Archive for the ‘Learning Magick’ Category

The Many Faces of Energy: How Understanding Them Leads to Stronger Energy

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

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We often speak as if energy is synonymous with chi. But really, energy refers to many different phenomena, and becoming aware of this helps us develop stronger energy skills.

“What a crazy day at work! My energy was pulled in so many directions.” I’m talking about my attention and mental focus.

“His words were friendly, but he had an angry energy.” I’m talking about an intuition about the person, a facility of my limbic system noticing incongruities between his words, tone, and body language.

“For this healing technique, I’ll adjust the energy of your knee.” Here, I’m talking about a force that exists outside the mind. In the East, it’s called chi or prana. I’m a Western scientist, so I call it biofield energy. This type of energy is my focus, and it’s usually what I mean by energy.

There are other meanings, as well. And that’s fine — many words have multiple meanings. But when we learn energy, it helps to be aware of the different skills we’re using.

Most energy techniques use multiple skills. If I gaze into a partner’s eyes and feel their energy, I’ll tune in to my intuition about their body language, I’ll notice how my limbic system responds to them, and I might allow their biofield energy to enter my body and notice how it feels. The more of those facilities I can engage, the better my results.

Here’s the thing: Most of us never learned to use biofield energy as kids. It’s just not something that’s taught in our culture. Then as adults, we learn these energy techniques, like visualizing and eye gazing, that use many different forms of energy. And it’s natural to use the skills we’re good at, like attention and emotional intuition, rather than the skills we’re weaker at. But the result is that we never really develop our biofield energy.

How can we develop our biofield energy / chi / prana? Let me first answer in an analogy: To strengthen their muscles, athletes use muscle isolations. If they don’t — if they just play their sport — it’s easy for their stronger muscles to compensate for their weaker ones. So they’ll use muscle isolations, doing an exercise that only engages their quads, another that only engages their calves, and so on, strengthening each muscle individually to ensure that all their muscles get a full workout. It’s not that they’re unable to run without this, but to reach peak performance, they want all their muscles to be as strong as possible.

And that’s what we do at Energy Geek: Strengthen our biofield energy using games and exercises that only use biofield energy. We wear blindfolds, or otherwise block ourselves from using our emotional intuition, expectations, and other facilities, so we’re only engaging our biofield energy. It’s like muscle isolations for your energy. And it works: Energy Geek regulars are showing clear, measurable improvements, and getting up to 90% accuracy.

With energy, as with everything else, the key to peak performance is to find the weakest skills, and focus on those.

(Here are some energy games you can play at home.)

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The Key to Learning Energy

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

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“I tried using your ethereal software for manifesting, but how do I know if I’m doing it right?” Jill asked me.

(Ethereal software is my system’s term for the forces we channel. Other terms for those forces include egregores, matrices, and The Universe.)

Jill studies a system of energy healing that uses rituals to engage their forces. I’m teaching her to use ethereal software by sending messages directly, without the ritual. It’s faster and more flexible, but it takes some adjusting.

I had several answers for her:

First, it occurs to me that manifesting might not be the best skill to start with. Any single case is ambiguous — would that luck have happened anyway? And there’s a delay, often days or weeks, between requesting an event and having it materialize. The key to learning is immediate, clear feedback, and manifesting offers neither.

Second, we want to find some skill so useful that you want to use it every day, so you practice without needing to force yourself to practice. I’m realizing that, rather than asking someone what they want to learn, I should offer them a list of easy, useful energy techniques, and ask them which one they would use daily. For Jill, there’s an energy I’ve used to help her relax and focus that she likes, so I programmed that energy into the ethereal software and taught her to use that.

Healing techniques like this also give immediate feedback — she either feels more calm and focused, or she doesn’t.

At this point, Jill asked, “But how can I know that feeling is the result of energy, not placebo?”

That brings me to my third answer: It’s OK to trust how energy feels. Sure, there’s no way to be certain it’s not just your imagination, but that’s why once a month you come to Energy Geek and play energy games with other people, verify that they can locate your energy blindfolded, recognize the energy of different people without seeing or hearing them, and all the other games we play. That’s important, but it’s hard to do solo. So let your daily practice be based on feeling energy, and let those games be a special thing you do once a month.

