Posts Tagged ‘Mental Muscles’

How I Create New Energy Techniques

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

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I often talk about engineering energy techniques. But what does that mean? How is that different than practicing, or creating new visualizations? Today I want to share some of my recent work on becoming more aware of exactly which signatures of energy are in my body, and where.

At last month’s Energy Geek, I met a person who was more in tune with the energy in their body than I was. And I got competitive. I gave myself 4 weeks to catch up.

Here’s what happened: We were playing a new game with two senders and one receiver. One sender (randomly selected) would send, and the receiver would identify the energy and say who was sending. I demoed the game with two volunteers, M and T. First I got a feel for each of their energies: M’s felt like pressure on my back and T’s like a gentler pressure in my forehead. Then we did it for real, with me facing away so I didn’t know who was sending. I narrated what I felt, “A stronger pressure in my forehead, so that must be T.” I turned around, and M had been sending. Then she explained that she had changed her energy to match T’s energy, just to see what would happen.

Later in the class, when M was receiving, one of her senders tried to do the same thing, matching the other sender’s energy. But M wasn’t fooled. She explained how, yes, the superficial layers of the sender’s signature had changed, but that the deeper layers of the signature stay the same. Which is exactly how I explain signature scale.

And I realized: When I’m making connections outside myself, to a healing client or a spirit or anything else, I have a fine awareness of the deeper layers of signature. But I haven’t developed that same awareness for energy inside my body.

I set about developing that awareness. One approach would have been to meditate on my energy, feeling it, practicing until I could discern the deeper layers of the signature. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But because I’ve already done the work to become consciously aware of my ethereal muscles (the parts of my mind that drive energy), I can take a more conscious, faster path.

My plan: To sense energy outside myself, I create a network of sensory connections. Let’s make one of those networks inside my body, in all the different energy structures and pathways I use in my practice. And let’s make that network stable, so it’s just always there, and I don’t have to create it again every time, and so it’s worthwhile to make it really good.

To create that network of sensory connections, I engaged three ethereal muscles: One that actually creates sensory connections, and two that work with energy in my body. In the past, I would have had to guide the actual creation of that network, feeling each location I wanted a sensory connection and guiding it to be placed. But after two decades of that, my ethereal muscles just know how to do it, and I was able to tell the connection-creating muscle, “Make a network of sensory connections in every structure handled by these other two muscles.”

(I also specified that the network should sense a broad range of signatures, not just my own.)

It took several hours to set up the network, then I let it rest overnight to become more stable. The next day, I started looking around the energy in my body, using another ethereal muscle designed for communicating this sort of information to my mind. And I ran into my first problem: In becoming aware of all the different structures and layers of my energy field, I was trying to sense far too many different things at once, and my ethereal muscles couldn’t process all that data.

Again, I had a few options: Practice, and let my ethereal muscles slowly learn the task. (Reasonable, but slow.) Simplify the network of sensory connections, getting less detail, though still probably more detail than someone who hasn’t consciously created a sensory network. (A reasonable backup.) Instead of either of those, I decided to upgrade my ethereal muscles, working with the spirits who upgraded my ethereal muscles earlier this year.

I asked about upgrades to view large amounts of data, and they came through. It took two days to install and power all the new modules, another day of slowly using the ethereal muscles before I was able to even start viewing a single layer of my energy body. Then for the next week or so, I would pick one layer of my energy body per day, practice looking around it, and feel my ethereal muscles stretch as they worked to interpret all the signatures I was sensing. Each day, this started out exhausting, and by the end of each day, my ethereal muscles had come to recognize the signatures in that layer of my energy body and could display it to me, not easily, but without too much difficulty.

I ran into another bump after writing this: Each ethereal muscle has a set of connections to my brain’s energy layer that it uses to communicate with me. The ethereal muscle that synthesizes all that data and displays it to my mind, which I call my “view muscle,” had too much data to send to my brain, and too few connections to send it along. It took two days to fix this, first learning how to find the correct areas in my brain’s energy layer to connect it to, then creating the new connections and ensuring they’re all powered properly.

Looking back on all this, what stands out to me is how each step of this process — creating the sensory network, upgrading the ethereal muscle for viewing the data, and adding bandwidth for it to send that information to my brain — each of those steps took me months or years to learn. And each of those techniques, in turn, were based on other techniques I’d developed earlier. That’s the essence of engineering: Building a technique, then using it as a step in building a larger, more complex technique. It makes my work today hard to explain, and I’ve been thinking about how to teach all of the techniques that go into work like this.

What do you think? Do you want more posts like this, on the techniques I’m developing today? Do you want more posts with practical advice and exercises for people new to my work? Something else? Let me know in the comments.

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How I’m Creating Advanced Versions of Basic Energy Techniques

Monday, June 19th, 2017

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I’m exploring techniques to build, move, and project energy that other practitioners can feel.

“Hold on,” you say. “Aren’t those the basics of energy work? Don’t you already know all that?”

I do. But I want a better version: More reliable, less tiring, capable of creating exactly the energy signature I need (so I can explore different signatures and find the most useful ones). I want to understand exactly how each step works, then I want to improve them. So I’m using all the advanced tools I have to redesign this basic technique.

Step 1: New Ethereal Muscles

The spirits I work with rarely work with humans. And, like all spirits, they don’t have bodies. The result is, they didn’t have an ethereal muscle designed for using to energy in one’s body. (This may be why I haven’t gone very far with embodied energy until now.)

My first step was to get a dedicated ethereal muscle. But that’s not something I can do myself — ethereal muscles are complicated, and intending to make one doesn’t help. This was almost entirely on the spirits I work with, and my main contribution was asking the right questions and finding spirits who found this project interesting. They took it from there, talking with other spirits who do work with humans, getting a bunch of ethereal muscles for working with energy in the body, then synthesizing the insights from all those ethereal muscles into one new muscle for me. That’s what I’m working with today.

(I also did some work with powering the new ethereal muscle and connecting it to my brain. Some details here and here.)

