Teachers and Systems: What to Expect

I personally had two teachers who taught me magic. I’m very fortunate in that my teachers were both very good at what they did and also very ethical. I now take on students of my own and have been doing that for some time. Personally I’ve never gone through any magic system. I’ve never needed to, I had teachers. I have however looked at a lot of systems and I’ve known a lot of people that have gone through them, so I’m familiar with how they work.

I want to go through what it’s like to have a teacher, what it’s like to go through a system, and what you, as a prospective student, should expect. There is, of course, a third route to learning magic, which is self-learning, but I’m not going to spend much time going into that.

When I say teacher I’m referring to a spiritual mentor who has an intense one-on-one relationship with a student where they work on learning magic together for a period of time. I’m not referring to people who are teaching classes or running workshops on some aspect of magic or spirituality, and I’m not referring to teachers in the broader sense in that we all have things we can teach each other in regards to magic and spirituality.

What Age Should You Start

I usually work with students in their early to mid-twenties. I’m willing to work with students up to their early to mid-thirties, and I’m open to working with a teenager if it’s an exceptional student, but usually teenagers aren’t ready for a teacher (I’ll talk more about that later).

If you’re older than mid-thirties, I would turn you away as a student, because I’m not the right teacher for you. I’m sure you can still get a lot out of spirituality at an older age, but you need a teacher who is a good fit for older students, and honestly you’ll probably be better served by a system. If you’re just getting serious about your spirituality and magic at that late an age, it’s pretty much certain that spirituality isn’t going to be a focal point of your life this time around, and there’s going to be a relatively low ceiling to how far you can develop. If it was meant to be, you would’ve found a teacher or system much earlier in life.

That isn’t to say spirituality isn’t for you if you’re older, or that there’s nothing to gain by exploring it further. I’d definitely encourage you to practice magic, and take your spirituality as far as you can, however if you choose to go with a teacher, you’re going to need a teacher that has experience working with older students and has a knack for it, and that’s not me. Likewise a lot of the information in this article will still apply to you, but some of it may not. Your spiritual path is going to have a very different trajectory than a younger student, and I don’t have a whole lot of experience with what that looks like.

Are You Ready Yet?

The #1 reason I don’t take on a student is because I don’t have time at the moment. Teaching is very time consuming and unfortunately I only have so many hours in a day. The #2 reason is that the person is not ready to be taught.

If you’re just now starting to get into spirituality, it might seem like the best next step is to find a teacher or find some group to join that offers a system to teach magic. That’s what I personally would assume the next logical step would be.

However before you can be a student you have to go through a phase of spiritual discovery. This phase is all about exploring spirituality, seeing what’s out there, and discovering what it means to you, and if you want it to be a focal point of your life going forward. If you’re at this point, read books, go to meetups, maybe take an intro class if someone’s offering it, engage with the community, cast some spells, do some energy work, meditate, astral project, evoke demons, whatever. Just be spiritual, do magic, and figure out if this is for you and what direction you want to take it.

It’s hard to say how long you should stay in this phase before you’re ready to be a student. Some people get stuck in this phase forever. You’re going to need to spend at least a year doing this, probably a few years. The amount of time you need to spend on this has a bit of a converse relationship with age as well. If you’re really young you’ll probably have to spend more time in this phase, but you have more time anyways.

24-26 is sort of the sweet spot to get a teacher or enter a system. If you get there before 24, you’re ahead of the pack no matter how long you spent exploring spirituality before hand. If you’re already in your mid-twenties, you’ll probably want to pick up the pace so you can get where you need to be before you get too far past 26.

If you have a teacher willing to take you on as a student before you’ve had time to fully explore spirituality on your own, that’s a huge red flag.

Systems are a little bit different because they usually aren’t very discerning about who they take on. Some do have a minimum age, but many don’t. The better systems will usually have an introductory level where people who aren’t quite there yet can continue to explore their spirituality both inside and outside the group before committing to the system and doing serious work. Systems however take much longer than working with a teacher, and it’s usually much easier to choose the pace you go at, so it’s not such a big deal if you’re not ready for a system.

What Is The Point of Being Taught or Following a System?

Different teachers and different systems approach things in different ways, they all have their own methods, and they’re based in a wide variety of different beliefs and spiritual systems. However all of them break down to helping you reach two major spiritual milestones.

The first is merging with your higher self, or your mental body. This is what the Golden Dawn calls knowledge and conversation with your holy guardian angel or HGA. There are a lot of other names and terms for it.

The second is merging with your lower self. Although it isn’t required, you should definitely do them in that order.

It’s very common to have two teachers, one for each milestone. Most teachers specialize in one or the other. I specialize in the first milestone, although I can teach the second if I have to. A lot of systems only teach how to get to the first milestone, and expect you to figure out how to get to the second one, possibly with the help of peers who have also completed the system. It’s actually not as hard to get to the second milestone through self-learning. Doing the higher merging should give you the tools you need to figure out the lower merging.

There should also be a break between the two milestones. Once someone does the higher merging they need time to develop as a magician and find themselves on their own. A teacher should cut a student loose at that point, and a good system should have some method for the student to self-develop.

Once you reach the second milestone, going forward there aren’t really any teachers or systems. For one, not many people manage to get past that second milestone, and among those that do fewer make it all that much further. Once you get that far you’re among a select few, so it’s not like there’s a whole lot of people out there qualified to teach you or run and develop a system. Secondly once you do the second merging you should have enough tools to push yourself forward spiritually if you choose to. You shouldn’t need a system or teacher to continue to develop.

Why You Don’t Do The Milestones Backwards

The second milestone is hell. Literally. And by that I mean you have to go to hell. It’s fucking horrible. I hate that place. And it sticks to you and comes back and permeates through all aspects of your life. I love magic, I love being a magician, I think spirituality has enriched my life in so many ways and I encourage everyone to be spiritual and do magic, but parts of the preparation for the second merging were some of the worst experiences I’ve ever had, and the only time I ever regretted being a magician.

The theory is that because you’ve done the higher merging, you’ll be strong enough to survive and withstand hell and will be able to do the lower merging and become more powerful still.

If you haven’t done the higher merging, you’re just you going into hell. However there are methods to go this route. Hell has a certain dichotomy. Like attracts like, and hell isn’t just a place for bad people (or spirits or whatever), it’s also a place for people who have had bad things happen to them. Hell is a place of predators and prey. Abusers and victims. Rapists and rape victims. There is a hierarchy there, and some are on top and some are on bottom.

All that said, if you have to go to hell, it’s better to be one of the people on the top. These are the sorts of systems that promote things like racial supremacy (typically white supremacy), committing violent crimes like assault, murder, and rape, and human sacrifice, among other things. The goal is to mold yourself into the sort of thing that will be a predator in hell, and not the prey.

I of course have a lot of moral issues with that spiritual philosophy, but it also isn’t that effective. It’s pretty much just a roll of the dice if you’ll be able to pull it off, even if you do everything you’re supposed to, and then a lot of people who do get that far get stuck there and never manage the higher merging. This is all assuming getting thrown into hell doesn’t just absolutely destroy you.

It’s the more difficult path because it was designed for things that are on the tree of knowledge, and we’re on the tree of life. It’s easier to just do thr higher merging first.

How Long Is This Going To Take

Whether you go with a teacher or a system they should be open about how long they expect things to take.

When I take on students I give them an estimate of 3-14 months to do their higher merging. I don’t want anyone to feel pressured if they aren’t getting there fast enough, but I consistently get students there in about 6 months, and I managed it myself in about 6 months. I always tell students in the beginning if they aren’t there in a year, it’s because I failed them as a teacher, and at the one year mark we’ll have a talk about how I failed them and what we’re going to do going forward. I’ve never once had to have that conversation.

If you go through a system, because it’s one size fits all and is usually much more open to whatever pace you want to work at, it takes much longer. Average time is 3 to 9 years, with most students managing it in around 6 or 7 years.

After a student reaches the first milestone they need to take a break from working with a teacher or within the confines of a system. The student is going to have a lot more power after merging, and they need time to explore that and discover their gifts and they need time to develop themselves as an independent magician. It’s going to take at least a year, and that’s really the bare minimum for the student to realize what they’re capable of now. Typically it will be a few years before the magician is ready to start on the next milestone. And honestly a lot of magicians who get this far get stuck and never make it to the next milestone.

With the second milestone the teaching is a lot less hands-on and there’s a lot more independent study. Even within a system there’s usually not a lot of structure. The timeline is pretty variable and it really comes down to the magician. Some are able to manage it in a matter of months, and for others it can take a few years. There isn’t really a big difference in time between having a teacher or using a system or even being self-taught. The biggest difference is that people who have teachers for the second milestone reach it most of the time. Although it’s definitely possible to do in a system or being self-taught, you’re less likely to succeed.

How Much Money Should This Cost Me

A teacher should not cost you anything, and there are reasons for this. If a teacher is asking for money for their services, that’s not just a red flag, that should be a deal breaker. Walk away and find yourself a good teacher.

And it’s just not money. It shouldn’t cost you anything of value. You shouldn’t have to work in their store (for free or for some bullshit wage). You shouldn’t have to run errands for them, or drive them around if they don’t have a car. You shouldn’t have to have sex with them or anyone else (and yes, it’s normal to talk about sexual topics with your teacher, to discuss how they fit into spirituality, and it wouldn’t be inappropriate to discuss your sex life and how to practice sex magic if you’re comfortable with that, but you shouldn’t be having sex with your teacher and they shouldn’t need to demonstrate any of this with you).

There are arguments that teaching students takes a lot of time and a lot of specialized skills a person has developed over their lifetime, and people deserve to be compensated for their skill and time. It’s a bullshit argument and I’ll explain why.

First off when you become a student to a teacher you do owe a debt, but you owe the debt to the lineage. You get your teaching for free, at least for now, and in exchange you pay back the lineage by teaching others when and if you’re ready, and you teach them for free, and they in turn incur a debt. In this way the lineage survives and continues on.

Secondly the student-teacher relationship isn’t as one-sided as it seems. When you’re a student, it seems like your teacher is giving you this great gift and helping you develop your spirituality while getting nothing in return. In actuality though you’re also helping your teacher develop their spirituality and move forward. As a student you won’t see this process or really understand how it works, but once you become a teacher you will. Believe me, in terms of spiritual advancement, I get as much out of the relationship as my students do.

All of that said it is appropriate to ask you to pay your way. You should expect to pay for things like your magical supplies or books your teacher may recommend you read. You also might have to pay for things like money to attend a meetup or event (although you should only be expected to pay for yourself, not for your teacher). On the other hand it isn’t inappropriate for your teacher to cover these costs (and a lot of times teachers will), but it shouldn’t necessarily be expected.

With systems there may be a cost. Ideally these systems would always be free, and there are people out there running groups who work really hard to offer these systems for free. However systems typically have overhead and someone has to pick up the cost, and a common way to cover cost is through dues.

There isn’t really a typical amount you can expect to pay in dues. Things are going to cost whatever they cost, and a lot of times if you’re paying higher dues you’ll benefit from it.

The big thing you want to look for is transparency. If you’re asked to pay dues you should also be told what that money’s going towards, and they should be able to break it down so you can see about how much money is going towards what. They should also be forthcoming with receipts to prove they’re spending the money how they say they are.

You also want to watch out for the magic pyramid scheme. This happens when groups focus the majority of their resources on their higher ranking members. These groups try to pad out their bottom to pay for all the stuff the people at the top are getting. Then whenever anyone moves up in the group, more members need to be brought in at the bottom to pay for them.

This works fine as long as the group is growing, but eventually growth will start to level off. As we know from pyramid schemes, there’s not going to be an infinite number of people to keep filling the bottom. If it goes on long enough eventually you’d need to recruit more people than are currently alive.

After their initial growth period groups like this will usually start trying to restrict people from advancing through the system too quickly, and they’ll start trying to create a permanent underclass that never advances. They need a pool of members who are financially contributing to the group but not directly benefiting from it to sustain themselves.

Red Flags and Teachers

You shouldn’t go with just any teacher, or anyone who will take you. Your magical teacher should be someone who fits you. That said, the best advice is to trust your gut. You should have a very strong feeling that this person is your path forward, and if you don’t have that feeling, or if you have any doubts, it’s probably not the right fit for you.

As I stated earlier, if your teacher asks you for money, or asks to be paid back in any other way, that should be a deal breaker.

Your teacher should be open with you about how they learned, and who they learned from. After all this is going to be your lineage too once they take you on as a student. Note however it’s not uncommon for someone to never ask their teacher who taught them, so there would be nothing odd about your teacher not being able to tell you who their teacher’s teacher was, but they should be able to tell you who taught them.

I would be wary of anyone who is a teacher but has never had a teacher themselves. They may have learned what they needed through a system or self-learned, and they may still be a great teacher even, but it’s still a red flag. Someone whose never had a teacher doesn’t know what it’s like to be a student, and there is a portion of magical teaching that involves giving the student the information they need to be a teacher themselves.

Make sure your teacher sets appropriate boundaries. A teacher isn’t a friend, or a significant other, or a parent. A teacher-student relationship is a very specific type of relationship, and it’s the teacher’s responsibility to set boundaries for what is appropriate and inappropriate in that relationship. Be wary of a teacher who wants to be your friend or lean on you for emotional support. That’s not appropriate for the relationship.

A teacher should be able to give you a timeline of how long it should take to teach you and when they plan to cut you loose, and it should be something like 3-14 months for your higher merging. One thing I see a lot of is people who’ve been with the same teacher for years, and the students always talk about them in such high regard. Those teachers are failing their students. They aren’t giving them what they need, helping to push them forward, and then cutting them loose as teachers are supposed to. They’re feeding off the emotional rush of being superior to their students, and they’ll try to keep them as students as long as they possibly can.

Red Flags and Systems

Systems are usually involved with groups, and groups can get really messed up and then act like an echo chamber that amplifies everything. I could write books about the red flags you should look out for in groups. It isn’t just the horrible abusive shit some of them do, but there is a level of unimaginable stupidity I’ve seen in groups.

If you’re doing a system in person and not online or something, look into the group leaders running the system and the local membership. The system can be very good and effective, but bad leadership can ruin it for you.

Ask the group leadership for their qualifications. They should be open about where they learned and how long they’ve been running things. Often, with some legwork, you can even verify their qualifications.

