We have been speaking of magic

It’s almost impossible to make a list of magical techniques that could possibly serve as a recipe or a how-to manual for those wanting to learn. The techniques are varied, usually arise out of one’s belief system and/or life’s path, and depend upon the seriousness of those approaching the art and craft of the methods that resonate with them.

Personally, I think we can produce “magical results” without the need of rituals, candles, wands, athames, Tarot cards, and other paraphernalia. The power is within us, not the equipment. If the equipment, crutches as I view them, helps, then there is not need to avoid it. We all use what facilitates our intentions.

For many, the “equipment” helps because society in general tends to discount magic, so it’s often difficult to practice it in a negative environment of science and logic. I have found Tarot cards to be helpful as well as readings from the I Ching.  When I have used candles, it was for focusing my gaze more than for their color or for the herbs that hoodoo uses to “dress” them.

If spells and paraphernalia help you achieve results. there’s no need to get rid of them.  Altars and herbs and candles don’t fit my lifestyle, so I don’t use them. However, they may work for you.

Your mind’s focus is the important thing whether your embrace traditional witchcraft, Wicca, Transcendental Mediation, the Seth Materials, Rosicrucian techniques, various Lightworker approaches, or a mystic attunement based on your religion or spiritual outlook.

In the final analysis, we create our own realities whether we use spells, meditation, various forms of biofeedback and self-hypnosis, dreams, or a positive-thinking approach to life. Such things seem more important to our success than the spells and rituals of one system or another.

It takes courage and perseverance, I think, to approach the world from a mystic’s or psychic’s point of view, and to suggest to family and friends that there’s more to reality than logic or the inputs produced by the five senses. Perhaps it’s best to remain quiet about such thing rather than to be labeled by society as a crazy person.

An author can hide behind his stories by using magic in them that s/he doesn’t mention in every day life. What one says about one’s beliefs is a difficult choice to make,

–Malcolm

 

Magic: The Rosicrucians

“In the end mysticism isn’t a belief. It is simply an art of knowing. The mystical experience transcends nature. Often the person will receive a feeling that far surpasses anything which could be conveyed by words. Furthermore, this insight, devoid of ego, is thoroughly comprehended as truthful.” – The Rosicrucian Order (AMORC)

Strictly speaking, mysticism isn’t magic any more than the self-improvement techniques taught by The Silva Method are considered magic. However, I am considering them in this series of blogs about magic because some of the skills/techniques/results of some mystics and some personal growth practitioners appear to be magic to those outside the teachings of either group.

Wikipedia graphic

The Rosicrucians are secular mystics with a strong emphasis on ritual who focus on hermetic teachings, alchemy, the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the so-called greater and lesser mysteries, and the development of knowledge that is often referred to as western mysticism. The Silva Method was created by Rosicrucian Jose Silva and focuses more on the development of an individual’s latent mental abilities including intuition than on a direct connection with nature and/or the Creator (referred to generically by Rosicrucians as “the Cosmic”).

The Rosicrucians’ Rosy Cross, which predates the Christian use of the cross, refers to the unfolding consciousness (the rose) in physical matter, that is, the body, which is represented by the cross. Rosicrucian studies are a lifelong process of transformation. The information is presented in monthly monographs in a logical fashion and includes experiments students can use to develop the techniques in the lessons. Students/members who live near the group’s lodges in major cities will benefit from the fellowship as well as the rituals available there.

You can see from this that Rosicrucian teachings have a basis in long-time concepts. Wikipedia illustration.

I have been a Rosicrucian, as well as a Silva Method graduate, for almost a half a century. The teachings, in my view, complement each other. Typical students probably develop their psychic and healing abilities must faster through the Silva Method, while the Rosicrucian teachings provide, over time, a solid grounding in esoteric traditions and principles. Neither group has the high-profile approach and publicity associated with such books as The Secret or such approaches as the Law of Attraction or the newer approaches/terminologies such as “Twin Flames” and “Lightworkers.”

As always, I look for consensus and wish the newer approaches to magic, self-development, and mysticism would state how their beliefs and techniques compare and contrast to methods that have been around for years. My personal belief system–which is probably neither “bad” nor “good”–is that mysticism and magic are primarily for serving others and transforming oneself rather than for attracting power and wealth.

