One of the things I’ve noticed is that sometimes mages have a bias to ignore their failures, focusing only on their successes. Mages will often tell you how many times they’ve succeeded at achieving one amazing feat or fluke that’s difficult (if not impossible) for them to repeat on-demand. (This often leads observers to become skeptical, and has lead myself to search for very consistent, reliable ways of doing magick that produces instant results on-demand. The research is progressing slowly. My laziness doesn’t help much, either.)
Here’s where I stand now: physical magick that is successful is first successful in the mind, then the world changes to reflect that. It’s like cause and effect, action and reaction: the causing action of doing Physical magick correctly produces the (reaction-)effect of physically changing the world to match. The trick is that word: correctly. How do you “correctly” do Physical magick?
Well… I’m rusty, and haven’t practiced in years. I’ve been meaning to, but haven’t gotten around to it. Mainly excuses, though. (I’m as guilty as anyone can be. And I don’t like it. It bugs me. And admitting it isn’t making it easier, but it does make me feel like saying it here puts pressure on me to change that – and I want to. And while time, money and obstacles can be fixed, a lack of desire or willingness to do something cannot be fixed unless the person decides to change that themselves.)
So, from my rusty memory to the keyboard.
(Self-talk: this ought to be good. That was sarcasm. After all, who could forget the great battle in the Chasm of Sarr, lead by the late grand General I. Rony? Note to self: less rambling. This included.)
The thing I did when I started doing APM (Abrupt Physical Manifestation) was to think of magick in terms of raw will. (It’s a bad way of thinking about it, but perhaps re-tracing my steps and seeing how my beliefs evolved might help others re-discover what I did, errors I’ve made, and might lead them towards solutions to problems I encountered.) You simply “want” it to happen *REALLY* badly. Turns out that’s not a technique for APM, it’s a well-known technique called wishful thinking. Staring at something for long periods of time, wide-eyes and not blinking, wanting something REALLY badly is also another well-known technique. It’s called window shopping.
(The kind where you don’t buy windows. Or Windows. In fact, get Linux. It’s free. Oh yeah, the rambling bit. I should remember to remember and stop forgetting that I forget things so easily. After all, who could forget the great battle in the Chasm of Sarr?…)
Hi guys. Long time no post, eh?
Sorry for the ultra-long hiatus from posting. I’ve been busy with my life, but that’s an excuse. Truth is I didn’t make time, and didn’t have much to say, so I didn’t say anything in no time at all! (Was that sarcastic or ironic? Who knows, who cares? No, really! Or really?)
Anyways, here’s the transcript of a very long text with Mage S. (Stormmer), fellow mage and blogger.
We chat about the progress of magick, testing methodologies, physical magick (and my experience with it), morality, conviction, philosophy, magickal theory, how I went from novice mage to a more seasoned mage in terms of my practice-derived understanding of magick… and a one very interesting analogy about magick, comparing it to a fabric that is sewn. (A “the mage is a weaver who sews pockets in reality to hide his tools and materials”, with other references pointing to “warps” in reality as ways in which the mage affects changes to reality by changing his awareness. Also, it makes space-time and dream analogies, similar to a dreaming god who forgot he was dreaming all along.)
For those who would like a more epic-sounding version of this with music and an epic Brittish accent, check out this link:
Anyways, hope you guys like the transcript. Enjoy. (I’ve included the “Read More” tag to help make the blog a bit more readable. Click “Continue reading…” below for the full bit. Cheers.) Continue reading
There’s a big problem in magick. Mages all describe magick slightly differently. Mages do this (usually) with a Model of Magick, which is just a model of reality that tries to explain how the physical reality we experience can coexist alongside magick while also taking into account the mage’s own personal experiences with magick.
The problem is that each view is unique. So are there multiple “magicks”, or is everyone viewing it from a different perspective? Hard to say for sure, but it makes more sense that it’s the latter.
For this post, let’s operate under the assumption that it’s the latter. Magick tends to work in whichever way the mage thinks it does as well, like placebo, except that it can produce results that affect objective reality.
So we see that much of magick’s specifics are made-up, and can be changed freely. But experienced mages soon realize that some aspects of magick stay the same. Those magickal dogmatic specifics aren’t needed by all mages, nor for all magick. But is it possible to set up magick that is dogma-free, or is some dogma (whatever it is) necessary? This post will try to figure that out. Let’s get started.
