Building Better Magick
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This site is about altering the world with thought. Not perceiving the world differently, not motivating yourself into action, but altering the external, physical world. Healing with energy. Knowing and influencing events. Telepathic communication. Magick.
Specifically, direct magick. Instead of memorizing rituals and symbols, direct magick focuses on the core skills that make magick successful. You can use those skills to get better results with styles you already know, use them to learn new styles more quickly, or use them on their own as a direct mage.
For novices, direct magick lets you skip the memorization so you can focus on the skills you need to become successful.
For advanced mages, instead of visualizing what you want to happen, direct magick lets you see how magick actually works, which creates the intuitive understanding that separates experience from expertise.
Symbolism and Building a Better Car
Most magick uses symbolism — like ritual and visualization — to communicate your goal to your unconscious, which drives the magick. If magick is a car, the symbols are the steering wheel, and your unconscious is the engine.
But symbols are imprecise, slow, and awkward to do in public:
- Everyone’s experiences are different, so symbols mean slightly different things to each person. My symbols won’t communicate the right things to your unconscious, and the symbols I use today might not work for me in 10 years.
- Rituals last for minutes or hours, and visualizations take long, focused meditation. Wouldn’t it be nice to get results in a few seconds?
- Talk to any pagan community organizer to appreciate the logistical difficulties and social awkwardness of public rituals.
If we visualized symbols to control our hands, we’d never be able to eat an apple, type an email or build a house.
So you have 2 choices:
- Do magick like everyone else. Learn the standard symbols, communicate your general intent, and let your unconscious figure out the details.
- Build a better car. Learn a new way of steering that communicates precisely what you want your unconscious to do. And while you’re at it, improve the engine, too.
That’s what this site is about: A new way of doing magick that produces better results. It’s called direct magick. I’ll explain everything soon, but first, we need to see the major moving parts.
The 3 Major Parts of Magick
You power magick with special parts of your mind. They’re usually unconscious, but don’t have to be. They’re sometimes alert, sometimes dozing, and sometimes hibernating. Switching to a biology metaphor, I call them “mental muscles” because, like your normal muscles, they turn thought into action.
(In newer posts, I’ve changed the term to “ethereal muscles.” Same thing, better metaphor for the term.)
The Steering Wheel
Most mages direct their mental muscles with symbolic rituals or visualizations. We’ll see some other options soon.
The Other Engine
Sorry, no wheels. The car analogy only goes so far.
Magick is also driven by outside forces. Energy healers channel energy from “The Universe.” Psychics channel information from “The Source.” Ritual mages use a variety of forces to connect their symbolic actions to changes in the world.
Those forces all work in essentially the same way: They connect to your mind, read your intent, and provide you with energy, intuitions, or some other assistance, which you channel.
I call all these forces “ethereal software.” The name matters. “The Universe” sounds incomprehensible, while a ethereal software begs to be understood. (Note: In older writing, including the rest of this series, I called this component “systems.” Some readers found it confusing, so I changed the term.)
I explain these parts in greater detail later in this series. Click here to skip ahead.
How to Build a Better Car
Traditional styles of magick — from Reiki to Thelema to A.O. Spare’s runes — use symbolism to communicate your intent to your unconscious (engine 1), which channels ethereal software (engine 2), which drives the magick.
Each style teaches you new symbols. Tarot cards, runes, ritual elements, etc. New ways of sending ideas to your unconscious.
But to really master magick, you need to build a better car.
Symbolism is loose steering. You focus on a symbolic image or action, hope your unconscious notices, hope the symbol communicates the right meaning, and hope your unconscious follows your instructions.
There’s a better way: Consciously engage your mental muscles. Like you can learn to control your heartbeat with biofeedback, you can learn to control your mental muscles with the right exercises. Most mages can learn it in a few hours.
Once you learn to hold your mind the right way, your unconscious will respond to each detail of a 5-second visualization, without any warm-ups. And your mental muscles will show you exactly how they’re turning those goals into reality, so you can adjust each step as you go.
That feedback is vital. You know how, if you hit the curb, you feel it in the steering wheel? Without that, you’d never know exactly where your wheels were pointing. Same here: Watching your magick lets you understand all the moving pieces more deeply and intuitively, so you can create better results next time.
Magick has two engines: Internal (your mental muscles) and external (ethereal software). Traditional styles rely on the external engine. Your unconscious just directs and channels the ethereal software, which does the real work.
We’re going to improve both.
Your unconscious can do more than channel ethereal software. It can drive magick. As you learn to consciously engage your mental muscles, you’ll also learn to strengthen them, first with focused exercises, then by doing magick without ethereal software, and finally by using magick to activate more parts of your unconscious mind. Doing magick yourself gives you the freedom to create techniques that your ethereal software can’t help you with, like better energy healing, stronger shielding, and more detailed sensory connections.
Once you stop relying on the ethereal software you use now, you can explore new ones. There are hundreds of ethereal softwares available, each specialized for different tasks. Finding better ethereal software can get you more detailed psychic intuitions, more thorough energy healing, and contact with more knowledgeable spirits. And with your stronger unconscious mental muscles, you can watch what the ethereal software does, figure out how it works, and develop new techniques that produce better results.
What You Can Do with a Better Car
Earlier, I made some claims about what direct magick would let you do. Here are the details:
- Do magick anywhere. Once you can consciously engage your mental muscles, you can use a short visualization even in a noisy environment. You won’t need a conspicuous ritual or a long meditation.
- Learn new styles of magick quickly. Once learn to use ethereal software in general, learning the software for a new style is easy. And once you can watch your magick as you do it, you can debug new techniques. This adds up to much faster learning.
- Create new, better techniques. Watching your magick also lets you see what all the moving pieces do, so you can figure out how to use them in new ways. Combined with better steering to precisely direct your mental muscles, you’ll be able to improve your techniques and create new ones.
Learning Many Styles of Magick
That style of magick — consciously directing your mental muscles, driving magick yourself, and selecting the right ethereal software for each task — is called “direct magick.” That’s what this site is about.
I call the other styles — Thelema, Reiki, Enochian, etc — “traditional magick.”
You can do both traditional and direct magick. No need to choose. And learning direct magick will help you learn traditional styles faster and more completely.
You have 3 options:
Default: If you’re new to magick, start with What Mages Really Do. (If not, just know that I include energy healing and psychic intuition in magick).
Jump Ahead: If you already know what magick is, jump to How Magick Works. It’s a more in-depth version of the steering wheel and 2 engines explanation in this post, using energy healing, psychic intuition, and a direct magick technique for sensing emotions as examples.
Cut to the Chase: If you want to start learning direct magick right away, see The Step-By-Step Guide to Learning Direct Magick. It shows you the right starting point for novice, intermediate and experienced mages. (If you feel lost, return to How Magick Works for the big picture on all the moving pieces).Other posts in this series:
- How Magick Works - Part 2 (October 21, 2010)
- How Magick Works - Part 3 (October 25, 2010)
- The Best Way to Grow as a Mage (November 4, 2010)
- Learning Direct Magick, Step by Step (January 27, 2011)