When Forgiveness Means Saying “Enough!”

by D. Patrick Miller

Over the years that I’ve been teaching and writing about forgiveness, the most common misperception I’ve heard about this spiritual discipline is that it means taking a weak or non-assertive stance toward the world.

People fear that if they forgive someone who has hurt them, or let go of resentment about a hurtful experience in their past, that they will open themselves up to being hurt again.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Properly understood and practiced, forgiveness is the key to increased clarity, power and creativity.

That’s because forgiveness is really about learning how to make your own mind work more effectively. It may begin with releasing a grievance against someone, but in doing so you also begin liberating your mind from patterns of self-punishment. And nothing dulls the mind more than habitual self-attack.

Many people who struggle with depression or even just a “normal” dissatisfaction with life are mostly unhappy with themselves — perhaps for reasons they don’t even recognize — and are hooked on finding targets in the world to take on the blame. It’s a common strategy that never works. Forgiveness means confronting one’s own malaise, resentment, and self-induced misery and saying “Enough!”

One common but often unrecognized cause of chronic unhappiness is living a life in which useful learning has slowed to a stop. And learning is slowed less by lack of intelligence than by a reluctance to let go of bankrupt ideas and exhausted ways of seeing. That is why some problems never seem to go away even when we can sense that solutions are possible, yet somehow just beyond our grasp.

When you feel cursed by fate, look to your own stubbornness; when you seem blocked by others’ stupidity or meanness, question your own perception and the way you communicate. When nothing seems to work, consider whether you have correctly identified the fundamental problem behind your struggles. The object of your blame will always prove to be less of an obstacle than your decision to blame.

When you’re always ready to blame, you will tend to be fearful. You expect to get hurt so you do, and every time you assign blame you also hand over some more of your power. Forgiveness replaces the need to anticipate fearfully with the capacity to accept gracefully and improvise brilliantly. It does not argue with fate, but recognizes the opportunities within it. If necessity is the mother of invention, forgiveness is the midwife of genius.

A forgiving state of mind cannot easily be annoyed, and does not waste time arguing with the unexpected.

This doesn’t mean that the forgiven life is simple or untroubled, and forgiveness certainly does not prevent misfortunes. With practice, however, forgiveness does reduce the severity and frequency of the misfortunes that we tend to arrange for ourselves.

Thus, you can forgive not with the idea that you are doing a favor for someone who hurt you, but that you are being merciful to yourself. To carry chronic anger against anyone or any circumstance is to poison your own heart, injecting more toxin every time you replay in your mind the injury done to you.

If you decline to repeat someone’s offense inwardly, your outward anger will dissipate. Then you can more effectively tell anyone who hurt you how things must change between you. But you must first learn to say “Enough!” to yourself.


D. Patrick Miller is an author and literary agent living in Northern California. You can contact him at www.fearlessbooks.com.

Magickal & Virtual Egregores in the 21st Century

by John L. Steadman

The high tech, pyrotechnic sci-fi writer William Gibson, in his novel Idoru (1996) envisions a future in which a virtual media star, Rei Toei, or the “idol”, marries Rex, a rock star, and the two then create a virtual place to live in Tokyo, in an akashic-type locale known as The Walled City, constructed from inverted kill-file software codes.  Gibson describes the idoru as basically disembodied information, though her holographic persona is artificially intelligent and creative, and the presentation itself is beautiful in an otherworldly way, at least according to human standards of beauty.

If he [Laney, who works as a net-runner in the book] anticipated her at all, it had been as some industrial-strength synthesis of Japan’s last three dozen top female media faces…. the formula tended to be even more rigid, in the case of software agents- eigen-heads, their features algorithmically derived from some human mean of proven popularity.  [But] she was nothing like that.  Her black hair, rough-cut and shining, brushed pale bare shoulders as she turned her head.  She had no eyebrows, and both her lids and lashes seemed to have been dusted with something white, leaving her dark pupils in stark contrast…. the idoru smiled, lit from within…[i]

What is most fascinating about the idoru is that since she is a pure form of information, she affects the mind of the onlooker in different ways; one of the people at the table where she is sitting – a very basic, unimaginative man, to be sure-  sees her as only a big aluminum thermos bottle.  But Laney experiences a nodal vision which takes the form of a narrative; the narrative intensifies when he looks directly at her face.

