You were Born Ready

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Maybe the folks raised in or drawn to magical practice are also, in large part, neurotic and emotionally fidgety by nature. Or it could be a psychological side effect of contact with a magical interface. Whatever the root of the matter, I know it’s not just me; I am not alone on this quirk of character.

Ther Nagging, Nearly Obsessive Need to “Get Ready” or “Center Oneself” or “Initiate” this Process or that State of Mind/Being …

Not everyone in the Art is afflicted, of course, but there are MANY who struggle herein. Magicians who are like me in this regard spend much of their early career agonizing over things like initiation, wondering always if theirs was an authentic experience, “good enough” and so forth.

When you listen to practitioners talk about their experience or ask questions they’ve had time to ponder, it seems a healthy percentage of modern spell workers are inordinately concerned with admittedly valuable concepts such as grounding ad totally legit practices like centering and auric strengthening, balancing, etc. I’ve written before on this blog that I am a technician, meaning I love the specificity in process, and enjoy looking over the nuts and bolts of magical operations. As such I promote heavily the idea of regular and standardized daily practice, which definitely included basics like grounding, energy clearing, and so on. While tending often to such exercise is smart business, worrying over this stuff throughout your days and nights is a sign of trouble, be it underlying emotional issues – hell maybe even neurological problems – a lack of confidence, irrational fear of calamity and catastrophe, or perhaps just a culture of fear and anxiety in their families or social circles.

We Don’t Need to Know Why Exactly in order to Overcome and Replace the Behavior

I’m not a trained psychologist so frankly I can’t say with any authority what births and cultivates this issue. I say confidently that we can all agree the problem DOES exist. Think of how many times you come across the following when reading content about magic and metaphysics, when chatting at the metaphysical shop, or wherever and however it is you come into contact with other magicians, mystics, or just garden variety new agers:

  • As mentioned, a near obsession with grounding. It’s like, to some people, every damn rock at the magic shop is about grounding and they find a way to shoehorn the term into any discussion. Are they afraid they might fall off the planet? Interestingly that is a recurring dream some people report, and I had it myself when I was young.
  • The same as above, only replace “grounding” with “centering”. A slight variation but of the same tone – gotta be ready, always gotta check to see if I’m centered.
  • An unbalanced requirement for… ironically, balance! I hear/see it everywhere. Balance this; balance that before you do those; chakras out of balance; balance balance balance! Equilibrium is obviously important, and sometimes the remedy sought, but not everything is best in balance. Sorry folks it just ain’t so. Doesn’t it make more sense to seek HARMONY between processes, elements, etc. instead of just wanting to balance and equalize everything we contact??? That spell to accelerate learning would probably do better if the Fire aspect were out in front, not balanced with dense-not-budging Earth, no? Balance represents the kind of non-changing or static reality that feels safer, but it’s definitely not the everything-pill it’s pitched as in today’s New Age book section.
  • How about an unreasonable (and virtue-signaling) unwillingness to even look at less-than-sunny-and-fuzzy processes? I’ve actually seen claims that “any attempt to use these forces for ill or selfish purposes will instantly fail.” Wow delusional.
  • Hand in hand with the above, a nearly hysterical refusal to accept that bad, negative, ugly, awful et al are part of reality. The insistence that visualizing pillow-fighting fairies (so long as they’re not going full contact!) will take all the hurt and evil out of the world and we must never admit that bad things or negative outcomes are even possible.

I could add to the list but I realize at this point I’ve veered off course just slightly. The fuzzy bunny sickness prevalent in modern magical/occult thinking is really a topic for another article, but I can’t help thinking the two issues (anxiety of not being good enough, ready enough, etc. and irrational aversion to any and all things “negative”) are linked.

Back on Track, Here’s the Point I Started with:

When I sat down to type this post I did so to reach out to students and practitioners, and really anybody else, who struggles with the same “tick” that used to drain my energy and blur my focus. Stated precisely, said tick is the constant feeling of needing to “get ready”, or establish the “right” state of mind or being. Implicit within this is the belief that, in the current moment one is NOT ready for x, not prepared for y, not sufficient in some way for z.

Boiled down, this may be little more than hyperawareness of the possible levels of refinement that exist for a student of the Art, plus an unfair expectation of oneself to somehow walk around near the top of these levels. Once the perfectionist, for example, is aware of the extent to which his or her senses and capabilities may be refined and employed, it is unfortunately all too easy to demand of himself/herself that pinnacle performance or state at all times.

