Monday, March 30, 2009
Harry Potter and "Charmed" are great introductions to magic, but they do often mislead the general public about magic. Hopefully this article will demystify five of the common myths about magic created by popular media.
1. There Are No Muggles
Magic is the birth right of every single person on this planet. You don't have to be "born" into a magical lineage, a witchy heritage, or a wizarding family. Everyone can learn magic. Magic is both an art and a science, with real rules, logic, and reasoning. Magic can be learned just as any science can be learned. You can start right now with cloud magic, the library of articles on our website, or (for those who really want to dive into the deep end) our 32-week Basic Magic teleclass.
So go ahead, learn magic. There are no muggles, only people who don't yet know how to do magic!
2. The "Personal Gain" Thing and Magic
The whole myth that you can't do magic for personal is bogus. If you can't use magic as a recourse in a life that is admittedly unfair at times, what is it for? Magic should be used to improve your life. Many practitioners have used magic to attract money, recognition, and other life conditions, all without backlash. Can you use magic to win the lottery? You can try, but it probably won't work. Why not? Because the stream of resistance against it from society is too strong. Most people buy lottery tickets "expecting" not to win. This is a topic for a whole other article, but know that Rules of the Road, the universal laws that govern magical practice, do not prohibit the use of magic for personal gain. So ahead, gain!
3. Magic Should Be Given Away for Free
We get the occasional snide email from someone who thinks that magic should be given away for free. "You claim that magic is the birth right of every planetary citizen," they say. "Why don't you give it away then?"
Good question. Let's clarify this issue about birth right. We have the right to many things on this planet, including knowledge of all kinds (magical and mundane), love, consciousness, joy, and faith. But just because we have a right to it does not mean that we come into this world owning it. Having a right to something simply means that we have the option to "get" it if we choose, but it is up to us to "get" what we want.
For instance, every single person on this planet has the right to be a rocket scientist, should they so choose. Does that mean that MIT or Princeton should give away their knowledge about rocket science at no cost? No. Can you learn a lot about rocket science by going to the library and "getting" the knowledge at no charge. Yes. But how many people will actually do that?
The same is true for magic. We give away a lot of knowledge about magic, but the one thing we cannot give away is the desire to learn and work at magic. Magic allows you to do some amazing things that you could not otherwise do, but it's still an art and a science. It still requires effort to produce the results you want. A major spell to bring money to your mailbox can take several weeks to set up and launch. Is it worth it? Absolutely. It would take months of slaving away at a regular job to earn that kind of money. So magic can help you do what you can't achieve in ordinary life, but it is still work. And the knowledge is valuable. When you pay to learn magic, you are not paying someone else for the knowledge. Instead, you are paying for the privilege of owning the knowledge. Magicians don't charge for magic because they need to earn a living. There is a charge because people do not value what they do not pay for.
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Photo credit: Terri at 9 3/4
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The art and study of magic is a vast study that can take years, and I get many questions about how people should go about studying this topic. It can be daunting and I understand why people ask this question. In my observation and experience, the best place to begin studying is with the four elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth.
Because everything in the Universe is composed of the four elements, this study is literally part of everything else you will study in magic. Thus, to start at the beginning, start with the element Air. Air is a safe element to start studying because you can do very little to yourself or others with air. The most you may do is make yourself "spacy" or silly for a while, but Air dissipates quickly so you'll soon recover. For instance, we often start beginner magical practitioners with cloud-moving and weather work. Clouds, being of the Air element, are easy to move with intention and not likely to get anyone in trouble.
Learning how to handle the Air element also helps you develop the skills you will need to handle the more advanced elements of Fire, Water, and Earth. Here is a brief summary of what each of the elements corresponds to:
Seeing, breathing, speaking, hearing, planning, thinking, believing, memorizing, communicating, learning, teaching, information, ideas, wisdom, understanding, worry, sensation, awareness, opinions, data, memory, mind.
Energy, power, will, desire, anger, pain, motivation, radiance, passion, initiative, aggression, limitation, endeavor, activity, creative, willingness, urge, inspired, excitable, courage, bravado, compulsion, fanaticism, frustration, resentment, rage, freedom.
