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WHAT IS MAGICK?

Magick is the greatest of shape-shifters: it is what you consider it to be. If we are to give it a temporary identity, than it is the playful assertion of meaning bestowed upon any act. This allows anything we do to blossom into magick, by saying that it is the equivalent of the manifestation of the specific thing we want. Still magick will push up against the cages you place it in, swelling bars until they shatter: its liberation secured. Whyassertion? Why evoke a word that suggests that our affmnations are baseless? By coming from an understanding that your beliefs are primarily based upon subjective experiences that need not even be expounded, you will find yourself less shackled than previously before: the cage widens just enough for you to walk on through to the next one. Another reason to choose temporary assertion, is to distance ourselves from reductionism; from the hoop jumping found in the mass processions of spiritual cartographers that seek to tame; to structure; to capture the ineffable as if they were shooting those little yellow ducks at a carnival (few think to shoot the person behind the booth instead, making off with the plunder.)

separate from it: we will find the goldest of golds. For the sake of

In life we can play simultaneously as the one who is throwing the baseball at the target of the dunk tank, and the one who awaits submersion. In the latter, instead of concentrating on the actions of the foreign hand; of the baseball, we can put our attention elsewhere, and experience the joy of a genuine surprise. Foresight need not prevent us from being present.

What then about playfulness? Isn't life serious? Aren't my desires; my goals; my actions serious? I'll leave that up to you, for my main motive for using the word playful is to encircle you within the silhouettes of dancing children. Many of them seem to have the remarkable ability to embrace being serious within an outline of playfulness. So look at these fools; these little toy monkeys. If they were to engage in a ritual, say a playful enacting of future events that they wish to happen via one-legged, lightly scorched figurines: would they worry upon a ritual's closing, that it failed; that they forgot how to surrender; that they were not worthy of their desire to begin with? Before we move on to ways that we can represent our desires, and thereby perform ritual, I want to restate myself clearly:

1) Magic is engaging in one experience that represents another.

2) Magic can be any experience we choose it to be.

SIGILS

While symbols are used practically in every path, constructing your own sigils that render specific desires, is most commonly associated with the Chaos Magick current. In "reality" the assertion that a symbol, any symbol, represents your desire is all that we need. However, there is something to this personal approach, in that the construction of a symbol itself can be an act of magic. For some, it seems that only a personalized sigil can adequately represent a desire, other symbols being too broad for their purposes. We can sidestep this by asserting what the symbol represents for each specific ritual, and that no other associations it has are to be manifested. This is particularly pertinent when using "energies" such as the planets, elements, etc. Using an older symbols tends to lend an idea of power, since their use over time reminds one of the accumulation of energy. Since I refuse to tell you what symbol sets you should use, my only recourse is to explain a few methods of construction. The first is to write out your sentence of desire, and then knock out all repeating letters, and possibly vowels, for more detailed sentences. Once we have our main letters, we arrange

them into a drawing, however we see fit. This sigil can then be refined artistically into something more striking. Ideally it should call out to you with the voice of something potent. You should feel that this representation is somehow ideal.

The sigil can also be danced out, drawn in the air, carved into a talisman or eucharist, etc. Once I walked the path of a sigil across the city's landscape, leaving small offerings at every intersection. You can also instead of making a symbol, make a mantra by rearranging those same letters, adding vowels as necessary. This can be then chanted slowly, a syllable for each breath, or sung fast in an enchanting loop. When I do this I often focus on the words as they escape my mouth; the space right between the edge of my lips. This feeling of words tends to permeate everything; it moves from the mouth to cover the face, sending waves along the body, until all flesh is involved.

Another constructive method is automatic drawing. You relax and centre yourself, filling up with your desire, invoking whatever sensations are required to aid its cultivation. Once filled you can start drawing randomly all over the page, following your hand's whim, while concentrating on the feeling that has solidified within you. Once you are satisfied that it has emptied itself onto your chosen medium, you look at the result. Often there will be an intersection of lines that attracts your eye. Maybe it isn't the first, maybe it is the second. Circle it. This is your symbol. If nothing attracts you, start over.

Our final technique is scrying. You concentrate on a surface, whether this your television screen turned to static, or a bowl of water filled with black ink, or the back of your eyelids. You surrender into your feeling of desire, it unfolds, replicating itself until it fills your entirety. You let go of everything else, waiting for your symbol to appear out of the union of your silence, and the blanket of noise.

When talking of all three of these techniques, there is a sense of

following your intuition. Even in the first, where the act is deliberate, we may find that over time, more and more we are acting intuitively on where we place our letters, rather than critically. Coalescing a desire, and representing it abstractly, as opposed to conscious construction, is inherently intuitive. Eventually you may move onto the drawing of spontaneous sigils, allowing your intent to surround you, to fill your depths. You may find yourself speaking in tongues; moving in random dances; finding desires represented in the movement of insects, or any spurious configuration. Always we should be striving to discover the symbolic forms that inflame us; that send shock-waves throughout our being.

