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Archive for July, 2008


The logical question after yesterday’s blog would be the question, “What’s is the difference between a successful spell and an unsuccessful spell?”  To this, my best answer would be that one of the four elements is missing or wrong.

Power

My best explanation for power would have to do with energy manipulation.  It is simply the strength of your focus combined with the intensity of your desire and the efficiency with which you manipulate energy. 

I believe that a large amount of power will almost always get something to happen.  Maybe instead of bringing you a big paycheck in the mail you’ll get a big bill in the mail, but something will have happened if you push that energy out into the world.  I also believe that this has to do with how quickly the form manifests from spell.

This seems to be the simplest and most common aspect of magick to train regularly.  Every book you’ll ever read about magick expounds on the necessity of learning to focus the mind through meditation and energy work.  I would probably say that this is one of our strongest skills as a magickal community.  Of course, there’s always more work to be done on it and more exercises to learn/create.  This very possibly is the difference between the people in the psychiatric hospitals and us (though I’ve never met many people who have serious mental illnesses so I’m actually quite ignorant on this topic).

Technique

Technique would be the part of magick that separates all of the branches of magick.  Sigil magick, high magick, making charms, energy healing, etc. are all forms of technique.

Technique would probably play the biggest part in focusing the power to do a certain thing.  Good technique probably will get you the results you want, but they may not be quite as extravagant as you wanted them to be.  Maybe you did a spell for rain.  You may not get that rain for 6 months or it might just be a bit of a drizzle or fog if there’s not enough power.

I really think that we have explored a large number of techniques, but this is a place to make improvements.  We have all witnessed getting what we wanted, but very few of us have gotten what we wanted in a manner that was exactly how we wanted.  You may have brought love into your life, but you didn’t say, “I want a friend to call me with a blind date scheduled with the perfect person for me” and get it.  This may fit into this category or not.  That’s absolutely up for discussion.

Belief

Belief is what we’ve been talking about in conjunction with what exactly magick can do.  Belief is probably best described by having the conscious desire coincide perfectly with the unconscious ideas about the world.

Belief, in my mind is simply a filter.  So, if you want to conjure up a fireball to shoot from your fingertips, and you absolutely don’t believe it, nothing will happen no matter how perfect everything else is.  Now, on the other hand, if you can believe that something may happen, maybe when you turn around the flower that happened to be hanging above your candle might have caught on fire.  And with 100% belief, you’d actually conjure a fireball (if you had enough focus or power and the technique was good enough to focus the energy towards that one goal).  This seems to be a huge flaw in our current community.  It seems only the delusional actually can believe that they could do anything of this nature…or even of being able to do a spell to bring a large sum of money into their lives somehow.  Belief, I believe (haha), will be one of the biggest obstacles in any furtherment of magick, and I really don’t know how to change what I believe.

Other

Well, this would be a large number of other factors that not all belief systems agree on.  Maybe this could be spiritual help, destiny to do this one act, you’re an Aries and so you can throw fireballs easier than you can make it rain, etc.  This is probably not all that easily talked about because it’s such a large category for catch all stuff.

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In the last couple posts, it seemed that there seems to be a bit of disagreement about the very basics of magick.

I’m not sure that this is an accurate statement. One of the problems with many of these accounts of magical powers from a long time ago is that over time the stories tend to be exaggerated. The difficulty is figuring out how much.

Well, why exactly is it that we’re sure that these stories were exaggerated?  I know that this is the general concensus in most magickal circles, but how do you know?  I may be missing some vital piece of information where a soldier in Caesar’s army witnessed a “shapeshifting” and described it as simply being a shift from man to beast in actions and mindset, and if this is true then I will be extremely glad to hear of it because it makes my possible goals far simpler.

On the other hand, I really don’t think that there is an actual eyewitness statement of an ancient shapeshifter.  There are also the seemingly eyewitness statements of the most commonly known magickal stories:  turning water into wine, walking on water, healing blindness, etc.  I know that many of us have turned our backs on Christianity, but it is still a book of stories from a time where magick was far more common.