Emotions, feelings, intuition, compassion, empathy, sympathy, knowing, devotion, quest, aspiration, intention, appreciation, integrity, harmony, beauty, balance, serenity, fluidity, grief, apathy, joy, love.
Strength, money, foundation, endurance, structure, mundane world, serenity of beingness, solidity, boundaries, permanence, land, commerce, products, confidence, loyalty, persistence, stubbornness, fortress, security, anchor, barter, substance, body, base, possessions.
At first, you will want to learn to handle each of these elements with your bare hands, in what we call direct handling. For instance, if you wanted to handle the Air element directly, you could increase or decrease the balance of Air in your body. The simplest way to do that would be to wear white clothing. White is one of the Air element colors, and tends to increase your mental capacity. Other ways of handling Air include pulling in white energy through your hands or "breathing" in white energy.
Once you have become proficient at handling the four elements directly you can move on to using magical tools. Since magical tools, such as the wand, athame, chalice and plate, are extensions of the basic four elements and your own energies, they should be studied and handled only after you develop a working knowledge and understanding of the four elements themselves. The same is true of the more advanced topics of divination, tarot and spellwork, which are directly related to your understanding of the elements.
Photo credit: More old books
Thursday, March 19, 2009
With Harry Potter, the Halliwell sisters on Charmed, Race to Witch Mountain, and all the other books and movies out there about magic, people can get very confused about magic. People ask us all the time, "What is magic, really?"
Good question. And we have an answer. So here goes ...
Magic is a precision science! It is also:
- The science of deliberate creation.
- The science of effective prayer.
- The science of manifesting Higher Will (God's Will) on the energetic and material planes.
- The science of heightened awareness, selective perception, and dynamic, harmonious relationships.
- The study of intention (as per Aleister Crowley, one of the greatest magicians).
- The system of creation, not coercion.
Every intentional act is a magical act! Magic gives us the ability to communicate with beings on all levels, and allows us to understand, through direct experience, the actual workings of the Universe.
Magic is the traditional path of spiritual growth.
Magic is not extraordinary knowledge. It is the "normal" way of life. We've just lost access to it. When you have this kind of knowledge in your understanding, you have the ability to resolve spiritual questions that otherwise become catechism. From a magician's point of view, catechism is not acceptable, since a magician must experience and verify everything for him or herself. It avoids the trap of dogma. In past time, having a magical foundation was essential so that we could go and talk directly to God, the devil, etc.
Magic is necessary to effective religious practice,
In religious practice, a priest is qualified to perform rituals, but not to create them. Only the magician has the ability to create because he has the tools of divination to test the rituals he creates.
How Do You Spell Magic?
There is some confusion as to how to spell the word "magic." There are three different commonly used spellings: magic, magick and majick. Eliphas Levi first used the form "magick" to differentiate religious or ceremonial magick from stage magic.
Does this make sense? Have more questions? Here are a couple more resources so you can delve deeper:
How to Study Magic
Basic Magic Course (starting soon)
Photo credit: Dreaming Like a Fairy
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I have been studying various magical and shamanic methods of creative visualization (including NLP, Silva Mind Control, Tom Brown, Jr. among others) and I just can't seem to "see" visualizations clearly using any of these techniques. I would really like to be able to harness my psychic powers through creative visualization. Can you suggest anything that would help?
-- Visualization Impaired, Belton, TX
Dear Visualization Impaired,
I understand how frustrating it must be to not be able to "see" the visualization you desire in your mind's eye. However, I'm not surprised that you can't. Actually, many people have difficulty seeing creative visualizations because many people are not dominantly visual. If your dominant sense isn't visual, you won't be able to "see" a visualization. However, that doesn't mean you can "hear" or "sense" or "feel" creatively and psychically.
Seeing something in your mind's eye is only one of your many Spirit perceptics, or abilities. Your Spirit can also sense in many other ways, including hearing, sensing, smelling, or feeling emotions. If you have difficulty seeing a visualization try instead to feel or hear a scenario in your imagination. I liken this kind of exercise to the state of reverie or daydreaming.
