Posts Tagged ‘Brain’

Ritual, Magick, and the Brain

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

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

Responding to Ritual as Social GlueSimon asks a question I find fascinating, even though I don’t have an answer:

Question here – your magick is very ‘head centered’ in some ways. Do you think there’s ever a case the engaging the body – ie actually moving it in patterns can achieve something in magick that sitting at a laptop cannot? And I mean magick in the more narrowly defined sense – affecting change in the world- rather than building social cohesion etc.

Its been demonstrated that views of the brain as some isolated phenomenon is now obsolete and what you do with your spine has as much influence on your mental faculties as anything else. Ethereal structures may well be ‘unfamiliar matter’ but we are still mediating them through our brain.
I wonder if there is not some correlation here. ‘as above so below’ and all that… maybe its not always the most effective route to sit behind a laptop and avoid doing strange ritual movements etc. I don’t know…

First, let’s review the moving parts: Ethereal muscles are the parts of the mind that interact with energy and drive magick. They are made of ethereal, magickal stuff, rather than nerves. They connect to the brain and respond to our thoughts and intent — that is, ethereal muscles do magick when our brain enters certain states.

To paraphrase Simon, some brain states don’t happen just from thinking ideas while sitting at a laptop. Some parts of your brain are devoted to physical movements, or speaking, or to seeing other humans moving and speaking. What if some of those brain regions let us engage and signal our ethereal muscles in different, useful ways?

I love the idea. Because it’s plausible, and it never occurred to me before. (Yet another reason you should start a blog.)

I don’t have a solid answer, but I do have a few thoughts:

Ethereal muscles seem to be able to connect to many different parts of the mind. That may be why some people see visions, others hear, and still others just receive information — their ethereal muscles may be connecting to the visual, auditory, and memory centers of the brain. Much of learning Direct Magick is helping your ethereal muscles connect to your conscious mind, rather than your unconscious. And around 5 years ago, I did some work connecting my ethereal muscles to the visual parts of my brain, and the information became more visual, a diagram of the tissue I was working with rather than just knowledge about it. So, it may be as simple as, “If your ethereal muscles connect to your physical-movement brain regions, then you need to do ritual. If not, then you don’t.” Which has always been more or less my model.

(Ritual also seems to work like a sigil, connecting the mage to that system’s ethereal software. See the section, Aside: How Do Sigils Work?)

Continuing that reasoning, if a person starts magick by doing ritual, they’re always engaging their physical-movement brain regions whenever they do magick. I could imagine their ethereal muscles bonding to those brain regions, and that those regions would become a necessary part of the mental posture for engaging their ethereal muscles. Whereas in someone who always did magick mentally, their ethereal muscles would probably not bind to the physical-movement brain parts.

But maybe there’s something else. Maybe ethereal muscles have a default set of brain regions they bind to, and one of those regions is the physical-movement one. Maybe that means that doing magick without ritual requires re-binding your ethereal muscles to different regions (through years of practice). Or maybe some ethereal muscles are one way and some are another way, and the only way to get certain ethereal muscles is to engage the physical-movement brain regions. I wouldn’t bet on any of those, but I wouldn’t dismiss them, either.

I don’t have an answer. But the next time I get the chance to do a by-the-books ritual, I’m going to do what I can to find out.

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

How Mental Muscles Connect to Your Brain

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

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

Mike asks:

How do mental muscles interface with the brain?

I have 3 answers for this: Short, medium, and needs-its-own-book. You’ll get the first two today.

Quick warning: This is all fairly technical. I wasn’t planning on talking about this yet, and haven’t really laid the groundwork to make it easy to follow. If you’re still working on finding your mental muscles, you might want to skip this post for now.

Short Answer

The short answer is: Thinking mind.

Yes, I know that’s a funny term. But it’s how the spirits that teach me refer to it, and I haven’t gotten around to a proper naming.

Think of thinking mind as the brain’s energy layer (although this isn’t quite correct). It connects to your brain, and it’s laid out to be easy to communicate with, both for spirits, and for ethereal software, and for mental muscles. Everyone’s brain is different, but everyone’s thinking mind is similar enough that you can find your way around it, even if you’ve never worked with that person before.

Mental muscles seem to know where in thinking mind they want to connect. Then, as you learn to use that mental muscles (that is, as you learn to do that sort of magick), you’re also learning how use your brain to send the right instructions to thinking mind, and how to listen for replies.