But we know better, don’t we? Peak performance is not the setpoint or resting state for anyone. I often joke that nobody really gives 100%. We may say we’re doing our best, but it’s probably closer to 80%. I think we give 100% only when we need to fight a bear or escape from one. We humans tend to reserve the higher levels of output until we are compelled into them, or until they are forced upon us.

I doubt we would have survived as a species if this were not the case. Think about it. IF we gave everything in us to just any and every operation that came our way, there probably wouldn’t be much left for those make-or-break fight or flight moments.

The “Perfect State” is a Delusion

Whether or not my reasoning is accurate, we know it’s impossible to walk around perfectly in the present moment all the time. Our minds have learned to drift and daydream, perhaps to protect us from the grinding boredom of serfdom, indentured servitude, slavery, and these days the 9 to 5 rat race. With some training and regular practice, you can enter a zen or alpha state when you need or choose to and take full advantage of the benefits such a shift offers.

Neither can we be fully grounded, centered, or balanced in every waking moment. It just won’t pan out if we try, but once we learn to achieve these states, we have them on tap to use freely.

Do you honestly think getting up several times during the night to check the door locks and be sure the firearm is handy will objectively enhanced your family’s safety? The locks and protective measures are in place and will help to whatever degree they can when a threat occurs. The same is true for protective magic. Absolutely do your banishing and aura shielding operations daily if you can remember, but once done let them go and get on with your life. NOTHING is served by obsessing, because your measures are in place doing their work and if you must add more amidst a true threat, you will do so.

Relax, You were Probably Born to do This

We are far more capable and durable than we sometimes give ourselves credit for being. If we take the time to learn and practice, then we are always as ready as we’ll ever be. As a human being we are all born with our particular setpoints and potential. It’s true we can’t do very much right out of the womb, but the information for what we will be able to do is already encoded within us., even at that time

Unless you are damaged or defective, you are destined to walk and talk from the moment you emerged into this world. If these things aren’t in the cards for a person as a result of some genetic disruption or injury, many times they still adapt to the circumstances amazingly well; human resilience and perseverance.

I believe firmly that if you are practicing magic, mysticism, or psychic applications you were born for it. I’m not talking about special bloodlines, although that may be a thing, and I’m not speaking to destiny, which I frankly doubt is as common as some would argue. I just mean an individual’s propensity or inclination toward these endeavors must be at least somewhat strong for them to bridge the belief barrier and begin to even look into such things. A person with very little psychic potential or next to no magical inclination probably won’t pick up a book or ask a question or do a Google search on these subjects in the first place. So, with all this said, I reiterate: We (our kind) are all born ready, to a degree, to do these things and furthermore do them well.

Get rid of the idea of needing to do a thig before you can properly do a thing. That’s self-defeating rubbish. Move freely from moment to moment, enjoying the opportunity to learn and explore and spend your energy going after the cool stuff you want to try. I mean GO BIG with your magic, fearless and bold. If you want something, prepare well and put your soul into the spell or ritual, and if it doesn’t come to you repeat the whole process.

Don’t waste another day, or even moment, believing that you are somehow not fit, prepared, ready, or in x state to make the most of your magical training, whatever level of proficiency you may currently have, if you keep practicing, you’ll only get better. I’m pretty sure this will come across like rambly madness to many readers, but I think those who are troubled by the unending need to adjust their state will get it. Hope it is helpful.

Incantation Prior to Casting Runes for Improved Results

Futhark Runes of Birch Wood

After whatever preparation you prefer, and prior to casting your divination, sing or chant the following.

“Runes of the ancient tribes I call out to thee!

Markings of elders past respond to me!

Alphabet of my ancestors I will see,

Letters for what is, has been and will be!”

Proceed with your rune casting hereafter. Use this consistently and I would expect improved divinatory results.

Sigil for Serpent Power

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Serpent Power, Serpent Force, Kundalini, Shadow or Inner Dragon, Fire Serpent

These are but a few names for the broad and distinct categories of “serpent magic” found in Hinduism, Kabbalah, and myriad other systems. There is more to this than tending to the column of force that rises through your seven centrifugal chakras. Masculine psychic power, mastery of the unconscious (in multiple applications), and psychokinetic energy are a few examples that go beyond the Kundalini (typically feminine) mist people are familiar with.

