Posts Tagged ‘Energy Signatures’

What I Mean By “Energy”

Friday, July 26th, 2013

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John asks:

I’m curious about something. It’s something that really bugged me about the Energy + Spirit Model before I moved on to the Psychological + Information Model I currently use.

I want to know; what are the properties of Subtle Energy?

I always heard buzz-words like “frequency”, “vibration”, “power” and so forth. But I never really heard a consistent, reliable explanation of what those properties mean, how they affect each other, how they interact with the physical world, etc.

Good question.

When I talk about “energy,” I mean, “That thing that makes you feel tingles.” Yes, that’s not a tight definition, but hopefully it gives you a basic idea what I’m talking about.

Now, John had asked this before my previous post, when I discussed how I don’t follow any of the four standard models. I think he was probably thrown by the Energy Model of magick, which basically says, “Build energy, imbue it with your intent, and send it out to make that intent happen.” I can see where this would be confusing: Sometimes, energy is presented as a simple thing that just makes you feel tingles, and other times, energy becomes this complex, more-or-less intelligent thing that takes broad instructions like “Help me find a good job.” It’s almost like they’re looking at two separate phenomena, and calling both of them “energy.”

In fact, that’s my best guess: To me, it sounds like the Energy Model is describing some things to think about when you talk to ethereal software. You build energy (the simple thing that makes you feel tingles) to get into a magickal frame of mind, then focus on sending your intent to ethereal software (which is what handles complex instructions like “help me find a job”). But the Energy Model doesn’t have a concept for “ethereal software,” so its practitioners can’t think about sending their intent to the software. So instead, they focus on the energy, and their unconscious mind fills in the gaps.)

When I talk about “energy,” I only mean the simple thing that makes you feel tingles. As far as I know, it has two properties: Signature and pressure. (You can also talk about quantity or location of energy, but those aren’t exactly properties of the energy itself.)

The first property is signature. That’s the type of energy. If you want to reduce inflamation in tendons, you need the right signature to do that.

Signature is intricate: There are many signatures, with subtle differences between them. So, you can talk about one signature for tendon inflammation, and a different signature for muscle inflammation.

Signature is not intellectually complex. It can trigger complex actions, like making nerves more or less sensitive (useful for erotic energy and energy healing), but there’s no signature for “Find me a job” or “Make my love life successful.” Complex instructions like that are concepts that human brains and ethereal software can understand. They’re not signatures of energy.

(Well, communication is implemented with energy. As your brain thinks the message, it goes through different signatures. You can capture and transmit those signatures, and if the software or mage or spirit who receives the signatures knows what to do, they can read your message. It’s similar to turning voice into electrical signals, which the right equipment can interpret — electricity carries the message, but we wouldn’t say the electricity “knows” what the person wants, and we wouldn’t say the energy “knows” what message it holds or how to act on it.)

Energy’s seciond property is pressure: How much will the energy affect structures it comes into contact with? Will it activate it a little, or a lot? How much will it shift the structure’s signature to match the energy’s signature? You can think of it like temperature: How hot is the energy, and how much will it heat the things around it?

That’s basically it. More advanced direct magick adds some details to signature: How there are multiple scales of signature, and how, no matter what scale you look at, signatures basically look the same — that is, signatures are fractal. I also make a distinction between energy and activation: Energy is like hot water, and activation is like heat: Not something you can hold in a cup, but rather, a property of energy or structure that makes it active. But, if you just want the basics, energy has a signature, which determines which structures it interacts with, and it has pressure, which determines how strongly it interacts with them.

What about “frequency” and “vibration”? They usually mean “type of energy,” so I figure those terms correspond to the same phenomenon I call “signature.”

Got a question? Leave a comment or send me an email.

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Advanced Grounding (Technique #4)

Friday, May 10th, 2013

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This series started back in January, and this technique builds on concepts in the first post. You might want to review it now.

The standard (incorrect) model of grounding I grew up with says that the headache that sometimes comes after energy work is caused by too much energy, and that grounding is about releasing the excess energy. My model of grounding — the one I’ve developed as an adult — says the headache comes from getting your energy in the wrong signature, and that grounding is about returning your signature to normal, and has little to do with the quantity of energy.

When I started this series, I hadn’t thought seriously about grounding in years. It was a solved problem, so why bother? But, returning to grounding after doing lots of direct energy healing work, it was immediately obvious that my grounding model made an unexpected prediction: You should be able to return your energy to its normal signature — that is, you ought to be able to ground — by adding more energy, rather than releasing the energy.

