Last night was a magical rumination day – with my daughter teething she’s doing the kid thing where her diaper area gets raw and she won’t sleep for more than a few hours. This morning in the shower I was thinking I got maybe six hours of sleep if I was lucky, and trying to figure out what to do today. I swear, magic will get you if you don’t get magic. While I’m having this thought I have this sensation out of nowhere of something moving down my back. It really did feel like feathers. Assuming this is the HGA, this is the first spirit I’ve had a relationship with where contact outside the ritual circle was done tastefully and respectfully.
I was thinking about how to get ‘over the hump’ into seeing. I’ve been thinking about it for a few days now. I’m pretty open about the fact that I learned to do it with postage stamps and bicycles. In fact, I used the whole experience for the longest time to say “Well this is why I’m an atheist, because I can take LSD in my buddies basement in highschool and have a pseudo religious experience outside the realm of consensual reality based on my perceptions being affected”. Drugs were lulzy for awhile but functioning in a college environment wasn’t going to happen watching the walls melt so that fell out of vogue. Much later I figured out I had missed something in the experience. By laying back and letting things happen, the experience did neat things, but the important part is that I wasn’t in control of the experience anymore.
Ready to observe?
What did you see? Did you see a giant black form? Did you see heat, fire, flames? Sorrow? A school? Confusion? A small box?
We put on our psychologist hat and we think “well of course we saw these things, we’ve been soaking in them and they’ve made a serious impression on us due to their graphic nature”.
But, put on your magician hat and staple it to your head, what would happen if you weren’t reading the blog? Would you be willing to let your imagination run wild? Therein lies a great secret. Kids can play for hours talking to their toys because they don’t have that governor in their heads we seem to get as adults. We can pry it out with chemicals, or we can play mind games and philosophy and get rid of it slowly. Or we can just do like I did work it a little of both. That being said, this is the value of Dramatic Ritual. Not only have we provided our imaginations some fertile ground by memorizing the tree of life or astrological symbols, but if we were raised in some sort of magical order, we might even have a common set to work from with other people.
The difference between magic and imagination then is application. While we could let our imagination run wild after watching star wars, it probably wouldn’t be particularly effective since your reality isn’t filled with giant starships and hutts. Even NASA doesn’t subscribe to that universe. On the other hand, works like Agrippa are important because it attempts to assign internal forces to the manifest world and those forces are things we can work with given the proper magical training.
When it comes to the difference between art magic and high magic (really “history magic”) I tend to hang out on the history magic side. Some people can whip out a painting and while it might be art magic because it contains all the symbols they use to relate to the world (think: Kenneth Anger again), it might not affect the people as intended because they don’t use the same symbol set. While I believe we can make magic work in a very effective but extremely limited way by using pop culture iconography, I also think that there has to be a happy medium.
Our culture, assuming the reader is American, mostly hinges on Roman and Greek iconography combined with the occasional Egyptian sphinx or obelisk. There’s a huge Christian thread here, which is to say the Christian zeitgeist would apply to the local culture but more importantly even people who haven’t “accepted Christ” consciously would be subject to it. One political party is, ironically, the Bible thumpers. The other political party is, ironically, claiming moral high ground under the banner of tyranny as permissiveness and can’t imagine any other way of living. Realizing this I think turns a lot of people off from Christianity, the fact that the American political situation reflects the Bible so nicely I think would compel people to be more independently minded. I would hope.
So where does this leave us in terms of practical application? When can I light candles with my mind?
Well for simple stuff like enchanting your car, your car is basically cool and dry, so the general element is earth, but if you were flogging the thing for a road trip, it would be hot and dry, or fiery. But what if you were worried about your engine? That’s hot and wet on the inside, so that would be governed by air. This leads to some very interesting occult ideas about engines, since air is the one resource required for running an engine that the car doesn’t actually carry any quantity of. Magic could be for the status quo, but I think it’s good to falsify things too. When your tires transition from air to earth (tires actually heat up in use and flow), they’re blown. Banish earth, invoke air for tire protection. How about something like WordPress (this blogs software platform)? We could say it’s cool and wet – the colors are white and blue and the UI tends to flow around, so if we wanted WordPress to perform well we could bless it with water. However WordPress does a very important function, it enables communication and creativity. It’s really the planet Mercury. If you’re a Pisces, cancer, or Scorpio, there’s fortuitous times to start blogging. If we were looking to have some magical timing for an operation to enchant our WordPress blogs, that’s a good time for that too. Finally take something like money. In the US, our money has a pyramid on it. I would hazard that Egyptian sorts of imagery would prevail, and since every bill has a President on it, fortunate times could be found using their birthdays to call their bills into our lives. Why not a ritual involving Osiris to symbolically resurrect them… into your wallet?
When I’m doing dramatic invocation, now that I’ve taken a stop in the mundane, it’s important that all the elements reflect what’s going on in the world. If I do a ritual right now, it’s going to happen in the hour of the sun. I might have Michael (sun) show up holding a sword (mars day), and if my mood is poor his mood is going to be poor (sol in 1 deg Pisces). Weird aside, I think this blog post is rambling, and mercury is the detriment to Pisces work. Anyway I generally suck at astrology, but I’m smart enough to read a chart to plan decent magical action. Given where everything is – this would be a fortunate hour to negotiate a truce. Therefor in Michael’s other hand, we might see a dove or a laurel leaf.Everything is connected to everything, and if I map all this stuff out, it’s easier for me personally to let my imagination run wild.