So what possible goals could we reach through magick?  Could we really have the Harry Potter style magick?  Or is it that something of this nature is completely out of reach for us?  And why is it out of reach for us?  We have all heard stories of levitation, of curing diseases instantaneously, shapeshifting, of calling forth the elements to destroy villages, of parting the waters to cross a sea.  These are common stories in myths, and all seem to be quite extraordinary, but at the same time, we say that by visualizing and manipulating energy we can heal the sick (slowly and only in ways that we don’t understand scientifically), cause people to fall ill (by a disease that we cannot actually see or witness the effects of until it has taken hold), can call spirits to us (though not so much ones that we can see, more that we “know” are there), and create spells that will bring love and money to us (though not in any way that we can describe).  How exactly are these different?  The difference is not in how extraordinary they are, it’s in how easily we can accept them.  So how much can we actually affect the physical world through the use of magick?

Remember this:  Science doesn’t understand the physical world any better than it did 2000 years ago.  We don’t know why anything happens.  Gravity is unexplained, the way that an atom is held together is unexplained, the fact that the world is actually matter-less and yet we are solid is unexplained.  We absolutely can predict what will happen if we do something.  We understand what happens when you drop an apple from a tree, but who knows why?  No one does.  So why can’t it be that we all expect it to happen, so it does? 

The world gives you exactly what you want, every time.  The only problem is that it’s what all of you wants, not just the conscious part of you.  I want to travel through time, but my subconscious expects me not to so I don’t.  I want to throw fireballs but my subconscious says that I’m being silly, so I don’t.  I want to find a girl that is perfectly suited for me and my subconscious says that that’s perfectly reasonable and that I can affect that change in the world, so I will find that girl.  How are these any different?  I’m able to “cast my spells” effectively only when I truly believe in them.  Maybe what we should be working towards is being able to believe…

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So after I wrote the last blog about there being a lack of research in the Pagan communities, I realized something that’s key to research in anything:  financial compensation for your time.  Currently, an enormous amount of research is done through Universities where the employees are paid to find new stuff out as well as teach the basics of what they know.  So they fulfill two very lacking things in the Pagan communities:  the progression of total knowledge base as well as passing down the current knowledge base.  Even if someone has suddenly found the super “spell” that allows you to fly and throw fireballs, he wouldn’t be able to show enough people to further to knowledge base of the general Pagan community if it took any time at all to learn how to do it.

So I did some research into whether or not there were any “Magick Schools/Universities”, and whether or not there was any possibility of a school that was legit enough to be productive.  I found that there are no legit brick and mortar magick schools, and very few semi-legit online magick schools.  For the most part, all of these seem to simply follow an experiential book format where they have basic assignments that the students post results for.  These probably do everything that the students want from them, but I want something much more, and I’m sure that there are many other students of magick that agree with me.  I would pay a significant amount of money for a magick school that would teach a core curriculum that went through all of the basic parts of magick from basic energy work to chakras to energy healing to astral travel.  I would want someone who was proficient in teaching as well as doing these things, and I’d want it to be far closer to a true college experience.

Whether or not the teaching is ever accomplished, I’d say that the most important part of the school would have to be the research (much like current colleges).  The professors would have to continuously make progress in the search for more powerful and effective magick.  I know that the problem with all of this is that the professors would have to make a very decent paycheck because their job would be hard.  Not only would it be a tough experience due to political and social pressures, it would also be hard because they would have to be the most experienced as well as the most able magicians and scholars (which would mean they’d have to have done almost all of their previous studies for free).

I don’t really have an answer to this, but the advancement of our collective magickal knowledge depends largely on being able to educate the younger generations as well as paying people to mainly work towards the advancement of that knowledge.

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I’ve been looking for new books here lately because I’ve gotten bored with reading silly fiction and want something that will engage the intellectual side of me.  I’ve looked through a lot of the older stuff like Crowley and Mathers as well as the more modern stuff that you can find at Barnes and Nobles and have pretty much come to the conclusion that there has been no progress in the Pagan community since Crowley’s time–except Chaos Magick (though I’m not all that interested in reading about it too much right now).  There have been almost no new innovative magickal techniques since the days of the OTO and Golden Dawn, and I think that that is a serious issue.