The traditional model, of course, would predict that adding more energy would make matters worse, no matter its signature. And whenever two models predict opposite results, there’s only one thing to do: Test it.

I admit, I was a bit nervous. Clear-cut tests — places where you can be wrong, and know you’re wrong — do that to a person. It’s only natural, and I say this in the hopes that you will accept your own nervousness and do the test anyway.

But I tried it, on the subway ride home from seeing the ethereal software-based grounding for the first time. Then I tried it again, with different types of energy, and a few more times. And each time, adding more energy (in the right signature) grounds extremely well.

Here’s the technique. It’s designed for me, using all the building blocks and techniques I know. It’s useful because it doesn’t open your shields or release energy into the area around you, which can attract unwanted attention from spirits and other mages. But just a heads up, it’s not novice-friendly. (If you’re looking for a good beginner technique, use energy flushing.)

The Technique

Simply build the right signature of energy in your body. That’s all. The key, of course, is figuring out the right signature.

To do that, I need to introduce a concept from math and physics, delta. It just means difference, or change. If you have a glass of water at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and you heat it to 45 degrees, the delta is 5 degrees.

Here, we’re interrested in the difference between your normal signature and the weird signature in your body that’s making you need to ground. We’ll call the difference between those two signatures the “delta signature.” If you imagine your normal signature as green, and your current signature as yellow, then the delta signature is blue, because yellow + blue = green — that is, (current signature + delta signature) = target signature — and here, the target signature is our normal, grounded signature.

Of course, imagining green and yellow and blue won’t get you anywhere. Signatures aren’t colors, finding the delta signature is a bit tricky, and you need to guide your mental muscles through the process. That’s why this is an advanced technique. It’s something I learned for energy healing, and we’ll cover it in Book 3, but for now, I just want you to get the concept.

But back to grounding: You build energy in the delta signature, mix it with your current signature, and they add up to your normal, grounded signature. When I do this, returning to my normal signature gets rid of my headache and weird feelings immediately. (Though if you waited a while to ground, maybe 30 minutes or more, the weird signature would already have seeped into your cells, and it’ll take a few minutes before they fully return to normal.)

There was an interesting side effect, too: Adding all this energy to my body, while remaining in my normal signature, made me feel slightly more alert. Not as alert as the technique designed to increase alertness, but enough to be noticeable, and to show me that alertness is the actual result of having extra energy in your body’s normal signature, not a headache or any other problem as predicted by the standard model of grounding.

Two notes:

  • The delta signature will be different depending on the signature you’re in at the moment. It’s not a single universal signature; it’s something you calculate each time you ground.
  • If you build too much energy in the delta signature, you’ll push yourself past your normal signature, and into another weird signature that causes headaches and other problems. If this happens, calculate a new delta signature based on your body’s current energy signature, build some of that new delta signature, and go more slowly, so you can stop once you return your energy to normal. (Or use the energy flushing technique, then try this advanced grounding again later.) (Note: This didn’t happen to me, but it’s clearly predicted by the model, so figured I’d mention it.)
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4 Methods of Grounding — Intro

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

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Until recently, I thought of grounding as simple: You release your energy into the ground. A does-what-it-sounds-like sort of technique.

It turns out, there are at least four effective ways to ground: Release your energy into the area around you; Release it into a more distant location; Use ethereal software; Or rebalance your energy without releasing it. If you’re grounding yourself, it pays to pick the right technique for the right situation. And if you’re working with someone else, it pays to be aware that they might ground differently than you.

This series will cover all four techniques, how I encountered or developed each, and the tradeoffs involved. But first, let’s discuss what grounding is (Hint: The standard definition isn’t particularly useful), and why we’re getting rid of energy in the first place (Hint: It’s not because you have too much energy.)

What is “Grounding?”

You probably know the standard definition: Releasing energy into the earth. You visualize your energy going out your feet, into the earth, and you return to normal.

There’s a problem with that definition, though: Energy going into the earth is the visualization — the way we communicate our intent to our unconscious mind. What if the unconscious mind does something else to make that intent happen? Wouldn’t you want to know?

More often than not, the visualization doesn’t quite line up with what actually happens. But the intent is a good starting point. So, let’s define grounding by the intent:

Grounding is any technique for returning your energy to its normal state.

(“Any technique” is probably overly-broad. I’m sure there’s some odd technique that wouldn’t count. Mea culpa.)

Good. Now we can talk about all the different ways your unconscious mind can do that — including some techniques that your unconscious probably won’t figure out without conscious guidance. But first, let’s discuss what “normal state” means.

“Normal State” is about Signature, Not Quantity

It’s natural to think of grounding as solving the problem of too much energy. That’s why you release it: You have too much, so you have to get rid of some. Makes sense.