The nature of these manifestations of the Serpent or the Dragon are a topic or topics for one or more future articles. Below is a sigil that can be used by the practitioner of any serpent-oriented magic or mysticism to enhance connection, attain gnosis, and refine power within said art.

Serpent Power Sigil

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE AND USE DISCRETION: This sigil is directly connected to a spiritual being called ASTAROTH. This intelligent creature is alleged by many writings to be demonic and does have a dark aspect or agency. With appropriate personal protective measures this is a safe magic to work with, but not for the novice. THIS SIGIL IS NOT AN EVOCATION OR INVOCATION OF THE SPIRIT, but it does draw upon the energy and specific purpose / wisdom of the being. Use if you feel comfortable and have the skill to so engage, but realize there are many alternatives online if you aren’t confident in this situation.

How I “Teach”

When I say teach, I just mean how I relay technical and directional information in these posts. I am not a teacher nor even particularly wise, but my hope is readers of novice through intermediate level, and perhaps even the advanced student, will be able to take a piece or particle from any content they choose to read and apply it usefully in their own practice.
I write how-to style content in two ways:
Either…
1. Pretty dry, explicit, just the objective details.
or…
2. Very abstract, feeling-centric, (rarely) poetic and linguistically a bit like guided meditation. This style turns up more often than the former when I sit down to blog, and I’m trying to break the barriers put in place by dogma, unfamiliar terminology, and being new to these ideas. I also believe its highly conducive to magical learning.
I am not trying to toss “word salad” or avoid true descriptors and explanative terms. Point of fact, many of these concepts have a deep artistic component that lends itself to more abstract verbiage.
If there’s any particular (or general) content you want clarified, or if you just want to bitch at me for being “vague” and “fuzzy”… which I am NOT btw * drop me a note I’ll see if’n I can help clarify.
Image result for Grouchy Face Phone Emoji. Size: 105 x 106. Source: www.redbubble.com
* Seriously…. I’m not!

Answers to some FAQ about Magic

Here is some content that addresses many of the specific questions I hear, and probably asked myself, at some point regarding magical practice.

Does Magic Really Work?

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From my perspective the question of whether or not magical operations “work”, are real, etc. is a malformed query. I think of the old “syntax error” message I used to get when fiddling around and trying to create a program on my Tandy 1000. (That’s right. I’m old.)

I do understand the place where the above question originates, so I’d like to unpack it and provide a reasonable answer to those with a sincere interest. I’m always eager to help those who think they may have an interest in learning more about both the magic of our ancestors from around the world and the modern practices used by an estimated 3 million plus people alive today.

I have no time to waste convincing people who have already made up their minds. Nor am Interested in proving any of this to the idle skeptic. Why should I care about validating my path for another? I’ll save you time answering that one; I don’t. Not even a little.

Is Magic Real?

Most definitely. The practice and refinement of the various magical arts have spanned at least several thousand years across every culture that has ever been touched by the light of our Sun. Strong evidence suggests magical practice was present during pre-history, as part of the life during the stone age.

Do you find it likely that our ancestors, who fought Saber Tooth Cats and preyed upon Wooly Mammoth with stone weapons, were the type to trifle with foolery and nonsense?  I have to suspect they were immensely practical, as their survival required as much.

It seems strange to me, to fancy past cultures had the wherewithal to erect pyramids, build aqueducts, map the globe, and determine the orbit of the planets in our solar system, yet possessed the glaring weakness of giving enormous importance to rubbish ideology and practices that, one would have to suspect if magic is nil, never produced any affirmative results.

Seriously. Can you imagine 5,000 years (conservatively) of human endeavor in a field of study & practice that yielded not one single intended outcome?

I recognize this is but circumstantial evidence at best and, honestly short of even that. It’s little more than an appeal to probability and I suppose even that is strong language. I’ll sleep fine on that score and I’ll tell you why.

Magic is without a doubt demonstrable and will bear consistent, predictable results when performed skillfully and in the appropriate manner for the circumstances at hand. It is also irrevocably unscientific due to the inability of its proponents to establish and prove the mechanism or mechanisms in play.

In other words, because we cannot place a magnifying lens over the engine and point conclusively to the astral doohickey that swings this pulley and causes that event to initiate some final process, it is by definition impossible to prove magical operations within our current understanding and application of science. To which I say: Yeah, ok then; let’s move on.