Step 2: Enhanced Energy Storage

Here’s how most of those ethereal muscles work: They store energy created by the cells of one’s body, then release that stored energy when it’s needed. It’s a good solution, but it only provides a limited amount and intensity of energy. As I practiced with this energy, I’d get exhausted quickly, and need to wait until the next day for these reserves to recharge. (This may be why practitioners are so often warned to not use their own energy for healing techniques.)

I wanted more power. And I already have a power source, provided by the spirits I work with, that powers my ethereal muscles and some energy structures in my body. Could we use that?

We started with a simple solution: Create structures to store this power from the power source. Release it when I want to use energy, and convert* that power to energy. I used this for a couple of months, and it was good enough.

*What does it mean to convert power to energy? Recall that energy has a signature, and the signature has different scales. If we think of an energy signature as a painting, then you can zoom in on one color of paint, and zoom in more to the molecules that make up that paint color, and zoom in more to the atoms that make up those molecules. Power is what happens when you keep zooming in. It’s like energy without the signature. To convert power to energy means to give that power a signature. I’ve discussed this some here.

But even with a power source, if I used this energy for a half-hour or more, I’d still run out and have to wait for the power to recharge. I wrote in my notes, “Something must be wrong. People build and use energy all the time, and they would have a fraction of the power reserves I have now. I must be wasting the stored power somehow.”

I stepped through the technique, watched each step, and found the problem: I was releasing the stored power into my body, then converting it to energy. But there was a lag, and most of the power was dissipating into my body, unused, with no signature to cause any sensations or other results. I needed a way to capture all the power and give it a signature before releasing it.

Talking with my spirits again, we wound up with a two-chamber structure to store the power. The first chamber is the same as before, it stores power. Then when I want to turn that power into energy energy, the first chamber releases a small amount of power into the second chamber, where it’s contained, turned into energy, then released into my body. After designing this solution, they updated my ethereal muscle to know how to create and use these two-chamber structures, and my ethereal muscle set it all up more-or-less automatically while I rested. Since then, I haven’t come close to running out of power, and I have much better control of how much energy I create and how quickly I release it into my body.

One thing to watch out for: Last weekend, I built energy like this, didn’t use all of it, and got distracted. A few hours later, I was feeling pretty lousy. The energy in that second chamber had gone bad — I think the signature had degraded, leaving me with energy in a signature that wasn’t healthy for my body. After I flushed out those energy storage structures, I felt much better. It’s a similar concept to grounding, but a different spot to do it.

Note: Flushing those structures is important, even if you don’t bother with grounding. For years, I’ve built energy that matches my body’s signature well enough that there’s no need to release / eliminate / ground the energy. But even still, unused energy that’s stored, not in the body, can degrade and cause problems.

This seems like a good length for a post. Next week, I’ll talk about upgrades to moving and projecting energy, how I overloaded my ethereal muscle and how I fixed it.

Update: Part 2 is here.

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Energy, Mind, and Identity

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

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Ethereal muscles are the parts of the mind that drive energy. For the past few months, I’ve been adding to my ethereal muscles, creating new modules and entire new muscles to enhance what I can do with energy. Last week, I shared how I started this work and some of my early results. Today, I’m discussing the new muscles I’ve created in the past couple months, and how this experience has shifted my thinking about energy and ethereal muscles.

(This post builds on the last one. If you haven’t read it, I recommend reading it first.)

This post is a bit disjoint. Think of it as notes on something I’m still figuring out.

Five New Ethereal Muscles

For as long as I’ve known how to identify them, I’ve had 4 ethereal muscles: Access, Effects, Communication, and Mental Activation.

In the past few months, I’ve added 5 more:

View: Presents information to my conscious awareness. Previously, each ethereal muscle presented information through its own connection to my brain. That still happens, but when there’s a large amount of information to present, particularly an image or diagram, my ethereal muscles use the View muscle to present it. (The images and diagrams don’t appear before my eyes. It’s closer to remembering an image I saw yesterday.)

Shielding: Creates structures that block connections and energy, a task previously handled by Access muscle. I used it to update all my shielding. Much more effective, both at creating a dense shielding, and at opening that shielding when I want to allow someone in.

Connection to Distant Spirits: Some spirits seem to be very far away. Not like Australia is far away, but rather a different underlying energy. This is sometimes called another plane or dimension, though I’m not wild about either term. I don’t expect to use this much, but the spirit who installed these muscles recommended it so I got it.

Smaller Signatures for Effects: Effects muscle handles adjusting energy signatures, like for energy healing. This Smaller Signatures muscle helps my Effects muscle use and remember very small-scale signatures. I haven’t used it for much yet, but probably useful as I move forward with energy healing.

Ongoing Communication: For psychic intuitions (and some other uses), you want ethereal software to always be in communication with you, even when you’re not paying attention. You don’t want it to turn off when you sleep, because you’ll need to turn it back on when you awaken. This muscle handles that always-on communication, keeping the ethereal software’s connection open and active. (Some ethereal software seems to support this for some users, but having this muscle makes it easy to do this with any ethereal software.)

Those are my five new ethereal muscles. Like my old muscles, each performs a specific task with energy. Already, things that were challenging (like ongoing communication) are becoming easy, which is so exciting.

The Origins of Ethereal Muscles

Where do ethereal muscles come from? It’s always been speculation for me. Did my brain create them? Did spirits? Some other process? I’ve had suspicions, but very little information, because I didn’t know how to observe ethereal muscles back when they were created.

This time, I know where they came from. These muscles came from the spirits I work with. Those spirits have some ethereal software that creates ethereal muscles. If I wanted to, I could receive training in using that ethereal software, and use it to create additional ethereal muscles for myself.

This confirms a suspicion I’ve had: That my original four ethereal muscles came from the spirits I worked with. When I say “worked with,” I don’t just mean any group of spirits I contacted, I mean groups that were closely connected to me, that had lasting connections to my mind. That seems especially likely now.

I suspect that, over my career joining different groups of spirits (with increasing levels of skill), I got upgrades to my ethereal muscles without actually being told about it. I probably didn’t have full ethereal muscles at age 11 (when I started using energy) or age 20 (when I was using ethereal software, sensory connections, and talking with spirits). Back then, I probably had modules (or small muscles? It’s unclear to me the proper terminology). As I learned to awaken my ethereal muscles, the spirits training me probably created more modules for me to work with, until finally I had four full ethereal muscles.

