Posts Tagged ‘Connections’

The Technique I Use for Sensing Energy

Monday, June 6th, 2016

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Most of my work builds on one technique: Sensory connections. That’s what I use to observe the biofield, energy, ethereal structures, and everything else I work with. Today I’m going to discuss how they work, how I developed them, and the first few steps of learning the technique yourself.

Here’s the basics: Energy seems to follow connections, and energy workers often send energy along a connection. With sensory connections, we make a connection (to a person’s knee, for example) and absorb a tiny amount of their knee’s energy to measure it. It’s like how a thermometer absorbs a tiny amount of heat to measure temperature. In practice, I’ll use a whole network of connections, sensing the biofield of each tissue in the knee, or feeling the structure of a person’s ethereal muscles and the ethereal software or spirits they’re connected to.

But it didn’t start out like that. In my teens, I would look at a person and connect to them. It wasn’t really a technique, just something that came naturally, as it does for many people. And I’d connect to people, trees, spirits, feel their energy, wonder about what was happening.

The first sensory connection was simply quieting my energy. That’s the term I used then, “quieting,” meaning to hold my own energy steady in my body, and to not push energy out the connection, so any change, any movement, any energy on the connection came from whatever I was connected to, not me. I think I spent several years just playing with quieting my own energy, quieting my connections, and learning to listen to the energy.

Golden Gate BridgeAt the time I didn’t know much about shielding, and spirits would sometimes drain my energy. I’d feel their connection, feel my own energy getting wonky, and I wanted to follow the connection back to the spirit to chase it off. So I developed a technique: Starting from where I felt the spirit’s connection, I’d make a bunch of connections all around it and feel for which one of them was touching the spirit’s connection (which had a distinct signature). I’d keep that one, drop the others, and repeat, building up a set of my own connections all along the spirit’s connection, spaced close together, like the supports of a suspension bridge. When I got to the spirit, I’d send it an intense energy in an odd signature, unpleasant enough to get it to stop bothering me.

I called that technique “tracing” a connection, and it may have been my first technique ever. And just like today, I practiced each step until it became automatic, first learning to find which of my connections had hit the spirit’s connection, then making another set of connections and repeating. Today that entire process is unconscious, and I’d forgotten how difficult it was at first, but looking back as I write this post, it was just as hard as anything I’m learning today. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately, and recalling this feels satisfying, like the techniques I find hard now will one day come just as easily.

I don’t recall when I changed from tracing a connection (a 1-D line) to viewing a whole 3D region. I know I had that by the time I focused on energy healing in my late 20s, and recall how hard it was to view a 3D region in someone else — I’d mostly worked on myself, my own ethereal muscles and mind and other structures, and had to adjust everything to the other person’s signature to view them properly. It took about a year to get comfortable with that.

Along the way I also learned to connect to the body, mind, and ethereal structures (each uses a different type of connection, with a different underlying signature), and learned to follow connections that started as one type then shifted to another. And in my 30s, my focus was on using smaller and smaller connections (the smaller my sensory connection, the more precisely I can view whatever I’m looking at) and on precisely matching the signature of whatever I was looking at (“signature alignment”).

For the readers already exploring Direct Magick: Hopefully this gives you some ideas and guidance around how to sense all of the ethereal structures we work with. Comment or email and let me know which step you’re on, and I’ll see about posting more details.

And for everyone else: I hope you enjoyed this quick tour through one of the foundational techniques of Direct Magick, and that it showed you one way that Direct Magick is different from other systems, and that maybe you got some ideas to try in your own work.

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Magickal Space (My Work June 14-20)

Friday, June 20th, 2014

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Every Friday, I discuss what I learned that week. Lost? Read the archives.

Last week I got energy orgasms working on myself. This week I generalized that to other types of energy on myself, and started learning to produce these effects in others.

Other Types of Energy

Orgasms are great, but not all the time. I need something gentler to practice with. So I did the same technique (bottom of last week’s post), but with the energy my mind enters when I’m calm, rather than anything to do with arousal. I built the energy throughout my body, sent it down to my cells and up to my aura, felt some calm. Continued from my aura into the paths to my mind, and felt a wonderful peace. It’s great to get another success, to generalize the technique to other experiences, and to have something pleasant but gentle to practice with.

My trainers watched me do this and confirmed that the technique is correct. Actually, it’s a slight improvement on the technique the spirit had designed previously. That’s a nice result, too.