How can I be so flippant on this point? Drop back 120 words and read that sentence again, then join me in the next section.

So, Magic Spells Do Work Then?

I’ve already been clear about the repeatable and reliable nature of magic. I will elaborate a little to drive the point home.

The whole business of asking if magic works, as I stated at the onset, is a bit tough to respond to directly because it’s almost a non-question. It looks like a question. It rolls off the tongue like real query, it just fails to compute on my end.

By “work” do we mean are the processes involved functional and sound? Or when people ask if magic “works” are they inquiring about the success, as in production of intended results, of magical processes?

A magic spell or whatever kind of magical operation is being considered, can be effectively executed to the extent the following criteria are met:

  1. A competent operator must be present.
  2. Correct tools and resources need to be on hand.
  3. Timing, environment, and other circumstantial requirements should be accommodated.
  4. Factors impeding success are mitigated, before which of course they must be identified.

You should reasonably be able to expect good results if all the above are checked. Item #4 may at times be impossible to fulfill, and a whole series of articles could likely be written to this point.

What if the operation fails to achieve or brings about variant results from what the magician desires? Does this mean magic in fact does not “work”?

Consider an analogy where we exchange magician for comedian and swap magic for comedy. Surely no one would ask the clumsy question “Does comedy work?” but let’s push that aside for now.

We might say that comedy ought to be successful if:

  1. A skilled comic is on stage.
  2. Sound equipment, lighting, props, etc, are in order.
  3. This is all taking place at a comedy club or other venue where comedians often perform.
  4. Known hecklers are barred entry and the crowd is given free booze to cheer them up.

If the comic, let’s say a seasoned professional, gets on stage and bombs in excruciating fashion, are we to throw our hands up in disgust, claiming we knew all along this whole comedy thing was horse shit? In fact we all know comedy as a phenomenon and a profession are both very real, just as we know from common sense and contrast applied to the list above there are myriad possible reasons for this poor comedian’s bad night on stage.

Does Gardening Really Work?

Here’s one more for your consideration.

Imagine you’re the lead spade of a small but professional gardening crew and I’m your new hire. You send me around to the far end of the property we’re working on to plant three Abelia. After considerable time I haven’t returned for my next task, so you head over to check on me. To your befuddlement, I’m standing over the three plants, which are still in their containers, and scowling down at them with a look of supreme frustration.

“What in the world are you doing, man?” You have to ask.

“What am I doing?” I fire back. “Trying to get these damn plants in the ground. This is crap. I knew all this talk about gardening was nonsense!”

Upon careful and no doubt stunned examination of the situation you find I was completely unaware of the need for tools. I don’t even have a spade with me, much less have a clue how to use one. I grunted at the mention of manually removing the rootballs from the plastic pots and muttered something about how I thought they were supposed to climb out on their own.

You probably consider this a totally absurd comparison but I assure you I see the standardized “but does magic really work?” in the same glorious light.

Does gardening really work? Can people really install and maintain shrubs and trees in a lovely, designed setting that’s agreed upon ahead of time?

Imagine my embarrassment if the answer were no, having been a professional gardener for 20 or so years. Most certainly gardening is a true art that brings much beauty into the world, but it requires skillful workers, quality tools and materials, and a good deal of patience and precision lest you end up with dead plants, erosion problems, and insect infestations.

Why should magic be held to a separate standard from this or any other worthy pursuit?

If you have an interest, give yourself six months to thoroughly investigate the matter. There’s a ton of quality content online and at the local metaphysical shop. Try a few things and see for yourself what it’s really about.

And by all means drop me a note if you want. I get bored just sitting around with more money than god, you know? Ok that’s crap I wish I were loaded like that but that”s a puzzle I’m still working on. Anyway, holla.

Bloodstone and Tiger’s Eye: Will and Power

Yellow Tiger’s Eye tower and Dark Red Bloodstone tower

One of Many Ways to Use these Two Great Stones

Both Tiger’s Eye and Bloodstone offer a plethora of attributes to be explored by the active crystal and gemstone magician. In this post I’ll be highlighting how to use them in combination to greatly bolster the power of your magical Will and add POWER to any magical operation.