Active Daydreaming as Visualization
With whatever sense is strongest for you (hearing, touching, emotions), daydream about what you want to occur. Just imagine that you are in the scenario. Some people actually get up and move around instead of sitting still for their visualizations. They "act out" the visualization so that it has more power and force.
For instance, suppose you have trouble "visualizing" a check coming to you in the mail. It might help to actually walk down to your mail box and "act as if" you were getting a check out of the mailbox. Actually open the mailbox, stick your hand in, and act as if you were pulling out a check. Feel the excitement of opening the envelope and seeing a check with a big dollar figure written on it. Play out the whole scenario and see what happens. You'll be surprised. This form of active visualization works for many people.
Using the Auditory Sense
If that doesn't work for you, you can always try listening for voices in your mind. Some people have good experiences with hearing a pre-planned script in their head, a script of something they want to happen. Suppose you want a promotion. Simply rehearse script in your mind and play it over and over. You might script a conversation where you accidentally overhear two people discussing your promotion. Whatever the script, be sure to write something that is convincing to you.
As you can tell, there are lots of different ways to do creative imagination, even if you can't see anything in your mind's eye. Try a variety of different techniques until you find one that matches your dominant Spirit ability. Then use that method frequently to help you manifest the desired results in your life.
Deeper Psychic Development
You can further develop and harness your psychic abilities by learning the techniques in our ebooks and email courses:
Daily Rituals for Attracting What You Want in Life Ebook
Everyday Magic Email Course
Photo credit: Dream Catch Me (8/365)
Monday, March 16, 2009
About two years ago I had this compulsion to move a cloud, out of nowhere. I practiced and moved them with great ease, to my surprise. I began moving wind in whatever direction I chose as well, and during this past storm, it seemed as though the heavy or lightness of the rain was responding to my thoughts and emotions. I never wanted to lose the ability to move the clouds, but a part of me was alarmed at this power and I think the responsibility was taken away from me. I can still affect the wind (and I think the clouds too just not intentionally), and apparently now the rain. I guess my question is, can I ask for the power back? And are there any risks involved? I've been a wicca enthusiast for most of my life now but I'm still afraid to work spells (I can do innocuous blessings) because I'm afraid they'll turn out badly or reverse themselves. I'm also afraid to think certain things for fear of bringing them about in my life. Please help. -- A Disciplined Mind
Dear Disciplined Mind,
What a great series of questions about weatherworking and cloud magic. I truly understand your concerns and want to reassure you about your situation.
First I want to clear up a particular point. You said that you became alarmed at your weatherworking powers and that the "responsibility" was taken away from you. Don't worry. This is not possible. Anyone who wishes can work with clouds and weather and no one can take that ability away from you.
Having said that, there are two factors that can improve your ability to work with weather:
2. good relationships with the beings that control weather, including the Winds of the four directions, Sky Father, Earth Mother, and storm spirits
As with any magical art, practice makes perfect. If you want and need practice, clouds make great practice targets for your intention. It sounds like you have quite a bit of natural talent when it comes to moving clouds.
If you want to develop your weatherworking skills beyond working with clouds, the next step would be to develop relationships with the beings that control the weather. As mentioned above, these include the Winds, Sky Father, and Earth Mother. To begin developing a relationship with these beings, go outside and bid them good morning at the start of each day and bid them good night at the end of each day. Greet each of them individually by facing each different direction. Face east to great the Winds of the East, face south to greet the Winds of the South, and so forth. Start in the east and move clockwise until you are facing east again. Then greet Sky Father above you, and Earth Mother below you. In this way you introduce yourself to these beings and open a relationship with them.
Then, the next time you want to affect the weather, address the appropriate beings. For instance, if you know a storm is blowing in from the west and you want it to avoid your property, after greeting the winds, ask the Winds of the West to assist you in moving the storm around your property rather than over top of it. Thank the Winds of the West in advance for their help and then let the magic happen. Thank the Winds of the West again when your request has been fulfilled.
As you can see, we humans don't control the weather directly because weather is not directly in our domain. However, we can ask the beings that do control the weather for help and assistance. Since so few people actually ask for help, the Winds, Sky Father, and Earth Mother are usually quite happy to assist us.