I’d long suspected that. Now I’m fairly certain that’s the case.

This opens up new questions:

Do different people have different ethereal muscles, depending on which spirits they work with? Would spirits who mainly offer psychic intuitions only give the person a muscle for communication, not other tasks? (I suspect yes.)

Does everyone get the same initial set of ethereal muscles, then receive upgrades depending on what they explore? (I’m unsure.)

Are people born with some ethereal muscles? Or with some facility to use energy that’s not dependent on ethereal muscles? (I suspect the latter.)

What’s the best set of ethereal muscles for a person to use? I suspect mine were not the best ones to learn with. In particular, my Effects muscle seems to be designed for a spirit — it has a lot of functionality for connecting to someone else and modifying their energy, but it has relatively little functionality for using my own energy in my own body. I expect an ethereal muscle that focuses on energy in one’s body might be better for most people, and I’m currently exploring options there.

And this also opens up a bigger question:

Are Ethereal Muscles Part of Me?

Ethereal muscles are, well, ethereal, made of energy rather than atoms or cells. But I’ve always thought of them as part of me, in the same way that my arm is, or perhaps closer to the way that my memories and thoughts are part of me.

Until recently, my perception has been that my ethereal muscles had always been there, so it was easy to think of them as part of me. But now that I’ve added these new ones, now that I know we can add and change them without adding or changing me — what are ethereal muscles now? They’re part of my mind, enhancing what I can do with energy, but they’re not exactly me. They’re very personal possessions, more part of me than my car or computer, but not part of me in the same way that my arm is. A grey area, between me and not-me.

The best analogy may be cybernetic implants from sci-fi stories: Computer components that plug into the brain, enhancing a person’s memory or reasoning or other cognitive functions. Part of the mind, and more a part of the person than, say, their clothes or cell phone. But also something that can be replaced, upgraded, or removed, leaving the person still themselves. A grey area between possession and personal identity.

These are the half-finished thoughts I’ve been exploring lately, as I upgrade the parts of my mind that drive energy.

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How I’m Awakening My Mind to Energy (Even More)

Monday, February 6th, 2017

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Ethereal muscles are the parts of the mind that drive energy. They handle things like making connections, building and moving energy, and receiving psychic intuitions. Each one is special-purpose, handling one of those tasks, similar to how each area of the brain handles some specific task. And for decades, I’ve thought of ethereal muscles as something you’re born with, that can be awakened and strengthened but not created. That is, until last month, when I went from four ethereal muscles to nine.

For as long as I’ve known how to identify them, I’ve had 4 ethereal muscles:

  • Access, which handles making and blocking connections. As this muscle gets stronger, I can make smaller, more precise sensory connections.
  • Effects, which handles recognizing and changing energy signatures. It’s used for healing techniques, and it helps with any task requiring me to create ethereal structures.
  • Communication, which handles psychic intuitions, and other cases of communicating with spirits and ethereal software.
  • Mental Activation, which handles awakening and powering my ethereal muscles.

(Each muscle is made of many modules. For example, within Communication, there’s a module for reading the energy signatures of my brain as I think a message, another module for packaging up those signatures so I can send them, and another for keeping track of who I can send messages to.)

Modules and muscles awaken naturally as we practice. If you’ve ever experienced that feeling of stretching your mind, of extreme fatigue after learning a new technique, you’ve felt your ethereal muscles awakening. And you know how slow that it, how learning a new technique can take months of practice before your mind seems comfortable with it.

I reasoned that, if I could skip this slow process of awakening my ethereal muscles, I could learn new techniques more quickly. So I developed techniques for awakening them: Flooding new modules with energy until they turned on, and later, techniques focusing on the power that keeps all my ethereal muscles fed, and opening up that power to new ethereal muscles. It accelerated my learning, and became the second foundational skill of my system. (Sensory connections was the first foundational skill.)

Most of my 20s were spent awakening my four muscles. Well, awakening the modules, really — it took years before I could even sense an entire ethereal muscle at once. So I’d find a module, fill it with energy, connect it to an ongoing source of power, and connect it to its neighboring modules. And for around eight years, I developed techniques to awaken larger and larger groups of modules. It was a cycle: I’d use those techniques to awaken more ethereal muscles, which improved my skills and made it possible to develop the next, even better technique.

Sometime around 2010, I’d awakened all of my ethereal muscles, and began learning to use them: How to shift an energy signature smoothly and precisely, and what signatures to shift for energy healing. Which parts of my mind to engage while communicating with spirits and ethereal software, and what software to use for psychic intuitions. Networking with spirits, and finding more skilled ones who could answer my questions and help me develop new techniques. But it’s always been using those same four ethereal muscles.

Late last year, as part of my work on creating a type of energy that produces sensations in everyone (not only energy workers), I wanted to watch the energy of individual nerves as a person, say, was touched, or moved their arm. This lead me to explore even smaller, more precise sensory connections. And despite practicing for a couple weeks, making those smaller connections never got smooth or easy. Why?

I asked the spirits I train with. We realized that my Access muscle was already maxed out, that it was already making the smallest, best connections it could. But rather than being a problem, this opened a door: I was introduced to other spirits (in the same group) who specialize in creating ethereal muscles. They gave me some additional modules for Access, used by spirits in that group to make more precise connections. And it worked: That technique I had struggled with for weeks became easy and natural.

But more than solving that one problem, this experience shifted my thinking: Ethereal muscles aren’t set at birth. New modules can be created. And it turns out, many additional modules, and even entire new muscles, are already available if only I know to ask for them.

Could this be a return to the fast learning of my 20s, when new techniques came easily each time I awakened a new piece of my ethereal muscles? Today, two months later, it seems like that might be the case. I’m excited, if a bit daunted by all the new ethereal muscles I can use now, and all the techniques I can (ought to?) learn.

Next week, I’ll share more about the last two months, the new ethereal muscles I’ve installed, and how this is shifting my thinking about ethereal muscles, using energy, and how to teach these skills.

