Archive for the ‘Beginning Conscious Magick’ Category

How to Build, Move, and Feel Energy

Monday, July 10th, 2017

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This is a step-by-step guide to creating your own energy meditation, customized to how you feel and conceptualize energy. It covers the basics (building, moving, and releasing energy), along with a technique I consider fundamental but that’s rarely taught: How to quiet your own energy so you can listen to someone else’s energy, whether for healing, erotic energy / tantra, recognizing and listening to a spirit, or just connecting to a person. I developed this meditation for my Energy Geek Playshops, and I hope you find it useful.

Take a breath and notice how your body feels. If you’d like to close your eyes on any step, feel free. If you’d prefer to keep them open, that’s fine too.

The point of a visualization is to communicate your intent to your unconscious mind. Since everyone’s mind is different, the visualizations that work for me might not be the best for you — there’s no one right visualization. So I’m going to guide you through creating your own visualization, which will also include tactile and auditory components.

Think about how energy feels in your body. If you haven’t felt energy, think about how you expect it to feel. It often feels like a tingling, buzzing, pleasant pressure, heat, or cool. How does it feel for you?

Think of a visual that matches that sensation. Tingling might be represented by static electricity hopping around your skin. Pressure might go with a glowing light filling your body and pressing out, or a light outside your body pressing against your skin. Heat might be a red glow, or it might be fire. Those are just examples — there’s no one right visual, so create your own, whatever feels most natural to you. You can always change it later.

Now think about how that might sound. The crackling of static electricity, a hum from the glowing light, the sounds of a fire. Or perhaps your energy is silent. Again, do whatever feels most natural to you.

Now that you have your energy visualization, use it to build energy in your torso. Visualize the energy there. (Remember to include tactile and auditory in your visualization.) You might visualize drawing the energy up from the earth, down from the sky, in from the air around you, or simply having the energy grow inside your own body — remember, we’re just communicating our intent to the unconscious, asking it to build energy in our body, so none of those options is better than any other.

As the energy builds, notice how it feels in your torso.

Visualize the energy moving around your body: Up to your head, out your arms or legs, back to your torso. Practice moving it around, using the visualization you made.

We’ve been focusing on building and moving energy, which you’ll use to send energy. But there’s another side: How to listen when you receive energy, whether in an exercise, in a healing session, or with a partner practicing tantra or erotic energy. This next part is about listening to energy, and it’s a skill that’s rarely discussed or taught.

When you feel energy, what you’re really feeling is a change in the energy in your body. If your body’s energy is changing all on its own, it’s hard to recognize the changes coming from your partner, hard to tell which changes come from them and which come from you. So we want to hold our energy steady and unchanging, so we know that any change came from our partner.

Remember: The goal isn’t to eliminate or expel our energy, it’s just to hold it steady. Think of a placid lake, still full of water but flat, waveless, steady. Or think of holding your breath, and the stillness that creates — we’re essentially holding our breath with our energy.

With that in mind, think about your energy visualization, and how it would look and feel to make that energy steady, paused, and quiet. Maybe the glow would stop changing and moving. Maybe the electricity or fire would pause, like a still picture instead of a video. Or maybe you just want to feel your energy and think about holding your breath, or even hold your breath for just a second to feel that stillness. (Don’t hold your breath the whole time — later, you’ll want to hold your energy quiet for minutes at a time, and you’ll still want to breathe.)

Feel that quiet, listening state of your energy for a minute, then let it move again.

Once you’re done, it’s best to release the energy. This is often called “grounding,” with a visualization of sending the energy back to the earth, but remember, visualizations just communicate intent to the unconscious, saying, “Release the energy in my body.” You can visualize the energy going back into the earth, the sky, the air around you, or simply fading inside your body, whatever feels most natural to you.

(If you don’t release the energy, you may get a headache. If this happens, engage your energy again, release it, then build some fresh energy to flush that old energy out, and release that fresh energy too.)

A natural question is: How can I know if I’m really using energy, or just imagining it? And the answer is simple: Play with energy with a friend, and make sure they’re actually feeling it. Here are some exercises, or come to the Energy Geek Playshop and explore energy with me and an awesome group of energy healers, tantra practitioners, and other energy workers.

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A Friend’s Manifesting Stopped Working. Here’s Why (and How to Fix It)

Monday, April 17th, 2017

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“The sigil I created in your class worked amazingly well. But none of the sigils I’ve done since then have worked,” said D, a talented energy worker with no formal training. She was speaking about a sigils / manifesting class taught by M, who has at least a decade of experience with Chaos Magick, Thelema, and other systems.

It might not seem like it, but that’s enough information to make a good guess at the problem. What do YOU think it might be? Yes, you, reading this article. Debugging techniques is an important skill, and here’s a chance to practice. If you want to play along, make a guess, just say it to yourself or write it in the comments.

One friend suggested a possibility: Work done in private can feel different than work done in public. Maybe D just gets better results in a public setting? This lead to much conversation about public vs private and how to adjust.

But that answer didn’t seem to quite fit. If I were to verbalize my reasons, it’s that the difference (“great results” vs “total failure”) was too large to be caused by something as subtle as “work done in private can feel different.” We should be looking for a structural error in D’s technique, some missing piece that was filled in by being in the class. That’s how I’d verbalize my reasoning. But in the moment, it was closer to an unconscious, “No, that doesn’t break enough pieces.”

For those of you playing along at home: Revisit your guess, see how it sounds now, and make another guess if you like.

Here’s my answer: In the class, M was engaging their ethereal software as they demonstrated the sigil techniques. That made it easy for D to (unconsciously) connect to M’s ethereal software. D, being talented with energy, got good results using M’s ethereal software. (And M, being well-trained, has good ethereal software for manifesting. M would refer to that ethereal software as a Servitor or Egregore, btw.)

