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There’s no single right way to do magick. Everyone channels outside forces (“systems”). And everyone can improve their skills with direct magick. The only way to excel is to know both methods.
If you’re not familiar with systems, mental muscles and direct magick, read the first post in this series.
System-based magick is fast. All systems work basically the same, so it’s quick to learn. The system does most of the work for you, so it’s easy to use. Systems are a great tool to have.
But systems can help too much. By insulating you from the hard parts, they insulate you from the challenges that drive learning.
The problem is, systems are so much easier to use, and so much easier to teach, that a lot of people never encounter direct magick. It’s just not written about. Most mages learn by developing it themselves, or meeting a mage who already knows it, or learning from spirits. It’s much harder than it needs to be, and it keeps mages from advancing our art into a science.
Learning direct magick takes effort. But every mage shouldn’t have to re-invent it. That’s why I started this blog: To help guide you through the challenges that will help you grow as a mage.
How Mages Limit Their Own Growth
Energy healers channel “The Universe.” Psychics listen to “The Source.” Ritual mages channel various external forces.
I call all those forces “systems”. They all work the same way: You instruct the system; it drives the magick (making energy, predicting the future, contacting spirits, etc); you channel its response.
Learning to use your first system teaches you core skills: How to make connections, send your thoughts, channel replies, etc. You’ll use these skills in all your magick.
But your second, third, tenth systems don’t add new skills. Great to learn once, but no need to repeat. Nine years of experience is very different from 1 year of experience, nine times*.
*This sentence stolen from Seth Godin. His blog is great, by the way.
Review: How System-Based Magick Works
All system-based magic follows that basic pattern:
- Connect to both the system and whoever you want it to do healing work with, influence, or otherwise work on.
- Tell the system what you want it to do.
- Channel the system’s response. This might be energy for healing, psychic intuitions, or something else.
You might use a rune or a ritual to help guide your mind through these steps, but the pattern doesn’t change. The system always handles the hard parts. That’s what makes them so convenient.
(For examples of system-based magick, see the energy healing and psychic examples in How Magick Works).
Why Systems Are Limiting
Think of systems like computer programs. They’re good at what they do, but they don’t do anything else. Excel won’t help you write an essay, and energy healing systems won’t go deeper than energy. And going deeper, into the layers closer to physical cells, is the key to faster, more dramatic healing results.
Eventually, you’ll want to do more than your system can handle. But improving on what the system does requires understanding what the system does. And using a system doesn’t create that understanding any more than using a calculator teaches you math.
Growing as a Mage: Direct Magick
In direct magick, you’ll drive magick yourself, without a system. Your mind’s mental muscles will make all the connections, choose the right energy to use, and generally do everything that systems do for you now. It shows you the gaps in your skills and understanding, which is the first step to growth.
You’ll close those gaps by watching your magick work. Watching each pathway, each structure and each signature change as you do healing work builds the intuitive understanding that lets you create better techniques. That understanding is what separates magick that works when you’re lucky from magick that works reliably.
Example: Energy Healing With Direct Magick
When you do healing work with direct magick, you consciously control all the steps:
- You make connections throughout the injured area to find and diagnose the problem.
- Based on the signature of healthy tissue, you figure out what energy to use for the healing technique.
- You shift the energy they produce so they make that healing energy, driving the healing technique.
The point isn’t to do what the system does yourself. That’s a lot of work for no real benefit.
The point is to to get better than the system. But before you can do that, you have to learn how the system’s magick works.
Next, learn direct magick with this Step-By-Step Guide.Other posts in this series:
- How Magick Works - Part 2 (October 21, 2010)
- How Magick Works - Part 3 (October 25, 2010)
- The Best Way to Grow as a Mage (November 4, 2010)
- Learning Direct Magick, Step by Step (January 27, 2011)