Thursday, December 31, 2009

Have Your Animal Totems Been Going Nuts?

Is it just me or have the animal spirits really been going out of their way to reach us with their messages? I've always had a lot of contact with animal totems, especially the ones close to me, like Raven and Eagle, but it seems to me that these days they are really going nuts!

For instance, the other day I was out gathering wood and a brilliantly-colored Red Fox strolled right by the woodpile. He stopped, turned and looked at me for a minute, before casually strolling off. A few days later I watched in fascination as a Bald Eagle played with a Raven. These are not typical playmates.

Finally, this morning, a tiny, tiny spider crawled repeatedly all over my computer as I tried to write. At first, I put up with her meanderings, then I tried to gently remove from my computer and put her elsewhere on my desk. She kept coming back until I stopped to ponder her message.

Spider carries many messages, but her message for me had to do with creativity, as Spider represents the energy of creative force. Her message was for me to be creative in finding alternatives to a current impasse in my life ... and to never forget that I can ALWAYS start a new phase in my life, much as Spider weaves a new web frequently.

It All Makes Sense
This went along with the daily quote I received in my inbox from Abraham, one of my favorite spiritual teachers:

"In your action, you lose sight of the vision, you lose sight of your trust in the process, and you just bang around in your sense of futility ... Hold the vision and trust the process."

Suddenly, everything fit together! I realized that instead of being resourceful and creative like the Spider, I was spending a lot of time "banging around," as it were. I was making a lot of noise but not getting very far. I needed to be cunning like the Fox, and use magic like the Raven. And Eagle? Eagle was reminding me to take heart and be courageous in the face of spiritual tests. Wow, what a message from all of these animal totems.

What Are Your Animal Totems Saying To You?
Have you been seeing a lot of animal totems turning up in strange places in your life? If you live in a city, you may seem some quite odd creatures showing up in the cityscape. If an animal totem who normally does not roam the city streets takes the trouble to travel all the way into the city to send you a message, it is best to take heed. If you don't know what the message may be, you can:

1. Meditate on the message yourself
2. Consult a book, like "Animal Speak"
3. Check out the meaning of various animal totems online
4. Ask the Universe for more clarification (with the Navajo Beauty Way perhaps)
5. Learn to communicate directly with animals and totems with our Animal Communication Ebook.

Hope these resources give you a "leg up" when the animal totems start showing up everywhere. Magic is speeding up all around the globe and we need to be more aware, more conscious than ever. To that end, animal totems, angels, guides, and other spiritual beings are upping the ante on their messages to us. So listen up ... or be prepared for that universal two-by-four to come swinging at you, repeatedly!

But most of all, enjoy and be appreciative of those spirit guides. They love us, support us, and help us as much as we allow them to. Feel lucky, even if you do get hit by a spiritual two-by-four because a lot of people are not able to make use of this kind of guidance, and suffer all the more because of it.

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8272102@N04/ / CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to Cast Stronger Magic Spells Voodoo Style

Voodoo magic often uses simulacra magic, or the magic of using objects with a "likeness" to something in the outer world, to create an effect in the outer world.

For instance, one magical practitioner took revenge on another by "keying" a figurine to that person, and then shipping the figurine around the world on a slow ship. Needless to say, the victim of the voodoo magic spell was nauseous and dizzy for about a month (the length of the voyage). This is an example of an effective voodoo style magic spell.

How to Cast Stronger Voodoo Spells
In the case of simulacra magic, as in the use of voodoo dolls, many magical practitioners fail achieve strong results. Then they think that voodoo magic doesn't work. Not so. However, there are reasons that simulacra magic does not work as well as it should. Normally, there are three reasons that simulacra magic doesn't produce as strong a result as it should.

1. The Voodoo Object Is Not Similar Enough to the Real Thing
As the name implies, simulacra magic means that the object used in the spell should be as "similar" as possible to the object of the spell. If, for instance, you are going to use a simulacrum in a map spell, to move a naughty neighbor out of your area, then your best bet is to choose a "voodoo doll" that is as similar to your neighbor in looks and personality as possible. If your neighbor is tall, gaunt, and hunched, then look for a figurine that is tall, gaunt, and hunched over. A short fat figurine won't work, nor will a ballerina figurine. It always amazes me how many people pick any old figurine to use for a voodoo spell. If you want to cast stronger voodoo spells, be very specific about the object used as the simulacrum.

2. The Material of the Voodoo Doll or Object Won't Hold a Key
"Keying" is the magical process by which you connect the object of a simulacra spell to the object it represents in the real world. For instance, in the case of the map spell, keying is the process by which you connect the figurine to your naughty neighbor. Assuming that you have chosen a figurine that closely matches your neighbor in looks and personality, you next must be sure that the figurine is made of a material that will hold the "key," or connection to the real world person.

Materials such as wood, metal, glass, and ceramic work well. Plastic, rubber, and modern composites tend not to hold a key. If you want to cast stronger voodoo spells, make sure your voodoo doll or object is made of the right materials. For most simple voodoo magic spells, you can key a figurine just by holding it in your dominant hand and flowing energy into the object as you think about the person. Once the object feels warm and tingly, it is keyed. Just be careful: once keyed, whatever you do to the object you do to the person and you are karmically responsible! Read about Rules of the Road on our website for more information about the universal laws that govern magical practice.

3. The Voodoo Doll or Object Was Not Cleansed
Cleansing a simulacrum is very important prior to use in spellwork, especially if the object is not new. Objects pick up vibrations and energy when they are handled, so you want to cleanse these from the object before using it in your spell. A basic four-element cleansing with a firebowl and chalice usually does the trick (learn how to do basic cleansing with out Firebowl and Chalice ebooks). Once an object is cleansed, it's ready for use in spellwork, and you avoid any "side bands" that might have been generated from previous handling of the object.

Simulacra or voodoo magic is a powerful form of magic. If you are not getting the intended results from your voodoo magic spells, check these three points to see if your spell is leaking energy. If so, as demonstrated in the three points above, remedying the situation isn't difficult. As Reverend George Dew of the Church of Seven Arrows always used to say:

"Take your time, think it through, and do it right!"

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Magic of Flying Blind

The phrase about the blind leading the blind has always been used scornfully to mean that certain people don't know what they are doing. But perversely, from a magical point of view, we often use blindness with purpose, so that we can sharpen our other senses, our spirit senses.

Magic and One Way to Fly Blind
In many self-empowerment workshops you will encounter a very simple exercise that captures the essence of flying blind: it's called the blind date. You partner up with someone and close your eyes. Your partner leads you around by the hand, first at a walk, then perhaps at a jog. You must put your complete trust in your partner not to run you into a wall or other people who are also on a blind date.

If you have ever done this exercise, then you know what happens. After a while, your other senses, like your sense of hearing, smell, or touch, increase to accommodate your temporary lack of sight. The same thing happens in magic. When you deliberately shut off one of your senses, like sight, you have a better chance of improving your spirit senses.

A Very Simple Magic Ritual to Practice Flying Blind
There are many magic rituals where we deliberately close our eyes or use blindfolds, but it is best to start out with a very simple magical exercise. This one can be done anytime you talk on the phone with another person, assuming you are sitting down rather than driving down the road chatting on your cell phone.