But D wasn’t conscious of any of this. She didn’t make a lasting connection to M’s software, and couldn’t access it on her own. So at home, D performed the same outward steps, built the same energy, but didn’t have M’s ethereal software to handle the actual manifesting, and therefore got no results.

How can D fix this? Do another sigil with M, and pay attention to the forces involved. Either make a lasting connection herself, or ask a spirit she knows to remember the force for her. (D does a lot of work with spirits.)

M has previously described my classes as “a kick to the side of the head, in a good way.” M pondered my analysis, then excitedly agreed.

This was a fun puzzle for me, debugging D’s technique. It was also validating, to use my work to help a friend. I hope you playing along at home.

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Techniques for Energetic Fitness

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

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Being an experienced practitioner is more than knowing rituals or having attunements and certifications. It’s about having a mind that’s in good shape for energy / magick / this-practice-has-many-names.

That energetic fitness is called inner work. It’s a combination of mental skills like focus and visualization, and energetic skills like engaging the energy-driving parts of the mind. In most people, those energy-driving parts are dormant, and they must be awakened before a person can achieve success in their practice. This happens naturally through practice, a little at a time, and after years of steady practice one may have many fully-awake energetic muscles.

(Outer work is the rituals, certifications, etc.)

This post is about speeding that process up. It covers techniques for awakening those energy-driving parts of the mind, not by using them, but by finding and energizing them directly. It also includes a technique for engaging them to your will. These techniques will help you achieve greater energetic fitness more quickly.

I’m teaching this material at the OTO temple in Oakland, CA on Tuesday Nov 1. If you can attend, please RSVP on Facebook. If not, I’ll post the video of the class when it’s up in a few weeks.

Note: These techniques are equally applicable whether you call your practice “magick,” “energy healing,” or something else. Because the OTO calls it “magick,” I’ll mostly use that term throughout this post.

Mental Posture

Physical posture is about engaging the body’s muscles, so one’s body is in a good position for the task at hand. Mental posture is about engaging the mind’s muscles. For magick, we want to engage the parts of the mind that drive magick.

Think about doing your practice (ritual, visualizing energy, etc). You know that mental shift that happens when you feel the energy or forces you’re using? That’s the mental posture. Most practitioners can engage their mental posture with time (in a long ritual or other session), and experienced practitioners can engage their mental posture quickly. And by teaching mental posture as an explicit technique, we can help everyone learn to engage it quickly, at will, so even short sessions can be effective.

To learn mental posture:

  • Do your usual practice, such as a ritual or energy work. Do a full session, until you feel the energy or forces you’re using. That’s how you’ll know you’re in the mental posture for magick.
  • Notice how your mind feels. That’s your mental posture for magick. If you like visualizations, associate a visualization with this mental posture.
  • End the ritual and enter a silent meditation. Maintain the mental posture for magick.
  • Practice those steps until it’s comfortable. Once it is, add this one: Do a mental ritual (visualize the ritual), while maintaining the mental posture. (Or do whatever other practice you do.) If done correctly, you should feel the energy and forces immediately, because your mind is already engaged.
  • Once you can sustain your mental posture easily, try engaging it just through silent meditation, without doing your normal ritual or other practice. This may be slow at first, but with practice it will become fast, and you’ll be able to quickly drop into a mental state for doing magick.

For more on mental posture, see these posts.

Ethereal Muscles

It’s clunky to talk about the “magick-driving parts of the mind.” We need a term, and the term I use is ethereal muscles.

Think about it this way: The difference between a daydream and a magick visualization lies in engaging your ethereal muscles, like the difference between imagining walking vs moving across the room lies in engaging your leg muscles.

Everyone has ethereal muscles. If a person doesn’t use magick or energy, their ethereal muscles are usually dormant and atrophied.

Like the rest of the mind, ethereal muscles seem to be special-purpose. Some are used for communicating with spirits and other forces, others are used for creating connections and shielding, and others for altering energy signatures like in energy healing. There are even ethereal muscles devoted to awakening other ethereal muscles.

The rest of this post focuses on awakening ethereal muscles.

We can awaken our ethereal muscles through practice. In most people who practice magick or use energy, some ethereal muscles are fully awake (the ones they use often), some are partially awake (the ones they use rarely), and others are fully asleep.

Awakening one’s ethereal muscles makes everything a little easier. When I was trying to get better at sensing ethereal structures, I awakened more ethereal muscles related to that, and I improved at that skill much more quickly than I had been through practice alone.

Realize there’s no ethereal muscle for throwing fireballs, or teleporting, or other movie special effects. Awakening ethereal muscles doesn’t instantly make one an experienced practitioner.

Awakening ethereal muscles makes everything a little easier, so you can progress more quickly. But you still need to practice.

(Awakening enough ethereal muscles also seems to open up new avenues for exploring magick. More on that later.)

Awakening New Ethereal Muscles

Different magickal practices use different parts of the mind. (So Golden Dawn rituals will use a different set of ethereal muscles than, say, energy healing.) When one learns a new practice, new ethereal muscles will awaken. This is especially true for learning one’s first practice, when all the general-purpose ethereal muscles must also awaken.

Simply practicing will awaken those ethereal muscles, but with the right techniques, we can accelerate the process. Here’s the first technique for awakening ethereal muscles more quickly:

  • Find and connect to the ethereal muscles that are awakening. (Details below.)
  • Build energy in your body and send it to those ethereal muscles. Not just into your head or brain, but into those ethereal muscles.
  • When you build that energy, think about the energy signature of the ethereal muscles that are awakening, and try to match that signature.
  • Hold the energy in your ethereal muscles for a few minutes, then exercise the muscles by doing your magickal or energetic practice.

Remember to release the energy after you’re done (ground).