When you awaken mental muscles, it’s important to connect them to thinking mind. That’s what that previous post was about. In it, I simply said “mind,” instead of “thinking mind,” since I try to avoid specialized terminology when I can.

Medium Answer

The medium answer is: You should really see it for yourself. There’s only so much I can do with words. Real insight comes from watching it in action.

But to do that, you’ll need sensory connections. Which are somewhat advanced if you haven’t done them before. So, this isn’t so much a longer answer, as a more hands-on and advanced one.

But, assuming you’ve done all the exercises in that sensory connections series, here’s the basics of thinking mind:

Connect your head. You’ll notice two sets of signatures: One for the brain, another for thinking mind. Both have their own energy layer. If you trace the paths from each energy layer toward the physical cells (nerves, in this case), both sets of paths meet up at the first level below energy layer (which I call “state layer,” because I haven’t done a proper, metaphor-type naming there, either).

Each area of thinking mind is made of nerves that fire together, even if they’re not physically adjacent. If you trace the paths that connect thinking mind to the brain, you’ll find that one area of thinking mind often corresponds to many areas of the brain.

Certain effects should focus on thinking mind (ones dealing with information), while other effects should focus on the brain (ones dealing with the overall state of the mind, like fatigue or relaxation). In 2013, I’ll probably get more into the details of communication and mental effects. For now, see the series on consciousness integration for some tips on finding thinking mind.

Long Answer

How, exactly, does a thought travel from brain to thinking mind, and out to the mental muscle / spirit / ethereal software? That’s a long answer, and something you really can’t use until you’ve thoroughly learned all the aspects of sensory connections.

That series is from a year ago, and it drops you into advanced topics quickly. I’ll be covering sensory connections in a more thorough, easier-to-follow (hopefully) series coming up, and in the book, so that afterward, we can have better discussions about things like thinking mind.

Read the follow-up post with more on thinking mind.

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

3 Thoughts on Science

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

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

Ananael had a couple good posts on consciousness and science recently. Something is messed up with the captcha on the site, so I can’t leave comments. So instead, I’m posting them here.

Consciousness Isn’t Special

This is something I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain: Consciousness isn’t special. It feels special because it’s the subjective experience of how our minds work. But trying to understand magick by understanding consciousness is like trying to understand running or driving or baking by understanding consciousness. It’s just the wrong entry point.

At some point, once we understand all the steps that connect your thoughts to a change in the world, understanding consciousness might help. But that’s so far from when we are now, that at this point, consciousness is a red herring.

Should Brain Scans Show Consciousness?

In response to a comment on that post saying that, if scientists could ever understand consciousness, they would have already because of all these awesome brain scanners we have (MRIs, fMRIs, etc):

Brain scanners see brain regions, not individual nerves. It would be like trying to understand a computer program by seeing which disk sectors were accessed, but not being able to see what data was being written. Everyone agrees consciousness emerges from neural behavior — it’s the subjective experience of this information-processing object called a brain — but you won’t be able to understand just how it emerges unless you could see how each nerve behaves. And we can’t.

The Path to a Mature Science

I wrote about this quite a bit a few months ago. I’ve realized, you can’t force a field down another field’s path. You can’t explore psychology the way you explore physics, or computer science like chemistry, or economics like biology. They’re too fundamentally different.

I think the key to exploring magick as a science is trying to get to the underlying reasons behind the results you get — find all the steps that happen between “I do this ritual” and “This result happens.” Which is really saying, you need to unravel cause and effect, which is the broadest question that all the sciences try to answer.

But beyond that, I think it’s better to explore and experiment a field on its own terms, than to worry about following a particular science’s path. Each field has to take its own path to a mature science, and you can’t see the path except in hindsight.

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

Consciousness Integration Part 2: Activating Thought Paths

Monday, September 6th, 2010

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

In this post:

  • How to activate thought paths to connect your conscious and unconscious minds
  • The easy way
  • A faster but more complex way


This series is about repairing your unconscious mind.  I’ll show you how to connect your unconscious mind to your conscious mind so you can update unhealthy thought patterns.

Start at the beginning of the series.  This post won’t make sense without that context.

This post covers the second step of consciousness integration: Activating the thought paths you found in the first step, so your conscious mind can help unhealthy thought patterns adjust to the adult world.