As you speak to the person on the other end of the phone, close your eyes. Now visualize what the other person is doing. Are they sitting down? If so, what is their posture? Are they walking around their house? Extend your perceptions. Can you tell what they are thinking or if you can predict what they will say next?

If you have difficulty with visualization, imagine yourself extending your senses through the phone line until they reach the other person. This often helps people get in touch with their spirit senses, which are crucial for most magic rituals.

Jot down any insights, visions, or information that comes to you through your spirit senses. If you like, you can ask the other person a question or two to verify whether your spirit senses are correct. It really doesn't matter whether you are correct in the beginning. The goal is to locate, use, and develop your spirit senses.

Do this exercise for at least 10 phone conversations. You will notice a definite increase in the amount of psychic or spirit-sense information that you receive. If, after doing this exercise 10 times, you don't feel that you have located or used your spirit senses, have 10 more phone conversations with your eyes open. You might be surprised at how much physical sight interferes with your spirit senses. Most people receive far less spirit-sense data when they have their eyes open.

Make sense? Have fun with this. For more fun and practical magic rituals and exercises, check out past issues of Magic in Your Mailbox, our ebooks, and our home study courses.

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gastev/ / CC BY 2.0

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Keying Your Magic Tools for Personal Use

I recently started wearing this fabulous pewter dragon bracelet as part of a spell I launched. I very much wanted the energies of the dragon as part of my magic spell, so the bracelet was a perfect match.

I have received a lot of comments on the dragon bracelet, especially since we are in Cancun, Mexico for five weeks and this is not the usual "tourist-type" jewelry.

Several people have asked me why I wear the bracelet and how I use it for my magic practice. This fascinates most people endlessly, and they are eager to get their own talisman or amulet from our online store as soon as they get home to the States.

I'm delighted that others are as fascinated with the bracelet as I am, and while I definitely want them to enjoy the same kind of dragon magic I'm getting from the bracelet, I warn them that just having the bracelet isn't enough. The bracelet, like any magical tool, has to be "keyed" to a person's unique energies so that it works for them. Otherwise, it's just a bracelet.

How to Key General Magic Tools
There are specific ways to key the tools for each of the four elements (Air, Fire, Water, and Earth), but if you want to use a general magic tool, like my bracelet, there is a very simple way to "key" it so that it works with your personal and unique energies. Here's how:

1. Put the object in your dominant hand (usually the hand with which you point or write)

2. Hold the object and flow energy into it. If you want to use the tool for a specific purpose, flow images or thoughts about that purpose through your hand as well. I sometimes also chant a spell verse while doing this.

3. Continue with this process until the magic tool feels "charged," warm, or tingly. At that point, your magic tool has been keyed to your specific energy, and will work for you personally.

This generally works well for any general magic tool. For the specific tools associated with the magical elements, including the Firebowl, Wand, Athame, Chalice, and Plate, there are more detailed keying instructions since these tools are designed to handle much more magical energy. These tools can also be used many ways for different magic rituals and operations, especially spell work, banishments, blessings, and cleansings.

To learn more about how to key and use these tools, check out our ebooks on each tool in our online store.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Magical Flower Essences for Fear, Despair, and Uncertainty

Fear, despair, and uncertainty ... that certainly captures the nature of the times for many people. And into the breach comes ... flower essences! Flower essences are true magic, as well as wonderful gifts from the Earth.

Dating back to ancient Lemurian times, flower essences are vibrational wonders that can uplift the spirit, heal the body, and bring hope to a weary soul! If you feel fearful, uncertain, or depressed, here are some wonderful flower essences that can really help. They really are magical in the effects they can create.

Flower Essences for Relieving Fear
- Rock Rose-for dauntless courage. Gift: courage, strength of character.
- Chamomile-nervousness, anxiety. Gift: calming, relaxing.
- Mimulus-long time fears, extremes, dominated. Gift: fearless, confident.
- Cherry Plum-loss of control, vicious, to remain in control. Gift: calm, quiet, in control.
- Aspen-spooky, impending harm. Gift: connected, fearless.
- Red Chestnut-worry. Gift: positive, calm.

Flower Essences for Alleviating Despair or Depression
- Crab Apple-cleansing toxins, physical and emotional. Gift: cleansing toxins, emotional/ physical.
- Willow-resentment. Gift: optimistic, responsible, acceptance.
- Sweet Chestnut-despairing, burned out. Gift: faith, trust.
- Pine-rejection, abuse, guilt, never succeeding. Gift: responsible, humble.
- Oak-chronic exhaustion, overworked but keeps struggling. Gift: strong, dependable.
- Star of Bethlehem-any kind of trauma or loss of a loved one, gives comfort. Gift: comforts all traumas.

Flower Essences for Easing Uncertainty
- Scleranthus-neurological confusion. Gift: balanced.
- Cerato-mentally flighty, difficulty focusing. Gift: certain, strong.
- Gorse-hopelessness, giving up. Gift: faith, hope, positive.
- Wild Oat-bored, feeling un-useful. Gift: talents, feeling useful, definite character.
- Gentian-set backs, disappointment. Gift: restores hope, long illness rehabilitation.
- Hornbeam-weariness. Gift: certain, lots of energy.

How to Take Flower Essences
You can take single flower essences or you can mix them together. The effects are powerful either way. To make your own formula, mix spring water with alcohol (like brandy) in an ounce dropper bottle, then add 4 drops of each chosen flower essence, which you can purchase in most health food stores.

You can either take the mixture from the dropper bottle 3 to 4 times a day, or, for longer effects, add 4 drops of the mixture to a bottle of spring water and sip the water all day long. Adding flower essences to bathwater is also effective, not to mention pleasant.

The length of time you take flower essences is a very individual decision. You can take them for as long as they provide relief, or until you feel a shift inside yourself. At that point, you may wish to stop taking the essence, and take some time to integrate those changes. Alternatively, you can switch to a new flower essence formula if you feel that a change is called for.

To learn more about flower remedies, how to use them, and how to make them, check out the ebook "Energy Healing for Self and Others" in our online store. The ebook details not only flower essences, but a number of magical and natural healing techniques including the use of herbs, aromatherapy, meditations with sound, and the use of color. Enjoy!

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Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why Bad Magic Happens to Good People

People who are new to the art and science of practicing magic are often surprised when they start doing magic rituals and discover that their lives get worse, not better, at least temporarily.

Tires go flat on their car, they get into fights with their spouse, or an unexpectedly large expense pops up. Then they wonder, "I'm a good person. Is this a warning from the universe that I shouldn't practice magic?"

Nope, it's not. I've seen it happen over and over again, and I have a name for it: the inconvenience factor.

Magic and the Inconvenience Factor
Anyone who starts practicing magic will undoubtedly run into the inconvenience factor ... it's a universal law. In fact, it's the universe's way of protecting esoteric material, and of testing whether someone's desire to learn this material is truly genuine or just a momentary wish in passing.

