Archive for the ‘Beginning Conscious Magick’ Category

The Many Faces of Spirits

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

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Readers sometimes ask, “What do spirits think about X?” Morality, war, death, stuff like that.

It reminds me of friends asking, “What do women want?” As though all 3.5 billion women got together and agreed on it.

The answer is the same: Like all people, they think and want different things. What matters more is the spirits / women you want to spend time with, and what they think about those things. So ask them.

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2 Questions on Visualization

Friday, March 7th, 2014

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Steven writes (his text in italics):

Hey there, I have two questions.

First, to practice building up energy, instead of visualizing mist going into my lungs, I find it easier to imagine static electricity going up my spine and then with each breath in it slowly grows around my body, but I’m unsure if that will work the same, I’m sure it will but I figured I’d ask.

“Work the same” is tricky. How does your unconscious mind respond to images of glowing mist? How does it respond to images of static electricity? I don’t know. Your mind will respond differently to different visualizations, but everyone’s mind is different, so I can’t tell you how you’ll respond.

Visualization-based magick is all about how your unique mind responds to images. That varies from person to person, and even from day to day, with your mood and hunger and whatever else. It’s inherently imprecise. That’s part of why I avoid visualizations, and instead direct my ethereal muscles consciously.

But you might be asking, “Will this visualization work to build energy?” Yes, it probably will. And if it feels more natural than visualizing mist, then do it. Just don’t expect your mind to respond to either visualization in the same way my mind does.

The next question is something I’ve wondered for a long time, the term “visualization” has always confused me, what exactly does it mean? Am I supposed to close my eyes and see actual images of lighting going up my spine, or am I just thinking of it (imagining) like I would a day dream? I apologize for the long message but I feel these questions are important to me growing as a mage, so I had to ask, thank you for your time, may the fates grant you fortune.

I actually don’t know. I’ve always visualized by closing my eyes and picturing the image. I relax, focusing on the images without tensing my body or face.

But I rarely use visualization for magick. Certainly not as part of my own practice. So I’m probably the wrong guy to ask.

Readers: Are any of you the right person to ask? Got tips for Steven on visualization? Please help him out.

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Can Ethereal Muscles Go Back to Sleep?

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

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Calum writes:

I used to practice direct magick for about a year. But this last year I have stopped due to family issues and laziness. I just found it hard to get motivated and find the time to keep practicing. I’ve started again and I remembered following your blog so I came back to review and re learn. I’m struggling to  feel my magick this time round. Its noticeable in my arms and legs but I cant feel much around my chest and stomach.

My question is, have you heard of anything like this before? Can “blockages” occur over time if not used regularly?

I can certainly relate to that. I’ve had periods where I couldn’t stand to learn anything new, where I only did magick that was immediately useful. And I’ve had weeks, even months, where I was focused on my day job and let some ethereal muscles go unused.

It seems that, when ethereal muscles go unused, they start to go back to sleep, to that hibernating state they are in for most non-mages. That’s happened a bit for me when I rest for a month, and I’m guessing it happens even more after resting for a year. That’s the first part.

The second part starts with the question, “Why aren’t you feeling energy?” Answer: Because energy itself doesn’t feel like anything. The tingling sensations we associate with energy, connections, and magick aren’t from the nerves in the skin, they’re from ethereal muscles telling the brain that something interesting is going on, causing the brain to manufacture that sensation. Kind of like how, if something almost touches you, you feel a weird tingle, not because of nerves in the skin (it isn’t touching you), but because that’s how your brain gets you to pay attention.

(Think that tingling is energy from the thing almost touching you? Close your eyes and have a friend either almost touch or not, being careful to not make any sound. You won’t feel anything. That’s because it’s proprioception, not energy.)

So, if your ethereal muscles were hibernating, they’re not active to create those sensations, and you won’t feel anything. Same as with most non-mages.

The solution? Awaken your muscles the same as you did the first time, either with an energy meditation, or by using ethereal software to help. (It should go faster this time.)

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How Obvious Connections Feel

Monday, February 24th, 2014

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Alex is trying the obvious connections from my book’s ethereal software. His text is italics, my reply is normal text:

This is cool. I’ve discovered your blog a couple days ago, and just tried this command right after connecting to the software and asking it to give me obvious connections. I think i noticed it connecting to me the first time because of the sigil becoming kind of alive, pulsating. May be some optical illusion though. At first, i didn’t notice clearly the obvious connection, but i certainly noticed a change when i asked the software to withdraw the connections.

Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to write about this.

That’s probably an optical illusion, something to do with how you were staring at the sigil. It hasn’t happened with any of the other testers (as far as I know), and the software isn’t doing anything to the eyes or visual cortex.