I won’t cover my thought process to get to my answer in too much detail. It’s too lengthy, and I didn’t document the whole process, so trying to remember all of it would create loss or inaccuracies. So best not to bother.
Here’s the non-dogmatic aspects of magick I’ve found:
- Mages are administrators of the rules that govern the relationship of cause-and-effect for their own actions only.
- Mages do this usually with their own Approach. Click here to read more. This may also include their Model of Magick, if they use the Systems Approach.
- Magick isn’t powered by the mage’s faith; instead, the only thing that keeps the mage’s magick from reaching its full potential is his own doubt. Magick exists as the mage’s will, acting in accordance with the rules the mage permits/accepts. Doubt denies magick its ability to act.
So how can we learn magick? Well, the first step is always the same:
- You build a set of rules that you make up for yourself, or that you read somewhere, or that someone else gives you.
- You immerse yourself in the mysteries of magick, usually with at least some degree of obsession. And you begin to reconcile how magick and reality as you’ve known it up to this point can coexist side by side. You also reconcile it with your own experiences.
- You begin to try to solve the question of how you could do magick within this system you’ve set up. Eventually a solution comes up (probably with one of those “a-ha! eureka!” moments) and your doubt begins to crumble away.
- You try something new. For some it works on their first try. For others, it may take a few attempts trying to debug what went wrong. Many give up, but some of those who persist will succeed.
- Building on that first success, the curious initiate is now a fully-realized mage. Now the mage may use that success to help melt away other doubt, and thus figure out how to do other things with magick using a process that starts on Step#1 on this list.
There’s also a few non-dogmatic rules in magick I’ve found. Well, maybe not rules, but things that are useful to keep in mind at all times, as a mage:
- “Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.” Dogmatic-specifics in magick aren’t objectively true. The only truths that apply are the ones the mage permits. Doubt is how mages enforce the truths we permit. Doubt is the sword a mage uses to smite possibilities he doesn’t permit to become truths. But it’s a double-edged sword that may slay the mage’s own magick, and usually does. Skill in magick is successfully wielding this sword in the mage’s own favor, instead of against his own interests. (This explains why magick seems to obey the placebo effect, yet produce objective results that placebo can’t account for. Or why the Meta Model works.)
- Possibilities allow the mage to do more with magick than probabilities.
- No morality is absolute. If it were, all cultures on Earth would have reached the same conclusion, as would all individuals. That is not the case. Our actions define us, and we define ourselves with our actions. The world as we know it is made with actions. From this, morality emerges. So who the mage (or any person) is, is self-evident in one’s actions. This includes magick. Let who you are be known through your actions, and let that be your code of conduct, your morality.
- The most important “rule” of all: there is no “right” way of doing magick. Magickal dogmatic-specifics, “crutches”, Models of Magick, different approaches, tools (like amulets, crystals, runes, altered states of consciousness)… that’s all preference. Magick is self-expression, limited only by the mage himself – and self-expression is, of course, very personal. Let others be, instead just let you be yourself. Censor not thyself for another, lest the self wither and die.
Altered States of Consciousness, rituals, spells, chakras… those are all dogmatic-specifics in magick. They aren’t needed, unless the mage permits those rules to have an effect in his magick. And some mages prefer those crutches to others. Other mages prefer tools like amulets, crystals, wands, pentacles, runes, etc. Others prefer tarot decks, words of power, visualization, astral projection, lucid dreaming, etc. Some prefer to just dive in solo-yolo, no crutches, guns blazing. To each his own.
Whatever you do, don’t take my word on any of this. Try it out for yourself.
And don’t just agree with me. Draw your own conclusions, even if they’re different than mine. Trying new things and thinking for yourself are excellent qualities for any mage, aspiring or veteran alike.
Anyways, hope this post was good. Take care.
Never done magick before? Don’t have an in-person group to go to, no mentor, and online groups seem sketchy as h*ll?
Are you just looking to get your toes in the waters, as it were? Something fairly quick, just to try it out? You’ve found the right post!
Two links below, both for The Complete Psychonaut Field Manual by bluefluke.
Check ’em out. They’re in visually-friendly format, very concise, fairly easy to learn and use.
