is understanding how we relate to them and why they affect us. This process is know as semiology and has been a part of the human knowledge base for several millennium. In fact, we can trace back ideas of semiology to ancient Egyptian writings.

Ancient Egyptian Picture depicting the "Ba"

The ancient Egyptians believed that every person had two souls, the “ba” and the “ka”. The “ba” was considered the self-conscious, analytical intelligent part of our being that possessed free will.   It’s the part of us that also held the spark of life. The “ka”, on the other hand, was considered to work in secret, showing us dreams, holding the records of our life and endowing us with our emotional self-awareness.

Ancient Egyptian Statue depicting the "Ka"

Where the “ba” is analytical the “ka” is subjective. The “ba” is the part of us that understands the literal meaning of language and the “ka” is able to read between the lines . The “ba” can see the trees but the “ka” can see the forest. Most importantly to this discussion, the “ba” can process a picture as a structure of images but the “ka” turns the structure into significance an meaning.

When we correlate the ancient Egyptians’ belief system of the “ba” and “ka” with our modern understanding of our consciousness and unconsciousness the similarities are staggering. Especially when it comes to how we process visual information and how that information impacts our lives.

On average we are bombarded with over 3000 pieces of advertising a day. Most, if not all, of those advertisements contain images and corporate logos. Company’s spend an enormous amount of money creating ads that generate precise emotional responses from anyone seeing the ad and corporate logo. Chances are this is not breaking news to you. The importance of this information lies in understanding the emotional peaks you hit when you view any form of sign or symbol. How does the “ka” interpret the messages received by a symbol and what “secret” information does it pass along to the “ba”?

Advertising isn’t the only media that affects our unconscious mind. Everything that we do, everything that we sense is filtered by both our conscious and unconscious.

Monk on Fire

The symbols and images that we experience on a daily basis impact our thoughts and actions. The symbols can be words, pictures, sounds … even energy. This is an extremely important concept, especially when it comes to understanding how signs and symbols affect you daily and how you use them in your magical practice.

The intensity of a sign can be measured by how many different streams of emotions your unconscious mind processes and passes to your conscious mind. For instance, the picture to the left of a Tibetan Monk on fire might not create a huge emotional shift in many viewers who are 25 years of age or younger, but for older generations the image if fraught with deeper meanings and emotional cues.

This is where the foundation to symbol creation lies when working with life hacks, and in my magical practice. All of the images on this page have significant meaning to everyones’ unconscious mind. Most people ignore the process their mind and body go through when viewing such images. So here is your first exercise. Answer the following questions when viewing all of the images in this article.

  • How do you feel after viewing the image? (Note that you might feel apathetic towards some or all of the images. Generally our unconscious self has an immediate response but our conscious mind creates the apathetic state to deal with unwanted emotions. If you do feel apathetic study every aspect of the image and jot down your thoughts.)
  • What emotions are present? (anger, sadness, joy etc.)
  • What is your inner voice saying when viewing the image?
  • Where do you feel the emotion in your                                                                                       body?
  • What physical responses does your body exhibit when viewing the image? (explain all responses)
  • How do you relate to the image?
  • With as much description as possible write down what you see.
  • Does the image have any social/religious/political significance to you?
  • What message do you think the image conveys?
  • Does the image distract you from your thoughts?
  • What is the first thing you notice in each of the images?
  • If you have more than one emotional response to the image can you separate each emotion and feel that emotion on it’s own? (If you feel both anger and disgust, can you separate each emotion and feel only one emotion at a time?)
  • Can you rationalize why the image produces the emotion(s) you are going through?
  • Are there any past memories that come to mind after viewing the image?
  • Does the image pose an significant meaning to you?
  • Do you feel emotionally charged after viewing the image?
  • Are you attracted or repelled by the image?

Exercise Two: 

Research has been conducted on both hemisphere’s of the brain and it turns out that our more analytical and logical functions come from the left hemisphere of our brain where as our subjective, visio-spacial and interpretive functions reside in the right hemisphere. This next exercise applies only to right handed individuals. When you right down your thoughts about how the images affect your emotions right with your left hand. Hand control in the brain is controlled by the opposite hemisphere, thus right handed people use the left hemisphere of their brain to right. This exercise is designed to get you to engage more with the right side of your brain and bring your writing and your subjective thoughts together.

Exercise Three:

Optical illusions are also good forms of study. They force our minds to see something that isn’t congruent with reality.

  • With the next set of images see if you can allow your mind to wander in and out of what is real and what is subjective.
  • Notice if your mind fights the process, starts feeling confused or your processing power slows down.
  • Notice how your analytical mind tries to take control of what is real and what isn’t while your subjective mind tries to define everything that the image possibly could be.
  • Do the two sides quarrel with each other to define what the image should be?

Expanding your mind’s power

Photo by Cynergist

Photo by Cynergist

In my time I’ve developed certain exercises to help better develop my magical abilities. These exercises are akin to a musician playing the scale or playing strings of arbitrary notes. The practice won’t help them learn a new song, but it will make their song playing abilities that much better. These types of exercises are the foundation of my practice, and I hope you find use in them.