Edit: Here’s the follow-up post.

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A Road Map to Learning Energy Healing / Magick

Monday, November 21st, 2016

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Today I want to lay out a road map for learning energy healing / magick, from zero experience through your first system then into peeking under the hood and exploring how energy operates. It’s a generic map, useful for learning energy healing or ritual magick or most other systems. You can use this map to get started, or to figure out what’s next, or just to put all these techniques in context.

Learning that First System

The first step is awakening the parts of the mind that drive energy and magick. We call those parts ethereal muscles. Other systems call them the unconscious, or just don’t name them.

If your ethereal muscles are already partially awake, they will respond to visualizations and other standard techniques (rituals, adopting temporary beliefs, etc). You can awaken them further through practice. This seems to work for many people.

If your ethereal muscles are fully asleep, they will not respond to you. In this case, you’ll need an outside force to send them energy and help them awaken. We call these outside forces ethereal software. Other systems call these forces egregores, matrices, or simply the Universe.

Options for connecting to ethereal software:

  • Get trained or attuned by an experienced practitioner.
  • Use rituals or sigils that have ethereal software bound to them. Standard, widely-used rituals are a good choice. A ritual you invented is unlikely to have ethereal software bound to it.

Most ethereal software will automatically get to work. It’ll establish lasting connections to the person’s mind to help it communicate, reading the person’s intent and sending them intuitions and other information. Most ethereal software will also start preparing the person’s mind for that communication, awakening the necessary ethereal muscles.

Once your ethereal muscles are awakening, you can study that system of healing / magick: Learn its rituals and techniques, and learn to channel its forces (its ethereal software). This is actually optional — I didn’t learn an established system of magick, and lots of practitioners skip this step. But reflecting on the problems I encountered, this probably would have been worthwhile. Plus it’s probably the fastest path to useful manifesting and healing techniques.

Under the Hood

From here, there seem to be two main paths: Either go deeper in that system, or learn other systems.

I’m trying to lay out a third path: Explore how that system functions, how the forces respond to your intention, and the steps they take to create change in the world.

Start with sensing the ethereal structures involved. Not an intuitive sense that they’re there, or an image / impression / intuition of how they operate, but techniques to feel them as they function. This is sensory connections.

Also talk with spirits. Ask about specific techniques: “How can I communicate with you more clearly? How can I improve my sensory connections? I think sensory connections work like this, is that correct?” The more specific, the better. Learn how they do things, so instead of asking them for help, you can ask them for training and then solve the problem yourself.

At some point you’ll want to do something new with your energy. Perhaps making more sensitive sensory connections, so you can see ethereal structures more precisely. Or you’ll want to do a healing technique by changing a person’s energy signature, rather than channeling energy from a force. When this happens, you’ll want to awaken additional ethereal muscles to handle those tasks.

Shielding and protection will also be useful. Sometimes readers ask, “Is it safe to [talk to those spirits] or [channel that ethereal software] or [whatever else]?” The short answer is but my real answer is: Learn protection, learn shielding, learn to hit a spirit back so it leaves you alone, and then you can explore without worrying about staying perfectly safe. Because the more unusual things you explore, the more likely you are to run into un-friendly spirits. At least, that’s been my experience, and the experience of people I work with. (This is part of why I suggest starting with an established system, so you can get your bearings before exploring unusual places that can attract energy-draining spirits.)

These skills (sensory connections, talking with spirits, awakening more ethereal muscles) apply to all systems of energy and magick. Once you learn them, you can take any system you know, or any system you’re learning, and watch it operate. You can ask the spirits involved how it functions, and awaken additional ethereal muscles so you can follow what they teach you. I personally use these skills as their own system, but they can also inform and enhance any other system you know or learn.

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Techniques for Energetic Fitness

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

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Being an experienced practitioner is more than knowing rituals or having attunements and certifications. It’s about having a mind that’s in good shape for energy / magick / this-practice-has-many-names.

That energetic fitness is called inner work. It’s a combination of mental skills like focus and visualization, and energetic skills like engaging the energy-driving parts of the mind. In most people, those energy-driving parts are dormant, and they must be awakened before a person can achieve success in their practice. This happens naturally through practice, a little at a time, and after years of steady practice one may have many fully-awake energetic muscles.

(Outer work is the rituals, certifications, etc.)

This post is about speeding that process up. It covers techniques for awakening those energy-driving parts of the mind, not by using them, but by finding and energizing them directly. It also includes a technique for engaging them to your will. These techniques will help you achieve greater energetic fitness more quickly.

I’m teaching this material at the OTO temple in Oakland, CA on Tuesday Nov 1. If you can attend, please RSVP on Facebook. If not, I’ll post the video of the class when it’s up in a few weeks.

Note: These techniques are equally applicable whether you call your practice “magick,” “energy healing,” or something else. Because the OTO calls it “magick,” I’ll mostly use that term throughout this post.

Mental Posture

Physical posture is about engaging the body’s muscles, so one’s body is in a good position for the task at hand. Mental posture is about engaging the mind’s muscles. For magick, we want to engage the parts of the mind that drive magick.

Think about doing your practice (ritual, visualizing energy, etc). You know that mental shift that happens when you feel the energy or forces you’re using? That’s the mental posture. Most practitioners can engage their mental posture with time (in a long ritual or other session), and experienced practitioners can engage their mental posture quickly. And by teaching mental posture as an explicit technique, we can help everyone learn to engage it quickly, at will, so even short sessions can be effective.

To learn mental posture:

  • Do your usual practice, such as a ritual or energy work. Do a full session, until you feel the energy or forces you’re using. That’s how you’ll know you’re in the mental posture for magick.
  • Notice how your mind feels. That’s your mental posture for magick. If you like visualizations, associate a visualization with this mental posture.
  • End the ritual and enter a silent meditation. Maintain the mental posture for magick.
  • Practice those steps until it’s comfortable. Once it is, add this one: Do a mental ritual (visualize the ritual), while maintaining the mental posture. (Or do whatever other practice you do.) If done correctly, you should feel the energy and forces immediately, because your mind is already engaged.
  • Once you can sustain your mental posture easily, try engaging it just through silent meditation, without doing your normal ritual or other practice. This may be slow at first, but with practice it will become fast, and you’ll be able to quickly drop into a mental state for doing magick.