Disclaimer: Just remember that the PDF/images from that book include sample rituals/methods/rules. They’re a good example to learn, but none of the specific actions need to be followed to the letter to produce a result. The mage (or aspiring mage) can link which cause-action produce which effect-results – manipulating causality/cause-and-effect is the most concise definition of magick possible (as far as I’m aware).
Disclaimer (2): Don’t take any of this literally, nor as the only interpretation. All forms of magick that are practiced are just the application of an interpretation of what magick is. Those interpretations form the various schools of magick. If you peel away the things which magick isn’t, you’ll find what magick really is. You’ll have to question your assumptions with a pliable/flexible mind, and learn multiple mutually-exclusive interpretations of magick in order to do this. The more you peel away what magick isn’t, the more competent a mage you’ll be, and the more you’ll be able to do with it. Complexity creates restrictions, and the core of what magick really is, is really, really simple.
Just remember that Chaos Magick requires the mage’s mind to be like water. Flexible and pliable. Rigid minds which require absolutes and specifically-defined answers will not do well with it – they’re better off with some other form of ritualistic magick (sometimes called High Magick).
Take care. Good luck, and good hunting (for your own answers).
What are TL;DRticles? New series (or just one part, I don’t know). Has concise content, little filler, minimal sentence structure. This is how all my posts are formed in my head – I add the “in between” stuff later. May contain bad attempts at humor… just kidding, but seriously. Let’s start.
Epistomology is the study/philosophy of knowledge. “How do we know stuff?” is the gist of its focus.
Article will cover how that relates to magick, special attention given to learning “how to” knowledge.
Prerequisite reading materials:
Part I: Present Evidence, Clarified
(This part is useful later on. Later parts will build on it.)
Science tries to infer truths of the world by observation, prediction and experimentation. Scientific theories are ones that fit with the current evidence and predict future evidence on how the world works (or how people think/act, if sociology/psychology).
Magick is a “how to” system. There are no measurements, only experiences. Various mutually-exclusives models of magick contradict each other, same goes for different pantheons in different forms of deist magick. Many mages have made these observations.
An impossibility cannot exist, likewise a paradox cannot exist. If you think you’re aware of a paradox, there’s something you’re missing. Mages sometimes come up with a “theory of everything” by trying to unify all models of magick and “other things which create apparent paradoxes”, usually trying to shove all that into a modified model of magick. Result is usually larger model of magick where complexity gives rise to far greater complexity. Rarely is it simplicity that gives rise to complexity. Rarest are cases where that simplicity creates useful and efficient “how-to-do methods” that allow the mage to do magick more easily, more reliably, faster, etc.
This all assumes that magick is based on a rigid, absolute set of rules (like “Laws of Physics”, except for magick). The problem is that such predictions are usually wrong, and don’t easily account for many observations mages have noticed for decades. “The Universe (being the accommodating creature that she is), will tend to provide confirmation of any paradigm one chooses to live in.”  Translated: The universe will conspire to confirm your beliefs, practices, religion, etc. Normally this is placebo. Magick escapes this, because it predicts results that placebo (a psychological effect) cannot explain alone – it also can be used as a “how-to method” to replicate those results on demand, albeit degrees of success vary with the mage’s skill. Placebo only affects people’s perceptions, magick affects the shared world physically (whether subtle magick over time or not).
An attempt to unify all understanding of magick by building complexity and adding assumptions is unlikely to succeed, due to the number of possible variations of equally-plausible “theories of everything”. The room for interpretation is just too much, which creates those variations. Add the difficulty in testing, considering how the universe conspires to confirm your beliefs (including your magickal ones, too, like your Model of Magick or “theory of everything”), and you start to get lost in murky waters without a map in a hurry. Magick does tend to produce results that your expectations predict (including the expectation of surprise) – and although this may sound like it’s unfalsifiable, it is testable, since you can test how changes in your expectations affect how you do magick. (Underlined phrase is one of the major ideas behind this blog, and one of its main features. To help mages figure out how to do this and test it for themselves, so they can verify the results for themselves and arrive at their own conclusions objectively.)
 Peter J. Carroll, “Liber Null & Psychonaut”. York Beach, ME. Samuel Weiser, Inc. 1987 pp. 191
Part II: Epistomology And Learning About Magick
Mages learn magick at first by second-hand knowledge. They read or hear about someone having done some kind of magick – whether its the result or the “how-to-do method”. Sometimes it can also start by belief. But in all cases except being initiated by another mage (or witnessing magick first-hand), mages either have a belief in magick or they have second-hand knowledge about magick. At this stage, one isn’t really a mage, because one hasn’t done any magick yet. One would be a student or researcher.