Whenever we start a new Basic Magic course or in-depth teleconference course, we warn students that the inconvenience factor is bound to occur. This factor tends to keep students from being able to attend class on a regular basis, at least at first. When the class is a teleconference course, the inconvenience factor turns up in a number of ways. One student may try to call into the teleconference only to get an "all circuits busy" signal. Another student may plan on using his cell phone only to find that the battery has suddenly died. A third student may have printed out his homework materials in readiness for class, and then discover that he can't find them anywhere.

Serious students, having been warned about the inconvenience factor, simply strive until they overcome the "all circuits busy signal" or dead cell phone battery. They may show up in class flustered and aggravated, but they do show up through sheer perseverance. This is the kind of effort the universe seeks to divide those who truly want to learn magic from those who just want to win the lottery tomorrow.

True desire is what separates a person capable of becoming a powerful magician from a dilettante. True desire is also what allows a person access to magical materials. The dilettantes always fall by the wayside, sidetracked by inconvenient life events, long before we get to the "really good stuff" in class.

Is the Inconvenience Factor a Form of Religious Warning or Vengenace?
This is a question that arises from time to time from students who have been raised with a strongly religious background that discourages the practice of magic. When these students are confronted by minor fender-benders or other inconvenient life events, they wonder whether these events are warnings from a jealous god to stay away from magical practice. That is, of course, one interpretation, and those who feel this interpretation to be true should stay away from magical practice.

However, we have worked with hundreds of students with this type of background who have successfully made it past the inconvenience factor with no further consequences. Life is as you believe it to be, and thus if you believe in a jealous god who discourages magical practice, the events of your life will bear out this belief. On the other hand, if you believe the universe is big enough to accommodate both magic and religion, then you will find that you can practice magic in harmony with the practice of your religion.

The Rules of the Road: Rules of Magical Practice
Magic, like all arts and sciences, has its own set of rules. We follow the Rules of the Road, as put forth by Reverend George Dew of the Church of Seven Arrows. We find, by our experience and observation, that these rules are true, immutable, and quite freeing. Check them out here and see if you agree:

Click here for Rules of the Road.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Are the End Times Coming? I Have No Survival Gear!

As we approach 2012 people are getting increasingly nervous about the so-called "end times," with many people saying that the current economic downturn is simply a pre-cursor to "the end of it all" (whatever that means!).

Are the end times coming in the catastrophic ways predicted by Nostradamus and other predictors? Will California fall into the ocean? Will our population be decimated by a deadly virus? Will the poles change position, bringing on all kinds of natural disasters?

I hope not. I forgot to pack a survival kit!

What's Really Going to Happen in 2012?
First of all, whether 2012 is even the correct date for a major world-shifting event is up for question, depending on who does the prediction. The Mayan calendar, the calculations of the Hopi legends, and Nostradamus don't all agree on the date. But suffice to say that we are moving from the Piscean Age into the Aquarian Age ... and some things will definitely change in the world.

So then the question becomes, "What is going to happen during this change and how do we prepare?"

Based on my conversations with Grandmother, the spirit of Earth, who is also known by many other names, and my own observations, I'm pretty sure that I won't need a survival pack of the physical kind. Granola bars, meal packs, and water are not going to be my main concerns.

Grandmother has made it perfectly clear that during this world change, unlike any other, physical changes will be at a minimum, and mass extinctions will not take place. The poles will not trade places. In other words, the planet itself is not going to "take the hit."

Who is Going to "Take the Hit" During This World Change?
Good question. I wondered that myself, so I asked Grandmother. Her reply? "You." How comforting! She wasn't talking about me specifically, but the beings (spirits) that inhabit the earth. In other words, instead of transformation taking place in the physical world, the changes are going to take place within us. We are going to take the hit - personally, so to speak.

California probably won't fall into the ocean, but our hearts may sink into our stomachs quite a lot during the next few years. The economic changes occurring already have a lot of people feeling anxious ... and that's just the beginning. The way I understand it based on my conversation with Grandmother, in the coming days we will each be faced with situations that make us feel uncomfortable, angry, frustrated, sad, or otherwise negative.

In other words, events will occur, with nauseating regularity and increasing frequency, which will offer us the chance to feel negative about the way things are, or choose a different route toward a more positive outcome. The events will range in size and effect from small and annoying to "OMG, I can't handle this!"

An Example You Can Relate To
Here's a perfect recent example: my accountant rang me up on the eve of taxes being due and told me I owed the government more than was in my bank account. I got mad, frustrated, and upset, since this came on the heels of a number of similar events.

Then I got smart. I whipped out my tax notebook and compared it to the return my accountant had prepared. I found a series of major errors. Wow. The end result? I owed nothing in taxes ... and had in fact overpaid when I sent money with my extension. Things worked out great.

So what could have been a disastrous event ended up being quite positive, but only when I shifted my attention away from reaction and into actions that restored my personal power.

The Real Sacrifice of the End Times
The short conclusion to this long-winded tale is this:

In the coming world change we won't be sacrificing the planet. To survive, we will have to sacrifice the useless parts of our personality, like pride, envy, vengeance, anger, and fear.

It sounds easy in theory, but it is way harder when the Universe keeps throwing monkey wrenches in your plans. It will sometimes seem like you can't do the simplest task without running into a bunch of complications. Don't get mad. And no, you're not crazy. You are just a vital part of the world transformation as we move into the Aquarian Age.

Do the best you can with what you have, stay as positive as possible ...and the Universe really will reward you for being a positive force in the coming world transformation. One way I like to stay connected is to do the Navajo Beauty Way ritual. It keeps me smiling, sane, and sweet. Give it a try.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Magic of Idiots

Have you noticed that a lot of people are acting idiotic lately? Maybe your boss is more irritable than ever and snaps at you. Perhaps your friend is unintentionally rude and forgets to invite you to his party. Or how about the random stranger who insults you for no reason?

In other words, people are acting like idiots, which is perfectly in line with the times. In case you haven't noticed, the world is in transition. Whether you call it a transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age, or you call it the "end times," the world is undoubtedly changing--and fast!

During these times, according to planetary history, one of two things happens: total extinction or people acting like idiots.

Personally, I prefer people acting like idiots, don't you? The last few cycles of the Mayan calendar ended up with total extinction ... so on the whole, people acting like idiots is pretty mild.

What's even better, you can actually squeeze a little magic out of people acting like idiots. Really.

Where's the Magic in Idiocy?
Strange as it sounds, there is a great deal of magic to be had in someone else's idiotic acts. During times of world change, such as now, there's a certain amount of craziness that has to take place in order for the world to shift from one age into another. That craziness, or idiocy, has to be acted out by the beings on this planet.

So when someone else acts like an idiot, they are acting out a portion of that craziness that is so necessary to world change. The magic in this situation is that you don't have to act crazy because someone else is doing it for you. See what I mean?

So while it may be insulting or bewildering to be in the presence of someone who is acting rudely or crazily, the good news is that you don't have to trash your own life by acting crazy. Someone else is carrying that burden for you.

Is That Too Crazy an Idea?
If this whole concept sounds insane, consider this. While most people think that concepts such as "knowledge" or "consciousness" are ephemeral and have no weight or matter, in reality knowledge and consciousness are both made of matter.

In other words, they are physical substances. That means there is only so much knowledge on the planet at any given time, and when it is all possessed by people, there isn't any more to go around. The rest of the people then have to go around in ignorance because the store of knowledge has run out.

