Posts Tagged ‘Introduction’

Divination & Manifesting (Notes for Upcoming Class)

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

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Tarot. Astrology. Magick for wealth, love, and success. Divination (predicting the future) and manifesting (creating luck) are cornerstones of most magickal practice.

This post is my notes for a new class I’m creating. It covers:

  • How to choose good divination questions and manifesting intents
  • Techniques for sending out those questions / intents
  • Techniques for hearing the answers
  • How to use this magick in healthy and safe ways.

I’m teaching this class Thursday May 12, 7-9PM at Wicked Grounds in San Francisco. It’s free — both to support my friends who run the cafe, and to test out the class in a more informal setting. If you’re in the bay area, I hope you’ll attend. RSVP here (facebook).

Choosing Good Questions & Intents

Here’s an example good request: Cause me to find a job that I’ll be happy with, and that will leave me the time and energy to study magick.

Let’s talk about some ways that it’s good, and some traps to avoid:

Make it general. I’m not asking for a specific job, I’m asking for any job with these properties. A few reasons for this. First, whatever is guiding this success knows more about the paths of fate than I do, so I don’t want to overconstrain the request and possibly wind up in a job I thought I’d like but that is actually bad. Second, manifesting seems to create lucky breaks. If I ask for a specific job and there’s path where I get it, the manifesting simply fails. We don’t want that.

Specify what “good” means. I find that if I ask for a “good job,” that’s too vague. Does good mean stable? Interesting? Has the chance of finding a good romantic relationship? The forces we’re channeling don’t seem to think quite like humans do, so it’s best to specify clear success criteria.

Make it positive. Think about making your request over a bad cell connection, dropping every other word. “Find job happy” is probably ok. But if you ask, “Find me a job that won’t exhaust me, and that won’t interfere with my relationship,” and some of the words don’t transmit properly, you could wind up with something terrible.

Time frame. Some people like to specify that it should happen within a certain time frame. I prefer to avoid specifying the time frame (what if I specify 3 months, and the perfect job would take 4). I trust the force I’m channeling to understand that sooner is better than later. But different people channel different forces, so this may have to do with the specific force I use — try both ways, see what works for you.

Sending Out Those Requests

Main goal is to engage the parts of your mind that drive energy and magick (your “ethereal muscles”), contact a force to channel (some “ethereal software”), and get your intent to that force. Many ways to do this.

By default, most people’s ethereal muscles are unconscious. So most systems of magick focus on getting the intent into the unconscious. Visualizations, rituals, sigils, etc all do this. Note: Even without a force to channel, getting your unconscious aligned with your intent will probably help you notice opportunities and execute on your goals.

The other half is having a force to channel. Usually not explicitly discussed. People are often connected to these forces during initiations. Forces can also be bound to rituals and sigils, so doing the ritual / focusing on the sigil will get the force to connect to the person. This only works for already-established rituals and sigils, not one you just made up.

Simplest method: Focus on the sigil in this post. (It also discusses testing we’ve done on this blog.) Focus on your intent, repeat it several times. The force is programmed to read and act on your intent. For more details, see this book-in-progress.

Hearing the Answers

This is the main difference between manifesting and divination (or psychic intuitions). Manifesting is usually send-and-forget, while divination is about getting info back.

But getting info back with manifesting is useful too. Find out whether the request was accepted, if there are reasonable paths to success, etc.

Responses can be hard to hear, like talking over bad cell connection. Yes / No is easier to understand than a sentence. This is useful: Turn an open-ended question into a series of multiple choice questions, then feel into each choice and try to notice the “Yes.” Systems that use this include tarot (where each card has multiple conflicting meanings, and the reader selects the “correct” one for this reading) and some systems of astrology (the reader selects which planets and meanings “matter most.”)

Some forces can create lasting connections to a person’s mind, improving the communication over months. The sources for psychic intuitions usually do this. There are also techniques in Direct Magick to create a clearer communication channel as needed.

