On being magic

This was a blog post I was going to make before the total proverbial shit hit the fan and I had to make a post about that instead. What I am about to discuss is a case of “no one’s wrong, it’s just a matter of different perspectives and words getting in the way of understanding.” It’s a kinder, gentler post, but no less important. So without further adieu….

I posted a link to a blog a week or so ago entitled Magick, Money, & Bullshit: Do the F**cking Work. Literally my only complaint about this post was the need to censor an excellent word such as “fucking”, but I digress. One of the best parts about it was this section here: “Magick isn’t something you do. Magick is something YOU ARE. How you think. How you live. How you love. How you behave all affect any magickal working you perform.” 

When I posted this to Facebook, I was surprised at a few who didn’t seem to understand the spirit of what was being said, namely “Magick isn’t something you do. Magick is something you are.” One felt the need to point out that magic(k) is a practice while another voiced the idea that once you hit Adepthood, magical practice is something you do less often out of pursuit of other things. Neither of these statements are “wrong”; they just weren’t the point that I felt the deep need to express and celebrate. I also fell short of being able to explain it on Facebook, as the medium really isn’t sufficient for this sort of discussion. Expressing why magic is who you are and not just what you do requires more than it provides.

Magic is a mindset. It’s a mentality. There is no separation between your “mundane” life and your “magical” life, and when you live out your life in a way that expresses that, all of the barriers towards manifestation come tumbling down. It’s not just something you do when you’re lighting that candle, casting that spell, doing that working, this invocation, robing up and entering your temple room, or spending all of your hard earned money over at Wolf & Goat.

Yes Virginia, you ARE magic. This is why it’s so important to take care of yourself, get your physical needs met, and don’t neglect any part of your life. If there’s an area where you’re struggling to manifest something take a good look at why. Maybe it’s your approach, maybe it’s something you haven’t quite digested yet, or maybe you’ve been treating it as something you’re not yet worthy of. Maybe you’ve only done it when you desperately needed to as opposed to making it something you do on a regular basis, like brushing your teeth. Perhaps it’s a fear of failure o the belief that magic is somehow limited to certain things. It’s time to put all of that away and set aside the notion that you’re not deserving. Yes, you ARE worthy. You don’t need to feel guilty or make excuses as to why you can’t do money/job/career magic or any sort of magic; you are the vessel from which the power of the gods flow. You are a magical being, and with every step you take to perfect both the person whom you are and what you put forth into the world, you can make the world around you more in touch with the very essence of magic.

I’ve always found that magicians who quote the statement “As above, so below” and yet draw lines in the sand on their spiritual/personal and “mundane” lives to be demonstrating a sad cognitive dissonance. Repeat after me: it’s all the same. There are no lines, no boundaries, no differences between them. You cannot keep your altars tidy and not extend that into the rest of your life, and while doing one can help to improve the other it’s not enough. Take action, get it done.

One of my magical teachers once said to me that magic is about making a connection. And it’s true. We need to make connections between all of the bits of our lives, and if it’s the physical world we’re struggling with we cannot continue to divorce ourselves from it. Ultimately it’s about striving for what is termed in my faith as aretéexcellence in all things and living up to one’s full potential.

Don’t just do magic, be magic.

Wax on, wax off: how learning physical fitness helps with magical fitness

When I decided to do the Abramelin in 2014, I knew there was no way I could have the “ideal” conditions for it. I researched the ritual at great length through both the translations, Mathers and Dehn, and determined that if I were to take the plunge I would take it with this attitude:

  • I will never do things perfectly.
  • If I wait to be “perfect”, I will never get it done.
  • I need to be willing to potentially make mistakes, learn from it, and move on.
  • I have nothing left to lose at this point and I desperately need to get my shit together.

As some people who have been following me online know, I’m also a passionate fitness enthusiast. I’ve had my ups and downs and learned a lot from them, but on the whole I’ve made great progress in this arena. I ran a 5K, 10K, and half marathon this past weekend at DisneyWorld with only the bare minimum of muscle soreness afterwards and felt great enough to start getting back to routine two days later. While I still have a great deal of progress to make I’ve also come a long way.