Everyone has heard the stories of the Middle and South American shamans who were able to shapeshift.  What about the druids who could mystically cure people’s illnesses through dances and trances?  What about the medicine men of Native American tribes that were feared because it was said that they could bring ruin to an entire tribe simply by doing a bit of magic?  Why has no one tried to progress at least to the point that these people seemed to be?  Everyone who’s been in the magickal world for any significant length of time has realized that as it stands, people are not able to do the things that were common 1000 years ago.  Why is that?  Where are the innovators of our community?  Where are the researchers? 

I feel that we as a community should be able to do incredible things.  We don’t have to stay hidden like the past secret societies were.  We don’t have to write letters back and forth for months to have a worthwhile idea exchange because we can do it all via email and instant messenger in the matter of a couple days.  We have places like this blog where anyone and everyone can comment and tell me that my ideas are stupid, or can tell me that if I turned my left foot a certain way that I’d be able to levitate.

I know that there are currently hundreds and thousands of forums, organizations, covens, and groups of people that communicate regularly about Pagan topics.  What exactly have they done?  Where are the books that have the new innovative ideas in them?  The Golden Dawn and Wicca are the only two groups that have come up with systems in the past 100 years and they were formed from secret societies.  Their systems have influenced a great deal of the Pagan beliefs, but why has everyone decided that it’s okay for us to stay stagnant and never progress towards being even more effective in our magickal pursuits?

I feel as though we, as a community, have the potential for so much more than anyone before us has ever had.  We should embrace the fact that we can communicate so easily with millions of people through the internet and the ease of printing books.  We should be outdoing everything that our ancient ancestors even dreamt of doing as we have in all of our scientific pursuits.  Magick is a science and should be treated as such.

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I just wanted to say that I’ll be back to posting regularly after this weekend.  It’s a busy weekend and I won’t be able to get to a computer for any length of time.  So everyone have an awesome weekend.

~Josh

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I’ve been a bit upset with how many people are so against the whole idea of this Movement idea that has sprung up from several blogs. I really couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t want an organization who could tell if there were fellow Pagans in their area to talk to or learn from or to teach. It would make creating covens simpler, joining covens simpler, learning the basics simpler, would keep people from simply going crazy keeping everything to themselves, and would allow a bit of unity so that their children could go to school and not get beat up for wearing a Pentagram. It really just didn’t make any sense…then I got a myspace message saying that the blog about leaders sounded like I was trying to reestablish a Pagan Pope or something.

Well, I want to clarify on this. I absolutely do not want a President of the Pagan People, no ambassador to the American President, and definitely not a Pagan Pope. I’m not looking for these four guys in funny hats to be leading the Pagan people. I just want an organization (some examples could be the World Wildlife Fund, NAACP, the NRA, or even the NBA) that could help its members to deal with some of their current issues (networking, discrimination, religious tolerance, information reliability). I am absolutely not trying to establish a system that will try to take over the world. I’m not trying to get rich off of this, and I’m not trying to push my beliefs on anyone else. I simply am tired of no one helping me with my issues, so I want to be an activisit in the Pagan community. I think that there may need to be a little bit of consistency that I’m sure 99% of the community can agree would be good for us. Let’s try to keep the sacrificing of children to a minimum (maybe only on Halloween…seriously, we can’t let the muggles down can we?), maybe try to be productive members of society (maybe let’s keep the kiddy porn advocates out of the group…), and hey how about you have to actually believe in what we believe (anything else is like letting the racist get the NAACP scholarship). Does anyone else really have a problem with any of this? If so, I’d really love to hear it, but I can’t think of any real flaws in it.