It’s very simple…

Bloodstone to Grow a Field of Willpower

THE FIRST TIME YOU ENACT THIS EXERCISE CHOOSE A CLEAR, SIMPLE INTENTION TO WORK AROUND. IF YOU ARE TIRED, CHOOSE “WAKING UP”, OR RECEIVING A CHARGE OF WAKEFUL ENERGY. IF YOU’RE BROKE, INTEND TO FIND OR RECEIVE NEW AND HELPFUL MONEY ASAP. IF YOU CAN THINK OF NO IMMEDIATE NEED (WELL CONGRATS HONESTLY) JUST SET YOUR INTENTION TO BE INSPIRED WITH THE APPROPRIATE NEW IDEA FOR YOUR PATH. ONCE YOU HAVE THE OBJECT OF YOUR WILL, PROCEED.

Taking a piece of bloodstone into your receptive hand, open to the stone and feel it’s raw, essential power pulsing and flowing into you. This is essence of Mars; red, strong, undeniable and fearless. It will be easy, after a moment, to understand why Roman soldiers once carried this stone for protection, courage, and victory in battle.

Intend to harness the Will offered by the stone. You should take a moment to grasp the concept of undefined Will as a magical force of Nature. Yes, you have a will of your own (agency, intentions etc.), and at times you express a Magical Will (a souped-up version of the former, with an element of causal force), but Will is also a fundamental and causal force inherent to reality.

Some people express this when they claim evolution is the Universe’s Will to live and experience itself through myriad forms and levels of consciousness. Others would point to inevitability as a demonstration of Will, i.e. a thing will happen due to processes currently in motion, so what will be, will be.

Your magical Will should be just as much matter-of-fact as is rain due to the cycle of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. One way to actualize this mindset is to view Will as a natural, causal force that you can unite with in order to direct some small portion of it into your Art.

Among other things bloodstone is a vessel of transmission for this Causal Will. Draw abundantly from the endless pool of this force, pulling it from the stone, into your receptive hand, and directing it to fill your body. Grow this force into a lightly humming, red field that moves outward from your body and into a spherical form with you at the center. (Some practitioners report that a cloud of energy comes more naturally, and this too is fine.)

If you have knowledge of the chakra system, the Solar Plexus is a great vehicle for harnessing this power and acting as it”s central point. So too the third eye may be used for this purpose.

Yellow Tiger’s Eye and African Bloodstone cubes atop a Dragon’s Blood slate

If you aren’t a student of the chakras, or if you prefer, simply allow the field to grow from the stone in your hand and center it at a point in your mind that seems or feels appropriate. It will be easy, as the stone lends itself to this work.

Allow this field of Will to grow stronger and stronger, and just as you start to sense an eagerness within the energy, an anticipation toward ACTING, begin to infuse the field, or cloud, of Will-Force with your current intention.

From here you have only to marry your Will with the Will you have raised from the stone and watch it grow more intense by the second. Do not allow the sphere or cloud to get much bigger, and in this way you are asserting control over your essential Will. When ready, that is when you feel you have amassed sufficient force to overtake your goal, take the Tiger’s Eye into your projective hand.

Tiger’s Eye to Harness, Sharpen, and Wield the Field of Will-Power You Have Made

Traditional Green with Red Bloodstone and Red Tiger’s Eye

Tiger’s Eye has the property or attribute of “forming your Will”. Immediately call power into your intent directly from the Tiger’s Eye and form it into the right tool for the task at hand. This could be a sword, a hand (for grabbing etc.), a ball of healing energy, a red bolt of lightning that will explode into “Aha!” and so on. Give your Will a form through the Tiger’s Eye, and I mean direct the mental command for this to occur right through the stone and into yourself.

Quickly hereafter, join the formed Will with the sphere or cloud of Will-Force. You instantly “pick up”, so to speak, all the will-in-waiting you created via the Bloodstone and begin to integrate and harness this into the Will formed by the Tiger’s Eye.

Wielding your tool or weapon, FEEL it collect ALL the power you have raised up to this point. Visualize this awesome utility of magical will you have constructed going into the intention you have set and say “I… WILL…. THIS!”.

Now ACTUALLY drive your Will Power home; send it into the essence of what you have intended and declare victoriously: “I… WILL… IT!!!” As you do and say this, see in your mind’s eye, which can be accessed between and just slightly above your physical eyes, your desired result happening as if right here and now.

Be in the time and space of victory. Engage the sights, sounds, smells of the reality you intend to create. Let the elation of success roll over and through your body.

