Page of Magick
MAGICK 1 -- WHY MAGICK
Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.
The ability to think seems to set us apart from other creatures. And although we are concerned with living in the physical world, we are mental beings. The fact is we are thinking all the time. We plan, we brood, we get depressed or elated -- all of it is thought. But the universe is mental too, and if we could control our thinking we would see magnificent results in the everyday world.
Many systems have been developed over the ages to help us control our thoughts. A great amount of dogma too has been kicked around in an attempt to make us into better people. Magick (the occult kind, spelled with a 'k') is one of the oldest and most general of these systems. Magick is the study and application of psychic forces. It uses mental training, concentration, and a system of symbols to program the mind. The purpose of magick is to alter the self and the environment according to the will.
Most of the magick we see today comes to us from ancient Egypt and Chaldea. The Chinese, Hindus, and Tibetans developed their own unique types of magick. Western magick was locked up by the Egyptian priests for thousands of years and then supressed by the rise of Christianity. It was not until medieval Europe that magical knowlege was rediscovered by the alchemists and Cabalists. Only during the past hundred years or so has western culture been open minded enough to permit widespread investigation of the subject. Only since the start of the twentieth century has science shown much interest in it al all.
PARAPSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHIC PHENOMENA
Through parapsychology, we are gaining insights into the hidden nature of man. Parapsychology is a branch of psychology which studies psychic phenomena. It remains something of a frontier, even today. Perhaps one reason for this is that psychic phenomena are somewhat inconsistent. Nevertheless, there is strong evidence from numerous cases and experiments in support of psychic phenomena. Somehow, under the right conditions, the mind can directly affect the environment.
We may theorize that the human mind and body broadcasts a kind of psychic energy or force, much like a radio station. Kirlian photography, teperature effects, cloud chamber tests, and other experiments tend to support this theory. Although the exact nature of this psychic force is subtle and unknown, it is undoubtedly the energy behind all psychic phenomena and magick. However, it is *not* a radio wave, since it behaves somewhat differently. The psychic force is too weak to be measured directly (at least so far as we know). Everyone has some psychic ability. There are numerous types of psychic phenomena. Parapsychology separates them into two groups: ESP and PK...
EXAMPLES OF ESP
ESP, the abreviation for extra sensory perception, means the reception of information through paranormal means (ie. not regular physical senses of sight, sound, touch, smell, or taste). In theory, this is accomplished by receiving psychic force from outside the body. Here are some examples of ESP:
1) Clairvoyance, or Remote Viewing -- the ability to sense or 'see' (non-physically) distant objects, places, and people.Individuals who see ghosts and spirits are probably clairvoyant.
2) Clairaudience, or remote hearing -- the 'hearing' of paranormal information.
3) Astral Projection (OOBE) or Traveling Clairvoyance -- Full experience at a remote location while the physical body sleeps.
4) Psychometry -- the reading of information by the touch of physical objects.
5) Telepathic receiver -- the ability to directly receive thought (communication) at a distance, with no physical connection to the sender. There are many everyday examples of this, in which we think something just as anotherperson is about to say it. This is an easy one to test for through experiment. Very dramatic cases of telepathy have been recorded; there is often an emotional element in such cases.
6) A 'channel' or medium, as in a seance, who is in direct communication with a 'spirit' or entity.
7) Experience with a Ouija board, pendulum, or automatic writing.
8) Precognition -- to forsee the future. Again, highly emotional events are the ones most likely to be 'tuned in'.
9) Retrocognition -- knowledge of the past, by paranormal means.
EXAMPLES OF PK
PK, the abreviation for psychokinesis, is the active or sending side of psychic phenomena. The theory here is that psychic force is sent out from the individual. Examples of PK include:
1) Telepathic sender -- the transmitter in the telepathy just discussed.
2) Psychokinesis (or telekinesis) proper -- the ability to move objects by means of psychic force.
3) Somewhat along the same lines are poltergeist (noisy ghost) phenomena in which objects move of their own accord or noises are heard. There is always a human agent involved -- frequently a teenage girl -- who appears to be the source of psychic energy.
4) Psychic healing -- the ability to heal various illnesses and infirmities. There are many documented cases of this. Usually it involves a healer and a subject, although there are recent cases invloving cancer patients learning to heal themselves.
5) Teleportation, apportation,and levitation. Some occultists feel a magician producing PK effects is simply a channel for universal energy. Others think the force originates some way directly within the magician.
Postulated by Freud and others, the concept of the subconscious mind is an important one. Basicly, this is the idea that part of the mind normally operates below or outside of ordinary consciousness and awareness. Dreams and hypnosis are examples of this. Also subconscious are the many automatic functions of the physical body such as respiration and digestion.
WHY DO MAGICK?
Magick encompasses many things -- science and art, philosophy and metaphysics, psychology and comparative religion. Magick is an adventure at the borderlands of the unknown. It can fit the pieces of the puzzel of life into a meaningful whole.
Magick is fun and interesting. Use magick to help raise consciousness without drugs. Gain new experiences. Fantacy can come alive through magick. Psychic phenomena can be controlled and be fun and helpful.
Magick is beneficial. It can help you to have excellent health, and bring you good luck. With magick life runs smoothly; life is good. Also use magick for personality improvement, to control bad habits and to develop new motivations.
Magick is powerful. Never underestimate the tremendous power of magick. Use magick to alter events and to achieve your goals. Exert an influence over people and phenomena. But power for its own sake is self defeating. The power which magick can give you should not be your primary reason for studying it.
MAGICK AND WITCHCRAFT
A number of otheroccult disciplines are prevalent today besides magick. There are many cults and sects which profess their own views, but there are really few differences between them. One popular area in the occult today is witchcraft. This is far removed from the cliche of devil worship. Real witchcraft is a nature religion (pagan). Witchcraft has much in common with magick.
Alchemy also has much in common with magick. It's heritage comes from the middle ages. Alchemy fathered chemistry and the physical sciences. But the avowed purpose of alchemy, turning lead into gold, is too limiting to be called magick. Sometimes the goal of alchemy is interpreted in another way, as the transformation of man into a spiritual being.
Then there are the numerous modern day seers or 'pychics', as they like to be called, who operate within their own somewhat unique systems. Although many of these people are deluded frauds, some are very powerful occultists indeed.
Of course, everything I have said here is a generalization. Magick, witchcraft, alchemy, or any occult field are complex subjects. Suffice it to say that magick includes them all (it is eclectic). For magick is undoubtedly a philosophy which has, as the late Aleister Crowley wrote, "The method of science -- the aim of religion."
1) Define magick.
2) Define ESP and PK. Give examples.
3) What is the subconsicous?
Hal N. Banks, An Introduction to Psychic Studies.
Annie Besant, Thought Power.
Michael H. Brown, PK, A Report on the Power of Psychokinesis.
Alexandira David-Neel, Magic and Mystery in Tibet.
Raynor C. Johnson, The Imprisoned Splendour.
Janet Lee Mitchell, "Is Anything Out There?", Fate magazine, May 1988.
Ostrander and Shroeder, Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain.
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042
MAGICK 2 -- THE SUBJECTIVITY OF EXPERIENCE
Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.
' The universe is a projection of ourselves; an image as unreal as that of our faces in a mirror....We cannot affirm any quality in an object as being independent of our sensorium, or as being in itself that which it seems to us. Nor can we assume that what we cognize is more than a partial phantom of its cause.' ( --Aleister Crowley, Magick, p. 110)
Your awareness of the physical world and of your place within it is mostly based upon the physical senses (hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste). These five senses continually send information to the mind, and it is up to the mind to select and interpret them. If you could not do so, your senses would overwhelm you and be meaningless.
Selection and interpretation of your sensory inputs is essentially an automatic, mostly subconscious function of the mind. The program or map which the subconscious follows as its reference point is called a 'model'. The model is a subconscious mental photograph of how you believe the world looks (ie. worldview, mindset, egregore, or belief system).
It was built up from an early age by your religious and cultural background through interaction with family and others. It contains your experiences, attitudes, and habits. And whether you realize it or not, most of your behavior, thoughts, feelings, and habits are based upon and conditioned by that model; even personality. The model is one of the mind's master programs. Change in behavior generally requires a change in the model. These limitations built into our way of thinking cause our perceptions to be subjective. That is why Hindu philosophy looks upon the world as illusory (maya); the world itself (object) is not an illusion, however from our viewpoint through perception (subject) it is.
Thus we are all conditioned by experience. Except that our perceptions, hence our experiences, are first conditioned and limited by the model. Our perceptions and experiences tend to conform to what we expect. We tend to misinterpret or ignore things which do not match our preconcieved notions about them. This is automatic.