He seemed to cross a line.  In the very structure of her face, in geometries of underlying bone, lay coded histories of dynastic flight, privation, terrible migrations.  He saw stone tombs in steep alpine meadows, their lintels traced with snow.  A line of shaggy pack ponies, their breath white with cold, followed a trail about a canyon.  The curves of the river below were strokes of distant silver.  Iron harness bells clanked in the blue dusk…Laney shivered.  In his mouth a taste of rotten metal.[ii]

Obviously, the idoru can affect all of the senses of the imaginative person who is in its presence; Laney sees a group of images that reflect historical events in the early dynasties of Japan; flight, privation and migration.  The description is very well developed visually.  And, additionally, Laney’s other senses are stimulated; he hears bells; he feels cold, and he has the unpleasant taste of “rotten metal” in his mouth (this is an interesting sensation; metal can rust, but it can’t really rot and so, there seems to be an almost organic quality to this taste).

For the magickal practitioner who is reading Gibson’s description, he or she will immediately think: egregore, and this is perfectly right.  Egregores are magickal constructs, “beings” if you will, usually created by magickal practitioners for specific purposes and then, deconstructed by the said practitioner when that purpose is accomplished.  However, it is important to understand two important facts about egregores: (1) these beings, once created, have an independent existence from the magickal practitioners who created them; and (2) over time, if the egregore is not deconstructed but rather, allowed to continue its existence, then it will grow stronger and more powerful.  In occult literature, this outcome is often perceived as undesirable, since the egregore will eventually reach a level of development where it can no longer be deconstructed; essentially, it ends up uncontrollable.  For example, Konstantinos, in Summoning Spirits (2005), argues: “Sometimes, creating an egregore can be dangerous…. the legend of the golem illustrates this possibility in an accurate, yet allegorical way…. I recommend…a very careful reading of the actual story before attempting this type of magickal creation.”[iii]   I would argue, however, that egregores do not necessarily become “bad” or “evil” entities, unless their creators are bad or evil men or women.  Indeed, I would contend that egregore can be more or less equivalent to the idoru that Gibson describes above, i.e. benign entities that are thoroughly real in every sense of the term except the physical, and which, in turn, evolve over time and actually “learn” and become more complex, viable beings.  In fact, these entities can ultimately become repositories of information which magickal practitioners, in turn, can access and experience, often as narrative, even though these latter practitioners did not create the entity and have no connection with it other than the basic connection of seeing or experiencing it.

As a case in point, consider H. P. Lovecraft’s Great Old One Cthulhu.  This is a fictional entity, created by Lovecraft in the tale “The Call of Cthulhu” (1926).  Over the years since Lovecraft’s death, Cthulhu and the other Great Old Ones have achieved a level of independent existence and surely, they have grown in power and complexity, drawing energy not only from the countless fans and readers of sci-fi and horror and contemporary gaming culture, but also from a small but dedicated group of magickal practitioners who work with these entities in their magickal rites.  In the popular mind, Cthulhu is usually perceived as being “evil”; he is seen as a monstrous, humanoid creature with wings, sharp claws and teeth, and a face full of tentacles.  But is Cthulhu really a monster such as this?  And is he necessarily evil?  I am not so sure. Like the rest of the Great Old Ones, Cthulhu is rarely interested in humans or human concerns; his interest in humanity is essentially no different than the interest that most humans have in lower, insignificant life forms such as insects.  This attitude might be considered “evil”, but only from a human perspective.  What I find most interesting about Cthulhu and his peers, however, is that they tend to appear differently depending on the perspective and the cognitive level of the person who “experiences” them.  In fact, like Gibson’s idoru, complex egregores such as the Great Old Ones are best understood as experiences, as nodal visions, and even, at times, as narratives that play out the individual minds and the psyches of the observers.  Lovecraft makes this clear right from the onset in “The Call of Cthulhu.”  When Cthulhu’s sunken city R’lyeh resurfaces due to a disturbance in the Pacific Ocean, Cthulhu, momentarily free, is perceived in different ways by a group of sailors: some of them see him as a monster, snatching them up in his claws; others see him as only a vague, overwhelming shape- “A mountain walked, or stumbled”, as Lovecraft puts it.  And one of the sailors perceives Cthulhu in geometrical terms, i.e. as an acute angle that behaves as if it were obtuse.