Options for finding your ethereal muscles:

  • As with mental posture, do your practice and notice how your mind feels. In particular, pay attention for the parts that get tired or won’t quite engage. Those are the new ethereal muscles. Learn them by feel, or create a visualization if you like.
  • When I first found my ethereal muscles, I’d already learned to use sensory connections to feel and follow other ethereal structures. Here’s how I did that: I made a connection to a person or something, it’s not important where. Then I made another connection to that first connection, so I could feel it and follow where it goes. I followed it back to myself, into my mind, and found the ethereal structures that created it. Those were my ethereal muscles. I explored them for a while, and after I would practice, I could see that some were stressed, tired, under-powered, or otherwise odd.

The second method seems more reliable, but it requires sensory connections. So I offer the first method for anyone who doesn’t know sensory connections yet.

Note: When I did this in the early 2000s, I used a slightly different approach. I would practice, fatigue my ethereal muscles, then find the tired ones and bathe them in energy. But I think it will work better to bathe them in energy first, and then practice. Try both and see what works for you (and tell us in the comments).

Powering New Ethereal Muscles

As I awakened more ethereal muscles, all of my ethereal muscles became sluggish, difficult to engage and focus. I forget how long it took me to realize the problem, but they were under-powered. This is the first technique for increasing the power to one’s ethereal muscles.

(This is an intermediate techniques, and requires one to be able to sense connections and other ethereal structures.)

First, find the pathways that carry that power: Connect to one of your ethereal muscles, find the connections leading away from it, see where they go. You should find three sets of connections:

  • Connections to your brain’s energy layer. Recognize these by their signature, which transitions to the signature of the brain’s energy layer.
  • Connections to other ethereal muscles. These will keep the same signature, more or less.
  • Connections that provide power to the ethereal muscle. These will be the same signature, but a smaller scale. (Details on signature scale.)

We’re after the third set. I call them core paths, and they provide power to our ethereal muscles. I imagine them going up from the ethereal muscles, though it’s probably more accurate to imagine them inside the muscles.

They’re laid out somewhat like the circulatory system: Near ethereal muscles, there are a great number of small capillaries carrying power to each piece of the ethereal muscles. As we go up (away from the ethereal muscles), those capillaries join into larger and larger vessels. If we turn around and go back down, those larger vessels split into many capillaries, supplying many ethereal muscles.

The core paths near your ethereal muscles will likely be under-powered. That’s OK. Follow them up, and eventually you’ll find vessels that are fully powered. Draw that power along your under-powered core paths, energizing and opening them up.

When I did this, I would be exhausted and hungry afterward, especially for protein. Be aware of this, and do it at a time when you can eat and rest.

As one goes farther into core paths, the signature of the paths gets smaller and smaller scale. When I was doing this work, I also spent a lot of time working to accurately sense smaller and smaller scale signatures.

The Four Ethereal Muscles

Until now, we’ve been practicing new techniques, seeing what ethereal muscles started to awaken, and helping them along. But we’re about to reverse that order: We’re going to explore core paths, find new ethereal muscles, awaken them and then figure out what they do. But first: What do these ethereal muscles do?

I’ve found four sets of ethereal muscles:

Communication, devoted to sending thoughts to spirits and forces, and receiving their replies. Awakening more of these ethereal muscles tends to make communication faster and clearer, which helps with channeling energy, spirits, and anything else.

Access, devoted to creating connections and sensing ethereal structures. Awakening more of these ethereal muscles leads to more accurate sensory techniques involving smaller, more precise connections and signatures.

Effects, devoted to recognizing and manipulating energy signature. I use these for energy healing, shielding, and some steps in awakening dormant ethereal muscles. Awakening more of these ethereal muscles helps shift energy signatures more precisely.

Mental activation, devoted to awakening ethereal muscles. Awakening more of these helps with all the things we’re discussing in this class.

Each of those major muscles is made of dozens or hundreds of modules. I don’t know what each module does, I just know how to engage and direct the major muscle. (Kind of like how we’re not aware of individual muscle fibers of our legs as we walk.)

I expect that these four sets of ethereal muscles are common, but not 100% universal. I expect that some people lack one or more, and some people have other ethereal muscles I haven’t encountered yet.

Awakening Fully Dormant Ethereal Muscles

As I became more comfortable exploring my ethereal muscles and the core paths that power them, I began finding fully-dormant ethereal muscles, with no power or activity. They weren’t connected to the other parts of my mind, and I couldn’t engage them by intending to or visualizing really hard because they were fully dormant, and weren’t paying attention to my intent or visualization or other practice. But I’d already had great results from awakening other ethereal muscles, so I wanted to awaken these dormant ones too.

These techniques require solid skills in sensory connections. They’re more advanced than I typically teach or write about. But I want to sketch them out, to give you some ideas if you’re ready to explore them:

Remember that core paths combine as you go higher (away from ethereal muscles), and split as you go down (toward ethereal muscles). To find new ethereal muscles, follow the core paths as far up as you can, then follow them back down, looking for under-powered or fully-dormant pathways as you go. Open power to these pathways, and awaken those ethereal muscles. Note: Finding fully-dormant pathways requires more sensitive sensory connections.

After awakening new ethereal muscles, make sure to connect them to your thinking mind (my term for the ethereal structure that sits between the brain’s energy layer and the ethereal muscles, acting as an interface). The ethereal muscle will know where it wants to connect, but it’s important to deactivate that part of thinking mind while the ethereal muscle connects, or it won’t connect properly. (Reactivate it after.) Most of my issues at this step happened when I didn’t deactivate the area of thinking mind.

As I traced further into core, I found ethereal structures that limited the amount of the power flowing through those core paths. I call them throttles. They are important for ensuring your ethereal muscles receive power in the right signature — do not open them fully, or you will get a massive headache and your ethereal muscles will become extremely difficult to use. But by carefully opening throttles, it’s possible to awaken new ethereal muscles en masse, opening up more capabilities and possibilities for exploring magick and energy.


Those techniques represents roughly a decade of work.

