Evidence-Based Magick

by Mike Sententia on April 18, 2012

You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.

I just figured out how to introduce non-mages to direct magick. Last night I was at a meetup with a few pagans and a lot of non-magickal folks, and I was more interested in letting everyone get to know me than in making polite-but-shallow connections. So, I tried something new:

“I do energy healing, but focused on testing and verifiable results.” Most folks asked follow-up questions and seemed genuinely interested. It went over really well. Feel free to borrow the phrase.

Based on that, I’m thinking of a new tagline (at the top of the page, below “Magick of Thought”). What do you think of:

  • Evidence-based energy healing, manifesting and other magick.
  • Results-focused magick for energy healing, manifesting and more.
  • Magick focused on testing and verifiable results.

Which do you like best? Why? Also, you can like the first half of one (“evidence-based” vs “results-focused”) and the second half of another. And feel free to suggest another phrase.

Thanks!

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Francesca April 18, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Heal~Manifest~Get Results
OR
Road Tested Magick that Gets Results

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Andrew April 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I prefer the last one because not everyone who is interested in your work is interested in healing. Your system is extremely flexible, by putting healing in the primary description is gives an impression that is limiting.

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Mike Sententia April 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Thanks, guys. That’s really helpful.

I’ve been writing as I think through this. I’ll post some of the more interesting notes here for anyone curious about this.

Direct magick is:
-Results-focused. If the magick didn’t produce a reliable, quantifiable change in the world, it didn’t work.
-Direct. You’ll manipulate the building blocks of magick directly, rather than sending out your intent through a ritual, visualization, or just focusing on what you want.

Francesca’s suggestions are really good. (She’s a professional author, and it shows.) I like “Road Tested Magick that Gets Results.” It hits the same theme twice, using plain language. But it somehow doesn’t feel right for me. This blog is a work in progress. I’m developing and doing the road testing. It’s not a finished product yet.

Really, I’m not selling results — direct magick is a long road if you’re in it for results rather than insight. The point is, I believe what I believe because of the results I’ve seen. As opposed to people who believe something because it sounds nice, and avoid putting that belief in situations where it can be falsified.

I’d also like to tie the tagline into “thought” or “direct magick.” Maybe “altering the physical world through thought,” which is roughly my definition of magick.

I’ll add comments here as I think about this. Thanks for reading.

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Francesca April 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM

In writing to inspire others to utilize your work you may want to consider a few things:

1) Is it authentic to you
2) Does it make sense to them
3) Is it provocative, evocative, and easy to remember

Nike’s catch phrase was “Just do it”. A tag line is meant to be short, punchy, and intriguing.

Sera Beakmans is “Dare to Disturb the Universe.”

Warm and kind regards,
Francesca

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Yvonne April 18, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I like the second one, myself. It sounds better for marketing.
The “healing manifesting…and MORE!” is the money line.

I also like road-testing. But who is in the driver’s seat?

The thing that I wonder about is what comes up invariably as one shares systems and ideas, and teaches things that people must utilize themselves, for themselves. You are providing information (or selling information) that basically becomes do-it-yourself in nature. You are branding Direct Magick, which turns out to be a way of experiencing the nuts and guts of manifestation and creation, something anyone can do for THEMSELVES if they only understand the theory and process behind it.

So as I see it the emphasis is not so much on YOUR healings or the fact that you do healings or that healings are available if people come to you. Indeed, you are not selling results.

The paradox is that what your meetup crew may have found most intriguing is that your healings have results, or that you actually get results with magic, not that you can provide insights so that THEY can get results, great healings, etc.

I think you have to be clear on this. This is kind of like an open source methodology, right? It is all out there for us to learn how to do, but if there are problems, if something crashes, it is on me to file a bug report or to fix it myself, but don’t go complaining to Mike about how magick sucks or doesn’t “work.”

But what happens if it doesn’t “work?”