THE TRUE WILL
The forgoing demonstrates how it is that there are so many different versions of 'truth'. One's particular view is almost arbitrary. Although numerous religions, philosophies, and occult systems abound, they do not contradict one and other as much as it might appear. Rather, they describe the same (universal) reality taken from different perspectives. For there can be no ultimate truth in the physical world. We can only base our actions upon assumptions and agreements. All experience is subjective. I like to think of the universe as something indescribable, perhaps a 4-dimentional 'thing'. As soon as we attempt to put it into our 3-dimentional knowledge-base, something changes and we only see an aspect of the big picture. Just as a photograph can only show us a flat *representation* of a greater thing, so it is with any attempt to describe *spiritual reality* in physical terms.
Yet, there is a separate reality within each of us which is often ignored unless we seek it. This inner self is in magick called the 'true will'. The true will is the center of consciousness and identity. It is the 'real you'.
Everything else is an interface or link to it from the outer (illusory) world. Since that interface is based upon our model, it is conditoned and may sometimes produce false information. 'Do what thou wilt' (Crowley) is an axiom of magick; for the true will expresses our exact desires. And what we truly want ('down deep') we tend to automatically get. This isn't always in our best interests, since the true will can be conditioned (tricked) by the illusion; and then we might desire and obtain that which is not ultimately good for us. (Karma strikes again!) The task of the magician therefor is to awaken his awareneess of the true will, to be free of conditioning, and thereby to transcend maya. ('My will unconditioned is magical' -- Spare).
HAPPINESS IS BEING HAPPY
There is no great secret to changing behavior or habits. It is largely a matter of determination. It requires that you ignore the 'pull' of the model when you strive for changes within yourself. The model is, after all, a collection of 'habits', some of which must be unlearned for permananent change to occur. There are two ways to do this: direct, through will power and awareness alone -- observing and acting out in an unattached or indifferent manner; and indirect -- through conditioning such as affirmation (explained later), self-hypnosis, and magick. Meditation may help too, by relaxing tension and conflict.
Emotions follow physical expression: smile and act happy and you will tend to feel and be happy. The same is also true for other emotions. Also, emotions can be purposely used (or programed) to replace other emotions.
Using this technique, a magician is somewhat like an actor in that he learns how to turn his emotions on and off at will. Note that this is not 'fakeing it'; the magician is probably more in touch with his true feelings than most people. And for these reasons we say that happiness is being happy.
SYSTEMS OF MAGICK
Magick always involves self-hypnosis. However, it may be more than that. For one thing, there are objective forces involved (or so it would seem). Deities, spirits, and cosmic force can have an independent existence. And the repetitive physical movement sometimes involved in ritual can itself generate PK force. On the other hand, it could be argued that all of this is subjective to the magician. Or that the deities and spirits are nothing more than architypes or cosmic patterns which the magician energizes with his own vitality. Perhaps all magical effects could be produced through hypnosis alone. But the effects are certainly real.
Great complexity is not necessary in magick. Although basicly magick is a medieval system of symbolism (in a modern context), any cosmological system will work from Cabala to Star Wars. We usually use the medieval one in magick because it is convenient and traditional, and because it seems to fit our thought processes well. Traditional symbols have greater emotional effect on the magician than modern ones because of his familiarity with them. What really matters is that the model of the magician be understood and programmed, and thus that the model and the cosmological system do correspond.
1) Contrast subjective with objective.
Eric Berne, Games People Play.
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem) P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042
MAGICK 3 -- THE FOUR WORLDS
Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.
The ancients described man as mind, body, and soul. Psychologists of the twentieth century added the subconscious to that deffinition. This produces a four-fold classification. The universe is also divided into four corresponding parts ('worlds'), as shown below:
The astral body (subconscious) is the intermediary for intuition, magical and psychic phenomena, and is the 'psychic link' to the physical world. J.H. Brennan says that the astral is the realm of visual imagination. It seems to be both a 'place' and a 'state of mind' at the same time. Most occult and magical phenomena originate in the invisible, non-sensate, non-physical realm (ie. without physical senses). Each of the four worlds interacts with the other worlds. Psychic energy flows from the spiritual to mental to astral to physical. The physical world is a projection (manifestation, reflection, or shadow) of the higher worlds. Our center of consciousness is generally within these higher worlds. "We are", to quote the rock music group the Police, "spirits in the material world".
There are many similar terms used by other occult groups. For example, 'astral light' is another name for astral world, although it may sometimes also refer to the entire non-physical realm, as may 'inner planes' or 'the invisible world'. Planes are essentially the same as worlds. Vehicles or sheaths are the same as bodies. Some groups include an etheric or vital body between physical and astral: it is mostly 'physical' with a little of the lower 'astral' besides. And sometimes astral and mental are each divided into two parts (upper and lower). The 'causal body' is the upper 'mental'.
MICROCOSM AND MACROCOSM
We have been describing 'traditonal' occult philosophy here, and certainly an important part of the tradition is the idea (and terms) microcosm and macrocosm. The greater universe, known as the *macrocosm*, includes everything that exists. It corresponds with the *microcosm*, or tiny universe, ie. man -- who is thought of as a miniature replica of the macrocosm (whole universe).
This basic magical relationship is demonstrated in the Bible (Genesis 1.27), where God is the macrocosm; and in the writing of Trismegistus ("As above so below"). Since man is in the image of God (universe) it follows that God is in the image of man (in other words, man and the God/universe match each other). The magician, as a microcosm is thus connected with the macrocosm. There is an intimate relationship of energies between you and everything else.
The universe is reflected within us and we are projected into the universe. This is an important theory behind magick and astrology.
MAGICK WHITE AND BLACK
'Personal magick' is that magick used to affect the self; often involving affirmation, self-suggestion, and self-hypnosis. 'Active magick' is outer directed magick (as in PK) used to affect someone or thing, or to bring about an event. 'Passive magick' is to be affected (as in ESP) by an outside non-physical cause. Everyone possesses some magical (and psychic) potential. Some are especially gifted. Usually people are better at one kind of magick (ie. active or passive) than they are at the other kind; only rarely does an individual excell at both. Traning and practice will, of course, improve ability somewhat.
Although the forces of magick are neutral, various systems may take on the qualities of good and evil. There is so-called white magick or good magick, black magick or evil magick, and gray magick between them. When many people refer to white magick they mean magick for unselfish purposes, also healing and mental influence with specific permission. By black magick they refer to magick for self-interest and healing *without* specific permission.
Using magick to forcefully control another's will is, in a sense, black magick too. There are also some people on the occult fringe who claim to be, possibly even think they are, 'Satanists', devil worshipers, or black magicians. These people are most likely charlatans, hoaxters, dablers, or merely misinformed. They may be attracted by the 'art' of black magick, or even by the 'glamor' of doing something against the 'rules'. But a real black magician is very dangerous. Because he has dedicated his life to evil. We usually think of 'white magick' as having *unselfish intent*, and (in the extreme case) of 'black magick' as being actual Satan worship, human or animal sacrifice, dangerous unconventional magical practices, and other bizarre stuff as makes a nightmare. It is all a matter of degree. Most mild self-interest magick (one of the most common kinds) would be called 'gray'. Better terms may be *constructive magick* as being beneficial; and *aversive magick* as magick intended to work against the natural order, and to tear down. There is also the *high magick* of spiritual alchemy (ie. spiritual growth), also known as 'the Great Work'; and conversely there is 'low magick' which is concerned with materiality.
Any magick act is likely to produce side effects regardless of whether or not the desired result is achieved. Such side effects are no problem for constructive magick, since they are benificial as well. However, aversive magick can produce aversive side effects which may even harm the magician -- aversive magick is dangerous!
MAGICK IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS
What we have been calling 'magick' is actually a continuous process. Since your subconscious never rests, your environment is continually being shifted into line with your model. This is true whether you study magick or not. For most people, these effects are usually very subtle, and they are probably not aware of them. However, as you work with the occult, the flow of psychic energy and your awareness of it increases. Your true will is more likely to be strongly expressed. Your luck may be affected (either in a positive or a negative way). Remember, our lives tend to follow what we want down deep. That is why a positive outlook is so very beneficial to us.
THE MAGICAL DIARY
Sometimes it is helpful to keep a diary of your magical experiments and research. Such a diary should include the date, perhaps even some astrological data (or anything else you think may have a relationship to what you are doing). This is also a good time to begin recording your dreams -- at least the important ones -- in a dream diary. Your dreams can tell you a great deal about yourself, and may sometimes reveal premonitions. Dreams are personal. Don't fall for the commercial 'dream book' gimmick.
The mind is always open to suggestion -- especially the subconscious. Most of the time we censor any suggestions according to the model; but one way to break through the censor is with repetition. An affirmation does this exactly. By suggestion, we mean any statement which is capable of affecting your model. Usually suggestion is in the form of a positive statement (such as the hypnotist's patter -- " You are becomming sleepy"). An affirmation is the same kind of thing -- a positive suggestion, which you repeat (affirm) to yourself aloud or silently (for example, "I remember my dreams"). If there is some quality you wish to change or develope within yourself, an affirmation is ideal. Repeat it several times every day at several different times throughout the day, expecially when you go to bed. Affirmations are subtle and may require a few months to work. Use them for changes, not miracles.