Sending Energy to Others

Creating sensations in myself is fun, but the real point is to do this in others, so we can do randomized blind testing. I tried, and found that I don’t know how to send energy properly.

Of course, I know how to send energy via touch. You move the energy to your hand, let it flow to the other person, and it’s that simple. But this technique doesn’t say, “Put energy in their head.” It says, “Put energy in their aura, then find the connections from their aura to their mind, and move the energy to those connections.” It’s not just about energizing the right spot in their body, it’s about energizing the right magickal structure at that point. I can’t do that with my hand.

I’d hoped it would just work, that I could just think about sending the energy precisely and it would happen. Turns out, not so much. But now that I’ve had some successes, I’m not worried about adding another technique to the list. I know I’ll get there eventually.

This new technique isn’t terribly difficult, but it involves a new concept I’m still wrestling with: Space. Or at least, that’s how my mind translates the concept. It’s the stuff that connections and energy go through, the underlying fabric of magick. Or something like that.

To send energy precisely, you want to extend your space into the other person.

I went through a few techniques, just practicing using space. I extend my space a little when I visualize sending energy, which is neat, because it means we all do this naturally. I learned to do that consciously, extending my space from my hand into something I’m touching, and to extend it further than I do with just a visualization. That was all a few weeks ago, items I learned but simply hadn’t used yet.

The problem is, to precisely control energy in their body, you want to extend your space throughout their body. That’s slow, impractical. So my trainers gave me a new technique to practice: Create a network of connections throughout their body, then extend your space from those connections.

I did it once, it’s easy enough, so I’m practicing that a few times this weekend, then I’ll try the sensations technique again. Still not expecting it to work, but it should uncover the next technique I need to learn. That’s basically what learning / creating new techniques is all about.

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4 Unique Features of Direct Magick

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

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How is Direct Magick different than other systems? Here are the four main ways.

Conscious Ethereal Muscles

Everyone agrees that magick comes from the mind. Even ritual magick requires mental focus. Whatever magick you do, you need to engage the right parts of your mind to make the magick work.

Every system has some concept of these magick-driving parts. Some systems don’t name them. Others call them “the unconscious.” Personally, I find it’s useful to name them, to separate them out from the other parts of the unconscious that handle breathing, digestion, and everything else.

In Direct Magick, we call these parts ethereal muscles. It’s a metaphor: The difference between imagining walking vs actually moving is engaging your leg muscles, and the difference between imagining change vs actually doing magick is engaging your ethereal muscles. (We’ll get into the details of how they move later.)

(If you use a different system of magick that calls them something different, that’s fine — we’re probably talking about the same thing.)

In Direct Magick, we make our ethereal muscles conscious. Instead of directing our unconscious with visualizations or rituals or temporary beliefs, Direct Magick consciously steps through each motion of our ethereal muscles, so we can see how they respond and adjust our techniques accordingly.

Choose Your Ethereal Software

Most systems of magick use external forces. Chaos Magick has egregores. Reiki healers channel energy from “The Universe.” Other practitioners talk about thoughtforms, and some leave the forces unnamed. Don’t get too caught up in the terms — a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and choosing to call a force “The Universe” doesn’t make it all-encompassing or infinite.

In Direct Magick, we call these forces ethereal software. It’s another metaphor: When you use computer software, you press some buttons, and depending on your software, you get a Google search, or powerpoint slides, or Mario jumping. The software handles the details of making that search / slideshow / game work. Similarly, when you use ethereal software, you send it your intent (using a ritual, visualization, or other technique), and it handles the details of causing that change in the world.

Like computer software, different ethereal software is better for different tasks. Some software does energy healing, other software does psychic intuitions. Some psychic software specializes in medical information, other software is better for warning about physical danger.

In Direct Magick, we make conscious decisions about which ethereal software to use, and routinely learn new software as we solve new problems.

Doing Magick Without Ethereal Software

If you’ve ever gotten a Reiki healing for a serious condition, or tried to make a coin repeatedly landing heads, you know there are some things we can’t do with magick.

Or maybe we can’t do them yet. Maybe the mechanisms of magick could solve those problems, if only we knew how. After all, energy can reduce pain, which means it can affect neural firing — maybe the right energy, in just the right spot, could help depression, or epilepsy, or paralysis. Maybe the same mechanisms that create luck in job searches could also determine coin flips, if only we understood how they work and how to make them more reliable.