Watch out for group leaders who don’t actually answer questions. If you ask them a simple question and they direct you to read a book, or tell you that you aren’t ready for that information, that probably means they don’t know and they aren’t willing to admit it. If you’re asking them a basic question, that’s even worse.

A good, well-developed system will lay everything out, so the group leadership doesn’t have to do much in terms of creating material, but they should still have some basic skills. They should be able to comprehend new information. They should, at the very least, be able to develop basic exercises, and also simple rituals and spells if those are part of the system. If they aren’t able to do even that, either the system is broken or the leadership is unqualified.

Ask around the group and see how long it takes to merge with your higher self. You should hopefully see a lot of people who hit it in the 5-7 year mark. If there’s a lot of people who managed it earlier that’s fantastic. If there are a lot of people who have been there 7+ years and they still aren’t there yet, that’s an issue.

Why Even Bother With A System

If you’re reading this article, you might be wondering why anyone would even bother with a system when teachers seem so superior. I personally feel that teachers are better, and I’m grateful that I didn’t have to go through a system..

Good teachers adapt their teachings to the student focusing on exactly what they need to work on to get to the next stage of their spiritual development. It’s a method that not only gets goods results, but gets them quickly. So why even bother looking into systems?

For one being taught is intense. It requires committing a lot of time to learning magic. Being broke, single, and having trouble with steady employment, as upset as I was about it at the time, is what gave me the time to learn with my first teacher. All of my students seem to find themselves in a similar situation when they find me. For whatever reason they have a lot of time on their hands just then. It isn’t just the time spent being taught, but all the other stuff that happens around it, and all of the magic you end up doing when you’re away from your teacher.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have that much free time to pursue their spirituality. A system is usually structured so that you only have to dedicate a small amount of time to it every week. Also if you need to slack off or take a break, you can do that, and the system will be waiting for you when you come back. A system gives you a lot of freedom to pace yourself, and to move forward at whatever pace you can manage.

Systems are also pretty open, and almost anyone can get a spot in one. Finding a teacher, meanwhile, can be very difficult. Most teachers are very picky of which students they take on, because it’s a huge investment of time, if they even have any free time to teach. Even if all I did is teach, I still couldn’t take on more than a handful of students every year and still be able to dedicate enough time to each of them. And I’m not in a position where I can do nothing but teach.

Systems are designed so a small number of people can teach a very large number. That’s kind of the beauty of a system.

Visualization – A Guide

You know imagining, like when you daydream, or when you imagine what it would be like if you won the lottery or if you married the person you’re crushing on or if someone dropped a piano on that guy you hate at work? That’s what visualization is.


Who says I can’t write a short blog post?

Kidding aside, that’s not all visualization is, but it’s a good start. Visualization has three parts, imagining something, focusing on it, and your intent. But before we get into that, let’s talk about some basic theory.

Energy, and What It Is

For purposes of visualization theory I like to think of energy as a goop. If you’re doing energy manipulation that’s not a good way to think about energy, because when you’re manipulating energy you want to think of it as something that moves and flows, but for now imagine it as a bunch of goop.

Imagine it as goop because that’s sort of what it is. Energy is proto-matter. It’s what matter was before it achieved physicality. If you get enough energy together, under the right conditions, you’ll have created the physical universe.

When energy’s not becoming matter, it’s just surrounding us being energy. Where does it come from? The short explanation is anytime anything is ever done, an action, that action creates, as a consequence, an emotion. Some of those emotions, like anger and happiness, you’re probably familiar with because most humans can feel them. Other emotions, like the emotion of driving over the speed limit or being a cat, are things most people don’t normally feel, but with magic you can feel them and even identify them if you really want to.

We’re getting a bit off-track with energy theory, but anytime an action is taken an emotion happens as a consequence, and that emotion creates some energy. The form that energy takes, at least initially, is based on the emotion that created it.

Of course you can do all sorts of crap with that energy through energy manipulation, but we’re not talking about energy manipulation, we’re going to talk about what you can do with visualization, and keep in mind there’s some cross-over.

So this energy, the goop that’s everywhere, is naturally shaped by thought. If you have a thought, it will shape the energy around you. So for instance if you think about a clock, which you are because I just suggested it, the energy around you will create a clock out of energy. You could be creating a wall clock, or a grandfather clock, or an alarm clock, or whatever, it’s whatever image you’re imagining as I’m talking about a clock.

Does your energy clock actually work and track time? Probably not, but maybe. It depends on how good you made it. Most likely when you stop thinking about the clock, which hasn’t happened yet because I haven’t stopped writing about it, the energy clock will poof away and cease to be. There are, however, ways to make the clock more permanent. Just thinking about the clock more and more over time will create a clock that lasts longer. If you manage to really focus on that clock, or if a lot of people start thinking about that clock, all of these things will give the clock more time before it ceases to be a clock.

There are currently billions of people in the world, and there are even more animals and spirits. All of these people and animals and spirits spend every day thinking about stuff and concentrating on it. All of these thoughts they’re having are creating things out of energy, just like your clock. Most of these things that are created cease to exist within a few seconds or at best hours of being created. However with so much stuff being created and so much mental thought being expended on these creations, there’s still a significant amount of stuff being created that will last more than a few hours. Some of this stuff will last for years or even decades or longer. All of this leftover stuff that doesn’t cease to exist right away collectively makes up the astral plane, which is a plane of energy without physical matter that has taken form according to people’s thoughts. The stuff we create out of energy with our thoughts we call thought forms.

So there’s this other plane of existence, the astral plane, and it’s full of all this stuff that people have thought about and imagined and obsessed about. Now is a good time to freak out about the fact that the last time you had “naughty thoughts” you created a thought form other people could potentially see, and that thought form may still be out there and people could be looking at it right now and you don’t even know. Be sure to come back and finish reading this article once you stop freaking out because you realized there’s nothing you can do about that fact and this is your life now and you just have to live with it.

The Clock Exercise

Let’s go back to the clock thought form and try out some of the things we can do with visualization. Instead of any old clock though, this time we’re specifically going to make a grandfather clock. There’s a couple reasons we’re going with a grandfather clock. For one thing, larger thought forms are easier to make and manipulate than smaller ones. I know it seems like that shouldn’t be the case, because obviously bigger things require more energy and concentration to make, but it is. Bigger things do need more energy and concentration, but they don’t need so much more that it makes much of a difference until you get into scales much larger than normal-sized grandfather clocks. However larger things are bigger targets with bigger parts, and ultimately that’s what makes a grandfather clock thought form so much easier to work with than a stopwatch thought form. Secondly a grandfather clock is a mechanical device full of moving parts, and most people can easily understand and imagine how those moving parts work and interact with each other. If the clock could only work because of electrical components, or worse if it were digital, most people don’t understand how those things physically work, and that’s going to be an issue making thought forms. If you have a degree in electrical engineering and are well versed in computer programming it might not be that hard for you to make a digital alarm clock thought form, but it’s beyond what most people, myself included, are capable of. To be honest I barely understand how a grandfather clock works.

Pick a spot in the room you’re in and make a grandfather clock thought form. All you have to do is imagine there’s a grandfather clock in that spot, and it will appear on the astral.

We’re going to want this grandfather clock to stay around for a while, so focus some of your thoughts and attention on the clock.

Some of you are going to read that previous statement, and your interpretation is going to be that I want you to think really hard at the clock. Then you will think about the clock while acting like a cartoon character trying to do telekinesis, and you’ll probably scrunch up your face. Don’t do that. If you do that you’re just expanding additional effort for no additional gain. Instead just focus your attention on your grandfather clock thought form and think about it. Grandfather clock. Grandfather clock. Grandfather clock.

I know casually thinking about the grandfather clock while you read this article may not seem like much, but its enough. This is a simple exercise, and you don’t need to feel like you’re exerting yourself or doing strenuous mental activity to make it work. All you have to do is continue to think about your grandfather clock.

Now that we’ve made a grandfather clock, let’s try focusing on it even more. We’re going to do this by thinking about the specific details of our grandfather clock. I’m going to ask some questions about your clock. You should read them, think about them, think about your grandfather clock, and then think about what the answers to those questions are in regards to your specific grandfather clock.

Exactly how big is your grandfather clock? What are the different parts made out of? Wood? Glass? Metal? Plastic? What color are all the different parts? What does the hour hand and the minute hand look like? Does it have Roman numerals or Arabic numerals?

Next let’s add an audio element to our visualization. What kind of sound does your grandfather clock make? It should make some sort of ticking sound. Imagine what that sound is and what it’s tempo is. Imagine your grandfather clock making that sound, and imagine the sound coming from the spot where you put your grandfather clock. Now look at your grandfather clock, think about it, and listen to it go tick tick tick tick tick tick.

After that let’s use the power of our imagination to move the hands around the clock. You know how on TV sometimes it shows the passage of time by focusing the camera on a clock and the minute hand spins really fast? That’s what we want our clock to do.

Focus on your grandfather clock, and also specifically on the minute hand, and just imagine the minute hand going around in a circle kind of fast. Just imagine it going around the clock, and the minute hand on the thought form will move. Continue imagining it going around in circles until its done at least a few dozen revolutions. And by a few dozen revolutions I mean estimate how many revolutions the minute hand has done, don’t actually count them.

Once you’ve done a few dozen revolutions, give the hour hand a try. Every time the minute hand goes past the twelve, the hour hand should move forward to the next number. So concentrate on your clock, also concentrate on the minute hand and how it’s moving around the clock, and concentrate on the hour hand and imagine it moving forward one number every time the minute hand passes the twelve. Continue to focus on your clock like this until the hour hand has done about three revolutions.

Was your clock ticking the entire time? Remember the ticking? The grandfather clock is supposed to be ticking. If you didn’t hear ticking, go back and do another three revolutions of the hour hand but this time make sure the clock is ticking as well.

For our last trick, you’re probably imagining the minute hand doing every part of its rotation, and the hour hand specifically moving forward when the minute hand goes past the twelve. Instead try imagining the minute hand being in motion and doing revolutions. It’s kind of hard to explain, but instead of imaging every single thing the minute hand is doing, just imagine it perpetually doing the process and going around and around. Then do the same for the hour hand. Instead of specifically imagining it moving forward every single time the minute hand goes past the twelve, just imagine that it does move forward every time the minute hand goes past the twelve. What we’re doing is, instead of imagining the actual movement, which can be taxing after just a few revolutions, we’re giving the hands instructions to follow, and imagining that they will follow their instructions. The instruction for the minute hand is that it will move clockwise at a fast speed. The instruction for the hour hand is that it will move forward one every time the minute hand passes the twelve. The instruction for the grandfather clock is that it will exist, and also it will make a ticking sound.

Imbuing thought forms with instructions to follow rather than imagining them doing things makes them far more useful, because now you don’t have to sit there controlling everything the thought form does and expending mental power to make it work. Instead you can just tell the thought form what to do and forget about it, and the thought form will do what it’s supposed to do until it finishes the job or runs out of energy and ceases to exist,

If you’re able to do all of the parts of the clock exercise, you have visualization down. I didn’t specifically talk about intent, but if you made the clock and made it do all of the things you wanted it to, that’s intent. If, for instance, you instead made a digital alarm clock, even though you weren’t supposed to and didn’t want to, but you couldn’t get the idea of a digital alarm clock out of your head after I talked about it, then you failed intent.

If you weren’t able to complete the clock exercise, that’s okay too, it’s actually a fairly complex exercise and making a stable clock, making its two hands move, and making it tick all at the same time requires quite a bit of mental multitasking. Most likely you just need a little bit of practice and you’ll have it down.

Of course, even if you can do the clock exercise flawlessly, there’s still room to improve visualization, and you should still practice it, but you’re at a point where your visualization is fairly strong and can already do quite a lot. Visualization is one of the three pillars of magic, along with meditation and energy manipulation. I call them pillars because whenever you improve one of those three things, you’ll become stronger in every other type of magic you try to do.

Making an astral clock might not seem like strong magic, but it is. Let’s go over some of the things you can do with visualization if you can complete the clock exericise.

Visualization & Energy Manipulation

Visualization is key to learning energy manipulation. When you made the clock that was a form of energy manipulation, since you moved energy into the shape of a clock. With visualization you can move energy around and change it simply by imagining it. As you get better at energy manipulation you’ll start using visualization less and you’ll be able to move energy more easily and instinctively, kind of like how you can move your limbs without thinking about the movement, but visualization is usually very important when you’re first learning energy manipulation.

You can also use energy manipulation to enhance your visualizations. If you’re good at energy manipulation, visualize a brick wall in front of you. Focus on the brick wall to give it some longevity. Do the thing where you think about it’s color, it’s height, and the pattern of the bricks to increase your focus on it. Once you have your wall, start pushing more and more energy into it. If you’re capable of doing so, make the energy hard and thick.

You’ve just created a basic shield. If someone were to send a magic attack at you and it hit the shield on it’s way to you, assuming the attack isn’t too powerful, there’s a good chance it won’t make it through the brick wall. It’s a crappy shield though since someone can defeat it just by lobbing an attack over it.

In fact all shields suck so you should just get rid of that one. What you want to do is put your hand up in front of you at chest level with your palm open and facing the wall. Quickly jerk your hand back towards your chest. As you do this, visualize strings of energy attached to your hand and the brick wall. As you pull back suddenly, visualize those strings pulling on the bricks and pulling apart the entire wall. You’ve just used energy manipulation and visualization together to do a shield-break.

In fact there are a lot of basic, yet solid, magical attacks and self-defense techniques that can be done with basic energy manipulation and visualization. You can, for instance, tear apart and break most spells, including curses and even direct attacks if you’re quick enough.

Visualization & Spellwork

I love adding visualization into my spellwork. Spells that incorporate visualization into their rituals are usually a lot more successful, and I find that’s even true when I’m giving a spell to someone who is fairly new to magic and may not be very experienced with spellwork or visualization. In fact a lot of the folk magic spellwork I’ve found that is largely used by non-practitioners tends to make heavy use of visualization.

Another really powerful use of visualization with spellwork is visualizing a ritual aspect of the spell so that you can do that part of it in your head. Suppose a spell requires you to light a candle. Instead of lighting a physical candle you could visualize a candle and then visualize yourself lighting it. You can take this further and remove more and more bits of the spell every time you cast it and replace those bits with visualizations, or in some cases energy manipulation, until there’s no longer any ritual aspects left and you’re doing the entire spell in your head. You can then work on doing the spell faster and faster in your head until you’re able to do it in a fraction of a second. Now you have a powerful spell that you’re able to do just by thinking about it.