SIMPLE BANISHING TECHNIQUE
Visualization is another important method we use to influence the subconscious. A good example of this is the simple banishing technique which follows. Banishing is used in magick to 'clear the air' of negative 'vibes' and interference...
Visualize a strong white light flowing out the top of your head, flowing down around you and covering you. At the same time imagine you are throwing away any 'problem' vibes.
Maintain the visualization for a half a minute or longer. Good way to help you handle your emotions, and to control worry or anger.
1) What is a microcosm?
2) List the four worlds. Explain.
3) What is an affirmation? Give an example.
Geoffry Hodson, Theosophy Answers Some Problems of Life.
Marc Edmund Jones, Key Truths of Occult Philosophy.
Marion Weinstein, Positive Magic.
Nelson & Ann White, The Wizard's Apprentice.
Beatrice Bruteau, The Psychic Grid.
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem) P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042
MAGICK 4 -- ELEMENTS AND FORCES
Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.
The Ancients divided the world into four basic principles or *elements* -- earth, water, fire, and air.
That viewpoint has mostly changed with advances of science, but the four elements are still accepted in magick, for they are more closely linked with emotions, the human psyche, and with nature than are modern explanations of the world. These *magical elements* are also of some importance in astrology.
Many occultists think of the magical elements as forces, or as *qualities* of energy; especially within the astral world. Each element has a symbol and color. (Common symbols are --
fire: a triangle pointing up; air: a triangle pointing up and with a horizontal line through the middle of it; water: a triangle pointing down; earth: a triangle pointing down and with a horizontal line through the middle of it.)
Colors of the elements are -- earth: brown and green; water: blue; fire: red; air: yellow...The Eastern tattvic system uses different symbols and colors. (The tattvic symbols are briefly described later on in this course.) The elements are often used in magick ritual.
Magick sees relationships between things. These relationships are called 'correspondences'. Although magical correspondences are not literally equal to one another, you can think of them that way (such as gold equals sun). Tables of these relationships, called 'Correspondence Tables', are available (an important one is Crowley's '777'). Thus one thing or symbol can be used to suggest another. This is important in magick, for the magician may surround himself with as many appropriate correspondences as he can to vividly affect the senses; thus making his magical contact with the inner planes more lucid.
The magical elements have correspondences with the tarrot cards as the four suits. The four quarters (directions of the universe as used in magick ritual) and the Archangels also correspond with these same elements --
Astrological signs also correspond with the elements. Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are earth signs. Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are water signs. Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are fire signs. Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are air signs.
The magical elements are said to be peopled by spirits and mythological entities called elementals or nature spirits. These are grouped into four main categories --
Elementals are usually only visible to those with clairvoyant sight and are more likely to be seen at night in the mountains or country away from cities -- especially if you are tired or sleepy. Although elementals exist naturally, it is also possible to create one which will exist for a limited time -- no elemental has immortality. A created elemental is called an 'artificial elemental'.
To the Ancients, elementals were the physical explanation of the universe. However, some contemporary occultists see them only as symbols for forces and otherwise not 'real' at all. Another word sometimes used for elemental is 'familiar' (usually in medieval witchcraft); the term is ambiguous, as it might merely be an ordinary household pet such as a dog or cat.
Chinese philosophy and acupuncture talk of yin yang. This is the idea of polarity, or opposite pairs, as shown --
The list could go on. In Chinese literature it is quite long. Some occultists suggest everything can be similarly arranged into related opposite pairs.
Here is a simple magical technique you may wish to try. It is a variation of affirmation, which was discussed in an earlier lesson...To help you to achieve your goal (magical or otherwise), find a word or short phase which sums up what it is that you want to accomplish. Write the word (or phrase) down 10 times each day until you achieve success.
1) List the four elements.
Phil Hansford, 4/88
MAGICK 5 -- CHAKRAS AND MEDITATION
According to East Indian philosophy, man possesses seven major *chakras* or psychic centers on his body. Each of these forms a bridge, link, or energy transformer; changing pure (higher) energy into various forms, and connecting the four bodies (ie. spiritual, mental, astral, and physical) together.
The chakras are located along the nadies (a network of psychic nerves or channels) and follow the autonomic nervous system along the spinal cord. Chakras correlate with major acupuncture points along the 'governing vessel meridian' (acupuncture term).
The seven major chakras are connected together by three major nadies which are parallel and near each other. The middle nadi is called *sushumna* and it has neutral characteristics. The nadi on the left (ie. nearest your left hand) is the *ida* nadi which has yin characteristics. On the other side of sushumna (nearest your right hand) is the *pingala* nadi, having yang qualities.
Chakras are visible to clairvoyant sight as varously colored rotating circles or funnels. In the East they are described as petaled flowers or lotuses. Sources disagree on the colors.
The first chakra, located at the base of the spine at the perineum is the *root chakra*, muladhara. It primarily relates to the element of earth and to psychic smell.
The second chakra, known as the *sacral center*, svadhisthana, is located above and behind the genitals. Its dominant element is water, and it is related to psychic taste.
Third of the chakras is the *solar plexus*, manipura, located at the navel and corresponding with the emotions and with the element of fire; also with psychic sight (clairvoyance).
The *heart chakra*, anahata, is the fourth chakra, located over the heart and corresponding with the element of air, and also with psychic touch.
The fifth chakra is the *throat chakra*, vishuddha, located at the base of the throat (thyroid) and corresponding with psychic hearing (clairaudience).
The remaining two chakras are very important. They relate mostly to elevated states of consciousness. The *frontal chakra*, (or 'third eye') ajna, the sixth chakra, is located between, and slightly above, the eyebrows. Ajna is the center of psychic powers and can produce many psychic effects. Meditation on ajna is said to cure nervousness.
Finally, the *crown chakra*, sahasrara, located atop the head, (pineal gland) is the seventh chakra. It is referred to as the thousand-petaled lotus and corresponds with astral projection and enlightenment.
There are also many minor chakras throughout the body. Each chakra has a sound (letter) and a pitch which is sometimes used to invoke it.
Some occultists prefer to describe the magical elements as tattvas according to the Eastern system. Notice that these symbols and colors are generally different than the western symbols and colors for the elements.
Yoga originated in India. It is a physical or mental discipline designed to condition and invigorate the mind and body. There are many kinds of yoga, but they may be generally divided into three main types...
Hatha yoga -- affect the mind through the body using physical exercises; improve physical health and endurance.
Raja yoga -- affect the mind through mental training; improve concentration.
Mantra yoga -- affect the mind through chanting and affirmation; achieve relaxation.
This is a much touted area of the occult. There are many meditation techniques, and many claims made for the benefits of meditation. Basicly, meditation has two functions -- relaxation, and perhaps, improved concentration. There are two main types...
1) concentration meditation (focusing),
2) insight meditation (mindfullness).
Most kinds of meditation are the concentrative type. One simply focuses his attention upon a single physical object (such as a candle flame); upon a sensation (such as that felt while walking or breathing); upon an emotion (such as reverence or love); upon a mantra spoken aloud or even silently; or upon a visualization (as in chakra meditation, see below)...Concentration meditation is, simply put, a form of self-hypnosis.
A mantra (or mantrum) is one or more words or syllables which are repeated -- often chanted -- aloud...A simple yet powerful mantra is to vibrate the mystical word 'OM'. This mantra has long been associated in India with the godhead/unity.
Use it to aid in tuning into universal vibrations which promote feelings of harmony, peace, and well-being. Use it before magick ritual to 'get into the mood' and afterward to 'dismiss the forces'. You vibrate a mantra by saying it slowly aloud in a lower-pitched voice than your normal speech, and a more or less constant pitch as well. Let the sound fade at the end of the mantra. A powerful one such as 'OM' will seem to vibrate the air around you. It should be vocalized for 5-10 seconds and repeated a number of times with a few seconds rest between each vocalization. Chanting of mantras may cause slight dizziness from hyperventilation.
The other main type of meditaiton -- insight meditation -- is the analysis of thoughts and feelings in such a way as to cause realization of the subjectivity and illusion of experience. This is done in a effort to attain trancendental awareness. Such statements as, 'This body is not me', fall under this category. Buddhist meditations are usually of this type.
There is a special type of concentrative meditation which we will call 'Chakra meditation'. This is basicly Kundalini yoga -- the practice of causing psychic energy (kundalini) to flow up sushumna, energizing the various chakras along the way. The practice, considered dangerous by some, will produce deffinite physiological sensations and psychological effects if continued long enough. It should not be attempted by epileptics or persons with an unstable mental or physical condition, or with heart disease. Certain drugs and medications, such as those used to treat epilepsy may retard progress. Although the technique is very simple, it may eventually produce powerful results. Results may at first appear hours after the practice during sleep. As each chakra is energized by this practice, it is said to add occult powers (sidhis), until at last the crown chakra is reached, and with it, full enlightenment is attained. Sometimes kundalini awakens all by itself.