Clearly, the affinity between egregores and virtual entities such as Gibson’s idoru demonstrates just how close the line between magick and science is becoming in the 21st century.  Skilled magickal practitioners have always possessed the ability to create virtual beings; the presentation is akashic rather than electronic, but the principle is exactly the same.  Scientists, however, are only now in the process of learning how to do this.   This circumstance is a good thing, since it indicates that the two disciplines, science and magick, will eventually become one in a not so distant future, just as they were in a not so distant past.  And as technology finds ways to bridge- at least electronically- the gaps between different dimensions and the diversity of worlds inside and outside of our solar system, magick will have to be there to serve as a philosophical and metaphysical underpinning, helping the scientist/magickian to interpret and understand rightly the wondrous things that are waiting to be discovered.

[i] Gibson, William. Idoru. New York, Berkley Books, Inc., 229-30.

[ii] Ibid., 230.

[iii] Konstantinos. Summoning Spirits: The Art of Magical Evocation.  Woodbury, Minnesota. Llewellyn Publications, 2003, 5.


John L. Steadman is the author of H.P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition, a scholar of H. P. Lovecraft and western occultism and has been a magickal practitioner for more than thirty years. He is currently a college English professor at Olivet College in Michigan.

Tarot and Astrology Travels in Italy

by Marcia Masino

There are some “must see” locations for the Tarot and Astrology enthusiast planning a trip to Italy. My suggested itinerary will take you to Florence, Milan and Bologna with a stop at Garavicchio in the Tuscan countryside to experience the world-famous Tarot sculpture garden. I’ve also included an excursion to the world’s most famous zodiac cathedral in the hills outside Florence in the “gotta go there” category along with a Tarot themed restaurant, museum and rare bookshop.

Italy is regarded as the birthplace of the Tarot. The first recognised Tarot decks were recorded between 1430 and 1450 in Milan, Ferrara and Bologna. The oldest surviving tarot cards are from the mid 15th century and painted for the Visconti-Sforza family, the rulers of Milan. Cards are documented in a written statement in the court records in Florence, in 1440 for the first known time.tarot-and-astrology-travels-in-italy

Tuscany and The Tarot Garden

The Garden of Tarot is a sculpture garden based on the 22 Major Arcana cards created by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. Location – In the Italian village of Capalbio located in Garavicchio in the Maremma countryside Tuscany. St Phalle, along with love and collaborator Jean Tinguely designed and produced this architectural and archetypal masterpiece.

The sculptures and dwellings are huge, modern, recognizable, trippy, thoughtful and playful. They were made from soldered steel covered with cement then decorated with mosaics of ceramic, mirror and glass. The artist resided inside and worked on her sculpture garden for over twenty years.

St. Phalle stated that her Tarot garden was inspired by a dream she had about creating a sculpture garden. Motivated by faith and her love for humanity, she saw the garden as an “esoteric stroll “and viewed the cards as philosophical trials of self awareness and connection with the Universe. For St. Phalle her large than life Tarot constructions created a direct encounter with the archetypal world and it’s potential to heal and transform those who interact with it.  It is truly a tour de Force and something the Tarot world has to celebrate from this incomparable Scorpio artist.

Address: Pescia Fiorentina, Capalbio (GR)Opening hours:1 April to 15 October from 2.30 to 7.30. Closed: Closed from 16 October to 31 March, one free Saturday per month in winter. Ticket Full euro 12,00, Reduced euro 7,00.