That work was iterative: I would awaken more ethereal muscles, which improved my ability to sense smaller signatures, which allowed me to go further into core, which allowed me to find and awaken more ethereal muscles, and so on in a spiral. It ended when I learned to open throttles, awakening all the ethereal muscles I could find.

Remember that awakening ethereal muscles doesn’t give you Hollywood-type magick. You won’t levitate or throw fireballs.

What you will find is that you’re more able to sense and manipulate ethereal structures, communicate with spirits more clearly, or do some other aspect of your practice more easily. And as more and more skills become easier, it’ll become possible to tackle projects that used to be too large, and you’ll be able to explore new aspects of magick and energy.

That’s the point of inner work.

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Overwhelmed by Crowds? Here’s How I Block Energy

Monday, September 12th, 2016

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Friends who feel energy sometimes complain about feeling overwhelmed or drained, particularly in crowds. I sometimes help by shielding them, closing them off from outside energy.

Today, I want to share some reasons to shield, the technique I use, and three side effects to watch out for (and how to handle them).

Why Block Energy

Occasionally I forget to close my shields, and I walk through San Francisco open to the energy around me. It’s fairly mild, but I feel more tired and less focused when I absorb that energy. Remember, it’s not the quantity of energy that matters, but rather the signature (or type) of energy, and absorbing the random energy around me shifts my body’s energy to a different signature than it usually is, making me feel odd and off.

Some energy-sensitive people can feel overwhelmed by crowds. Part of this is psychological, just feeling overwhelmed by the noise and interactions of a party or crowded street. But based on testing, part of it seems to be the actual biofield energy of all those people — I’ve set up shields for three friends, and all of them reported that, with the shield blocking the energy, the overwhelmed-ness significantly decreased.

Depending on your practice, you may also run into aggressive spirits that want to drain your energy or otherwise bother you. These shielding techniques are effective for that, too. (That’s what I developed them for, actually.)

How I Block Energy

Short answer: Find all the openings in my biofield (or aura), all the places where energy or connections could enter, and close them.

Start by thinking about the openings, where energy could enter your body. If you mostly use visualizations, you can picture this as pores around your energy body. Then picture them closing, either as a lid covering each of them, or as each pore clamping down, like a fist or sphincter closing.

If you pursue Direct Magick, you’ll learn sensory connections. We use them to feel ethereal and energetic structures, such as these open pores. To shield, I feel around, find a pore, and while feeling that pore with my sensory connections, I close it, either with the visualization above, or with other Direct Magick methods. Then I find the next pore, and repeat.

If we’re just closing the pore with the visualization, why bother with the sensory connection? Because shielding has two steps: Find the opening, and close it. We’re using sensory connections to make the “find the opening” step conscious, so we can step through it, find openings we might otherwise miss, and close them. With a few months of practice, this more thorough method of finding openings can become unconscious and automatic, and we can return to just a visualization (or other focused intent) and still get the more thorough shielding.

As you get better with sensory connections, you’ll be able to create smaller and smaller sensory connections to find smaller and smaller openings. This will let you close those smaller openings, creating a more effective, less-permeable shield.

Note that I’m not creating a big glow of energy around me. This isn’t about projecting my energy out, or creating a shell of energy. It’s about finding and closing the spots where energy or connections can enter me. More discussion here.

Handling Side Effects

Three stories here:

The first time I shielded a friend, I closed all her open connections as effectively as I could. But she used some ethereal software for psychic intuitions, and I closed her connections to that software too — there were too many connections to investigate each one, so I just closed everything. The result: Her psychic intuitions turned off. The solution was easy, I just re-opened those particular openings, her psychic software reconnected, then I partially closed those openings so they were only open enough for the psychic software’s connections, and nothing else.

The second friend I did this for, I knew to look for her ethereal software. But a week later, she texted me from a dance, “I can’t feel anyone.” She meant, she normally feels the energy of the people she’s dancing with — that’s her favorite part of the event. I connected to her and undid the shield, opening her up, and she felt the energy of the dance again. Long-term, she’ll need to learn to open and close her shields herself — I’ve set up some ethereal software to do that for her, but we haven’t gotten around to teaching her to use it, so I can’t say how it’s working yet. But if you learn to shield yourself, you’ll be able to open whenever you want, so just realize to open when you want to feel the energy of an event.

The third example is from myself, and long-time readers already know it. In my early 20s, I explored erotic energy with good results. Then I took a few months off, learned shielding (among other things), and the erotic energy stopped working. It wasn’t until years later, when I thought to open my shields, that erotic energy started working again. Easy to fix, but you need to know to do it.


That’s how and why I use shielding, and how to handle the side effects I’ve encountered.

If you have questions or other side-effects, leave a comment below.

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Divination & Manifesting (Notes for Upcoming Class)

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

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Tarot. Astrology. Magick for wealth, love, and success. Divination (predicting the future) and manifesting (creating luck) are cornerstones of most magickal practice.

This post is my notes for a new class I’m creating. It covers:

  • How to choose good divination questions and manifesting intents
  • Techniques for sending out those questions / intents
  • Techniques for hearing the answers
  • How to use this magick in healthy and safe ways.

I’m teaching this class Thursday May 12, 7-9PM at Wicked Grounds in San Francisco. It’s free — both to support my friends who run the cafe, and to test out the class in a more informal setting. If you’re in the bay area, I hope you’ll attend. RSVP here (facebook).

Choosing Good Questions & Intents

Here’s an example good request: Cause me to find a job that I’ll be happy with, and that will leave me the time and energy to study magick.

Let’s talk about some ways that it’s good, and some traps to avoid:

Make it general. I’m not asking for a specific job, I’m asking for any job with these properties. A few reasons for this. First, whatever is guiding this success knows more about the paths of fate than I do, so I don’t want to overconstrain the request and possibly wind up in a job I thought I’d like but that is actually bad. Second, manifesting seems to create lucky breaks. If I ask for a specific job and there’s path where I get it, the manifesting simply fails. We don’t want that.