GNOSIS

Altered states is in some ways a misnomer. We enter different states for a variety of reasons almost constantly. There is no normal state, only the illusion of a median; the illusion of intersections among endless roads that are nothing but gradients between places. It becomes an issue of what road gets us there the quickest; passes the most scenery; offers the least amount of annoyance. The state that comes up most often is post-sex bliss. Imagine for a moment, thousands of people spread throughout the city, masturbating wildly as if on horseback, staring absently through half-closed eyes at repulsive sigils, taped precariously to stained, off-white walls.

Unfortunately this state slips away if it is not concentrated upon. We can extend this through karezza: the prolonging of the state before orgasm. You try to get as close as you can to the edge, relaxing yourself at the sight of the impending chasm, breathing deeply, reintroducing yourself to oxygen that excitement has withheld. Once evaded slightly, you can resume pressure, slowing down stimulus, widening the edge until it becomes land; becomes territory. You can wander around it for a while, relaxing once again when you discover its limits. There are two features to this landscape. There is the state of being on the edge of climax (or in a moment of heightened pleasure), and there is the buildup of static potential; the overall change in mind that continuous pleasure

brings. These states can be used to "fire," or "charge" a sigil. The former usually means that the sigil enters their Deep Mind, and it is the unconscious that enacts our magick for us. For the latter we are funnelling the energy spent on our act, into the sigil itself, as if it was a vessel. During our moments of intense pleasure, when we are forced to relent, we may gaze out at our sigil, including it in our experience. We can also if we prefer, during the entire act, transfer our lust to the sigil, as if it was who we were having sex with. Finally, some simply look at it at the point of orgasm. In a model where the assertion is the key, the charging of a symbol may be moment where it clicks, where acceptance of equality happens.

In regards to the by products of copulation, our wet bounties are not to be wasted. They playa big part in being able to fuck, and are the culmination of the entire act, regardless of chosen genitalia. Consecrate a sigil, a talisman, or consume it yourself as the perfectly suitable eucharist that it is.

As we move onto other methods, the body still remains key. Feats of exhaustion; of movement; of fasting; of pain; of dance; of the cultivation of extreme emotional states, are all accurate paths to gnosis. Any act of concentration is a gate, unleashing our sensations, whether their flow is narrow, or swelled. Recognizing your main entrance into trance states, and especially how to maintain them, takes a little time. Like the wave of difference that can be learnt to be felt from illiciting stronger orgasms, the moment of change after breathing strangely for an extended amount of time, back into normality, causes a sudden shift in consciousness. Here are three that have given me this effect thus far.

Reverse Chi breathing, is the opposite of what you would consider regular breath. The diaphragm, instead of pushing out when you inhale, is tightly clenched. While you exhale, pushed out and held.

Pranayama, or alternate nostril breath is probably the most engaging. You breathe in the left nostril, hold for a period of time, then breathe out right. Immediately after you switch, and inhale

through the right nostril and out the left. This is considered one cycle. The ratios are said to be where the power lies. It is advised to work up to some ratio of 1 :4:2. Personally I breathe in for 4, hold for 16, and exhale for eight. I have not experimented with other ratios, but have heard some people state that interesting things can happen.

Connective or holotropic breathing is where you do not pause between breaths. As soon as you exhale, you inhale again, and vice versa. This was recommended in Dave Lee's Chaotopia as a useful precursor to learning to practice seeing, in dimmed lighting conditions, all things that are energetic. The first time I did it, the effects were slow coming. They were drastic enough to find myself somewhat frightened by how alive my surroundings could become.

After fifteen minutes or so, and if done with good concentration and form, all of these breathing methods can cause a drastic shift. Concentrating on breathing in general is a gateway, without these specific techniques. Picking an area of the body can be useful, the edge of the nostrils; the rise and fall of the chest, etc, as can breathing through the nose and out the mouth. Awareness of the body in general can be an effective method of holding on to trance. Focusing on the physical manifestations of your state helps maintain it. The main purpose of all of this is to reduce mental noise, increasing the ability to concentrate.

_.,

DEFENCE

Basic defence is found in the strength of the psyche; in the strong roots of self-definition; in the expulsion of identities and patterns of thought which are harmful, or at the very least distracting. Additionally, when defence involves building castle walls and moats to keep the unseen firmly outside, our greatest weapon is our engagement with the material world. Eating heavy foods, such as starches and protein; laughter; physical labour; and breaks from spiritual endeavours can aid us in defence when our psyches feel battered. Our most common attack faced in life wields the weapon that we have within ourselves: neurosis. Anxiety can have a profound effect on the body. Obsessions and worries are domineering creatures that like to act as the King-of-the-Hill, pushing aside all other thoughts, dismissing them as unimportant.

