Posts Tagged ‘Book Chapters’

Direct Magick in Action: Conclusion

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

Now that we’ve seen some concrete examples, let’s summarize the major moving parts behind most magick.

The mage visualizes, does a ritual, or does some other symbolic action to communicate their intent to their unconscious mind. Most guides focus here: The conscious steps the teacher uses to do magick, which we hope will enable you to do magick, too.

The mage’s ethereal muscles respond to that intent. Now, everyone has ethereal muscles, but in most people, they’re hibernating from disuse. Becoming a mage involves awakening and strengthening your ethereal muscles. We’ll see how to do that soon.

(Each mage has their own ethereal muscles. I can’t use your muscles any more than I could think with your brain.)

If the mage’s ethereal muscles know how to fulfill their intent, they will. When you do an energy meditation, for example, your ethereal muscles will usually produce the energy all on their own.

But for most complex magick — energy healing, psychic intuitions, manifesting, and so on — the ethereal muscles will need help. So they’ll contact ethereal software, an external force, usually programmed by spirits, shared by many mages. The ethereal software will read the mage’s mind and handle the details of turning their intent into change in the world.

That’s 90% of magick: Engage your ethereal muscles, contact ethereal software, send it your intent, and let it handle the details. That intent can be wealth, love, energy healing, or any other common use of magick. As long as you have the right ethereal software, it’ll know what to do. We’ll see how to do each of those steps in the next few chapters.

And the other 10% of magick? That’s when the mage does something his ethereal software doesn’t know how to do. We’ll explore that in Books 2 and 3 of this Initiation.

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Direct Magick in Action: Energy Meditation

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

Most systems of magick start with an energy meditation. It gets your energy flowing, and engages the parts of your mind that build and direct energy (your ethereal muscles). For example:

  • As you breathe in, imagine breathing a glowing white mist into your lungs.
  • As you breathe out, imagine the white mist spreading to the rest of your body.
  • When you’re done with the energy, imagine the white mist leaving your body.

Let’s talk about what’s going on in the mage’s mind and body, using the language of direct magick.

When the mage visualizes, they send their intent to their unconscious, where that intent is (hopefully) picked up by their ethereal muscles. The muscles create that energy, move it around following the mage’s intent, and then release that energy when the mage went to the final step of the visualization.

(For now, let’s assume the ethereal muscles were paying attention, and the visualization communicated, “Create energy in my lungs and body.”)

Two important items:

First, the particulars of the visualization don’t matter. They merely communicate intent to the mage’s ethereal muscles. Visualizing white vs red mist, visualizing fire vs water, visualizing something totally different, all that matters is how those images speak to you. If your mind associates white mist with healing and red mist with passion, you’ll probably produce the corresponding types of energy. But there’s no reason to believe your mind will respond the same way mine does, because visualization is all about communicating intent within your own mind.

Second, you can only ask for things your ethereal muscles know how to do. Think about it this way: If you ask a short order cook to construct an airplane, he probably can’t do it. Asking more clearly won’t help. He knows what you want, he just can’t make it happen. Similarly, you can visualize flying, your ethereal muscles can hear your intent, but unless they know how to do it (and they don’t), and you will still be affected by gravity. Visualization communicates intent, nothing more.

But, it is possible to train your ethereal muscles to do magick they can’t do yet. In fact, that’s much of the point of Direct Magick.

It’s also possible to get assistance from external forces, which we call ethereal software. The rest of this chapter gives examples of that.

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Direct Magick in Action: Psychic Intuitions

Friday, December 27th, 2013

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

I’ve also worked with psychics as I’ve explored magick, and even become psychic myself. As with energy healers, in each case, the psychic’s intuitions were coming from what we would call ethereal software. Like the visions of angels in the LBRP, it’s possible to trace the connections from the person back to their software, see the messages traveling along that connection, and work with the ethereal software yourself.

If psychics don’t do rituals, and aren’t initiated, where do they get their software? I cannot know for certain, but many psychics report having intuitions since childhood, and say that a family member also had intuitions. I believe that, in most cases, the family member’s ethereal software connected to the child, providing them the same intuitions as the adult, and stayed with them through adulthood.