Remember, this is advanced magick, targeted at someone with 3-5 years experience controlling magick consciously.  Make sure you’ve done the prep work in this post.

Overview: How To Activate Thought Paths

You can tell if a thought path is active or inactive by its energy signature.  Active ones have an obvious signature, and all of them look pretty similar.  Inactive ones have a more muted energy signature, but all the inactive ones look pretty similar, too.

But you can’t activate a thought path by changing its energy signature. The energy signature doesn’t determine whether a thought path is active or not, it reflects the underlying state.  Think of it like a tree: Green leaves on a tree signify that it’s healthy, and also contribute to its health, but if you take an unhealthy tree and attach green leaves to it, it doesn’t become healthy.

Now that you have the idea, here’s the technical explanation that lets you see the solution: There are several layers between the body’s energy layer and physical cells.  When you shift the energy layer, that new signature will seep down a few layers, but not all the way down to cells.  The cells still have their previous signature, which seeps up through layers toward the energy layer.  A single application of energy won’t be enough to shift the cells’ signature.

So, we’re going to shift the energy signature, let it seep in, then do it again, for a few hours.  Eventually, the new signature will seep through enough layers to change the behavior of your cells, activating the thought path permanently.

Activating a Thought Path: Version 1

Now that you know the plan, you need to find the right energy signature, make that type of energy, and put it in the right spot.  Here’s how:

Finding the Right Energy Signature

Just use the energy signature of an active thought path.  Look around, spot a few, and use an energy signature that looks similar to all of them.

Remember in the preparation steps when we went from the thought layer to the nerve layer?  To activate the thought path, you need to work at the nerve layer.  That’s the only way to make long-lasting changes to your mind.  Make sure to move from the thought layer to the nerve layer before doing this step.

Making the Energy

You have to make it yourself.  Making energy with particular signatures is one of the core skills of magick, so I can’t step you through the entire process here, but I do have some tips for this particular effect:

  • Aim for making a precise signature, not making a ton of energy.
  • Make the energy in the part of the body that will use it (your brain).  If you make it in your chest, the signature will be tuned to your chest, and will conflict with your brain.
  • If you’re used to energy feeling like a tingle, heat, or other big obvious sensation, you’re not ready for this technique.  Those sensations happen when energy DOES NOT align to your body.  If you get those sensations here, you will get a tremendous headache.
  • If you do it right, you shouldn’t feel much of anything, just a general fatigue as your brain accepts the new thought path.

Putting the Energy in the Right Spot

Apply the energy throughout the thought path.  The energy will spread out a little from whatever point you focus on, but it won’t effectively spread to the entire thought path.  You need many points along the thought path.  Make sure to go all the way to both thought areas (your conscious mind and the unconscious area).  If you miss the ends, the effect won’t work.

Don’t ground (release the energy).  The whole point is to retain the energy to produce a change in your nerves.  Also, if you’re making so much energy that you need to ground, you’re making far too much.

Remember to work at the nerve layer, not the thought layer.  If you’re not sure which is which, return to the preparation steps.


Return to the thought path ever 3-5 minutes.  After around 30 minutes*, you’ll see the energy start to return to the inactive signature.  Re-apply the active energy signature (the steps we just did).  Repeat until the energy signature doesn’t shift to inactive for at least 4 hours.  This will probably take a day.

*30 minutes is a total guess.  It entirely depends on how you make your energy.  But once you see how long it lasts, use that as your baseline.  It will last a little longer with each iteration.

Activate the Thought Level

The previous steps were to activate the nerve-level path.  Once that’s set up, activate the thought-level path.  Use the same technique, but at the thought level, not the nerve level.  This step should set in much faster because the nerve level now supports the path.

Activating a Thought Path: Version 2

Version 2 will work faster than version 1.  It’s a change to the energy signature.  You can get good results with version 1, but if you found it simple and slow, here’s the next step.

In version 1, you just made energy in the signature of an active thought path.  But remember we said that inactive thought paths have a signature, too?

The signatures of active and inactive thought paths are pretty similar.  Kind of like how all humans share a lot of their DNA.  So instead of making energy with the entire signature of the active thought path, make energy with a signature containing only the differences between active and inactive thought paths.  That way, you’re only altering the parts of the signature you need to move.  This more focused signature shift yields faster results.

All the other steps are the same.