Maybe the problem is, the forces we channel — our ethereal software — only knows how to do a tiny fraction of what magick can ultimately accomplish.

That’s why advanced Direct Magick practitioners learn to do magick without ethereal software. We do healing techniques, not by channeling energy from an outside force, but by figuring out the right signature of energy for a particular condition, figuring out where that energy should go, and driving the healing energy ourselves. We test it, debug it, get it working. Then we program our ethereal software to do that technique, so other mages can use it, too.

Most mages will never do that. But that’s what advanced Direct Magick is about, and it’s the origin of the name: Doing magick directly, without channeling external forces.

Sensory Connections

This goes hand in hand with the previous item. To build techniques, we need to see the ethereal structures we’re influencing. In Direct Magick, we do that with sensory connections. Here’s how they work:

Magickal energy follows connections. Most people use connections to send energy. When you do that, you mostly feel the energy you’re sending. But if you instead make a connection without any energy, it absorbs energy from whatever it’s connected to. Not a lot, not enough to bother anyone, but enough that you can sense that structure’s signature.

In practice, I use networks of sensory connections. Each connection goes to a different spot in whatever tissue or structures I’m working with, and together, they give me a picture of how it operates. It’s active, and quite different from receiving images or intuitions.

Sensory connections only work if you can feel the energy they absorb. Channeled forces can send you intuitions and images, but they can’t do sensory connections for you. And, since you’ll need sensory connections to develop other Direct Magick techniques, it’s the first technique most people learn when they start doing magick directly.

As far as I know, other systems of magick don’t have an equivalent technique.

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Finding My Aura

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

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Last week, to learn about creating sensations through magick, I went hunting for my aura. This post is about what I found.

“Hunting” might strike you as odd. I mean, aura is the energy around your body. You visualize it as colored light. We’ve all seen the pictures. What’s there to hunt?

A lot, it turns out. Remember, a visualization just tells your unconscious what you want. But I want to actually reach out to these structures, feel where they are and what they connect to. I want to see how they operate, and how they respond as I use them. That lets me understand what I’m working with, design and debug techniques, and connect the techniques I already know to these new structures.

I think that approach is unique to Direct Magick. Not sure though.

Step one was to explore the energy structures I already know. I started with my nerves, one layer below energy. This layer isn’t better or worse that any other layer, it’s just where I’ve found to be the most useful for energy healing, so it’s my default. It has connections down toward cells, and up toward energy.

I expanded my view, to one full area at that in-between layer. (Expanding a view is a technique. Like everything else, it’s not just something I decided I should be able to do, it’s something I developed. It works by making a network of connections throughout the structure, expanding your view until you see a sharp change in signature. That’s one area. This is one of the foundational techniques in Direct Magick, and I couldn’t do much until I learned it.)

Then I went down, toward cells. Well, “down” is how I visualize it — these magickal structures don’t take up physical space. But I found the connections leading from my default layer toward physical cells, like I’ve done hundreds of times in the past for healing sessions. I made sure to follow all the connections throughout the area, so I could see if they all went to one area in the lower, closer-to-cells layer, or if they went to multiple areas. And indeed, they went to multiple different areas.

What does that mean? One area that’s close to cells corresponds to one or a few nerve cells. That’s still an open question. Then, you go up one level toward energy, and one area corresponds to a bunch of nerves. You can think of it as one nerve pathway, though I’m not certain that’s accurate.

Then I did the same thing for my default layer and the layer above it / farther from cells, which is the energy layer. And it’s the same: One energy layer area corresponds to multiple areas in my default layer. Which lets me start building a map of these structures, and how the healing work I’ve done might relate to techniques in the aura.

(How do you tell that you’re connected to multiple areas? Expand all your views. If all your connections are in one area, all those views will “see” each other — each view will notice the connections you’re using to view the area. If you don’t, they are two distinct areas.)

Then I went past energy layer. This is the structure I’m calling “aura,” at least for now, at least until I find some way it’s terribly different from what everyone else means by “aura.” We’ll see.

And I got my first exciting result: The physical sensation of almost being touched. Like you get from proprioception, or when someone actively sends energy. Unexpected (so probably not placebo), and quite pronounced.