The same is true of idiocy, except in reverse. During world change, there is a lot of idiocy or undirected energy on the planet. It, like knowledge, has substance and weight. And, like knowledge, people possess this kind of energy. When people possess this energy, they act like idiots and do crazy things. And while they may insult you, the fact of the matter is that they are doing you a favor. They are possessing the crazy energy created by planetary change, which means that you don't have to.

So ... this may all be a little out in left field for most people to consider, but for those who want to sail through this Earth change with a minimum of dings, dents, and fender-benders, it's a concept worth considering. Daily rituals might also be worth considering ...

What if you were grateful to and appreciative of the idiots around you instead of insulted and angered? Hmmm ... might be worth a second or two of thought!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Magic for When It Is All Too Bloody Much!

It is all too bloody much!

That came in an email the other day from someone who had been hit with calamity after calamity ... everything from fender-benders to sick kids to pay cuts at work.

It was just too much and this person wanted to know what he could do, magically, about his situation. It's a good question, and he's not the only one asking it.

Magical Solutions When Life is Too Bloody Much
This is an important topic to address because a lot of people are finding life it little to hard to bear right now. Many people are waking each day to minor calamities, from tooth abscesses to broken computers to relationships that are falling apart. It's like life as we know it is falling part. Actually, life as we know it IS falling apart.

As I've mentioned in previous articles, not only are we coming up on a major world change (call it a shift into the Aquarian Age, the ending of a cycle in the Mayan calendar or what have you), but we are also experiencing Pluto return on the astrological level. When there is a Pluto return, we experience the "karma" generated by mankind over the last 250 years or so. Not pretty.

So what do we do magically to alleviate this problem? After all, when life as we know it falls apart, it's not a good thing. Luckily, we can take magical steps towards a happier future.

Three Magical Steps when Life is Falling Apart
I like to keep things simple in magic because life is complicated enough. There's no point in making your magical practice complicated as well, right? So here are three magical steps you can take if your life is, well, falling apart at the seams.

1. Don't panic. (duh!)
2. Choose one very, very simple magic ritual you like.
3. Become a slave to the magic ritual.

So let me explain. These three steps really work, and I've deliberately made them sort of inflammatory to make a point. So bear with me. Let's take it one step at a time.

1. Don't Panic
The "Well, duh!" factor is pretty high on this step, but is has to be said. After all, what's the first thing we are programmed to do when a calamity occurs in our lives? PANIC! Yup, sheer unadulterated panic. So learning how NOT to panic is pretty important. By Law of Attraction, panic attracts more things to panic about. So learn to back off the panic a hair or two. Go with, say, annoyance or light cursing to start with. You probably can't go from panic to happy, but you can take a step back from panic and satisfy yourself with a few curse words. So practice, practice, practice not panicking. This is important. Consider it a crucial part of your magical training. You have to master this step, at least somewhat, before moving on to the next step.

2. Choose One Very, Very Simple Magical Ritual You Like
This step is pretty logical. Magical rituals are useful because they create magical effects in your life. The more your life if falling apart, the more magic you need in your life. So you'll need a magic ritual you can use when something calamitous happens in your life. So pick a magic ritual, any ritual, that you like and that is simple. Remember, when you are focused on not panicking, you won't have a lot of brainpower left to do a complicated magic ritual.

Some magic rituals I like include the Navajo Beauty Way Exit Ritual, the Sun Candle, and hiring angels. You can read about all of those here:

Navajo Beauty Way
Sun Candle
Hiring Angels

Or make up your own ritual. You can also get a bunch of simple magic rituals in our Daily Rituals ebook, which contains tons of rituals and teaches you how to create your own. In any case, pick a ritual, learn it well, and keep it handy.

Daily Rituals Ebook

3. Become a Slave to the Magic Ritual
This sounds kind of extreme, but it's actually a very common principle in many esoteric and tribal practices. The gist of it is this: there can only be one "most important" thing in your life, and that thing will either be intentional magic or it will an accidental life event. In many magical traditions, students are instructed to choose an aim (or ritual) and to make that aim their god in life. Why? Because the aim or ritual is intentional, which means it creates a very precise and pre-determined effect. A wanted effect.

This effect acts as an antidote against all the "accidents" that otherwise occur in life: the fender-benders, the sick kids, the reduced paycheck, and other calamities. So being a slave to your chosen magical ritual simply means putting more attention on that ritual than on the current calamity.

Here's how it would work. Suppose you choose the magic ritual of hiring an angel. Now suppose you get into a fender bender. Step 1: don't panic--just mutter a couple curse words under your breath. Step 2: Whip out your magic ritual. Step 3: If possible, hire an angel to fix this mess (before you even get out of the car to deal with the other driver).

Pretty simple, right? By putting your magic ritual ahead acts on the physical plane, you attract more magic and intention, and fewer accidents. I'm assuming, of course, that the fender bender is minor and you have 15 seconds to hire an angel before hopping out of the car. If not, use common sense and take care of business first and hire an angel later. Just remember to put your emphasis on the idea that magic is more important than panicking about the life situation.

This simple three-step magical process works really well in our current turbulent times, and will work even better as we move into the world transition to come. Practice these steps now and you'll be in fine shape for any world transition coming down the pike. Really. Magic works, it really does.

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/darkpatator/ / CC BY 2.0

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yoga and Meditation for the Rest of Us

Yoga, meditation, chanting ... mmmm, all great things for your body, mind and spirit. But sometimes, in the hectic rush of everyday life, thinking of bending your body into a pretzel, or even breathing slowly, can be a huge challenge. How can you possibly relax when you have bills to pay, work to do, and life to attend to?

Don't worry. Relaxing is easy. Healing yourself and your life is not as hard as you think. You don't need to read 20 books on self-help or sit at the feet of the guru. Remember, magic, healing, and enjoyment of life are all your natural birthrights as a human being. You just have to remember how!

In fact, did you know that you've already done all 84 poses of yoga before? Fetuses go through all 84 yoga poses before they are born, so we've all done yoga! The real yoga starts, though, when we take our first breath. Breathing is the very first step in yoga.

Just Breathe, Really!
So if you really want to give yourself a huge gift of healing and relaxation during the day, breathe. Set aside three minutes to give yourself this gift. Turn off the phone, close the door, dim the lights, and just breathe. You can either breathe deeply and deliberately, holding inhales and exhales for several counts, or you can relax by just following your breath but exerting no effort.

Breathing not only increases circulation and oxygen in your body, but it nourishes your lungs, which according to Chinese medicine guards your chi or life force. Talk about the "breath of life"-breathing really can bring new energy, vitality, and zest into your life. You'll feel better, think more clearly, and act from greater inspiration.
Adding More to Your Meditation
If you've got more than three minutes to spare, you can add even more layers to this quick "meditation" with some colored candles. Burn a sun yellow candle for more joy, bright red for more energy, light blue for more understanding, grass green for grounding and physical healing or water blue for calming and connection with your Spirit. Candles actually "push" the colors at you, so you absorb those energies without effort.