To practice this chakra meditation, you simply concentrate on the chakras, beginning with the root chakra, and moving progressively up, as you visualize psychic energy from the root chakra traveling up shushumna and vivifying each higher chakra. As we mentioned the chakras have certain properties associated with them, so that this type of visualization may 'raise consciousness', promote astral projection, and other things -- once you have reached ajna and eventually the crown chakra. You might typically meditate in this fashion for 15 minutes to a half hour a day. It might help to practice some hatha yoga or other physical exercise in an effort to make the spinal cord 'more flexible'. Diet may also affect the process.
The technique is also similar to the Tibetan 'Tummo' meditation.
The rise of kundalini is sometimes experienced as a 'vibration' or buzzing, as light, or as heat.
HEALTH AND DIET
Certainly the way you treat your physical body will affect your mind. In magick you want an alert mind. Therefore, your body must be as healthy as you can keep it. Take care of your body. Exercise regularly. eat a good diet (with vitamin supplements), and do not consume anything which will have a negative effect upon the mind. Drugs, smoking,, and alcohol should be restricted, or eliminated. (The mind can create any condition which a drug can create.) A good rule here is moderation in what and how much you consume. (Most of this stuff is pretty obvious isn't it.) You may also want to cut down on sugar and processed foods. Many occultists advise dietary changes, expecially the non-eating of meat. We cannot deny the physical, psychological, and spiritual effect which all foods have. This effect may be described as the 'heaviness' factor of foods. Various foods are so ranked in the chart, lighter to heavier...
1. lettuce and other greens.
2. fruits and most vegetables.
3. wheat, rice, and other grains.
4. nuts, beans, and other legumes.
5. cheese, dairy products, including eggs.
6. fish, seafood.
7. chicken, poultry.
8. beef, pork, other red meats.
Note that meats, especially red meats are the 'heaviest' foods. Generally, foods which are harder to digest, or which are higher in protein are 'heavier' than those which are not. Animal products are heavier than plants. Foods high in carbohydrate (candy, bread, starch) are heavy. However, the 'heaviness' of foods is not directly related to the amount of caleries.
What this means is that for various reasons, the heaviness of food in your diet will affect your magical experiences. You may be able to increase your psychic receptivity ('energy level') by eating lighter foods, or by eating less. Conversely, emphasizing heavy foods in your diet, or eating larger helpings, may help to 'bring you down to earth' should you 'rent the veil' too much. These are generalizations, of course, and it may take a number of days of dietary change before you notice much effect. I do not advocate radical dietary changes, excessive fasting, or malnutrition. Your good health is far more important in magick than any temporary effect you get from prolonged starvation. A change in diet will sometimes only produce a temporary effect, until the physical body adapts to the change. Healthy natural foods and lifestyle make it easier for us to be healthy, but ultimately, good health is a mentual quality (attitude).
THE FOUR-FOLD BREATH
With physical exercise too, moderation is advised. (You should be cautious, or not attempt it if you have a respiratory or heart condition. Check with your physician if in doubt, and don't overdo.) One of the most useful physical exercises is pranayama, or controlled breathing (actually a type of hatha yoga exercise). For this and any other calesthentics or hatha yoga which you might choose to do a 'kitchen timer' is suggested (many of these aren't accurate for under three minutes, but are helpful for longer periods).
The main purpose of pranayama is to relax the body and mind. There are many kinds of pranayama, but a simple one called the 'four-fold breath' will suffice. This consists of four short quick inhallations, then four short quick exhallations; then repeat, continuing until the allotted time is used up. It will take about 1 1/2 seconds for the four inhallations, and about 1 1/2 seconds for the four exhallations; or about 3 seconds for the complete in-out cycle ('rep' for repetition). There should be no strain of any kind during your pranayama. You will probably notice a slight dizziness, particularly at first, since the effect of pranayama is to hyperventilate. Try sitting back in a chair with your eyes closed when you do your pranayama
Begin a minute a day for the first week and gradually increase up to about five minutes a day. If you do the pranayama before your magical activity, it will help you to get 'into the mood'. It is also an excellent aid to relaxation and tension release. Pranayama should not be done during heavy air pollution. Other exercises you might consider are hatha yoga, calesthentics, walking or jogging.
1) What is a chakra? List them.
2) Name the three major nadies. Which nadi is hot?
3) What is pranayama?
Arthur Diekman, The Observing Self.
W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines.
Sandra Gibson, Beyond the Mind.
King and Skinner, Techniques of High Magic.
Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga.
John Woodroffe (pseud. for Arthur Avalon), The Serpent Power.
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem) P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042
MAGICK 6 -- THOUGHTFORMS AND SPIRITS
Although there are hundreds of kinds of divination, the principle ones are astrology, geomancy, the tarot, the I Ching, and direct psychic means (especially clairvoyance).
True divination is more than a mechanical system, for it implies true psychic interpretation (receiving). Some form of divination is often used in magick ritual to communicate with the entity invoked.
Since divination operates through the mind, it is affected and biased by the mind. Our attitudes and fears may alter it. Sometimes results are very detailed, and accurate -- but not always. Often the future is plastic and changeable anyway, and the use of magick may alter the result. Thus divination shows tendencies only, which may be helpful, but must not rule us.
It is possible to improve your natural ability with clairvoyance through practice. A good start might be to look around you, then close your eyes and try to picture your surroundings. This is also good exercise for visualization. And visualization is an essential talent in magick. Open your eyes again and check your accuracy. Then close your eyes and try it again. When you use your physical eyes, look at everything like a child seeing it for the first time. Let the vividness of color and form burn into you, until everything takes on a veritable glow. Try to capture that glow when you close your eyes now and picture your surroundings. It's just a simple step to extend what you see with your eyes closed into what you remember seeing in the next room, or what you *imagine* seeing in the next building, the next city, even the other side of the world. Don't expect perfect results, especially at first. Just try to be even partly right. Another exercise is to picture a clock face, and thereby tell the time clairvoyantly.
Under the right conditions, it is possible to clairvoyantly observe a colored light around other people.
This is known as the 'aura'. Sometimes the aura is seen as multi-colored emanations around the person, built up of various differently colored layers and zones. Although many occult dabblers claim to be able to see the aura easily and under many varied conditions, I seriously doubt that they do.
There are optical illusions and qualities of sight which can sometimes trick one into thinking he sees what he does not see. In this area, the quality of sight known as after image is especially pertinent. Do this: stare at any solidly colored bright object for a few moments. Very intense red, green, or blue are especially good for this. Now look away at a white surface and you will see a phantom image of the object in its complementary color (a red object will show green, a blue one orange, etc.). If the bright object is in front of a light surface, you may observe a fringe of complementary color around the object after a few moments. This is all very normal, and is used by some magical groups as an aid to visualization sometimes called 'flashing colors'. Some silly people will stare at other people in the same way. And when they see the after image of the person's clothing, they think they are seeing his aura. What is more, various meanings have been attributed to the colors of the aura. A psychic who can see the aura is supposed to be able to determine that persons emotional state. Thus psychic frauds can have a marvelous time with auras. One deluded psychic taught a class I attended in which he performed instant psychoanalysis on the basis of the supposed aura. It was obvious that he was actually observing after images from the students clothes!
oughts, we draw psychic energy together. This is called a thoughtform. Usually the energy dissipates as soon as we break the concentration, but it is possible to purposely concentrate energy in this way, producing very strong thoughtforms. Such thoughtforms are vortexes or centers of psychic energy.
They can exist as entities by themselves, at least for a while. They are basically inanimate, non-thinking forces. Talking to one is about as logical as talking to a chair. In this way, thoughtforms are similar to elementals, ghosts, and spirits. All of these psychic entities consist of a psychic energy vortex which could be described as a localized field or as a discontinuity of the physical world.
Psychic entities respond to certain electrostatic and magnetic fields, and to other energy vortexes. That is why they respond to magick ritual. Someday, we may accomplish the same thing with electronic machines. Psychic entities are sometimes able to affect our thought processes.
THOUGHTFORMS AND SPIRITS
Whenever we concentrate our thThoughtforms, elementals, and ghosts are usually not very smart. If they display any intelligence at all, it is limited. They are the morons of the spirit world. Their behavior is usually automatic, repetitive, robot-like (just like some people). We see that artificial elementals are little more than astral robots. Spirits and deities are more intelligent and volitional.
Your mind follows your attention. Wherever you direct your attention, there will your thoughts go too. By directing attention to a specific place or purpose you *focus* mental energy upon it.
For example: you're having lunch in a cafeteria crowded with people. It is a large place, and everyone there is talking at once, so that the room is a constant jumble of noise. You happen to notice a man accross the room; he reminds you of someone. All at once he drops his fork and you hear it hit the table. But would you have noticed the sound of his fork if you had not been looking? No. Only by focusing your attention there were you able to pick out that individual event and associated sound.