Why did it happen? Probably I was using the wrong signature when I connected to my aura, so I disturbed things, which would produce sensations. (Remember, the amount of energy doesn’t matter, it’s the signature.)

And another new ethereal muscle started engaging. Which is another good sign that I’m onto something worthwhile and new.

Technical note: Most tissue (muscles, tendons, etc) only has energy layer, nothing beyond it. Aura seems to connect specifically to the energy layer corresponding to short-term neural activity. There’s another energy layer for nerves corresponding to long-term state, like inflammation, that doesn’t seem to connect to aura either.

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How Obvious Connections Feel

Monday, February 24th, 2014

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Alex is trying the obvious connections from my book’s ethereal software. His text is italics, my reply is normal text:

This is cool. I’ve discovered your blog a couple days ago, and just tried this command right after connecting to the software and asking it to give me obvious connections. I think i noticed it connecting to me the first time because of the sigil becoming kind of alive, pulsating. May be some optical illusion though. At first, i didn’t notice clearly the obvious connection, but i certainly noticed a change when i asked the software to withdraw the connections.

Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to write about this.

That’s probably an optical illusion, something to do with how you were staring at the sigil. It hasn’t happened with any of the other testers (as far as I know), and the software isn’t doing anything to the eyes or visual cortex.

I tried engaging and withdrawing the connections a few times, and noticed it kept a certain connection that i felt at the front of my head at all times, while switching on and off another stronger one that centered on my chest, but felt kind of on the whole front of my body, when i asked it to give me obvious connections.

Yup, that sounds about right. The software makes connections to your mind so it can communicate with you. That’s how all ethereal software works, actually. That communication connection stays the whole time you’re using it. Then the obvious connection turns on and off when you give the command.

It seemed to me that the obvious connections were flooding me with energy (that felt pleasant, by the way), and tried asking the system if it was giving me energy. I didn’t get any clear answer.

Yes, that’s basically what it’s doing. The connection is full of energy, that’s why it’s obvious.

(For anyone really digging into direct magick: The connection has a high level of activation, not energy, and strongly maintains its own signature rather than adjusting to the user’s signature. That’s what makes it obvious.)

(For everyone else: There are some subtle distinctions between energy and other magickal structures. They matter when you’re building techniques. But if you’re just trying to get the gist of what’s going on, “energy” is close enough.)

And don’t worry that you didn’t get a reply from the software. That’s not until Book 2, the sequel to the one I’m writing now.

Nevertheless, i tried asking it to give me obvious connections without sending me energy, which made a fainter result, and then to give me obvious connections the way it did the first time, which felt stronger again. I also noticed that once i phrased the command “stop all connections”, but meaning just the obvious ones, and it was able to tell my intentions, not stopping the connection in my head.

This all sounds good. I’m not surprised it read your intent, as communication happens in concepts rather than words, so if you were thinking about the obvious connections when you said “all connections,” you probably sent that concept.

Another thing is that i was starting to feel a bit of a headache, and i asked the software to make the connection to my head gentler. I kept feeling an intensity on my head, but it stopped hurting. Was that supposed to work like that?

That sounds like a good result, so I’ll go with yes. A lot of these behaviors are the defaults provided by the spirits who made the software, it’s just how they always make software. So I didn’t previously know it did that, but that doesn’t surprise me.

Last thing, when i asked it to prepare my mind to communicate with it, the connection on the front of my head seemed to surround my head to come from all directions (sidewise in a ring, not from above or below) and then kind of went into the background, making itself less obvious to me, but still being there.

Here’s the interesting thing about these sensations: They don’t necessarily correspond to specific connections. Sure, intensity tends to correlate with the amount of energy, though it has more to do with the signature (or type) of the energy than the actual amount.

These sensations come from your ethereal muscles, not the nerves in your skin. Your ethereal muscles notice connections and create sensations to communicate that experience. But do those sensations mean a literal “this is where the connection is”? I don’t know. They could also be a metaphor, like how we visualize white light to tell our ethereal muscles to move energy around, knowing full well that there’s no white glow involved.

So, it doesn’t surprise me that those connections were less obvious than the obvious connection. I’d expect that, actually. But what do those specific sensations mean? I couldn’t say — it has to do with how your brain interprets the messages from your ethereal muscles.