If you take a few minutes each day to breathe, be present in your body, and be connected to Life, you can say that you do yoga and meditation every day. Quantity isn't all that counts, quality counts too. When you're deeply present, even for a few moments every day, you can take great strides in both your physical and spiritual life!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Magic of Dayenu: It Would Have Been Enough

I'm not active in my Jewish religious practice, but when I was growing up we celebrated Passover, and one aspect of that ritual that has stuck with me is the word Dayenu. Roughly translated, Dayenu means "it would have been enough" or "it would have sufficed."

Earlier in my life, I had no idea what it meant but the thought that something "would have been enough" intrigued me. Now I understand that the magic and meaning of Dayenu is really about the art of happiness, which is made especially clear in today's world.

The Magic of Dayenu
Does it strike you as odd, as you move through the world today, that people seem to be split into two different camps? There are the moaner/groaners who have been hit hard by current economic times (or Mercury Retrograde or their in-laws, whatever!) and are complaining about their situation. Then there are the oddly happy people, many of whom have also been hit hard by the economy, but are having a ball. So what's going on here?

What's going on here is that the people who are oddly happy are practicing the art of Dayenu. They look around at their world and say, "This is enough. This is good. We are happy." Or, to take Dayenu one step further, they say, "Not only is this enough, but the step before this would have been enough." Dayenu specifically says, "It would have been enough," not "it is enough."

So the truly happy people who practice Dayenu look at their lives and accomplishments and say, "It would have been enough, and we can be happy, even if we did not get as far as we are now ... even if we had stopped at the achievement or happy moment before this one." Make sense? If not, here's a great example to make it a little clearer.

An Example of the Magic of Dayenu in Action
I have two friends who continually amaze me-they are married, so maybe that has something to do with why they are so happy. Both were hit last year with acute and chronic physical problems, which not only caused them a lot of pain, but also prevented them from doing a lot of work and earning the same income they usually do. This year, they recovered somewhat from their physical problems, although they still had many doctor visits and healthcare bills. But they are incredibly, oddly, amazingly happy.

I ask them, "What makes you so happy? So much has happened to you."

They reply, "Yes, it has ... good, bad, ugly, and back to good. Look at where we live. It's a chunk of Heaven! That's enough. Just having this place to live is enough."

Explaining further, they tell me that their physical problems have forced them to have down time, which they would never normally take. They have spent this time with their horses, enjoying their land, and NOT working. They used to live in a big city and had to pay big bucks to relax with the help of massages and therapists, and so on. Now, living in the country, they can relax for free. If they had nothing else but this land, they said, it would have been enough.

Do they have physical pain? Yes. Have they had to cut back on expenses? Yes. Do they still have bad days? Of course.

But overall, they are living in the magic of Dayenu. On balance, they look for the happiness that comes from acceptance of current conditions, and appreciation of all that has come before that. They understand that even if nothing more good occurs in their life, all that has been in their life thus far "would have been enough."

But of course, we students of the Law of Attraction, know that this will never happen. The beauty of Dayenu is that by living in appreciation of all that was good that has come before now, we always attract more good in our future. Bumps in the road notwithstanding, appreciation of the past and acceptance of the present always (always!) leads to future good. It can be no other way.

Magic is a precision science and it follows the laws of the Universe without fail. Live in the magic of Dayenu today ... and see the magic of tomorrow unfold before you.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Beauty of the Navajo Beauty Way

For almost three decades I have been practicing and using the Navajo Beauty Way as a form of magical practice. Used by the Navajo tribe when they were being moved from their native lands onto reservations, the Beauty Way (in various forms) has actually been used in tribal traditions from very ancient times. It is an incredible magical ritual that helps you connect with higher powers and beings and restore a state of inner peace and harmony. It is also a form of "magic spell work in action" that can be done without great effort but to great effect.

Recently we introduced the Beauty Way to the people who signed up for our "Magic in Your Mailbox" email series, and the effect was truly magical. Participants had all kinds of magical interactions, and learned to see magic in many new ways. The effect was so strong that I definitely want to introduce it to more people. Hence, this blog post!

The Beauty and Magic of This Ritual
Before I dive into the "how," I want to give you the "why" for the Beauty Way. In other words, what does the Beauty Way do for you? Here's a list to get you started.

The Navajo Beauty way is a non-denominational set of exercises from very ancient times, designed to:
  • Restore personal power through developing trust in one's wisdom gained through personal experience
  • Enhance creative flow and one's connection to the environment and nature's laws and forces
  • Help us learn new skills and use new tools for observing and maintaining harmonious and pro-active inner states
  • Develop a practical working relationship with higher powers and beings or natural forces and laws
  • Create stability and choice in walking in different realities and worlds.
  • Being safe and protected without the need to build walls or hide behind masks.
  • Establish and maintain contact with higher powers and beings or natural forces and laws so as to live in compliance with and gain support in our creative endeavors.
  • Maintain spiritual integrity for individuals or groups during times of high external change and stress.
  • Preserve cultural and spiritual identity beyond the efficacy of sociological myths in times of breakdown, and restructuring of communities, tribes or nations.
  • Restore the balance both internally and externally between the feminine aspect of integration and oneness, and the masculine aspect of separation and duality.
Powerful magic, isn't it?

Dive Into the Beauty Way
So history lesson aside, let's dive right into the Beauty Way. There's no sense in knowing about a magical ritual if you can't use it, right? The Beauty Way has three different forms:

1. Exit Ritual
2. Day Greetings and Endings
3. Walking Litany

We'll start with the simplest form, the Exit Ritual. The Exit Ritual helps us connect with higher powers and beings multiple times during the day. Connecting us with powers and beings is useful because they can help us get back into that feeling of peace and serenity. They exist at a higher level than we do, so it's often easier for us to ask them for help rather than trying to do it all ourselves. The Exit Ritual also realigns our chi or life force, which can become distorted from working and living in buildings with strong electromagnetic fields.

How to Do the Exit Ritual

To do the Exit Ritual, follow this procedure every time you leave an enclosed space such as a car, building or house:

1. Extend your focus up into the sky and say aloud, "Sky Above." The reason we extend our focus first is that the Exit Ritual is a form of asking favor from powers and beings so it is appropriate that we go to them rather than asking them to come to us. In ritual, when we have carefully prepared sacred space, we can invite them in and then bid them farewell.

2. While keeping your awareness above, extend your focus into the earth and say aloud, "And Earth Below."

3. Then, keeping awareness of both above and below, say aloud, "I Greet You."

4. Wait a moment and see what happens. Be alert for acknowledgement or response in one of these three ways:

- From within you, such as a realization, a change of attitude or belief, a new awareness.

- Changes in your environment, such as a sudden breeze, a change in the color of the sky, a bird or animal suddenly appearing visually or vocally, or a tree or shrub suddenly becoming vividly visible.

- A response from Sky and/or Earth: a special message for you, an answer to a question, or guidance and new directions.

5. What happens may happen in just that moment, or it may happen throughout the day. It may change the quality of your day, your awareness...whatever you notice. You may also want to use hand gestures: Arms raised in a upward facing V for "Sky Father" and arms down in a downward facing V for "Earth Mother."

Sound good? Dive right in. Have issues, questions, or comments? Post a comment to the blog. We love hearing about magic! Also, you can learn more about the Beauty Way by reading past posts from our "Magic in Your Mailbox" series HERE.