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WSA April 19, 2012 at 6:41 AM

I too would urge, as others have before, that you not limit yourself to healing. Healing is just a small part of what your Magickal protocols are useful for, right? Why limit? Another observation mentioned before is that not all that many Magickal practitioners seem to be interested in healing in a deep or all-consuming way; to teach how your protocols can also be used for healing is great, but the hook does seem to need to be larger and more inclusive. I love “Dare to Disturb the Universe”, I had not heard that before and I just love it (thanks, Francesca, for bringing that to my attention.) Something like that would be perfect! (IMHO, of course.)

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Mike Sententia April 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Thanks everyone, this feedback was really helpful. These comments have prompted me to do a ton of manifesting on this — yesterday, today and a bit more planned tomorrow. I’ll post the results soon, along with how I’m using manifesting to write better.

Yvonne: I’m in the driver’s seat :) Really, whoever is using the techniques is doing the road testing. And you’re right that these techniques are for everyone, and I think anyone using these techniques (with the right foundations in sensory connections, awakening mental muscles, etc) ought to get similar results.

My stance on testing is: Try the technique out, let me know how it works, and we’ll work together to debug it. That might mean updating the technique itself, how I explain the technique, which prerequisite skills the technique requires, or some combination.

On “What if it doesn’t work?”: In practice, magick is complex, and direct magick is more complex than a lot of styles. I’d imagine that reading this blog is like learning to play an instrument by reading a book. Everyone will probably experience some part of direct magick not working for them at some point. (I certainly have.)

I think we should work together and debug it. So I’m going to encourage testing, so we know what doesn’t work and can fix it, rather than keeping expectations vague so we can always claim some sort of success. Finding out something doesn’t work is painful, but it’s how you learn. And I’m here to help with that learning, debug the technique, and get it working for you, if you’re on board to put in the effort of practicing and testing.

Does that answer you? And does that sound like a good stance?

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Yvonne April 19, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Yup makes sense
We can’t wait!
and I’ll be your quality control person :)

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Ananael Qaa April 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM

While the general idea of focusing on healing may sound like a good one, if you’re wanting to convince scientifically-minded people of the validity of magick I unfortunately think it’s one of the worst fields to start out in.

Now, I practice Qigong myself and also cast plenty of healing spells for my friends and family, but the problem is that thanks to the placebo effect it is generally understood in the scientific community that the only verifiable change that can be accepted is one that works better than a control condition. That’s a hard thing to set up with magick, because no two illnesses are exactly alike. Also, many of your descriptions of healings sound a lot like the classic placebo case – you do something, the condition you’re trying to heal gets better for a short period of time, but then reverts back to the way it was. At least some of that is probably due to the simple fact that the human mind has some ability to heal the body simply by directing attention at a disease or condition, but once the attention drops off so does the healing.

By the way, alluding back to my comments on psychology on that previous post, here’s a funny story about the psychoanalytic model. Somebody did an uncontrolled study years ago on psychoanalytic therapy and found that over the course of a year its cure rate was around 70%. That sounds pretty good, right? The psychoanalytic folks were going on about how this vindicated their model which at the time was being criticized by a number of the other schools of psychology. The only problem was that when somebody decided to repeat the experiment they found that “sham therapy” – that is, a control group who met with a “therapist” the same number of hours as the psychoanalytic group did but essentially just shot the breeze for an hour – produced the exact same 70% rate.

So what does that mean? Well, even though the cure rates were high for both groups, it means that the psychoanalytic methodology is useless. The people in psychoanalytic group could have just met with a random person and chatted about the weather rather than followed the complex, difficult methodology of psychoanalysis. Karl Popper, the famous philosopher of science, rightly pointed out that there was precisely the same amount of evidence for the effectiveness of psychoanalysis as there was for the effectiveness of psychic powers.

Had Popper not not died in 1994 he might have had to confront the reality that there is in fact MORE evidence for psychic powers than there is for psychoanalysis with some of the quantum diode and ganzfeld research that’s been going on since then. Granted, those experiments are considered weak evidence by most mainstream scientists, but what they’re up against is NO evidence. So the parapsychologists win by default.

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