In their acts of violence against the other parts of self, we are likely to become civilian casualties: obsessions have no qualms over bombing water supplies. When have to defend ourselves against neurosis, the importance I have place in this text later on self-work is our suit of armour; our shield.

For the time being we have the banishing ritual. While at this point you can get away with closing your rituals with hysterical laughter, a good banishing has benefits when beginning our rituals with it. It centres us; it makes us present; it gives us something to concentrate upon before the ritual act. It clears off all that hang on; all the blackness; all the pain. There are many banishing rituals available in books, and on the internet, but you may be better off making your own. A good banishing ritual should start by drawing ourselves inward. It should relax us; it should silence us. Secondly it should clearly define a border around us through visualization. Thirdly by visualizing strong associations, it should purify our space.

For example I have one in which I visualize light coming from above me, accumulating at the top of my head. It then spreads to the rest of my body. It pushes out, one side at a time into a rectangular prism, of a material that is hard, yet see through, like

crystal. The prism surrounds me, giving about half a foot of space on each side, including above the head, and below the feet. I stand within this visualization, moving imaginary hands against each side, feeling simultaneously what the wall would actually feel like. I mix this sensation, with visualizing external things bouncing off of the crystal prism. Nothing that isn't explicitly welcome may enter. When I am satisfied that I have clearly defined my space, I set myself on fire, starting at the base of my spine. The entire prism is filled with flames; I feel the heat; I hear the roar; I see its great brightness. Satisfied that I am pure, I visualize myself drawing a symbol of power, of protection on each side of the prism.

I had another one in which I had recorded on a small portable recorder, me vacuuming my house. I had cut in on the tape at random, recording new sessions of vacuuming, stacking occurrences. For a banishing ritual, I would simply sit down, and tum it on, moving the tape player around my body, trying to feel the actually sucking sensation on my clothing and skin, trying to hear it and see it as vividly as possible. The space in this case was defined by where the recorder had been, and where it had not.

In another I stripped myself and my room of all colour, until I was a grey rectangle within a grey cube. I would then imagine to pluck my entire room up, into a giant version of my hand. Held there in my palm, I would blast extremely bright colours through the cube itself, letting the colour seep in each time until everything was bathed.

My favourite for a while put myself in the middle of a desert,

feeling the heat of the sand and the sun. I would pick up handfuls of sand, and begin to scrape my skin with it, until chunks of skin started to flake away. I would scrape myself clean, straight to my bones, staying there for amoment, as long as I needed, sensing myself as a skeleton in the middle of the desert.

Many banishing rituals include vibrating each syllable of a god's

name, slowly over one breath. This type of chanting is very effective at focusing the psyche, if you can let yourself get into it. In some cultures vibration is used to disrupt stuck energies. People will clap, or ring bells, focusing on comers and the lower regions of rooms where energies are thought to solidify. Although the banishing ritual acts much like a temporary shield, its effects in general can become a barrier that can be called upon at any time.

Having a symbol that you fmish your banishing ritual with, allows you to visualize that symbol at any time, along with visualizing your shield appearing around you in response. The symbol, word, or gesture we use to try to anchor the feeling of a successful banishing, should be first used at the height of us feeling purified. In the future we can call upon it at any time to perform a quick banishing, or we can run in our minds our banishing ritual at high speed, as if fast forwarding the tape. The technique in the prism/fire banishing of visualizing external things bouncing off can be used in general to develop a shield. A lot of people claim to operate with full shields on at all times. Others argue only for light shielding, almost like a field of detection, raising something more powerful only when feeling threatened. Some believe that operating with shields effect our ability to connect with others, to be emphatic. We naturally feel guarded around certain people, and open around others. It is the same phenomenon. The ability to protect ourselves, and to let ourselves be vulnerable by choice, may be of more use. Our final technique before we move on to funner things, is grounding. The classic example is of visualizing tree roots growing from your feet, digging deeper and deeper into the earth. Any imagery that involves connecting to the earth is suitable. Grounding is primarily used for when we have too much energy, or find ourselves scattered, or disconnected from everything.

MATERIAL THINGS

In creativity we have constant opportunities to assert meaning. Not only is there conceptualization, but there is the process of art itself,

and the final interpretation upon completion. It has a seductive focus to it, and often includes the scent of playfulness. Engagement in making art, and the act of magick draw too many similarities to be kept apart. They yearn for each other, smelling traces as they sneak around the city walls erected between them. Making art in this matter can be highly intuitive. We can seek materials that catch our fancy, and figure out later how they relate to our desire. We can go on drifts, holding our desire firmly in our mind, or else singing our mantras; our songs of calling, collecting whatever objects pull our bodies towards them. We can take these things home, assemble them into talismans; let them rest upon our altars. We can sit with them, unlocking their secrets. I have keys that open doorways; rusted hinges and bottle caps that are permanent openings; rail ties that are ejected parts of identity; plant roots that were mysteries uncovered. Likewise I am attracted to batteries; to tapecassettes; to books, considering them places where energy could coalesce.