For more on mental posture, see these posts.

Ethereal Muscles

It’s clunky to talk about the “magick-driving parts of the mind.” We need a term, and the term I use is ethereal muscles.

Think about it this way: The difference between a daydream and a magick visualization lies in engaging your ethereal muscles, like the difference between imagining walking vs moving across the room lies in engaging your leg muscles.

Everyone has ethereal muscles. If a person doesn’t use magick or energy, their ethereal muscles are usually dormant and atrophied.

Like the rest of the mind, ethereal muscles seem to be special-purpose. Some are used for communicating with spirits and other forces, others are used for creating connections and shielding, and others for altering energy signatures like in energy healing. There are even ethereal muscles devoted to awakening other ethereal muscles.

The rest of this post focuses on awakening ethereal muscles.

We can awaken our ethereal muscles through practice. In most people who practice magick or use energy, some ethereal muscles are fully awake (the ones they use often), some are partially awake (the ones they use rarely), and others are fully asleep.

Awakening one’s ethereal muscles makes everything a little easier. When I was trying to get better at sensing ethereal structures, I awakened more ethereal muscles related to that, and I improved at that skill much more quickly than I had been through practice alone.

Realize there’s no ethereal muscle for throwing fireballs, or teleporting, or other movie special effects. Awakening ethereal muscles doesn’t instantly make one an experienced practitioner.

Awakening ethereal muscles makes everything a little easier, so you can progress more quickly. But you still need to practice.

(Awakening enough ethereal muscles also seems to open up new avenues for exploring magick. More on that later.)

Awakening New Ethereal Muscles

Different magickal practices use different parts of the mind. (So Golden Dawn rituals will use a different set of ethereal muscles than, say, energy healing.) When one learns a new practice, new ethereal muscles will awaken. This is especially true for learning one’s first practice, when all the general-purpose ethereal muscles must also awaken.

Simply practicing will awaken those ethereal muscles, but with the right techniques, we can accelerate the process. Here’s the first technique for awakening ethereal muscles more quickly:

  • Find and connect to the ethereal muscles that are awakening. (Details below.)
  • Build energy in your body and send it to those ethereal muscles. Not just into your head or brain, but into those ethereal muscles.
  • When you build that energy, think about the energy signature of the ethereal muscles that are awakening, and try to match that signature.
  • Hold the energy in your ethereal muscles for a few minutes, then exercise the muscles by doing your magickal or energetic practice.

Remember to release the energy after you’re done (ground).

Options for finding your ethereal muscles:

  • As with mental posture, do your practice and notice how your mind feels. In particular, pay attention for the parts that get tired or won’t quite engage. Those are the new ethereal muscles. Learn them by feel, or create a visualization if you like.
  • When I first found my ethereal muscles, I’d already learned to use sensory connections to feel and follow other ethereal structures. Here’s how I did that: I made a connection to a person or something, it’s not important where. Then I made another connection to that first connection, so I could feel it and follow where it goes. I followed it back to myself, into my mind, and found the ethereal structures that created it. Those were my ethereal muscles. I explored them for a while, and after I would practice, I could see that some were stressed, tired, under-powered, or otherwise odd.

The second method seems more reliable, but it requires sensory connections. So I offer the first method for anyone who doesn’t know sensory connections yet.

Note: When I did this in the early 2000s, I used a slightly different approach. I would practice, fatigue my ethereal muscles, then find the tired ones and bathe them in energy. But I think it will work better to bathe them in energy first, and then practice. Try both and see what works for you (and tell us in the comments).

Powering New Ethereal Muscles

As I awakened more ethereal muscles, all of my ethereal muscles became sluggish, difficult to engage and focus. I forget how long it took me to realize the problem, but they were under-powered. This is the first technique for increasing the power to one’s ethereal muscles.

(This is an intermediate techniques, and requires one to be able to sense connections and other ethereal structures.)

First, find the pathways that carry that power: Connect to one of your ethereal muscles, find the connections leading away from it, see where they go. You should find three sets of connections:

  • Connections to your brain’s energy layer. Recognize these by their signature, which transitions to the signature of the brain’s energy layer.
  • Connections to other ethereal muscles. These will keep the same signature, more or less.
  • Connections that provide power to the ethereal muscle. These will be the same signature, but a smaller scale. (Details on signature scale.)

We’re after the third set. I call them core paths, and they provide power to our ethereal muscles. I imagine them going up from the ethereal muscles, though it’s probably more accurate to imagine them inside the muscles.

They’re laid out somewhat like the circulatory system: Near ethereal muscles, there are a great number of small capillaries carrying power to each piece of the ethereal muscles. As we go up (away from the ethereal muscles), those capillaries join into larger and larger vessels. If we turn around and go back down, those larger vessels split into many capillaries, supplying many ethereal muscles.

The core paths near your ethereal muscles will likely be under-powered. That’s OK. Follow them up, and eventually you’ll find vessels that are fully powered. Draw that power along your under-powered core paths, energizing and opening them up.

When I did this, I would be exhausted and hungry afterward, especially for protein. Be aware of this, and do it at a time when you can eat and rest.

As one goes farther into core paths, the signature of the paths gets smaller and smaller scale. When I was doing this work, I also spent a lot of time working to accurately sense smaller and smaller scale signatures.

The Four Ethereal Muscles

Until now, we’ve been practicing new techniques, seeing what ethereal muscles started to awaken, and helping them along. But we’re about to reverse that order: We’re going to explore core paths, find new ethereal muscles, awaken them and then figure out what they do. But first: What do these ethereal muscles do?

I’ve found four sets of ethereal muscles:

Communication, devoted to sending thoughts to spirits and forces, and receiving their replies. Awakening more of these ethereal muscles tends to make communication faster and clearer, which helps with channeling energy, spirits, and anything else.

Access, devoted to creating connections and sensing ethereal structures. Awakening more of these ethereal muscles leads to more accurate sensory techniques involving smaller, more precise connections and signatures.