There are exceptions, of course. One time, during the Yellowstone fires of 1988 I attempted to direct a storm toward the national park to douse the fires. Though I am usually able to get help from the Winds in these endeavors, I was told in no uncertain terms that the fires needed to burn in Yellowstone. The Winds did not fulfill my request in that instance for that reason.
I hope this helps to ease your concerns about your weatherworking abilities and encourages you to start building a relationship with powers and beings in the weatherworking department!
Photo credit: Sweet Home Under White Clouds
Thursday, March 12, 2009
On the show "Charmed" supposedly the reason spells work for the Halliwell sisters is because the sisters are prophesied to be charmed and are part of the powerful Halliwell line. Spells work for witches but not for ordinary people-at least according to the show.
That is true on television, but doesn't apply in the real world. First of all, in the real world there isn't a dividing line between witches and ordinary people. Anyone who wants to can practice magic and, as with everything else, practice makes perfect. But there is a dividing line between someone for whom a spell will work and someone for whom the spell will not.
That dividing line is called the level of being.
A person with a very high level of being casting a spell would get a positive and quick response. A person with a very low level of being casting the very same spell would get little or no results, or possibly even some backlash. The higher the person's level of being the easier it is for that person to get good results with spellwork.
So what is your level of being? Unfortunately there isn't a specific yardstick out there that you can use to measure your level of being, but here are some factors that tend to increase and decrease your level of being.
Factors that increase your level of being:
- belief in a friendly universe
- positive outlook on life and predominantly positive emotions
- trust in higher powers and beings
- relationship with higher powers and beings (angels, totems, etc.)
- a sense of patience and acceptance
- use and practice of magical skills
-a spiritual practice
Factors that decrease your level of being:
- negative emotions including doubt, fear, anger, and guilt
- a feeling that you are alone in the world
- lack of spiritual practice or belief in spiritual forces
- distrust of higher powers and beings
- impatience and frustration with life
- the perspective that life is poor and will never get better
- lack of a magical practice
These two lists could go on endlessly but you get the picture. Those who are able to cast a spell and then "let it go" have a much higher level of being. A higher level of being, characterized by trust and acceptance, gives a spell room to work without interference. If you have a low level of being, your tendency will be to cast a spell and then immediately begin doubting its effect. You may feel frustrated that the spell isn't working fast enough. In doing so you will be interfering with the way your spell works because doubt and frustration just add to the resistance your spell has to overcome before it can create an effect.
So the level of your being has a lot to do with how well spells work for you. People with a very high level of being, like Sai Baba for instance, don't even need spells to do magic. Sai Baba was able to manifest sacred ash from the palms of his hands and scatter the ash among his followers. He was witnessed doing this by thousands and thousands of people.
But if you're not to Sai Baba's level yet (and very few people are), one way to increase the effectiveness of your spellwork is to increase the level of your being. It is not as hard as you might think. Simply adding a 15 minute meditation to your daily regimen can raise your level of being immensely. So can making the decision to stop doubt for 10 minutes each day. Take a small step to raise the level of your being on a daily basis and you'll be surprised how much better magic spells work for you.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
In the Harry Potter movies we watch children play Quidditch on a broomstick and little wizards and witches casting quick spells here and there with their magic wands. In the movie, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” we watch martial arts heroes literally flying among the trees to fight. These days we’re flooded with all kinds of movies that bring magic into our lives. With all this new found interest in magic, most people are asking, “Is magic real?” What do you think? Is magic real and can you really have magic in your life?
Yes. Magic is very real and has existed as a precise science for thousands of years. Whether you call it magic, magick or majick, it is real. Every single person can learn to do magic. We were ALL born with the talents and abilities that empower us to do magic. The only reason that magic seems so, well, magical is that this society no longer teaches the art and science of magic. In the distant past, magical study was just as important as math, science or the arts. Even the miracles that Jesus performed were based on the use of magic. In fact, magic was and still is the birthright of EVERY planetary citizen.
Can you learn to do the kind of magic portrayed in the movies? Yes – and no. The movies are great at giving you a taste of what you can do with magic, but they aren’t very accurate. In the Harry Potter movies, for instance, the characters use their wands for every magical operation. In reality, you can only use the wand to handle air energies. Your wand would actually explode or catch fire if you tried to use it to throw firebolts and fireballs like the characters do in the movie.