Seeing this source as ethereal software, rather than some infinite, awe-inspiring force, has let me figure out how to do many things I couldn’t have done otherwise. For example, one friend, a nurse, was unhappy with her psychic intuitions. She wanted information about patients’ medical concerns, but was mostly getting intuitions about physical danger and when friends would phone. So we found software better suited to her interests, told her old software, “Disconnect from her,” then told the new software to integrate with her mind. For a few months, she had no intuitions of any kind, but once the software had integrated enough with her mind, she started getting the information she wanted. This is simply how I normally interact with ethereal software, but if we’d conceived of the information as coming from a universal source, we probably wouldn’t have even thought to look for another one.

I used that same ethereal software to become psychic myself. There were a lot of details to debug, but the concept is simple: Tell the software to connect to my mind, tell it what information I wanted, and just listen. Again, this is part of the normal way I interact with ethereal software. (The debugging was around how to handle that connection, and how to listen. We’ll see how to do that in Books 2 and 3 in this series.)

How does the ethereal software know what will happen? That’s a very difficult, unsolved question. But I hope that, if we get enough people wondering how magick operates, we can make some progress on it someday.

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Direct Magick in Action: Energy Healing

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

In exploring magick, I’ve worked with Reiki and Therapeutic Touch* healers. In each case, the healing energy comes from ethereal software. Healers usually call that energy source “The Universe” or “Source” or something similar, and that’s fine — anyone can use whatever term they want. This book is about Direct Magick, so we’ll call that source “ethereal software” (in general) or “healing software” (to be more specific).

*Therapeutic Touch is the energy healing system used by registered nurses.

With each healer I worked with, the pattern was the same: When they got into the mindset for healing, their mind would tug on their connection to the healing software, and it would engage with them and start reading their intent. They would connect to the client, usually by almost-touching them, but sometimes by looking at their picture, speaking to them, or one of the other ways we establish magickal connections. The software would either send energy through the healer, or send the energy directly to the client. Then, after the healing session was done, the software would stay connected to the client, slowly sending more energy to maintain the healing energy shift.

How does the healer connect to the software in the first place? It’s part of their initiation / attunement. The teacher (who already works with the software) simply asks the software to connect to the student.

And how does the energy actually affect a person? That’s a much bigger question, one that gets us into the physics of magick. We’ll touch on it in Part 3 of this book, and explore it in future books.

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Direct Magick in Action: Traditional Ritual Magick

Friday, September 13th, 2013

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

Much of magick involves rituals. They communicate the mage’s intent to their unconscious, solidify social groups, and trigger external forces to respond to the mage. Depending on the ritual, those external forces might provide visions, or create luck, or do something else.

In direct magick, we call those external forces ethereal software. Each traditional system of magick (at least, every one I’ve observed) has its own ethereal software, which responds to that system’s rituals and helps that system’s initiates. The software is responsible for turning intent and ritual into change in the external world.

To help make sure we’re on the same page about how ethereal software operates, let’s discuss three common rituals: The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP), the OTO Gnostic Mass, and some do-it-yourself rituals from trained mages. By making the model concrete, we’ll clear up most misunderstandings.

(If you’re not familiar with those rituals, just think of the LBRP and OTO Mass as traditional, by-the-book magick rituals.)

LBRP

I’ve been walked through the LBRP several times by several different groups of friends. Each time, during the first part of the ritual (the Kabbalistic Cross), ethereal software connected to us, first to the people experienced with the LBRP, then to me and the other guests. I was able to follow those connections back to the software, and out to the rest of our group. I was also able to communicate with the software using the same techniques I use to talk with spirits and other softwares.

As we invoked the angels, the ethereal software communicated with everyone’s mind. (I felt the software’s activity through my connections to its connections.) After the rituals, some friends described visions of angels during this time, which I believe came from these messages.

At the close of the ritual, the ethereal software stayed connected to everyone, listening to our intents, ready to respond to any other rituals we might do.

