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.

Advertisements

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?

A Treatie on Spirit Guides

Today I wish to discuss spirit guides….

There seems to be a prevalent idea that every person has a spirit guide in some form or another, but I tend to disagree with this convention.

Let me take you down my path of logic and experience. For starters, sometime ago, someone insisted that we where at the center of the universe and more importantly, creation! All “shnarkisms” aside, we know how that story goes, but it is a prime example to this discussion. Time and again we find that our beliefs, rituals and desires become extremely egocentric.

The idea that every person has a spirit guide seems indulgent; as indulgent as the idea that the earth is the center of the universe. Questions arise that seem to contradict the premise of this belief.

For instance, are spirit guides devoid of free will? Can they choose to be your spirit guide or are they controlled to protect and guide you? If they are being controlled who is controlling them? Are we or our life force somehow forcing them to watch and protect us?

And if they do have free will, then eight plus billion spirit guides decided they would attach themselves to eight plus billion people!  (On a side, do extraterrestrial beings have spirit guides as well? Could their spirit guides be human spirits?!?). Unless, we have somehow enslaved the spirits before we incarnated! Wow, that would mean we are all slave owners in the spirit world! Whatever happened to equality and justice for all spirit kind?

Another question arises, why guide us in the first place. Do the spirits have nothing better to do then to protect and watch over us mere mortals? How utterly boring, not to mention short sighted of us humans.

There are so many inconsistencies that run through my head with this prevailing belief but one question trumps all the others. Why the need to have a spirit guide in the first place? What significance does saying “Everyone has a spirit guide” play. In my experience there are two major answers though others exist.

For starters, I find that the notion seems to come more out of fear than out of truth. It “feels” safer to traverse the plains of existence knowing that we are constantly being protected by our guide. In essence, a spirit guide is to safe travels as a car air bag is to personal safety.

In my experience , it’s no different then hearing that god watches over all creation and protects all his flock…Then some poor child gets hit by a car and is a paraplegic for life. Was that child’s spirit guide taking a smoke break? Believers of personal spirit guides argue this point almost (dare I say it) religiously. I’ve heard all sorts of arguments but most digress to, “that isn’t how spirit guides watch and protect over a person”. Again these arguments seem akin to, “God works in mysterious ways.”

In addition to fear I find that there is a certain amount of self need to have a spirit guide. There is a notion of self importance that exists. We as individuals feel special knowing that there is a direct connection to our spirit guide. The belief though ranks fowl with self-importance.

The idea that spirit guides are around at our beck and call because it is their duty is outrageous. Just as outrageous that we are god’s most beloved entity it has created! Human beings inalienable propencity for self importance is emance!

It is my belief that we are really alone. It’s possible to find a spirit that is willing to guide us, but we are not constantly guided by a spirit guide. It is a matter of choice on both our and the spirits part. During your work, or astral travels, you can ask a spirit to guide you and spirit might answer your request. It could also try and attack you. The waters are not always safe, but when is anything safe?