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Using words to command the forces you channel for more precise, flexible magick.
Most magick works by channeling external forces. The mage sends their instructions, and the forces figure out the details and drives the magick.
Sometimes it’s explicit, like when Reiki healers channel energy. Sometimes it’s implicit, like when psychics channel information. Sometimes it’s hidden, like when you do a ritual to influence events, and don’t realize there’s an outside force driving the results. Sometimes it’s only after you’ve stopped paying attention, like when you create a symbol to communicate intent to your unconscious, and let it work out the details, which generally include sending that intent to an external force.
If the practitioners don’t realize there’s an outside force, how do I know it’s there? Well, there has to be something to turn the symbolic action into a change in the world, right? Also, with direct magick, you can connect to those forces and observe them directly.
If you like Jung’s collective unconscious, you’ll call those forces “Servitors” or “Egregores.” I call them “ethereal software,” since they process information and follow instructions much like a computer, or sometimes just “forces.” In older posts, I called them “systems.”
Most people direct ethereal software with symbols, rituals, or by focusing on their intent and letting the force read their thoughts. Instead, I direct ethereal software with words, because words are more flexible and precise.
I want to mention one thing up front, though: There’s a technique to communicating with ethereal software in words. If you’ve always done magick via symbols and rituals, you can’t just replace the symbols with words, because the techniques you learned were designed for symbols, not words. You also can’t simply intend to send commands as words — some magick works with just intent, but others need a more detailed technique, and this is a detailed-technique type of magick. We’ll get to that technique later.
Creating New Commands
When I’m talking about flexibility and precision in commanding the forces you channel, I’m talking about creating new commands to solve problems that haven’t been solved before, or to improve on the existing solutions.
If you want to know the most effective way to get the results people get by doing ritual X, the answer is simple: Do ritual X. And there are lots of books and blogs to help you with that. That’s not the problem I’m trying to solve.
You can use words to trigger the magick you normally get from a ritual, without doing the ritual. But if that’s your goal, it’s easier to learn the ritual than to learn to command forces with words.
So, my blog, my choice of topic: Let’s talk about creating new commands to solve new problems.
Words vs Rituals
People talk about rituals as a language, since you can combine the symbols and short rituals (like the LBRP) into a larger ritual. And they’re right: That is a language. Symbols are like words, and short rituals are like phrases.
But think about how many English words you know versus how many symbols you know. An experienced mage might know 1,000 symbols. But a high-school grad already knows about 12,000 words. And that larger vocabulary lets you express a broader range of ideas and instructions.
Think about how long it takes to do the ritual, versus stating your goal in English. And don’t forget the time it takes to translate your goal (written in English) into ritual symbols. Then think about the precision you can get by writing three paragraphs instead of just one sentence, and how long it would take to express three paragraphs in symbols and rituals. Whatever amount of time you have for your magick, you can get more details using words.
Specifying full sentences, paragraphs and pages of instructions lets you explain new commands to the force, walking it through techniques that haven’t been programmed yet. Then, if you want, you can associate those page-long instructions with a short symbol or phrase, so other mages who haven’t learned to send instructions in words can use your commands, too.
Words vs Focused Intent
Most mages I know use a ritual to start their magick, then fill in the details with their intent. Some, particularly psychics and energy healers, skip the ritual entirely, and just “send out the intent.” Others create a symbol, saying their intent out loud, and letting the forces that respond to the symbol figure out the details. In all these cases, the ethereal software reads their thoughts and acts on those instructions.
This has two problems:
First, the ethereal software often won’t pick up every detail of your intent. It won’t warn you when this happens, and it doesn’t even seem to realize. But, if you can communicate with these forces in words, you can ask what instruction they just received, and compare it to what the person says they sent. About half the time, it’s spot on. About a quarter of the time, it’s close enough. And the remaining quarter of the time, it’s not so great.
The more experienced the mage, the more likely the ethereal software is to correctly read the intent. But the more complex the intent, the more likely the software is to get some part wrong. For any given level of experience, you’ll be able to specify more detailed instructions with words than intents.
Second, when the software reads your thoughts, it reads all of them, so you have to worry about unconscious urges, doubts and unkind thoughts, lest the forces driving your magick act on your doubt (producing no results) or hurt someone.
But once you’re commanding the force with words, you can consciously control which instructions go to the force, and which stay tucked away in your mind, unspoken. So you can say exactly what you want to say, and nothing else.
There’s a third factor: With words, you know exactly what instruction the ethereal software got, so you can experiment more precisely. This is important for pushing the boundaries of your magick.
How It Works
“How to command forces with words” will take several posts.
But here’s the gist: You guide the force to connect to just one part of your mind. Then you put any thoughts you want to send there, and leave all the other thoughts out of it.
You’ll also listen to that part of your mind for the ethereal software’s messages, which also come through in words, allowing more detailed debugging of commands.
I want to be clear about one thing, though: There is an actual technique to each step — for preparing an area of your mind, for guiding the ethereal software in, for putting your thoughts there, and for listening to it. None of them are terribly difficult, but if you haven’t learned them, commanding ethereal software with words probably won’t work. You’ll wind up speaking your desires, and letting the software pick up your intent.
Before I can walk you through the technique, though, we need to discuss consciously and directly experiencing magick.Other posts in this series:
- The 3 Defining Aspects of Direct Magick (January 19, 2012)
- Commanding Forces with Words (January 20, 2012)
- Experiencing Magick Consciously (January 28, 2012)