Were my friends aware of the ethereal software? Well, they’re aware that their visions came from an external force, and that performing the ritual caused that external force to engage with us. But actually spotting the software’s connections requires special techniques* that weren’t part of my friends’ training, so they couldn’t watch the software operate. Some friends conceptualize that force the same way I do (as ethereal software under different names), while others conceptualize it as a spirit, or an angel, or some other sort of force.

*We’ll start learning those techniques later in this book.

OTO Gnostic Mass

The OTO Mass (which I attended at a lodge in Albuquerque in the early 2010s) was similar to the LBRP: Early in the ritual, ethereal software connected to each of us. (Different software than with the LBRP.) It sent us energy to produce a sense of awe, or of being somewhere special. It also responded to my requests for information about how it worked, its available commands, and connected me to the spirits that made it. It isn’t surprising that it operated so similarly to the LBRP, but it serves as an additional data point, confirming that these experiences are common to other ritual magick.

DIY Rituals

Many of my friends build their own rituals. They start with a somewhat-traditional opening (most based on modern Wiccan traditions such as Reclaiming), then build their own ritual out of symbols and words that speak to them. It’s done well, but it’s not by-the-book.

As before, the ethereal software connected to us early in each ritual. In the main part of the ritual, the software read my friends’ intent from their minds, and acted on those intents. (It couldn’t be responding to the ritual itself because my friends had just made the ritual up.) Then, at the close of the ritual, the software disconnected from us.

You’ve probably noticed the pattern: Each ritual connects ethereal software to the mage, then the software reads their intent. Indeed, that appears to be the pattern for all of the ritual magick I’ve observed.

We’ll use a similar pattern in this book, with one simplification: We’ll connect to ethereal software by focusing on a sigil, or simply by remembering the feel of that ethereal software (the software’s signature), rather than by performing a ritual. This make it easier to do magick in a public space, or to do magick quickly.

We’ll connect you to that ethereal software soon. But first, let’s discuss a few other common acts of magick.

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Direct Magick in Action: Introduction

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

Last chapter introduced a lot of terms. This chapter uses those terms to explain popular types of magick, so you can see how the pieces fit together and be sure you know what I’m referring to with each term.

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Conclusion: Why These Parts?

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

Before finishing this tour of the major pieces of direct magick, I want to answer two common questions:

  • How did you pick which concepts to borrow from other systems of magick?
  • Why aren’t other common concepts (like chakras) included as well?

This model didn’t happen all at once. It came from years of exploration, from trying to solve problems, from training with spirits and other human mages, and from finding models that lead to new, useful techniques. Even the components that logically have to be there, like ethereal software (since it works out details that are too complex for the human mind), have proven themselves time and again as I’ve developed new techniques for healing, manifesting, psychic intuitions, shielding / protection, and more.

Better techniques may seem like an odd basis for a model of magick. After all, anyone can try a few dozen approaches, notice which one works the best, and adopt it. That doesn’t mean you should trust their story about why it works, it just means they got lucky.

Indeed, that would be an odd basis for a model. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. Here, I’m talking about a model that singles out a complex procedure I never would have considered without the model. A model that said, “This one procedure should work,” and got it right after one or a few tries, when random chance would only get it right one time in 100 or 1000.

Or, put into scientific terms: The model using these components made non-obvious predictions — predictions I would not have made using other common models of magick. It predicted that particular techniques would be more effective than the other methods I had available. And it got it right, again and again, even when I didn’t quite believe in the techniques myself.

(I didn’t discover those techniques in my first year of magick, and we won’t learn them for a while. But if you’re curious, some of them are in case studies on my blog, at https://magickofthought.com/tag/case-studies/ )

As for other common concepts, like chakras, they’re not included because the model in this book is a snapshot of my current beliefs as of 2013, not my final thoughts on the matter. I’ve gone looking and haven’t found chakras (and ghosts and other things), so they’re not included. But the world is a big place, and the human body is incredibly intricate, and it’s possible I’ve simply missed them. It’s certainly happened before.

Actually, that’s much of why I’m writing this book: To bring more collaborators into direct magick, drawing new ideas from different backgrounds. That’s how we’ll create an even better model of how magick operates, and how we’ll build even better techniques. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll be part of that.