The mage’s first successful act of magick may happen in various ways. Maybe they believed it was possible, and “it just happened”. Maybe they studied hard, tried it and earned it. Maybe there was something akin to “writer’s block”, and after a “eureka” moment (or an “a-ha! moment”) the mage had insight which helped him overcome that hurdle. Maybe it was an accident which happened by chance. Whatever the case, second-hand “knowledge of” became first-hand experience.
Usually one has to practice (at least a bit) before one has enough control over one’s magick to make it practical in day-to-day life (although many never achieve even that). Part II about learning magick after you’re done it at least once yourself.
Magick in a Model of Magick (read: theory of magick) is a series of propositions. The generic gist of it is: This Model of Magick says this collection of statements is true, and this set of rules are true. This collection of statements and this set of rules allow magick, and following this path of logical inference, you can achieve this result. Check the Energy Model and how some people use a small set of rules to create really clunky explanations for how they can justify to themselves that they’re achieving some kind of otherwise-impossible result. Or alternatively (for some laughs), look up explanations on why crystal healing works. (I can accept it as being a result of magick, sure. But the explanations of “ley lines”, “etheric energy”, “higher dimensions” and whatnot… well, let’s just say I went through that phrase and I’m glad I’m over it now.)
Logical inference means “if these two statements are true, then this statement must also be true”. An example is A = B and B = C; you can infer that if A and B are equal, and also that B and C are equal, that A and C must also be equal: therefore A = C.
Unfortunately, this also turns in on itself and creates a paradox. Mages make mistakes. Their logical inferences aren’t always true, and neither are the series of initial propositions. Because your model of magick depends on the assumption that those propositions are true and are as you described them; and even more so for your inferred propositions/statements, and you inferred sets of rules. If any critical initial propositions isn’t true, then if your Model of Magick and all you’ve done using said Model of Magick is based on bad information, then what are the odds that you would have predicted you would have achieved your results, if you knew the errors in your Model of Magick? Now consider how many mages there are, and how many variations and interpretations of magick there are. With so much room for variation and interpretation, why do mages still achieve desired results for their magick, and yet somehow the similarity of the world appearing to provide confirmation of their beliefs, religion or model of magick (as the case may be) ? (Don’t bother trying to make the case that mages are manifesting confirmation of their beliefs. Because that would have rather huge implications of the role of the mage, and the extent of his influence/power, without the mage being necessarily aware of what he’s doing or how he’s doing it. It’s also unfalsifiable.)
However the past remains. The results of magick remain. The explanations based on incorrect information then don’t appear to fit in anymore. Some mages are hit hard by this realization. Others, like myself, realize the explanation isn’t what’s making magick work. It’s how you got it to work, not the explanation (or internal justification) of why it working. Medieval sailors didn’t need to know about electrons or magnetism in order to use a compass, and neither did you when you were a kid. Newton didn’t have a full explanation as to why the world appears to be described mathematically with such elegance… and neither do we, but we can still use mathematics even if we have no explanation at the moment as to why that is.
A mage simply uses propositions (statements of truth, but also sets of rules) to explain to himself (internal justification) as to why magick works, based on his first-hand practical experience. It isn’t his explanation that gives him some special insight into how magick works, that grants the mage his power. Nor is it the internal justification he gets from his model of magick (read: those propositions made of statements of truth and also sets of rules). Instead, it’s that “this explanation makes a lot of sense” feeling that erodes a barrier that keeps people from doing magick. That barrier is one where people disallow themselves from experiencing magick because they don’t believe it’s possible. If you open yourself up to new experiences, you’ll be surprised at what you’re able to experience.
Part III: Will be about changing your beliefs to allow you to do more with your magick… coming soon, eventually, maybe.
Now available at:
“Dogma-Free Magick” – http://wp.me/p31b5Q-j9
Part IV: Ask you to try to make sense of this, fit the pieces together, try it out for yourself once it does, and arrive at your own conclusions even if they disagree with mine.