I tried engaging and withdrawing the connections a few times, and noticed it kept a certain connection that i felt at the front of my head at all times, while switching on and off another stronger one that centered on my chest, but felt kind of on the whole front of my body, when i asked it to give me obvious connections.

Yup, that sounds about right. The software makes connections to your mind so it can communicate with you. That’s how all ethereal software works, actually. That communication connection stays the whole time you’re using it. Then the obvious connection turns on and off when you give the command.

It seemed to me that the obvious connections were flooding me with energy (that felt pleasant, by the way), and tried asking the system if it was giving me energy. I didn’t get any clear answer.

Yes, that’s basically what it’s doing. The connection is full of energy, that’s why it’s obvious.

(For anyone really digging into direct magick: The connection has a high level of activation, not energy, and strongly maintains its own signature rather than adjusting to the user’s signature. That’s what makes it obvious.)

(For everyone else: There are some subtle distinctions between energy and other magickal structures. They matter when you’re building techniques. But if you’re just trying to get the gist of what’s going on, “energy” is close enough.)

And don’t worry that you didn’t get a reply from the software. That’s not until Book 2, the sequel to the one I’m writing now.

Nevertheless, i tried asking it to give me obvious connections without sending me energy, which made a fainter result, and then to give me obvious connections the way it did the first time, which felt stronger again. I also noticed that once i phrased the command “stop all connections”, but meaning just the obvious ones, and it was able to tell my intentions, not stopping the connection in my head.

This all sounds good. I’m not surprised it read your intent, as communication happens in concepts rather than words, so if you were thinking about the obvious connections when you said “all connections,” you probably sent that concept.

Another thing is that i was starting to feel a bit of a headache, and i asked the software to make the connection to my head gentler. I kept feeling an intensity on my head, but it stopped hurting. Was that supposed to work like that?

That sounds like a good result, so I’ll go with yes. A lot of these behaviors are the defaults provided by the spirits who made the software, it’s just how they always make software. So I didn’t previously know it did that, but that doesn’t surprise me.

Last thing, when i asked it to prepare my mind to communicate with it, the connection on the front of my head seemed to surround my head to come from all directions (sidewise in a ring, not from above or below) and then kind of went into the background, making itself less obvious to me, but still being there.

Here’s the interesting thing about these sensations: They don’t necessarily correspond to specific connections. Sure, intensity tends to correlate with the amount of energy, though it has more to do with the signature (or type) of the energy than the actual amount.

These sensations come from your ethereal muscles, not the nerves in your skin. Your ethereal muscles notice connections and create sensations to communicate that experience. But do those sensations mean a literal “this is where the connection is”? I don’t know. They could also be a metaphor, like how we visualize white light to tell our ethereal muscles to move energy around, knowing full well that there’s no white glow involved.

So, it doesn’t surprise me that those connections were less obvious than the obvious connection. I’d expect that, actually. But what do those specific sensations mean? I couldn’t say — it has to do with how your brain interprets the messages from your ethereal muscles.

I’d like to ask you if what i experienced makes any sense to you, regarding the way you programmed the software, or if you can tell some way i’m deluding myself in the results i perceive to get. I’m not that good in telling what’s really happening from what i’m imagining (i suppose that’s a huge part of the reason why i’m here).

Thank you for your teaching!

Thanks for using what I write, and for sharing your experiences!

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Is it Energy, or Placebo?

Monday, December 30th, 2013

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Responding to my post on energy meditation, Lorenzo asks:

How would i be able to tell if i’m feeling energy or if it’s a placebo effect since i read on how some other people feel energy? When [..] i think on how energy feels for others and i start to feel “something”.

I wrote that energy meditation post in my first year of blogging, because I felt I should have a post on how to start magick, and because I didn’t have a better answer. I remember trying to think of a better answer, one that would work even if a person’s ethereal muscles weren’t paying attention, one that would provide good feedback, and coming up empty. So, I wrote the best energy meditation post I could, and called it done.

But even then, I knew: Energy meditation isn’t a great way to start with magick. It’s a mix of hope (that your ethereal muscles are paying enough attention to respond and start awakening more) and suspension of disbelief (to keep practicing until you’re experienced enough to produce real results, and not worry it’s all your imagination). And as a scientist, I don’t like basing techniques on hope and suspension of disbelief. Nope.

A better solution would involve ethereal software. That’s why I’ve recommended doing the LBRP if your energy meditation fails, and why I’m using ethereal software for my book. Because you really do want an outside force helping your ethereal muscles awaken.