Florence – Il Tarrochi Restaurant

My favorite eatery in my neighborhood in Florence was, ironically, Il Tarocchi, or The Tarot. I received the first copy of the first Tarot book I wrote when I was living in Florence and we went there for a celebratory feast.  The restaurant has Tarot card paintings on the walls above the booths and good pizzas. Very authentic and you’ll find close-by Gelaterias  ( Gelato joints) too. I Tarocchi I tarocchivia dei Renai 12/14r.Florence 50125.

Hillsides of Florence- San Miniato al Monte

Known as the Medieval Astrological Church, with secret symbolism and mystical healing energy. The celebrated basilica was designed with underlying astrological context in 1018 – the 13th Century and is, some believe, dedicated to esoteric sun or solar healing. Think – The Sun Card and The Hierophant when you spend time there and of course the Three of Pentacles.

San Miniato’s relationship with the sun mysteries is profound and my advice is to visit with your head and your heart. The expected elements of arcane design are present in this space – the idea of the interplay of sunlight shafts that illuminate secret meaning within a sacred space through the use of occult symbolism only known to initiates, astrological characters, zodiac wheel and much more await your exploration. If you go with an open heart, you’ll feel the energy of the hermetic wisdom ensconced there and be touched by it.

One is greeted by a zodiac mosaic floor in the main entranceway of the church. A Latin inscription lies on the pavement nearby and when translated it states the time, date and names of the planets involved with a rare celestial event that the astrologically informed founders used for the date to set the mosaic onto the cathedral floor. It was a rare constellational astrological event of a new crescent Moon with the planets Venus, Mercury, Jupiter with Saturn hidden behind the Sun in the constellation of Taurus in May 1207. At sunrise in May the sunlight aligns with the Taurus sector on the zodiac pavement and illuminates it. For those who love an occult mystery this church is a must see.

Bologna – Tarot Book shop and museum. Museo Dei Tarocchi – Via Arturo Palmieri, 5 40047 RIOLA di Vergato, (Bologna) Italy.

Milan –  Tarot Museum Milan, il Meneghello Via Fara 12, 20124 Milano, Italy. Italian Artist Osvaldo Menegazzi has art, decks, rare items, and more at his shop. By appointment.

Best times for travel – April, May, September and October, avoid the summer months if possible. Each of the locations are places to savour so allow ample time to really engage with the energy each offers. You may find significant memories, dreams and thoughts are evoked by these very special locations and a second inspired visit may end up on the agenda.

Good Journeys or Viaggio Sicuro!


Marcia Masino is a certified Grandmaster of tarot and author of the tarot classic Easy Tarot Guide. She has lectured at numerous tarot conferences and is a popular speaker for the Lily Dale Assembly workshop program. Her articles on metaphysical subjects have appeared in Fate and on the Web at http://mmasino.wixsite.com/tarotbooks. She lives in Pickering, Ontario, Canada.

BestTarot

Online Dating Spell for the Perfect Partner

by Lilith Dorsey

Many of us have had to kiss a lot of frogs before we found the Prince, or Princess, of our dreams. I had one friend who was out at a restaurant with her online date and he got up in the middle of things and started to proposition someone who was sitting at the bar. Did I say there are a lot of frogs out there? Keeping that in mind, there are many things you can do to help improve your chances of finding the perfect partner online as soon as possible.

There are other things to consider too before we take the plunge into the romantic internet pool. Maybe, until now, we have been working on ourselves, building our empire, raising our children, finding ourselves, healing ourselves, or otherwise too busy to start looking for the right partner. We must take all of this into account as we ready ourselves for a big step into a wider world. That is why the following spell includes elements for finding honesty, communication, healing, joy, passion, and last, but certainly not least, love in your new relationship.

Online Dating Spell Bath

Take this bath before you begin your online dating journey, if possible. It is best performed during the full moon.