And now, we’re ready to see direct magick in action.

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The Major Moving Pieces: Energy, Connections, and Other Common Terms

Friday, August 30th, 2013

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

Direct magick also borrows a few terms from other traditions:

Energy

Energy is widely used to refer to “that thing that makes you feel tingly.” I use it the same way. Later, we’ll make a proper definition, but hopefully you know what I mean at this point.

(Prana and chi / ki / qi are other terms for the same external phenomenon.)

Note that the word “energy” has different meanings in other fields. Physicists mean “the ability to do work,” biologists mean “fuel that makes cells move,” and advertisers mean “excitement.” Each profession is using the word to describe a different, largely-unrelated phenomenon. When reasoning about magickal energy, be careful not to assume our energy behaves like other types of energy; more often than not, it operates differently than other phenomena that happen to share its name.

Energy Signature

We use different energy for working with an inflamed knee than to calm a person or create pleasant sensations during sex. I call the energy’s type its signature. (Other writers call it frequency or color, which, once again, all describe the same phenomenon.)

We’ll explore just how different energies are different later. For now, just know that signature = type, that there are distinct signatures of energy used for different results, and that experienced mages can recognize and remember different signatures.

Connection

A connection is a small magickal structure that connects two points, allowing energy to flow between them. For example, when doing healing work, you’ll make a connection between your hand and the energy of the injured tissue.

In Part 2, we’ll learn to make connections, and later, we’ll learn to create shielding by closing and blocking connections.

Path

A path is a series of connections, for example, going from your hand to the air to a person’s skin and ultimately to their injured tissue. We’ll talk more about paths and connections in Book 3. For now, just treat them as synonyms.

Structure

Structure is a catch-all term for any stable, lasting magickal thing, kind of like how “matter” is a catch-all for any ordinary physical thing. Everything we’ve talked about, other than energy, is a structure.

Spirit

A spirit is basically a human mage without a body. They are sentient and intelligent, (though some are more animalistic than human, really). Some spirits are roughly as skilled as an intermediate human mage, while others are vastly more capable than any human I’ve met. Like humans, some are friendly, many are interested in their own benefits, and a few are malicious.

Note: Don’t confuse spirits with ghosts. Spirits do not appear to come from humans, but seem to have been “born” as spirits. (Ghosts are not something I work with or include in Direct Magick.)

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The Major Moving Pieces: Ethereal Muscles

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

Just as most systems of magick use external forces, most systems have techniques to engage the internal parts of a person’s mind that drive magick, ranging from ritual to trance to simply believing your magick will work. The point is simple: Communicate your intent to your unconscious, where those magick-driving parts live, and let them contact the ethereal software or do whatever else they do to make that intent happen. Many systems simply call those parts, “the unconscious,” while silently acknowledging that there are other parts of the unconscious that aren’t responsible for magick.

In direct magick, we learn to make those magick-driving parts of the mind conscious, which lets us watch them as they work, and guide them through new techniques. And, since they aren’t unconscious anymore — and, as it turns out, they behave quite differently than the rest of the unconscious mind — we need a new term: Ethereal muscles.

Think about it this way: Engaging your leg muscles makes the difference between imagining moving vs actually walking. Engaging your ethereal muscles makes the difference between imagining a change vs actually causing it. Like your ordinary muscles, you can strengthen ethereal muscles with exercise, and like all your muscles, if you genuinely believe they won’t work, you probably won’t be able to move them. (Ever seen someone hypnotized to believe their legs are limp? Exactly.)

While ethereal software does the complex work to make magick happen, ethereal muscles are what turns a thought in your brain into the first movements of magick, contacting the ethereal software and otherwise starting the process. Unlike ethereal software, which many people share, each person has their own ethereal muscles. I can’t use yours, and you can’t use mine.

Having worked with ethereal muscles for over a decade, it turns out, they’re not part of the brain. They are ethereal structures themselves, like energy or spirits, not ordinary physical matter like cells. We can connect them to different parts of the brain: Visual areas (to see auras), auditory areas (to hear messages), and areas for conscious thought (to consciously direct the ethereal muscles). We can also use magick to awaken hibernating ethereal muscles, and to strengthen atrophied ones.