Effects, devoted to recognizing and manipulating energy signature. I use these for energy healing, shielding, and some steps in awakening dormant ethereal muscles. Awakening more of these ethereal muscles helps shift energy signatures more precisely.

Mental activation, devoted to awakening ethereal muscles. Awakening more of these helps with all the things we’re discussing in this class.

Each of those major muscles is made of dozens or hundreds of modules. I don’t know what each module does, I just know how to engage and direct the major muscle. (Kind of like how we’re not aware of individual muscle fibers of our legs as we walk.)

I expect that these four sets of ethereal muscles are common, but not 100% universal. I expect that some people lack one or more, and some people have other ethereal muscles I haven’t encountered yet.

Awakening Fully Dormant Ethereal Muscles

As I became more comfortable exploring my ethereal muscles and the core paths that power them, I began finding fully-dormant ethereal muscles, with no power or activity. They weren’t connected to the other parts of my mind, and I couldn’t engage them by intending to or visualizing really hard because they were fully dormant, and weren’t paying attention to my intent or visualization or other practice. But I’d already had great results from awakening other ethereal muscles, so I wanted to awaken these dormant ones too.

These techniques require solid skills in sensory connections. They’re more advanced than I typically teach or write about. But I want to sketch them out, to give you some ideas if you’re ready to explore them:

Remember that core paths combine as you go higher (away from ethereal muscles), and split as you go down (toward ethereal muscles). To find new ethereal muscles, follow the core paths as far up as you can, then follow them back down, looking for under-powered or fully-dormant pathways as you go. Open power to these pathways, and awaken those ethereal muscles. Note: Finding fully-dormant pathways requires more sensitive sensory connections.

After awakening new ethereal muscles, make sure to connect them to your thinking mind (my term for the ethereal structure that sits between the brain’s energy layer and the ethereal muscles, acting as an interface). The ethereal muscle will know where it wants to connect, but it’s important to deactivate that part of thinking mind while the ethereal muscle connects, or it won’t connect properly. (Reactivate it after.) Most of my issues at this step happened when I didn’t deactivate the area of thinking mind.

As I traced further into core, I found ethereal structures that limited the amount of the power flowing through those core paths. I call them throttles. They are important for ensuring your ethereal muscles receive power in the right signature — do not open them fully, or you will get a massive headache and your ethereal muscles will become extremely difficult to use. But by carefully opening throttles, it’s possible to awaken new ethereal muscles en masse, opening up more capabilities and possibilities for exploring magick and energy.


Those techniques represents roughly a decade of work.

That work was iterative: I would awaken more ethereal muscles, which improved my ability to sense smaller signatures, which allowed me to go further into core, which allowed me to find and awaken more ethereal muscles, and so on in a spiral. It ended when I learned to open throttles, awakening all the ethereal muscles I could find.

Remember that awakening ethereal muscles doesn’t give you Hollywood-type magick. You won’t levitate or throw fireballs.

What you will find is that you’re more able to sense and manipulate ethereal structures, communicate with spirits more clearly, or do some other aspect of your practice more easily. And as more and more skills become easier, it’ll become possible to tackle projects that used to be too large, and you’ll be able to explore new aspects of magick and energy.

That’s the point of inner work.

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How Ethereal Muscles Atrophy

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

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Ethereal muscles are our term for the parts of the mind that drive magick. In most people, these parts are atrophied from disuse.

I’ve known that for years. But how do they atrophy? How fast? What’s involved in strengthening them again? I had no data, only speculations.

This week I returned to practicing magick. In April I only did healing sessions for Lisa, and I’ve barely done anything since then. So, what does 2-3 months of disuse do?

First, a little background: There are four main groups of ethereal muscles I work with. Communication, for talking with spirits and ethereal software. Effects, for energy healing and working with energy. Access, for handling connections. And mental activation, for awakening and powering ethereal muscles.

Before taking this break, my ethereal muscles had power flowing to them from something I call “core.” You could think of it as a soul, though if you start to work with it you’ll see that “soul” isn’t quite right. But the point is: Ethereal muscles had power flowing in, keeping them running smoothly.

After this break, that power was shut down. The paths it followed were closed. My ethereal muscles instead drew power from the energy field of my brain, which isn’t harmful but is exhausting.

I figured that out on the third day, after my ethereal muscles started waking up again. The first two days were spent engaging my ethereal muscles, resting, then doing it again, to get them to draw enough power from my energy field to start working. I did this years ago, when first awakening my ethereal muscles. It was exhausting then and now.

On the third day, my mental activation muscles (for awakening and powering ethereal muscles) came online. More than just engaging them, they were responding to my thoughts, commands, and intents.

I used them to re-open the pathways for that power, and get it flowing to my ethereal muscles again. This was the critical step years ago, when first awakening my ethereal muscles, and it was the critical step now, too. The power re-awakened my ethereal muscles.

Now, three days later, everything is working again. Not 100%, I can’t work as fast or as long as before, but that’ll come with time. For now, I can communicate with my spirits and ethereal software, and resume my studies.

If I hadn’t realized the problem was lack of power? I would still be engaging my ethereal muscles, then resting from exhaustion, not knowing what was happening as my muscles slowly drew power through closed pathways.

This is one reason I focus so much on the moving parts of magick: Knowing the underlying problem let me find a technique to fix it. That’s the essence of Direct Magick.

So, mystery solved. When I don’t use my ethereal muscles for a few months, they go to sleep, and the pathways that provide power close up. Similar to the condition I found them in years ago, when I awakened them initially. And the same technique works in both places, to open the power pathways and get my ethereal muscles back online.


Podcast! Join me July 6 at 6pm Pacific. I’ll be interviewed by Taylor Ellwood on his radio show, Magical Experiments. Taylor is managing editor at Immanion Press and has written a slew of books on magick. I had dinner with him at Pantheacon, he’s a really bright, insightful guy, and I’m looking forward to talking with him about Direct Magick, science, ethereal software, my forthcoming book, my healing work and how I’m refining it through experimentation. View the interview here.