Exercise #1 : The Single Thought Exercise

This exercise is simple in theory but difficult in practice.

Objective: Think about a single concept for as long as you can without interuption.

Step 1: Clear your mind and achieve a state of no-thought. Once your brain is completely empty inject a single idea. At first make it simple. Think about a finite straight line or an empty square. How long can you hold the thought before other thoughts work their way in? If you can hold the thought for 10 seconds then do it again and work for 11 seconds.

Do step 1 for 5-10 minutes a day until you can think about a single simple concept for 2-5 minutes without interruption.

Step 2: Once you can hold a single thought for longer then 2 minutes start working on more complicated concepts. As well, assimilate simple concepts into your modes of perception. For instance, if you are thinking about a straight line then what would it sound like? What color would it be or what would it feel like? When thinking of concepts based on our senses, try and isolate each sense and think about it as long as possible.

Complete step 2 for 5-10 minutes a day.

Exercise #2: Changing Your Handwriting

Objective: Change the way your handwriting looks.

Step 1: Pick a commonly used letter (avoid x, z and q) and examine the way you write it.

Step 2: Figure out how you can write the letter differently. For instance, make the letter neater or wider for clarity.

Step 3: Once you have decided on the change always write the letter in the new fashion.

This is going to be harder then it seems. At first you will forget to make the changes to your letter because you have hardwired yourself to write that letter in it’s original way. Keep at it until you write the letter the new way 95% of the time. Once you achieve that pick another letter to change.

Exercise #3: The Emotion Game

Objective: Change your emotional state in minutes

Step 1: Find a quiet place to sit and obtain a neutral emotional state. Once you find yourself in a state of ambivalence pick an emotion that you easily relate with. Once you have chosen the emotion make yourself that emotion. If it’s happy, then make yourself so happy that you practically pee your pants. If it’s angry then get so angry that you want to break something.

At first you might need a concept to get you to the desired emotional state. For instance, if you hate politicians then you can use the thought of them to get yourself very angry.

Word of warning, do this when you are alone. Nothing is harder to explain then why you are on the floor crying in utter despair! Trust me….

Step 2: Once you have gotten into the emotional state of choosing stay in it for several minutes, then bring yourself back to neutral. To bring yourself to neutral simply sit still and breathe deep and slow.

Step 3: Once you are successful in getting in and out of one emotional state, try working on other emotions. Also, when you become proficient with a specific emotion try getting in and out of the emotional state as fast as you can and do it without using conceptual cues.


Start working on these three exercises. Try working on them everyday for 10 minutes. I would love to hear from you if it did or didn’t help your magic workings. There are more exercises I do which I will post soon.

Good luck!

Introduction to Meditation: Finding the Void Between Thoughts

Note: This entry is for people that are looking for new ways or are having trouble with meditating and or achieving  states of no thought.

In my magical practice being able to instanty enter a meditative state is important. It makes spell casting and energy work all that much easier and time efficent. With the system I use you can easily enter into a meditative state within one to two breaths and maintain it for hours. It takes practice but with time I believe the techniques I will show you can greatly help and or enhance your magical work. Lets begin!

First, focus your awareness on your thoughts. What are you thinking about? How many separate thoughts are you having in a minute’s time span? Is your inner voice speaking in these thoughts? As you literally ponder your ponderings, start searching for where one thought ends and next thought begins. Can you sense it?

In between each thought there is a moment of no thought. Think of it as a break point between two differing thoughts. That break between thoughts is what I call the Void. That moment of Void might be as brief as a nanosecond, but it’s there. Once you can notice, on a regular basis, the moments where your thoughts end and begin, close your eyes.

With your eyes closed track your thoughts. When your next thought ends take a deep slow breath in and try to expand that break  between your last thought and the new incoming thought. Try to make that Void as wide as possible. There should be no thoughts or internal voice in the Void. Then exhale slowly, let the gap close and resume your normal thinking pattern. Repeat during your next inhale.

In the beginning you might find that you make a small gap in your thoughts only to have them flood back in less than a hundredth of a second later. This is completely normal. It just means that you can expand the distance between thoughts for a second or less. When that happens, don’t get frustrated, just find the next Void during the same inhale and repeat the process until you exhale. Every time try to make that gap just a little longer. Eventually, you will want to make the Void last one whole slow inhalation.

Find a time during the day that you can practice quietly for 3 to 5 minutes. Great times are right after you wake up, during your lunch break or right before you go to bed. You can do it once a day or fifteen times a day. Whatever you are comfortable with. The more you do it the easier it will be to create moments of no-thought.

Once you have mastered entering the Void for one whole inhalation, try entering the void during one full inhale and exhale. This should be much easier to accomplish. Once you can do that you can enter the Void at any point in time and maintain it for as long as you wish!

For now get a handle of entering the void and sustaining it. I will soon create a post that will talk about how to introduce energy into the void to begin spell work.

Good Luck!