Ingredients

3 drops carnation oil
3 drops ylang-ylang oil
3 drops rose oil
3 drops sandalwood oil
3 drops myrrh oil
3 drops gardenia oil
Pinch of dill
1 cup Spring Water

Combine all ingredients in your bathtub along with enough warm water to make you comfortable. Sit in the bath and say the following words:

I seek happiness, honesty, love and joy, 

May the universe guide me to my perfect (enter here what suits you best!) 

As you soak in the water, envision all the obstacles to love draining away and washing off you. Then inhale deeply, and absorb the positive energy of new beginnings created by the herbs and oils in the bath.

Best of luck and love to you on your journey!

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Lilith Dorsey, MA is a magical practitioner/voodoo priestess with training in several traditions, including Celtic, Afro-Caribbean (Santeria and Vodun), and Native American spiritualties. Her traditional education focused on plant science, anthropology, and film. She owns her own magickal consulting business, Branwen’s Pantry, and is editor/publisher of Oshun-African Magickal Quarterly. She is also the author of Voodoo and Afro-Caribbean Paganism and The African-American Ritual Cookbook. She has a degree in anthropology from the University of Rhode Island and an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

by Kendra Levin

The first half of January can be a time of big dreams, powerful goals, and strong motivation. We crack the spine on a brand-new journal, draw up a list of resolutions and stick it on the fridge, throw away the old calendar and tear the shrink-wrap off an untouched one that’s still full of possibilities. We are ready to make changes and take action.

For many of us, though, that ambition melts and muddies as quickly as pristine snow. By mid-month, those big dreams have turned into a puddle of backsliding, rationalizing, guilt, frustration, and ultimately resignation. By the time February rolls around, we’ve given up entirely. We live the rest of the year as if that brief, brilliant period of inner drive had never happened.

It’s not that we don’t accomplish anything. But often, we don’t accomplish what we’re truly capable of—what we see is possible for ourselves during that magical window when the year is fresh and new.

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What would it be like to continue to see that possibility for ourselves? To believe, beyond January, that we’re capable of true change? To set in motion a series of actions that carry us through a year of living closer to our greatest potential?

We are all capable of doing this. Here’s how (with thanks to author Leila Sales for inspiring this list):

Be focused. Don’t try to change every part of your life at once; instead, pick one or two goals that are the most important to you. Go for quality, not quantity.

Be ambitious but realistic. Challenge yourself with goals at the upper limit of your capabilities, so you can prove to yourself what you are able to do, but don’t set a goal so daunting you lose steam quickly.

Be a planner. Don’t make a broad goal and then expect yourself to just figure out how to accomplish it along the way. Instead, operationalize it: break it down into its component steps and plot out how you’ll do each one. Making a big goal into a bunch of small goals makes it much more manageable.

Be resilient. What will happen if you don’t do everything you set out to do this month? Probably nothing! If you don’t do every single thing on your list, it’s okay—don’t lose hope and give up on the whole thing. Every morning you get a new day and a chance to make new choices. Keep trying!

Be a Hero. If a resolution is important to you, treat it that way. Being a Hero means protecting, serving, and making sacrifices for what you care about. How will you protect this goal from whatever threatens it? How will you serve the cause that’s important to you—whether that cause is your writing or art, your health, your time, or whatever it is you are valuing with this resolution? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to keep this resolution? (Hint: it might be something you think you need but actually don’t.) Don’t forget how you feel today about this resolution; don’t talk yourself into not caring about it a couple weeks or a month from now.

Ask yourself: What will I do this year? How am I going to do it? What tools do I need to help me accomplish my goals? Thoughtful, specific answers to these questions can set you on the path to where you want to get to. And I firmly believe you’ll find your way there.


