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By my early 20s, I had mostly developed the concept of ethereal software, learned basic sensory connection techniques, and was starting on energy healing. I didn’t know about mental muscles, though.
Why not? I’d just never asked, “What happens in your mind to make magick work?” Seems like an obvious question, but it just never occurred to me.
At the time — 1999-2002 — I was active on Yahoo groups like real magick and ritual free magick. (Both defunct now, but pretty similar to what you’ll find on today’s forums.) And on ritual free magick, I emailed with a very skilled mage, Steve, who got me looking internally.
When I first started talking with him, I assumed everything he said was contained within my models. Which is natural, I think, especially when you haven’t yet met anyone who’s seen more magick than you have. It took a while to realize that he didn’t do magick by sending instructions to ethereal software, and that the mental muscles* he talked about were different than my ethereal software. But once I saw that, I found a whole other world of magick I hadn’t explored.
*I don’t recall the term he used, or even if he had one. He didn’t formalize things as much as I do, often skipping names for the different parts of magick, and we’ve lost touch in the decade since we emailed.
Steve wasn’t much for step-by-step guides. But once I started thinking about finding my mental muscles, the answer was clear: Make a connection out to something — it wasn’t important what, as long as the connection was stable — then make a connection to that connection and use the second connection to follow the first connection back into my mind. (If I lost you, just read that as, “Do some magick to find your mental muscles.”)
Once I did, I saw how huge our mental muscles are. They’re as complex as any ethereal software I’d explored, and they became the centerpiece of my magick for the next decade. At first, I explored them out of curiosity (you’ll see that happen a lot), but as I started to learn to awaken my mental muscles, then awaken them in larger chunks, I realized a few things:
- Your mental muscles really do drive your magick. Even if you ultimately rely on ethereal software, it’s your mental muscles that handle getting the instructions to the software.
- When you first learn a new skill, the mental muscles for that skill awaken. This takes time, and it’s the main reason learning new skills is more tiring than an equivalent amount of practice with old skills.
- My main bottleneck in learning direct magick was awakening mental muscles. I had to learn to connect power to them and play an active part in awakening them in order to learn most of the techniques I use today.
So, from 2002 until 2011, my main focus was on awakening my mental muscles. Most of that time was practicing and learning to do it; once I learned the final technique, I awakened most of my mental muscles in a month or so. I don’t think I could do the type of direct magick I do now — driving the magick myself, rather than relying on ethereal software — without awakening my mental muscles first.Other posts in this series:
- My Journey into Direct Magick - The First Question (April 16, 2012)
- Exploring Mental Muscles - My Journey into Direct Magick (April 17, 2012)