Posts Tagged ‘Comments Round-Ups’

Weekly Comments Round-Up (July 13)

Friday, July 13th, 2012

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Once again, it’s time for me to take a day off and let you do my writing for me. This week, we have discussions from beta testing my ethereal software, tips on talking to non-mages about magick, and a great example of demonstrating energy in a martial arts class.

First, the beta test. It was a success! My goal was to verify that I could indeed tie the ethereal software to a sigil (because I hadn’t done it before, and some models say it can’t be done), and it worked: Every tester who normally feels energy clearly felt the connections from the ethereal software. That also means I can start teaching you to recognize and follow connections, match the software’s signature, and a bunch of other techniques that require you to first notice a connection. I wrote a summary of the first few responses, which held true as more people joined in.

Also on that same post, I talked about the difference between beta tests and scientific tests, and the dangers of over-complicating your tests. Particularly useful if you’re trying to debug your own techniques.

I’d asked for advice on politely declining to explain the inner-workings of my models to curious friends, and Ona delivered: A stern but effective response, and if you scroll down, there’s a link to her post on the subject. I also got an excellent email on this (you know who you are), and plan to write more about it in the near future.

And WSA shares a great example of how a martial arts expert demonstrated energy. I’m glad to showcase an effective way to demonstrate energy, to contrast with the cheats and tricks I was discussing in the post.

Now, back to writing the book…

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Weekly Comments Round-Up (June 30)

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

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

Once again, it’s time for you to do my job for me with your great, post-quality comments. This week, we have tips on selecting metaphors to convey majesty and wonder; research on heating the body with magick; the difference between magick and placebo; an example of how mystical experiences are isolating; tips on the Goetia; and quantum physics as a model of manifesting. As always, if you like a comment, click on the person’s name to visit their blog (if they have one).

Simon has a great comment on explaining magick using nature and biological metaphors, and how they can convey majesty and wonder better than computer metaphors. That’s something I’d never considered. (And reading new ideas in my comments is one of my favorite things about blogging.) We also discuss why we need metaphors in the first place.

On the post about heating my body with magick, WSA shared how this relates to Buddhism, actual published research, and chinese medicine, and also shared some potential applications for healing techniques for parasites and other problems, which I would love to explore some day.

Simon and I had a great discussion to wrap up the two posts on placebo, where he asks some tough questions and I clarify the difference between placebo and magick. Be sure to read all 4 comments (two from him, two from me).

When talking about how mystical experiences are isolating, Jennifer found an excellent example from the Washington Post. If you ever need an example of mainstream society dismissing mystical experiences, now you have it.

Lots of readers had good feedback and warnings about the Goetia, but Dark Arckana had some excellent, detailed tips. And if you’re considering exploring the Goetia, read the whole thread.

Ananael and had some great comments on quantum physics as a model for manifesting, and how it’s a mistake to suppose a physics-type energy as the mediating force behind magick. I disagree with his model, but he presents the ideas well, and they’re worth exploring because, even if you wind up disagreeing with them, you’ll wind up asking really good questions as you figure out why you disagree with them. (I’ll probably write more on this soon.)

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Weekly Comments Round-Up (June 16)

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

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

Time for another comments roundup. This time, we have tips on selecting a good Reiki attunement, how direct magick skills help with ritual magick, a new magick blog inspired by me, and magick to influence the lottery.

We have good insights on how to find a reputable Reiki practitioner for attunements from WSA. I don’t do Reiki myself, but what she says makes a lot of sense, and I think it’s a good general guideline for finding reputable practitioners of any style.

Ananael had some great insights on how direct magick skills can help traditional ritual practitioners. This is something I’ve wanted to talk about, but since I don’t do rituals, it’s hard for me to go there. Be sure to scroll down to see his 2nd, meatier comment. (I’ll probably respond to it with a post soon.)

JP Alcala has started his own magick blog, and he credits me with getting him going. Awesome! JP, my biggest advice: Pick a regular schedule, commit to it, keep it up. Forcing yourself to write is the only way to become a better writer, and the only way to build up enough content to become a real resource.