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just find some energy work you want to do daily, and do it. Feel the results. Do it for three months, get those 100 repetitions in, and then think about how to improve it. But get started. That’s the key.

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Why Explore Energy

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

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Because you want to help people you love to heal.

Because you want to help people you don’t know to heal.

Because you feel something and must understand it.

Because you want to understand a mystical experience.

Because you want to create pleasure.

Because you want power. (It won’t work.)

Because you want to share your experiences with the world.

Because you want to discover something new.

Because you can’t stop asking, “How does this work?”

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The Power of Curiosity

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

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I have a new resolution: Follow my curiosity at least one day a week.

What happens when I build energy? I explored this today, found the ethereal structures in my body that store and release energy, watched as they released the energy I’d intended, and also saw them releasing a great deal of useless energy I didn’t intend. As a result, I’m thinking about how to contain that excess energy, and turn it into something useful.

When I make a connection, just what in me creates that connection? I explored this in my early 20s, following a connection until I found what made it: My ethereal muscles. That was my first time feeling my ethereal muscles, and which became a foundational part of my work.

Why do so many different systems of magick and energy, with different explanations and rituals, produce such similar results? This was the question that started my work, back when I was a teen. It lead me to ethereal software and, indirectly, everything else I do.

I used to follow my curiosity. That’s how I developed this work.

Lately, I’ve been focused on solving particular problems: Healing techniques, creating sensations with energy, reliable manifesting, other useful applications of my work. That’s valuable, and I intend to keep doing it.

But my deepest insights — the insights that are the foundation of my work — came from following my curiosity.

So at least once a week, I want to pause, explore, and allow my curiosity to drive.

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My Best Tool for Learning Energy (And Everything Else)

Monday, May 15th, 2017

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Being confused is uncomfortable. We tend to avoid it, and rarely look for confusion. But actually, noticing confusion is the best tool I have for exploring energy, and learning in general.

Here’s an example that confused me as I was taking Anatomy and Physiology earlier this year: How do my thoughts cause my arm to move? Roughly, the nerves in the motor cortex send a signal down the spine, which reaches the muscle in my arm, which causes the myosin fibers to grab and “crawl up” the actin fibers in the muscle.

It’s easy to say, “that’s confusing,” and skip it. But hold on. Confusion exists in the human mind, not out in the world. It’s telling me that I don’t understand something. It’s guiding my learning.

Slow down. Sit with that confusion. Accept it, so it’s not something bad, it’s just something that is. Then notice when it happens. Are you confused when I talk about the motor cortex? The signal down the spine? The myosin and actin? That’s what to explore.

I started with that example to show how to use confusion. Now is the harder skill: Noticing confusion in the first place.

Often, confusion isn’t obvious. There aren’t unknown terms like myosin and actin to flag it. Sometimes, we have to search for our own confusion.

Let’s get back to energy. If you ask, “Why does visualizing light in my chest create energy?” you might be told, “Because energy follows intent.”

That doesn’t sound confusing. I know each of the words. I can imagine someone intending something, and the energy following that. Easy.

But try to step through the process. A person intends something. They focus on it. The nerves in their brain fire. And then… the energy moves?

When I try to step through that process, I notice that I am confused. When we get to the energy moving, I wonder, “What happens? Why does that happen? How are those two seemingly-distant events connected?”

It’s easy to ignore this confusion. There are no unknown words. I’ve probably understood everything the speaker intended to convey. If I don’t want to notice that confusion, I don’t have to.

But today, I’m saying: Notice that confusion. Let it guide you. Explore there.

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How Energy Teachers Create Resistance and Prevent Learning

Monday, May 1st, 2017

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Immediate feedback is the key to learning: Try a skill, see how you did, adjust and repeat. Without feedback, we can’t improve. And yet, energy exercises rarely invite feedback, and often cheat to ensure everyone succeeds. Why?

An example: Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply. Imagine white light circling your body. Did you feel something?

Another example: Point your index finger at your head. Slowly bring it toward your forehead, between your eyebrows. Do you notice that tingling and pressure there?