So what can you actually do with magic? Quite a lot. Here’s a short list to get you started:
- Balance your energies for healing and manifestation
- Change old beliefs
- Defend yourself against physical and psychic attack
- Heal yourself and others
- Find hidden information and see possible futures
- Psychically communicate with other beings
- Create sacred space
- Find lost people and objects
- Manifest what you want and need in life
At the very basis of magic is the understanding of the four elements: Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Called elemental magic, these foundational elements are real. Air, Fire, Water and Earth are part of our natural everyday environment. What makes them magical is the understanding of how they operate not just on the physical level, but also at the levels of mind and Spirit.
For instance, while on the physical level Air is just the stuff we breathe, on the magical levels Air is the conduit of psychic communication, enlightenment, understanding, dreaming and more. If you want more of any of these things in your life, then you need more magical Air. How do you get more magical Air? Wear more Air colors, including white for communication and sky blue for enlightenment and understanding. To take this one step further, you could also take on more Air to make your body lighter. Take on enough Air and you’ll be able to levitate.
By just extending your understanding and use of the basic ingredients of nature, you are doing magic! Seen in this light, magic isn’t all smoke and mirrors, nor is it the result of Hollywood special effects. Magic is the result of truly understanding and working with the very elements that are all around you.
One final note: Many masters, including Wayne Dyer, have said, "You'll see it when you believe it." The same is true for magic. In other words, the suspension of disbelief and the willingness not to exercise contempt prior to investigation are requirements for magic to be “real.” Magic is all around us, and always is, but our ability to perceive and use the forces of magic depends on our willingness to be open. No one else can show it to you, only your direct experience and observation can “prove” or demonstrate to you that magic is real.
We’ve found that one of the simplest ways to experience magic (and your own magical abilities) is to work with clouds. Clouds respond to your intention, and you can easily move, shape and manipulate clouds from a great distance. And moving clouds that are suspended hundreds of feet above you is quite magical, isn’t it?
To start playing with clouds, send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll email the instructions to you ASAP. Have fun!
P.S. Check out the comprehensive Basic Magic Class -- for those with serious interest only!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
But let's focus for a moment on Voodoo dolls. If you want to know how to do Voodoo you have to know something about the use of the Voodoo doll. A Voodoo doll, in more normal magical terms, is a simulacrum. A simulacrum is an object that is a likeness of something. In magical operations, if you want to affect a person without direct action, you could choose an object that resembles the person (like a small figurine) and make a psychic connection between the object and the person. To make this psychic connection, also called "keying," you just hold the object in your dominant hand and think of the person. Flow thoughts and energy about that person into the object until the object begins to feel warm or tingly. Now the object is connected to the person and, depending on how strong the connection is, anything that happens to the object also happens to the person.
For a simulacrum you can use photographs, pictures, dolls and other small models, lists, symbols, Tarot layouts, and other objects as simulacra. You can also use chess pieces or objects made of stone, ceramic, wood or glass. If you use wood be sure it is fairly dense otherwise it will not easily key. Plastic and rubber do not key well so don't use them. According to the Law of Similarity, the greater the likeness between a simulacrum and that to which the simulacrum is keyed, the greater the psychic connection will be. Photographs and pictures have a great likeness to the original subjects and they already access the original subjects. So now you know a little more about how to do Voodoo, or at least the principles of how Voodoo dolls work.
Be Careful with Simulacra
Of course, be very careful about keying simulacra. If the connection between the simulacra and person is very strong, anything that happens to the object happens to the person. If something accidental happens to the simulacra and also happens to the person, according the Rules of the Road (the laws that govern magical practice) the Universe will hold you responsible. You really don't want that kind of karma on your hands. For instance, once a practitioner keyed a figurine to a person and then left the figurine on a table. While the practitioner was out of the house, his cats began playing with the figurine, batting it about and throwing it in the air. The person to whom the figurine was keyed felt horribly nauseous and dizzy until the practitioner returned home and rescued the figurine. Take this example as a warning if you want to learn how to do Voodoo. Don't key anything for which you don't want to be ultimately and forever responsible!