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Healing Aura, Healing Touch (My Work Nov 22 – Dec 12)

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

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

Have you ever shaken hands with a healer and just known they had good energy? This week, I began learning to turn on that good-healing-energy feeling at will.

Also, since my last update three weeks ago, I finished creating the new ethereal muscle. It works, but not well enough. Details below.

Feeling Like a Healer

I want my touch to feel healing and positive. Not all the time, but anytime I choose. Three reasons:

  • I’m seeing my dying friend later this week. I’d like to relieve whatever suffering I can.
  • I’m attending Pantheacon next year, and want to practice energy healing and refine my techniques. If my handshake feels positive, I’ll probably have more takers.
  • Efficiently delivering an energy signature via my aura seems like a component of other useful techniques, and this is an excuse to learn it.

Developing the Technique

Based on testing a few years ago, I know that building energy in the right signature gives your touch that reassuring feeling of a healer. You build the energy, release it, the other person feels it, they’re reassured.

(Note: I only tested with myself and a friend sensitive to energy. It probably doesn’t work with people who don’t feel energy.)

I don’t have words for different types of energy, so I don’t recall exactly what signature I used back then. But I thought about how I wanted to feel: A balanced, full, wholeness to my energy, and I let my unconscious handle the details. Easy enough.

But building the energy is only half the technique. The other half is delivering it, and that involves something I noticed a few weeks ago with erotic energy:

When I think about my aura, and place energy in it, I get a small result. But when I feel my aura before engaging the energy, I get a bigger result, in both myself and my partner.

What does it mean to “feel my aura”? Technically, it means engaging the sensory connections I’ve placed throughout my aura. Practically, it means feeling my aura’s current signature throughout my body.

Remember the post about imagining moving my arm vs actually reaching out? That’s what’s going on here. Thinking about my aura is like imagining my arm moving. It tells my ethereal muscles that I’d like to engage my aura, but doesn’t give them any specifics. But engaging my aura is like engaging my arm muscles, and by consciously guiding my ethereal muscles through the process of engaging my entire aura, I get a bigger result when I want to change its energy.

So, the full technique: Engage my entire aura, from my energy reservoir on out. Think about a full, healing energy, and shift my aura to that energy. As I release that energy, my ethereal muscles will unconsciously build more, using the [L]techniques from earlier this year.

A Useful Side-Effect

I’ve been consulting in Kansas this week, so I haven’t had a chance to test how the energy feels. But I did find an unexpected side-effect: Shifting to a healing aura also energizes me.

On Tuesday, I got exhausted around 4pm. A combination of complex work and jetlag-induced insomnia had me unable to focus, with a working memory so small I couldn’t hold a paragraph-long answer in my head. I could still help the client, but not with anything complicated.

I’d been practicing my healing aura since Sunday. And practicing while tired seemed like a good way to build stamina. So, during a brief downtime, I set my aura to a healing signature, not expecting any useful results, just to strengthen my ethereal muscles.

In less than a minute, I felt better. Less tired. Able to juggle ideas again. I kept my healing aura engaged for around 10 minutes, and the better focus lasted in full force for that whole time. Even after I stopped engaging my aura, I still felt much better, able to do work I couldn’t have done before engaging my aura. A surprising, pleasant, useful result.

(Why does the surprise matter? Placebos don’t surprise us. They create exactly what we expect. When we get something unexpected, that indicates that we’re working with something real, and not just our expectations.)

I used it Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, too, with similar results.

A New Ethereal Muscle

My last weekly update, three weeks ago, discussed creating new ethereal muscles.

Background: Ethereal muscles are the parts of the mind that do magick. They’re not parts of the brain, but rather ethereal structures that connect to the brain. It’s analogous to a cyborg with computer chips connected to their brain, enhancing their thinking capabilities and letting them interact with computers and robots in distant locations.

In the past, I’ve only awakened ethereal muscles I already had, or that spirits had made for me. In the past few weeks, I created a new muscle.

The Technique

The broad strokes are simple enough: Break the task down into steps. Find ethereal muscles that can do each step. Copy them. Hook them up, tell them what to do in this new process, then hook the whole thing up to the rest of your ethereal muscles.

I wanted the new ethereal muscle to keep track of the signatures of my whole body, or the whole body of someone I was working with. Then, instead of keeping track of all those signatures with my brain, I’d have a dedicated ethereal muscle to do it, so I could do work even while tired, and so I could devote my focus to other tasks like more complex healing techniques.

So, break it down into steps: One component to recognize and store signatures (Part 1), and another to store locations (Part 2). Then, when I sense a signature, the new muscle will store the signature and location information, and build up a map of signatures.

In more detail: When doing sensory connections while engaging this new muscle, all signatures go into the new muscle. It stores them (part 1), with location / adjacency information (part 2) to record which signatures are next to which signatures. That’s a map I can recall without having to re-sample the sensory info. Then I need something to let my brain (or other ethereal muscles) request / traverse that info (which probably involves querying part 2).

Copying the ethereal muscles was easy enough. Programming them was surprisingly easy, too — they seem to understand my thoughts, and didn’t require any special programming language. This only took a few hours, spread over several days.


But figuring out the program is hard. And this one doesn’t work right.

The new muscle is somewhat useful. I can look around an aura, then disconnect, then use the new muscle to recall signatures. I can’t be sure that I’m not just remembering the signatures normally with my brain, but I can recall more details with less focus, so we’ll go with that for now.

But I’d wanted to get a big picture of the aura as I was working with it, and that definitely isn’t happening. I mean, I can still build that picture with my brain’s working memory, but that only happens if I focus. If I relax my brain and engage the new ethereal muscle, I don’t get a big picture.

So, a good experience on the whole. I learned how to create new ethereal muscles, and I learned that the programming is the hard part. I also learned that my experience programming computers will probably help with this, long-term.

But for now, I’m going to put this on the back burner and focus on techniques with my aura, on creating sensations with energy, and on better communication techniques for better manifesting.

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Creating New Ethereal Muscles (My Work Nov 15-21)

Monday, November 24th, 2014

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

In Direct Magick, we call the parts of the mind that drive magick ethereal muscles.