So without further adieu, here’s a list of things that hold true in the wide, wonderful world of fitness which also apply to magic:

  1. You need to pencil in your workouts and get them done. Make them non-negotiable. Get your magic done. Feed your altars. Have regular things you magically contribute to. Things like employment, finances, and well-being are things which need to be perpetually fed. Do NOT get complacent in this arena, not even if you land the perfect job or win the lottery. This is a magic which needs to be kept up. Anything you need on a regular basis is something you can get done regularly.
  2. Length doesn’t make strength. You don’t need to work out for hours a day in order to get results. Likewise with magical ritual. It doesn’t need to go on until the wee hours of the morning to be effective.
  3. You have to train for half and full marathons, you can’t just jump into them and you have to have the proper gear or risk injury. Meditation, trance work, and energy work, while both can come more easily to some than most, do require proper training. Expect your immune system to be shot afterwards. Ask anyone who’s done the Abramelin or any lengthy  working if they got sick after they completed the rite. It can happen to you, be prepared.
  4. If you run into obstacles, work around them and get done what you can. Can’t do a full workout? Do a partial. A partial is better than none. Not much more I need to add to this one. Life happens, just keep moving.
  5. You will have good days and bad days. Motivation is like bathing; you have to keep working on it because it doesn’t last. Just keep going and remember what brought you here to begin with. In short, you will struggle, you will fuck up, you will have days when all you want to do is stare at that Candy Crush game on your phone and just be mindless. And that’s okay.
  6. If you fall off the wagon, just get back on and don’t waste any time or energy beating yourself up over it. It’s very easy to get jolted out of our routines and find it difficult to return to them. We may even feel like we failed on more than one level. Don’t worry about it and either just pick up where you left off,  go back a few steps and start from there, or just start a new cycle over again.
  7. Find something you love to do which works for you and your goals, and keep doing it. If you find a particular system of magic to be drudge work and not very effective, stop torturing yourself with it and find something else. What works for others and calls their inner spirits and get results won’t necessary be the same for you. I love to run and lift weights while there are people who loathe running and would rather do crossfit or Zumba. There are a myriad of systems and disciplines out there. Find one that works with your personality, suits your goals, and keep going with it. This doesn’t mean that you need to find something which isn’t hard. Newsflash: it’s ALL hard. You need to choose your hard and get your self discipline on, but it’s got to be the sort of hard that you will want to invest in.
  8. Don’t judge your beginning by someone else’s middle. You may be working on a discipline which someone else has been working on for years, and you just got started. They’re getting great results while you’re just turning up pennies and feel like the spirits are laughing at you. What gives? It’s not you, they’ve just been at it longer. Be patient, get better at it and the results will come.
  9. Stretch and foam roll after every workout to prevent muscle injury. I’m going to equate this rule with a few things: magic doesn’t begin and end only during your ritual work and the proper conditioning will not only make you more effective but also help you to not burnout. The more strenuous your practice, the more that this becomes important. Obviously a quick candle ritual or offering rite is going to need a lot less “decompression” than an hours-long recitation and ritual, and some might not need any if much at all. There are many ways to do this ranging from shutting down with a banishing rite to just quietly going off to meditate. It’s all about doing grounding and centering rituals. In fact I’m going to go with just the basic idea of grounding and centering as being excellent analogies for stretching and foam rolling. Just. Do. It.
  10. Fitness is 80% diet, and 20% exercise. It’s not just what you’re doing but how you’re feeding your body which can be the more important of the two. You can’t out-train a bad diet. Saving the best for last and I bet you’re wondering how this translates into magical practice and work. Well, here’s the deal and I’m going to italicize and bold this for emphasis: you need to take care of yourself and do the necessary internal work and personal development just as much if not more so than the actual practice of magic. Personal growth and development is the “diet” of the work. Do not confuse it with the “exercise”, which is magic. Personal development is not magic, but it helps feed you as a magician so you can do your magic. Got it? Good.

And now I’ll end this blog post with a piece of advice from one of my favorite fitness trainers, Tony Horton: “Do your best and forget the rest.”

Abramelin, day 266

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well, but today was a personal struggle. My job continues to go VERY well and I remain blessed in this regard. I’m working with really great people and I thank my gods daily for being here.