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Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How to Discover Your Animal Totem

If you're confused about how to discover your animal totem or totems, don't despair. The process can actually be a lot simpler than you think. The first and most important step to discovering your animal totem is to do some research. Animal totems act as guides and sources of inspiration in our lives, and they can also help us manifest certain qualities or characteristics in our lives (such as patience, love, joy, or persistence).

There are two basic aspects to researching your animal totem: book research and field research. Reading about animals and their characteristics gives you a good idea of what kinds of energies those animal totems might bring into your life. For instance, hummingbirds bring joy, enthusiasm, and lots of energies, while ravens bring mystery and a deep sense of humor.

Read About Possible Animal Totems
You can read general books or magazines on animals (National Geographic often has great information) or you can read books that specifically describe animal totems, such as "Medicine Cards" by Carson and Sams. Reading about animals also helps you find out more about animals that either don't live in your local area or are extinct (just because an animal species is no longer in body doesn't mean that its spirit isn't still around to lend energies and help).

Field Research to Discover Your Animal Totem
The other part of researching your animal totem is going out and observing animals in your local area. Choosing an animal native to your local area as a totem is useful in a lot of ways. First, they are already adapted to your local environment, and can teach you a lot about survival and enjoyment of your outdoor area. Second, you'll be more likely to receive physical messages from these totems-in other words, you'll be more likely to see and interact with them on a daily basis. Finally, you'll be able to do more direct research through physical observation of local animals than with exotic ones from faraway places.

To do this kind of field research, just walk through any park or wildlife area and observe the animals. See how they move, how they interact with you and each other, how they rest. Do they move fast? Do they react strongly to your presence or barely notice it at all? How do they express themselves? What qualities are most dominant in their behavior?

For instance, if you were to observe a colony of ants, you would notice that they persist in what they are doing, no matter how much interference they encounter. If you scoop up an ant on a piece of paper, carry it 10 feet away and set it back down again, it will continue in the same direction it was headed, as if it had never been scooped up. It will persist in completing its task regardless. If this dogged persistence is what you need in your life, then the ant might be an excellent totem for you. If you want to be more outgoing and gregarious, consider the raven or the magpie. Or what about the spider for sheer creativity and art?

Animals are all around us and we have so much to learn from them! Choosing a specific animal to be your totem personalizes your relationship with that animal species, and brings their particular personalities and energies into your life. Doing this kind of research is the first step to developing that kind of personal relationship. It's fun, inspiring and educational. So start doing your research today ... you've got nothing to lose and lots to gain!

Want to Know More?
If you want to dive more deeply into the world of animals, you'll want to read Learn How to Talk to Animals – A Practical Guide for a Magical Journey written by Esoteric School Expert Leta Worthington.

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Photo credit: Free Digital Photos

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dowsing Magic: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sometimes simple magic works the best. One of the forms of magic I often enjoy is dowsing with a pendulum. Using a pendulum is one of the most basic yet satisfying magic rituals, plus dowsing magic is really easy to learn.

If you need answers, and who doesn't these days, try a quickie dowsing sessions with a pendulum. Whether you want to know if you're brother-in-law is going to get drunk again this weekend or if you're going to meet your soul-mate, pendulums can give you fast and solid answers for yes/no questions you might have about any aspect of your life.

What is a Pendulum?
A pendulum is any lightweight object suspended from a string or chain. It is a magical tool that becomes a natural extension of you, and can access any and all information that exists in the Universe. You just have to know which questions to ask.

For instance, a pendulum can reveal your body's own native wisdom. It can indicate whether certain supplements or flower essences will improve your health. It can also reveal whether a health problem stems from a particular organ or an emotional source. Dowsing with a pendulum is a simple form of magic that has a remarkable number of applications.

How to Make a Pendulum
Anyone can make a pendulum. You just need a lightweight object plus a chain or some string. You can use paper clips, small rocks, earrings, hairpins, pendants, small medallions, crystals and talismans. If you want to use a crystal, use an amethyst, and store any kind of crystal you use in a pewter box, which protects it from negative energy. Don't use Aurora crystals, which have been treated with petroleum.

If you choose to hang your pendulum on a chain, use a silver chain. You can also hang your pendulum on any kind of natural fiber such as cotton or silk, horse or human hair or leather.

Training Your Pendulum for Dowsing Magic
Once you've made your pendulum your next step is to train it for dowsing magic, so that it answers your questions quickly and accurately. Here's how:

1. First four-element cleanse your pendulum with smoke. The smoke from burning pine resin and sage works well.

2. Next, key your pendulum so that it responds to your energies. To key it, hold your pendulum in your dominant hand (the hand you write or point with). Flow energy into the pendulum for a minute or two, or until it grows warm and tingly.

3. Begin training your pendulum by establishing its yes and no directions. Decide if you want your pendulum to indicate "yes" with a vertical or horizontal swing. The "no" indicator will be the opposite of the "yes" indicator (if "yes" is a vertical swing, then "no" is a horizontal swing).

It's often easier to dowse while sitting, so get in a comfortable position and hold your pendulum suspended from your dominant hand. Make sure the pendulum is on a long enough chain or string to swing freely. Rest your elbow on a table or your knee to stabilize your hand.

Swing your pendulum in a gentle clockwise circle and tell it, "Show me yes." Wait for the pendulum to settle into the proper swing (whatever direction you chose). If it doesn't, ask again.

Once your pendulum consistently swings in the proper direction for "yes," use the same process to ask it to show you the proper swing for "no."

4. Finally, start training your pendulum to give you actual answers by practicing asking questions about short futures. Ask yes/no questions that can be verified in a 15 to 30 minute time frame. For instance, at the end of the work day you might ask your pendulum, "Will my roommate be home in the next 20 minutes?" Verify the correctness of your pendulum's answer, and then ask another question.

It actually doesn't matter whether your pendulum gives you the correct answer or not. It's more important to give your pendulum a lot of practice with dowsing magic. The more your work with your pendulum, the more accurate it will become. Don't get obsessed with the "rightness" of the answers during this training period.

Asking the Right Questions
At this stage, your pendulum can answer any yes/no question. How you phrase your questions will determine the accuracy of the answers. The general principle for asking questions in dowsing magic, as in spell work, is, "Be precise!"

For instance, if you ask your pendulum, "Will it rain today?" and your pendulum says, "Yes," don't be surprised if you don't see a drop of rain that day. Was your pendulum wrong? No. It probably rained somewhere in the world that day. Since you didn't ask for a precise location, your pendulum could not give you a precise answer.

As with everything else, practice makes perfect when it comes to dowsing magic. To remind yourself to practice, take your pendulum with you in your pocket or purse (wrapped in a piece of silk or in a small pouch) and use it any time you have a few minutes to yourself. You'll be surprised at how many opportunities you will have to use it!

Hope you enjoyed this step-by-step guide on making a pendulum and dowsing magic! If you want to create a personalized pendulum for yourself, consider these symbolic amulets:

Animal Amulets
Angel and Fairy Amulets
Other Symbolic Amulets

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

On the Magic of the "In-Betweens"

Magic lives in the "in-between" moments of our world. Think about it. Do you ever wonder why children can see fairies and angels, but adults usually can't? It's because as adults we have learned to see the concrete fixed objects in our world, not the shadows between the objects. We've learned to focus our attention on the tasks of our day, not the moments between tasks. In other words, we've lost the magic of the "in betweens" in our lives.

