Saturday, November 26, 2016

Personal Struggles – Election Inspired Theurgy

Like many other people I found the results of the current presidential election to be quite upsetting. This post is about my reaction and not about politics. While you are free to disagree please keep that to yourself in this venue, because this post is not a political forum. It's about magick, theurgy, and my personal path. In the past, I have posted some very personal and not so flattering things about myself in part to work those issues out, and in part to demonstrate the process of doing the Work.  So please take this post in that vein and do not default to political thinking.

I am just over 50 years old. In that time frame I have disagreed with presidents. Time has proven me right at times and wrong at other times.  . This is the first time the results of a presidential election have scared me. This is a man that has called for the registration of people of a particular faith. This is a man that has frequently used racist dog whistles that are so blatant that one can no longer pretend not to hear them. He has directly called for violence and has no problem with sexual assault.  These are the reasons he scares me. The registration of Muslims should scare everyone because history tells us where that can lead. Even if I am completely wrong and my fears do not come to pass they are not unreasonable.

In the wake of the election I was freaked out for the first time since seeing the Perfection. I was scared, and had a nervousness that felt much like my old neurosis/obsession energy. It was not nearly as bad as in the past but it was obvious, uncomfortable, and disruptive.

I considered doing nothing. I knew that if I allowed the emotional state to degenerate significantly that it could lead to a break through moment. There is a case to be made for enlightenment via crisis. The Vision of Perfection came to me during extreme crisis. The experience not only changed my perspective but relieved the mental crisis as well. Given it was unlikely this angst would have led to such a severe crisis and release I opted to do something else.

I have developed the skill of dreaming the answers I need for myself. The technique is simple. If you pay attention to your thoughts they appear to be coming from inside your skull. The skull then becomes a wall of the conscious separating your thoughts from the outside world. I imagine that wall expanding several miles around myself. Next I imagine a ball of energy. I mentally tell it answer a question. Perhaps I pray to deity to assist. Then I ‘throw’ the energy as far into that area ‘outside’ of my skull. A dream answer is more likely to appear than not.

In this case I prayed to the biggest conception of deity I have, Aaoz. Aaoz is a name I made up that washes out all associations between the word/name God and that of the angry desert god Yahweh. This form of deity actually came to me in a dream a few months back as a very short friendly fellow straight out of a Terry Practchett novel.

The result of this working was dream in which my former mentor had created a pentagram out of black hose material. I told him that I did not understand how this shape related to the macrocosm. The following morning drinking my coffee it dawned on me to see the election as a macrocosm and apply what I have seen of Trump to the Tree of Life, a qabalistic glyph that shows the structure of all creation. That glyph contains ten spheres or emanations that represent divine progressing downwards into manifestation. Each name I am about to use is the name of a sphere.

The first sphere that came to mind was Chesed. This is the sphere of health, wealth, expansion and kingship. Trump has tapped into the energies of wealth and kingship. Expansion refers to his politically uncommon ideas gaining traction. In a balanced state the kingship in Chesed is benevolent.
My fears come from the next sphere, Geburah. This is the realm of surgery, protectiveness and war. My fears is that the martial energies he threatens to use will trump (pun intended) any form of benevolence.

On the Tree of Life Tipereth (the realm of the ego, reward, and perpetual energy) is next. Balanced this is perfect beauty. Unbalanced this is all about ‘me, me, me!’. Here is Trump’s huge ego, that part of him that simply cannot handle any criticism.

The next sphere is Netzach or in English, Victory. This is supposed to be victory over the lower the self but until that occurs it is the victory of the lower self. Here Trump simply wants to win. He would just as competitive playing a game of checkers as anything he is famous for.
Hod is the mental realm. He is a paradox here. He is a man that has tapped into the mentality of many but his personal ideas seem ill formed.

The last is Yesod. Related to the moon Yesod is full of sexuality and change. We know how the first applies to the imbalanced Mr. Trump. The second reflects how quickly his partially formed thoughts from Hod morph into other things depending upon whom he is talking too. Yesod is supposed to be a foundation but it appears his, at least in the realm of mentality, is weak.
This is a very superficial analysis but it was all I needed to answer the question. Here is how the energies relate from the macrocosm (Trump’s election and the energies he tapped into) and the pentagram or microcosm (myself).