I’m including these ideas as an example of a “world view” that serves as the basis for what one accepts or does not accept when it comes to magic. One starts with a world view, I think, and then adds or subtracts other ideas and philosophies from it. When I read about something new, I tend to see how it meshes with what I have already found to be true for myself.  Personally, I like the idea of foundation beliefs. Mine are Silva and Rosicrucian, with strong influences from the Seth materials (written by Jane Roberts) and from Hawai’ian mysticism (Huna). I am comfortable with this. You may need or want something completely different.

That’s fine. There are numerous approaches to magic, mysticism, personal transformation, and self improvement. I like the idea that there are many paths and that each of us walks along those we like best.

Malcolm

As an author, I base the magic in my contemporary fantasies and magic realism novels on my understanding of actual systems of magic to make the stories as accurate and realistic as possible.

 

 

 

Magic: what should I do first?

“Alpha waves are one type of brain waves detected either by electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography(MEG) and predominantly originate from the occipital lobe during wakeful relaxation with closed eyes. Alpha waves are reduced with open eyes, drowsiness and sleep. Historically, they were thought to represent the activity of the visual cortex in an idle state. More recent papers have argued that they inhibit areas of the cortex not in use, or alternatively that they play an active role in network coordination and communication.[2] Occipital alpha waves during periods of eyes closed are the strongest EEG brain signals.” – Wikipedia

I have included a quotation here about alpha waves because they represent the level of relaxed brain activity used for intuition. As the Silva Method teaches, your intuition works best at the alpha level–as opposed to the beta level of our usual waking world functioning. I can’t reproduce their technique here other than to say that when you count down from ten to one (or something similar) and visualize yourself becoming more and more relaxed, you will tend to be producing alpha waves.

So, in many ways, what one does first is enter into a state of relaxation conducive to visualization and intuition. That’s a given. Many people have found that recorded guided visualizations help them reach an alpha level.

Assuming you can relax, take a step away from your worries and goals, and silence the ever-chattering voice inside your head, the first step is belief.

Some people see belief as a catch-22 trick foisted on the rest of us by those who write books about magic. The so-called “trick” is, if you don’t believe, the magic won’t work, though until you’ve seen evidence of it working, you have no basis for belief. I suggest approaching this issue in a spirit of play. Pretend you’re playing with the techniques rather than trying to prove anything one way or another the first time out. In time, you’ll begin to think, “hmm, this seems to be working.”

Some people, especially those whose focus is ancient ritual magic, say will power comes first. This is not altogether wrong, though I shy away from saying that because in today’s world, I think will power suggests a brute-force, logical approach. I’d rather use the term “intention.” For magic–however you define it–to work, your intention cannot be scattered with distracting thoughts about daily concerns. Your intention should also be highly focused, that is, on a specific result rather than a vague, open-ended result.

Those of us who believe in magic also believe that belief and intention play a large role in the reality we experience, and that includes the results that we see from our goals, hopes, and dreams. That is, your are already using intention and belief subconsciously, so why not use it “properly” for better results.

A generic approach to self improvement

“Properly” means not only using relaxation techniques and focusing your process, but avoiding second-guessing it later. A lot of people “undo” their best of intentions by thinking negative thoughts about them the rest of the day. Stop doing that.

Magic also works better when you can imagine the end result. All of us can see things in our mind’s eye. That’s what we do when we remember people we’ve known and places we used to live. We can see all that quite clearly. In the same way, we can imagine what things will be like when our goals–and our magic–come to pass. If you have visualized yourself moving into a better home, think of that place in your idle time: imagine the yard, the gardens, the front door, the entry hall, and the other rooms. Pretend you are there fixing a meal or watching television. What is is like?

Workable magic is usually very dependent on a relaxed level of mind, a belief in what you’re doing, a well-focused intention, and on the ability to imagine what you are creating.

Malcolm

 

 

Magic: 4 Myths about Faeries and How to Avoid Them 

“There’s a lot of curiosity out there about the beings known as Faeries. And so many of you are feeling a call in your hearts to know, understand and work with them on a REALLY deep level at this time.But you’re still struggling to really tap into this realm and access its transformative magic and healing power for yourself. It’s a kind of novelty that sits on the shelf of your consciousness, waiting for a bit of air time. And when you really stop to consider it, you might even admit you find these these beings downright baffling and elusive.So what gives? If you’re not making the Faery connection it’s probably because you’re going about it all wrong. But not to worry. Because in my experience, I’ve found four myths about the Faeries are to blame.”