Try using manifesting to guide decisions. “Cause me to create a good plan for…” (then spell out your goal and what “good” means.) Then sit down and plan your next steps, paying attention to feelings that the option you’re considering is good or bad. This makes it easy for the force to influence your decisions, ensures you’re paying attention to these intuitions when they come (much easier than listening all day, through conversations and other projects), and is super ethical.

Staying Healthy and Safe

Avoid goals that require specific people to take specific actions, both for ethics and for higher success rates. “Cause me to find a healthy, supportive relationship,” not “Cause me to date this specific person.”

Consider: Would you do this if everyone involved knew about it? If not, that’s a strong sign it’s unethical.

Some people are concerned about influencing others in any way. Remember, we influence others every day, both consciously and unconsciously, in how we dress, speak, and everything else we do. To have any impact on the world, we need to influence others. If you would work toward your goal through ordinary means, it’s probably ethical to manifest for it too.

A technique I use all the time: “Cause me to make good decisions for…” (then spell out your goal.) Restrict your manifesting to only influencing yourself.

Don’t blindly trust divination. A lot has to go right for it to work: Phrasing the question properly, sending and receiving the message, and the force has to see the future properly. None of this is 100%. If you think the path laid out is a bad idea, or feel a sense of dread about it, listen to yourself. (At the very least, try at least 3 other ways of asking the question.)

Come to the Class

I’m teaching this class Thursday May 12, 7-9PM at Wicked Grounds in San Francisco. It’s free — both to support my friends who run the cafe, and to test out the class in a more informal setting. If you’re in the bay area, I hope you’ll attend. RSVP here (facebook).

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

Learning Direct Magick, Step by Step

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

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This guide shows you each step to learning direct magick for novice, intermediate and experienced mages.


This site is about direct magick: Consciously directing the parts of your mind that handle magick, driving magick without relying on external forces, and consciously selecting the external force when you do channel one.

I call those external forces “systems,” and the traditional styles that rely on them — Thelema, Reiki, Enochian, etc — “system-based magick.”

You can do both system-based and direct magick. No need to choose. And learning direct magick will help you learn other styles faster and more completely.

If these terms are new, read the intro to this series for the big picture on how magick works. It’ll help you use the resources in this post.

Using This Guide

You’ll follow links away from this page, so you might want to bookmark this page (CTRL+D).

Pick the right starting point for yourself:

  • Novice: Never done magick or energy work.
  • Intermediate: Proficient at energy meditation, has begun learning a style of magick.
  • Experienced: 1 or more years experience, usually proficient in at least one style.

Each step links to a post or series. Follow the link and complete the exercises. Most exercises have a self-test, so you can verify you’ve learned the skill. Make sure you can do the self-test. After completing each step, return here to get the next one.

At the bottom of some posts is a section called “Other posts in this series,” with several links. That’s how you can recognize a series. Follow each link, in order from top to bottom (not chronological order), before returning here for the next step.

If you run into problems, write a comment. I’ll usually respond within 24 hours.

Learning Direct Magick for Novice Mages

A novice has never done magick or energy work before.

Novices need to learn to engage the parts of their mind that drive magick (their “mental muscles”). Do that with this energy meditation (or another one if you prefer). Practice until you can feel the energy, move it around your body, and maintain it for 5-10 minutes without feeling mentally tired. Read the comments at the bottom for questions and tips from other readers. Most people find it takes 1-2 weeks.

(Note: In newer posts, I’ve changed the term to “ethereal muscles.” Same thing, better metaphor for the term.)

Optionally, you might want to prove to yourself that you’re doing magick by sensing a partner’s emotions based on their energy. (They also need to know energy meditations). Intermediate mages can usually complete it in an hour, but if you’ve just started magick, give yourself a week. (The post is a class, just follow the exercises. Skip the rest of the series, those are other classes).

Then continue with the next section for intermediate mages, but allow 2-4x the time. For example, someone with several months of experience can learn to consciously engage their mental muscles in about 2 hours, but if you only have two weeks of experience, allow an afternoon or a weekend.