It is a dark night. You are walking and the only light you have is from the flashlight you hold in your hand. As you move the flashlight around, the beam of light from it directs your attention first one way then another. Now, the mind is something like that flashlight in the dark. And by directed attention, you point the mind to one place or another. As with that flashlight beam, you see where the mind is pointed; nothing more. The rest is 'noise'. And so we could define mental noise as anything not focused upon. In another way, noise could be considered as negative emotions, attitudes, and thoughts which make it more difficult to direct the attention.
Your emotions follow your thoughts quite easily. Your emotions are not YOU, but are rather reactions prompted by your model and ego -- like a performance or an act, while the real you watches. In a similar way, directing your attention toward a specific emotion will cause you to experience that emotion.
Visual imagination and concentration are very important in magick. Here are some exercises to help in your development...
A. Close your eyes and visualize a single digit number as clearly as you can. Then a two digit number, then a 3 digit one. Hold the visualization in front of your 'inner eye' for about two minutes. Repeat with a letter or a word.
B. Visualize a brightly colored green circleor spot. Again hold the visualization for two minutes. Try again with a different color.
C. Visualize in succession, each one of the tattvic symbols, in their proper color. Hold each symbol for at least two minutes.
D. Look through a tarrot card deck and pick out several of your favorite cards. Then, after briefly studying a card, visualize it vividly in detail. Hold the visualization for at least two minutes. Do this for each card you selected.
E. Repeat the above visualization exercises with your eyes open.
1) What is the aura?
Annie Bessant and Charles Leadbeater, Thought Forms.
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem) P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042
-- BASIC RITUAL
The first part of every ceremony is the banishing; the second the invoking.' (--Crowley, Magick, p. 104)
It may be said that ritual is the very heart of magick. For it is through ritual that we achieve our magical results. Ritual is a magical procedure or ceremony we perform in order to change the environment. Usually we think of ritual as bearing on active magick, although certainly, it can also affect passive magick. Most often the change achieved is subjective (it may be subtle) and in the physical world. Outsiders may put them down to coincidence, but the effects are very real. Magical goals for a ritual should not be taken lightly.
The successful practice of magick depends upon strong belief. The simplest ritual of them all must be belief itself. If you can believe in your desired results strongly enough, that act is a magical ritual which will achieve your results. Even a very complex ritual is no more effective than strong belief. There are aids to concentration which may help. Thus in *creative visualization*, imagination and controlled breathing are brought into play.
When you want to magically achieve something, first picture it clearly in your mind. The more deffinite and specific your idea of what it is the better. Picture yourself having it or doing it. Visualize it as vividly and as intensely as you can and hold it in your thoughts for a few moments. Concentrate on it intensely (it may help to hold your breath). Feel the energy of desire welling up inside you. Then suddenly feel the image or desire released from your mind. Feel the energy filtering through the image and intensifying it, as if the image is a 'stencil'. Imagine the energy exploding out from you into the macrocosm in all directions at once, and feel the universe 'tilt' as it reacts to the force. (At the same time it may help to release your breath suddenly). Feel the energy draining from you. Finally, *believe* that your purpose *has* been accomplished; that it HAS HAPPENED, perhaps saying something such as "so mote it be", or "it is done".
THE BASIC PARTS OF A RITUAL
Often rituals are more formal than the above, but any full magick ritual must always reduce to these stages -- 1) imaging; 2) building; 3) firing. Sometimes a ritual must be repeated every day for a while to achieve difficult results or to overcome weak belief.
THE MAGICK CIRCLE
Often an important part of formal ritual is the magick circle. Medieval magicians considered the circle essential, and placed great emphasis upon its exactness. Elaborate designs were invented with many layers of complex symbols and words. It was very important that the circle be completely intact with no breaks in it. The magician and any other participants stand in the circle during ritual. The ritual began with a banishing of evil forces (using the lesser ritual of the pentagram for example) to keep them outside the circle. Today, circles are made on the floor with chalk or paint, rock salt, or a rope. Whatever its form, the circle is still an important part of magical protection for the magician. This is especially important for aversive entities and purposes. The circle also helps in focusing the energy of the ritual toward its purpose, that is, it keeps it contained until the magician is ready to release it. Of course, the magick circle is basicly only a symbol, but it may eventually be possible to supplement the circle with electronic equipment for a similar purpose. We are researching the practicality of electrostaticly charged Faraday shields.
An artificial elemental is useful for certain tasks: 1) invisible watcher and observer, telling you what it sees; 2) psychic guard; 3) it can be used in healing; 4) it is helpful in other ways. Ophiel calls the artificial elemental a 'familiar'. Producing your own artificial elemental is fairly easy. YOU MUST ASSUME THAT THE ACT HAS PRODUCED RESULTS, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT IMMEDIATELY OBSERVE THEM. It is entirely possible to produce one of these little beasties and not know it (not being clairvoyant enough to observe it directly). Therefore, and this is a general principle of any magick, never ignore forces you have set into motion. Even though you may not see the elemental, you may nevertheless 'feel' it.
WARNING -- Do not use artificial elementals for any kind of aversive magick at this point; they can be nasty little critters to get rid of. Should you have to eliminate one of them which you created in error, you must re-absorb it back into yourself through your will; or in some cases you can 'exorcise' it.
HOW TO CREATE AN ARTIFICIAL ELEMENTAL
You can create your own artificial elemental for various purposes. An artificial elemental is basically a thoughtform which has been strengthened with emotion. Refer to the aura color chart in the previous lesson and decide what color to make the elemental, based upon your intended purpose. Apple green is a good choice for general purposes. Then decide on a shape or outline. Do you want your elemental to resemble some sort of animal? A simple circle or cloud is a good place to start. With this in mind you can use ritual to create your elemental. Creative visualization is good for this. Visualize it glowing before you. A darkened room is helpful for this.
Communicate with your elemental with telepathy, by talking to it, or with creative visualization. Your artificial elemental is closely linked to you and your subconscious attitudes. It will generally not do things you think it cannot do. As in any magick, results relate to effort and belief. Another way of looking at an artificial elemental is as an aspect of your personality (sub personality) which has been detached from you.
Formal ritual usually involves the invocation (ritually calling up) of a god or goddess, spirit, or other entity. In this sense, magick is somewhat similar to pagan religion and witchcraft. However, we consider magick ritual a technique, not a religion. Worship need not be involved. Sometimes the invocation of an entity creates an artificial elemental. Crowley says there are three different kinds of invocation --
1) Devotion to the entity (as in the Bhakti yoga of the Hare Krishna sect; the Faustian devil pact).
2) Ceremonial invocation -- usual method of the middle ages.
3) Drama -- usually needs more than one person (as in a mass).
Because of the microcosm-macrocosm identity, when you invoke the gods, you are invoking aspects of yourself. Jung has referred to the gods as primitive archetypes. This makes it sound like spiritual entities are illusions. But in fact the microcosm-macrocosm identity does not discredit the gods and goddesses. It instead helps to illustrate our relationship to the cosmos.
1. Balance is important in magick. Vary the entities invoked in order to keep your personality in balance.
2. Often as not a ritual may produce side-effects, usually something similar to, though not exactly the desired goal. If the true goal is delayed (as sometimes happens) we may see the side effects first. And if for some reason the goal is not achieved at all ('missing the target') the side effects may be pronounced. Examples: 1) You use magick ritual to hurry shipment of an anticipated package in the mail. Side effect -- the next day an unexpected package (the wrong one) arrives instead. 2) You use magick ritual to cause a certain person to phone you. Side effect -- for several days all sorts of people phone you...The sides effects will not affect you (or anyone else) adversely unless that is what you inwardly want.
3. We may say with certainty that "something always happens" when we perform a magick ritual. But like everything else, magick follows the 'law of results'. This means that results require effort of some kind. And if you don't work hard enough at it you don't get results. Difficult goals have greater resistance (magical inertia) to overcome. If the ritual doesn't produce the desired results there is a good chance that the reason for the failure is within oursleves.
Be certain there is no contradiction between your model and your magical goals. Sometimes self doubt and mental contradictions (wanting and not wanting at the same time) may interfere. The first step in magick is to re-program your model. And, of course you can help your magical results by working on the physical level toward your goals. Don't expect them to fall into your lap by themselves.
4) A peculiar quality of magick is time displacement. Results of a ritual are not usually instantaneous. There is often a delay of 12 hours or more. Difficult tasks or weakly performed ritual are more likely to be delayed. In most cases a slight delay is alright, and it gives us time to get used to the comming changes. And sometimes the effects of a ritual appear to extend to before the ritual was performed!
5) Because of the way magick works, a ritual may create an emphasis in what is sought, and a de-emphasis in everything else. Balance is therefore important here. Once the magical result is achieved it may be 'bound' to you and difficult to get rid of should you later decide to do so.
Example: You use a magick ritual to help you find and buy a new house. Years later when you decide to sell it, you are unable to do so. Consider your magical goals wisely so you dont get stuck with something you don't really want. Note that theory says you can always unbind through ritual what was bound to you...theory says.