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So not long ago I had been having some energetic issues dealing with an old ex-friend and had been seeing things that weren’t there as well as simply having a creepy feeling on a regular basis. There had been quite a few cases of bad luck recently and I decided I needed to do a bit of cleansing as well as some defensive magick to protect the household. I’m sure that most of this is old hat for most of you, but there are a few people who read this regularly who might get something out of my train of thought.

I went through the possible ideas of possible cleansing rituals and decided that more than likely he wasn’t really energetically in the house but rather was energetically attached to me. So I decided that a nice warm saltwater bath would be a perfect answer to this (okay…I’d also just gotten back from working out and was a bit sore…). Salt is almost always a good answer for cleansing (just remember not to use it on metal things because this makes them rust) and the bath is a very symbolic way of cleansing.

That part was easy mainly because the answer pretty much presented itself to me since I was dying for a nice soak in the tub. The harder part was the defensive magick part. I’ve always been against doing simply energy work because I need a bit of props or else I don’t totally believe I’ve done much (which doubt is the number one reason for failure in magickal processes). I also am against doing too much negative magick against the person because in most cases they’re not really purposely doing it, though in this case I’m not sure this was true. So what I decided was that I’d simply do some major juju for protection of the house because that was where most of the problems were happening since I live alone.

The first step was to do basic protection for the house. I am a firm believer in the idea that physical openings are also the energetic openings. So after doing some research, I created some sachets to place around the house doors and windows. I do a lot of gemstone work, so I placed some crushed gemstones which resonated correctly for protection (iron, garnet, ruby) and energetic power (malachite, quartz) along with some soothing lavendar essential oil in small pieces of fabric and tied them up. Then I placed them near each of the openings to the house.

Then I poured a bit of salt in a line in front of the door and said a bit of a blessing.

Then I took a picture of myself and placed it behind a mirror. Then I did a bit of a spell (the wording of, I have no idea) and buried the mirror near the front door.

After all of that, I sat down and got into a meditative state. I built up energy around the house and connected the energy to each of the sachets and salt (not the mirror, that’s outside of the energy) in a web style. Then I allowed the pieces of the web to grow until the touched each other. This ended up being a large sphere around the house. I then specified that the energy was to keep out any energy or beings that was anything but beneficial.

After all of that, I left the sachets out for around a month and after that I picked them back up. I haven’t had a bit of trouble since I did that bit of protection (though I should probably do a refresher protection spell).

I hope that this can be of use to someone. If anyone has any questions or suggestions on other techniques, I’d be glad to hear them.

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So in most of my previous blogs I’ve written about things that I feel very comfortable with.  I expounded on books, society’s problems, possible tool ideas, etc. because I could see them and explain them with ease.  There was no guess work, no conjecture, and absolutely no faith necessary to explain them.  Well, let’s get off Easy Street and talk about the number one most important part of Magick:  Energy Work.

Energy work is anything that involves manipulating the natural energy that composes all of life.  It’s the pushing and pulling of energy that is how we manipulate spells.  We also naturally manipulate it when we have strong emotions, like when we are scared, we will naturally pull our energy in close to us so that we feel more secure and less vulnerable.  The trick is to be able to manipulate our energy without effort and in accordance with our consciousness.

I’m assuming that most of the readers are familiar with energy at least on a very basic level so I’m going to skip ahead a bit.  So, how do you practice energy work?  The best and most basic technique is simple energy meditations.  These can range from something as complicated to sitting in the middle of a cast circle after calling on your pantheon of gods and feeling the energies of these beings to something as simple as laying in bed before you go to sleep and relaxing your body enough to feel the energy flow through you.  The latter is my personal preference simply for convenience’s sake.

The basic idea is that you simply want to feel the energy flow through you and then you want to make it (originally through visualization) go where you need it to go and transform in ways you need it to transform.  Doing these things daily will allow you to be as aware of your energy and its effects at the same time that you’re walking down a busy street.  This is when people can actually start to use magick in their everyday life instead of needing to have a dark room with candles burning and no one talking.  Even if you think that it’s not all that important to be able to use magick in your everyday life, it’s still practicing magickal fundamentals all day long and that’s absolutely important.