In most classes, they’d say, “Awesome, that’s energy, great job!” And maybe it is, for some people, some of the time. But when I breathe slowly and deeply, the hyperventilation causes sensations, even without energy. And the sensation of almost being touched is called proprioception, and it’s unrelated to energy.

Those exercises set up conditions that always cause sensations, with or without energy, then told students, “Yay, you felt energy.” That’s what I mean by cheating.

Here’s why this matters: Energy is hard. It takes a great deal of skill to produce even the smallest results reliably. Whenever attempting a new technique, or even an old technique that hasn’t been thoroughly tested and mastered, it’s normal to get poor results. That’s a normal part of learning.

But when we give exercises that make energy seem easy, we create false expectations: That immediate success is normal. That being “good at energy” means having mastered every skill (and that mastery happens with a few weekend workshops). That, if we haven’t mastered every skill, we’ve failed, we’re bad at energy.

That’s not a great foundation for learning. And yet, everyone I know was taught energy with exercises set up for 100% success rates. I don’t think I’d truly appreciated that until now, three months into the Energy Geek Meetup.

(At the Energy Geek Meetup, we do energy exercises with placebo controls. The whole point is that you know if your technique succeeded, and you know if it didn’t, so you can improve. You can see examples here.)

I’m seeing how confronting it can be, especially for experienced energy workers, to learn that a technique isn’t working. At the meetup last week, a woman, very skilled at sending energy, was practicing receiving. She discovered that she felt the energy throughout her body, everywhere at once, and couldn’t identify where the sender was sending the energy. She sat down, we talked. It was very hard for her, even shameful. She expected 100% success, even though I’d opened the meetup by talking about learning, even though she’d seen me have techniques not work too. I’ve also felt that pressure to succeed. I think it’s tremendously common.

I’m seeing how we know, deep down, what results we’ll get, and how we avoid experiences that will challenge our self-image. Telling a friend about the meetup, I said, “It’s confronting for people, because energy is actually really hard.” Her reply: “Oh, it’s easy for me. I gaze into someone’s eyes and feel their energy.” I explained how eye gazing invites all these psychological processes, and how we do exercises that eliminate those psychological aids so we can focus on biofield energy, to learn to use it more reliably and effectively. After I said that, she still wanted to come to the meetup, but only to watch, not to try the exercises herself. (I understand that response too. For months, I had a post written about sigil tests I wanted to do, but never finished it. I loved the idea of testing, but actually doing it was too much for me.)

I’m seeing how people create stories to protect their self-image. One friend came to an Energy Geek Meetup, did the exercises, got no successes. We talked afterward, she said that the exercises were impossible, that energy simply didn’t work like that (even though we’d just seen other people succeed). A couple months later, I asked why she hadn’t come back. Her reply: “There were too many beginners. I want to practice with advanced energy workers.” (I can relate to this too. Too many times, when encountering someone more skilled than me at some aspect of energy, I rejected them instead of learning from them. I’d shift my focus to aspects of energy where I was the more skilled person, and choose to believe that those aspects were more important.)

These are very common, very human reactions. Millions of years of evolution shaped our brains to protect our status and self-image, to avoid situations where we might discover that we’re not as skillful as we thought (especially in public). My task now is to help people through those reactions, because that’s what it will take to build a community that practices energy the way I want to practice it.

(Friends, if you see yourself in these stories, know I love you, and that I understand how hard it is to test your techniques. Really, I do. I had months of resistance when I first tested my techniques, and I have nothing but love and support for you.)

At last week’s Energy Geek Meetup, I noticed that I’ve become truly comfortable with techniques not working. Not “bearably uncomfortable,” but actually not a big deal. This is new for me. I think I know what changed: In the past few months, I’ve been testing techniques, learning that quite a few aren’t working, and then fixing them. And that’s shifted how I see failure. When a technique doesn’t work now, I know that’s a temporary state, a necessary part of debugging, a step on the way to mastery. That sounds obvious, trite even, but the point isn’t to know it intellectually, it’s to feel it internally.

A friend suggested an opening circle, something to set the intention of the evening. I agree. I need to communicate that energy is hard, that most exercises cheat, and that part of achieving mastery is discovering that some techniques don’t work yet. I need to help people through that resistance, so we can build a community devoted to truly learning energy.