I’d like to ask you if what i experienced makes any sense to you, regarding the way you programmed the software, or if you can tell some way i’m deluding myself in the results i perceive to get. I’m not that good in telling what’s really happening from what i’m imagining (i suppose that’s a huge part of the reason why i’m here).

Thank you for your teaching!

Thanks for using what I write, and for sharing your experiences!

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Complexity Isn’t Free: Sigils

Monday, January 27th, 2014

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This post is about how I think about magick, and how I find holes in my knowledge worth exploring.

It grew out of a discussion with Ananael about how sigils work. In my chapter, Using Ethereal Software. I said:

I’ve always been puzzled by sigils. How can looking at lines on a computer screen do anything?

It seems there’s an ethereal software that notices when people look at sigils. […] [I] registered my own sigil and software with it.

Ananael disagrees:

My point is that once you tell your “software” to synchronize itself with the sigil it will continue to resonate with it and therefore for any subsequent use there’s no explicit lookup step. When you hold the sigil in your mind, the similarity link is formed by the neural firing pattern, which in turn is governed by the sigil’s exact shape. […] That’s just the way the human brain works.

(Our discussion has other interesting ideas, on both sides, that I’m not citing here. Worth reading.)

Whenever I get an explanation, I try to imagine all the pieces, and step through how it works. Here’s what happens when I do that with Ananael’s model:

  • I tell my software to synchronize with the sigil. Great — not exactly what I did, but close enough, and what chaos magicians do with egregores all the time. (Note: Ergegore and ethereal software probably refer to the same external forces, using different metaphors and explanations.)
  • Not sure what “resonates” means, but let’s say that, if a person asks the software, “Is this your sigil,” it will answer “yes.”
  • Then I post the sigil online. It becomes an image file, then a bunch of electronic impulses, then some light on a computer screen. And you look at it, which makes your nerves fire in a way that’s “governed by the sigil’s shape.” Yup, that all sounds like standard technology / biology.
  • But then what happens? How does nerve firing create a connection to the software? Remember, the software doesn’t understand the image compression and electronic impulses, doesn’t follow them anywhere. What talks to what, where does that information go?

In computer programming, there’s a concept of bad code smell. That’s when a piece of code just feels wrong. It doesn’t necessarily make your program crash, and it’s often nothing you can prove is an error. Occasionally there’s even a good reason to do something that smells bad. But usually, something that smells bad is bad, and it’s just that you haven’t found the error yet. It’s more art than science, but after coding for a few years (or decades), you get a sense of it.

That model has a bad smell. Specifically, it smells like “free complexity,” that is, imagining that a step is simple when it’s actually complex. It’s easy to read “the similarity link is formed by the neural firing pattern,” nod your head, and get swept away by the long words. And it’s easy to imagine a sentient homunculus floating out of a person’s mind, walking over to the ethereal software that we all know goes with the sigil, and making that connection. It’s easy to ignore that the homunculus wouldn’t know which software it wants, or not to think about searching through those 1000s of softwares, or to ignore how darn complex it would be to create something that can even do that searching. After all, it’s natural for humans to imagine that everything has a human mind inside it. It’s easy to ignore all that complexity, and never realize that this step doesn’t “just happen.”

I never expected these sigil-based connections to work in the first place. I always assumed sigils were like CD labels: The connection went to the object the sigil was drawn on, like how the data is on the reflective side of the CD. The sigil / CD label is just for convenience, so you know what force / data you’ll get. Slapping a label on a blank CD doesn’t suddenly fill it with music, and making a symbol on a computer screen shouldn’t suddenly connect it to a force. I assumed that everyone using sigils for magick were just using the connections to the physical objects, or they were already connected to the software and the sigil just told their unconscious to engage that connection. I figured the people saying sigils actually did magick were just mistaken.

I was wrong, of course. But I wonder, if I had learned magick from books rather than my own explorations, and if those books had explained these “similarity links” as simple and natural and not deserving of any special attention, would I ever have realized that step was really complex?

I’ll stop there. Ananael (or anyone else), if you want to continue the discussion of similarity links, please feel free. And if you pick it up on your blog, please leave a comment here with a link to your post. Thanks!

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How Magick Connections Feel

Friday, January 11th, 2013

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Readers often ask, “When you notice a connection, how does it feel?” It’s a fair question — they want to know what to look for, how to know if they’re successful, and generally what doing magick is like.

The problem is, it doesn’t feel like anything. But last night, I figured out how to explain it.

