I am not taking clients at this time. I appreciate the many emails that I have been receiving of late, but I am not currently in the States and my work does not currently permit me the time to see new clients.
I have a rather long prayer in Bibliotheca Alexandrina's newest devotional, "Harnessing Fire." It's a devotional for Hephaistos and having read the completed book, there are some amazing pieces in it.
Mine is at the beginning and is titled "holy." You can find info on the book here:
My subject header today is a line from one of two really good movies that I had the pleasure of watching this weekend. I highly (and i mean *highly*) recommend them to magicians, spirit-workers, or anyone else who customarily engages with otherworldly beings. Both are low budget films, extremely well written, and both give some of the best representations of what it's like to deal with spirits that I've ever seen in film.
The first movie is called "Lo." It's hilarious. OMG. Anyone contemplating summoning and revocatory work needs to watch this. Just ignore the references to heaven/hell. I didn't particularly care for the very ending, but this movie gives one of the best indications of what it's like dealing with a certain cadre of spirits. A trailer for "Lo" can be found here: http://youtu.be/XhFsK7e8wUo
The second movie is called "Ink." This one stayed with me for quite awhile after watching. I'm not going to say anymore, but if you have a spirit worker in your life, or you habitually deal in some way with the spirit world, watch this movie. It has its own self-contained cosmology and it's really brilliantly done. The trailer is here: http://youtu.be/ZBGeErufQdY (the full movie is also on youtube).
Both movies are available on netflix instant demand.
I don't often watch or recommend movies but these were too good not to share.
(this is rough…it's something i'm working on and working out).
I grow weary of students who seek to make everything as complicated as possible. Firstly, I find the need usually arises out of pure ego, the desire to make oneself seem like hot shit; and secondly, magic isn't really all that complicated. If you need to make it excessively complex, dependent on any number of material items, you're doing it wrong.
Part of the problem arises, I believe, because novices don't have the experience that would allow for purely theoretical instruction combined with praxis. Instead, of necessity, emphasis is put on various tools and equations, charms, and mantras.These focus the mind, open up the energy channels, and, if used correctly, help develop the necessary psi-talents for sensing/seeing and interacting with the planes of power. That takes time, however, and it's all too easy to become fixated on the tools themselves. You see this with many ceremonialists who must have the perfect ring, or a breast plate that is just so, or this robe, or that crystal. that isn't magic. Magic isn't worked by way of any of those things. They are at best tools and conduits of the will and they can be helpful in focusing the mind.
I've yet to come up with an effective way of teaching magic without going through a phase where one uses all the tools. It just takes time to learn to see, interact with and effect the magical plane. it's a hard leap for a student to make. For most, the tools are meant to bridge that gap and siphon off some of the mental strain. It's way, way too easy, however, to become overly tied to these tools and fancy ceremonies and i haven't come up with a way to avoid that in students. But I digress. I want to turn for a moment to what magic really is, the why of it, and where it's worked.
All magic is about negative space. It's about the space between things. Science teaches us that everything is energy in motion, whirling atoms. Everything is in flux and flow. Magic affects the flow. It alters and shifts the space between realities, between things, the place where a thing rests. We're used to focusing on the concrete physicality of objects and this corporeal bias gets carried over naturally, into our magical practice as well. It's very limiting. To truly affect the flux and flow of power, to cause a thing to happen, or block a thing from occurring, to create opportunities or take them way and any number of other actions, all one has to do is work with the negative space. It takes much less raw power and much, much more focused skill.
Basically, it's about attractions: of one thing to another, of a thing to its shape, energy to its path, the relation and inter-relation of things. Attraction is all about covalent bonds. Magic has the power to affect the bonds. It can shift the rhythm of a thing. One need not have a tremendous degree of power to do this. There's a lovely quote by Balzac that i learned long ago: "Power is not revealed by striking hard, or striking often, but in striking true." This is absolutely the case with magic. What it does take is an understanding of the power of negative space and a developed ability to see and work within it. it's not the thing itself that's important. what's important is how it's connected to every other thing, and the spaces around it where it is not every other thing. What's important are its weak spots, and how easily they can be influenced. A magician must know where one is able to push the hardest for best effect with least amount of resistance and effort. Basically, don't focus on affecting the person or thing, focus on affecting everything around that person or thing: every relationship, every bit of space, every connection. Do that and you own the situation. You can do what you like. It's all about that shift in focus, of where to focus.
Magic is all about how things react to each other. The magician is a chemist, bringing about specific reactions. It's not about affecting a thing itself, but about affecting the way it's connected to every other thing. Essentially, magic is a combination of quantum physics and string theory (my teacher looked at string theory and dryly commented that science had finally discovered wyrd). When training, first a magician must accept and know that this is possible, that the negative spaces are there; then with training he or she learns to sense or see those connections and negative space, the flows of power. Finally, with training and lots and lots of practice (and usually a good percentage of trial and error too), the magician learns to manipulate them. the hardest hurdle is often accepting that we are not at all limited by what we think of reality. Physicality is only one means of engaging with the world. There is so much more that we do not see…like the negative space.