Back in the day I was afraid of the forces that I would stir up with magick. As a result I often called upon the martial powers of Geburah to protect me. Some of you may recall past posts were I have stated there is nothing more dangerous to themselves or others than a talented amateur. Here I prove my point.  In my case all that martial energy inflated my anger and defensiveness, and let my analytical mind dissect other people’s ideas to the point that (correct or not) people could not accept my words. People cannot hear their behavior is a result of some petty desire unless they are ready to hear it. Geburah energy does not allow for such ground work. It simply attacks/defends.
So my fear of Trump and the electorate is that martial forces (Geburah energy) will rush forth unchecked. Given my magickal past this is a problem I have as well. I used to be angry all the time. Now it just comes occasionally. My martial energies are all verbal, but that can do damage as well. Therefore, I will fix myself by balancing Geburah (Severity) with a lot of work in Chesed (Mercy) and the balancing path that connects the two. This means that I will invoke the powers of Chesed and its associated planet Jupiter. I will ask these powers to descend into my being and balance the martial energies. Balance is the key word here. Sometimes martial energies are needed. One should not forgo them, because they also have a role to play.

Since drafting this post I have begun this work. On Wednesday (11/24/2016) I called upon the forces of Chesed and asked for them to balance me. I felt like I had come home. I was ‘told’ that I will need to do consistent work here but I am on the right track to achieving the balance that I seek. I agreed to do that consistent work.

Working Notes

What follows are my working notes as I do this work. They are unedited and thus may be unclear.

That same day (Wednesday) I felt compelled to ask the most ‘connected’ person I know to share with my why I cannot astral project across the physical plane. He said that I do that all the time when doing tarot readings and at other times as I do magick. I am just not aware of it. He provided me with a specific grounding technique to assist in my quest consciously project in full awareness.
That night while sleeping I felt the vibrations of projection but did not actually project.

Thursday (11/25) and Friday, I did not do the ritual but did do the grounding exercise.

Friday night I had a dream in which I was called out from a large crowd of tens of thousands of people. I arrived in a room of 50 or so people. There was a person on a platform in the middle of the room. He was a famous real life singer you have heard of in the Wayne Newton or Neil Sedaka ilk. I cannot recall his name now. He said he was mage. He held his sword out. About this time I realized I had mine with me. He told me to ‘do what I say I will do’. He said this three times. I took this to mean that I need to perform the Chesed ritual as promised.

Saturday, I performed the ritual in the morning before anyone else woke.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Tarot: Can Knowing the Future Alter the Future?

As a professional tarot reader I am often asked questions by first time clients. A while back I was asked if getting a tarot reading can change the future simply by revealing the future.

I damn well hope so!

My goal in reading tarot is to allow the client to see things in a new light. More often than not I suggest steps for them to take to achieve their goals. It is my hope that they will take those steps and create their own future rather than being blown around by the winds of fate. Also when I tell a client something about the negative aspects of their own thinking and behaviour I hope that they will change these for the better. An example of this would be telling a client that she is creating anxiety in her daughter by expressing her own unfounded concerns. Ideally the client will catch herself doing that in future, or become aware of her daughter’s body language, and stop. Even if the client does not immediately to buy into what I say, the reading might cause them to notice a problem later and address it.

As an aside, as a reader I may hope they follow the advice of the universe but it is none of my business if they do or not. I own nothing from the reading. Often I do not even remember what was said to any particular client.

That really wasn’t the answer my questioner was looking for, however. His question is actually incredibly complex, and smarter people than I have opined upon possible answers. I will take a stab at addressing the subjectas generations of philosophers roll over in their graves.

First of all the question presupposes that the future has not already taken your new arcane knowledge into account. Why would one suppose that? The future is a product of its own past even if that past is still in your future. At least one of the client’s potential future paths already take whatever knowledge I provide into account.  After the reading, all of his future paths will have that knowledge as part of their make up.

My editor says this relates to string theory and parallel universes. While she cautions that all occult phenomena cannot be explained by that theory, for those interested she recommends  Kaku's Hyperspace.

Secondly, we do things to alter the future all the time. We have savings accounts to move away from a future of poverty. We get health check-ups to hopefully avoid a future with an early death. We date in hopes of having a future full of love rather than being left alone with nothing for company but a couple of old sock puppets and a kazoo. Getting a tarot reading to help plan the future is right in line with these activities and likely less risky than online dating!