In fact one of the things you have to be careful with once you become good at visualization is accidentally casting spells. If you read instructions to a spell, or even think about a spell too much, you could accidentally cast it even without intent.

Decoys & Redirects

Visualization creates thought forms, and one of the most effective and basic self-defense techniques is using decoys and redirects. You wouldn’t think that decoys and redirects would be so effective, but people who maliciously attack others with magic are often stupid and not very powerful, and they usually don’t have a lot of experience fighting capable practitioners.

A decoy requires some energy manipulation, since you have to make the decoy’s energy seem like yours. You should also make them a little more conspicuous than yourself, usually you do this by putting some sort of draw or a lure on the decoy. The whole point of the decoy is if someone tries to attack you, or does something else you may not want like dreamwalking into your dreams while you’re trying to sleep, they’ll target the decoy thinking it’s you.

Redirects are used in tandem with decoys. A redirect is a thought form that takes a thing, like a magical attack or a dreamwalking magician, and moves them somewhere else.

So if a magician tries to cast a death spell on you, but you have a decoy and redirect up, the death spell will instead hit the decoy at which point the redirect will move the death spell on to someone else.

You can get really creative with where a redirect will take something, and that’s where the fun of this defense comes from. One common trick is to have the redirect take the attack back to the person who made it. Often the attacker won’t realize their attack got redirected and will instead think they are being retaliated against. They’ll respond with another attack, and it too will get redirected back. Your attacker will end up having a magical fight with themselves, and you don’t have to do anything.

Another common use is in protecting other people. Suppose you have a friend and they’ve picked up a magician stalker. The magician stalker has been stalking them on the astral, walking into their dreams, and harassing them any way they can, and you want to help your friend. What you can do is make a decoy of your friend, and a redirect so that when their stalker astrals or dreamwalks to them they’re redirected to you so you can deal with them directly.

Visualization & The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction, which I’ve talked about in other places, says Like Attracts Like. So that grandfather clock you made on the astral should be attracting other clocks to itself, or at least things that are like clocks, like pocket watches or something. Imagine if you were constantly creating thought forms of you getting money or falling in love. In theory you should start attracting that stuff towards you.

I say in theory because, as I’ve talked about in other articles, there’s a lot more nuance to Like Attracts Like than most New Thought authors would like you to believe. Still, visualizing the things you want and positive events happening to you will make it more likely that these things, or other similar good things, will come to you.

Visualization and the Astral Plane

If you astral project, visualization is going to be a powerful tool on the astral plane. Earlier you made a grandfather clock on the astral plane. The next time you astral project you’ll be able to make grandfather clocks whenever you need them. You can also make anything else imaginable, including things that will be far more useful to you than grandfather clocks.

You don’t even need to astral project in order to take advantage of your new found powers of astral creation. The astral plane is not some separate faraway place. It’s intimately connected into the material plane, and the astral plane and material plane are more accurately thought of as two parts of one singular plane, and not as two separate places. Things you do and create on the astral plane can affect the material plane, and everyone on the material plane also has an astral body that’s affected by what’s going on in the astral plane. There’s lots of magic you can do with just astral creation through visualization.

Visualization and Manifestation

Manifestation Magic is the magic of making things happen just by thinking about them, and it’s largely reliant on visualization.

Have you ever had a nightmare where a murderer or monster or something was chasing you, and as you’re running away you suddenly think, ‘I really hope I don’t fall down right now’, and as soon as you think that you trip and fall down?

If you haven’t had that exact scenario happen in a dream, you’ve probably had something similar. That’s pretty much manifestation magic.

The example I gave was something that happens when you dream, but manifestation magic works exactly the same in the physical world when you’re awake, it’s just a lot more difficult to do. If you can get manifestation magic down, you can make anything happen in the physical world just by visualizing it, the same way you made it happen in the dream and the same way you can already make things happen in the astral plane.

BONUS: Making Longer Lasting Thought Forms

This is a super short related bonus article about making longer lasting thought forms. If you can do the clock exercise you can probably already make thought forms that can last a few hours and even a few days. You can always continually re-energize a thought form by focusing on it a bit every so often so it stays around, and as you get more and more experienced with thought forms you can make some that will last a pretty long time even without being re-energized. However if you want to make a truly long lasting thought form here are some common methods that magicians have developed:

1. Group thought forms – One option to make a long lasting and powerful thought form is to work with a group of magicians, the larger the better, and all of you contribute to creating and energizing the thought form. This sort of thought form is sometimes called an egregor. The big issue with this method is you have to be part of a group, preferably a large group, to make it work, and you also need to get the group to agree to make the thought form with you.

2. Battery packed thought form – Another method is to give the thought form a battery. You can get something like a crystal and charge it with a lot of energy, and then tie the crystal to the thought form. It’s a lot easier to store energy in a crystal than a thought form, and the crystal will replenish some of the energy taken out of it after a period of time. You can also re-energize the crystal as needed. The downside to using the crystal method is you still have to personally expend all the energy. Also even though the thought form will last longer than if it was empowered directly, it still will have a relatively limited lifespan.

3. Tie the thought form to a large energy source – There are sources of energy that are so vast and replenish so quickly they will never tapped out. The earth is one such energy source, and the sun is another. If you tie the thought form to one of these energy sources they will never run out of energy. Unfortunately the energy from these vast pools is a bit muddy, and that muds going to affect the thought form and change it. Eventually it will either cause the thought form to cease to exist and turn into pure energy, or the thought form will be changed so much it will no longer do the task you originally created it to do.

4. Tie the thought form to the energy of a cycle – Cycles have energy attached to them, and you can tie things into cycles to recharge energy every time the cycle happens or completes. Some common cycles are the day-night cycle and the cycle of the seasons. You can also tie things to irregular cycles, like the thunderstorm cycle or the cycle of every time a particular ritual is done. The main advantage of this method is even though the energy is still a bit muddy, it’s not nearly as muddy as energy from a vast source, so the thought form will last longer before it changes. The main disadvantages to using a cycle are that even though the thought form will last longer, it will eventually get to muddied to do what it was intended to do, and if the cycle doesn’t come for a long time the thought form could run out of energy and poof out.

5. Create an imaginary elemental – Notice how you don’t need someone energizing you or your astral body so you don’t cease to exist? That’s because you have a soul and you’re connected to a higher source and you constantly receive energy from there. If you give a thought form a soul and connect it to a higher source it can potentially continue to exist forever. When you do that to a thought form we call it an imaginary elemental or artificial elemental. An artificial elemental however is a sentient being with its own spiritual path, ability to grow and learn, and freewill. Although you will have a hand in the creation of the imaginary elemental, you won’t have any ability to control what it does or wants to do with itself, and it may end up going off and doing something completely different than what you intended it to do.

6. Create a vampiric spirit – You can make a thought form that draws energy from things around it. You can even make the thought form so it finds suitable energy sources to take energy from when one isn’t available. If you do this you will have created a vampiric spirit. Just don’t create vampiric spirits. They’re fucking horrible, and everyone will hate you. Seriously most spiritual beings and most of the magic community look down on people who work with vampiric spirits. The thought form will also get muddied fairly quickly and will probably turn into something that does nothing but attempt to feed itself.

I’m on Twitter

Just a quick FYI that I opened a twitter account @RobsMagicTweets so I can make tweets about spirituality, politics, TV shows I’m watching, video games, tabletop games, toys, and batman. I’ll also tweet whenever I put a new article up here or release anything else spiritual. Follow me and I’ll follow back.

Also let me know if there’s any other social media I should have.

Want To See What A Thai Magic Shop Looks Like?

I have a lot of posts planned right now, and not a lot of time to work on them, so I’m putting up something that’s pretty low effort.

These are pictures I took of a local magic shop. The photos were taken over a year ago pre-covid, and I took them to brag to some of my friends in the states about how much better my magic shop is. I was with my wife and brother-in-law.

The place is kind of like a cross between a shopping mall and a flea market. There are some chain restaurants, including fast food, and some chain stores, and also a food court (every Thai mall has a food court, and malls are still really big in Thailand). But there’s also a lot of small businesses and booths.

The place has seven floors, and each floor is really big, along with a parking lot on the eighth floor that sometimes has stuff on special occasions and I think a basement that has a bookstore or something. One entire floor is dedicated to magic stuff, and another floor is dedicated almost entirely to cell phones, but there’s a section of that floor that’s also magic stuff, and there are a few more shops scattered through out. There’s also two floors for computer stuff and video games, half a floor for collectible toys, barber shops, tattoo shops, massage places, a clothing section, and some stuff that doesn’t really fit anywhere else. There’s even a section where people who don’t want booths can put down blankets and cell stuff on the floor.

There’s literally thousands of magic shops in the store. Some are just a small booth with a single case with some items, and others have dozens of display cases stuffed with magic items, and a few have actual stores with walls and doors. Between all of the stores there’s millions of different items.

Sadly I think this place may be changing, because I’ve heard they were raising rent and trying to push the smaller businesses out. They did something similar with another location, and now it’s all higher end small businesses with some chain stores. I guess it’s a stronger tourist spot now, and a great place to visit if you like going to retro video game stores, but it lacks that Portebello Road vibe that makes this place so cool. It’s kind of like when you go garage saling and you don’t know what you might find, except all the garage sales are together, and the majority have cool stuff.

I haven’t been there since Covid, so I have no idea what’s become of it. I think they may have been trying to retain the spiritual section though. There’s actually better similar places if you’re looking for toys or video games, but I haven’t seen anything in the area with such a big spiritual section, and I think it’s a big draw for the building.

We did ask permission to take these pictures, and everyone was fine with it. They may have thought we were buyers. There’s a bunch of guys who hang out there all day, and they take pictures of stuff on their phones to send to their clients who get back to them with the stuff they want. Those guys buy it and then ship it to their clients who are usually in other countries.

One final note, this album isn’t safe for work, mostly because a lot of the magic items are penis shaped. Also keep in mind that I have the maturity of a ten year old. Anyways here’s the much talked about photo album on Imgur:


Meditation – A Guide


I want to put up some articles about channeling and mediumship. I’ve stayed away from these articles because most of the techniques involve deconstructing boundaries, and that can be problematic and psychologically harmful if not handled correctly, especially when you’re trying to develop a one size fits all method instead of tailoring the instruction to a particular person. There’s also a fear that someone might try to ‘teach’ my methods, but with additions and omissions for the sole purpose of exploiting someone sexually. I prefer giving this information out on a person-to-person basis, that way I can give the person the exact information they need and make sure they understand it and aren’t harmed by it. However I now want to put the information out there for people, because I haven’t been able to find any good publicly available instructions, and these are very cool things that people want to try, and, especially in regards to channeling, these are extremely valuable tools for acquiring spiritual information.

Also a lot of jack-offs, and this is especially true in the New Thought Movement but it happens in other places as well, make themselves into spiritual leaders because they’re supposedly channeling basic spiritual information from something. I say supposedly because they could be channeling this stuff, but it’s all so basic and has been written down so many times already that they could just be reading books. One thing that I never see the jack-offs teaching, at least to all their followers, is how to channel, which is the one really important spiritual thing they’re doing. For these leaders being a spiritual guru with dependent followers, and all of the emotional and financial validation that comes along with that, is more important than being an actual spiritual leader and teacher and passing down their spiritual techniques to empower others. That’s assuming they even know how to channel and aren’t, like I said, just reading books and slightly rewording things like a teenager plagiarizing Wikipedia for their English paper. Either way, I fucking hate those people, and I want to make it so anyone who wants to learn how to channel can.

The problem I have is that when I talk about intermediate and advanced subjects, like Channeling and Mediumship, or really any magic that isn’t basic beginner exercises and theory, I always come back to the same bit of advice: ‘If you’re having trouble with this, spend more time practicing Energy Manipulation, Meditation, and Visualization.’ Those three things are the basic pillars of magic. Every kind of magic, whatever it is, requires you to have some degree of competency in those three things. Getting better at any of those things will make all of your other magic stronger. If you’re just starting out and you don’t know what magic you should be doing, those three things will pay the biggest dividends and make you a better magician faster than anything else. If you’re an experienced adept, it’s still important to practice those things every day, because getting better and better at those things is going to make you even stronger.

I’ve written about Energy Manipulation and I have some very good beginner exercises for it. I’m hoping to expand on that and finish those exercises soon, but even right now there’s enough there to get someone to a point where they can continue to develop on their own. I haven’t posted much about the other pillars, Meditation and Visualization. That’s because there’s already lot of good information out there, and also they’re kind of boring to write about and I’m lazy, but I’m finally doing an article on each before I get into channeling so I have a resource I trust to point folks towards.

If you’ve already been taught meditation, this article might still be useful to you. Most people never get past the early stages of meditation, and so when most people teach meditation, they teach it as if the early stages are all there is to it. If you’ve been doing meditation for a while and you can’t achieve a meditative state almost every time and a trance state a majority of the time, this article can help you figure out what you’re missing.

Preparing For Your First Meditation

The first few times you meditate, you should try doing it under the best possible conditions. You’ll want to make yourself comfortable and eliminate any distractions. What’s comfortable and what’s a distraction is going to be different for everyone, so it’s important to find what works for you instead of following someone else’s guidelines. I’m going to offer some suggestions, but ultimately you have to figure out what you need to be comfortable and free from distraction.

To start you want a space where you’ll be alone and no one will bother you for at least a little while. It’s best if this is a familiar space that you already feel comfortable in. Like maybe your bedroom, or your living room, or outside in your yard if it’s private.

Next you’ll want to be comfortably dressed. For most people this is going to be loose fitting clothes that don’t restrict movement or cut off circulation. Ideally you want clothes that you won’t feel on you. You may feel more comfortable and less distracted in your underwear, in a bathing suit, or completely naked, but if you feel self conscious not wearing enough clothes, or you’re going to stress about someone walking in on you or peeking through a window and seeing you undressed, wear more clothes. Some people find that a heavy blanket, or a comforter, helps with not getting distracted by physical sensations, and it also relaxes them and helps them feel more comfortable. However if you happen to be that rare person that only ever feels at ease in formal business attire, then wear that because it’s what works best for you.

Whatever you decide to wear, make sure it fits the temperature of where you are. You don’t want to feel hot or cold.

As for lighting, you’ll want some light, but less is better. If it’s daytime, draw the curtains or shut the blinds. If you’re outside in your yard, maybe sit in the shade or something and don’t face the sun. If it’s night, dim the lights. A pitch black or near pitch black environment is going to be counterproductive to learning meditation, and that kind of sensory deprivation is going to open up a whole different can of worms spiritually speaking. A lot of people prefer candlelight for meditation.