Specify what “good” means. I find that if I ask for a “good job,” that’s too vague. Does good mean stable? Interesting? Has the chance of finding a good romantic relationship? The forces we’re channeling don’t seem to think quite like humans do, so it’s best to specify clear success criteria.

Make it positive. Think about making your request over a bad cell connection, dropping every other word. “Find job happy” is probably ok. But if you ask, “Find me a job that won’t exhaust me, and that won’t interfere with my relationship,” and some of the words don’t transmit properly, you could wind up with something terrible.

Time frame. Some people like to specify that it should happen within a certain time frame. I prefer to avoid specifying the time frame (what if I specify 3 months, and the perfect job would take 4). I trust the force I’m channeling to understand that sooner is better than later. But different people channel different forces, so this may have to do with the specific force I use — try both ways, see what works for you.

Sending Out Those Requests

Main goal is to engage the parts of your mind that drive energy and magick (your “ethereal muscles”), contact a force to channel (some “ethereal software”), and get your intent to that force. Many ways to do this.

By default, most people’s ethereal muscles are unconscious. So most systems of magick focus on getting the intent into the unconscious. Visualizations, rituals, sigils, etc all do this. Note: Even without a force to channel, getting your unconscious aligned with your intent will probably help you notice opportunities and execute on your goals.

The other half is having a force to channel. Usually not explicitly discussed. People are often connected to these forces during initiations. Forces can also be bound to rituals and sigils, so doing the ritual / focusing on the sigil will get the force to connect to the person. This only works for already-established rituals and sigils, not one you just made up.

Simplest method: Focus on the sigil in this post. (It also discusses testing we’ve done on this blog.) Focus on your intent, repeat it several times. The force is programmed to read and act on your intent. For more details, see this book-in-progress.

Hearing the Answers

This is the main difference between manifesting and divination (or psychic intuitions). Manifesting is usually send-and-forget, while divination is about getting info back.

But getting info back with manifesting is useful too. Find out whether the request was accepted, if there are reasonable paths to success, etc.

Responses can be hard to hear, like talking over bad cell connection. Yes / No is easier to understand than a sentence. This is useful: Turn an open-ended question into a series of multiple choice questions, then feel into each choice and try to notice the “Yes.” Systems that use this include tarot (where each card has multiple conflicting meanings, and the reader selects the “correct” one for this reading) and some systems of astrology (the reader selects which planets and meanings “matter most.”)

Some forces can create lasting connections to a person’s mind, improving the communication over months. The sources for psychic intuitions usually do this. There are also techniques in Direct Magick to create a clearer communication channel as needed.

Try using manifesting to guide decisions. “Cause me to create a good plan for…” (then spell out your goal and what “good” means.) Then sit down and plan your next steps, paying attention to feelings that the option you’re considering is good or bad. This makes it easy for the force to influence your decisions, ensures you’re paying attention to these intuitions when they come (much easier than listening all day, through conversations and other projects), and is super ethical.

Staying Healthy and Safe

Avoid goals that require specific people to take specific actions, both for ethics and for higher success rates. “Cause me to find a healthy, supportive relationship,” not “Cause me to date this specific person.”

Consider: Would you do this if everyone involved knew about it? If not, that’s a strong sign it’s unethical.

Some people are concerned about influencing others in any way. Remember, we influence others every day, both consciously and unconsciously, in how we dress, speak, and everything else we do. To have any impact on the world, we need to influence others. If you would work toward your goal through ordinary means, it’s probably ethical to manifest for it too.

A technique I use all the time: “Cause me to make good decisions for…” (then spell out your goal.) Restrict your manifesting to only influencing yourself.

Don’t blindly trust divination. A lot has to go right for it to work: Phrasing the question properly, sending and receiving the message, and the force has to see the future properly. None of this is 100%. If you think the path laid out is a bad idea, or feel a sense of dread about it, listen to yourself. (At the very least, try at least 3 other ways of asking the question.)

Come to the Class

I’m teaching this class Thursday May 12, 7-9PM at Wicked Grounds in San Francisco. It’s free — both to support my friends who run the cafe, and to test out the class in a more informal setting. If you’re in the bay area, I hope you’ll attend. RSVP here (facebook).

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

How Do Sigils Create Luck? And More Reader Questions

Monday, February 15th, 2016

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Sharon, a new reader, experienced psychic, and curious scientist, sent me some excellent questions. Today, I’m answering the second half of her email. (First half is here if you missed it.)

Once again, her text in italics.

5. What is the driving force, place, plain, thing, that sends me these messages in my mind? Why does it send me these intuitions?

Short answer: Ethereal software. Longer answer is below.

6. How do sigils change behaviour and events physically?

This was one of my initial driving questions. Even before I realized I was developing a new system of magick, I wanted to know how a symbolic action over here (like a ritual or a sigil) could cause a change over there. Also, borrowing a question from Chaos Magick, how is it that all these different systems, with different techniques and explanations and theories, all produced such similar results?

I didn’t have the language at the time, but looking back, those questions hinged on complexity. Creating luck is complex. It requires predicting events, evaluating many options, and understanding which specific states of the world will satisfy the request. Decisions that complex couldn’t happen in, say, a bird’s mind. And if they happened in my mind, I would probably be aware of all the options and paths my mind was evaluating, which simply wasn’t my experience. So I hypothesized that those complex decisions happened in the forces we channel — what I now call ethereal software.

I’m glad I wasn’t thinking about sigils back then, because that adds a few steps, and I don’t think I would have guessed them correctly. Let me explain:

If a person does a ritual, and they’re already connected to ethereal software, then it’s obvious that the software can respond to their ritual. And if a person touches a stone or jewelry or other object, connects their ethereal software to the object, then mails the object to someone else, it’s obvious that the recipient could touch the object and connect to the software. All of that just makes sense to me.