Why Magic Happens "In-Between"
If you read a lot of different esoteric authors, you'll find that most of them tell the same message, which is that magic tends to appear in-between things rather than directly. For instance, Carlos Castaneda writes about how Don Juan taught him to view the world in terms of the shadows that were present, instead of seeing the world of light. Other writers talk about the real essence of music is the space between the notes, rather than the notes themselves. Meditation masters strive to lengthen the gap between thoughts, so the magic can slip in and miracles can happen.

So why does magic happen "in-between"? Because by its definition magic is, well, magical. It surprises and astonishes us. It seems miraculous, impossible, and amazing. By definition, none of the things we can see, touch, and move directly in this world meet those criteria. It's not magic if we take a lot of action and achieve something. It is magic if we wish for something but take no action, and our wish becomes manifest.

How to Expand Your "In-Between" for More Magic
There are lots of magical ways to create and expand the "in-between" moments in your life, so magic can sneak up on you and surprise you. Flipping your world on its head is one fun way to do this. How do you flip your world upside down? Easy. Here are three ways to get you started:

1. See the World in Terms of Shadow
This is the exercise Don Juan gave to Carlos Castaneda. With this exercise when you look at a scene, try to see only the shadows, not the objects in the light.

2. Listen for Silence
We are constantly drowning in sound, even though we may not notice it. During the day, see if you can hear the silence instead of any concrete sound. What is the sound of silence? Many people hear it as a low ringing or buzzing in their ears, and some magical practitioners actually use this sound as a magical power source for spell work and other energy work.

3. Create Pauses Between Action and Reaction
Most of the time, we cruise around the world mechanically, and react automatically to any stimulus that hits our senses. When someone says, "Hi!" we automatically respond with a "Hi, how are ya?" We may not even really notice the interaction, or remember it later. To create more in-between times in your day, create a pause between the time a stimulus hits your senses and the time you respond. For instance, when someone says, "Hey, how are ya?" instead of sending back an automatic reply, take a moment to pause, stop, look the person in the eyes, and then reply. This pause can take all of one second, but the deliberate insertion of a pause between input and output creates an "in-between" moment. You can do the same thing when the phone rings. Stop a moment before your reach out to answer the phone ... wait for a couple of rings ... and then answer.

What kinds of magic will creep into these deliberately created moments between things? Only you will know. Magic can be very personal at the level of these exercises, so how it manifests in your life will also be personal. Be on the lookout for the magic, though, because the more "in-betweens" you create, the more magic will show up in your life!

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/ / CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why is My Magic All Wonky? Pluto at Work

"Why is my magic all wonky?"

I love when I get questions like this via email, and believe me, a lot of magical practitioners are finding that their magic is indeed a little wonky these days. Magic spells are going off track, astrological effects are hitting harder than ever, and divinations are often "hinky" at best.

So what the heck is going on with the magic?

Wonky Magic and the Pluto Return
The short answer to the question is this: astrology. Astrological factors are at work here. In particular Plutonian effects are at work. My sense of things is that globally we are experiencing a Plutonian return. Pluto, called by many astrologers the Lord of Karma, completes its orbit every 248 years.

Basically, we are receiving the results of whatever was occurring around 1761. During this period, the French-Indian War occurred, the Seven Years War ended, the Western Territories changed hands and the colonies experienced an economic slump. Then, of course, the difficulties with Great Britain began during this period, ending with the war for independence in 1775. So, here we are again.

Pluto has returned to the same position it was 248 years ago, and we are reaping the karma that has accumulated during that time.

What's Happening on the Individual Level
On the individual level, adaptation, acceptance, and change are being called forth. To the majority this appears to be a threat to survival, whereas to some it presents an opportunity for innovation. There will be possibilities galore for exasperation and anger, but also a lot of impetus for change that we have been, until now, too stuck, lazy, tired, or unimpressed to make.

What seems to be working for us, and for many magical practitioners, is to avoid confrontation on the worldly level and to create change on the magical level. In other words, if a physical event occurs that angers you, don't go immediately to action. Instead, focus on using daily magic rituals of maintenance to create an inner sacred space. From that sacred space, do whatever magic you choose to effect change, whether this be a spell, some simulacra magic, or a ritual offering.

For those of you who aren't sure what magic to use to create inner sacred space, check out the "Magic in Your Mailbox" series. It's an email serious that helps people formulate and use basic magic rituals as a part of daily life.

Sign up for "Magic in Your Mailbox" here.

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/flyingsinger/ / CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When to Use Magic: Should I Use Magic or Fight on the World Plane?

When a nasty situation crops up in your life, do you fight it or do you use magic? That's a question that many magicians face on a regular basis. On the world plane, taking action to resolve an "unfair" or "bad" situation seems like the right thing to do, but does getting entangled in a negative situation drag the rest of your life downhill?

On the other hand, if you use magic to attempt to resolve a situation without taking physical action, what kind of result will you get? Will the magic be strong enough to stop or change a negative situation that has already manifested physically? What's a magician to do?

When to Use Magic
Well, as a Native American elder once told me when I asked him the same question, "Do all the magic that you can ... and buy insurance." I got a laugh out of that, and I hope you do, too! And the message is clear:

1. Do all the magic that is appropriate to the situation
2. Take any and all physical steps to remedy the situation that do not cause you to feel negative or interfere with your magical work

That's pretty simple, right?

A Few Examples to Illustrate the Use of Magic
Of course, most magical principles sound pretty simple until you actually have to apply them to everyday situations. Reality is never as tidy as we would like it to be. So here are a few parallel examples that might illustrate what I mean.

We live in a farming community in Colorado, and out here in the high desert water is of immense importance: no water, no crops, no farming. People have been killed in Colorado over water issues and water rights. It's a big deal. Here are three examples centered around water rights and the use (or non-use) of magic to illustrate my point.

John's Case
John doesn't practice magic at all because he doesn't know anything about it. He got into a tussle with other members of his homeowner's association over how water was being distributed. Not having any magical means at his disposal, he (along with half of the homeowners) went to court against the other half of the homeowners. Ten thousand dollars and a year later, when the judge finally passed its decision, John wasn't satisfied with the result, and neither were ANY of the other homeowners on either side. Plus, he had a seriously bad taste in his mouth about the whole situation.

Harriet's Case
Harriet is a magical practitioner. Faced with a neighbor on the same ditch who kept taking her water, Harriet first response was to tell off the neighbor. She confronted him three times, to no avail. In fact, on the third go-round, the neighbor pointed out that Harriet's fence line was actually on his property, and that he could force her to move her fence if she kept harassing him about the water. That left Harriet, who has no love of pounding fence posts into the ground, in a bit of a quandary.