 

Source: 4 Myths about Faeries and How to Avoid Them – Faery Light

From time to time, I plan to post other people’s ideas about magic. You may find them variously absurd, interesting, your cup of tea, just plain crazy, or worth wondering about. I thought I’d start with the world of faerie since, for most people (including me), it’s a difficult possibility to consider.

On the other hand, if you go outside on a quiet day, sit down and lean back against a favorite tree, and just listen imaginatively, you may be surprised at what your impressions. Or, you’ll fall asleep until your spouse comes out and wakes you up. Either way, who knows what might happen.

–Malcolm

 

Magic: Guided Visualizations and Meditations

If you search Google for either “Guided Visualization” or “Guided Meditation,” you’ll get a lot of hits. I first encountered these mental field trips in the 1970s when I was taking a relaxation/intuition seminar.

Briefly, a leader–in person or in a recording–leads individuals and groups through an imaginative (or recalled from memory) landscape, sets of affirmations, suggested visualizations, and other relaxing audio experiences that, faith-based or secular, are intended to help you experience deep relaxation and self-affirming statements/goals that are often accompanied by music.

In a group, people often lie on mats on the floor while the l leader reads from a prepared or spontaneous script; leaders also use pre-recorded visualizations or meditations. One beauty of the pre-recorded format is that it’s often available for purchase, so you can use it at home when it presents an experience that resonates with you.

Many visualizations begin with a relaxation method that’s akin to self-hypnosis. Some have you count down numbers, affirming that while you are doing this you are becoming more and more relaxed. Others ask you to pretend that you are doing down a stairway or an escalator or a trail to the valley floor.

While you are there, you might repeat scripted affirmations, imagine that you are meeting gurus or totem animals with messages for you, or simply listening to the music while pretending you are in a relaxing place. Leaders often give you a chance to say your own affirmations or think about your own psychological/spiritual journey.

(Note: Many experts say that affirmations–which often sound like New Year’s resolutions–are most effective when you do more than repeat them while relaxed or meditating. You need to do things in your waking world that support them. For example, if your affirmation is that you are getting more and more healthy every day, you need to tie this to doing healthy things–exercise, nutritious foods, etc.)

At the end of the visualization, the leader will usually end with a phrase such as, “Now I’m going to count from one to three. Then I say ‘three,’ you will be wide awake, feeling much better than before.”

If you use this process often, you will find that in time you can instantly “go” to your imagined relaxation status without having to count down. You know what it feels like to “be there,” so simply intend to feel that way as easily as you decide to raise your hand or sing a song.

The beauty of these visualizations/meditations is that you can listen to them often, learn how to replicate them, and–while you’re learning new skills–you’re having an enjoyable experience akin to listening to a favorite piece of music. If you listen to one at home, you’ll discover that you’ll often fall asleep. So, make sure you won’t be disturbed and that you really have time to fall asleep.

I haven’t listened to a guided meditation or visualization for a long time because I heard so many of them, that I can make up my own and/or reach the desired level of relaxation or active imagination without needing a series of steps. For most of us, this is the end result we want–a way to relax without medication, a way to handle stressful days, a way to discover the benefits of meditation, and a way of developing the so-called intuitive abilities that are latent in all of us.

–Malcolm

P.S. My thanks to Melinda for mentioning this subject in a comment in an earlier post. That reminded me it might be helpful to others.

Magic: Your Favorite Place of Relaxation

Whether you’re meditating, using affirmations to improve your outlook on life, beginning a shamanic journey, visualizing a friend’s health needs, or listening to the promptings of your inner self (AKA conscience, subconscious mind), many “systems” will suggest that you begin by going to your favorite place of relaxation.

This place can be either real or imagined. Many people choose places associated with quiet and beauty–a mountain meadow, a shimmering pool,a moonlit lake, or even an easy chair in a room filled with books and perhaps a stone fireplace. The idea here, is that over time, you will be able to imagine/visualize this setting as a place of peace and serenity.