Learning Direct Magick for Intermediate Mages

An intermediate mage has begun learning one style of ritual magick or energy work. They can control energy, feel it move around their body, and easily maintain it for 5-10 minutes.

If you’re experienced with psychic intuition but haven’t done energy work, start with the energy meditation in the previous section.

Start by learning to consciously engage your mental muscles, so they respond to your rituals and visualizations immediately, whenever you want, not just when they notice you’re doing magick. It also lets you get all your mental muscles behind your magick, producing bigger results. Most mages can learn this in about 2 hours. (The post is a class, just follow the exercises. Skip the rest of the series, those are other classes).

Then learn to direct your mind through each step of a technique, instead of just visualizing the goal and letting your unconscious figure out how to achieve it. This lets you learn new techniques faster, and reproduce the procedure more precisely, producing more reliable results. That post is in a series, this step is just the exercises in the one post.

You’ll also want good shielding. That technique is more effective than visualizing a bubble around you (which can actually attract spirits), and faster than rituals like the LBRP (and less conspicuous when you’re in public).

Also, learn about systems, the driving force behind most styles of magick. Read these posts: types of systems, connecting to systems. (Skip the other posts in that series). Then read this series for the practical side of connecting and aligning to a system. (It’s written about psychics, but it applies to all systems. Also, skip the last post, on hacking systems. We’ll cover it later in this guide).

Then continue with the next section for experienced mages, allowing extra time to learn each skill.

Learning Direct Magick for Experienced Mages

An experienced mage has several years of experience, and is usually proficient in at least one style of magick or energy work. They can consciously engage their mental muscles, learn new styles quickly, and modify standard techniques to fit new situations.

Before you begin, review the material above for intermediate mages. You probably know most of it, but almost every mage finds some new skills when they start learning direct magick. Your experience will let you learn those skills quickly.

Start by developing your sensory connections. Sensory connections let you watch your magick as it works, so you can understand all the moving parts, fix problems and create new techniques, for both system-based and direct magick. The better your sensory connections are, the more you can see.

Optionally, learn to use magick to awaken your mental muscles. Previously, you’d learned to engage your mental muscles consciously, but that only works with muscles that are resting, not fully asleep. Most of your mental muscles are hibernating. They’ll awaken slowly as you learn a skill that uses them, but you can learn new skills more quickly by using magick to awaken the necessary muscles. (The first half of that series covers basic focused practice, the second half is this advanced technique).

Optionally, you might also want learn better magickal protection, with advanced shielding and some magickal offense. The bad guys already know it, so you should too.

Also optional, learn to hack systems. Some systems are associated with a style of magick, and only work with you once you’re initiated or attuned. That post shows you how to use those systems anyway, without becoming initiated / attuned.

After Completing The Exercises

Congratulations, you’re now an intermediate direct mage, ready to use it to influence the physical world. You can find most of the practical skills I’ve written about in the list to the left. You can also search with the search box to the right, or select topics from the tag cloud below it (click on a word that interests you; bigger words have more posts). And check my home page for new posts every Thursday.


Most of these posts are from a time when I was figuring out how to explain magick. They’re not as clear as I’d like. I’ll be updating each old post, starting with the ones for novices, over the next few months. Check the front page for notices about these updates.

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

The Best Way to Grow as a Mage

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

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There’s no single right way to do magick. Everyone channels outside forces (“systems”). And everyone can improve their skills with direct magick. The only way to excel is to know both methods.

If you’re not familiar with systems, mental muscles and direct magick, read the first post in this series.

System-based magick is fast. All systems work basically the same, so it’s quick to learn. The system does most of the work for you, so it’s easy to use. Systems are a great tool to have.

But systems can help too much. By insulating you from the hard parts, they insulate you from the challenges that drive learning.

The problem is, systems are so much easier to use, and so much easier to teach, that a lot of people never encounter direct magick. It’s just not written about. Most mages learn by developing it themselves, or meeting a mage who already knows it, or learning from spirits. It’s much harder than it needs to be, and it keeps mages from advancing our art into a science.