What about sigils? If you have a dozen stones, all with different software attached, you might want to label them. The label wouldn’t be magickally important, but it would help you grab the right stone. Similarly, if a person associates a sigil with a certain intent, seeing the sigil might keep their unconscious focused on that intent. (This is more or less A.O. Spare’s sigils.) So, sigils as labels and reminders, that was my model for years.

In 2008 or 2009, I tested it. Actually, I was experimenting with making connections based on pictures and voices and videos on youtube, looking into how that worked. I found that, after I focused on the picture but before I got the connection to the person, a specific piece of ethereal software connected to me, just for a second. I called this “lookup software,” because it was looking up the person associated with that picture.

A few months later, I was looking at a symbol for Golden Dawn or something similar, and found similar lookup software. Somehow, it detected that I was looking at the sigil and automatically connected me to that system’s ethereal software.

I still didn’t fully believe it. That result just seemed so odd. Where did that lookup software come from? How did it know when to connect? But then I wanted to distribute some ethereal software with my book, and I decided to test it. I made a sigil, contacted that sigil-detecting ethereal software, asked it to associate my book’s ethereal software with the sigil. Then I tested a sigil, online, with all of you. I really expected that test to fail, it just seemed so odd, so unlikely to be the way the world actually works. But now over 50 readers have tested it (thank you!!!) and it works. So, based on being able to use that sigil-recognizing software to bind a software of my choosing to a sigil, I’m fairly confident that’s how sigils work.

Your blog has helped me to get close to the answer to questions 5 and 6, so thank you very much for your help :-)
To answer no. 5, this blog gives ‘etheral software’. I would like a clarification of what this is, if possible. I’m the sort of person who is not able to do magik until they deeply understand all the parts involved, the same way that I don’t plan on eating a food till I know what every ingredient is e.g where it came from, what it is made of, who gathered it etc.

You’re absolutely correct, the name “ethereal software” isn’t an answer. It’s just a word. If a person doesn’t understand what that word refers to, then it’s only a curiosity stopper.

The best way to understand ethereal software really is to use it. That’s why my book starts by showing how to connect to it.

You receive psychic intuitions. So instead of connecting you to my ethereal software, let’s make you aware of your own. Try engaging your mind to ask for a psychic intuition, but instead of asking for luck, ask, “Give me your basic usage instructions.” That’s a common and useful command for most ethereal software.

Therefore, it is difficult for me to do magik if I do not know exactly what this software is. Is it in the sky? Is it outside of the universe?

Ethereal objects don’t have a location in the same way that your laptop or house do. That’s like asking, “Where is the internet?” It’s more accurate to ask what ordinary physical object the software is bound to.

And how does it affect the future?
How does my intent change it?

Ethereal software seems to work by connecting to the user’s mind and reading their thoughts. This is another idea that used to be a hypothesis, but now I’ve used it to help a friend get new software for new psychic intuitions, and to activate psychic intuitions for myself (with a lot of debugging), and some other techniques.

In terms of how it affects the future, I don’t know. I have some ideas. And I hope you’ll help us in answering that one day.

I have heard that magik works because it is you changing the brainwaves in your mind and charging your mind with those brain waves e.g. when a person laughs, they send out positive energy so you laugh to.
Therefore, different crystals and herbs give off different energies, wavelengths, frequencies etc. That have an effect on us. But this is easy, meaning I can charge a bag of crystals, carry them with me, and my intent will work out since the crystals give off the right frequencies to bring about change.

In my previous post (which wasn’t up when Sharon sent these questions), we talked about the difference between visualizations to engage the unconscious vs models of how magick actually works. Both the ideas you mention (broadcasting brainwaves and crystals carrying intent) seem like fun visualizations, but are probably not the real mechanism of magick.

How can we tell? Ask, “If the world really worked like that, what would we expect to see?” If smiling (and presumably other actions) really released waves that other people could easily, reliably pick up, we would expect to see psychic experiments producing dramatic, obvious successes — 90% accuracy, not slightly-higher-than-random accuracy. And if crystals were the key ingredient to creating luck, we would expect all the systems of magick that don’t use crystals to fail.

I struggle to comprehend how there is a system independent of all of us that we can tap into, tell what to do, and it does it for us AND at the time needed . How I can sit doing a ritual with the intention to get a job and this software does it for me at the exact time I need it in 3 days or even it may mean I miss that job interview and get an even better job. It sounds like an unnamed diety to me, and I’m an atheist :-( (who strongly beleives in ghosts and spirits, maybe even faeries)

Indeed. I think we do our best work when we face the true complexity of manifesting, when we realize the magnitude of decisions and knowledge and guidance it requires, and grapple with the forces involved in creating that. This is why answers like “crystals channel your intent” or “brainwaves transmit your intent” never sounded right to me — those are simple mechanisms, and a simple mechanism doesn’t create a complex behavior.

But ethereal software isn’t a deity. It’s a powerful tool, like your computer. It knows how to retrieve information that you, as a human, cannot easily access. And it can act on that information in ways that you, as a human, cannot easily do yourself. But it’s a tool, not a deity to be worshiped.

With all of this, I’d encourage you to explore. Try it yourself. Get some experience with ethereal software, the spirits that make it, and all the rest of magick. Then you’ll be able to trust your own experiences, instead of my words. Which is how it should be.

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

How Spirits are Like Professors

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

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“How did you get spirits to train you?”

A friend asked me that over lunch. She’s certified in several systems of healing, familiar with asking spirits to help, but she hasn’t seen people work with spirits to learn communication, sensory connections, and other techniques like I do.

I paused. There are several answers. I could talk about developing techniques for communication, how making it easier for spirits to talk with me resulted in more thorough, useful answers. Or I could talk about the first group of spirits I joined, how I trained them in techniques for awakening ethereal muscles, and in exchange each of them trained me in their specialty. But those answers are the details, useful if you’re wondering how to get better answers from spirits, but useless for someone just starting with spirits.