Finally you’ll want to get the sounds right. You’ll probably want to find someplace quiet. Of course nothing is completely quiet, so what you really want is someplace with no distracting noises. Some people do best with some kind of white noise or maybe nature sounds or some relaxing music. Other people find all that stuff incredibly distracting. The important thing is to find the environment that suits you, whatever it is.

Keep in mind that these are preparations you’ll want to take when you’re first learning how to meditate. You want to give yourself as much of an advantage as you can, because learning how to meditate, and learning how to do it well, can be difficult. Once you get meditation down, the next step is learning how to meditate in situations where you may not be so comfortable, or where there may be distractions. Eventually you’ll want to be able to meditate in any kind of situation you might find yourself in. That might seem difficult and overwhelming when you’re first learning how to meditate, but don’t worry about it. Once you know how to meditate, teaching yourself to meditate quickly or meditate when you’re distracted is a lot easier than learning how to meditate in the first place.

Your First Meditation

For your first meditation find a position that’s comfortable for you. That can be sitting in your favorite chair, on the floor, or lying in bed. Pretty much any position you could potentially fall asleep in. Next close your eyes, and then try not to think about anything. You’re going to get intrusive thoughts, because you’re trying not to think about things, and that’s what happens when you try not to think about things. That’s okay. This stuff takes practice, and this is your first time. Don’t try to fight the intrusive thoughts too hard, because that will just create a cycle that makes the situation worse. Maybe let the thoughts run their course and then move past them. Also try not to feel anything. Try not to be happy, or sad, or angry, or anything else. Just try to be calm and relaxed. If you can’t do that yet, that’s okay.

Just stay like that for a while. Don’t think about anything, but if you are thinking about things, just think about them. Stay like that for as long as you can. The longer you can stay like that, the better. But if you start to feel restless or bored and it ceases to be relaxing and starts to be a chore, then go ahead and stop.

Now that I’ve gone over your first meditation, maybe reread the last few paragraphs once more, than go meditate right now before you read anymore of the article. I know you have the time to get everything ready and do it for at least a little bit, because this is a really long article. If you have the time to read this, you have the time to meditate. If it’s between reading the rest of this article and meditating right now, go meditate, and you can finish reading this later when you have more time.

Seriously, after you finish this paragraph, go meditate! If you can’t get things perfect so you’re comfortable and free of distractions, just make yourself as comfortable and free of distractions as you can right now and meditate. If you don’t meditate right now, you won’t understand the rest of this article, and even if you plan on doing it later, everything I write after this is going to be worthless to you and won’t help you in any way. There’s no point in reading the rest of the article if you aren’t meditating after this sentence ends, so if you’re not meditating you should do something else that’s more productive or fun.

After Your First Meditation

Congratulations on meditating for the first time. Did you reach a meditative state? Did you reach trance? Was it an amazing spiritual experience that completely changed your life and your perception of the spiritual universe? If you answered yes to any of those questions, that’s awesome, but you probably answered no. If you felt relaxed and managed to clear your mind a bit you’re ahead of the curve. If you felt bored, thought you weren’t doing it right, or felt stupid because some guy on the Internet tricked you into sitting still for a few minutes and is trying to pass that off as a significant spiritual experience, that’s how most people feel the first time they meditate. The important thing is you did some practical work today and took the first step to learning meditation.

Having meditated today you’re 1000 times more spiritually advanced than anyone who has never meditated, which from my experience is most of the magical community. You’re 10 to 100 times more advanced than all of the people who have meditated before, but haven’t meditated today, which is most of the rest of the magical community. Your spiritual advancement is now somewhere in the top percentile of the magic community, so you should be really proud of yourself.

Magical Theory of Meditation

So let’s talk about what meditation is and what we’re trying to achieve when we do it. And we’ll start with altered states of consciousness.

The Meditative and Trance States

So there are a lot of different states of consciousness we can be in. The one we’re all most familiar with, because we spend a lot of time in it, is our sober and awake state. This is the state you’re probably in right now, and it’s the one most people use as their reference point when comparing other states. The other state of consciousness everyone’s really familiar with is the dream state. Arguably there are at least two different dream states, the one where you’re asleep and full on dreaming, and the one where your mind drifts off into dreams as you start to fall asleep. Doing drugs or drinking alcohol can also bring you into other various altered states of consciousness.

There are two altered states of consciousness that are achieved through meditation, the meditative state and the trance state.

The meditative state is hard to describe. In fact it’s sometimes hard to even notice you’re having it if you’re not used to identifying it. It’s a state of heightened clarity, focus, and awareness. In a meditative state you may find it much easier to think and draw conclusions. You may also find it much easier to feel energy, both your own and what exists around you. The best way I can describe it is it’s kind of like being in a deep sleep, except you’re awake and not dreaming. I have to point out that I don’t mean you’re actually asleep. You’re awake in every sense of the word. If you’re literally asleep you’re not in a meditative state, you accidentally fell asleep while meditating and are no longer meditating.

Even though it can be hard to identify the meditative state the first time you reach it, it does feel distinctly different from both your normal awake state and your dreaming state. Ultimately you’re going to have to trust you’re instincts a bit, but you should be able to figure out that you’ve achieved it after you’ve done it a few times.

The second state is the trance state, and you reach the trance state after you reach the meditative state. The trance state is very distinct, and unlike the meditative state you’ll probably know it when it happens. The trance state is a state of hyper-awareness, hyper-focus, and hyper-clarity. In a trance state you’ll probably feel very empowered. You’re going to have a much easier time feeling your own energy, and without all the normal emotional and mental barriers and distractions that hold you back and a singular focus, your energy is going to be turned up really high, so much so you’ll probably feel it bursting out of you. Not only will you feel these strong energies bursting out of you, but you’ll also have a lot of control over them.

Much like the meditative state, the trance state is great for thinking things over. It’s also great for doing magic. The heightened awareness that comes with it makes it much easier to see spirits and what the energy around you is doing. All that energy that’s bursting out of you and all of the focus you now have is going to make your magic a lot more powerful, and you’ll be a lot more successful with it. In a trance state it’s not unheard of to find previously unknown reserves of energy that can be tapped into and magical abilities that you weren’t even aware you had.

The meditative and trance states are excellent goalposts for when you’re first starting to learn meditation. Your first goal should be to reach a meditative state. Then try to repeat that success several more times. Next you should try to consistently achieve a meditative state when you meditate. That means that almost every time you meditate you achieve a meditative state, and its an expected outcome of meditation. After that, the next goal should be reaching a trance state, and then you should aim to hit a trance state a few more times, and after that have trance be a fairly regular outcome of meditation. Once you reach that point there’s still a lot of room for improvement, but there’s also a lot of different things you can focus on improving.

The Steps of Meditation

There are five parts, or steps, to meditation. They are Clarity, Awareness, Focus, Self-control, and Trance. Typically you go through them in that order, and it’s usually easiest to do it in that order, but they don’t have to be done in that order. They can happen in any order, and you can skip back and forth between them. You can do a little bit of Clarity, and then a little bit of Awareness, and then come back to Clarity and do that some more. They can also be done simultaneously.

When you’re first starting out, it’s best to try doing them in the easy order first:


When done in that order, when you do well on one step it will naturally lead to doing better in the next step creating a flow that will make it easier to get to Trance. It’s okay to dedicate an entire meditation session to just one step. The first thing you should be doing is spending your meditation sessions working on Clarity and getting it down. Once you feel like you’re doing well with Clarity, move on to Awareness. Move through each step, and once you have all four down you should naturally hit Trance. If you hit a wall with a step, go back to the beginning and strengthen each of the preceding steps. If you get through the first four and aren’t hitting Trance, start over from Clarity and strengthen each step.

Step 1: Clarity

Put simply, Clarity is the process of clearing your mind. It is typically the only step of meditation that’s taught, and often it’s the only step the instructor knows. It is, however, only the first step in a larger process, and even if you master it, you won’t be seeing the results you should if you never work on the proceeding steps.

There is, of course, an argument to be made that a student only needs to be taught Clarity. Because the steps flow from each other, once the student has mastered Clarity they have the necessary skills to discover and improve upon the proceeding steps and eventually reach Trance. However in practice, as proven by numerous forums, blogs, reddits, and con-men selling spirituality, if you only teach Clarity what you end up with is a bunch of people who think that Clarity is the end goal of meditation, because that’s all their instructor ever told them, or that’s all they read about in a book, and if an authority figure didn’t explicitly state something it can only be because it doesn’t exist. So I’m going to teach all the parts of meditation.

Going back to Clarity, ourselves, or more accurately the bunch of bodies that make us up, is the only tool that we need to do a magical operation. Other tools can be helpful, but we don’t need them, and any kind of magic can be done without those tools. In contrast, we need ourselves to do any kind of magic. Also we suck at being magical tools. Everything affects us, and we in turn pollute our magic with all the crap that’s affecting us. If you’re doing a spell and you think, “Did I leave the oven on?”, that thought is now wrapped into your spell. Even thinking about the spell you’re doing wraps your thought about the spell into the spell. If you’re happy, sad, excited, angry, nervous, whatever emotion you’re feeling, that emotion pollutes the spell as well. There are, of course, steps we can take to lessen the impact of these stray thoughts and emotions and other things that influence our spells, and at the end of the day our spells don’t have to be perfect, they just have to work. If a spell produces the desired outcome, even if it’s sloppy and has some superfluous crap about the state of my oven in it, it’s good enough.

Clarity is us recalibrateing our bodies. What we’re trying to do is bring each of our bodies to a neutral state. Perfect Clarity is the goal, but we don’t need to reach a state of perfect Clarity to achieve Trance. Perfect Clarity is likely impossible to achieve, and if you dedicate yourself to reaching perfect Clarity before moving on to the later steps, you’ll never move on. Instead try to do Clarity well, and once you feel you’re doing it well enough move on to Awareness.

To explain Clarity, it’s easiest to break ourselves down into five bodies, the physical, the astral, the mental, the emotional, the creative, and the spiritual, and explain how we achieve Clarity in each one. And yes, I realize I said five bodies and then listed six. That was intentional. You can, if it bothers you, either count the physical and astral bodies as a single body, or just eliminate the spiritual body from the list. The number of bodies isn’t important, and I’m doing it this way because I have other articles I may write in the future, and I don’t want those articles to contradict this one, because if I do sometime after I’m dead middle-aged armchair magicians will argue about what great secret I was hiding by making the contradiction, or they’ll argue about whether or not everything I’ve ever written is wrong because of one small contradiction they found, instead of doing magic so they might actually know a god damn thing. And nobody wants that.

So anyways, body Clarity both in the order of importance and the order you should work on them:

Mental Body: This is the act of clearing your mind and not thinking about anything. That seems like it should be really easy, but for most people it’s not. It is however something that gets easier with practice. Usually if you try to think about nothing you’ll get an intrusive thought, or a thought about thinking about nothing, or you’ll imagine what nothing is. If you try to push the thoughts out that just makes you think them harder, and think other thoughts about pushing them out, and at that point you’re also expending a lot of energy on what should be an effortless process.

If you’re having trouble clearing your mind, the best thing to do is not focus on the thoughts and just let them play themselves out. Intrusive thoughts become less of a problem when you stop giving them energy by trying to get rid of them. The more you relax yourself and fall into meditation, the less likely it is you’ll have them. With practice it gets easier to clear your mind, and eventually this will be a non-issue. Until then remember, the point isn’t to be perfect. The point is to practice and improve yourself so that you’re always getting better at it.

Some people focus on their breathing or a sound in order to help clear their mind. If you’re really struggling that may help, but it’s going to make the later steps harder and you’ll have to come back later and relearn Clarity in order to get through them.

Emotional Body: You don’t want to be feeling any emotion, you just want to be in a state of emotionless calm. That’s actually a lot easier than not thinking any intrusive thoughts, and it’s especially easy when you’ve already cleared your mind. If you’re really emotional you may need to spend some time calming yourself first, but for most people, especially when you’re meditating in an ideal environment, this one’s usually pretty easy to achieve. This one gets more difficult to do when the environment isn’t ideal, or if you’re already very emotional before you start meditating, and those are things you can work on as you get better at meditation.

Physical Body: If you try to meditate and you find yourself getting distracted by your clothes, or the sounds around you that you didn’t even hear before you started meditating, or you start having itches, that’s your physical body acting up. This is actually an easy one to fix if you’re having problems with it, and it’s easy because all of us are very practiced at overcoming it. When you go to bed at night these same annoying issues can keep you from falling asleep. Figure out how you’re dealing with it when you go to sleep, and apply those same techniques to meditation.

If you’re really struggling with this one, you may have to start thinking about what you can do differently before you start meditating to improve your environment. Would you be more comfortable in different clothes? Would you be more comfortable lying down? Is there a source of noise you can eliminate so you can focus better?

Eventually you want to get to the point where none of that crap matters, because you want to be able to meditate in an environment that’s uncomfortable, but the goal for now is just to get to the meditative state, and then the trance state. If you struggle to meditate when you’re uncomfortable, that’s something you can come back to and work on later.

Astral Body: If you’ve also been practicing Energy Manipulation, it’s a good idea to spend some time balancing your energy during meditation and bringing it to a neutral state. If you’re not skilled enough at Energy Manipulation that you can easily do that, don’t worry about it. Clearing your mind of thoughts and calming your emotions is going to naturally balance your energy to a degree anyways.

Creative Body: This mother fucker is the reason you’ll never achieve perfect Clarity. The Creative Body is a doer, it’s about what you’re doing. If you’re meditating, you’re not doing nothing, you’re meditating, and the better you’re meditating the more your meditating. It’s a good lesson that the endgame isn’t achieving perfection, the point is to aim for perfection to constantly improve ourselves even though we know we’ll probably never get there. To get what Clarity you can out of the Creative Body, do as little as possible when you meditate, and expend as little effort as possible on meditating and anything else you’re doing.

Spiritual Body: If you’ve got all the other bodies doing well, this one will naturally take care of itself, so you don’t really need to worry about it.

Step 2: Awareness

The second step is Awareness, both External Awareness and Self-Awareness. Once you’ve achieved Clarity in all of your bodies, Awareness becomes much easier to achieve. It’s almost a natural consequence of Clarity.