Noticing a connection feels like proprioception. It’ll make sense in a second. First, try something for me:

Close your eyes, and raise your right hand. Then stick it out in front of you. Then touch your nose.

Through all that, you knew where your hand was, yes? Even though you couldn’t see it, even though it wasn’t touching everything, you somehow felt where it was. You somehow knew. That’s proprioception.

Proprioception doesn’t feel like anything. It’s like you just know, but in a different way than you know your phone number, or than a psychic knows what will happen tomorrow. The knowing is a second-by-second update of some physical sense, but one you can’t describe.

That’s what it’s like to notice a connection.

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Magickal Shielding for Physical Contact

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

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Last month, in a discussion on shielding, Ananael said that, “Shields also don’t work well against hoodoo-style magick anchored to a substance like powder or oil that comes into direct contact with your body or clothing.”

I ran into this problem myself a few years ago. And I solved it. And now that I’m taking a break from consulting and not in the middle of a series, I want to return to shielding and share this with you.

To be perfectly clear: This post is about magick done via physical touch. It’s not about a magick shield that protects you from being punched. That only exists in movies.

Touch-Based Magick Defeats Shields

I’ve run into this twice. Neither was with a hoodoo practitioner, but both involved the same principle: Magick conveyed by physical touch, rather than a standard magick connection, bypasses standard shielding. Let me tell you about both experiences.

Energy Drain at a Dance

Commonly called a psychic vampire by people who enjoy making their world more theatrical, some people drain your energy when you’re around them. And, as Ananael points out, shields that work great over distance tend to fail when someone is physically touching you.

I go swing dancing about once a week. Part of the culture is that, when someone asks you to dance, it’s rude to decline. So, I wind up in socially-enforced physical contact with these drainers for 3-4 minutes at a time, once every few months. Which makes for excellent magick research time.

Now, I could simply resist the drain, either by holding my energy where it is, controlling my energy signature, or just producing extra energy to drown out the effects. But all of those are inelegant, and at the end of the day, teach me nothing. No, I had found a situation where my shielding didn’t work, and I wanted a proper fix to the shielding, not a workaround for the symptoms. (Which I’ll share in a minute.)

Skilled Mages

On the opposite end of the skill-spectrum, imagine a skilled mage is attacking you. You have shielding that makes it hard to make a normal magick connection to you. What would they do?

Well, there are a few options, but one of my favorites is to make a magick connection to the room you’re in (easy to do based on the magick connection that’s hitting your shield), transition from the magick domain to the physical domain once connected to that room, and then connect from the air in the room to your body. And, just like magick conveyed by physical contact with powder or oil, we now have a physical connection that bypasses normal shielding.

I’ve been on both sides of this technique. I’ve also taught friends to defend against it. The same technique I use vs a drainer at a dance works here. (I expected it would. That’s why I made a point of developing shielding for the dance.)

Note: I’ve only seen this technique from other direct magick practitioners. It takes some practice to transition from a magick-domain connection to a physical-domain connection, and the only reason to learn it is to do energy healing at distance without channeling ethereal software. So most mages never bother.

Defending Against Physical Connections

Just like you can transition a connection from the default magickal domain into the physical domain, you can transition a shield from magickal to physical domains.

Remember that a shield is really just finding connections and closing them. If you only use the mental muscles designed for shielding, you’ll only find connections in default magick domain. But if you also engage the mental muscles you use for direct physical effects (like energy healing), they will work with your shielding mental muscles to find connections in the physical domain. And once you’ve found them, you can close them the same way.

Note: If you do energy healing by channeling energy from ethereal software, that won’t awaken the mental muscles for direct physical effects that you need here. But if you work with your own energy, like Qi Gung, that might awaken those mental muscles. Your best bet, though, is to use direct magick to awaken your mental muscles.

This technique works against energy drains via physical contact, and also against advanced attacks coming from physical-domain connections. I haven’t tested it against hoodoo powders or oils, but I would expect it to work there, too.

Side-note: If the hoodoo attack is based on manifesting — that is, if it’s trying to give you bad luck or misfortune — then there’s a different set of protections I would recommend. But that’s for another post.

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Shielding While Asleep (Part 4 of 4)

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

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Advanced direct magick to protect yourself even while asleep.

HL’s original question was:

I have difficult to protect myself during sleep.