So, this is where I’m at in my studies and practices with energy.  I’m looking for better ways to play with it and more efficient ways to strengthen my control of it, and I’m looking to you guys for some suggestions.  I know that I should play with astral work alongside it and that’s also in the works, but let’s stay on energy work.  I currently do energy work whenever I am going to meet someone new or when I’m having trouble concentrating.  I try to do as much as possible because I believe it’s the most useful practice we can have in trying to become more powerful magickal beings.  Even still, there are many of you out there that are older than I am and have been playing this game for quite some time, and I’m looking to you for guidance on new practices.

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So, I’ve been having trouble here lately getting the time to sit down and write any new blogs and have come to the realization that posting every day simply isn’t practical (mainly because nobody’s paying me and I’d be spending between 10 and 15 hours a week writing).  So I’m going to cut it down to around three blogs a week and make sure that they’re not just thrown together like several of the past couple ones have been.  So…onto the update:

Well, after reading what everyone has had to say I’ve done a bit of research and thinking.  I figured that if I wanted to start a networking organization, I really needed to look into other networking organizations and see if there’s one that’s already doing what I want to do.  So that’s what I did, and here’s a recap on quite a few of them:

The Pagan Federation (www.us.paganfederation.org):  This is probably the best known Pagan networking group and is over 35 years old.  In my opinion, this would mean that they should being doing a significant amount of work for the Pagan community since the majority of modern Pagan beliefs started around 60 years ago.  But they really haven’t.  They’ve got around 4,000 members worldwide which is a lot of people but that’s like three to five members per major city.  That’s a bit low in my opinion.  They charge $50 a year for solitary members which is also very high for such a low number of people.  No wonder they haven’t really pulled in a lot of members.  Seems like the key to this whole thing is the sheer number of members.  They also haven’t really done much in terms of politics or public education.  This is also an important facet of my dream organization.  They also don’t have any major events that I know of.

The Pagan Alliance (thepaganalliance.org):  This organization seems to be a very decent organization and has a festival every year.  It’s basically a networking and educational organization and has an active event page with events around the country.  The problem is that it is still in its infancy…7 years after it started.  The leaders of the group are all part-time leaders and this is probably contributing seriously to the fact that the group hasn’t done any great work yet.  Though, it is still a very good model of what I’d be looking to do.

Pagan Alliance Network (www.pansite.net):  This is a group that wants to have independent groups in a lot of communities rather than have a single tree style structure with a base group.  The organization’s goals are mainly in networking and community involvement.  I really can’t see this as a functional group because of its small scale goals like a meet and greet in their home town.

The Pagan Activist (www.thepaganactivist.com):  This is/was originally a newsletter site and has evolved into a very decent website.  It is updated very regularly and has very good article sections.  They have the best Pagan dictionary I’ve ever seen (I may have to ask for permission to use it…).  They have a forum which isn’t all that active, but they do have several posts a day.  They’re not all that old and seem to have their i’s dotted and t’s crossed.  Their newest project is called the Vital Rites Project and it’s all about being a networking tool for people who perform Rites of Passage such as coming of age ceremonies and handfastings.  There aren’t all that many current participants but they’ve been doing this for less than a year and if nothing else, it’s a very revolutionary idea and I like it a lot.  Actually, you should go check this website out because it’s just a nifty website and very useful.

So all in all, I’m pretty disappointed in the groups I’ve read about mainly because they have done almost nothing for the Pagan community.  They are also far too small to do any real networking.  The key I think is in advertising and I’ve got quite a few ideas on that which I think are pretty revolutionary.  I don’t really want to talk about it too much though because I haven’t thought everything through yet.

So the other update I’d like to make is the fact that I’m going to slow some of the Movement energy down a bit and turn this blog back into a more of a discussion on magickal practices and the Pagan community in general because this whole networking idea is going to take a lot of work that I won’t be able to report about every two days.  So, be patient with me on this and I’ll keep updating every couple weeks.  Not only that, but I’d really like to keep this up because my motto is “One man trying to change the world by changing himself“, and I need the discussion to change myself.  Also…for all of those readers who are just lurking the shadows, it’s really helpful if I can get a few more comments to spur discussion because that’s where new ideas come from.  Well, have a great day everyone.