Basically this question is the result of the fear of a loss of an unknown thing. Maybe in one of those futures I met they guy that will employ me to my highest potential and income but if a tarot reading leads me down another path I will miss that opportunity. That could happen. For example, I work at a very well paying job for my community. This job makes me miserable or I make myself miserable doing it. Had I had a tarot reading before accepting the job that advised me that I would be happy working with my hands and restoring furniture I may have done that. I would therefore have missed my highest potential income but likely lived happier for at least eight hours a day. Would I miss this job? No. I would never have known it was a possibility anyway. Would I have known I was happier there than in another job? Maybe. Given that the opportunity lost would always be unknown and fearing a reading based on that is responding to a fear of the unknown I would screw up the courage and get a reading. You are always welcome to ignore it.

As for my readings, sometimes I miss the mark. I normally know that right away and refundthe person’s money. This has happened roughly 10 times since I've started reading tarot professionally. Several times clients told me that I was exactly right, but on a totally different question than what they were intending to ask. It is as if the universe put forward a question and I read the answer to that instead of what the client wanted. It still feels like a miss to me until the client tells me otherwise. This indicates that there is an element of divine providence occurring when I read. The client gets what they need, though at times it isn’t what they think they want.

Lastly, there are indeed ways of seeing the future. I am not saying the idea is preposterous. For example  I have glimpsed the future in dreams but I have never had one in a tarot reading. The glimpses from dreams involving friends, coworkers or others that I see in life more frequently than I tarot client do not lend themselves to being avoided in ‘real life’. They typically involve meeting someone unexpectedly, or are more focused on the emotion of a future event paired with a metaphorical context.

As the question wondered if the future would be altered it implies the asker does not want his unknown future changed. I therefore offer this. In order to avoid the specific event glimpsed in my dreams one would have to be pretty good at sussing out the metaphor and matching it to enough preceding life events to provide a solid insight to act upon. This is not likely. Sometimes I pick up on random information, like the fact that two people I know will sleep together. This is emphatically none of my business and  I have no idea why the universe shares that information with me.
I have no doubt there are people that have experienced deeper recognitions of the future than I. That may give them a different perspective on the answer than my own. Until I obtain that sort of ability this will have to do.

In closing, I really do not think foreknowledge of the future is something to worry about. I would much rather know the energies I am dealing with and finding a wise way to navigate through them than worry about what possible future I would miss out on in doing so.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Do Not Seek Validation

Very often in Facebook groups dedicated to certain gods or paths I see the same questions repeatedly. “Has anyone had [the deity] inspire you to…?” or “Has anyone ever felt this after praying to the [deity]?” These questions are understandable. We have a human need to be validated. We have a need to be connected to others through our experiences. These things bring deeply needed comfort.

The problem is asking these questions to large quantities of random people on the internet will always yield the same answer. If I asked in one of those groups if anyone has seen Hecate with a blue monkey on her shoulder and standing on a turtle someone would say yes. That is not validation. If I said has anyone said has anyone seen Her as a young blonde with deep blue eyes (a common vision of Her) many people would say yes. Again, this is not a confirmation, even when it is completely accurate. The problem is that there is no way to distinguished who is ‘connected’ and who is a well-meaning newb. Worse, self-appointed teachers seeking their own validation as ‘wise’ or ‘knowing’ or whatever will make sure to paint their answer to validate themselves while the seeker sees validation of their own work.

Validation comes when you are not looking.

There was a time when I was first being introduced to One whom I called “The Helpful Deity.” I had many visions of Her and sought to learn more about her. I passed on all the Llewellyn books and purple websites. I picked up some scholarly works which I find boringly necessary. In those books I kept finding historical descriptions of Her that reflected the symbolism I perceived perfectly. I even recalled Her telling me something that I read later as a direct quote from an ancient devotee. There was no way that I had come across that quote before as I had no interest in Hecate and certainly no interests that would reveal such an obscure quote. The difference there is I know no one validated my experience to be nice and supportive. No one had to spin my experience into something outside the original context to figure out how it may relate Her and no one that had different experiences had the chance to tell me that I was delusional.

There is very little more damaging than having a valid experience and having someone that one is foolish enough to believe tell you that you are out of your mind. Even if you are completely crackers a statement like that is almost never helpful. There are much better ways to guide a seeker than telling them they are a thousand miles off the mark or accidentally validating some wild perception.