Another one from Ananael: He talks about experiments he did to influence powerball, a lottery in the US. Lots of good data in his comments. (Scroll down for his 2nd comment.) I’ll probably do my own tests with his techniques later this year.

And a fun comment from Ananael on how magick doesn’t “work like magic”:

It’s not just magick that differs in real life from its fictional representation. When was the last time you met a martial arts expert who could fly through the air as in most cheesy Kung Fu movies? How about a scientist who could do the equivalent of uploading a computer virus to an alien spacecraft, as in Independence Day – when half the time it’s pretty difficult to get a Mac and PC to talk to each other, let alone a Mac and an alien mainframe (or whatever the heck the alien computer was supposed to be)?

As always, if you like a comment, click on the commenter’s name (if it’s a link) to visit their blog and see what else they write.

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

Weekly Comments Round-Up (June 2)

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

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

Once again, it’s time to round up your best comments from the past week or so. This time, we have research on energy healing for African bush babies (similar to monkeys), thoughts on how isolating magickal experiences are in western culture, and a discussion of consecrated ritual tools.

Lisa found a double-blind randomized control study on using prayer to heal African bush babies, with statistically significant results. (That’s a fancy way of saying “the healing worked.”) Between the study setup and the nonhuman subjects, this should eliminate placebo. My comment, below hers, has a link to the abstract and a few thoughts. (You need to pay to get the actual study, and I’d be soooo sued if I posted it.)

The post on the reader who hears voices got 23 (!) comments. Most of them were excellent questions or thoughts for the reader, but one struck a broader tone: Ona had a great comment on how isolating these mystical experiences are for people living in a secular western culture. It’s short and insightful, and I very much identified with it.

And on the recent post on ritual tools, Ananael had some great replies on consecrated vs unconsecrated tools (which I’ll probably do a series on at some point), and Ona had an interesting new take on it: Putting in the effort to get the ritual tools demonstrates that you’re serious to any spirits you might want to work with.

As always, if you like a comment, click on the commenter’s name (if it’s a link) to visit their blog and see what else they write.

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

Weekly Comments Round-Up (May 20)

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

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

Here are the top comments of the past couple of weeks. Again, I’m focusing on comments that could almost be their own blog posts. And there were a lot to choose from, so I apologize if I missed yours. Enjoy.

Remember my post about how, if we lived 300 years ago and had to do physical labor every day, we wouldn’t have enough energy left over to learn magick? Simon (a new commenter) demolished my logic. I have never been so soundly refuted. You should all read it.

In my series on the Enochian spirits, Yvonne asked how talking to spirits feels, and what changes when you get the angelic visions they can project. I considered answering in a post, but instead answered in this comment.

Reviewing the past couple weeks’ comments, I also revisited the “talking to trees” series. I didn’t do a great job on explaining my reasoning in that series, and while it wasn’t fun to revisit, it was good for me as a writer to see where I need to improve. I think Simon hit the nail on the head with his comment here. Also, I want to highlight a discussion about the different versions of Occam’s Razor I had with Andrew — this isn’t the basics, this is for people already familiar with the concept.

And, since one of the joys of blogging is doing things better the second time, here’s a better discussion of where I am with tree spirits:

Before doing the testing, I more-or-less believed in tree spirits, because of two pieces of evidence: My own experiences as a teen, and the fact that shamen widely believe something along those lines. It wasn’t a belief I acted on, so I didn’t examine it that closely, but I expected to find spirits when I did the testing — I was wondering what type of spirit it was, not whether I’d find one or not.

Are there other reasons to believe in tree spirits? Maybe. This isn’t really my field, so my not knowing any other reasons doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

When I did the testing, I saw my error as a teen. And I saw how others could easily make the same error, especially if they live in a culture where people commonly talk about spirits in trees, fires, animals and the like. In other words, the testing broke both of my reasons for believing in tree spirits.