Each ethereal muscle does a different job: Communication, guiding energy in the body, sensing others’ energy, recognizing signatures — just about everything I do with magick, actually.

But not quite everything. Some tasks, I don’t have an ethereal muscle for. Instead, I cobble that task together from other ethereal muscles, guided by my conscious mind. But that’s slow, tiring, and doesn’t work if I’m unfocused.

This week, I learned about creating new ethereal muscles to speed up these tasks. And, perhaps, to increase intelligence and other benefits.

Tasks vs Techniques

A bit of terminlogy:

Full techniques, like energy healing, are too big for one ethereal muscle. Techniques are generally guided consciously.

But in this post, we’re talking about small tasks, like connecting to that injured tissue, or recognizing its signature. Tasks are the building blocks of techniques.

Here’s an analogy: Imagine you’re painting, with a brush on canvas. That’s a technique. The tasks might be holding the brush, moving your arm, and looking at the model. And if you want to focus on the overall technique of painting, it’s important that you don’t have to consciously think about flexing your fingers to hold the brush or moving your eyes to see the model, right?

That’s what we’re doing here: Letting ethereal muscles handle tasks (without conscious focus), so we can focus on the larger techniques (like energy healing).

Feeling My Whole Aura

For the past months, I’ve been working on aura. Why are we talking about ethereal muscles now?

Here’s the thread I’m following: Last week, I embedded sensory connections throughout my aura. This week, I practiced looking around aura, noticing my energy signatures throughout the day and getting used to taking it all in.

Then I hit a snag: I could sense the signature in any particular part of my body anytime, even if I was tired. But to assemble an overall picture of my whole body’s energy, I had to be awake and focused.

Minor problem, but annoying enough that I thought about it. And I realized, I was assembling that picture using my brain, rather than my ethereal muscles. (I also confirmed this with the spirits I work with.)

The solution? Create a new ethereal muscle that assembles that picture.

Why Bother?

Part of me thinks this is a distraction.

I’ve been assembling the picture in my brain. That’s been working fine. Sure, it’s nice to be able to do magick while tired, but it’s not really necessary. Maybe it’s better to keep going with aura and creating a technique to cause sensations in most people.

I pondered this Wednesday, during work breaks. There are two reasons to create the new ethereal muscle:

Short-term, off-loading this task will free up my limited brain focus for other things. That will make it easier to learn to work with my aura, and to learn more complex techniques too. And to do those techniques while unfocused.

And long-term, I want to offload more tasks to my ethereal muscles. Some magick functions seem simple and useful, like energy healing for inflamed muscles.

But what if we could also use ethereal muscles for non-magick functions? What if an ethereal muscle could interact with my visual centers to improve visual recall? Or interact with my logical centers to keep track of details as I think through business decisions? Or step in when my brain is tired to help me think clearly and be patient with an upset friend? What if we could augment the brain with magickal resources, like how sci-fi cyborgs augment their brains with computer equipment?

And you know the sci-fi trope of uploading a person into a computer AI, so their mind lives after their body dies? Well, what if we can upload an entire mind into ethereal muscles?

I don’t know if any of these ideas will pan out. Maybe none will. Maybe it’ll lead to something else. But this is how I think about magick, and why I think it’s so worth exploring.

Next week we’ll discuss the actual technique.

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Updating My Energy Meditation (My Work Sept 20-26)

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

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

This week, I updated how I build and guide energy in my body, to make erotic energy more useful.

For the past few months, I’ve updated how I handle energy and other magick in the body. This is good, because it gives me more effective tools for energy healing, sensations, and erotic energy.

But there’s a downside. New techniques require focus. It takes me 1-2 minutes to create calm, arousal, or other states with the sensation technique. And you know what’s less than erotic? “Honey, stop kissing me for 2 minutes while I prepare some energy.”

A little more in-depth on the problem: Normally, when you think about building energy, your ethereal muscles do some stuff to create energy in your body. It’s unconscious, so you don’t have to think about the details. I’d made that process conscious, so I could understand and improve each step — and I did, each step is better, more pronounced, more precise. But by making the process conscious, it became unwieldy, something I had to focus on to do, instead of something that happens unconsciously when I think about energy.

The solution? Figure out a good default procedure, a set of steps to make energy that works for most tasks. Then tell my ethereal muscles that, whenever I think about making energy, they should do that default procedure. Practice 5-10 times, and it’s natural and unconscious again.

(In the past, I’d just practice the default procedure until it became natural, which would take 2-3 weeks. But telling my ethereal muscles what I want made it much faster. That’s something my spirits told me to do, by the way.)

I ended up with this default procedure:

  • When I think about energy or visualize energy, increase power production to that part of my body, and with a signature to match the intent (calm, aroused, etc). If I don’t specify a part of the body, do my entire body.
  • Produce energy particles in the same signature and body parts, with medium-high luminosity.
  • Bring those energy particles to my power reservoir to charge them.
  • Send those energy particles to my aura in the specified spot (like hands, head, etc).
  • (That was my first take on the procedure. But we don’t just want to send one second’s worth of energy, right? We want a sustained flow. So I added some more steps.)
  • As long as I focus, keep the energy flowing. When the energy particles release their power, bring them back to the reservoir to recharge. (Or I can just tell the ethereal muscles to keep the energy flowing, so I don’t have to keep focused.)
  • But that quickly overwhelms me. So, whenever we send the energy particles back to recharge, set them to medium-low luminosity, which makes a gentler, longer-lasting energy. (I’d tried energies with different luminosities earlier, so I knew how this would work.)

Note how each step is simple, definite, no real decisions to be made. That’s by design. I’d initially made some steps vaguer, like, “When cycling the energy particles, adjust the luminosity so you don’t overload the area of the body.” It felt awkward, like I had to focus too much to make the effect work. When I went with simpler steps, the whole process became unconscious again.

(Would more practice solve that problem? Maybe. Something for future investigation.)

A couple days of practice and it’s working well. I just think about energy, and my ethereal muscles handle the details. This brings the technique full circle — I made it conscious, updated the steps, and then made it unconscious again. It feels complete. (And after some, ahem, real-world testing, it’s working well, even while distracted.)

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