But, back to Lorenzo’s question: A novice simply cannot tell if what they’re feeling is real energy, placebo, hyperventilation, self-hypnosis, or something else. And I cannot tell you how to tell the difference.

Even experienced mages get it wrong, experiencing tingles because they expected to, rather than because of actual energy. You know how professional wine tasters get fooled by cheap wine in expensive bottles (and an interesting deeper exploration), expecting it to be awesome wine and therefore tasting it as awesome wine? It’s not that the sense of taste is a myth or that all flavors are just placebo, it’s simply that our expectations affect our senses more than any of us realize. So, you expect awesome wine and you taste awesome wine, and you expect energy tingles and you feel energy tingles. That’s just how our senses work, both ordinary and magickal. It affects everyone, at least some of the time.

Sorry I don’t have a better answer. It’s tempting to draft a post full of bravado and reassurances, but they’d be false. This is simply the nature of magick, especially when you’re a beginner.

Here’s what I can tell you: Most human effort goes toward things we believe are worthwhile, but cannot actually know. Job applications, dating, investments, charities, eating healthy, driving anywhere, all are based on uncertainty. Magick is no different. The only path is to accept this, decide if you can live with that uncertainty, and then practice anyway.

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Over-Thinking Visualizations

Monday, December 9th, 2013

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Last night, a friend asked, “For energy meditations, what exactly should I visualize?”

My answer: It doesn’t matter how you represent energy, just pick something that speaks to you. Fire, water, light, glowing mist, they all work roughly the same.

Here’s why: Your visualization communicates your intent to your unconscious. Your unconscious mind then does whatever it does to create the actual energy. And, in general, actually creating the energy has very little to do with what you visualized.

So, just pick something. See how your unconscious responds. Then pick something else, and see what’s the same, and what’s different, in how your unconscious responds. Learn what speaks to your unconscious, and how to produce the results you’re looking for.

Her summary: “Stop over-thinking the visualization.”

Two more notes:

  • Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that, just because your unconscious responds a certain way to a particular visualization, that anyone else’s unconscious will respond the same way.
  • What’s next? For me, it’s taking the unconscious parts parts of the mind that drive magick — the “ethereal muscles” — and making them conscious, so we can become aware of what they actually do to perform magick, (which often has very little to do with what we visualize), and adjust how they do it.
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Time and Manifesting

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

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Good follow-on question from Amitabh:

Any [manifesting] commands to include time factor? Like “Make X happen with y days/weeks/months” sort of?

It turns out, time specifications work the opposite of how you’d expect.

When I was new to manifesting, I’d often specify for something to happen within a week. I figured it was like giving a project to an assistant: If I say, “Do it within a week,” I’ll get it sooner, right?

Nope. Or, at least, not in my experience, which is confirmed by the instructions I’ve gotten from spirits and the manifesting software itself.

The short answer is, manifesting can only do so much. By saying, “Within a week,” you’re not saying, “Work extra hard to get it done sooner.” Nope, you’re saying, “Do this within a week if you can, but if not, don’t bother doing it at all.” Rather different.

Why? Well, manifesting seems to work by selecting sequences of events that are likely to produce your requested outcome. So, request to find a better job, and it will influence your decisions (and possibly the decisions of others) to make you more successful.

(There’s some discussion around whether manifesting also influences inanimate objects, like lottery balls. Let’s skip that for this post.)

When you request a better job, the software finds sequences of events that result in a better job within a reasonable amount of time. But if you request, “Better job within a week,” it selects paths with a chance of that specific outcome, even if that chance is low. And it simply ignores paths that result in a job in two weeks. The request hamstrings the manifesting software, preventing it from finding paths with an actually high probability of the thing you want (a better job).

There’s another complication I didn’t think of until recently: Adding a timeframe will guide you to apply for jobs that start soon, rather than jobs better suited to you. And, depending on the safeguards on your particular manifesting software, it could even lead you to fight with lover, because being single makes it easier to search other cities for better jobs.

So, you can see, the short answer was a bit simplified, and the full answer is (potentially) quite a bit worse.

That’s why non-basic manifesting involves asking a lot more questions, like “What will happen if I make this request.” But doing that successfully requires two-way communication, where the software sends you back information, which requires more skill than simply sending a request. So, we’ll leave that for later.

(And thanks for the question, this is something I really should cover in my book.)

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The Very Basics of Manifesting

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

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Amitabh asks:

How to create luck using the ethereal software? Any specific commands to be given?

The command itself is simple: “Make X happen,” “Make me successful at X,” or anything along those lines. X would be, “Finding an awesome job,” or “Good conversation with Joe, the friend I’m arguing with,” or, “Giving a presentation that impresses my boss.”