Kendra Levin is a certified life coach for writers, as well as a children’s book editor, teacher, and writer. Since 2008, she has helped writers and other creative artists all over the world meet their goals and connect more deeply with their work and themselves. She has been on the editorial staff at Penguin since 2005, editing all ages from picture books to young adult, and her books have received starred reviews and national awards. Kendra has taught classes for a range of populations from media professionals to prison inmates and has spoken at writers’ conferences and retreats in over twenty states. Her theatrical works have been produced Off- and Off-Off Broadway and regionally, and her eclectic professional writing credits include celebrity speeches, a bar guide, and Mad Libs. Her home base is New York City. Follow her @kendralevin or visit her at www.kendracoaching.com.

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The Causes of Magickal Power: A Brief Essay

by John L. Steadman

Among occultists, there is some debate about the actual causes of magickal power. There are three schools of thought in play here.  First, there is the theory that the source of magickal power derives from the extra-terrestrial entities that are the target of magickal practice. This theory is certainly the earliest theory and can be considered as the “traditional” view.  The rituals used by magickal practitioners prior to the twentieth century were derived from the grimoires and magickal texts of the 13th, 15th and 16th centuries in western Europe, and these practitioners commonly assumed that the extraterrestrial entities, whether invoked or evoked, as the case might be, served as the “causes” of magickal power.  This is evident when we examine the texts of some of the actual grimoires, such as the Greater Key of Solomon, attributed to the historical King Solomon who lived in the 10th century B.C.E., but likely written by one of Solomon’s followers in the 12th or 13th centuries.

In these prototypical rites, the magickal practitioner not only exhorted the various demons or evil spirits to bring about the results he desires, but went so far as to offer prayers and supplications to angels, archangels and even God himself to compel the demons to do so.   As the medieval practitioner, did this, however, he believed that he was working with real, empirically-existent entities- as ontologically real, in fact, as he was himself.  This belief in the reality of the entities was, of course, held by the early church; the Holy Roman Catholic Church cited doctrine that “proved” God, Christ, the Holy Ghost, and the various angelic and demonic entities were actually in existence; Ephesians 6; Colossians 2:17; Job 4:18; Isiah 45:7.  Similarly, the Protestant sects, from the earliest times, accepted the ontological nature of angels and demons.  As a case in point, the great New England divine Cotton Mather, chief apologist for the Salem Witchcraft crisis of 1692, firmly believed that the afflicted girls were possessed by actual devils, and he himself had an encounter with what he saw as a “good angel when he was in his thirties. But Mather was very careful to state that the devils which afflicted the girls in Salem, though real devils, were allowed to do so only by the permission of God himself.  And likewise, Mather’s contact with his own angel was allowable only through God’s will.

The second school of thought about the source of magickal power is the “inner” explanation.  With the advent of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and psychiatry in the early 1900’s, many occultists shifted away from the strictly “outer” explanation towards the belief that magickal power originates in the mind and brain of human beings themselves.  Accordingly, or so these occultists argue, the extraterrestrial entities are not real, objectively existing beings, but rather, personifications of specific qualities and psychic predispositions that reside within each magickal practitioner. Thus, when a magickal practitioner evokes Metatron, for example, an archangel of the sphere of Kether, who manifests in a cloud of blinding white light- much like a conventional image (caricature?) of God, the Father- this being is only a mental construct and has no reality outside the mind of the magickal practitioner.  The practitioner is, in effect, “seeing things”.  In addition, Metatron would be entirely invisible to the physical eyes of any objective onlooker, even though the power of this entity can still be used by the practitioner for his or her own ends.  Therefore, the magickal power has its source in the mental, imaginative powers of the practitioner; the devices used in the ritual, the trappings, the image of the entity itself, etc., are only symbols that allow the practitioner to access inner reservoirs of psychic energy.

