I honestly can’t recall if it was Pete Carroll or Phil Hine or both that made a discussion of retroactive enchantment. (It was probably Carroll, since that would fit in well with his cosmological model and his view on the malleability of time, but I’m not really in the mood to look it up and be sure.) Either way, the concept is a fairly clear one: you work a spell that manifests through channels that suggest events were changed in your favor at a time prior to your working of the spell. Either by directly targeting an already past event or through a haphazard coincidence of best available channels for manifestation, the cause (the spell) comes after the effect (the change).
So I talked a little bit about my explorations into planetary magick.
By my question was, now that I have been exposed to these energies and can invoke them, what do I do with them?
My original idea was to invoke planetary energies in such a way that I could compensate for harsh or difficult aspects on my natal chart. To a certain degree, this is still an objective, although I have different ideas on how to accomplish it.
The source material I am drawing on is Rosicrucian, so of course it recommended that I channel this energy into attaining Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel. And you know what? For once, that didn’t sound like a bad idea.
But mostly, I wanted those energies to have better expression in my life. And the invocations started me on that path. But the energies were undirected, and general in their manifestation. Sure, it felt good, but I wanted something more focused. Continue reading
My blogging has been pretty pathetic this year. My keeping track of my goals hasn’t been very good either.
But I’m trying to break them down more into more manageable bench-markers, and the beginning or a new month is as good a time as any to see where I’m at and what I want to be doing. Continue reading
I get nervous explaining magick. Even to friends, even if they believe too, even after writing this blog for four years. I expect they’ll be bored, or they’ll trivialize my work as just another visualization, another arbitrary way to communicate intent to the unconscious. And so, I rush.
I rush through the model, defining terms rather than explaining the ideas behind them. I talk about one technique, rather than walking them through the overarching model and my reasons for using it. I try to finish quickly, rather than drawing them in so they want to explore the ideas with me.
Of course, rushing creates the exact problems I’m anticipating.
But if you take the time to consider the fact that they don’t know what you’re talking about (or at least not to the detail you are familiar with), and take them slowly through it, you get better results.
This week, I explained my current work to a friend. I made myself slow down. Explained ethereal muscles before discussing communication. Talked about referred sensations from imagination before discussing the tingles that come from energy. Stepped her through each idea while we had breakfast.
And she got it. She even offered to help me test some techniques
The problem here is twofold.
First of all, when you’re really in depth into something, it can be very difficult to remember the perspective you had as a novice. This makes it very easy to jump over an important term or concept, forgetting that the person you’re talking to isn’t familiar with it. And then you jump back and forth in a disjointed fashion, which makes it easy to lose people. Lost people become bored easily. (Notice how Sententia had better results when he presented his information in a more organized fashion?)
Secondly, this has a lot to do about passion and interest, and isn’t exclusive to magic. It’s easy to do this with whatever your passion or hobby or love is. It can be magic, the occult, or paganism, sure. It can also be gushing over the latest episode of Sherlock, or Supernatural, or going on endlessly about cars, or politics, or what color you baby’s poop was. We gush about what we’re passionate about.
Both of these issues are about perspective and empathy. It is very easy to forget the perspective of someone not as emotionally or intellectually invested in something as you are, and tone down your responses appropriately. Keep your audience in mind, and you will find it more receptive.
On problems of explaining magic, the occult, paganism, fandoms, or anything that is unusual and cliquish to outsiders
Taylor Ellwood has an interesting discussion regarding magical work and narrative structure.
The way words are used and even the format of the text can set up pacing for the book. For example, if you use a lot of dialogue you’re usually trying to move the narrative along. The same applies for action sequences. Now if you apply this to magic, think about why you are doing magic. You’re typically doing it to make a connection, create a change, or work through your internal crap. Ask yourself how you are directing the narrative. What are you paying attention to and what aren’t you paying attention to? What could you change that would allow you to discover what you aren’t noticing?
There have been thousands of gallons of ink spilled on relating ritual to a narrative structure. This is pretty spot on. And as a storyteller myself, it is very easy to see magical work as constructing a personal narrative. Or editing one, as it were.
The narrative flow of a given magical working is an arrangement. You cut out what doesn’t fit, and you put into place what does fit. Then you tie all those elements together and you tell a story to reality that embeds the possibility you desire into yourself as the magician and reality as the recipient. The result is a manifestation of magic. Pretty simple really, but its made complicated by the attachment people have to descriptive elements which are really just placeholders to describe something they represent. If you understand what’s represented, you can get rid of the place holders and work directly with the source
Your life is a story. There are many, many threads that weave through it — plot arcs, of you will. Some of them are never resolved, some of them depend on the actions of other people, and some of them will take you where you want to be.
I’m not big on predestination or fate, but I do believe that there are patterns that suggest where things will likely end up. Certain story arcs can have predictable outcomes. When you do magic, what you are doing is editing those outcomes to introduce more interesting or beneficial ones.
The fun part is that much of magic ritual in itself acts out certain stories or narratives. And the stories we chose to enact are what allow us to edit the story arcs we’re facing. This can work by either enacting the scenario you wish to insert into your narrative, or by acting out the role of an editor and simply dictating the changes you want to make.
It’s your story. Make the edits you want.
For my first (late) offering to the Pagan Blog Project, I talk about Phil Hine’s application of counting coup to magical training.