Learning direct magick takes effort. But every mage shouldn’t have to re-invent it. That’s why I started this blog: To help guide you through the challenges that will help you grow as a mage.

How Mages Limit Their Own Growth

Energy healers channel “The Universe.” Psychics listen to “The Source.” Ritual mages channel various external forces.

I call all those forces “systems”. They all work the same way: You instruct the system; it drives the magick (making energy, predicting the future, contacting spirits, etc); you channel its response.

Learning to use your first system teaches you core skills: How to make connections, send your thoughts, channel replies, etc. You’ll use these skills in all your magick.

But your second, third, tenth systems don’t add new skills. Great to learn once, but no need to repeat. Nine years of experience is very different from 1 year of experience, nine times*.

*This sentence stolen from Seth Godin. His blog is great, by the way.

Review: How System-Based Magick Works

All system-based magic follows that basic pattern:

  1. Connect to both the system and whoever you want it to do healing work with, influence, or otherwise work on.
  2. Tell the system what you want it to do.
  3. Channel the system’s response. This might be energy for healing, psychic intuitions, or something else.

You might use a rune or a ritual to help guide your mind through these steps, but the pattern doesn’t change. The system always handles the hard parts. That’s what makes them so convenient.

(For examples of system-based magick, see the energy healing and psychic examples in How Magick Works).

Why Systems Are Limiting

Think of systems like computer programs. They’re good at what they do, but they don’t do anything else. Excel won’t help you write an essay, and energy healing systems won’t go deeper than energy. And going deeper, into the layers closer to physical cells, is the key to faster, more dramatic healing results.

Eventually, you’ll want to do more than your system can handle. But improving on what the system does requires understanding what the system does. And using a system doesn’t create that understanding any more than using a calculator teaches you math.

Growing as a Mage: Direct Magick

In direct magick, you’ll drive magick yourself, without a system. Your mind’s mental muscles will make all the connections, choose the right energy to use, and generally do everything that systems do for you now. It shows you the gaps in your skills and understanding, which is the first step to growth.

You’ll close those gaps by watching your magick work. Watching each pathway, each structure and each signature change as you do healing work builds the intuitive understanding that lets you create better techniques. That understanding is what separates magick that works when you’re lucky from magick that works reliably.

Example: Energy Healing With Direct Magick

When you do healing work with direct magick, you consciously control all the steps:

  1. You make connections throughout the injured area to find and diagnose the problem.
  2. Based on the signature of healthy tissue, you figure out what energy to use for the healing technique.
  3. You shift the energy they produce so they make that healing energy, driving the healing technique.

The point isn’t to do what the system does yourself. That’s a lot of work for no real benefit.

The point is to to get better than the system. But before you can do that, you have to learn how the system’s magick works.


Next, learn direct magick with this Step-By-Step Guide.

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

How Magick Works – Part 3

Monday, October 25th, 2010

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This is the part 3 of How Magick Works, showing you each step of a magick effect, including the parts that most mages leave to the unconscious. Read part 1 and part 2 before reading this.

Example 3: Psychic Intuition


A psychic channels information from an external source (a system). They focus on a question, the system reads their mind and whispers the answer back into their thoughts.

How It Works, Step By Step

The Source of Psychic Information

Psychic information comes from a system. “System” is a general term for anything external to you (other than a spirit) that gives you information, energy, or other help as you do magick. We saw the term before as the source of energy for energy healing, and we’ll see it many times again. Systems drive most magick.

Different systems do different tasks, but they all work in basically the same way: The system connects to your mind, reads your instructions, acts on them, and whispers ideas into your thoughts to respond to you. Some systems just act on the instructions by providing energy or other resources, but don’t communicate back most of the time.

Mages who work with a single system often name it something like “The Universe” or “The Source.” Mages who work with many systems see them as just tools, and name them something more descriptive, like “system” (an assembly of parts, like a computer system), “collective” (because groups of spirits and mages use them to collaborate), etc.