The third school of thought provides a compromise between the strictly “outer” and strictly “inner” positions, arguing that magickal power has both an outer and inner dimension. Kenneth Grant, one of the proponents of this third school of thought, acknowledges that there are objectively real extraterrestrial entities present in any successful magickal rite, but he focuses his attention on the inner aspect whenever he describes the generation of magickal power.  Drawing on his knowledge of the East Indian Tantric texts, particularly the texts of the Sri Vidya sect, which he adapted freely for his own use in the Typhonian O.T.O., Grant pictures the awakening of magickal power in terms of the rising of a red dragon, or fire snake, which resides inside the body of the magickal practitioner.  The fire snake, also known as the Kundalini, lies coiled at the base of the spine.  During the course of a given magickal working, the fire snake ascends the spine and charges the chakras, i.e. specific power zones located in the human body.   As the fire snake rises, bodily secretions occur at each of the seven main chakras, the Sahasrana, Ajna, Visduha, Anahata, Manipura, Svadisthana, and Muladhara, respectively, and these secretions then manifest as magickal power once the fire snake begins its descent.  If the magickal practitioner is a male and is performing an act of sex magick with a female practitioner, then there are subtle energy fields in the body of the female, known as kalas, which are also charged by the rite and contribute their own essence or effluvia to the secretions at the point of the chakras.  And this, in turn, tends to intensify the magickal power generated by the rite as a whole.  Grant describes the process in the following terms.

In order to transform sexual energy into magical energy (ojas), the dormant Fire Snake at the base of the spine is awakened…the chakras..the lesser lights glowing and pulsating like stars throughout the ganglionic network of nerves which constitutes the subtle anatomy of man…become fully energized only when the Fire Snake arrives at their several loci during Her ascent…When the Fire Snake emits its luminous venom, it gushes over and permeates the entire body.  The overflow contains ojas, the magical current that electrifies the cerebro-spinal fluid in the region of the sushumna (spinal canal)…Finally, She attains the calm purity of Her lunar-sattvic essence as She reaches the brain, above the visuddha power-zone.  It is on Her backward journey that She collects these essences into One Supreme Elixir and discharges it through the Secret Eye of the Priestess. [i]

 

The Elixir alluded to in this passage is the combined sexual fluids of the magickian and the priestess, and the “Secret Eye” is, of course, the vagina of the priestess. The fact that Grant’s emphasis here is on sex magick, however, does not mean that the awakening of the Fire Snake and the resultant development of magickal power is confined only to sex workings.  Grant, in Aleister Crowley & the Hidden God (1992), makes it clear that the Kundalini can be fully awakened by ritual magick and, interestingly enough, by other methods which may or may not have any connection with the practice of magick at all.[ii]   In fact, Grant provides a list of methods for generating magickal power which includes such activities as listening to certain types of music, getting high on drugs or alcohol, and even aesthetic rapture induced by the contemplation of art objects, as viable alternatives to magickal rites.

The magickal practitioners who do not engage in sex magick and yet, adhere to the “inner/outer” theory of magickal power, hold views similar to those articulated by Grant, though they usually don’t describe the generation of magick power in terms of the chakras, kalas, sexual secretions, etc.  On average, magickal practitioners still accept the traditional theory that magick works on three “planes.” I am not sure that I accept this theory at all; I tend to hold a Quantum Physics view of magick, which I have articulated in my two books: H. P. Lovecraft & the Black Magickal Tradition: The Master of Horror’s Influence on Modern Occultism (2015) and H. P. Lovecraft’s Magickal Persona: The Evolution of an Occult Archetype (2016). Nevertheless, the theory of planes stipulates that there is a physical plane, an astral plane, and a mental plane.  According to this theory, human beings inhabit all three of these planes simultaneously.  In effect, the planes coexist around us, and we have three “bodies” that allow us to move between the planes. These are the physical body, the astral body (which is often equated with the “soul”) and the spirit itself- this “spirit”, presumably, is the purified body that returns to Heaven or to God after death.

Konstantinos, magickal practitioner and well-known author on occult subjects, elaborates on how a magickal evocation is enacted, at least in terms of the three planes, and how magickal power is generated.

In a magical evocation, your calling of the entity is done on the mental plane.  After it “hears” you, it either comes to the astral or physical planes, depending on the type of evocation you are performing.  The calling of the entity is performed on the mental plane because all magic begins in the mind, is powered by the will, and causes change.