So far, we’ve focused on handling draining spirits while awake and alert, because those skills make the building blocks of the technique in this post, for setting up semi-permanent shielding that will protect you even while asleep.

If you haven’t read the rest of this series, start with the first post.

Why Shielding Fails

When you sleep, your brain relaxes, and your mental muscles do, too, including the ones holding your potential connections closed. So your potential connections open, and it becomes easy for draining spirits (or anyone else) to connect to you.

Most mages use systems (the forces you channel, that respond to rituals) to protect them while asleep. But relying on outside forces means you never learn how the magick actually works (you learn to command that force, but not the steps it takes to execute those commands), which keeps you from improving on it later.

So here’s the direct magick solution, doing all the steps yourself, using your own mental muscles.

Solution: Structure-Based Closing

Think of structures as solid energy. If energy flows like water, a structure is solid like ice (but not cold). The pathways that energy follows are magickal structures. So are systems, your mental muscles, and basically anything else in magick that’s lasting and solid.

We’re going to use structures to hold those potential connections closed, so they stay closed even when you’re not holding them. The structures don’t have to last forever, just overnight. Then you can reset them as part of your evening routine.

I’d already been working with structures for a few years when I started working on shielding at night. If you haven’t worked with structures yet, then your first step is activating the mental muscles responsible for that. Here’s how:

Working With Structures

To find the mental muscles for structures, try to do something they know how to do. Then other mental muscles will ask them to do it, waking them up.

The simplest skill your structure-controlling mental muscles handle is making a stable, lasting connection:

  • Make a connection. (“Handling Connections,” halfway down that post).
  • Think about stabilizing it so it lasts even when you’re not thinking about it.
  • The mental muscles that make the connection should wake up the mental muscles that stabilize it. It may take a few tries before they wake up enough for you to work with.

Once you’ve found them, you’ll want to get them fully awake and engaged. Here’s how:

  • Follow this series to wake them up fully. (It has a basic version and an advanced version, you only need one).
  • Practice your mental posture to keep these new mental muscles engaged. (It will be a slightly different posture than you were using before, due to the new mental muscles).

The rest of this post assumes you’ve done that and are comfortable working with magickal structures.

Shielding With Structures

Once you have the right mental muscles paying attention, it’s just a matter of telling them what you want. Here’s how I did it:

  • Engage the mental muscles for closing connections, plus the mental muscles for controlling structures. (This should be easy. If it’s not, practice this mental posture first).
  • Close one potential connection, like we did earlier in this series.
  • Using the mental muscles for working with structures, think about creating a structure to hold it closed.

Practice that a few times, until the structure-controlling mental muscle gets used to that particular structure. Same idea as practicing a dance step before trying to learn an entire song. Once that’s comfortable, engage both those mental muscles again (for closing potential connections and for working with structures) and tell them to work together close all the potential connections and create structures to keep them closed.

When I do this, I use words, but you could use visualizations. Whatever feels natural to you to communicate your intent to those mental muscles. Remember, magick isn’t in the particular visualization, it’s in having the right mental muscles awake and engaged. Once they are, any visualization will work. Use whatever speaks to you, and makes sense given how you visualize energy, connections, etc.

Allowing Friendly Connections

You might want to allow some connections in, like from a friend, or from a psychic system you work with. Here’s how:

  • Find that connection. Either do this before closing all your connections, or consciously make a new connection to your friend / the system.
  • Engage the same mental muscles we’ve been using for this shielding.
  • Tell them you want to allow this connection through. They will set up your potential connections to do that. (This seems to be one of their basic functions that they automatically know how to do).

Advanced Shielding

Those connections you’re allowing in, like from a psychic system, are a hole in your shielding. You should shield them, as well. Here’s how:

Connect to them, and look for other potential connections going out of those actual connection. Close those potential connections in the same way, so the connection is protected, and can’t be easily used to access you.

One note: Don’t think of this as extending your shield around that connection. That results in a shield in your signature, which is easy to notice. Instead, you want to work in the connection’s signature when you close its potential connections, so you wind up with a a non-obvious shielded connection.

That was more advanced than the rest of this post, so if you didn’t follow it, don’t worry. It was prompted by a question from someone I work with.

Testing It

Your potential connections should stay closed even when you’re distracted. Have a friend try to connect to you. If you don’t have a magickally-skilled friend handy, connect to the room you’re in, then from there back to yourself. Either way, they / you should notice the shielding. It should be obvious that the connections are blocked.