Finding a Psychic System

Some people found psychic systems as children. Usually from a family member who’s psychic, or a spirit living nearby who helped them, etc. These are the “natural psychics.”

Lots of people aren’t lucky enough to pick up a psychic system as a child. I wasn’t. But you can find a system and become psychic as an adult. Here are the 2 main ways:

  • Ask a spirit you work with. This was my approach, but you need to know the right sort of spirits.
  • Work with a psychic, find their connection to the system, make your own connection and start working with it.

You aren’t stealing their system. Each system can support thousands or millions of users. Think of it like a website, where everyone can access it at the same time. You won’t affect anyone else.

Communicating With the Psychic System

Like the energy healing system, the psychic system handles most of the communication. It reads your thoughts, watching the signature changes in your mind as you think a question. It whispers the response into your mind, one concept at a time, by using energy to nudge your mind’s signature toward the signature your mind normally has when you think that concept.

The responses from the system have a slightly different signature than your thoughts, so they feel different. That’s how you tell your thoughts apart from psychic intuitions.

Spirits communicate in the same way. If you can communicate with a psychic system, you can channel spirits.

Most psychic systems work with just one part of your mind. Psychics engage that part of their mind as they think their question, so the system can more accurately read their thoughts. Then they quiet their thoughts and listen for the system’s response in that part of their mind.

The hardest part of getting accurate psychic intuitions is listening just to the system, not to your own expectations. If your mind is active, you’ll drown out the system’s communications. That’s why some psychics can’t get good information about people they love.

Improving Your Magick Skills

Now that you know the major pieces that drive magick, we can talk about how to improve your skills.

Systems drive most popular styles of magick, including all ritual magick (ritual magick also works with spirits sometimes), all psychic skills, most energy healing, all runic magick, and most of Chaos Magick. The system handles most of the hard parts. Your job is to instruct the system clearly, and stay out of its way.

If you’ve never done magick, you’ll start by learning to engage your mental muscles so you can connect to the system, use the right parts of your mind for communication, and generally direct it to do what you want. I cover that in these two posts, this series, and in more depth in a free ebook I’m releasing later this year.

Once you have the basic skills down, learning those styles comes down to:

  • Finding a good system, by asking spirits or working with someone you think is skilled.
  • Learning better communication by quieting your thoughts and engaging the right part of your mind.
  • Learning that system’s syntax — the right way to phrase questions for that system, and how it replies.

I’ll point you to resources for all that later in this series.

Outgrowing Systems

Most mages I know eventually outgrow their systems. Some want to do things their systems can’t help with. Some just become curious, piece together how the system does magick, then see places to improve on it. Some want the kind of understanding and mastery that only comes from doing all the steps yourself. I’ll show you how in the next post.


Next is The Best Way to Grow as a Mage. It shows you how and why to do magick yourself, without relying on systems, and how this site can help you master any style and create your own.

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

How Magick Works – Part 2

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

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This is the part 2 of How Magick Works, showing you each step of a magick effect, including the parts that most mages leave to the unconscious. Read part 1 before reading this.

Example 2: Sensing Emotional Energy


This technique lets you identify a partner’s emotional state based solely on their energy. You connect to a partner, closing your eyes so you don’t guess based on their face. They recall an emotionally charged memory. You sense their energy and identify their emotion.

This technique is one of the easiest ways to prove to yourself that you’re doing magick. I teach it in a beginner class for people with only 1 month experience. You can see the class here.

How It Works, Step By Step

Producing Easy-To-Sense Emotional Energy

Energy has a signature. The signature of the energy in your tendons (their “energy signature”) reflects the state of that tissue (healthy, inflamed, sprained, etc). The energy signature of your nerves reflects what signal they’re sending (pain, healthy, etc). And the energy signature of your brain reflects what you’re thinking and feeling.

Normally, people only produce a little energy, so you have to be really good at sensing it to identify the signature. But if your partner recalls an emotional memory to enter a strong emotional state, then does an energy meditation to build energy, they’ll produce a lot of energy with a clear emotional signature, so you’ll be able to sense it easily.