6) Sometimes the environment appears to react against the magick after the results are achieved. This is particularly noticeable in using magick to affect the weather (and the main reason why you should NOT use magick to affect the weather). For example...Your performance of a ritual to produce a sunny day produces a sunny day. The next day is sunny, alright, but the rest of the month is cold and overcast. Here the weather seems to react to the magick in the opposite way to re-establish its natural balance. It is something like pushing a pendulum to one side and releasing it -- the pendulum swings to the other side. To quote Emmerson -- "For everything you gain you lose something...". I don't know that this is always true in magick, but it does illustrate the point. And another reason not to use magick to affect the weather is that it might foul it up in other parts of the country (world??).
7) Finally, magick ritual (or any magick or occultism) is very dangerous for the mentally unstable. If you should somehow 'get out too far', eat 'heavy foods' as previously discussed (lesson on chakras) and use your religious background or old belief system for support. But remember too, that wierd experiences are not necessarily bad experiences.
1) What is creative visualization?
RESEARCH TOPICS (for independent study)
1) Examine the differences between western magick
and oriental magick.
P.E.I. Bonewitz, Real Magic.
________, The Mental Body.
Joseph Weed, Wisdom of the Ancient Masters.
MAGICK 8 -- HEALING AND BANISHING
Psychic or spiritual healing is a human potential we all possess. Some people are especially good at this. It is probably easier to heal someone else by occult means than yourself. In addition to healing in the presence of the person, there is 'absent healing' in which the healing occurs at a distance. Note that there are some who maintain that influence on another person without his specific knowledge and permission (yes, even in healing and helping) is black magick. (After all, everybody is living according to his own true will, so that healing or helping someone without permission is affecting his will). This means it is important to tell the person what you are planning to do and to ask his permission. The theory of psychic healing is that sickness is characterized (although not necessarily caused) by a deficiency and imbalance of vital energy.
Psychic healing transfers energy from the healer to the sick to repair and rebalance his energies. If an inept healer overdoes the process, or if he doesn't take the precaution to 'disconnect' himself afterwards, he may find himself becoming sick due to energy drain and a linkage to his subject. Similarly, the healer should always be in a good state of health or he could unintentionally transfer his illness to the subject.
The basic methods of psychic healing are: 1) creative visualization, 2) prayer, 3) ritual. Creative visualization is one of the easiest techniques. Mild illness may yield to only one or two treatments; serious ills will require many treatments over time. Psychic healing should always be combined with medical care and treatment. It does not replace doctors, medicine, or hospitals, since different levels (worlds) are involved. In creative visualization, we visualize the person being well. It may be helpful to utilize the appropriate color from the aura chart (such as bright apple-green, rose pink, or white) sent as a beam to the person or as a cloud surrounding him. This technique can be extended to include a simple kind of yoga in which we feel energy sent as we exhale explosively; the energy sent either via the breath or from one of the chakras such as the solar plexus. Sometimes in absent healing it is helpful to arrange a time for treatment in advance, asking your subject to be in a receptive state of mind and to sit back and close his eyes.
THE BANISHING RITUAL
One of the most basic and useful ceremonial rituals of magick is called the *banishing ritual*, or lesser ritual of the pentagram. A pentagram (or pentacle) is a five-pointed star with the point up. The banishing ritual is helpful in psychic protection and healing since it forms a protective barrier against malevolent forces. The psychic barrier it creates can be made to permit entry of desired (constructive) forces and the exclusion of negative ones. Thus, the banishing ritual is an essential first step in almost any formal full magick ceremony. The ritual requires that you use a magical implement or "weapon", such as a ceremonial knife, wand, or simply point your index finger, to "draw" the pentagram in the air at each of the cardinal points (four directions). Also, you will be chanting ('vibrating') some Hebrew names of God.
Holding your magical weapon and facing east, extend your arm out straight in front of you. In this ritual you will use the full sweep of your arm to draw the pentagram in the air. Follow the description below by beginning at the lower left and sweeping your magical weapon up toward the right, etc. as shown. Do not bend your arm at the wrist or elbow. While you do this, visualize the lines and eventually the star as vibrant white, floating in the space before you.
You are projecting energy to do this, and the result will be a gleaming 5-pointed star floating in the east; visualize this as vividly as you can. Now you will energize it further by piercing the center of it with your magical weapon and vibrating (speaking slowly in a slightly lower than normal pitch, remember) "Yod-He-Vau-He".
-- DESCRIPTION --
Approximate points on a round clock face --
1. Begin at 7:30 position.
2. Point to 12 oclock position.
3. Point to 4:30 position.
4. Point to 10:30 position.
5. Point to 2:30 position.
6. Return to 7:30 position.]
Then turn slowly to the next cardinal point in sequence, and as you do so, with your arm still extended in front of you, visualize a white line connecting around to the cardinal point. Trace a similar pentagram with the appropriate words and following the same procedure:
South -- Adonai Tzaboath
West -- Eh-Ei-He
North -- Agla.
Now complete the white line drawn back to the center of the eastern pentagram. Note that the cardinal points must be followed in a clockwise order, and the pentagram must be drawn in the manner illustrated; to do otherwise would change the function of the ritual. The result of all this should be a large bright white pentagram visualized hanging in mid-air at each of the four directions, all tied together by a bright white line. You could now, for example, visualize the pentagrams moving out to the circumference of your home, thereby protecting all within.
There is also a somewhat simplified version of this ritual in which the pentagram is traced only once overhead and then is energized with one of the four names, such as "Eh-Ei-He". Oftentimes the simplified version is sufficient, but naturally the effect of the full version is more complete.
One of the primary uses of this ritual is to ward off psychic attack -- that is, when another is (consciously or unconsciously) attempting to harm you, cause sickness, accidents, bad dreams, emotional upset, or to force you to do something against your will. Fortunately this doesn't happen very often. The world of the magician is fairly safe for the pure of heart. Psychic attack usually depends upon vulnerabilities. If you are not vulnerable you are safe. Thus unificaition with the true will is the greatest protection possible. And the use of the banishing ritual is never hurtful. You can even use it to hold off negative aspects of yourself.
Other forms of protection sometimes helpful (depending upon one's model) are recitation of the 'Lord's Prayer', the 23rd, and 91st Psalms.
1) What is a pentagram?
Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defense.
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem) P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042
MAGICK 9 -- ASTRAL PROJECTION
Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.
Astral projection (OOBE, out of the body experience) is a popular area of occult literature; for traveling to see other worlds and places while the physical body sleeps or is entranced is an exciting notion. Astral projection is not dangerous. It is as safe as sleeping. Most dreams are probably unconscious astral projections, anyway. Although there has been quite a bit written on the subject, astral projection is difficult for many people. The main difficulty is the tendency to forget dream consciousness upon awakening. Accordingly, the successful practice of astral projection requires work.
Modern psychology discounts the idea of actual OOBE (that the spirit temporarily vacates the physical body). However, the idea is very ancient. The Tibetans have an entire system of yoga (dream yoga) based upon astral projection. And here we have an important assumption: you are involved in an OOBE (at least to a degree) whenever you dream. What sets it apart from a full OOBE is your hazy consciousness during the experience and poor recall afterwards. Many people forget most of their dreams completely. Learning astral projection requires a kind of inner mental clarity and alertness.
Dreams are a door to the subconscious which can be used for psychological and spiritual insight, and sometimes for precognition. Dream content is influenced by external sounds and sensations. For example, a loud external noise (such as a train) will likely appear in your dream (if it doesn't wake you up!). Dreams are also influenced by events of the previous day, by your moods, and by suggestion.
Everyone normally dreams 4 or 5 times a night (about every 2 hours). The longest dreams occur in the morning. Everyone dreams. You are more likely to remember the details of your dream when you first wake up. By keeping a dream diary you will improve dream recall. Have writing equipment or a tape recorder at your bedside for this purpose; also a light which isn't too bright. Suggest to yourself several times before you go to sleep, "I will awaken with the knowledge of a dream." Then when you do awaken, move quietly (sometimes just turning over drives the idea away). Remember first, then write the dream down, and then add as many details as possible. The next day check for objective facts and expand if you can (by remembering 'what happened before that'). Once you start remembering your dreams in this way, it will become easier to do so. (If you are unsuccessful at this, and *really* want to remember your dreams, you could arrange for someone to sit by your bedside all night long with a dim light on. Then when he sees your eyes moving back and forth -- rapid eye movements, a sign you are dreaming -- he can wake you and ask for a dream report.)
FORMS OF ASTRAL PROJECTION
Astral projection may be subdivided into three basic types: mental projection, astral projection (proper) and etheric projection. And your OOBE may shift between them.
Mental projection is really simple clairvoyance ('remote viewing'), and 'traveling in your mind'. Imagination plays a key role. The experience of mental projection is not particularly vivid, and you will more likely be an observer than a participant. Nevertheless, mental projection is an important 'way in' to astral projection proper.