The problem is, this doesn’t square with observations:

  • If I build a large quantity of energy matching my body’s normal signature, I hardly feel anything — just slightly more alert. But if I build even a small amount of energy in an unusual signature, the feeling is pronounced and obvious.
  • Other mages notice connections and energy easily when the signature of that connection / energy is different than their body’s signature, but do not notice the connection / energy when it’s in their body’s normal signature.
  • If I create energy in an unusual signature, I’ll feel weird. If I then create more energy in a particular signature, such that when energy #1 and energy #2 mix together, they produce my body’s normal signature, I feel normal again. So, adding more energy (in the right signature) returns me to normal, even though I had a lot more energy. (We’ll cover that technique later in this series, so you can try it too.)
  • Lastly, other techniques: In energy healing, the quantity of energy doesn’t matter much, but the signature of that energy is vital. Same with erotic energy — the key is the signature. And if you read the first item and thought, “Feeling more alert sounds useful,” well, I already have a technique that works better than building more energy in my normal signature, and it involves building a small amount of energy, but not in my normal signature. The key is signature, not quantity.

Now, if you’re absorbing energy from someone else, then the quantity you absorb matters, because it will mix with the energy already in your body. Think about it this way: If your energy is blue paint, and their energy is yellow paint, you can see how absorbing a little will leave your paint-energy mostly blue, but absorbing a lot will shift you through green and eventually to yellow.

It’s the same with releasing energy: If you want to return to your normal blue color, and the energy in your body right now is green, you’ll have to mix in a lot of blue to dilute the green. But if you first release the green energy, you can start from a mostly-clean slate, and just build your own normal blue energy. That’s the point of grounding: To release the energy that’s got the wrong signature, so you can start fresh.

What’s the significance of blue, yellow, and green? Nothing. I just picked some colors.

And now, we’re ready to discuss grounding techniques. (Starting next post in this series.)

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3 Ways the Information Model Goes Wrong, and Why it’s Still Important

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

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For the past week, I’ve been reading about the Information Model of magick. I tried addressing it last post, but as I learned more about it, I realized the real model is deeper than I’d initially thought.

But it still didn’t feel right. 17 years modelling magick trains you to feel models, and the Information Model feels…off. And knowing something’s wrong, but not being able to explain what, drives me crazy.


Models are useful for different tasks. Quantum physics isn’t very good for modeling your liver, and cellular osmosis is terrible for understanding billiard balls. You can make a systematic model that covers everything, but it will be incredibly complex.

That’s my focus: A systematic model of all of magick. It is, in fact, quite complex, and the full model is definitely not beginner-friendly.

The Information Model is a poor basis for a systematic model of how all magick works. I’ll explain why in this post.

But it’s a great way to focus people on a part of magick they’re maybe ignoring. And it’s much easier to learn than a systematic explanation of everything. Which makes it an important tool. I’ll explain that in this post, too.

Review of the Information Model

This section is for anyone not familiar with the Information Model of magick. Feel free to skip.

Simple version: Everything is information. There is no energy. What you describe as energy is better described as sending information to the thing you want to affect.

I first encountered this on Patrick Dunn’s site, the Information Model was a main topic of discussion between Jason, Patrick, AIT, the Scribbler, Ananael and others. They were nice enough to explain it to me in their comments. Here are the quotes that most helped me understand it:

From Patrick:

Let me describe how magic behaves: I wish something to occur. I take a symbol of that thing, in one of several complex or simple symbol systems, and I express that symbol in an aesthetically satisfying manner, often in a state of consciousness in which my attention is focused on that thing. For what part of that is “energy” more appropriate than “information?”

If you propose, as I do, that material reality is a kind of consciousness, there’s no black box: information affects consciousness naturally.

In my experience magic does not work as if it is something even remotely similar to “energy.” It works by manipulating symbols, which are ways of organizing information, in our consciousness, which is a means of manipulating information. Why, then, one doesn’t want to use “information” to describe this thing that is very clearly and obviously an act of communication foremost… [Energy] does *not* match [my experience], as a metaphor, not at all. The preconceptions are not more or less in line with how magic works — they ignore the entire process of manipulating symbols and changing consciousness.

From Ananael:

As an example, let’s say you want to heat up a rock. In the Information Model what you need to do is transmit the idea of “hotness” from your mind to the field of consciousness pervading the rock. If your transmission is successful, the rock heats up because its field of consciousness now contains the information corresponding to “hotness” and the field then influences the behavior of the matter it permeates.

For more, read this, this and this.