The testing also added one piece of evidence against tree spirits: I’m generally good at detecting spirits and their connections to physical objects, and I went looking for them but found zero tree spirits. Not definitive evidence, but enough to satisfy my curiosity. Could some tree somewhere have a spirit? Sure. But if it were common, I’d expect to have found one in 10 attempts across 4 cities on 2 continents.

For me, all of that was one logical step. I went from surprised (at not seeing a spirit) to revising my models in basically one breath, then did some more testing to confirm the observations, then posted. And like most people, I unconsciously assumed other people would think the same way I do, and reach the same conclusions in the same number of steps. For me, that’s one of the hardest things about writing: Understanding where my readers have different backgrounds, and where you need smaller steps to follow a path. It’s a skill I’m learning, but it’s hard.

OK, enough introspection for today. Coming up: An overview of the technique I used last month to become psychic, and more chapters of my book. Thanks for reading.

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

Weekly Comments Round-Up (May 6)

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

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

Once again, your comments are often better than my original posts. Here are some great ones from the past week and a half that you should be sure to read. Again, my focus is on comments that could almost be their own posts.

If you like a comment, be sure to click the person’s name and check out their blog.

From oldest to newest:

I asked if anyone was aware of research on what makes placebo more or less effective, and sure enough, you were. I’m linking to the first comment (from Ona), but really, just read the whole thread. Ananael gives a couple really useful links to Wikipedia, and Andrew makes a great point about the difficulty of testing the placebo effect.

Ananael, Ona and I have a great discussion about ethereal software and why traditionalist mages might be dubious about the concept. (It’s long, you can skip to my answers here.) It inspired the first part of my book (where I explain various rituals and other practices using direct magick terms), along with my series on Enochian this week (which also had a great discussion). Note: I’ll have a that promised post on the LBRP coming out soon.

In discussing using magick to win the lottery, I wrestled with why I don’t like “probability shift” as a model for manifesting, and Kol posted a great thread on manifesting for stock picks from a skilled mage on a now-defunct forums.

Again, thanks to everyone who commented.

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

Weekly Comments Round-Up (April 23)

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

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

I’m starting a new weekly post: The comments round-up, highlighting some of the best comments from the past week (two weeks this time).

Why? Well, your comments are often better than my original post, and anyone only reading my posts is missing out. Also, there are some great conversations on older posts that are easy to miss, so this should make it easier for you to keep up.

With over 100 comments in the past two weeks, it was really hard to pull out the half-dozen top ones. So many of them made me smile. Sorry if I missed yours, know that it’s nothing personal.

Also, when you read a comment, the person’s name (at the top of the comment) is often a link back to their own blog. If you like the comment, be sure to click their name and check out their other writing.

The Comments

From oldest to most recent:

In a discussion about university-type magickal research, Yvonne told us about her Ph.D. in Religion, how it’s different than Theology, and how there’s no analogous field of research for magick. Scroll down for a great exchange between her, Amonjinn and me.

Ever heard that the unconscious mind works in symbols and metaphors? I believed that for years. But Ananael, who has a degree in psychology, explains that that model comes from Freud, and has been largely debunked by modern science. Totally changed my view on visualizations and rituals.

Another from Ananael, who’s also known as Scott Stenwick, author of Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy, a new book on Enochian magick. He posted a great explanation of his use of symbols within the Enochian system of magick, and why you would bother with symbols even if they don’t have any inherent, metaphor-based meaning. I feel guilty, getting him to post all this great stuff in my comments rather than on his blog, and you can make me feel less guilty by reading it.

Francesca had some great tips on writing a tagline, along with a great example: Dare to disturb the universe.

JP Alcala and I discussed doubt in manifesting. Then he applied some of my techniques to his unconscious-based manifesting, and posted some data. (I love comments with case studies and data.)

Yvonne asked, “What happens if [a magick technique] doesn’t work?” My answer explores testing and debugging. (Scroll up for her full question, and down for another great comment by Ananael on placebo.)

And of course, be sure to read all the comments on Visualization for the Blind and Why Study Ancient Magick, which I linked to in posts last week.

Did I miss your favorite recent comment, or a post replying to something I wrote? Leave a comment linking to it.

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