And I hope that you, dear reader, feel a little more comfortable testing your own techniques after reading this, too.

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Crystals and Energy: A Placebo-Controlled Exercise

Monday, March 6th, 2017

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Crystals are supposed to amplify energy. That’s what people say, anyway. But have you ever tested it? It’s easy. Here’s how. (And we’ll be doing this at the next Energy Geek Meetup, March 22.)

Here’s the claim: If you send energy into a crystal, the crystal multiplies that energy.

(To be more specific, based on my testing, the crystal changes the energy to make it easier to feel. It changes the energy’s signature (or type). Think of it like putting a colored gel over a flashlight — it doesn’t make the light brighter, but it makes it more noticeable.)

Most people have tried holding a crystal in their hands, feeling energy as it flows through the crystal. But… How do we know those feelings were caused by the crystal, and not simply my expectations affecting my own energy or affecting my perceptions? That’s where placebo and blinding come in.

I love testing energy techniques using placebo controls, blinding, and the other tools of science. When the test works, I can be confident it’s actually my energy, and not just luck or placebo. And when it doesn’t work, I know what to work on, what to improve, and I have a way to measure my improvement with energy.

Here’s how: Get 3 small boxes. Put a piece of quartz in one box, a piece of amethyst in another, and a metal weight in the third. (You can use any two types of crystal. The metal is the placebo, it shouldn’t affect energy like crystals do.)

Have a friend select a box. (They don’t tell you which one). They give you the box, you send energy into it and feel how the object inside the box affects the energy. Feel whether that’s the energy of quartz, the energy of amethyst, or unchanged energy (the placebo weight).

Do this a few times, track your results. Were you able to tell crystal from metal? Were you able to tell the two crystals apart?

A few notes:

  • Before doing this blind test, practice with each crystal. Learn how each energy feels so you can recognize them later.
  • If you shake the box, the metal weight may feel slightly different than the crystals. So have your friend place the box on your lap (or your torso if you’re lying down), rather than handing it to you, so you don’t accidentally (unconsciously) shake the box.
  • What if you can distinguish crystal from placebo, but can’t tell the crystals apart? That’s actually a success. It means you’re building, moving, and feeling energy. The next step is to practice listening to energy, by making your own energy steady and quiet, so you can feel the difference between different types of energy.

About the Meetup

The Energy Geek Meetup is for practitioners who want to take their energy skills and confidence to the next level. It’s the 4th Wednesday of every month, 7-9pm, at the Embodiment Arts Collective, 3490 20th Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco (near 24th st BART). Suggested donation $5-10.

Please RSVP on Facebook or Meetup. (Popular events draw more people. RSVPing helps us grow. Thank you!)

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

Building Skill with Energy: The Importance of Failure

Monday, January 30th, 2017

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Alice wants to play basketball. She shoots baskets every day. Each shot is a little different: More wrist tension, slower bicep movement, etc. Some changes help, others don’t. And each time, she sees the result. Did the ball go in? Did it get close? She keeps the helpful changes, discards the rest, and a few months later she’s sinking many more baskets.

Bob also wants to play basketball. But he fears failure. He isn’t willing to miss a single shot. So he closes his eyes and visualizes himself sinking baskets. And he throws a ball in the air, to learn how it arcs, how hard to throw it. But he never goes near a basketball hoop, because if he did, he might discover that he doesn’t sink every shot.

Who will improve more quickly?

I used to practice energy like Bob. I was afraid of seeing an energy technique fail, afraid it would give oxygen to the chorus of internal skeptics I was trying to suffocate. So I would visualize energy, note the sensations in my body, and congratulate myself. (Never mind that placebo feels exactly the same.) Or I’d test energy with a friend, telling them exactly what I was doing and what they should feel, and congratulate myself when they felt that. (Never mind that I’d suggested exactly those sensations.)

Most energy workers practice like Bob, too. That’s how we were taught to practice, and it’s how our teachers were taught, too.

In my 30s, I scientifically tested a simple energy technique with a friend. It was fun and successful. (Details here.) Then I tested another technique, with sigils. It didn’t work, but you know what happened? Nothing. There was no skeptic hiding in the bush, waiting to cry, “I told you so!” Facing my fears, seeing they were empty, felt liberating and peaceful.