Another form of validation is comes completely from without. Lately I have been approaching La Santa Muerte, aka Holy Death. She has answered some prayers and in return I have lit a light for Her. That has literally been the extent of our relationship. 

Last Sunday on the disc golf course I was approached by a fellow golfer. Last summer I had given him an old disc golf cart that needed more repairs than I was willing to invest. He was quite grateful. Yesterday out of the blue he gave me a disc that was too heavy for him to throw. The disc was stamped with an image of death wielding a scythe (one of her symbols). This did not yield an overwhelming sense of connection. We do not have that sort of relationship and likely never will. The experience was more along the lines of "I recognize you".

Why did she recognize me? Because I asked the Lady of Holy Death to kill aspects of myself that I was holding onto that I did not need. When she did I did not fight Her by hanging on. I was grateful. In truth, I still have those traits as each prayer was to kill a part of me for that day. This does not build a deep relationship. It forms a relationship a little like a friendly acquaintance.   

Had the relationship been deeper someone may have given me a statue of Her unbidden. Perhaps I would have a waking vision of Her standing outside my office door. Like all things there are levels and it is up to the practitioner to determine the meaning.

Another form of validation is inner change. With Hecate she directly and obviously healed my obsession by showing me how to rid myself of the astral gunk that encased my being. She showed me the gunk and gave me the power to push my physical finger into it. The gunk stuck to my finger. She told me to run my finger along a cyclone fence. The gunk would stick to that and as I walked pull from my body. I witnessed this directly, and I could immediately tell the difference. It took quite while repeating this exercise before I healed enough to change me.

Shared experience can be another form of validation. That is more likely to come from compatriots that experience the same visions in a shared ritual than random people on internet groups.

I am not making an exhaustive list here of every form of validation. This post is merely to point out one that I feel is particularly less than useful and toss in some examples of other ways this can happen. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Personal Theurgic Work: Overcoming a Personal Weakness

Back in the day I used to ask my mentor to share his perceptions of my strengths and weaknesses with me. I found this outside view helpful. He told me that I was the only person that ever asked him such a question when it came to doing the Great Work*. I always thought that was one of the basic questions one should be asking.

Someone asked me a question about how to start a path towards one Holy Guardian Angel (HGA)*. I advised him to begin by being brutally honest with himself and make a list of his virtues and faults. The idea being that the work is about getting rid of all those things that interfere with the realization of your divine connections. You have to know your faults. Most people do not include a list of virtues. We need to know them so we can enhance them but also so we don’t feel like complete crap due to an over focus on our faults.

It occurred to me that I haven’t done this myself lately. So Saturday morning I made my own list of strengths and weaknesses. I noticed that a significant proportion of my weaknesses had a common component: I let myself get distracted too easily. I will put aside spiritual work, a book I could learn from, or life plans in order to watch a Dodgers game, escapist television, or cave into my back pain amid a host of other distractions.

My goal is to stop this trend.

I am not a self-help book kind of guy. I find those to be inspiring but the infusion of energy does not last for me and they only help me deal with symptoms instead of addressing the root causes of unhelpful or counterproductive behaviours. Magick will help me find the core issues. I have read that people that are good at what they do often limit themselves by discounting the value of what they offer to the world. I have asked myself who am I to write this book and claim that.... I am guessing that it something like this that I have allowed to be in my way. My guesses as to the causes of my issues are usually wrong. So it could really be anything. Incidentally, this is why I never tell anyone learning from me what their answers are! That is up to them to figure out. A wrong guess on my part could be a harmful time consuming distraction.

To address the problem of my distraction I am going to call upon the forces of Geburah. This is a sphere (world) portrayed on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Geburah is also known as Strength. It is the martial sphere of war, surgery, power, control and, quite frankly (when unbalanced) that of misery. For those familiar with the tarot it is associated with the fives. In the Thoth Deck these are  Strife in the suit of Wands (the inability to create), Disappointment in the Cups suit (the realization one had the wrong goal), Defeat in the suit of Swords (the realization one is separated from the reward of the goal) and Worry in the suit of Disks (the feeling of being lost and valueless as a result of the other three). Of course those meanings reflect the negative end of the continuum. The other side is creative power, euphoria (in achievement), the mental clarity of success, and Worry is replaced with the four of wands, Completion. In that case the energy of the working towards the goal is waning because the goal, having been met, is no longer able to inspire action.