By External Awareness, I mean the energies, and maybe spirits, that are flowing around you, how it feels to exist in a physical space, as opposed to when you dream (or astrally project if you’ve done that), and just the general way the area feels.

By Self-Awareness I mean being able to feel the energies flowing inside of you, how it feels to be you and to exist and be meditating, how it feels in your mind and your body especially now that they’re in a state of clarity.

In addition to External Awareness and Self-Awareness, you should also be able to feel how your internal energies and the external energies around you are interacting with each other.

To achieve Awareness, all you have to do is sit there, and while maintaining Clarity, feel everything around you.

The trick is you have to just feel everything around you, and not do anything else. Don’t think about how everything feels, don’t think about the energy, and don’t try to identify the energy. You know how I talked about the physical space and how it feels different from dreaming or the astral plane earlier? Don’t think about that, and don’t try to figure out how these places feel different and start comparing and contrasting them. Definitely don’t try to manipulate the energy.

If you do any of that stuff, you’ve messed up your Clarity and you need to go back to step one.

Just feel everything and let the sensation wash over you, don’t interact with it, don’t think about it, don’t analyze it, and don’t think about yourself and how you’re doing it.

That’s the trick, and it can be hard. And the thing is if you try really hard to get Awareness down and not think about these things or pay attention to them and do your best and put your all into it, you’ve fucked it up, because now you’re putting effort into things and your making conscious decisions and you have intent and you’re doing something. If that happens, you have to go back and work on your Clarity again.

If you get Awareness right away and it comes naturally to you, that’s great, you’re awesome, but most of us struggle with this, because it’s a difficult thing to do. It takes time and practice, but you can definitely get there. If you mess it up, you can always go back and do Clarity again, and then give Awareness another try. If no matter how many times you try you still can’t get it, that’s okay, the important thing is you’re practicing it, and if you’re practicing it you’re definitely improving, even if you don’t notice the improvement.

The goal here, with Awareness, is to get to a point where you feel yourself and everything around you spiritually, but you don’t think about it or analyze it, and you also don’t put any effort into not thinking about it and not analyzing it. Pretty much you want to be able to do it without trying so you can preserve your Clarity.

–The Meditative State–

If you do the first two steps well, there’s a good chance you can achieve a meditative state either with just those two steps or with a little bit of work on Focus. If you’re not achieving a meditative state, don’t worry about it, just keep working on all the steps, but be aware that you could potentially fall into it, and if you analyze your meditation after you finish and you believe you were in a meditative state after only doing the first two steps, you probably were.

Step 3: Focus

There’s actually two different ways you can focus in a meditation. The easier way is focusing on a particular thing, and the difficult way is to just focus but not focus on anything in particular. Both have their advantages.

If you’re going into a meditation because you want to ponder something spiritually, like why are red candles good for love spells, you can just go in with that question to ponder it. If you reach Trance, you will probably realize a bunch of new spiritual insights on the subject. Even if you don’t reach Trance, being in a meditative state will give you a lot of Clarity to make new connections and develop new insights. Even if you don’t reach a meditative state, meditation may still help you think about it and reflect on it more clearly.

It doesn’t have to be a spiritual thing either. You can meditate on if your romantic relationship is healthy, if you’re really happy at your job, or if you’re better off buying Skyrim or Witcher 3. In regard to the last one. both games are awesome and both offer things the other doesn’t, so if you like those sorts of games and can afford both and have the time to play them, get both, but if you have to choose go with Witcher 3, and get the GOTY edition because the expansions add a lot of additional content.

The other way, focusing but not focusing on anything, is hard because if you think about doing it or if you put some effort into doing it, you’re failing other parts of the meditation while also losing focus. Additionally you don’t have a specific thing to focus on, which is so much easier, you just have this abstract idea of focusing.

A lot of time the advice is to meditate on a question, even if it’s unimportant, just to help you learn how to focus and retain Clarity while you do it. There’s a couple problems with that approach. First off, if you go into meditation with a question, and you happen to figure out the answer to that question, you have nothing left to focus on and the meditation will probably end there and you’ll miss out on some practice.

One work around to this is using a koan, which are from Zen Buddhism. The most famous is probably, ‘What’s the sound of one hand clapping.’ Koans don’t have direct answers, and even if you do find an answer, they have deep layers that go on and on so there’s still room to continue meditating and expand upon it.

The second issue with going in with a question is it makes focusing easier, and it even makes the next step a little easier too, but it makes getting into Trance harder, and if you aren’t already in a meditative state when you start focusing it makes that more difficult too. You’re making it so Focus is easier to get through, but you’re making the rest of the process more difficult.

Also if you can only get through Focus and reach Trance by using a question, that’s a very big limitation on your ability to meditate and reach Trance.

Much like Skyrim and Witcher 3, both approaches offer advantages the other doesn’t, and I would recommend learning and practicing both in tandem.

The first few times you work on Focus, don’t come in with a question. Try to do it without focusing on anything at all.

After you’ve attempted doing it a few times and have some experience, then try it with a question. It will most likely be easier to do this way, and you’ll hopefully get a better grasp on it. It’ll also force you to learn some new skills with your Clarity and Awareness to get to that stage with a question in your head.

Then take what you’ve learned and go back to trying it without a question. Alternate between the two so you can learn both approaches and get the benefits each has to offer knowing that getting better at one approach will make you stronger when you attempt the other approach.

Ultimately you should aim to be able to achieve Trance with either approach. The approaches have different uses, and either one may be a better fit for a particular situation. Overall, you’ll probably use meditating without a question much more frequently on your spiritual path.

Step 4: Self-Control

Once you have the first three steps down, the next step is to hold on to them as long as possible. Eventually you’ll have intrusive thoughts, or boredom will set in, or your mind will wander, or you might even fall asleep and take a nap. In any case, when those things happen your meditation is broken and you need to go back and do the earlier steps again or end the meditation.

Once you get the first three steps down you may find that you can’t maintain it for very long before you break yourself out of it. Maybe you can only manage for a couple minutes. That’s okay. Just keep meditating and holding it for as long as you can. With practice the amount of time you’re able to hold it will increase.

Step 5: Trance

Trance is the end goal, and when you get there you’re going to feel it and it will be a distinct feeling. All you have to do to get to Trance is get the first three steps down, and then hold it long enough in Self-Control, and you should just slip into it.

You should be hitting a meditative state in the second or third step. If you’re not, you’re weak in at least one of the first two steps, and if you’re not sure which one than work on improving both of them. Likewise if you do the first three steps well, reach a meditative state, and hold it long enough you should reach Trance, and if that isn’t happening it means you’re weak in at least one of the four steps. If you don’t know which one you’re weak in, work on all four.

Coming Out Of Meditation

Before you get really good at meditation, it’s important to learn how to come out of meditation. The first few times you meditate it probably won’t matter and you can just stand up when you’re finished, but once you get better at meditating, and especially once you hit a meditative state, it’s a bitch to come out of meditation wrong. So practice coming out of meditation correctly from the start, and that way once you need it you’ll already have developed the skill.

You want to come out of meditation slowly and carefully, like slowly waking up from a deep sleep.

Stay relaxed, make sure you’re breathing, and slowly let yourself come out of it. One trick is to just concentrate on your breathing and pay attention to how you’re breathing. Pay attention to when you inhale and when you exhale. After you’ve done that for a bit, change your breathing. Take a few deeper breaths and then let it out. When you feel comfortable slowly open your eyes. Take it easy for a few minutes, and then start to move your body and slowly get up.

Give yourself a little bit of time after meditation to relax and be in the moment so you can fully process the meditation you’ve just finished.

If you have to, of course, you can jolt yourself out of a meditation, and if like your house is on fire or something else important is happening you should jolt yourself out of the meditation, it just won’t feel very good.

Eventually, with some experience, you’ll be able to come out of meditations quicker and it won’t feel so bad when you jolt yourself out of one.

Stepping Up Your Game

Now that you’re meditating, here are a few things that might help you improve your meditation a little bit.


If you’re able to do it, yoga is a wonderful aid to meditation. Many yoga poses are designed to help energy flow through your body more freely and to clean out your energy a bit. Several common poses, Lotus being the most well-known and probably best, make it easier to get through the steps of mediation if you’re already good at doing the pose.

If holding a pose is causing you discomfort or pain, that’ll negate a lot of the positive benefits of the pose. If a pose hurts, you’ll probably get better results lying down or sitting. However if you can comfortably manage a partial pose, like half-lotus or even sitting crossed-legged, you’ll still get some of the benefits of the pose.


Incense can help you raise energy, help you redirect your energy, help you with Focus, and just, in general, make meditation easier. You may wish to use incense that you have a particular affinity for, or you may choose one that is tied in to what you’re trying to accomplish with the meditation. A few common ones that are generally good for meditation are sandalwood, vanilla, frankincense, and nag champa.

Although incense can help with meditation, I’d recommend against using it so often that it becomes a crutch. If you’re really struggling with meditation, it can help you break through to the next level, but once you get there you should start working on meditating without incense. Otherwise I would recommend using incense infrequently. Definitely try it out so you have the experience, definitely use it if it’s a special occasion or something really important or you just want a deep meditation that day, but also make sure you’re practicing doing meditation without the help of incense.

Where do you go from here?

So you’ve gotten good at meditation. You always hit a meditative state when you try, and you usually hit a trance state. Maybe you always hit a trance state. Does that mean you’ve mastered meditation?

Well, no. We never master anything, and there’s always room for improvement. In particular the meditative and trance states, although very useful on their own, are far more useful when you can fall in and out of them in seconds and in any environment. If you can fall into trance before doing any kind of magical operation, and hold it for the entire operation, your magic is going to be quite a bit stronger. If you’re just starting with meditation going into Trance like that might seem difficult, and something you’ll only achieve after decades of practice, but once you start getting better at meditation it actually isn’t that hard to learn.

Below are some advanced meditation exercises you can try once you feel like you’ve gotten the hang of meditation.

Speed Meditation

One thing to work on is to practice meditating faster. As you go through the five steps, try to do them as quickly as you can. Set a goal of reaching either a meditative state or a trance state and work on going through the steps as fast as you can to get there. Only count the speedrun as successful if you reach a meditative and/or trance state. If you’re not able to reach an altered state, slow down the individual steps and practice them until you’ve improved some more, and then try to speed them up again.

Meditate While Standing

Instead of lying down, or sitting down, or being in any kind of comfortable position, or gaining the benefits of doing a yoga pose, meditate while standing up. Once you’re able to achieve Trance while standing, try to achieve Trance without closing your eyes. Once you’re able to achieve Trance without closing your eyes, try to achieve Trance while standing with your eyes open. If you want, you can even try to achieve Trance while walking or running.

Meditate While Distracted

Try meditating while you’re distracted. Maybe turn on the TV, or the radio, or go someplace noisy to meditate. Try meditating in uncomfortable clothes. Try meditating in public places with lots of active people around you.

It’s actually difficult to come up with good general exercises for this, because all of us have different things that distract us. Ultimately you’re going to have to come up with your own situations that make you, personally, feel distracted and uncomfortable, and then try meditating in them. Once you become good at meditating in a particular situation, find one that’s even more distracting and uncomfortable.

Multitasking And Meditating

Once you can meditate while standing with your eyes open, and while walking (hopefully also with your eyes open), and while distracted, try meditating while also doing something else. Start with something that you already know how to do and is mostly physical and doesn’t require a lot of thought or attention. Domestic chores, like sweeping, mopping, and scrubbing are good fits. So are physical exercises, like lifting weights or doing sit-ups. From there move on to things that require more thought and attention. Try meditating while playing a video game, while reading a book, while building furniture, while doing a hobby. Then try meditating while doing very complicated things like having a conversation with someone.

Instant Trance Trick

So this is a pretty common trick to drop into Trace very quickly. Unlike a lot of other meditation shortcuts, this one isn’t a crutch and it won’t make it more difficult for you to meditate or get into Trance when you’re not using it. In fact, in my experience, this trick usually opens the practitioner up to a lot of new revelations about how to quickly get into Trance, making it easier to develop other methods.

So in order to do this, you need to be really good at Clarity, because you have to be able to finish Clarity quickly and move right into Awareness. In fact, you need to be pretty good at all the steps to get this to work.

Remember when I talked about feeling all that energy during Awareness? What you’re going to want to do is let that energy wash over yourself and lose yourself in it. Now remember when I said each step of meditation naturally leads into the next step, and there’s a flow to it? If you have all the steps down, and you do this right, the forward momentum of the flow of meditation should naturally push you into Trance without much effort.

You want to practice doing this a lot: Feel the energy —> Go to Trance / Feel the Energy —> Go to Trance, ect.

After you’ve done it a bit, it should be happening pretty fast. The next thing you want to do is setup a metaphysical trigger. Basically when A happens, you automatically do B.

There’s a few different ways to go about this depending on how experienced you are with magic. One way is to just practice this frequently, like several times a day, and to always push yourself into Trance as soon as you feel the energy. Eventually you’ll internalize the process like with muscle memory.

The easier way is to just hide a trigger in yourself so that when you feel the energy, you do the process. It’s pretty much putting a strong trigger in the back of your head so you never think about it, and it sets your metaphysical bodies to do X whenever Y happens.

I don’t want to get into an indepth explanation about how to set up a metaphysical trigger, because even though I know how to do it, it’ll take me months to figure out how to explain it from scratch, and I want to get this article posted.

If you know how to set a trigger, you should already understand what I’m talking about, and if you don’t know how to do it, you might be able to figure it out from what I said. If you can’t figure it out, just use the first method.

Once you have that down, the next step is learning some muscle memory. Whenever you feel energy, or a spike in energy, drop into meditation and do Clarity. And this is why I say you have to be really good at Clarity. You want to be able to go from not meditating, to meditating, to finishing Clarity in less then a second. Ideally you want to do all of that in a lot less than a second. And you’re going to want to be able to do it while you’re standing up, while you’re distracted, while you’re doing other things.

Putting all of it together you should end up with a process where energy rises, or there is unfamiliar or aggressive energy maybe, and by muscle memory you drop into meditation and complete Clarity in less than a second, then you feel all the energy more intensely in Awareness, and that triggers you and you’re in Trance.

Here’s the fun part. Typically when you do a magical operation, one of the first things you do, if not the very first thing, is raise energy. If you’re at a public ritual, if it’s being done right, there should be a lot of energy around. If you’re about to be attacked spiritually, typically you’ll feel some extra or aggressive energy first. If you’re doing energy manipulation, you’re probably going to start by feeling out the energy. If you start talking about or even thinking about spiritual topics, a lot of times energy will just start rising up.

