Forgotten tales

Magical revelation of the day: I was thinking about how television supplies us with pre-packaged narratives.

Each episode or documentary gives us a structure, beginning and end, occasionally with a carefully delivered challenge or question. These stories may be split over several episodes to keep us addicted, and the challenges can be subtle or obvious to promote discussion. It occurred to me that to manufacture these stories, life needs to be generalised, filtered and distorted c.f. NLP modelling ( ).

On the kaballistic tree of life, there is a strange place – DAATH – see Wikipedia for an intro. Strange for its omission from the structure. My relatively inexperienced perspective conjures the idea of forgetting, and the analogy of a lens or prism which is effectively invisible but known by its effect.

The reason I mention this is because I intuit a connection between this narrative artifice and corresponding exclusion of information to that end, and this core ‘gap’ in the tree of life where all things originate and dissolve.

It makes me look at stories and narratives afresh: I want to reject these narratives. This addiction to narratives is like a drug, or possible poison. To craft a narrative is to harm the complete narrative of existence. Try looking for the story behind the story, the aborted and stillborn foetuses strewn about us which we cannot see. See the world in all its horror and glory.

The other term which enters into my awareness is ‘silence’. To contain everything, there must first be emptiness. When the narrative coaxes you to speak, try breaking the flow. Experience what is happening rather than delivering the same old responses and patterns, time and time again. Words are like silk, which can bind us within our own prisons.

EDIT: After feedback, I want to clarify that this is not meant to be attacking narratives per se. I love narratives as I love breathing or eating. I am attacking an addiction to particular narratives, and even becoming accustomed to accepting a certain narrative structure. Narratives, like concepts, are both restrictive and empowering. They channel our thoughts and behaviours down some paths and not others.

Practical Magic – Awareness

A practical anecdote of magic in action.

I pause on the way back from taking out the recycling, noticing a strange awareness or ‘energy’ following the breeze traversing the grassy quadrangle of the housing estate, running NW to SE. I become aware of how vulnerable I would be to anonymous malevolence from a higher balcony. I feel drawn to sit on the giant hollow log in the centre of the deserted play area. I notice a group of lads dash along the balcony of the S flats to the SE corner.

Minutes later, a couple walking from SE to SW are egged from some hidden upper story assailant in the SW corner. I express my sympathies and they move on in distress. Minutes later a group of lads emerge, then hide, then emerge again from the SE corner and travel to the NW corner, exchanging a few wary glances at each other and myself.

Now, there’s an obvious narrative that the lads were the egg throwers, and that I might have been selected as target, but that’s all by the by. For me, the altered states of awareness invited by magic are the key, and facilitate breaking out of established patterns and into a fertile narrative landscape.

Practical Magic – Geburah

Practical magic anecdote: I’ve been meditating on Geburah (5th Sephiroth on the Kabbalistic tree of life) for a couple of months now, and have started to notice some odd stuff. When beginning exercise I can ‘invoke Geburah’ and I feel a warmth within my chest which invigorates me and dulls muscle pains and aches.

I had a powerful of idea of passing though some sort of crucible which burns away disconnected parts to leave the core identity. The warmth felt like my core being coming into focus, and the strength of unity it brings. I wonder if I can cultivate this for more prolonged periods?

During intense exercise, I started to visualise a door opening, but never opened. Focusing on this image helped push through the pain barrier. Initially I fantasised that this was some gateway to Geburah, but as Geburah is supposedly beyond human consiousness I guess it must be a reflection of Geburah. Then again, the idea that the gate is never fully opened reflects that.

I read a random internet article about Geburah and Chesed which raised some interesting parallels and symmetries. One concept (which is still fresh and likely incorrect or distorted) is that Geburah represents restriction/rules in the sense of ‘what you cannot do’. Limits I suppose, and comes across as a struggle. Chesed represents empowerment in the sense of ‘what you can do’, with corresponding power. Of course, the two seem to be flip sides of the coin in this sense, as what you can do describes what you cannot, and vice versa. Indeed, the empowerment of Chesed lends well to overbearing and constrictive states, and the restrictive struggle of Geburah lends to rebellion and liberation. The barriers between the Sephiroth should be considered for what they actually represent – a conceptual system. Don’t forget this!



Magickal Causality

From Aleister Crowley’s ‘Magick’ there is a brief discussion of the nature of Magickal cause and effect.

In summary – the efficacious nature of Magick and its practices is not necessarily to ‘directly’ effect a result. i.e. Magick in the high fantasy Harry Potter sense of pointing wands and fireballs erupting may be misleading. So in what sense can Magick be said to actually cause something to happen? Well, this is the bit I like as it chimes in perfectly with everything else I have uncovered so far! It works by transforming the agent, the relationships between agent and the world, and hence the world, making them all into the kind of things which accord with the will of the Magick user.

To clarify: I might perform rituals to focus my will on a particular task, build confidence and strengthen links with others who may assist in doing my will. But do the rituals ’cause’ the task to happen? Certainly the mental and emotional focus and strengthening of relationships with others assists in accomplishing the task.

This is why a spell that summons a person to you may ‘work’ even though the person in question started on their journey to visit you BEFORE the spell was cast. Practicing such spells makes you more powerful. The holistic nature of Magick is evident here – it thrums through all the strands of symbolism and power that guide and shape, a power that subtly whispers but in its crescendos there is indisputable puissance.

This touches on the purpose of prayer and worship too: By seeking communion with the divine will we are not necessarily diminishing ourselves by subjecting or demeaning what we are. Rather, we are becoming vessels dedicated to actualising divine will – our will. I think many people have conceptions of worship that stereotype and ridicule, alienating and stifling the possibility that it is something very important, practical and essential. I remember my GCSE Religious Education teacher saying something which stuck with me: Worship is ‘Worth-ship’, about showing how something is important to you. To those who remain Atheist and Agnostic as anything other than a reaction to established religious stereotypes I ask: What is it that you live for? What makes it all worthwhile?

Focus on those things, craft yourself about them, respect and celebrate them. After all, that is worship.