I will call the powers of Geburah to create an environment conducive to the appearance of the forces of Mars. I shall the call the God (who holds energy too big for man), Intelligence (that which regulates the energy and applies it safely for man) and Spirit (the energy itself) of Mars and tell them to use their martial powers to destroy any illusion that interferes with my perception of the true problem. This will allow me to see what I am really confronting. From there I will magick a solution.
A future post will share what I find and even might share the technique behind this magick.
Eventually I will do magick to resolve whatever core issue I discover. Armed with that knowledge  I will do magick to redirect one of my positive traits, persistence, towards my goals. Getting too distracted is the negative end of the continuum which includes persistence.

*The Great Work is a process by which we return to the creator through our own efforts. We are our own redeemer. The idea comes from Neoplatonism.

** The HGA is one of two things depending upon your school of thought. It is either a higher aspect of oneself or an external deity that is in a position to guide you towards awareness of your highest immortal soul.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Energy Raising Reprise

I have been asked to share my current perspective on a very old post. “Energy Raising” appeared in this space on November 29, 2009. You may want to click on that link and review the post before continuing.

One potential way to approach revisiting the subject is to categorize the way magic works into various magickal models (Energy, Spirit, Information, Psychological, and Meta-Model, respectively). I am not a fan of magickal models because they create distinctions that appear clear but are actually quite muddy. For example, some would say evocation doesn’t raise energy and is not part of the energy model. However, in order to create an environment conducive to the appearance of a spirit you have to use the energy model.

In order to evoke a spirit you need the energy of the space it is being evoked into to be compatible with said spirit. You can call a spirit of water into a desert environment but to be successful you need to have a cup of water there at least. That cup also needs to resonate with the energy of water and welcome, not a trap. You also have to have the energy within your circle (or non-circular sacred space) that allows you to perceive and communicate with the spirit. This can mean fumigation, creating sacred space, or many other things. No matter how you do it the environmental energy is important.

Even when I talk to spirits without any ceremonial preparation all the energy in my head has to be conducive to the process. If I am worried about my wife, thinking my boss may walk into my office, or highly focused on baseball it isn’t going to work. I'll end up talking to myself and thinking I was talking to a spirit.

There are those that would say that this is the psychological model of magick. They are right, but psychology contributes to energy. I used  to be obsessed (psychological problem) and that obsession made it very hard to have the clear my then frenetic mind (psychological problem) and allow whatever energy I needed to take over my mind to create the right magickal mind set. This circles right back to the energy model. See the problem?

There are those that would say that this example of magic is still psychological, and the terminology has just been switched to  to energy. This is not case. The energy I am speaking of is energy that relates to the working. For example, if I am working with a water spirit, I need the energy of my mind to be attentive to images like the undines (water spirits). Basically, the idea here is that you need to create a harmony between your internal self and the type of magick being done. I need that energy to be cool within me like when you feel cool pool water lowering your body temperature. I could not get to a place to allow that to happen in a frenetic obsessed state. The psychology involved would interfere with creating the internal environment conducive to allowing in the right kind of energy.
I am pretty sure that all models come down a method of entering an ecstatic state while maintaining bodily function enough to be a magician. Without that bit of bodily control one is so receptive that one crosses from magician to mystic. For our discussion here the definition of ecstatic state I use is, “a state of mind entered into willfully by the magician characterized as different from one’s normal state of consciousness to such a degree that consensus reality is perceptually altered to such an extreme degree that magick is not only probable but dominant, resulting in a reality shift so great that consensus reality conforms.” For clarity’s sake, that is my definition not anyone else’s. I deliberately removed the normal reference to a religious component. Magickal states are very similar but not always religious.

What does that mean practically? It means that when I am in a circle with others they see this overweight white guy as a swarthy Mediterranean type and that such change carriers into consensus reality to such a degree that their perception of me changes due to their experience. Or, that in such a state the magick done is so effective that those impacted by can make perfect sense out of their changed reaction. Nothing extraordinary happened because reality has changed making the extraordinary thing perfectly ordinary.

So here are the elements of the original post rearranged into magickal model categories. The original state is in italics.

Spirit Model

Solomonic -- Those who practice from the ancient grimories tend to work themselves into a lather (for lack of a better phrase) by building themselves to be "God" as in the Christian G_d. The technique though can be used in a variety of ways to assume the authority of the deity in question. Beware though that you pick one that doesn't mind you doing so. This is basically a specific form of an ecstatic state.