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Paths Pt. 1


Everyone has a true path that leads to bliss and pure uncorrupted happiness.  This path may lead through troubling times and most certainly will lead through sad events.  This is the way of life no matter what happens, but the man that walks along his true path can navigate through these times without losing hope, without ever losing the smile on his face.  The thing about it is that there are always challenges that must be faced in order to stay on that path.  Here is the first one:

The Fearful Priestess:
There once was an 18 year old girl that had grown up in your everyday average American middle class to lower middle class family.  She had one brother and her parents were still married.  She dated many different boys who were less than perfect boyfriends, but she stayed with them.  It wasn’t because she loved them because she saved that for the one that she knew she was going to marry.  It was simply because she needed someone to care about her.  The strange thing was that instead of trying to find an amazing boyfriend, she instead found the first person who would care for her and was attractive and would stay with him until some event caused her to leave them.

One day she met a boy who was different from the other boys she had dated.  This boy was something completely unfathomable for her.  The first night they were together, she dreamed of him.  She had never dreamt of a boy before.  The third night that they drank together, something unheard of happened.  He told her that she was important.  He told her that if she listened and watched that she would do something amazing and that she would change the world.  She looked at him as though he was crazy.  No one had ever told her anything like this, but she knew deep down that there was truth to the words he had said.  She didn’t know how he could know this about her and had no idea as to how she would ever be important, but it was true.  She had found her path, and she had found the boy that would walk with her on it.  They spent many hours sitting and talking and laughing and enjoying the world to the utmost.  She never cried for three months, and was constantly happy.  She had adventures and was learning about herself.  She started understanding what the world was trying to tell her through signs in the way the wind blew and that slight scent on the air.

Then something changed.  She saw the boy that she’d lost her virginity to, and they talked and had fun.  They had broken up several years before and he had been heartbroken because of the way she treated him.  He knew that he still loved her and that she still loved him, but she couldn’t give him the things he needed and he couldn’t give her the things she needed.  But this love of theirs, this first love, brought them back together.  This is where she strayed from her path.  She didn’t love the boy that walked on her path with her the same way.  She had envisioned her life as a small girl doing the things that her first love could give her, and that’s the way she believed her life would end up.  She couldn’t imagine anything more after she saw him again, and thought that she could be happy with him.

The boy waited for her to rejoin him on her path for almost a year.  He waited not because he loved her like a husband or boyfriend, but because he loved her for walking her path while he walked his.  He loved her because he knew that they had both been completely happy for the past three months while they had walked their paths together and learned from each other.  He saw her cry almost every night for this year and was sad for her.  He tried to make her happier, but knew that there was little he could do because it was a love that was not meant to be.  So he waited and tried to convince her to go back to her path, not for him, but for herself.  The boy didn’t want to leave her behind because he had enjoyed their jouneys together, but finally he could wait no longer.  He told her this, “I don’t ask you to leave him for me, I simply ask that you leave him for yourself.  You know as well as I do that you’ll never do the things you want while you’re with him.”  She replied, “You offer me nothing but hopes and dreams.  You don’t promise love, you don’t promise support.  You only promise trials and work.  You don’t even promise me anything at the end, and you ask me to sacrifice the boy I want to marry?  How can you ask me to do this.  All you have to do is to say that you want me to leave him for you and I’ll do it.”  The boy knew that their paths would not stay together forever and that they would have to part and he knew that he would not be able to give her what she wanted.  So the boy reluctantly went back to his path and continued walking knowing fully that he would rather walk alone than to not walk at all because while he was on his path every desire and need would be fulfilled by the world without question.  Sometimes it is not in the easiest or most convenient manner, but while he was on his path life would give him happiness.  She, on the other hand, has waited for someone to come along and make her happy instead of finding happiness on her own.

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