Sensing Their Energy

Connections carry energy. In the energy healing, you made a connection to the injury, and used that to deliver the energy. Here, we want to sense the other person’s energy signature, so we’re going to let the connection absorb a little of their energy.

Energy can flow either way along a connection. If you push your energy through, you won’t feel the other person’s energy. But if you quiet your energy so it’s not flowing through the connection, you’ll absorb a little of their energy. This is called a “sensory connection.” Learning to sense magick with connections, so you can see your magick working in real time, is critical for figuring out how to fix and improve your techniques.

One ethics note: Sensing doesn’t hurt anyone. We’re not draining anyone (sometimes called a “psychic vampire”). We’re only absorbing a tiny amount of energy to sense the signature. If signature were a scent, we’re just sniffing the flower.

Reading Their Emotion

To identify their emotion, let their energy flow up your connection and into your head. All people have similar brains, which respond to energy signatures in similar ways*. So filling your head with their energy will move you toward their emotional state.

*One exception: Mentally disturbed people, like schizophrenics, can have different responses to signatures.

If you didn’t have a cooperative partner producing extra energy for you to absorb, you could still read the signature. Like an experienced artist can tell you the name of a color just by looking at it, an experienced mage can tell you the meaning of a signature just by connecting to it, without absorbing it. It just takes practice, and looking at a ton of signatures until you memorize what they look like.

Sensing energy doesn’t exactly map to the ordinary senses. I usually talk about “feeling” energy, but it’s really a metaphor. Some people see colors in auras, but that doesn’t mean their eyes are involved. It’s just that their mental muscles communicate the information into the visual parts of their brain, rather than the cognitive parts that I use. As you develop as a mage, you can change where the information comes into your brain to find the type of sensing that works best for you.


Again, you have 2 options:

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

What Magick Is

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

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Before we can work together, we need a common understanding of what magick is. That’s what this post is for.

Energy healing is magick. So is psychic intuition, along with more exotic skills like sensing and influencing emotions, telepathic communication, and updating unhealthy unconscious urges, etc.

Magick is when your mind directly interacts with the world. When your thoughts alter the physical world, or when information drops into your head.

Sure, energy healers and psychics don’t call their practice “magick.” But they use energy, connections, and the other components of magick. Their techniques interact with the world in the same way as other magick. And the exercises on this site will help you as an energy healer or psychic, as well as helping your more traditional magick.

Real-World Magick

Magick Springs From Thoughts

Rituals, hand positions, runes, and the other procedures of traditional magick can help you focus your intent, but the magick springs from the mage’s mind. A trained mage can do magick without a ritual, and an untrained person doing a ritual won’t engage the right parts of their mind, so they won’t produce any results.

Magick is Quantifiable

Real magick produces a quantifiable, reliable result. Sometimes it’s instant, like some energy healing. Sometimes it takes time, like a ritual to influence future events. But a serious mage will know the outcome of their magick before it happens, and they’ll design tests to separate real results from placebo and coincidence so they can be sure their magick is working.

Magick is Subtle

Hollywood magick doesn’t happen.

You won’t wiggle your nose and make things appear. You won’t shoot fireballs. You won’t fly.

Magick is subtle. It nudges cells toward health, rather than instantly closing a gaping wound while camera looks away. It tweaks normal physics, rather than breaking it.

But some precise tweaks, combined with a good understanding of how the body works, can produce very useful results, like the examples from last post.

More on What Magick Is

Read more about why I define magick as “Your mind directly interacting with the world” here.

Crowley and the K in Magick

Aleister Crowley added the k to magick in the late 1800s, partly to distinguish it from stage magic. I use his term for the same reason (clear terms really help Google), though I don’t do Crowley’s style of magick.

Read about why I define “magick” different than Crowley here.

Want More?

For quick definitions of my terms, see the glossary.

For an in-depth discussion defining magick, direct magick (the style this site teaches) and other terms, see this series.

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