I use an imagined mountain cabin in a real place. Once I close my eyes and pretend to be there, my blood pressure goes down, my brainwaves slow, and I find myself in a state of mind where it’s easier to “do” magic.

At the beginning, you may need to monitor your breathing as you slow yourself down and think of this place. You may find that it takes you a while to fully believe you are “in” that visualized spot where you are at one with yourself. With practice, you’ll be able to simply think of it and find yourself in a state of relaxation that facilitates meditation.

It’s difficult to focus on magic, psychic visualizations, and healing yourself and others if you are in a logical frame of mind, worse yet, worried or uptight or feeling driven. Being able to silence our mind’s constant chattering and “go” (mentally) to a real of imagined relaxing place is a signal–almost like a post-hypnotic suggestion–that you are operating at a deeper level of mind than the one you use most of the time in your waking moments.

With practice, many people can slow down their brainwaves and breathing without having to (or visualizing) a relaxing scene. For others, the relaxing scene helps. For those it helps, the place becomes something of a place of power. That is to say, while one is imagining s/he is in this place, s/he can “see” the world in a different way than we do when we’re commuting to work or sitting at a computer. At first, what we “see” may appear to be imaginary, but in time, we discover that it is a mystical connection with “the big picture” and/or psychic impressions about the problem or issue on our minds.

When I began doing magic, I found it easier to start in my imagined favorite place of relaxation. I would spend time there in idleness before doing anything else. Later, I found that I no longer needed that place, that I could feel my relaxation and attunement with my intended plans without stopping by that place.

The place we select, though, is always available to us, as a retreat from the world, as a sanctuary, and as a place of mental power. It’s a powerful spot.

Malcolm

ion

Magic: preliminary ideas

As the future unfolds, I expect much that much of what we now label as magic will no longer be regarded as superstition, wishful thinking, charlatan fabrications, occult (in the negative sense as championed by Hollywood films), or general idiocy, and will be shown to have its basis in quantum-related mental powers that can be proven and replicated and taught to others as easily as the courses in a high school curriculum.

While magic takes practice like any other natural activity–swimming, jogging, hiking–it is at it’s basis very simple. The apparent complexities arise in part because many individuals and groups that support or teach one magical approach or another and use symbols and names for their techniques that are difficult to compare with other approaches.

This is a pet peeve of mine, one that began when I was in high school and discovered–with every book or article I read–that the authors wrote about their system as though no other system existed.

What I wanted was synthesis and evolving knowledge rather than the impression that every system was unique and had no correlation with other systems. It always seemed to me that the neophyte’s life would be so much easier if, say, a book on system ABC said that our technique #1 is similar to system XYZ’s technique #2. I see many symbols and techniques that are similar in purpose and intent that it would be so easy for authors to compare and contrast in a chart in the books’ appendices.

In general, we should take a distinction between mysticism and psychic abilities and other so-called magical techniques. The intent of a mystic is usually direct attunement with the Creator so that s/he will be able to align his/her life and thoughts with the Creator’s ways, means, and intentions. Many mystics regard psychic phenomena as secondary, and sometimes an annoying byproduct, of their primary goals.

When I was young, I clashed with “church fathers” over the benefits of mysticism because–as it seemed to me–the Christian church was against mysticism for everyone but the religion’s founders. We were taught, in part, from the writings of ancient Christian mystics, but scolded if we dared to practice mysticism ourselves. Of course, if a church allows mysticism, it no longer controls the message.

Hollywood, and many occult novelists, have clouded the waters of magic by suggesting that various natural occult principles are “devil worship.” I think the organized church has been a party to this. This makes it difficult to speak of magic in a generic sense as part of every individual’s birthright because they have been brought up too think that expanding their mental capacities is evil.

I approach magic from what has often been called “esoteric Christianity” as well as the mystery schools and Kabalistic ideas about “the big picture.” This puts me at odds with the organized Christian church. If you are a firm believer within one religion or another, this may well be your starting point when you consider magic’s larger ideas. This, I think, is easier and more natural than stepping into the cultural and religious beliefs of another religion from another part of the world.

I tend to think in terms of spirituality rather than religion. This approach makes a person open to whatever enhances his/her development within a universe that is much larger than what we perceive in our day-to-day jobs, hobbies, and interactions with others.

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of contemporary fantasy, magical realism, and paranormal novels and short stories.