Activating a Thought Path: Advanced Version

When I do consciousness integration, I add steps to make the new signature set in right away, so it only takes one session.  It involves changing the signature of the layers below energy, and changing the energy being produced.  But this series is already long and complex, so I’m leaving the advanced version for another time.

Next: What to do once the thought path is active, and how to know you did it right.

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

Consciousness Integration Part 1: Mapping The Mind

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

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

In this post:

  • Defining the parts used in consciousness integration
  • How to find the parts of your mind responsible for unhealthy thoughts
  • How to find the paths you’ll activate to fix those unhealthy parts of your mind


This series is about repairing your unconscious mind.  I’ll show you how to connect your unconscious mind to your conscious mind so you can update unhealthy thought patterns.

Start at the beginning of the series.  This post won’t make sense without that context.

This post covers the first step of consciousness integration: Finding the areas of your mind and brain where those thought patterns live.

Remember, this is advanced magick, targeted at someone with 3-5 years experience controlling magick consciously.  Make sure you’ve done the prep work in this post.

Overview: The Components and The Plan

Your brain is what you think it is: Nerves in your head.

Your mind is the thoughts and energies your brain makes as it works.  It’s the subjective experience of consciousness and the magickal structures that go along with it.

Different kinds of thoughts live in different parts of your mind (called mental areas).  Feelings of not being good enough in one mental area.  Guilt about lying in another.  Good ones, too, like trusting family, have their own mental areas.

An unconscious mental area is just called an unconscious area.  Your conscious mind is essentially one big area, so it’s just called the conscious mind.

Your unconscious areas push emotions into your body (a feeling of tightness in your chest, a change in your breathing, etc.) and thoughts into your consciousness.  But they don’t get much feedback from the conscious mind, so they don’t know when their responses are obsolete, unhelpful and unhealthy.

We’re going to activate thought paths between your conscious mind and specific unconscious mental areas to let them communicate.  This lets your conscious mind explain how the adult world you live in is different than the world was when those unconscious mental areas were born, which lets the unconscious areas update themselves.

Step 1: Pick a Thought Pattern

Before you can begin consciousness integration, you need to pick a thought pattern you want to update.  Something that’s been bothering you lately, that you know is unhealthy but that you can’t make stop.

Also, pick at least one trigger for this thought pattern.  A memory or conscious thought that sets it off.

Step 2: Find the Unconscious Area Responsible

You need to find the unconscious area that drives the thought pattern you want to update.

To do that, make connections throughout your mind, like you did in the final step of preparing for consciousness integration.  Then trigger the thought pattern to make the unconscious area that handles that thought pattern change signature.

When you relax yourself, the unconscious area will return to its resting signature.  Alternate between triggering the thought and relaxing it until you find the unconscious area that handles it.

Step 3: Find Your Conscious Mind

You’ll need a magickal connection to your conscious mind to do consciousness integration.

To find it, make connections throughout your mind again.  Relax, so you’re not emotional, then think about something unemotional like math or the grocery list.  The unconscious areas that handle emotions will be quiet, but your conscious mind will be active, processing the unemotional thoughts.

Once you find your conscious mind once, it will be easy to find again because it has a different signature than your unconscious areas.

Step 4: Find the Thought Path Connecting Them

There’s already a thought path between the unconscious area and your conscious mind.  It’s just inactive.  Once you activate it, the unconscious area and your conscious mind will talk and begin integrating.

To find the thought path you’ll activate, just focus on the connections you have to the unconscious area and to your conscious mind.  Think about finding the path that connects them.  It should become obvious, as long as you completed the preparation steps to activate the mental areas responsible for working with thought areas and paths.

The thought path should have 1 of 2 possible forms:

  • It may be a single path directly connecting the unconscious area and your conscious mind.
  • It may be a 2-stage path.  The first stage goes from your conscious mind to a point near many unconscious areas.  The second stage splits, with one path going to each unconscious area.  You’ll need to activate the entire first stage, and the second stage path going to the unconscious area you want to integrate.

Once you have the path, you’re ready to activate it.  That’s next post.


If you’re having trouble with these steps, return to the preparation post.  Practice those steps until they become easy.  This will also ensure that you’ve activated all the mental areas* you need.

*Mental areas are the parts of your mind that drive magick.

If you can do everything else but have trouble finding the thought path, it may be that you’ve activated the mental areas for working with thought areas but not the one for working with thought paths.  Just practice looking for them, like you practiced looking for mental areas, and it should activate.

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