I’ve been doing something past few days which I rarely do, which is eat calories at maintenance level. I’ve been in fat burning mode, but that’s no good before I start a week of fasting. Had some chocolate this evening, painfully aware it will be my last treat for a while. But it’ll be worth it.

I’m beyond nervous and anxious. I hope not to fuck this up.

I’ve moved all of the robes, ritual gear, and tools which I need for the last seven days into the temple room.

Evening rite went well. Gods help me.

 

Abramelin, day 265

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Nonstop meetings pretty much all day, managed to slip out to get myself some coffee. Nothing like doing the noon prayer rite over making myself a cup of coffee. There’s something to that but I haven’t quite managed to put my finger on it just yet. Again, no excuses.

Painfully aware of the fact that one very major, glaring personal issue remains before I start my final week. I am desperately hoping I will be able to get it resolved after the Abramelin. Everything else has been resolved or is in the process of being resolved, not sure why this is so damned special. Ah well. Resolving to just banish the rest of the bullshit with laughter, but for some things it’s just a band-aid.

Here’s to hoping I am successful. Just one day left until I start the final week.

Evening rite went well.

 

Abramelin, day 264

Morning and noon rite went well.

I’ve read the book over and over again for the last seven days, and it’s not very clear on whether or not you are fasting all seven days and breaking the fast after sundown with little other than bread. Talking with others who have done the rite who did the same for all seven days. This is not the weight loss plan I signed up for but hey, it’s not like I’ll be doing much other than conjuring angels and demons and such. I wonder how many calories that will burn? Funny how I’m worried about the fasting but it was the one part of this entire operation I struggled with the most and never really managed to get the hang of.

I am hoping I have everything all set. I am hoping I am ready. I am hoping I will be properly prepared. Good gods, I’m freaking.

Evening rite went well.

 

 

Abramelin, day 263

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Been going over my notes for the last seven days and in the meantime trying to rest up. For some reason I have zero energy today. I did an interview with RO, which was fun. I also got to gather my materials together that I will be using for the last week.

I’m not sure how else to prepare. I think I’m as ready as I’m going to be. I have no idea what to expect and I suppose I should expect that.

Evening rite went well.

 

Abramelin, day 262

All sorts of HGA related dreams last night. He came in one of the forms he showed up in my dreams years and years ago. So strange.

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Busy day at work today, but very aware that I am working with some really cool people. Incredibly grateful beyond words to have this job. How did I get it again? So much gratitude.

Decided to email the wand maker and get a status, got an email back saying they would look up a tracking number for me. Did some math and looking at the calendar, figured worst case scenario is I start on the 27th.

On my way walking home from the train heard a voice in my head asking if I was ready. Came home to a box on my doorstep, containing…yes. I will be starting on the 17th for sure, and will be in radio silence until done. I am nervous, excited, fucking terrified…gods.

Evening rite went well.

Abramelin, day 261

Morning rite went well. Missed noon prayer rite due to one meeting after another from 11:30 until I left work. Wow. It may be the first one I’ve missed since I started the Abramelin. Gods.

Paranoid as hell about that almond wand, still no word and it’s been over a week. So do I go ahead and start the final week next Wednesday and gamble that it’ll reach me in time for the conjuration? What the hell do I do? I’m a bit panicked. Taking off two weeks as a new employee is beyond problematic; if I can’t finish in conjunction with Christmas vacation/break I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do.

Trying to focus on what I need to focus on but so much going on. Readily admitting to focusing on shit that shouldn’t matter, probably because the stuff that does is too stressful to think about right now.

Evening rite went as well as could be expected.

Abramelin, day 260

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Still no word on the almond wand. I know that it needs to arrive by the 21st if I’m going to proceed according to how I planned it, and now the silence is getting nail-biting. Ridiculous.

My new job remains pretty cool. This is a massive stress relief.

I am painfully aware of the fact that I still have a LOT of shit to work on but if I wait to be perfect nothing will ever get accomplished.

Evening rite went well.

 

Abramelin, day 259

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Was totally right on the cause, dialed down the protein and doing way better. Stomach is now a lot happier.

Still no word on the almond wand. No idea what to do other than wait.

Personal shit is still being burned through but it’s escalating hardcore. Just going to trust myself and my gods at this point as I’ve got nothing left.

Evening rite went well.