(Note that, in my writing, “mind” refers to all of a person’s cognitive functions, including ethereal muscles, while “brain” refers specifically to their nerve cells.)

In this book, we’ll learn to engage our ethereal muscles and use them to contact ethereal software. In Book 2, we’ll learn to use our ethereal muscles to improve the results from that software, and in Book 3, we’ll learn to do magick using only our muscles (without any software), which is useful for building new techniques that your software doesn’t understand yet.

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The Major Moving Pieces: Ethereal Software

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.

This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

In the second question, “What Turns Intent into Change in the World?” we saw that magick requires some external, complex force to handle the details, at least when we’re doing magick quickly for large problems. My term for any of those forces is ethereal software.

I’m not the only one to notice these external forces. Energy healers and psychics channel them for energy and information, calling them “The Universe.” Chaos Magicians call them “egregores,” based on a view that those forces are created and powered by human beliefs. All these terms refer to the same external objects, with different explanations attached.

In my experience, all these forces share some common properties, which lead me to call them “ethereal software”:

  • Different forces are specialized for different purposes. I use different forces for energy healing vs psychic information, for example. And different psychic forces specialize in different types of information (say, accidents vs jobs vs medicine), so I’ve been able to help friends develop intuitions about a new type of information by changing which force they were channeling.
  • Every one of these forces I’ve encountered recognizes the command, “Connect me to the spirits who made you.” Some of them require the spirits to approve your request, but all of them have it, meaning each force was created (or programmed) by spirits. In my experience, these forces derive their power from (1) the programming these spirits provide, and (2) a power source these spirits provide. Human belief seems irrelevant to this process, and I’ve had great results with forces unrelated to popular memes or ideas.
  • With the permission of the spirits who made a particular force, you can change how it responds to your commands. For example, when doing a healing session for a friend with hives, I started by asking for what I wanted: “Heal her hives.” It sent energy to her nerves to reduce the itch signal, which gave poor results. But from modern medicine, we knew the real problem was her immune system becoming over-active and attacking her skin, so we re-programmed the force to also mildly reduce her immune sensitivity*. The re-programmed command worked well, where the original command failed.

*There were a few other steps to the healing technique. For details, see Case Study: Healing for Chronic Hives on magickofthought.com/books.

So, I call these forces “ethereal software” to suggest that (1) there are multiple pieces of software, and choosing the right piece will give you better results; (2) we can explore and eventually understand how they operate, particularly by talking to the programmers; and (3) we can re-program these forces to improve their effectiveness. Again, suggesting that mages channel external forces is nothing new, I’m just proposing a new metaphor that I find is particularly useful for exploring how those forces act on our instructions to cause change in the world.

Metaphors can also have unintended connotations. A friend thought channeling ethereal software would feel like using Windows, or Excel. It does not. Most of the time, using ethereal software simply feels like thinking, though we will learn to use it consciously so we can refine our techniques and improve our results.

Why doesn’t using this complex force feel like anything? Well, think about what’s required to transmit the thoughts in your brain to this external force. Or, to make it more concrete, think about what would be required to transmit your thoughts to a computer: It would have to monitor your brain’s activity, recognizing which nerves are firing when, and decode that activity into a message. That’s rather complex, and it’s not the kind of thing a new* mage could do themselves, or do quickly. So the external force handles those details, reading your thoughts and dropping its replies into your mind. You just think, and subjectively, it feels like focusing on your intent, and like information simply appears in your thoughts.

*It may sound like no human could do that at all. It turns out, you can create ethereal structures in the brain which simplify this communication process, so you can guide it yourself, improving the detail of your communication. We won’t get to that in this Initiation, but we will cover some techniques you can use to improve your software’s ability to communicate with you in this book and the next one.

We’ll use ethereal software extensively throughout this Initiation, and in Part 2, I’ll show you how to connect to a piece of ethereal software I designed for this book.

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