You’ve now trained yourself so that just about any time something magical is happening around you, even if you’re the one doing it, you immediately slip into Trance.

Does Medication Limit Magical Ability?


Will taking medication limit my magical ability?

This is a question that gets asked a lot, and if you’re not taking daily medication, it’s difficult to understand how taking meds long term affects magical ability. The short answer is no, taking meds isn’t going to limit your magical ability. You may need to do magic differently because of your meds, and you may need to develop some new skills as well, but that shouldn’t be big deal. Adapting and learning new skills are essential to advancing as a magician anyways, and if you’re not up to doing that your magical ability is already pretty limited. In fact, long term, proper medication will probably make you into a stronger magician.

That’s true if you’re taking meds for physical issues, like high cholesterol or hypertension, or if you’re taking meds for mental health reasons, like depression or anxiety.

Having a doctor or mental health care professional tell you that you need to take medication, or recommend that you should take medication, can be scary, because it can seem like they’re asking you to give up part of your spirituality to be healthy, to be happy, or to not die. Assuming we don’t die young, almost all of us will eventually have a health condition that can be treated with daily medication. For most of us that’s going to happen when we’re middle-aged, a few of us will be lucky enough to make it into our golden years before it happens, and some of us are going to have health issues that will need treatment much earlier in life.

Even if you aren’t taking medication right now, you probably have some idea how it will affect you magically. Almost all of us have been drunk at some point after we started practicing, and we know what happens when we do magic while intoxicated. A lot of us have also been prescribed some strong drugs for short term illnesses, and I’m sure quite a few people are taking other drugs for recreational and spiritual purposes. I’ll touch on drug use for spiritual purposes at the end, but that’s really not the point of this article.

When we do drugs, be it for treating an illness or for something else, it usually affects our magic in one of four ways.

The first way it can affect us is it can open us up to a spiritual experience. Like I said I’ll go into more detail about that at the end, because it’s not why I’m writing this.

The second way it can affect us is it doesn’t affect us, or at least it has no noticeable affect on our ability to do magic. For most people this is the case with a lot of OTC medications like aspirin, pepto-bismol, ect., and is probably the case for a lot of prescription medications as well. This is a best case scenario where you can take a medication and be as strong of a magician as you ever were without having to change anything.

The third way it can affect us is it can dull our abilities. We can still do magic, but it’s harder. It’s like when you increase the weight on a machine at the gym. You’re still doing the same motions and it’s still having the same affect, but it’s a lot more difficult. Focusing and concentrating may also be more difficult. This is actually how alcohol affects me.

The fourth way it can affect us is it can make it more difficult to interpret magical information and direct our magic at a target. You may still be able to sense energy, but you might have more difficulty than normal figuring out what kind of energy it is, or where exactly it’s coming from. You may still be able to cast a spell, but you might have more difficulty getting it to hit the intended target. If doing magic sober is like firing a gun to shoot a target, this is like firing a gun to shoot a target while blindfolded. This is how opioids like Vicodin affect me magically.

If you want to get drunk every once in a while, or if you’re ill and you need to take medicine for a few days, it’s fine to take a short break from your spiritual practices and spend a day or a week being less than 100%. When you’re ready to end your break, you’ll be as good a magician as you ever were. If you’re going to have to take meds every day forever, or for the foreseeable future, that’s when it becomes an issue.

As a side note taking a prescribed medication properly dosed and monitored by a health care professional is different from having a substance abuse problem or self-medicating. I’m not dealing with the later in this article and as far as spirituality and magic are concerned the challenges would be different. I’m bringing this up because if you do have experience with substance abuse while practicing magic, the situation, and how you should deal with it, is different than taking daily meds.

So how do we deal with having to take our medicine?

Our most important magical tools, and the only ones we need, are our bodies. We all have a few different bodies. We of course have a physical body, but we also have an astral body, and a mental body or HGA, and there are lower realm equivalents, and there are even higher bodies as well.

Our bodies are imperfect tools. Training ourselves magically so we can do more powerful magic is all about getting our bodies into a more perfect state. Out of all of our bodies, our physical body is the worst. It has specific spiritual purposes, and it is at times necessary, but it is the most fragile, volatile, and temperamental of all our bodies, and it has some very low spiritual ceilings.

Our bodies are connected together in a chain, and the lower bodies are dependent on the higher bodies, but the converse isn’t true. Our mental and physical bodies interact with each other through our astral body. If you remove the astral body, the physical body can’t survive, and if you limit a person’s physical body from accessing their astral body you’ve magically neutered them and done a kind of binding. However the same isn’t true of their mental body. A person’s mental body can survive without their astral or physical body, and even if its access to them is limited it’s still operating at 100%.

Our physical body is also at the bottom of the chain. You can remove the physical body, and all of the other bodies are still there and operating as well as they always have.

A lot of things spiritually affect our physical body, like if we’re sick, if we’re tired, what we’ve eaten, if we haven’t eaten, and a lot of other things, including drugs and medications we’re taking. Drugs and medications, however, don’t affect the higher bodies, at least not directly, and therein lies the trick.

When we start doing magic we use our physical body a lot. We store all of our magical knowledge in our stupid meat brain and rely on its logical abilities even though there’s a pretty low upper limit to how much it can accurately remember, and it has a lot trouble just comprehending higher and more abstract metaphysical concepts, and that’s assuming it can even understand the concepts at all.

Early on we also tend to rely on our physical body to focus most of our magic. Sometimes we need to use our physical body to a degree, because it’s our best connection to the physical realm, and a lot of magic is meant to affect the physical realm. When we first start out though we usually use it as the primary body, and sometimes sole body, doing all of our magic. It’s the body we’re most comfortable with, and it’s why ritual magic is the easiest magic to learn even though it’s not the easiest magic to do or the most effective.

As we become better magicians and grow, when we do magic we start taking the jobs that our physical body is performing, and we start passing them on to our other bodies, because they’re more capable of doing them, because they have higher ceilings, and because they are less volatile and temperamental. Even if we don’t intend to do this, even if we don’t understand we’re doing this, we still naturally do this as magicians, and if we don’t we end up being very limited in our abilities.

If you want your magic to be 100% while you’re doing drugs or taking a medication, you have to learn to push jobs off of your physical body and on to your other bodies. Those bodies won’t be affected by drugs or medication, so your abilities won’t be dulled, and you’ll be able to interpret and direct your magic correctly.

If you’re not taking meds right now but you want to practice this, one way is to work on it the next time you get a little drunk. You’ll still have your reflexes impaired and your speech may slur, but you should be able to keep your wits about you, think straight, and not lose your inhibitions. The trick is to have one of your other bodies, like your astral or mental body, take over the thinking work.

Another way to practice is to work with altered states. Practicing meditation will help. Practicing lucid dreaming will help.

Honestly though, once you start taking a medication at the same dosage consistently for a while, you’ll almost certainly start to develop the ability to push off work to the other bodies, and you’ll probably be back to your old magical self in no time. It’ll probably take about 2 months to be 100%.

But how does that make me a stronger magician?

The condition of your physical body is going to have a direct impact on how well you can do magic, especially when you’re doing magic that’s partially reliant on your physical body. Unfortunately age is only going to wear down your physical body, and things are going to get worse as you get older. However if something’s wrong with your physical body and it can be treated with medication, treating the issue and becoming healthier will make you a stronger magician.

Mental health issues can be even worse. Things like anxiety disorders and depression originate in your physical body, but they can impact your other bodies as well. Unwanted emotions and negative thought patterns can very easily seep into your magic and completely disrupt what you’re trying to do, even if you’re not using your physical body to do it.

If medication helps you balance your emotions and control them, it will put you in a position where you’ll be a much better magician.

If you have more severe mental health issues, specifically ones that cause hallucinations or delusions, you’re probably much more capable of having a genuine spiritual experience. However those kinds of mental health issues can make it very difficult to interpret exactly what is happening spiritually, or even if it is a genuine spiritual experience, let alone control it. They also make you much more likely to develop self-destructive beliefs and fall into spiritual pitfalls that will ultimately hinder your growth, even you do have a lot of early success.

Being on a treatment plan, which may involve medication, can give you a foundation that will help you better interpret what is happening spiritually and understand its deeper meaning so you can grow as a magician.

What about spiritual drug use?

Spiritual drug use is semi-related to this, so I might as well go over it.

To start, most people who use drugs for spiritual reasons are actually doing drugs for recreational reasons. Acid and shrooms are fun to do. Salvia and peyote sound cool and in some places in the US they’re legal. If you want to do drugs because they’re fun and cool, or they seem like they might be fun and cool, then just do them for that reason. If you want to be a magician, at least be self aware enough to admit to yourself why you’re doing drugs and don’t believe your own bullshit about it being a spiritual experience.

The thing certain drugs are best at is opening you up to have a spiritual experience. If you’ve been doing magic for a while you already know how to open yourself up and have a spiritual experience. You already know how to induce an altered state for spiritual purposes without using drugs. The folks who will benefit the most from taking drugs to open themselves up spiritually are also the people who are least likely to seek out drugs for spiritual purposes. If everything works out just right, an acid trip can turn a devout atheist into an ardent believer of metaphysics. It can be the push they need to start their spiritual journey. Also if everything works out just right, an acid trip can turn an ardent believer of metaphysics into an ardent believer of metaphysics that’s also tripping on acid.

The problem with these drugs is that they’re opening you up to a metaphysical experience, but they’re also hindering your ability to do magic and properly interpret that experience. It’s great for helping you start your spiritual journey, but after that it’s not going to be very useful.

If you really want to get the full spiritual effect for experienced magicians, you essentially have to do the same thing you would do if you were taking meds. You have to train yourself to push off jobs on to your other bodies so you’re with it enough to fully interpret what’s happening. That’s a lot more difficult than with meds, in part because you probably don’t want to do something like acid every day for months to get good at doing magic while under the influence, and I would recommend against doing something like that.

You can train yourself without doing it every day, but it will be more difficult, and with drugs as powerful as the ones we’re talking about, you’re probably going to have to do them a whole lot before you get really good at it.

It would honestly be much easier to work with things like meditation, trance, astral projection, and lucid dreaming to learn how to induce altered states in yourself and have spiritual experiences without using powerful psychedelics, and it would be much easier on your body and mind.

Final Words

Going back to taking meds and being a magician, there are a lot of spiritual benefits to taking the meds you need under the supervision of a doctor so you can be physically and mentally healthy. The spiritual drawbacks to taking your meds can be mitigated with a small amount of work and in a relatively short amount of time.

There are valid reasons for not taking your meds. The side-effects might not be worth it for you, they might not be effective for you, or you might think that you will benefit more from a different kind of treatment that doesn’t involve medication. If you’re in the US, you may not be able to afford the medication you need. However there aren’t valid spiritual reasons for not taking your meds. The cost vs benefits in regards to spirituality are heavily weighted towards taking your meds.

Update 2020

Since I started this blog 14 years ago, the community has changed, both online and in real life. Young people don’t look up to their elders as much anymore, and quite a few of them are terribly disrespectful. A lot of them don’t want to spend hours reading about magic, they don’t want to be told what to do, they don’t care about gaining their ranks in a spiritual system, they don’t want to ‘bend a knee’ to more experienced adepts, they don’t want to learn the ‘boring but necessary’ prerequisite magic that’s needed before doing more interesting workings, and in a lot of ways they don’t want to put in the time and do the work to be magicians.

That’s so fucking awesome!!! I’m ecstatic about the current cultural shift we’re experiencing in the magical community. Young people today are much more apt to just jump in and do practical work than magicians my age were. They’re far more likely to tell the established community leaders to go fuck themselves and then define their own spirituality. Things are far from perfect right now, but the community is heading into a direction that makes me optimistic and hopeful about its future.

Also a lot of the late 90s hype around Chaos Magick is finally starting to die down, and that makes me happy too.

The core tenets of spirituality that I believe, that I’ve always tried to stress on my blog, are a lot more palatable today then they were when I started this blog.

  • Magic can be fun, it doesn’t have to be work.
  • Spirituality, at its core, is about growth and change.
  • Magic is all about empowerment, so if you want to be a magician, you shouldn’t willingly give up your autonomy for a promise of false power.
  • Spirituality is for everyone.
  • All of us have spiritual gifts.
  • Each of us has our own unique spiritual path.
  • People who don’t practice magic don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about in regards to spirituality and magic no matter how learned they are and aren’t worth listening to.
  • The only requirement to be a magician is to practice magic, and if you want to be a magician you should start practicing magic right now.
  • The only requirement to be an adept is to feel empowered enough to believe that you are an adept.
  • The only requirement to be an elder is to be so old that stupid people think the things you say are important because they confuse age with wisdom.
  • Secret information and secret societies are for people who wished they were cool in high school and never matured past that phase of their life.
  • If you think you’re ready to do magic, you are, and you should start doing it right away.
  • If you don’t think you’re ready to do magic, you’re wrong, and you should start doing it right away.

You may have noticed I haven’t posted much here in the last few years. I’m lazy, and there’s usually something I’ll enjoy doing more, but for the most part I haven’t had a whole lot to say in the last few years. The point of this blog was to put up some good introductory information with some theory and a focus on helping people do practical work.

For the most part, I’ve already given out all of the introductory material I’m qualified to teach, and I don’t see the point in repeating the same information. People can just read the archives. I could go into more intermediate and advanced subjects, but at that point spirituality becomes much less universal and much more personal. That’s the sort of spirituality you should be discovering for yourself, or working one-on-one with a mentor who can help you find what you need to advance on your spiritual path.

I also don’t want to make this a blog about my thoughts and feelings, my personal spiritual journey, how my day was, how cute my dog is, or my pseudo philosophical views on life, the universe, and everything, no matter how profound I think they may be or how intellectual they’ll make me seem. I’ve always tried to keep a good content to noise ratio on this blog so that the folks who arrive here easily find a lot of good information without having to wade through a bunch of crap to get to it.

However I’m not ending this blog, at least not just yet. For the record I’ve quit this blog over a hundred times, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for years. I’ve never put up the standard ‘I quit’ post I see on other blogs. I really don’t want the lot of you running to the comments to tell me how great this blog is and how much it means to you and beg me not to go. I don’t want the embarrassment of putting up an ‘I’m back!’ post eight hours later when I change my mind. There will always be reasons I want to quit this blog, and there will always be articles I want to write. In my mind whenever I’m not typing an article, this blog is on hiatus. If I don’t want to work on it, I won’t. When I have something I want to put up here, I will.