Why do evocations work?  Why do entities feel compelled to come to the magician when called?  To answer this question…. When a magician stands in the center of the circle, he or she is able to invoke the power of Divine Providence.  In the Opening by Watchtower, a vortex of power descends upon the magician, which the magician can use to empower the ritual he or she is performing.  Since this power comes from God, the magician can in effect command Holy Energy, granting him or her Divine Authority.[iii]

This is a very interesting statement.  According to Konstantinos, the magickal practitioner calls the entity in his mind; this part of the theory conforms to the “inner” view regarding the causes of magickal power.  But then, the entity answers the call; this, in turn, conforms to the “outer” view.  The  entity, thus, is a real entity, since it can travel on its own volition between the astral plane and the physical plane,  and when the entity manifests, particularly on the physical plane, it’s ontological reality is confirmed.  Konstantinos’ discussion of the vortex of power and the “Holy Energy” is interesting as well; here, he rather sounds like Cotton Mather, essentially arguing that the power of magick is given, or “granted”, by God.  The medieval magickal practitioners, mentioned previously, would certainly concur with this view.

[i] Grant, Kenneth, Cults of the Shadow, New York, Samuel Weiser, 1976, 64-95.

[ii] Grant, Kenneth, Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God, London, Skoob Books, 1992, pp.97-8.

[iii] Konstantinos. Summoning Spirits: The Art of Magical Evocation. Woodbury, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 2005, 111-112.


John L. Steadman is the author of H.P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition, a scholar of H. P. Lovecraft and western occultism and has been a magickal practitioner for more than thirty years. He is currently a college English professor at Olivet College in Michigan.

9781578635870

Everybody Loves Me

by Debra Landwehr Engle

Last year, a student in one of my A Course in Miracles classes traveled to Central America for more than a week. By herself.

As she told people about the trip, she received a variety of responses, ranging from “Good for you, have a great time” to “Are you crazy? You’re going alone?”

Her physical safety was not an issue for her. She’s traveled farther and to more remote destinations than this by herself without problems. But this time she did decide to try something new.

For a week leading up to the trip, and each day she was traveling, she told herself the same message: “Everybody loves me.”

Three words. Powerful words. They put her in receiving mode. And they created a protective bubble of intention and energy that not only made her safe, but made her magnetic.

everybody-loves-me

She’d sit alone in a restaurant, and someone would always show up to talk. She’d ask directions on city streets and be led exactly where she needed to go. She had all the company she wanted and, on the one occasion where she questioned her safety, she reminded herself that everyone loves her, and all was well.

In Let Your Spirit Guides Speak, I write about the value of treating life as an extended journey to another country, a place where we get to joyfully discover diversity and new cultures. My fiend’s mantra is a great addition to that mode of living, to claim and reaffirm every day that, on this journey to a wildly exotic place, everyone loves us.

It’s also an interesting twist to the “Jesus loves me, this I know” lyrics many of us learned as children. If God loves us, and His son loves us, and we are all one, it follows that everyone does love us. The Christ energy in every human being loves the Christ energy in all others, despite the seemingly endless conflicts our ego minds create.

Is it selfish or self-centered to think that everyone loves you? Hardly. When I feel loved, I’m able to express my joy and loving nature to others in a way that’s not possible when I’m locked in insecurity or self-doubt.

Claiming that everyone loves me puts my mind in the right place, where I can extend love and everything that entails: abundance, peace of mind, playfulness, safety and well-being.

That’s the least selfish thing I can think of.

So, as you set your intentions for 2017, there’s no doubt that your thoughts will determine the quality of this year for you. They’ll make the difference between a year of success or failure in every aspect of your life.

If you need one thought to carry you through each day, you couldn’t do much better than “Everybody loves me.” Give it a try for a day or a week or a month, and start paying attention to what and who shows up in your life—no matter where you travel on your own personal journey.


Debra Engle is the author of The Only Little Prayer You Need and Let Your Spirit Guides Speak. You can find her on Facebook and at debraengle.com and at her Patheos.com blog “Everyday Miracles.”

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