Send the last of your will into this experience and do it with such force as to engage the whole body. Tense your muscles into the act of will until they tremble and quake, and then relax them entirely.

Let go of the stream of willpower you have projected. Release the vision/experience completely.

If all is in order you will enjoy the fruits of your labor right away or in the near future, appropriate to the nature of your intention. Remember these two things in all that you do:

  • Magic will always take the path of least resistance to accomplish what you program it to do.
  • Magic is an influencer or curator force. This means simply that magical forces work to influence other forces toward the desired outcome of the caster, and/or to organize other forces in a way that is most conducive to the desired outcome.

If you don’t see the outcome you wanted, don’t be discouraged. Magic takes practice, and every magician has his or her strong and weak areas of operation. Just go over the process again (and again!) and look for ways you can blend yourself into the forces involved and take charge of the action.

Magical Rocks 101: Overview & How-to for Crystal and Gemstone Magic

Everybody has a pocket full of magic rocks these days, but how do you actually use them in your daily life?

The crystal awakening, gemstone revival, whatever you’d like to call it, has been in full swing for decades now with no sign of losing momentum. Everyone seems to be hip to the “power” of stones and crystals these days.

Along with wand craft, crystal and gemstone magic is my go-to method. (I like to say I’m a sticks & stones kind of magician, in a way.) I completely get the appeal of these groovy little rocks and clusters of minerals. It’s just a very intuitive way to tap directly into the Earth and her elements, as well as the magical record contained in both the collective unconscious and the akashic record, or ether if you prefer.

I also believe the popularity of magic rocks is tied to the apparent ease of the matter. Buy a few rocks, now you’re a damn magician; easy peazy.

Is that true? Does toting a handful of semi-precious minerals around with you everywhere actually constitute magic? Or, is there a little more to the whole game of stones than what gets covered in those mile-long articles proclaiming the endless benefits and attributes of this crystal or that gemstone?

What Exactly Should You be DOING with All Those Stones?

Great question. I’m so glad you asked, in fact I was about to bring it up myself I guess I just didn’t want to come across like a know-it-all.

IS THE PASSIVE CARRYING OF MAGIC ROCKS WORTHWHILE OR JUST SILLY?

First of all, let me say there definitely IS benefit to merely carrying a rock or two, or keeping stones/crystals in your meditation space, etc. just as there is certainly an upside to wearing a good pair of shoes that support your lower back or dressing in colors that trigger positive processes in your subconscious. You can derive energetic benefit from the presence of the crystals, plus the knowledge that you have them with you can itself be a catalyst for productive states of mind, positive feelings, and so forth.

Having said this, my experience leads me to say active methodologies are by far the more effective way to drive the desired results. Maybe it’s because I’m a technician in all that I do. I’m a details-oriented, this-method-for-that-outcome, endlessly experimenting nerd, and below are some of my findings from “nerding out” on crystals and gemstones over the past several years.

Finding Your Receptive and Projective Hands

DISCLAIMER: This article runs through a fair bit of what some people call (and I hate this term) “energy work”. I discuss the sensing and moving of subtle, unseen energies at various points within the content. If you are not (yet) someone who is sensitive to these flows and forces do not be deterred or dissuaded please! Just apply some imagination and follow along. With time and practice you WILL become sensitive to these energies.

The vehicle in which you have your being, including the physical body, is a matrix, or series of energy fields which I call the Personal Energy Matrix (PEM hereafter). Magnetism is among the multiple forces hosted by this matrix and channeled via your physical form. Like any other magnet, including the Earth’s body, your magnetic field operates through a polar system of positive and negative, also called North and South, poles. The depth of this is a subject for another post. I mention this here to give you a conceptual grasp of how fundamental, indeed profound, are the mechanics involved with connecting to your crystals or stones.

In accordance with the magnetic poles of your PEM, your arms/hands manifest a harmonious or complementary disposition of one receptive (receiving, drawing into, yielding) and one projective (sending, pushing away, overpowering). This model obviously rests on two hands. If you have a third hand, I suspect it will lean one way or the other, unless it is able to tap into both polarities. In the event you have but one hand, you will need to develop both the receptive and projective channels within this single limb. For most of us, the projective hand is the one we primarily write with., and the hand opposite to this is our receptive.