Bloggers: If I’ve misstated anything, my apologies. Please let me know.

3 Ways the Information Model Goes Wrong

Here, I’m focused on using the Information Model myself, as a mage who systematically models every part of magick, including steps that most mages leave to the unconscious, to spirits, and to channeled forces.

It’s not the right tool for me for 3 reasons:

1. Saying “Everything is Conscious” Doesn’t Explain Anything

Patrick says everything is conscious. Rocks, trees, my table, everything. That’s why they interact with information.

The standard-English definition of conscious is something like “Has a mental model of the world that includes itself and its awareness.” That doesn’t make sense for rocks, and I don’t think Patrick intends that meaning.

Instead, I think he means “Has the property of interacting with information,” and he’s using “Conscious” as a metaphor for that. Which is totally fine. I do that so much, my blog has a glossary. (Patrick, sorry for putting words in your mouth here, tell me if I’m wrong about this).

Let’s replace “Conscious” with it’s definition:
Material reality is conscious has the property of interacting with information, so information affects reality naturally.

Nothing wrong with saying that, but it doesn’t really explain anything. We still don’t understand the process by which symbols affect the physical world. The word “Conscious” made it sound like we had explained something, but it was really just a curiosity-stopper.

Which brings us to the real problem with “Everything is conscious”: It sounds too good. I want to viscerally know when I don’t understand a step. I want it to bother me. I want to pick at it, model it, and test it. And when the words sound good, I might not.

For more on this, see these posts on Less Wrong, my favorite philosophy of science blog.

2. “All Magick is Information” Ignores a Natural Joint

A good model splits reality at its natural joints. If you have one kind of thing, that behaves in one way, a good model will give it one name. If you have two kinds of things, that behave in two different ways, your model should give each of them different names.

If you’re describing a car, you’d want one term for the wheels and another for the engine. You wouldn’t want a term for half a wheel (why make the split?) or for “wheels + spark plugs but nothing else” (why connect those?).

There are 2 main types of magick I know:

  • Send instructions to an external force, which handles the magick. Think psychics channeling information; some force translating ritual actions into summoning a spirit (or whatever); or turning on the energy when you do Reiki. I call those forces “systems.” They will read ideas, concepts or symbols from your mind and do magick for you. Instructing a system is kind of like using a computer program.
  • Directly altering individual energy signatures, pathways, and other magickal structures. I connect to a structure, activate it, change its signature, and move on. It feels like wiring a circuit board together, not issuing commands to a program. I call this “direct magick.”

The instructions you give to systems are sentences, and it feels natural to call them “Information.”

Also, systems are universal and conceptually big. Individual objects (rocks, trees, etc) don’t have systems. If you know object-oriented computer programming, systems are god-objects, not encapsulated objects.

The signatures and other properties I use in direct magick feel fundamentally different, and behave fundamentally differently than systems (“system” in the technical sense of “force that helps you do magick,” not the general sense of “way of seeing the world.”) (More on this below).

A model of how to instruct systems won’t help you understand how energy paths work, any more than knowing how to use Powerpoint will help you construct a computer. And vice versa.

It doesn’t feel natural to use the same term — “Information” — for the thing you send to systems and also the thing you use to interact with energy pathways. It suggests a connection that doesn’t exist, and might lead me to apply my model of systems to energy pathways, which would cloud my understanding.

A Favor

Most mages don’t do direct magick. Traditional styles of energy work — Reiki, Qigong, etc — are what I call “direct magick lite.” They work with energy and existing pathways, but they don’t create new pathways, re-route pathways in your mind or explore small connections between energy and physical cells.

I know how easy it is to assume that, because you haven’t seen something like “constructing the circuit board,” it’s just me misunderstanding something you have seen. I promise you, it’s not. If you’d like to read more about direct magick and learn to alter circuit boards yourself, this series is a great place to start.

And I’ll try to keep in mind that, just because I don’t have a concept of “Sending a command to a rock” doesn’t mean that Patrick hasn’t found something I haven’t seen.

3. Signatures Aren’t Information

Every time I read something an information mage (if I can invent that term) said, I would think “Signature = Information, it’s just a terms difference.” I call this the “Lesser Information Model.”

But then I would do magick, thinking “Signature = Information,” and it would just feel off. A dozen tries later, I know why:

When I connect to something — say a person’s tendon that I’m working with for energy healing — I sense the signatures of their energy and the pathways it follows. After looking around a while, I figure out what’s going on, and then those sensations (pathways and signatures) become information in my mind.

It’s like seeing a painting. The colors are wavelengths of light until your retina and visual cortext turn them into information.