But she did have options--magical options. So she did some basic spell work to bring water to her pasture, which was drying up fast. She also did some weather work. The results were fairly neat, if not totally karmic. It rained and it rained. Harriet simply puts her horses on her pasture and doesn't cut hay from it, so the rain was perfect. Her field got watered and the grass grew. The neighbor, on the other hand, had just cut hay so his hay got rained on, which is never a good thing. It was all fairly karmic. The rain also delayed the neighbor's hay-cutting schedule, so there was plenty of water in the ditch for Harriet to use during the ensuing weeks. Pretty neat magical trick.

Our Case
Then there's our case. This year we have three new people on our ditch who are water hogs. We've tried talking to them, but they told us to take a long walk off a short cliff. Having figured out from past experience that no amount of "talking" would create much effect (and any talking immediately made us negative), we turned immediately to magic. In a very nifty turn of events, unexpected money and people showed up. The money came in the form of a check in the mail, literally. The people came in the form of electricians who could and would wire a pump on the back of our property so we could water our fields without bothering the people up the ditch from us. Perfection!

I hope these examples make clear the two principles I outlined above about when to use magic. In our case, we are taking physical action in the form of having a new pump installed ... but only after we had done our magic. In addition, these actions make us feel very positive rather than negative, which means that we won't get in our own way karmically or magically about the water situation. Make sense? Good, then go make some magic!

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mixing Up Magic with a Pinch of This and a Dab of That? Not Hardly!

I know magical practitioners who approach the craft with the attitude of, "All it takes is a pinch of this and a dab of that." And certainly if you watch movies like "Harry Potter" or TV shows like "Charmed" you might get the idea that magic works like your grandmother's cooking: no recipe needed, just follow your instincts. Not hardly!

Magic is a Precision Science
From experience I have discovered that magic is a precision science. Using the right words, ingredients, symbols, and tools is very important. For instance, we often teach our students to use invocations to address magical powers and beings. In one, we address "Sky Father" and "Earth Mother." I am always amazed at how many students casually switch the order of these words when doing the invocation, and end up addressing "Father Sky" and "Mother Earth," thinking that they are addressing the same beings as "Sky Father" and "Earth Mother."

Not so at all. Magic is a precision science, and "Sky Father" is an entirely different being than "Father Sky." If you think that the distinction is unimportant, consider your own name. Suppose your name is Adam Johnson. Would it make a difference to you whether I called you Adam or Johnson? Sure it would. In many cultures, addressing a person by their last name can be either a sign of respect or a sign of denigration. It can make a huge difference.

Do Magic as a Precision Science
My teacher and mentor in magic, Reverend George Dew, had a favorite saying about magic: "Take your time, think it through, do it right." That's a great motto to use anytime you want to practice magic. After all, in the case of invoking powers and beings to help you, you want to get the right being. Getting the wrong being can send you down a rabbit hole or through the looking glass!

People often wonder why our magic courses, like Basic Magic, take so long to complete. It's because magic is a precision science, and a person doing magic rituals or practices without understanding the reasons behind them is risking harm. If you want to learn more about practicing the art of magic as a precision science, here are some guidelines to help you.

1. Learn Rules of the Road, the universal laws that we have found true in governing magical practice.

2. If you don't know the reason behind a magical practice or ritual, do some research until you understand, or don't do the ritual at all.

3. Take your time and learn one magical item at a time. When you get in a hurry and want to win the lottery with a spell immediately, you might as well toss your wand in the trash. Fast magic loaded with anxiety won't produce results, ever!

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Photo credit: George Eastman House

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Science Behind "The Secret"

Some people love the book, "The Secret." Other people hate it. Some people watch the video every single morning. Other people won't touch it with a 10 foot pole. Some people started out watching the video every day, and now won't touch it at all.

I understand all of these reactions. Having read and watched "The Secret," I see how the information contained therein is both insightful and also far too vague to be of use to many people, especially the skeptics. The material presented is familiar ground to people who already believe, and is still "pie in the sky" to people who have never believed. So "The Secret" is very much preaching to the choir.

For those who find this material unbearably vague or totally unbelievable, I suggest a different book: "The Holographic Universe" by Michael Talbot. Talbot ties science with mysticism in this wonderful work, and proposes that the Universe is entirely a hologram. His model encompasses both the new findings of physics and many questions that relate to magic and mind-body connections.

Can You Chop a Salamander's Brain and Still Make it Work?
To back up some of his amazing theories, Talbot cites numerous scientific studies and experiments. The one that so fascinates me is the one where scientists literally removed, sliced-and-diced, and then replaced the brain of a salamander. Amazingly enough, the salamander functioned just fine with his new sliced-and-diced brain, indicating what we have often postulated-that the brain is the analog of the mind, but is not the mind itself. The mind exists somewhere outside the body, yet uses the brain to convey many of its signals and messages.

In any case, the book is a totally worthy read and an excellent source for those who are doubting Thomases. It is chock-full of science and other objective goodies, so read on ... or buy it for your favorite skeptic this holiday season!

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Free Magic Spells -- Good, Bad, or Ugly?

As a magician and shaman, the most frequent request I receive is for free magic spells. People ask me to email them a free magic spell for money, health, love, career, success ... you name it, someone has asked for it. Pick something coveted by society, be it winning the lottery or getting a promotion, and people want a free magic spell to manifest it. There are free magic spells out there, a lot of them, but the question is whether free magic spells actually perform as intended.

Are Free Magic Spells Good, Bad, or Ugly?
The answer is that most free magic spells are none of these things: good, bad, or ugly. Most free magic spells are relatively harmless, good for short-term issues (like temporary pain relief), and not that powerful.

Will a free magic spell help you win the lottery? Nope. What about win the love of the person of your dreams? Nope. How about fix your chronic health problems? Not that either.

So what are these kinds of spells useful for? Well, a spell of this kind might lift your energy so you can beat a traffic ticket in court. This kind of spell might also help you clear junky energies out of your house so you can feel more peaceful and content. If you can't sleep at night, a small candle spell can keep nightmares or insomnia at bay. This is the scale at which these kinds of magic spells operate.

When Not to Use a Free Magic Spell
If you want to create a magical effect on a larger scale, such as healing a chronic health condition or making a truly permanent change in your life, consider using something other than a free magic spell. For this kind of change, you'll either need to hire someone to design a spell for you, or you'll need to design and launch your own spell. For a spell to really work, you need to pay something into the process. What do you pay? Sometimes it is money, and more often than not you pay in effort and attention.

Except in very unusual cases, I don't do spells for other people. As with the adage about giving someone a fish or teaching them how to fish, I find most people benefit more in the long run by learning how to design and cast their own spells. Does it take more time? Yes. Does it take more effort? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Designing Your Own Magic Spells
When you create your own spell that is customized to your personal situation, the spell will be far more powerful and effective than using a spell created by another person. Also, every time you put effort into spell work or magical work of any kind, you increase your personal power and magical abilities. That kind of effort accumulates over time until eventually you are a powerful magician ... perhaps without even realizing it.

Learning the Magical Craft of Spells
If learning to be a powerful magician in your own right interests you, beyond just solving a temporary life problem, I suggest you investigate the Basic Magic course. You can sign up for the full 30-week comprehensive course designed to take novices from learning about the basics of the four elements all the way through the Tarot and spell work or break it up into short courses or Levels 1, 2 or 3 of Basic Magic. Learn more about these online classes here:

Magic Courses

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