I originally receive some blow back when I said that magicians were building themselves up to be God. Consider this passage from the Lesser Key of Solomon:

I DO invocate and conjure thee, O Spirit, N.30; and being with power armed from the SUPREME MAJESTY, I do strongly command thee, by BERALANENSIS, BALDACHIENSIS, PAUMACHIA, and APOLOGIAE SEDES; by the most Powerful Princes, Genii, Liachidee, and Ministers of the Tartarean Abode; and by the Chief Prince of the Seat of Apologia in the Ninth Legion, I do invoke thee, and by invocating conjure thee. And being armed with power from the SUPREME MAJESTY, I do strongly command thee, by Him Who spake and it was done, and unto whom all creatures be obedient. Also I, being made after the image of GOD,…

This turns into an ecstatic state as defined above with a religious fervor attached to it. There's nothing wrong with that. It works.

Evocation -- while some wouldn't call this energy raising, I am including it here. The point is calling a spirit to visible appearance and asking it to do something. Whatever that is employs the energy of the spirit which is why I mention it here.

Solomonic magick uses evocation but there are other forms. I posted not long ago about a water spirit crawling out of my offering cup. It was just as real as anything I evoked using Solomonic methods. However, I was so focused on my offering I created an ecstatic state that allowed me to perceive the spirit.

Invocation -- bringing a spirit into oneself for communion, learning, and understanding or to use that ecstatic state and the knowledge/energy of that which is invoked to do the work required.

I did this a lot when working with Flower. We entered an ecstatic state using a quatrain as a statement of intent that I received from deity during meditation that immediately proceeded each working. Repeating this over and over took us to another state of consciousness. Deities took us so far over the edge that there were times they literally moved our bodies. They would converse so we could hear. Their strength and love was so intense that we wanted to make love right there. We never gave in and they respected that. They know we are human and for use sexual activity has ramifications.

The energy model came in here in a less obvious way. It was more physical energy. The room was clean, dedicated to magick and a little incense burned. The energy that really mattered was our sensitivity and receptiveness to those deities.

Tap into local spirits, those puppies "know the lay of the land". this may be especially true in small towns with long histories. If you can tap into the underlying force of a small town, you could be a very influential person in local life, should you want to be. Is this energy raising? I could make an argument. I may lose it but I could make it.

I would change this to eliminate small towns. Local spirits are everywhere. Just go out and say a magickal hello. They will present themselves if they want to.

Energy Model

Personal energy -- I hate using the energy word because one sounds like some New Ager but energy it is. As a ceremonialist, we raise our own energy through different processes, the most common of which is a rite called the middle pillar. Having raised the energy one tries to rise to the highest level of awareness one can (see ecstatic states) and then, either through prayer or technique, endeavor to use that energy. All of these change the practitioner's state of awareness but it can also attract a specific being when the proper technique for that being is employed.

The two forms of this that I have seen used a lot are raising a cone of power (which is basically a circular dance) and doing the middle pillar. Both of these use energy generated by the practitioner for use in the ritual. Another common method is taking all one’s internal emotional energy and pouring it out into one’s hands and using that. This is my preferred method.

Again, the concentration required to do these things does create an ecstatic state, if you have that capability. I truly believe (and I use that word because I do not know) that no matter what you’re doing to work magic,  to achieve this you are getting into an ecstatic state.One potential exception is herb magick (discussed below).

Institutional -- Another term I have made up in which one joins an energy flow already in progress. This is like hanging around other creative types when one is learning art or writing or music. Just being around the same type of person you want to be helps attune you to the process. Of course, the inverse can be true. Know who you are hanging out with for you will become them and vis versa. To use this properly one must also contribute to the group. All take and no give results in Johnny being ejected from the energy pattern. Besides that, all take and no give is just selfish.

I would say the same about that now.

Necromancy -- I've never known anyone that did this. However, it sounds it could be related to vampirism in that energy is taken rather than raised. Necromancers can pull the energy from dead things. Anyone that has touched a compost pile and felt the heat knows that dying and decomposing creates its own type of energy.

I would say the same about that now but I likely shouldn’t even mention it as I know little about necromancy.


Prayer -- prayer is very often eschewed in the pagan world and many feel too Christian doing it. Yet prayer has a long standing pagan history and, in my opinion, is least likely to offend the god of your choice. I've never heard of a god that is upset by being prayed to. However, I'm sure someone will correct me.