During mental projection and astral projection you are able to travel through solid objects, but are not able to act directly upon them or to move them (if they are in the physical world). This is not true during etheric projection. Whether it is simply subconscious expectation, or whether it is a true etheric projection which in theory means that part of your physical body has been relocated with your projection (the etheric or vital part) may be difficult to determine. Etheric projections generally travel at or very near the physical world. There are even cases reported (very, very rare ones) in which the entire physical body is transferred to another location (teleportation), or cases in which the physical body exists and acts in two separate places at once (bilocation)!
But our primary interest is astral projection proper, and mental projection to a lesser extent. Astral and mental projection are not confined to the physical world. Travel in the mental and astral realms is feasible, and often preferred. Nor are astral and mental projection restricted to the realm of the earth (you could even go to the moon and planets).
STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The electrical activity of the brain has been observed and classified with EEG (electroencephalograph) equipment; signals picked up from the scalp by electrodes, then filtered and amplified, drive a graph recorder. Brain activity has been found to produce specific ranges for certain basic states of consciousness, as indicated in 'hz' (hertz, or cycles/vibrations per second):
delta -- 0.2 to 3.5 hz (deep sleep, trance state),
theta -- 3.5 to 7.5 hz (day dreaming, memory),
alpha -- 7.5 to 13 hz (tranquility, heightened awareness, meditation),
beta -- 13 to 28 hz (tension, 'normal' consciousness).
As you can see, some form of physical relaxation is implied in the alpha, theta, and delta consciousness. These states are in fact reached through deep breathing, hypnosis, and other relaxation techniques. OOBE occurs during these states, and delta is probably the most important for it.
The problem is really, as we have said, one of maintaining mental awareness and alertness while experienceing these altered states. Experimental subjects hooked to an EEG do not show a discrete change from drowsy to sleep; it is very gradual.
At the threshold between sleep and waking consciousness is a drowsy condition known as the hypnogogic state. OOBE seems to occur during this state, or a variant of it. By careful control of the hypnogogic state (not going beyond it) it is possible to enter OOBE directly.
Most methods of astral projection are methods of conditioning. Some form of trance or altered consciousness is always involved. No one ever projects consciously while fully awake (some may think that they do). Although there are many techniques used to produce an astral projection, they boil down to ten of them. They all sort of overlap.
1) Diet -- Certain dietary practices may aid in OOBE, especially at first. These include fasting, vegitarianism, and in general the eating of 'light' foods as discussed in a a previous lesson. Carrots and raw eggs are thought to be especially beneficial, but all nuts are to be avoided. Over-eating should be avoided. And no food should be eaten just before an OOBE attempt. If you intend to practice during sleep, for example, allow 2 to 4 hours of no food or drink (except water) before bedtime. In general, we see here the same kind of dietary restrictions advocated for kundalini yoga.
2) Progressive muscular relaxation -- This is one of the basic methods used in hypnosis and self-hypnosis. Physical relaxation can assist one in attaining the requisite trance state. These techniques involve beginning at the toes and tensing, then relaxing the muscles, progressively up the entire body.
3) Yoga and breath -- Yoga, mantra, and breathing exercises similarly aim at physical relaxation. The practice of kundalini yoga is particularly relevant, since it is concerned with altered consciousness. In fact the arousal of kundalini requires a similar state of consciousness to OOBE.
4) Visualization -- This involves a type of extended clairvoyance or picturing of remote surroundings. If you can experience the feeling of being there, so much the better.
Although this technique is essentially mental projection, it is possible to deepen mental projection into astral projection through (you guessed it!) visualization. Crowley taught a similar technique: a) visualize a closed door on a blank wall, b) imagine a meditation symbol on the door, c) visualize the door opening and yourself entering through it. And J.H. Brennan describes similar techniques wherein the door is shaped and colored like a tattva, or alternately, a chosen tarrot card is visualized and the student visualizes entering into it.
5) Guided imagery -- In many respects similar to visualization. Except in this case, there is a guide (or perhaps a voice on tape) directing you by means of descriptions. As with visualization, mental rather than astral projection is most likely.
6) Body of Light -- The old Golden Dawn technique. Imagine a duplicate (mirror image) of yourself in front of you. Then transfer your consciousness and sensation to the duplicate ('body of light').
7) Strong willing -- Sort of like creative visualization experienced in the present. That is you express your strong desire to project through your willpower while you visualize yourself doing it.
8) The Monroe techniques -- These are a series of steps developed by Robert Monroe: a) relax the body, b) enter the hypnogogic state, c) deepen the state, d) develope the senstation of 'vibration', e) separate from the body. The Monroe Institute has developed some cassete tapes which are claimed to help in this.
9) Dream control -- This is one of the most important techniques. It involves becoming aware that you are dreaming. There are several ways to do this. Oliver Fox says to look for descrepancies in the dream to realize you are dreaming. One occult student I know of visualized a white horse which he could ride wherever he wished to go. After a time, when the horse appeared in his dreams it was his cue that he was actually dreaming/projecting. Don Juan tells Castaneda to look at his hands while he is dreaming. And even the tarot and Cabala may be used as dream signals. Another method is to tell yourself each night as you go to sleep, "I can fly"; then when you do, you will know you are dreaming. Once you know you are dreaming you can control your dream/OOBE and go anywhere you want. Repetitive activities will also likely influence your dreams. For example, if you are on an automobile trip and spend most of the day driving, you will probably dream about driving.
You can condition yourself to be aware you are dreaming by doing a repetitive activity many times (walking across the room or a particular magick ritual, for example). Then when you dream about it, you will know you are dreaming.
10) Dream expansion-- A variation on dream control. A dream may be *extended* by imagining it continuing from where it was when you awaken. Then it is just a simple step to 'astral project' by directing you 'dream'.
Although all these techniques may appear straightforward, they all require effort. Astral projection is generally learned.
The astral world is the "ghostland" into which one passes after death. It is sometimes possible to visit with the dead, or you might be called upon to reassure and assist those who have just passed over (died) or those who are consciously projecting for the first time. Many spirits, elementals and ghosts exist in the astral world. The magician should feel comfortable there. Tibetan belief is that through proficiency in OOBE, you no longer need reincarnate after death. The astral world is extremely changeable and subject to your thoughts. Your will can control your movements in the astral world, and if you seem to be going somewhere non-volitionally ('astral current') it is probably your true will causing it anyway. You might also experience heightened magical ability while in the astral realm.
1) What is the relationship
between astral projection and dreams.
H.P. Battersby, Man Outside Himself.
MAGICK 10 -- CABALA
Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.
Western magick is based upon the Cabala, a Jewish mystical traditon first written down in 12th and 13th century southern France and Spain. It was oral before that; and it contains the "lost" knowledge of the ancients, possibly going back to Egypt and before. The most important Cabalistic books are SEPHIR YETZIRAH (The Book of Creation), and the ZOHAR (Book of Splendor). Through Cabalistic philosophy we are able to classify and "pigeon-hole" all of existence.
The four worlds are recognized in the Cabala, but they are given Hebrew names. Thus -- Assiah, physical; Yetzirah, astral; Beriah, mental; and Atziluth, spiritual; as shown in the chart.
The divine name of God is TETRAGRAMMATON (or name of four letters) made from the Hebrew letters YOD HE VAU HE (English YHVH). Of the four letters, YOD corresponds with Atziluth and the element of fire; the first HE corresponds with Briah and water. These first two letters make up a yang-yin pair (respectively). The other two letters also form a yang-yin pair (respectively), with the VAU corresponding with Yetzirah and air; while the second HE corresponds with Assiah and the element of earth.
The Cabalistic parts of the soul use new names for the three highest vehicles of consciousness. NESHAMAH (Divine Soul) is the Spiritual body; RUAH (Moral Soul) is the Mental body; and NEFESH (Animal Soul) is the Astral body.
An important attribute of the Cabala is the SEFIROTIC TREE (or "Tree of Life", Otz Chieem). The Sefirotic Tree is a diagram of the universe made up of the ten SEFIROTH (primal numbers or orders of creation) drawn as circles upon the Tree in a decending pattern from the highest aspect of God at the top to the most physical aspect of our world at the bottom. As can be seen in the accompanying diagram, the sefiroth are connected together with numbered lines, called paths.
Above the Tree is the infinite void -- the unknowable, unmanifest God as Divine Light -- the three veils of negative existence: Ain, Ain Sof, and Ain Sof Aur. The Divine Light (Ain Sof Aur) is made manifest by the first sefira where it is transformed into positive existence. Emanations of energy (magical current) flow from the first sefira (Source) along the paths into other sefiroth which transform and emanate to lower and lower sefiroth. In Adam Kadman (primal or ideal man) the sefiroth fit upon the physical body; note the similarity to the chakras.
The process of creation is one of emanation from the spiritual at the top of the Tree to the physical world (Sink) at the bottom. All current which is Sourced into the Tree must also be Sinked (earthed). That is, magical energy set in motion by ritual shoud be used up in the physical world whether or not the ritual was a success.