That said, I’m going to be revising this blog and adding to it in the near future, and keep in mind with the amount of discipline I’ve shown maintaining this blog, near future may mean decades from now. This is my outline of where things are going next:

Phase 1: I’m going to go through all the old articles and revise them. Most of what I want to do is fix grammar and spelling errors I should’ve corrected a long time ago. I may remove some sections, or entire articles, that I think are confusing, redundant, or just plain wrong. For the most part, I want to keep the articles intact as they are. I’ve grown as a magician and learned a lot. I know there are some errors and omissions in the old articles, but I don’t want to fix them. I’m not infallible, you shouldn’t expect me to be, and I can’t think of a better way to make that point than to tell you some of what I’ve written is wrong, and if you think I’m mistaken about something, there’s a good chance you’re right.

I’m also planning to put up some new articles. I want to finish some of the series I started then never continued. I also have some ideas for new articles that cover material I haven’t gone over yet.

Lastly I maybe want to work some more on the glossary. In my eyes it’s always been incomplete, and I see it as valuable even though I know nobody uses it.

Phase 2: Once I have everything revised, and I’ve written all the remaining articles I think I have left in me, I’m going to collect all of the posts on this blog I think are important and put them together in a single digital collection. This will be free to download, and free to share. It’s one way that I hope to preserve the information on this blog, and also organize it in a way that makes it easier for people to find the information they want.

I’m not planning on taking this blog down though. I’ve never bought a domain or used a paid server because keeping it on a free WordPress site seemed like the best way to ensure that the information remained up on the internet for whoever wants even if I’m not actively maintaining it.

Once I release the digital collection, that will probably mean there will be no new articles posted on this blog.

Phase 3: I have agreed to write a series of five books. These books are a combination of channeled information, my interpretation of it, and things that I know. It is the culmination of my magical practices, knowledge, and teachings, at least insofar as my public persona is concerned. The first book is 80% done and the second book is 95% done. The remainder are less done. When these books are ready I will be releasing them digitally as free downloads that are also free to share. If you are a fan of this blog, or you’ve found the information here useful, or you’re looking for spiritual information, then I’d urge you to please read through at least the first book and see if it resonates with you when it’s released.

As always, I’m not in the business of selling spirituality, and I will never charge or ask for money or donations for spiritual information or teachings, and none of my spiritual work will ever be monetized.

I’m not sure where I’ll be spiritually or what I’ll do following phase 3, but there’s a possibility that I won’t continue being an active part of the community so folks can freely interpret what I’ve written without my interference.

My wife has also expressed an interest in putting some stuff out there, and I’ve told here that she can use this blog if she wants to. She has different gifts and a different perspective on magic than me. If she does decide to eventually post here, I’ll make sure she has her own author account so you can tell who wrote which article.

Turn and Face the Strange

I started this blog over eleven years ago now, and in that time I’ve changed quite a bit. Reading through old posts some of it is really insightful, and some of it I’ve completely changed my mind on.

My magickal interests have evolved and changed as well. When I started writing this blog, ritual work was pretty new to me and I was really into figuring that out and also the Tree of Life and how things fit into it. Now I’m more interested in the more intimate details of the universe, like exactly what gods are, and how they’re structured, and how they’re created, and what their boundaries are and why they even exist. I’m also looking into other power conduits that don’t fit into the typical classifications that are out there. 10 years from now I’m sure I’ll be onto something else.

Every time I’ve started to finally grasp a subject and unlocked some deep mystery of it, it’s only led me to discover more paths, more mysteries, and more things that I know nothing about. My spiritual practice and what I’m interested in looks nothing like it did 11 years ago.

I also used to be really into going to spiritual groups, public rituals, posting on my blog, and following the magick blogosphere. Now I give fuck all about the community, offline or on, and most of my external work is done through one on one teaching.

My life is very different too. I can literally fit in my pockets all the things I own that I owned when I started this blog. My PS2 has been traded up to a PS4, and I even flirted with a Microsoft system in the middle. I’m married, I’ve moved halfway across the world, I’ve switched careers several times, and I have a new dog that I pretend is my child so I don’t have to have children.

I’m also getting sort of old. As a younger magician, I used to have to lie about my age in the online community to get any sort of respect, but now I’m just respected because of my years, and I’m about a decade shy of insta-eldership. I’m already older than just about all the community leaders I knew when I started blogging.

The point is, I’ve changed quite a bit, and my practice has also changed. On the other hand when I go back into the community, online or off, whether we’re talking Pagans or Ceremonialists or whatever, it’s the same as it was when I first noticed it about twenty years ago. Pretty sure it’s the same as it was 60 years ago, but I’m not old enough to remember that. I seriously have Pagan friends who put up websites in the past few years that were programmed in pure HTML without even a stylesheet, full of animated gifs, randomly placed links, and sometimes a menu in a frame off to the side. They looked like 90s webpages, and I forgot what 90s webpages looked like until I saw these things, because I hadn’t seen one in over a decade.

Back in the 50s and 60s Paganism was at the height of feminism. 60 years later and the world has progressed quite a bit, but Paganism is still in the same place it was back then. For example, consent culture is a thing now, and we’re not completely there yet, but we’re getting there. But I can’t go to a Pagan meetup without hearing some single guy complain about how he can’t be spontaneous and romantic if he has to outright ask before he does stuff to a woman (here’s a tip on romance, not raping people is super romantic).

In the 80s it was really something to even be having that discussion regardless of what side of it you were on. Seriously, watch some 80s films. Family friendly kitsch movie Adventures in Babysitting has a scene where a teenage girl passes out in the backseat of a car after a rough and frightening day, and a teenage boy gropes her because that’s funny and family appropriate entertainment. Watch Revenge of the Nerds. It’s at the forefront of the geek is cool counterculture, and pretty much just another take on the basic premise of Animal House, except it’s a lot more rapey, and a lot less self aware of how rapey it is than Animal house.

A lot of the magicians I know grew up in the 80s and 90s like I did. And growing up a lot of stuff that’s now sexual assault was just distasteful back then, and a fact of life you had to deal with if you were a woman. Instead of seeing this as a positive step forward, they want things to go back to the way they were when they were young. They probably want it to go back even further back than that, because when they were young they were looking up to old guys wanting things to go back to the way it was in the 50s and 60s. Now they do that to the young magicians, and the circle is complete.

That’s why I’ve lost so many friends in the community because they’re fervent Trump supporters. I don’t mean they’re Republicans, or that they were really voting against four more years with a Democratic president, or that they’re rich businessmen or Russian sleeper agents who had a personal interest in a Trump presidency. They actually feel that Trump’s message resonates with them, to the point that I’ve seen some self identified Pagans go so far as to share stuff on Facebook that is fundamentalist Christian Satanic scare stuff that could’ve been made in the 80s.

As an aside, 11 years ago I decided that I didn’t want to discuss politics on this blog, because I didn’t see the point of it. I’m breaking that now because Donald Trump is a racist, misogynist, xenophobe, homophobe, that’s completely self serving. Plus he’s an idiot, and I hate idiots. He is a disgusting human being, and one of the worst things that has ever happened to my country. Just this week he failed to condemn Nazis, and even in the 80s we knew Nazis were bad.

The reason why Trump resonates with these people is because they desperately want to throw away all of the progress we’ve made in the last 35 years and have things go back to the way they were in the 80s. The majority of Trump’s message is just, “Let’s bring back the early 80s.”

If you look at the way these guys practice magick, it’s also the same as it was when they were in their 20s. When these guys were young, they had a lot of potential, they were learning new things, and they were developing as magicians. Then they developed a bit, they became powerful and knowledgeable, and they knew how to do some really cool magickal things.

A few decades later and they’re only as knowledgeable and powerful as they were back then, and they’re doing the same really cool magickal things. It still leaves the newbs in awe, but if you’ve known them all this time, you realize they’ve gone twenty or thirty years without developing. They got to a respectable point, and then they stopped.

That’s what the community has become, stagnation. It’s a bunch of groups and religions that are old and out of date. It’s a bunch of people who only got so far, and then stopped because they reached some low hanging bar, and now desperately yearn for the time of their youth when things still made sense to them.

When Chaos Magick was new, when Paganism was new, when Thelema was new, when the Golden Dawn was new, these movements were on the fringes of society because they were so socially progressive and so ahead of their time. Now these groups are moving back into the fringes not because they’ve evolved and remained progressive, but because society has progressed forward beyond them and they’ve stayed behind.

At the end of the day, once you take away all of the fancy dressings and all of the pretentious intellectual philosophy about what it is, all spirituality is, is growth, and part of growth is change. The end goal of spirituality is for a person to finally achieve their full potential, and it’s a process that can take tens of thousands of lifetimes to happen. Magick is the cheat code or the lifehack to spirituality. It lets us speed up our progression so we can get to the end faster, and for most it’s essential to getting through the final parts as well.

So when you cling to the past and rage against the progress of society, when you let yourself become culturally irrelevant in the modern era, when you stop learning new things, when you stop growing and advancing along your spiritual path, when your magickal practice is no longer a work in progress but just the stuff you already know, or when you fear change and want things to remain the same or go back to the way they were, you’ve failed yourself spiritually.

If you’ve been doing the same magick for forty years and know so much you haven’t needed to learn anything new in over a decade, you’re not an elder, you’re just old, and you might as well be dead. The newb kids you preach to are already much better magicians than you, because they at least might make something of themselves.

And if you’re young and new to magick, don’t be too intimidated by the older more experienced folks, and be suspect of anything they tell you. The majority of them lost their spiritual way long ago.

This is mostly just insane ramblings, but the point I’m trying to make is, if you’re not growing, not learning, or not changing (and I mean that culturally, intellectually, socially, spiritually, ect), and are instead stuck in the past, then you’re no longer a magician. Whatever you’re practicing, it isn’t magick. We need to make sure that we’re always moving forward, embracing the modern era and the new chapters of our lives, continuing to push ourselves spiritually, and constantly progressing towards our full potential.

Shop Smart, Shop S-Mart


Magic is not static, it’s fluid and changes as it weaves its way through time and technology and society. During the Trojan war, magic was very different from what we know now. Society was different, culture was different, and the world was a different place. Magic is really just spirituality, or at least an aspect of it, and across the world spirituality, its practice, and the culture surrounding it were very different things back then. The oldest religions still practiced today were first formed hundreds of years after Troy (although some may have roots that stretch back nearly as far), and the modern interpretation of those religions is very different from their origins.

The world was a different place then, with a different spirituality, and right now the world is again changing. We’re entering a new age, and spirituality is becoming something very different. In the last few hundred years technology has changed the way we view spirituality, and what we, as practitioners, are exposed to.

When the Golden Dawn was formed at the end of the 19th century books about magic were hard to find. Finding a book with even a shred of good information was a godsend. Serious magicians might have libraries of dozens of books, if they were lucky and well to do. A book that a seller in France might constantly mark down because he couldn’t sell it might be highly sought after, and over priced, in the United States. And if you did find a book, there’s a pretty good chance you’d have to sit there and try to translate it from German, or French, or Hebrew, or whatever other language it happened to be written in with little more than some basic phrases and a something to English dictionary.

Not a hundred and fifty years later, and most of these sought after books are available for free and in English on websites across the internet. There’s now more occult/magic/new age/ect books published than people want to buy (and I suspect there’s more published than even people who want to read them). There are really good professional grade translations done of most of the major occult works, and not just ones done by interested magicians that kind of understood the language like in the past, but ones done by professional translators who have a deep understanding of the language and the culture surrounding the work when it was written. Also I suspect about 70-90 percent of the people reading this have at least a gigabyte of illegally downloaded books on their computer.

In a lot of ways technology is great. It is going to make our magic stronger and better and more versatile. I can search the web for a pic of a god, put it up on my laptop, and make an instant portable altar to any entity I want in a few minutes or less. I can store thousands of pages worth of information on herbs on a phone I keep in my pocket, and use a search function to instantly and easily find the parts of the information I need. Magic is changing because of technology, and in a good way.

Then there’s the technomage. Or whatever the modern term is. Technomage is a term I know some guy was using over a decade ago, but it’s one of many terms I’ve seen used to describe a certain mentality and idealism about magic.

Before I go further, you don’t need magical tools to do magic. Anything that can be done using some tool or another can be done without it. Used correctly though tools enhance what you’re able to do, and they help amplify and direct your power. Any good magician can do magic just fine totally bereft of tools, but any good magician is also going to realize how much easier magic can be with the proper tools.

As an example, I’m still young and fit enough to walk ten miles while carrying fifty pounds. But it’s a lot easier for me to just throw that stuff in the back of my car and drive where I want to go.

Proper tools are, well, powerful tools in magic. In the hands of a magician, a wand is a very powerful device, even more so if it’s been properly blessed or enchanted. The pencil you’re using, however, is not a wand. You may be able to move some energy through the wood like a person does with a wand, but you won’t get anywhere near the same effect.

Different kinds of wands, made out of different kinds of wood, feel different, because the wood adds something to a wand. When buying a wand one should be careful to get one made from a type of wand that meets the wants of the practitioner. With a pencil the wood is cheap, and it’s also hollowed out and filled with graphite or lead. It’s a design that makes a poor wand to begin with. The pencil is also something you’re using because you don’t want to go through the cost or effort of buying a real magic wand. If that’s the way you think about your tools, and the sort of respect and investment you’re willing to put into your spirituality, your magic will reflect that.

Incense is a powerful (and cheap) tool. It can change energy, alter your state of mind, and help with visualization, among other things. A can of febreeze, however, is not incense. You’re not going to get any of the benefits of incense by spraying an aerosol all over the room.

Woods have specific energies, stones have specific energies, and metals have specific energies, and many items, such as swords and cauldrons, have specific symbolisms and important non-spiritual uses that are reflected in their magical roles.

Magic isn’t dogma. Spells and rituals can be modified to meet the circumstances of the practitioner  or even created from scratch, and proper substitutions can often times be made if a person understands how magical tools work and what their purpose and role in a spell or ritual is. And as I stated earlier, if you can’t find a particular tool, you can always do magic without it, you just have to be a more capable magician.

But a proper substitution isn’t finding something that vaguely resembles (either in form or purpose) what you’re supposed to be using.