While a good standard rule, this is not iron-clad. Many left-handed people have ambidextrous tendencies and a small percentage of folks are actually born ambidextrous. In these cases some experimentation must be done to determine the projective-receptive configuration, and on rare occasion it turns out that a person can send or receive perfectly with either or both hands.,

Determine the polarity of your hands asap, as this will be in constant play if crystals and stones are going to be involved in your magic.

Linking and Charging

I’m skipping, as initial steps, any instructions regarding telling your crystal you love it, or allowing it to bask overnight in the moonlight, or chanting some candy-ass “only for the highest good and to tickle little fairy giggles and blah blah barf”. Judy Hall has plenty of content online to cover such basics as clearing, charging (different from the instructions on this page), etc. for new crystals and stones before putting them to work,

I personally use running tap water and a quick “I cleanse you.” to prepare a rock I’ve just brought home from the metaphysical shop. For rocks like calcite, chrysocolla, and others that won’t tolerate water (i.e., they crumble away) I’ll use incense smoke or a dowsing pendulum for the quick cleaning.

Linking with Your Minerals

Spend a moment with any crystal or gemstone you’re planning to work with. Pick the specimen up with your receptive hand, allowing it to rest in or cover the recess in the middle of your palm. Let energy flow from the rock into your hand. Feel, watch, and be with this energy, letting it do as it will.

At some point take charge of the flow and pull a steady stream of the essence of your crystal or stone into yourself. (That’s what the flowing energy is; the ESSENCE of the piece.) Project part of your consciousness into the center of the crystal or stone (ok this is getting lame and clunky… henceforth c/gs means crystal or gemstone. Roger that?) and intend to blend your subtle energy with the piece you’re holding. Spend a few seconds to several minutes, or even an afternoon if the work to be is immensely important, and create that unbreakable link between the c/gs and yourself.

Charging Your Minerals for Best Performance

Next, take the stone into your projective hand, settling it into the recess in the center of the palm. Reach your energy deep into the piece, getting a strong and comfortable hold. Just be with your mineral for a moment, expressing both gratitude and authority.

You are thankful to have this wonderful, magical too in your possession. Express this humbly and openly via the energetic connection you have made. Simultaneously – for remember the c/gs is in YOUR POSSESSION – claim the authority to wield, direct, and command the mineral’s attributes as you see fit.

There need be no struggle of wills here. Perhaps it is true, as some say, that a spirit resides within each crystal, or each rock and stone. I am an animist, so this isn’t a wide pitch for me. If this is true, know that you are helping the spirit fulfill its purpose of service. You should notice a sensation I’ll call liberation, a mildly celebratory pulse within the greater oscillation of the joined forces, your PEM and the matrix of the c/gs.

Focus on the quality or attribute for which you chose this specimen. For example, it might be Black Tourmaline you will use to ground your chakra system into the forces offered by the Planet Saturn, or Blue Apatite you chose for its properties of manifestation, as it “occupies the space between thought and the physically manifest” (ala Judy Hall, The Crystal Bible), Whatever the case, focus on the attribute and, using intuition and visualization, take hold if this benefit as you might grip the hilt of a sword or the handle of a power tool (drill, jigsaw, et al).

Activate this specific attribute of your c/gs by intending it to be. Softly yet vividly imagine putting the power at hand (literally) to use in some example scenario. Give your specimen permission to become utterly amazing in your grip. Play with this a bit, until you have a sense of confidence in your ability to use the mineral in accordance with the work you Will to do.

When you are satisfied with both the quality of the link you have created and the utility of the charge you have invested within the mineral, place it either into your pocket or into a small bag of crystals and stones that you’ll be carrying. For NOW it is ready to be toted from place to place with you, because it’s ready to be USED in magical works.

I Call this Active Carrying

Can you see how Active Carrying is vastly different from the passively carrying of minerals? It’s almost like taking a measured, proactive position instead of a “
hope for the best” approach, isn’t it? Why rely on soft and squishy hope when there’s the sharp and solid alternative of Will?

It’s of course a good idea to take the crystal out of your pocket or bag periodically to “rehandle it”. In this way you are getting to know the piece and reaffirming the link and charge you have set. However, it is not necessary to undergo the initial process in its fullness each day you carry that particular piece. You certainly can if you like, or if you feel you need it, but once the linking and charging have been done a single time your stone will never again require this of you.