Sefiroth 1, 2, and 3 on the Tree form the Supernal Triangle which is beyond normal human experience in the world of Atziluth. The first sefira, KETHER, is the supreme *crown* of God; it signifies pure Being, and is the Source. Kether is androgynous. Immediately arising from Kether are two further emanations. The second sefira is HOKMAH, the *wisdom* of God and the masculine force of the universe. Third is BINAH, the *understanding* or intelligence of God; this is the supernal mother.
Between the Supernals and the other seven sefiroth is the Abyss -- a great gulf which forever separates ideal from actual. Within the Abyss an 11th sefira, DAATH, the *knowledge* of God is sometimes placed.
The second triangle, comprised of the 4th, 5th, and 6th sefiroth in the world of Briah, is sometimes called the Mental Triangle. Sefira 4, HESED, the *love* or mercy of God, is male and positive. The 5th sefira, GEVURAH, the power or *strength* of God complements Hesed as justice. Sixth is TIFARETH, as the compassion or *beauty* of God; the heart of the universe.
The third or Astral Triangle contains sefiroth 7, 8, and 9 in Yetzirah. Sefira 7, NETSAH, is the lasting endurance or *victory* of God. Complementing Netsah is 8, HOD, the majesty or *splendor* of God. The 9th sefira, YESOD, the *foundation* of the world, is linked with the moon, hence the tides and the libido. Yesod is experienced as dream consciousness, and is very important in magick and astral projection.
Finally, at the physical world of Assiah is the 10th sefira, MALKUTH, the *kindgom* of God, and the basis of all material creation. We experience Malkuth as sense consciousness.
The Sefirotic Tree has three vertical columns or *pillars*. As you face the tree, the pillar on the right, headed by Hokmah and ending with Netsah, is called the Pillar of Mercy and has light/masculine (yang) qualities. The pillar on the left, headed by Binah and ending with Hod, is the Pillar of Severity with dark/feminine (yin) qualities. The Middle Pillar between them equilibriates the two opposites, and is the *Shekhinah*, or feminine counterpart of God. The *klippoth*, or evil demons, generally in Assiah, represent unbalanced forces or excesses.
All the attributes of the universe fit like pieces of a puzzle upon the Sefirotic Tree. Each numbered part is a numeric key to the various correspondence tables, such as Crowley's '777'. The sefirotic tree has its parts variously colored and each sefira has a color; in fact the paths which run between the sefiroth have their own colors too. There are four major color scales for the sefirotic tree and each color scale corresponds with one of the four worlds. That means we are dealing with not just one sefirotic tree, but actually with a separate tree for each of the four worlds; although it is easier to think of it as the same tree with a different color scale. The Queen (Briah) and King (Atziluth) scales are the most important. There is also the Empress scale (Assiah), and the Emperor scale (Yetzirah).
The Queen and King scales for the sefiroth are shown below. (Note that when 4 colors are listed toghether, the sefira is divided into quarters and the first color is assigned to the upper quarter, the 2nd color to the right quarter, the 3rd color to the left quarter, and the last color to the lower quarter.)
The 22 paths connect the sefiroth together. These paths correspond with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, as based upon the SEFIR YETZIRAH. Due to the nature of the Hebrew alphabet (some letters can take two forms) SEFIR YETZIRAH divides each of two of the letters into two (dual) parts. For this reason, it is necessary to divide each of the two related paths into two (dual) parts. These are numbered 31, 31b (bisected); 32, 32b. Yet when these paths are drawn on the sefirotic tree they are usually shown undivided (and numbered simply 31, and 32). The following table shows the colors and location of the paths in relation to the sefiroth. You will want to add the path numbers to the illustration of the sefirotic tree, or draw a new tree. Some writers may refer to "32 paths", by calling the sefiroth "paths" 1-10.
The queen and king scales are complementary. Also complementary are the paths and the sefiroth. Traditional use of the queen scale sefiroth will find the king scale as paths and vice versa. The use of complementary scales is based upon the idea of balance. A tree composed of sefiroth in the queen scale and paths in the king scale is all you need for most magick. Although correspondences are what work for you, there is said to be an ancient tradition surrounding the conventional color scales and it may be helpful to lock into the energy associated with them.
From the magical point of view, the Tree of Life is a map of consciousness which is useful for understanding and attaining various states of consciousness. In cabalistic magick we are concerned with the linking of higher energy to lower levels on the tree. That very thing takes place naturally as well, in nature and in life. A subject in itself is cabalistic meditation (pathwork, or the way of return), in which we attempt to climb up the tree (ladder of lights) to attain union with divinity.
1) What is the sefirotic tree?
J. Abelson, Jewish Mysticism
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem) P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042
MAGICK 11 -- PSYCHIC ENERGY
We have seen in the theories of magick, that there is a definite relationship between the 'inner' and 'outer' worlds. We saw this in the theory of the microcosm and the macrocosm; in the four worlds; in the theory of correspondences; and also in the Cabala and Tree of Life. This relationship between inner and outer is very important. And it means quite simply that success (or lack of it) in one world (inner or outer) influences success (or lack of it) in the other. Therefore developing of magical ability is more than meditation and magical practice, for it implies mastery of the four worlds. The developed magician is not only master of the inner worlds; he is also master of himself.
This is not to imply that successful magicians are all millionaires (or whatever standard people measure success by), but it should mean that they are basically pleasant people, at least; no serious hangups. The developed magician is described as a 'king' in the Book of the Law. This means simply that he has full control over all aspects of his physical and inner life. He should be who he wants to be, doing what he wants to do.
The*numbers* in thetables and diagramof the preceeding lesson on Cabala are the 'key' numbers which we find in various *correspondence tables* (such as Crowley's '777'). One important set of correspondences for the planets, is shown below...
Notice that we have included the metal which is associated with the planet, as well as common attributes of each planet. The theory of Cabalistic magick is to select the appropriate planet for the desired result. The attribute column will assist in that selection. Once a particular planet is determined, an entity is selected from the correspondence tables by matching the key number. A set of correspondence tables may be available on this board as a separate file (777.A-RC). Additionally, a list of selected deities from several popular pantheons and with a brief description about them may be available on this board as GODS.LST.
Although Hebrew Mysticism is the original source of Cabalistic ideas, it is mostly unconcerned with the magical implications of those ideas. How can a religious philosophy which is monotheistic lend credibility to a polytheistic approach? Various deities are understood as *aspects* or *qualities* of the Supreme God. This is not a contradiction, merely a restatement of the microcosm-macrocosm idea once again. The Sefirotic Tree, in its representation of the universe is the Macrocosm. While it could be said that any single sefiroth has its own separate qualities, it remains, nonetheless, a part of the whole tree, and a part of the macrocosm. As a result, virtually any pantheon or belief system is compatible with the Cabala.
WILLPOWER AND MAGICK
Western magick has traditionally placed a great deal of emphasis upon the use of willpower as a means of development and self-mastery. But this may not be the best method in the long run. Isaac Bonewitz describes how the subconscious will sometimes rebel against willpower with 'spectacular results'. It is far better to run one's life democratically.
Hawaiian Kahuna magick describes the'three selves', ie.the lower self (or subconscious), the middle self (or normal consciousness), and the high self (spirit or Holy Guardian Angel). Enlightenment in the Hawaiian system consists of unification of the three selves. They become 'buddies'.Enlightenment does not come from great change. It comes from great acceptance. Continual effort at becoming better takes you nowhere. For becoming it is not being it. The unification is achieved by first developing communication with the subconscious and later with the high self also. Simple exercises with a pendulum, automatic writing, raised finger responses, self hypnosis, recording and analysis of dreams etc. facilitate communication with the subconscious. At first communication with the high self must be via the subconscious, but later it is possible to go direct to it.
Many occult groups follow an energy model for magick and the physical body. This model (or theory) equates psychic energy with kundalini/prana/sexual or life force energy. The ideal of kundalini yoga is thus to raise the kundalini to the higher chakras (especially ajna and sahasrara) thereby enhancing psychic/magick powers. The release of psychic energy is also relevant to mental control, good health and longevity, and the attainment of 'cosmic consciousness'. Meditation and yoga is used to liberate psychic energy so that it can be used for magical purposes. But there are other ways to liberate psychic energy. Many of these techniques will act as a mental catharsis in the sense of invigorating the psyche and resulting in improved intellectual and physical performance.
1) Psychotherapyof certain types whichreleases pent up psychological energy.
We have seen how magical theory is based upon the assumption that psychic phenomena is real. If this is so, then magick is also real. And we have also seen how magick is the art and science of causing change in accordance with the will by non-physical means. Magical philosophy is the working system of terms, theories, and symbols upon which magick is based. But magick goes further than that, for as an ancient system of psychology, magick may be used as is a means of self improvement and spiritual growth. For magick and mysticism are parallel paths, each ultimately leading to transcendence.
1) What do we mean by the relationship between the inner and outer worlds?
P.E.I. Bonewitz, Hawaiian Magic (tape).