A good wand, or knife, or crystal ball, or cauldron, or bell is usually really special to a practitioner, because it is a really powerful tool, and if you’ve never played with a proper magical tool, you really can’t fathom how much of a difference having a proper one makes.

Even something as simple and cheap as a candle is sometimes replaced by certain people with a light bulb, because it’s too much effort or responsibility for them to watch a small controlled fire for a few hours while it burns.

Using a pencil in place of a wand is about the same as turning on a lamp as opposed to using a real candle in your candle magic. If you’ve done any real candle magic, you probably have a good idea how much weaker or more difficult the spell would be if you used a desk lamp instead. That’s what happens when you don’t use a proper wand or sword.

If you’re the type that uses a light bulb for candle magic, I can tell you why your spells don’t work as well as you’d like. Spend a dollar and an evening and try doing a spell with a real candle. In the morning you’ll agree with me.

The D and Ds of Magic

So it’s time for me to finally weigh in on Dungeons and Dragons, and its relationship to magic, and why so many people are utterly confused by how things actually work. I realize there’s a small contingent of people out there who assume that magic works, at least somewhat, like it’s presented in dungeons and dragons. No doubt some people are reading this article because they’ve just accidentally turned their best friend to stone and can’t figure out why doing the ritual backwards isn’t turning him back. This article isn’t for those people. Most of us know that magic doesn’t work like that.* If you haven’t figured that out, I’m not going to piss on your spiritual beliefs (good luck with that by the way), and I have no desire to make a magic is really this type article where I try to make my spirituality as Christian-like as possible so as to try to make it non-threatening to those people who would discriminate against me because I hold a different spiritual opinion which is constitutionally guaranteed to me anyways.

And, on a side note, if you want to tell me how much better things are in World of Darkness I will find you and punch you in the face at some point in the future. Since the 90’s I’ve been listening to certain Pagans prattle on about how realistically WOD represents magic and alternative spiritualities. I finally got a chance to skim through a couple books a few months back, and it is the laughably naive spiritual ideas of children who have just finished reading their first intro to Wicca book. Not only is the depiction of magic and spirituality completely made-up, but its grasp of actual mundane things which exist and are documented in the world are also laughable and naive, so much so that I can only assume they belong to tweens who have never been more than a few blocks from their home. Even assuming you could get Crips and Bloods to hang out together at a club, because vampires, there is no way you’d also have Punkers in that same club. These are counter-culture groups that have completely different cultures, and they also dance and listen to completely different kinds of music, and are sexually attracted to completely different types of people, all of the things you do at a club. This is why clubs are segregated by themes. And the only people who are going to go to a fucking vampire club are Goths and Pagans. These people are obviously too young to have ever visited a club or bar, or even to have listened to music that their parents found objectionable.

Okay, angry rant over, it’s time to get to the point. A lot of us come into magic thinking that it works kind of like DND, and if we ever decide it doesn’t, some of us become convinced that we’re going to make it work just like DND. Dungeons and Dragons has an insane amount of books. There are catalogs of every conceivable kind of monster you might run into. There are catalogs of spells, thousands upon thousands of spells, enough to cover just about any conceivable use for magic you might ever have or imagine. There are books covering every profession you might want to take, the going-ons and important organizations of every town, region, and country you might visit, every mythical race you might portray, and every plane of existence you could visit. There are books listing all of the pantheons of gods that exist and the gods in those pantheons. If you get into the fan works, there are even elaborate instructions to figure out the size of your penis, how that compares to others of your fantasy species, and how pleasured women will be by it.

We want magic, and spirituality, to be completely explainable in these rulebooks. It doesn’t matter if it’s a few dozen books like the bible, to ten thousand books, like in dungeons and dragons. We want to know that there’s a complete set, and once we’ve read it we’re done. And what a wonderful world that would be too. Imagine if there was a book of spells, even if it was in a few hundred volumes, and inside you had every spell and ritual conceivable listed in alphabetical order, and you could just look up what you needed to do that day. Imagine if there was a big book of gods where you could look up the descriptions and stats for every god in existence.

This isn’t just something we see in Dungeons and Dragons. Go watch an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Notice they have a huge collection of books, and often times the answer to all their problems ends up being hidden in the footnote of some obscure text, and it’s just a matter of using library skills to find it. Hell, the success of Wikipedia is entirely due to humans having an innate need to collect all of the relevant information in existence and add it to a single database so it can be accessed as needed.

That innate instinct exists in our magical work as well. We’re always trying to get just one more, or one dozen more books to add to our collection to make it complete. We’ll scour used book stores looking for small run self-published books and hand written journals in the hopes that it will contain at least some small nugget of spiritual truth that will help us on our path, or at least add something new to our bookshelf. If you took all the information from every spiritual work ever written and combined it together you could probably get a thousand or so pages of useful information. However there’s probably at least 100,000 in print spiritual books in the English language (actually probably quite a bit more if we’re all inclusive). When people realize it isn’t enough, they’ll start publishing their own books, they’ll make lists of as of yet discovered demons and gods, they’ll even go so far as to try to make internet databases of spiritual things, like that demon database they had on Angel.

Unfortunately magic doesn’t work like Dungeons and Dragons, even though we so desperately want it to, and even though we seemed hard wired to work best within a system like that. For a couple of reasons, magic and true spirituality require experimentation and exploration. We are seekers of knowledge and truth heading into the unknown. That’s not the sort of universe we’re built to exist in though. We’re built to exist in a universe where everything is explained in a set of books, which can be read, remembered, looked up, and rules lawyered. That’s why people are naturally attracted towards closed dogmatic systems of spirituality. That’s why Christianity is so popular. That’s why as its gotten more popular, Wicca has embraced a more dogmatic system closed off to new developments, and also the reason why the more it embraces a system like that, the more popular it becomes. Copyright law is probably the only reason why there hasn’t been a council of Trent within the Wiccan religion to give us an authoritative set of Wiccan texts and interpretation of Wiccan spiritual dogma. In about a 100 years though it will probably have happened.

The first reason why this system doesn’t work is that there’s just too much to ever get an authoritative book about anything. Let’s take the gods as an example. How many god’s does dungeons and dragons have? That’s not rhetorical, I really don’t know. My main exposure to the gods of DND is playing the Krynn trilogy on PC back in the late 80s, and I’m pretty sure there’s more than just that. Official published gods maybe number in the hundreds or thousands. Add fan published works and maybe we can push the 10,000 marker, maybe.

How many actual gods are there? That’s hard to say. Looking on Wikipedia, there’s probably a few thousand gods listed in the Greek pantheon alone, which admittedly is a rather large pantheon. Remember though that this is just what has historically survived of the Greek pantheon. The actual list of ancient Greek works which still exist is rather sparse. There are meanwhile a couple thousand pantheons that do or have existed on Earth, at least ones that we know of from recorded history. We’re already looking at probably close to a hundred thousand gods, at least, which still have their names written down.

That’s just the gods we know about though. If you go looking around with magic, you’ll start finding gods that have never been written down, or at least you’ll find evidence of their existence. The vast majority of gods make no attempt to interact with humans on a personal level or let their names be known. What we see in history represents a small fraction of gods which have made themselves overly available to humans. It’s sort of like if the only humans you know of were celebrities.

So how many gods are there? Millions at least. Maybe billions. Maybe more than billions. I really don’t know, and honestly after millions it sort of leaves the realm of a number I can in any way manage.

But let’s just limit ourselves to human known gods. That’s maybe a hundred thousand. It wouldn’t be easy, but 100,000 gods is catalogable. Wikipedia did it. But go read those Wikipedia descriptions. A small number have long detailed articles. Some gods only have one or two line sentences describing them. Sometimes multiple gods are described in a single sentence. These descriptors a lot of times are sparse on actual spiritual information, and instead consist of archeological discoveries, roles in ancient fictions, and modern pop-culture appearances. To really learn about a god you’d need to explore that yourself.

So is that doable? I’ve tried doing it to a smaller extent, and although successful, it poses problems. To begin with, how many different, probably new, gods can you contact in a day. If you’ve only done it a few times one is probably enough to knock you on your ass. I can probably do a few dozen in a day if I really wanted to. That many gods is not a pleasant experience though. It’s strong energy, it’s exhausting to take it in, and different gods will conflict with each other. After four or five, you’re most definitely getting pretty sick from it. At about a dozen you’re going to be really sick. A few dozen will end very unpleasantly.

If you’re willing to make the sacrifice, how much information will you get? Confirmation on which gods are real and maybe two or three sentences worth, if you’re lucky. Doing that many gods at once isn’t going to give you much opportunity to explore them, and after a while you get sick and they start blending together.

Get it down to two to four gods and you’ll just being exhausting yourself instead of getting sick, and maybe have a paragraph or two each. At one god a day you’ll maybe get some good insight into that god. At this point you’re at one god a day, and how many thousands do you have? To really get to know a god though you have to contact them multiple times, probably over a period of at least a couple years. Realistically, in a span of five years, a truly dedicated person could reasonably put together a book of a hundred or so gods.

Mind you, that’s just gods. That’s not spells, or rituals, or the Kabbalah, or the Tarot, or types of spirits, or names of demons, or even alternate universes (of which there are most definitely so many I can’t express the number in the length of a blog post, or encyclopedia, even using exponential powers, and of course assuming that it isn’t an infinite number, which it most likely is).

Another problem is it takes a really long time to get good at this shit. Like most things in life, learning a spiritual discipline takes about five to ten years of dedicated practice (and I mean dedicated) before you’re good at it. It takes at least two to four times as long to become an expert at it. I don’t think anyone can really master anything.

That’d be fine if magic were a thing. It’s not. It’s thousands upon thousands of things. We have a finite amount of time in a day, and as an added catch if we completely dedicate ourselves to spiritual pursuits and only spiritual pursuits, we’ll actually mature spiritually much more slowly than if we spend the majority of our lives living our lives and keep our spirituality as a side hobby. So we have to pick and chose which things are important to us. Some things offer such great returns and are so universal to everybody they’re almost always recommended, like astral projection, energy work, and meditation. Other things are maybe not so useful, at least to everyone. Mediumship has a pretty nice payoff, but it’s not for everybody. Maybe you have better things to do with the next five years than learn how to read a natal chart. Personally I could care less whether or not Furries should be considered a kind of Otherkin, because there’s nothing in that sentence that interests me in anyway, and Furries are just plain weird anyways and I really don’t want anything to do with them.

This is also why you see so many magicians jumping from thing to thing all the time. This year they’re giving Yoga a whirl. Next year they’ll be into Voodoo rituals. After that they’ll be reading those Hindi texts. There’s so much cool and interesting stuff out there you have to jump around and take the spiritual equivalent of introductory courses in this stuff so you can get an idea if any of it is for you and if anything can be incorporated into your personal practice. What you decide to keep is the stuff you’re going to be dedicated to for the next five to ten years before you really start to get good at it.

This means it’s going to take a huge chunk of your life just to get to the point where you’re good at something. It’ll take an even bigger chunk to become an expert at it. Then you’re looking at putting twenty or so years of information into book form, which if you write fast you might be able to do it in five years, and it’ll be several volumes long no doubt. Then you’ve managed to cover one of several thousand (at least) different skills, and it’s only about as complete as a science textbook, because, as I said, you’ll never completely master anything.

And that still doesn’t mean what you’ve written is authoritative. I’m assuming you read and like my blog, because you’ve gotten this far down an article. At times though, I disagree spiritually with Mr Stenwick over at Augoeides and sometimes these disagreements even become public in our comment sections and blog posts. So if you’re looking for information we disagree about, which of us do you believe?

Obviously Mr Stenwick because he is a well educated and respectable magician, miles ahead of most everyone else on the blogosphere in terms of restraint and class, and he has managed to make fairly regular blog posts for a very long time. I post whenever the hell I feel like it, I incessantly talk about Batman, being Batman, my love of penguins, and my unrequited crush on Eliza Dushku even though those these things have nothing to do with spirituality, all while showing a general disdain for hard work, dedication to the craft, and spiritual people in general. But now suppose I was actually a respectable magician. Then who would you believe? That answer’s a lot harder now, isn’t it.

Most of the time you’ll find heated debates about the most simplest and universal of things if you look for them, like the basics of astral projection or how meditation is supposed to work. Even dismissing the realm of theory and only dealing with the personal experiences of famous magicians, you still end up with conflicting views about the nature of the universe and how it works. Even if everyone wrote down everything they figured out spiritually and everything that ever happened to them, and you could somehow access all of it, it still wouldn’t help you figure out who was right about what.

The only option left for the magician is a personal spiritual path, and personal spiritual exploration. There are guidelines that we can find. Sometimes a book will send us off in the right direction. Other times it may shave off a year or so of study by helping us build a foundation from which to start our own exploration of the subject. But its not like dungeons and dragons, and it never will be. There isn’t a book, or set of books that contains everything we need to know. There isn’t some dogma that will explain everything to us. We can’t rules lawyer our way into making the universe act a certain way, and we can’t win spiritual arguments by relying on the words of so called authoritative experts.

We aren’t seeking knowledge. In Dungeons and Dragons, you can buy every book TSR and Wizards of the Coast has ever published, and then you’ll know everything there is to know about Dungeons and Dragons, the official stuff anyways, you just have to keep buying the new releases as they come out. But with magic, you’ll never be able to know everything there is to know. In a lifetime, you won’t even come close. If you lived a thousand years, you wouldn’t be able to learn a billionth of what’s out there. What you’d be capable of figuring out would be a fraction so small you probably couldn’t conceive of a denominator that big.

Instead we’re seekers of enlightenment and truth, and most importantly spiritual doers, we do things spiritually, as opposed to knowing things spiritually. In a lot of ways, we’re like Indiana Jones. He doesn’t know all about ancient artifacts. He would like to know all about them, and put them in books that can then be taught as course work to his students, but it’s not possible. Instead he gets a base understanding of them from the sources available, then goes off and explores how things like the Ark of the Covenant and Holy Grails and Flying Saucers really work, and he’s honest about the fact that he’s really just making it all up as he goes a long.

Plus given the choice between being Gary Gygax and Indiana Jones, I think most of us would rather be Indiana Jones. I’m not saying this to dis Mr Gygax, but it’s fucking Indiana Jones.

*Unlike in DnD, in order to do a reversal on a magical spell you not only have to do the ritual backwards, but also upside down. This is how real magic differs from your role-playing game. If that doesn’t turn your friend’s stone back to flesh, also remember that you can only cast that spell once per day, and before casting it again you need to re-memorize it and then sleep first.