Think on the spaces between the physical world and all the others. That's where power flows and where it can be accessed to best effect. It's all chemistry and physics. The magician has to know those spaces are there, has to be able to tap into them, and then, having established that awareness and connection, has to be able to animate it. Half the point of magical training is becoming a person on the planes of power. Power is the coin of those realms and we are judged by how neatly and well we are able to wield it. That is worth remembering, before cracking open the first book on evocation.
I adore You, Son of Aphrodite.
I adore You, Son of Ares.
i adore You, Fierce when Angered.
I adore You, Master of the bow.
i adore You, God of Sexual attraction.
I adore You, God of passion.
I adore You, God of sexual intoxication.
I adore You, Who kindles the fires of lust.
I adore You, Who kindles the fires of love.
I adore You, Beautiful One.
I adore You, Beloved of Psyche.
I adore You, Winged Hunger.
I adore You, Sweet Desire.
I adore You, Whom None can flee.
i adore You, Beloved at Thespiae.
i adore You, Who arouses.
i adore You, Who fills the heart with heat.
I adore You, of Whom even Gods are wary.
i adore You, Father of Pleasure.
I adore You, Father of Bliss.
I adore You, Friend of Expediency.
i adore You, Trickster.
I adore You, Brother of Desire.
I adore You, Who Will not be slighted.
I adore You, Risen from Chaos.
I adore You, Ancient Power.
I adore You, of the Golden Quiver.
I adore You, Ever Playful.
I adore You, Ever young.
I adore You, God of Sensuality.
I adore You, Whose wound can be sweet.
I adore You, Friend of the Muses.
I adore You, Friend of the Charites.
I adore You, Who feasts at the Erotia.
I adore You, Worthy of Libations.
i adore You, Brother of Anteros.
I adore You, Ever Clever.
I adore You, Who never misses erotic opportunity.
i adore You, Whom chance favors.
I adore You, God of sensual experience.
I adore You, Bringer of Sweetness.
i adore You, Bringer of Terror.
I adore You, Lover of Beauty.
i adore You, Worthy of Hunger.
I adore You, God of Love,
I adore You, Eros.
Ever thought about the ritual of the hexagram? Ever thought about how a bunch of magicians doing it look like they're engaged in some kind of bad voguing? Where is Willi Ninja when you need him?
This might come as a surprise to many people, especially students of magic, but one does not begin one's magical training by doing any evocation. Some people never do it at all though they are competent magicians. There is a graduated structure of training that a student of magic ought to follow. So much of magical training is slow, tedious, and sometimes even boring yet those fundamentals are what enables a magus to do the work when the time comes….instead of shitting themselves in their depends. If it's not second nature, when things get real, all too often the magician falls apart.
firstly, before I began my training I was required to start getting my mundane life in order. My teacher required that i pay off debts, have a job, and there was quite a bit of self-examination with regard to my relationships at the time. I also had to change a few habits to improve my health. The only thing I was allowed to do, was set up a *devotional* altar and begin attending devotional rituals. I've found that it's really important for the sanity of the magician not to neglect spirituality. It keeps us humble, grounded, and insures that in our quest for power, we don't cross too far over the line into impiety. Plus, the Powers can teach you things.
Secondly, for the first two years of my training, this was all I did:
*honor my ancestors and get a good grounding in ancestor work, i.e. getting my ancestral house in order.
*developing in my devotional work.
*grounding and centering
*Cleansings, cleansings, cleansings, cleansings, and did I mention cleansings.
that was it. It was several years down the road before I even contemplated anything more. Eventually, about the third year of training I got hoodoo and the really useful "low" magical training that is down and dirty and effective. I learned candle magic -- because it's a really good way to learn to move and channel energy. I started studying divination, ancient language (Hebrew and Latin) and I began working with certain tools. As my colleague L. reminded me when we were talking about training, I was never allowed to forget that the most important "tool" was myself.
The energy that is unleashed in magical casting doesn't come from a wand or a knife; it comes from the hand and will that wields it. that's what all the early training is about: honing the magician's will and slowly but surely accustoming the magician to running various currents of magic (i.e. energy) through his or her body, and the matrix of his or her mind and psi-channels.
The very first "ritual" magic that I learned was the LBP. That was all I was then permitted to do, for a solid year. After that, I was year by year taught to work with the various elemental powers: air, fire, water, earth. Only then was I considered remotely ready to begin evocatory work. Without that basis, had I gone and attempted evocation, I would have likely been eaten alive.
none of this gives any hint of the personal and internal work that was required over that extended period of time and yes we're talking about seven years. Seven years of basic training. Now during that time I was occasionally allowed to be present during workings. My job was to assist before and after and shut the hell up and stay out of the way during. I was given quite a bit of theory, largely by listening to my elders talk when I was otherwise engaged in working in their vicinity. All of this allowed the knowledge to seep in organically so that by the time it was my turn to step up into that circle, I was prepared and I know from whence i drew the power to facilitate the evocations that I wished to perform.
So i don't have much patience with contemporary students. The study of magic alone changes a person inside and out. I have no time in my lodge for those who are unwilling to embrace that because as with so many other things of value, the work must be done diligently by the individual; he or she can't be carried along into knowledge, or given it on a silver spoon and expect to be considered a person on the planes of power.