(I personally use many other commands, too. Those are for other, not-very-basics posts.)

But there’s a gotcha: You have to get that message to the ethereal software that handles manifesting. Which means one of two things must be true:

  1. The software has made sufficient connections to your mind to respond to your messages. (Most likely option, if you’re learning the basics.)
  2. Or, you can prepare messages and hand them to the ethereal software. (That’s level 2 communication, or higher.)

Just thinking the message won’t cause magick. The key is getting the message to the software, which does the actual work. You can do that in lots of different ways, and if you already work with psychic intuitions or other forms of magick, you might already be doing option 1. But if you’re new to magick, see these two posts for a quick guide to using the ethereal software for my book.

(I’ll cover that in more detail in my book, which I really seriously will resume writing soon.)

Bonus question:

Would an affirmation sort of statement be accepted as a command?

Some people recommend saying, “I will find an awesome job,” rather than, “Make me find an awesome job.” I think Amitabh is asking if that works.

Two answers:

  • I could certainly imagine some ethereal software designed to accept that as a command. It wouldn’t be hard to program.
  • But, the software I use is simply confused by that statement. (I just tried it.)

So, for doing magick, I’d recommend, “Make X happen,” rather than an affirmation.

Why do some folks recommend affirmations? Well, magick is just one tool to get what you want. Confidence, persistence, and other aspects of psychology (not magick) are also important, and are probably easier to learn. If your goal is confidence — or if you’re writing a book designed to give readers confidence, but borrowing the language of magick for inspiration or marketing purposes — then you might use affirmations.

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Ethereal Software and the Unconscious

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

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A new reader asks:

If a newbie is trying to influence his environment, luck, probable outcomes without being connected to a specific ethereal software, is his unconscious connecting to random softwares? Like wireless devices connecting to the nearest tower? Or is the unconscious, itself, a sort of vast, open-source ethereal software?

It depends.

Some people will already be connected to a particular piece of ethereal software. Think about psychics who’ve gotten intuitions as long as they can remember. (Usually, a family member did, too — that’s where they got that software from.)

Others will pick up ethereal software from a group of mages. Think initiates into the Golden Dawn or OTO.

Some may pick up ethereal software from spirits that inhabit the same town, or from talking to a psychic, healer, or someone else.

And some people may simply not have any ethereal software connect to them on that particular day.

Some software actively seeks out new users, while other software requires permission. Some software will respond to the user’s request, other software to their real intent, and still other software may ignore what they want and simply drain their energy. There’s a huge amount of variation here.

There’s no way of knowing what will happen on any given day, if you just grab whatever software happens to respond to you. That’s why I recommend that novices either start with established rituals like the LBRP (which will connect you to particular ethereal software associated with that ritual), or go with the software I commissioned for my book. Then you know what you’re working with, you know it’s safe, and you can know you’re working with the same thing again next practice session.

(And, on the last question: No, the unconscious is a combination of nerves and some ethereal muscles. It doesn’t include ethereal software, and ethereal software seems to exist independent of human nerves and ethereal muscles. Ethereal software seems mostly unrelated to the unconscious, aside from the fact that some people may use ethereal software without consciously realizing it.)

Bonus: This reader also suggests a good way of thinking about signatures:

As I understand it, identifying “signatures” in one’s own consciousness is much like “sense memory” is for actors. A stage actor recreates for himself the feeling of walking into a room for the first time, or having a spontaneous conversation, or being outdoors, or whatever the character’s situation or activity is. It sounds like creating, or labeling, a “signature” for when one feels healthy, or sexy, or powerful, or motivated, and then accessing that signature with “ethereal muscles,” is much the same thing as an actor using “sense memory.” Would you agree with that analogy?

Yes, that feels about right. I think it’s a good analogy in terms of how it feels to remember a signature, and that seems like a reasonable way to get your mind moving in the right direction. Thanks!

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Magick Feels Like Pressure in the Brain

Monday, November 11th, 2013

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A friend asked me, “What does it feel like when you engage your ethereal muscles?”

Readers have asked this before, and I always answer that it doesn’t feel like anything, because I don’t look for a tingle or anything to know they’re engaged. It’s more of the feeling of where your arm is, how even with your eyes closed you just know what your arm is doing. (Proprioception.) And that’s hard to describe.

But my friend pressed me: Try engaging them, and describe everything that happens. And there is a feeling: A pressure in my head, pushing out of my forehead and temples. It’s subtle, neither pleasant nor unpleasant, the kind of thing I simply ignore. But, if you do magick, and you have a first step where you engage the magick parts of your mind, look for that feeling. It might mean that you and I are talking about the same magickal structures, just using different words to do it.

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