I went with the simplest answer: Ask. Ask the spirits how they communicate, and what you can do to be easier to communicate with. Ask how to feel magickal energy and structures and fields, and how to sense those things more accurately. After getting them to help with a healing or manifesting session, ask how they did it, what the moving parts are and how they operate.

Then explore on your own. Ponder how sensory connections might work, develop a technique to improve them, and test it out. Whether it succeeds or fails, the value is in the practice: Practice thinking through an engineering problem for magick, practice developing a new technique, practice testing it out, and the data you got from that.

Show it to the spirit, say, “I made this, it didn’t work, what did I do wrong?” That gives them something concrete to discuss, at the right level of complexity and detail for you. It shows them that you’re collaborating in your own development, putting your own effort in to advance. It shows them that, eventually, once you know everything they know about a topic, you’ll keep exploring, developing new techniques that you can teach to them.

In my experience, demonstrating your own effort matters more than developing a working technique. Think of it like school: The teacher already knows the answer. They want to see your effort, your thought process, how you’re going about solving the problem. Show them that, and they’re eager to help. But show up without trying first, and you won’t get very far.

(Once you’re working on unsolved problems, getting a successful technique is a big deal. But this post is about starting to train with spirits, so we’re not there yet.)

One tip: Focus on curiosity, not on results, at least at first. Just like one cooking class won’t let you improve on your favorite restaurant, asking a few questions won’t let you improve on what spirits and ethereal software can do for you. So keep channeling software and spirits for important problems, but follow up with questions, explore and embrace curiosity. Eventually, you will be able to improve on their techniques.

So, how do you get spirits to train you? Ask specific questions, then explore their answers.

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

Discreet Magick

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

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How can you practice magick daily without attracting attention, particularly if you don’t live alone?

You could meditate. Perhaps even visualize the rituals. But you probably thought of that already. What else?

Here are three Direct Magick techniques you can do while meditating to improve your fundamental magick skills. They should help with any system you study.

(The 2nd one is new, even for longtime readers of this blog.)

Mental Posture

Different parts of your mind do different things. There are parts for understanding spoken language, other parts for planning your day, still others for controlling your legs as you walk. And there are parts for doing magick. In Direct Magick, we call these magick-driving parts your ethereal muscles.

Which parts are active right now? Think about it for a second, see how your mind feels. (Though, in thinking, different parts will become active). It feels different to read a blog than to work out or prepare for a job interview, right? In Direct Magick, we call this your mental posture: The parts of your mind engaged at any moment.

You have a lot of mental postures. One for problem solving, another for telling funny stories, lots of them. But the one we’re interested in is the mental posture for magick, with your ethereal muscles engaged and ready to work. Learning the mental posture for magick lets you engage your mind to do magick whenever you want.

Here are exercises for mental posture, plus some tips.

(Note: In some old posts, I called them “mental muscles” instead of “ethereal muscles.”)

Exploring Your Ethereal Muscles

While engaging your mental posture, think about the different types of magick you do. Different rituals, healing techniques, whatever you do. Notice which parts of your mind engage a little more or a little less, depending on the magick you’re thinking about.

Those are your different ethereal muscles. (Or groups of muscles.)

Name each of them. I use communication, for talking with spirits and ethereal software; access, for handling connections; effects, for energy healing and working with energy; and mental activation, for working with my ethereal muscles. But you might have different groupings and different names for yours.

Learn the feel of each muscle. Learn to engage each one separately, so you develop a posture for each type of magick you do. This should also teach your mind to communicate intent to specific muscles, instead of sending your intent to your unconscious as a whole.

Now comes the exercise: Engage two ethereal muscles at the same time. For example, I might do communication and effects. Think about how they might collaborate, where they might help each other, what messages they might send. For example, when I do communication, the muscles for effects help read the energy signatures from my brain as I think, and help put their reply into my brain as I read it.

For me, engaging two ethereal muscles and thinking about how they collaborate causes them to network together, creating lasting connections that help them collaborate more easily. It’s an exercise I did often while initially awakening my ethereal muscles, and it’s something I returned to as I’ve re-awakened them after several months off.

Energizing Your Ethereal Muscles

In people who don’t practice magick, their ethereal muscles are usually asleep and atrophied. If you’ve been practicing magick a while, you probably have many ethereal muscles awake and strong, but there are probably also some you haven’t found yet, that are still asleep.

Ethereal muscles awaken slowly as you practice magick. But you can also use magick — the ability to manipulate energy and ethereal structures — to awaken your ethereal muscles more quickly.

The first exercise for awakening ethereal muscles is to build energy, then instead of moving it around your body, move it into your ethereal muscles, holding it there for a while before releasing it. This will help more muscles wake up. Note that it is tiring to have new ethereal muscles awaken — unlike most magick, fatigue here is a sign you did it right.

This series covers exercises for energizing your ethereal muscles. (List of posts in the series is on the left.)


If you liked these exercises, check out Direct Magick. It’s done by engaging ethereal muscles, guiding them through techniques, feeling how the world responds to them. From the outside, Direct Magick looks like meditation, or just like being lost in thought.

If you’d like to learn Direct Magick, check out the free book-in-progress, and the older but more complete step-by-step guide.


Podcast! Join me this Monday, July 6 at 6pm Pacific. I’ll be interviewed by Taylor Ellwood on his radio show, Magical Experiments. Taylor is managing editor at Immanion Press and has written a slew of books on magick. I had dinner with him at Pantheacon, he’s a really bright, insightful guy, and I’m looking forward to talking with him about Direct Magick, science, ethereal software, my forthcoming book, my healing work and how I’m refining it through experimentation. View the interview here.

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

Learning From Ancient Magick

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

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Can we learn ancient, powerful magick?