Prayer is not only responded to by spirits but can raise one to an ecstatic state. It is also a very kind way to do magick, in my opinion.

I put this in a cross-over category because it goes with everything. A prayer can work no matter what you are doing. I would change this to remove the word kind. I have prayed without being kind. Some deities are cool with that. Most may offer some form of ‘correction’. Be careful here. No one wants to be corrected by a god.


Herb magick may be the exception to everything I have said about energy and ecstatic states. You can do this quite effectively by combining herbs and uttering some words. I could argue that the herbs have energy conducive to the magick.

Chemistry -- this is not a term used in the occult but I use it to describe bringing like natural substances together to create a specific magickal effect.

Alchemy -- much like chemistry but with a much more internal goal in mind and using much more scientific-looking equipment in the process.

I wouldn’t say this now. Instead I would say that I do not know enough about Alchemy to offer an opinion or categorize it.

Sex -- Yes, getting off alone or with a partner can do it but there is a lot more to sex magick than that. What? I don't know. I'm not into that but it seems obvious to me that this is the grossest form.

Over the years I learned why I said this was the grossest form. A more sublime sex magick is called Tantra. Few people in the west really know what it is. It is a hell of a lot different from simply having sex to raise energy. Aside from that, I do not know about tantra.

Plays -- you can certainly get into a zone as an actor and take your audience into a different state of consciousness. I've heard of one group that has acted out some of Crowley's rites to find the actresses in certain plays end up a bit whacked. So, if it can be done to ill effect, I'm sure it can be done with positive effect.

I do not know anything more about plays than I did back in 2009.

Meditation -- Until recently, I wouldn't have added meditation. A good proper meditation can raise and/or release a ton of energy.

See my comment on ecstatic states. They all apply to meditation. Though meditation could be applied as much to mystical ends as to magical ones.

That encapsulates the original post. Further commentary follows:

I do not consciously use any of these techniques for the most part. I can simply think of whatever I want to reach an ecstatic state. The longer I focus the stronger the state and the stronger the magick.
My original go to method was the middle pillar ritual. The problem with this is that the middle pillar the ritual comes from the Qabalistic Tree of Life, a glyph that represents the creative forces of the universe. Doing this ritual is participating in that act of  creation. When I relied on that rite I was insecure and felt that I didn’t really know what I was doing. I am sure that my insecurity impacted the effectiveness of my magick and not in a good way. Essentially, I was giving energy to my insecurities and manifesting that with my magick.  Our internal perspectives can be detrimental. Mixing fears and insecurities with  magickal energy can be damaging.

My current go to method  involves seeking an astral place. This combines the ecstatic state with the Qabalistic four-worlds model involving the worlds of fire, water, air and earth. These are not elemental. There are a hierarchal descent of power that mimics all of creation from a single source point.

The place I enter is home to the highest levels of fire. It is abstract and open. It isn’t so much hot as active. I try to absorb this place. Then I say a word appropriate to the spell. I may make myself the word by saying “I am compassion”. (This is actually too big a sentence for the place but I am only human.) Then I drop lower to the realm of water, love, emotions, unity. This place is abstract too and feels like a cool pool in a dark forest. There is no light that falls upon the pool except the light generated by compassion. Here I mightsay, “may love sooth”. Then I find the place of air. In this place you can see things, most of which are recognizable. Here form is given to the work. I may create a vision of a friend being comforted by someone or finding peace through prayer. Then I find myself in normal conscious or a close approximation with my hands on the ground or wrapped around the talisman I am working with.

Energy is contained in each location, with no particular ceremony required to raise more. This relates to the energy model in that each location has an energy of its own that descends through the universe. The mage interacts with the energy as it is slows down into manifestation.

As a starting point for those who are interested: The trick to successfully using this method is focus. If you can pass the following test you are capable of sufficiently strong focus:

Go someplace where you can hear constant traffic noise. This may be in a park, or even your backyard if you leave close enough to a busy street. Concentrate on rising up to meet “G-d” or goddess or whatever divine being you want. Spend some time. Focus. When you simply cannot hold it anymore let yourself move back to normal awareness. If you find that the traffic noise went away and came back as if someone turned a radio off and on you passed the test. If not, work on building concentration and focus.

If you can do that study the four worlds of the Qabala: Aztiluth (fire), Briah (water), Yetzirah (air) and Assiah (earth), and work from there.