You Have Created a Telepathic Link Through which to Send Mental Commands

With this focus and preparation in place, you can actually engage or “trigger” your c/gs while it rests in your pocket, beltpouch, purse, etc. It might take you a while to feel comfortable with this idea, and that’s cool. I enjoy the tactile sensation of gripping or running my fingers along the surface of my c/gs and often take them from their pouch to play with them while I work. I realize, however, and I want you to realize as well, the stones do not have to be in my hand in order for them to enact their magical duties.

What you have here is a telepathic link with either the energy matrix of your stone or with the spirit living in and governing the stone. Treat it as such, communicating non-verbally with the c/gs, to include “listening” for return impulses and guidance.

Yes, believe me when I tell you I know full well how preposterous this must sound. Part of me feels a damn fool as I sit here typing this material. I almost edited or even deleted the entire post, but why? My goal for this blog is to genuinely SHARE of myself with like-minded practitioners and those who seek the wisdom of Arcana. I can’t very well succeed with that if I hold back what would sound silly to the uninitiated.

Was Pliny Right About Magic and the “Monstrous Art” of Osthanes?

Image shamelessly swiped from www.intellectualtakeout.org

 In his Natural History Volume 30, Pliny the Elder wrote “at some length” on “the most delusive of all the arts”, magic. With authority he claimed knowledge of its origins and evolution. I often see Pliny’s coverage of the topic held up as a sort of appeal to authority by pseudo-skeptics, or those who claim skepticism (reservation of judgement) and then promptly pass not only judgement, but certainty of judgement on the whole of magical affairs. Is Pliny’s position, now immortalized by history, accurate?

This brief article takes a point-by-point look at Pliny’s effort to publish a smug and somewhat scathing overview of the magical arts of his time, so far as he chose to concern his attention. Allow me to emphasize right off the pull that I’m not even slightly interested in convincing the self-labeled skeptic to have another look into the matter of magic.

If we’re honest, any examination at all would likely be the first rather than the follow-up.  In general people find it easy to summarily dismiss the faintest possibility of veracity where magical claims are put forth. How can I blame anyone for such a stance, given the ample nonsense coming out of New Age bookstores and unending silliness the metaphysical industry propagates? Not sure, but I do manage (to blame/judge the faux skeptic).

Back on track we go: Pliny credited Osthanes, the Magi who accompanied Xerxes during his war with Greece, and who “spread the germs of his monstrous art (magic)” wherever he went, as the first to write on the topic of magic. We now know this is definitely not the case, with Papyrus from Egypt dating around 300 years before the life of Osthanes. That’s just off the top of my cluttered head, I dare say there have been older finds.

Obviously Pliny’s statement that magic was an invention of “the East… Persia” with assurances that “all authorities agree in this.” was also bunk. Pretty strong evidence exists, from around the globe, that stone-age humans had their own systems of natural and ritual magic.

There’s definitely merit to the case the Elder built for the three foundational arts of magic, these being medicine, religion, and astrology. It’s a fair game I think to suggest, perhaps even in that order, these were the precursor disciplines, gradually married and bred to bear the formidable methodology carried by the Magi of Persia, the Celtic Druids, and so forth.

Why Such Disdain from Pliny and Others?

The general tone of Pliny’s discourse on magic, in natural History and elsewhere, is disdain and condescension. This is interesting given the generally accepted efficacy of magic during his time.

Based on how much he got wrong, and the fact that he lived nearly 2,000 years ago in the relative absence of any useful technology (that might be used for debunking, etc.) I’m going to assert that his attitude has little to do with rigorous investigation and the apparent facts he uncovered. Philosophers of his era were virtually in a social class of their own, mingling with political elites and the upper crust of society. As a statesman and former military commander on top of his philosophical occupation, Pliny could be dubbed thrice-snobbish.

Maybe he was a little butthurt about the idea of being upstaged by an art he didn’t understand. Or perhaps he dated and suffered heartbreak at the hands of a magician. I don’t honestly know the man’s agenda, or know if he even had one, as it’s possible he just told it as he thought it to be.

I just wanted to highlight, in very small part, one of the foundational templates the world has used to sell us all down the river with the whole “There’s no such thing as magic.” line. When things aren’t going well, and when you doubt your capability, you don’t have to start drinking the kool-aid and looking for a way back to the mundane mindset you had before. It might just be you were deluded then and only now are you in the light. Don’t waste time doubting yourself, put that energy into another ritual or another set of magical drills. 😉