Now available at:
“Dogma-Free Magick” – http://wp.me/p31b5Q-j9
Part V: Probably a conclusion and thank-you at the end. Also a reminder to comment with your feedback.
Also, click here for a persistent baby panda for no reason. Guess that’s the end of the post. Yep. Could end at any moment.
Fun fact: did you know that people who bring up made-up facts and statistics in conversation are more likely to be interru-
Sorry for the very long hiatus and no updates. This post is to explain why, and also maybe say something relatable for a lot of other mages out there (veterans and novices alike). Let’s begin.
Definition of “Impetus” (according to Merriam-Webster):
- a force that causes something (such as a process or activity) to be done or to become more active
- a force that causes an object to begin moving or to continue to move
The definition for “impetus” that I’ll be using is “motivation that causes the individual to take action”. This is very different from “fantasy”, where there is desire but it’s insufficient to cause the person to do anything about it other than day-dream. A good Physics analogy is comparing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potential_energy to the energy that is released.
Potential Energy is energy that is stored while it’s only once the energy is released that actually does any work.
Long story short, over the past few months I’ve been losing my Impetus to do magick. When I started learning about magick, I was young, feisty, ambitious, idealistic, fearless. My head was in the clouds, and my ambitions were even higher. But I started with a good foundation, and my goals/desires/dreams about magick were simple, yet difficult.
There was challenge. There was the obsession. There was something to strive for, a land not-yet-treaded lying a bit beyond the horizon, impatiently awaiting discovery (or maybe that was just me? – probably me).
But along the way, I had some of my questions answered. The answers quenched the ambition and the thirst for knowledge I had just enough. Just enough is the dangerous part for a mage. (You’ll get it in a moment. I’m building up to it.)
I also satisfied some of my desires. Not all, and not to the extent I’d have wanted. But my desired were fulfilled just enough, and my hunger for achievement and ambition was sated just enough.
Just enough to keep it from bothering me so much that I’d act. True satisfaction means you have nothing left unfinished, nothing more to want. The in-between gray zone is one that I feel some mages here might relate to (or hopefully find somewhat useful).
“So what’s my point?” I hear someone think aloud. (Well, I actually don’t hear what people think – that would be weird. But I thought it sounded good, albeit “sounded” is a weird way to describe something that’s written, but I guess that in itself is also weird. I’m sure people trying to understand will figure out what I meant. Maybe someday I will, too. In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Move along.“)
The point is that a mage needs Impetus in his (her/it/whatever/flyingspaghettimonster) life. Impetus is the catalyst in a mage that takes his (her/it/donutholesarenegativespace!) Will and transforms it into action to the best of the mage’s abilities. Not some half-*ssed attempt to say to yourself “I tried.”, trying to rationalize away your own desires as impossible due to an unwillingness to give your Will a shot with all of your heart.
TL;DR summary (who are me, and what have me done with the real me? – I mean something more coherent, methinks kinda):
An attempt to succeed sometimes will actually succeed. An attempt that tries to succeed will always succeed in trying.
But when it comes to giving your all, there are no attempts; it’s a matter of putting your heart into it if you’re into it, or not. You can know who you truly are inside by observing the outcomes of your actions,; and if they’re attempts to succeed then you know you put your heart into it; if they’re attempts to try to succeed then you know your heart isn’t into it, so why bother pretending anymore? Are you trying to fool others, yourself? Maybe both?
That’s sort of where I am. I don’t like double standards, and when applying them to myself I can only draw one conclusion: my heart just isn’t into it right now. I don’t have an Impetus strong enough to keep on trying to study magick (for now). I know I’ll come back to it, when my interest returns (or when inspiration hits me like a Miley Cyrus stage prop). But I don’t want to pretend. So I won’t.
Therefore, the hiatus will continue (until further updates, of course). But I hope this was somewhat interesting and useful, and I hope this can give you guys some insight into what makes a mage tick. And hopefully, armed with this knowledge, maybe you guys (or gals/its/sockpuppets/sundries) can stay inspired and motivated to continue learning about magick (and hopefully not from just one source either – there’s a lot of much better writers, bloggers out there – all I have to offer is my own unique perspective, which hopefully some might find somewhat useful, insightful, or at the very least entertaining).
Anyways, thanks for reading, guys. Best of luck and remember: keep your stick on the ice (or: wise-sounding_applicable_magick_equivalent_placeholder_here). Take care.