That depends: Was ancient magick powerful? More powerful than what we have today?

I doubt it. But that doesn’t mean we should entirely discard ancient magickal practices. Talking with a friend, she convinced me there’s something worth looking into.

Today, I’m revising my answer to last week’s question:

Can direct magick help me learn those ancient magick that was not pass down or lost in time??

Note: I added this answer to that post a few days ago, too.

My question is, why do you want to learn about ancient magick?

I see 3 possible answers. First, love of history. If you’re a historian looking for ancient Egyptian fertility rites, that sounds awesome, but sorry, Direct Magick doesn’t have that.

Second, you might hope to glean some clues from systems of healing developed over hundreds of years. After all, Western medicine has developed drugs by looking at traditional herbal medicine. (I think aspirin came from investigating herbal medicine, and it’s pretty great.) I see some potential here, and Direct Magick has some useful tools for separating the wheat from the chaff in these investigations.

Third, there’s a notion that ancient magick was more powerful, calling down plagues and reviving the dead, creating objects out of thing air, smiting your enemies. Most people who ask for ancient magick are after power.

Here’s the thing: In ancient times, they didn’t distinguish between biofield healing vs (herbal) drugs and placebo, or even slight of hand, and they didn’t understand confirmation bias — heck, much of ancient history was oral traditions, shifting and embellishing with each retelling. So those powerful lost ancient magicks? They were probably illusionists, herbs, and other non-magickal phenomena.

But if you’re after powerful magick, I do have a path for you: Understand the underlying mechanisms behind magick. Harness them to create better techniques that solve new problems. Build magick into a respected science, one with thousands of researchers worldwide, connected to medicine and physics and the rest of human knowledge. That’s the path to more powerful magick.

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

Spirits, Safety, & Reader Questions

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

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Today, I’m answering questions I normally don’t consider from a reader new to Direct Magick:

1) What is the difference between spirits and ghost and is it safe to communicate with them?? because what if they are malevolent??

I work with spirits: Ethereal intelligences that never had a body. I think of them as an artificial intelligence, made of ethereal connections and energy, rather than transistors.

Ghosts are disembodied dead people. Or that’s the notion, anyway. Ghosts seem like a rather unlikely hypothesis to me.

To be fair, spirits are a rather unlikely hypothesis, too. But I include spirits in my work because they’ve repeatedly helped me develop effective techniques. In other words, I consider both unlikely, but I have evidence for spirits, while I have no evidence for ghosts.

(To everyone who has experiences with ghosts: I believe your experiences. I believe they are real, and outside contemporary science. I do energy healing that’s outside contemporary science, after all. I just think there’s an explanation that doesn’t involve a person’s mind floating through the world after their brain dies.)

On safety, I see people go to extremes. There’s the view that everything is safe, that nothing can affect you unless you give it permission. This seems like wishful thinking to me. “Permission” is a property of human minds, not of physics, and physics doesn’t distinguish between helpful and harmful events. Anything powerful enough to make a useful change can also harm.

The other extreme is: “Spirits are dangerous. Some are demons. They create madness and illness and misfortune. Be careful, learn the historically-trusted methods, and don’t go wandering in the woods.” It’s too far, and it reminds me of mistaking cynicism for maturity. (Although historically, it may come from poor models of disease, where we mistook bacteria and viruses for diseases.)

So, what’s my take? I’ve experienced many spirits who drain energy. Some drain it quite aggressively, resulting in headaches, disorientation, even nausea. These are unpleasant, and are worth learning to protect against, both defensively and offensively.

But remember: Those symptoms are on the order of a hangover. Unpleasant, not life-threatening. Worth avoiding, but not fretting about. Be aware, do magick responsibly (learn protection), and enjoy exploring.

(The worst attack I’ve seen caused nerve pain in a friend’s ear. It came from a (human) mage. Nothing to do with spirits, everything to do with human pettiness. I was glad for the protection experience I had, along with the healing techniques to fix it.)

2) Also what is the disadvantage of using direct magick if there is any??

Originally, Direct Magick was about using connections and energy directly, to do healing techniques without channeling ethereal software. That takes much longer to learn the channeling-based energy healing. It also didn’t include manifesting.

These days, I’ve added ethereal software to help you get started. I hope you’ll outgrow that software eventually. The point is still to do magick directly, using energy and connections yourself. But I wanted to offer a gentler start, which requires channeling.

Also, if you enjoy the theater of ritual, we don’t have any of that. Sorry.

3)Can direct magick help me learn those ancient magick that was not pass down or lost in time??

My question is, why do you want to learn about ancient magick?

I see 3 possible answers. First, love of history. If you’re a historian looking for ancient Egyptian fertility rites, that sounds awesome, but sorry, Direct Magick doesn’t have that.

Second, you might hope to glean some clues from systems of healing developed over hundreds of years. After all, Western medicine has developed drugs by looking at traditional herbal medicine. (I think aspirin came from investigating herbal medicine, and it’s pretty great.) I see some potential here, and Direct Magick has some useful tools for separating the wheat from the chaff in these investigations.

Third, there’s a notion that ancient magick was more powerful, calling down plagues and reviving the dead, creating objects out of thing air, smiting your enemies. Most people who ask for ancient magick are after power.

Here’s the thing: In ancient times, they didn’t distinguish between biofield healing vs (herbal) drugs and placebo, or even slight of hand, and they didn’t understand confirmation bias — heck, much of ancient history was oral traditions, shifting and embellishing with each retelling. So those powerful lost ancient magicks? They were probably illusionists, herbs, and other non-magickal phenomena.

But if you’re after powerful magick, I do have a path for you: Understand the underlying mechanisms behind magick. Harness them to create better techniques that solve new problems. Build magick into a respected science, one with thousands of researchers worldwide, connected to medicine and physics and the rest of human knowledge. That’s the path to more powerful magick.

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