Got a question? Leave a comment below.

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Shielding: Closing Potential Connections (Part 2 of 4)

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

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How to close holes in your shielding before spirits use them to drain you.

Last post was about removing connections from spirits who might drain your energy. But wouldn’t it be better to prevent them from connecting in the first place? That’s what this post is about.

You could think of a shield as a wall, or a bubble, or a moat. But what does that mean? If connections don’t travel through physical space, (and they don’t, that’s why you can connect to someone across the world), then what does it mean to put something between you and the other person?

I didn’t understand that for a long time. I still don’t, not really. But simply explaining how connections behave let me shield myself, even as I scratch my head about why it works that way. Maybe it’s like how no one truly understands quantum physics, not even Richard Feynman. Or maybe it’s that I just haven’t spent enough time exploring it. But either way, let me explain how connections behave, and how to prevent them, so you can start shielding and exploring, too.

Potential Connections

It seems as though connections follow paths. Not physical space, not a path like you’d walk from one room to another, but there are some set routes they can occupy. I call these “potential connections,” and when I need to make a distinction, the I’ll use “active connections” for the normal connections that you use normally.

Just like connections carry energy, potential connections carry connections. Is there something that carries potential connections? A potential-potential-connection? I don’t know. I’ve only done one level of recursion.

There are a limited number of potential connections*. Once you block them all, no one can make connections to you unless they force it open. Which is possible, but (1) it’s too much work for an ordinary energy drain, and (2) forcing it open is fairly obvious, giving you time to respond.

*I don’t know if that number is stable over your lifetime. (I doubt it is). But it’s stable over the course of a day, and probably a week, which is good enough for our purposes.

Here’s how you find and close your potential connections.

Finding Potential Connections

Remember how your mental muscles know how to do some tasks already, but they need training for others? The mental muscles that trace connections also know how to see potential connections, if you only know how to ask.

Tip: If you’re having trouble with this section, read the series on tracing connections, make sure those mental muscles are awake, then come back to this.

I figured out potential connections around 2005. I was trying to understand how connections entered me through my shielding, and why shielding didn’t work while I slept. I’d quieted my energy so I could watch myself removing connections, thinking about how they traveled through my shielding. And, since the mental muscle for tracing connections was already engaged, it picked up on what I was looking for and showed me the potential connections.

At the time, I didn’t know you could simply ask mental muscles to do things. I thought about them more like your arm muscles — You’d never say, “Hello arm, please explain how you throw a ball,” and I didn’t know that you could do that with mental muscles. So it was just luck that I found them.

But you know that. So you can look at a connection, and ask the mental muscles doing the looking to show you the potential connections. The key is, you don’t ask with the words, you ask with the concept. If you don’t know what potential connections are, thinking the words “Show me the potential connections” won’t do anything. But once you have the concept of “pathways that connections follow,” you could name that anything, and your mental muscles would understand.

How do I know all that? Well, now that I know to ask my mental muscles for instructions, I asked the connection-handling one how to get it to show me the potential connections. That’s where the answers in this section came from (with elaborations added in).

Closing Potential Connections

Once you’ve spotted potential connections, closing them is easy. Just connect to them, then visualize them closing*, using whatever visualization feels natural for you. (Remember, visualizations just instruct your mental muscles).

*Connecting before closing seems to work better than simply visualizing them closing. I think it helps the mental muscle know which potential connections you’re referring to.

As long as you don’t have any active connections using them, (which you don’t, right, because you did the previous post’s exercises before this one?), they should close without any trouble.

In the fourth post in this series, I’ll walk you through the technique I developed to hold the potential connections closed. But for now, just tell the mental muscle that handles connections that you’d like to keep all those potential connections closed, even when you’re distracted / asleep / otherwise not paying attention. It should know what you want, though you might need the details in the 4th post to help it implement that goal.


Some of you may be familiar with my term “space,” as in “physical space” or “mental space.” More or less, a space is the set of potential connections in a certain domain (physical domain, mental domain, etc).

If you’re not familiar with my use of “space,” don’t worry, it’s not necessary for this series or pretty much anything else on this blog.


Before the full technique, I have some tips on making sure your shielding is thorough, and on what to do if some of these steps don’t work for you yet. That’s next.

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