Since then, I’ve been working to practice like Alice, to create tests that only succeed if I do the energy technique properly. That’s been key to my increased confidence and skill, and it’s been fun too. That’s why I’m so passionate about testing and the Energy Geek Meetup.

About the Meetup

The Energy Geek Meetup is for practitioners who want to take their energy skills and confidence to the next level. It’s the 4th Wednesday of every month, 7-9pm, at the Embodiment Arts Collective, 3490 20th Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco (near 24th st BART). Suggested donation $5-10.

Please RSVP on Facebook or Meetup. (Popular events draw more people. RSVPing helps us grow. Thank you!)

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

Building Skill with Energy: Why Small Tests Create Big Results

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

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“How will you test an energy healing technique at a 2-hour event?”

That’s the most common question I get about the Energy Geek Meetup. And the answer is simple: We won’t test entire healing techniques, because most techniques are complex, composed of many parts, and difficult to test. (I know. That’s something I do at Healing Lab.)

Instead, we’ll test each of those parts: We’ll build energy, and verify that a blindfolded partner senses it. We’ll energize an object, and verify that a partner can feel which object is energized. We’ll focus on small techniques like those, which are fast and easy to test. (Here’s an example.)

You’d be amazed at the confidence boost that comes from scientifically testing one simple technique.

Testing small techniques is also great for improving skills. If a person discovers that she can easily  build and sensing energy, but struggles with energizing an object, now she knows what to practice. And then next month, she can test her skills again and see her progress in an objective, quantifiable way.

And remember, each of those small techniques is a building block. A healing session usually involves building energy, moving energy, sensing energy, and more. And as we get better and more reliable with those small techniques, we’ll see better results from our healing sessions, too. (Or anything else you do with energy.)

About the Meetup

The Energy Geek Meetup is for practitioners who want to take their energy skills and confidence to the next level. It’s the 4th Wednesday of every month, 7-9pm, at the Embodiment Arts Collective, 3490 20th Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco (near 24th st BART). Suggested donation $5-10.

Please RSVP on Facebook or Meetup. (Popular events draw more people. RSVPing helps us grow. Thank you!)

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

What if Your School Guidance Counselor had Recommended Energy Healing?

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

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I graduated high school in 1998. I’d loved energy since 5th grade, but how did a person make money doing that? There were no jobs. There were books and training courses, but no way to know which were worth the investment. I didn’t seriously consider energy healing as a career path, but if I had, it would have looked risky and uncertain. Instead, I went to college, learned computer science, got a safe job that I could enjoy enough, even if it took hours and years away from the study that truly called to me.

But what if there had been salaried positions for energy healers?

The job requirements would list courses, certifications, and other programs. And that’s not just an energy healer saying, “I like these courses” — it’s a company saying, “We find these courses to be useful for new hires, and seek out people who have taken them.” And knowing there’s a job waiting, I would have felt good investing time and money in those requirements.

Fresh out of those training programs, I would have joined that company, worked under experienced energy healers and researchers, and been assigned projects and cases suited to my skill level. I might have started by giving healing sessions in the techniques I was already certified in, then learned more techniques on the job, and eventually developed new techniques for others to use.

I imagine the company funding energy healing research, both developing new energy healing techniques, and performing placebo-controlled trials to demonstrate their effectiveness. Maybe there would even be research-focused positions, where we pick a particular health condition that no one knows how to help, only see people with that condition, and work to develop techniques for them. I think I would enjoy a role like that.

Other people might go into management, mentoring a team of energy healers, or marketing or training or any of the other roles that most companies need. I imagine those folks would be interested in energy healing too, but just don’t want to make it their full time job.

Eventually, I might leave the company, start a solo practice, develop my own techniques. If I did, I’d probably maintain a certification in their system of healing, paying an annual fee and taking their training courses, so I could keep using their ethereal software and learn their latest techniques. Or maybe I’d stay, lead a team of researchers working on life extension, or on using energy to enhance cognitive function.

And what about you? How might your life be different if there were energy healing jobs when you graduated high school?

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