I know, this sounds like hair-splitting, like inventing a distinction to make an argument. I assure you, it’s not. This distinction has subtle but important effects on how I think:

Imagine you say the paint’s color is information, and the light’s color is information, and then that information goes into your mind. That sounds more natural and simpler than “Paint absorbs white light, emits light with particular wavelengths, which excite nerves in my retina, and so on.”

But notice what just happened: We obfuscated the process of turning that light into mental information. The retena, the visual cortex, a lot of complex steps, don’t seem necessary anymore, because the explanation sounds so natural. Which makes it harder to explore how the brain works.

“Information” also obfuscates how light implements color. (Wavelength). If we only care about color, that doesn’t matter. But you need wavelengths to develop lasers, microwaves, the 2-slit experiment in quantum physics, and a bunch of other useful inventions.

By obfuscating the real mechanics, we robbed ourselves of the discomfort of knowing we don’t understand, which robs us of discoveries.

Same with magick. Saying “energy has information” obfuscates how we interpret that information and how that that information is implemented. Which makes it less likely we’ll discover:

Sensory Connections

When you sense energy signatures and pathways, there are more-detailed and less-detailed ways to do it. Like the naked eye vs magnifying glass vs microscope.

I do a lot of work with improving sensory connections so I can see more details of how magick works. But the first step is realizing that sensing these structures is a process, so you can explore how each step works, so you can improve them.

Saying “light has blue information that goes into your mind” obfuscates the visual process. If I described energy signatures as information, I don’t think I would have modeled how my mind interprets them. Even just writing that sentence, my words kept tangling up on themselves, saying things like “my mind turns that information into information.”

Signature Mixing

When a spirit drains your energy, the main source of the headache isn’t a lack of energy. Instead, it’s because your signature doesn’t match the spirits, so you wind up with:

Final energy signature = (your natural energy signature) – (fraction) x (spirit’s energy signature)

The fraction is because it won’t drain 100% of the energy in its signature.

Could you model this with information? I’m sure you could. But subtracting ideas (rather than colors or wavelengths) feels awkward. I don’t think I would have seen it.

Signature Scale

A full signature is made of smaller signatures, like how a rock is made of molecules which are made of atoms, and so on. Working at a smaller signature scale lets you:

  • See signatures and small-scale paths more accurately. (Part of sensory connections).
  • Bypass shielding. If you work at a smaller scale than the shielder, you will find holes they can’t even see.
  • Make your signature match a system’s signature, which lets you command that system, even if you’re not initiated into its style of magick. (I call this hacking a system).

Could you model this as “information scale,” where a top-level information is made of smaller information-units, and talk about matching information-units? Sure. But again, it doesn’t feel natural. We’re not breaking a sentence into its words, we’re breaking a concept into its…I don’t know what concepts break down into.

Signatures, to me, are a feeling, not a meaning you can express as a sentence. I like using a relatively empty concept (“signature”) rather than something already I already feel like I know (information, concepts, etc). I don’t think I would have come up with “information scale” as easily as “signature scale.”

This is also why I prefer “signature” to “vibration”: Signature is an empty concept, whereas vibration suggests a certain physical implementation.

“But I Can Explain All That With Information”

I’m sure you can. You can stretch a model to explain a lot of things. That’s not the real metric, though.

The real question is: If I didn’t know the answer, would this model help me find it?

For me, the information model obfuscates more than it helps. It takes away the pain of not understanding, which makes exploring magick harder.

What the Information Model Gets Right

Patrick explains:

From the information model perspective, [if your magick didn’t work], you’d be more inclined to look at how you conveyed the desire.  Were you clear?  Was the channel clear?

And I love Ananael’s metaphor:

Energy practitioners who work exclusively on signal intensity [rather than information content] could be seen as akin to the ignorant tourist who believes he or she can make a foreigner who speaks a different language understand English by shouting.

I think that was Patrick’s original intent. (Again, just a guess). He saw people focusing on “more energy,” and realized that’s the wrong way to fix the problem. And he’s absolutely right.

Models are useful for different tasks. I don’t think the Information Model is the right tool for a systematic explanation of all magick. But as a way to get people to stop thinking “more energy” and start thinking “clearer messages,” it’s fabulous.


My previous post may be more useful now. It’s a technical explanation of how the energy model relates to the information model. Summary: Information that you send to systems is implemented as energy signatures of your mind.

If you’d like more on the moving parts that make direct magick work — what to do when you’re not using systems, and how systems fit into all of it — see this series.

And this coming Monday, I’ll post a guide to using those parts to get better results from ritual and system-based magick.

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