When I was a kid there were these plastic trays on which you could put textured inserts into. It was divided into three parts vertically, of different types of monster bodies. You could make your own creatures by combining different legs, with different heads; different torsos. Then you'd place a piece of paper over it and make a rubbing out of it with crayon. If I lived as I do now, I would have given this creature a name, a symbol, and an assortment of useful powers. I would have imbued it with personality, fleshed it out before me in meditation, given it a task and sent it out into the world to accomplish it. Of course there is the possibility that I did, and my world as it is now, is its result. Regardless, rubbings have always been an interesting way to capture somethings likeness, along with the silhouette. Both of these acts are rooted in my childhood, yet tracings and rubbings have never lost their are of mystery for me.

When considering material objects as representations, it is all about your associations and aesthetics. Search out what moves you, and let go of old conceptions that do not excite your nervous system anymore.

With acquirement over, we have two basic configurations: the creation of objects, and the creation of layouts. Talismans are any object used for magick: we can make magical rings; magical daggers, or magical underwear. Often talismans are worn, or carried upon the person, in which case they are often considered to only in affect when in direct contact. Sometimes they carry symbols of power, or bear a resemblance physically or conceptually to our desires. A classic one for example, is a desire written out on paper, in the shape of a spiral. In Western Magick the classic would be the four basic ritual tools (wand, cup, pentacle, dagger) representing the four elements. A sympathetic example would be a doll, fetish, or statue. A eucharist could be considered a talisman as well, although its delivery is internal. Food and liquid can be represented through intent; resemblance; be drawn upon, or simply drawn over with sigils using a wand or finger. Ingesting lends itself to specific types of magic, especially that of inner alchemy. If you consider the mind to be apart of the body, then you will find few limitations to apply to eucharists; the entire self is available for reconstruction.

Like sigils these talismans can be "charged" through gnosis, through concentration and the movement of energy. They can be renewed over time, reinvigorated. Their construction, in addition to their acquirement, is a magical act in itself, and may be treated as such.

Layouts can take the form of the mandala; of the altar. The former is a representation of our cosmos, a map of us and what is surrounding. We can find something to symbolize us, put ourselves amongst the things we wish to engage with: on the floor, on a tabletop, or a bed of leaves. We can choose objects themselves, or draw symbols with sand, with twigs. We can then project ourselves onto this physical representation, walking through the world laid out before us, interacting. Altars are where we put our things. They can be dedicated to the gods we run with, and be given offerings, as well as objects we relate to them. We can place talismans upon them, to be consecrated or empowered at our request. They can on the other hand, be undedicated, and treated as a fluid, yet always operating talisman, changing with our desires.

This blurring of the lines between layout, and singular object also occurs with fetishes, which are objects that act almost like incarnated bodies for deities. Fetishes can double as altars. The difference between the two is in how we conceptualize them, but they also differ often in aesthetics, for fetishes are usually statues: they represent the being. Another example would be the gris-gris bag. Made with flannel cloth, they are usually carried and contain any number of objects brought together for a specific charm.

Lastly we might want to consider that there are an endless number of ways to use any specific object. A good example is the usage of herbs in folk magic. While often used in ritual as offerings, they are also steeped and used in ritual baths; floor washings; pulverized into powder and spread about spaces; made into tinctures, or carried upon the person as a classical talisman would be.

SERVITORS

The gift of sentience is a grand gift to bestow. In the case of other humans it is socially essential: how else could we explain their behaviour? Before we start giving just any old thing the token of our wish-to-communicate, let us deal with something a little closer to us. Long has humanity created the thoughtform or tulpa. Have you ever felt as if that some part of you was so much in conflict with the rest of you, so foreign, that it almost seemed external? Perhaps you had no control of this thing, despite feeling as if you outnumbered it? An interesting technology of the mind, no?

In sigil magick, it has been oft cited that one of its modes is that of repression. You wilfully forget, forcing your magick out of your mind once it is completed. This does indeed prevent you from fantasizing of your desire thereafter, but what we should consider here is that repression may cause splits of the mind, or neurosis. By repressing it out of our consciousness, we are embedding it into the unconscious, which many believe is the source, or at the very least,

the great director of our power. Now, I do not have an unconscious myself, but it is an interesting idea. I suppose the opposite of repression is absorption, but in some ways it could also be expulsion. So, if for the moment you can believe in splits of the mind, and of externalizing these splits; full of energy, ready to accept our will, than we may proceed. If not, find some other sort of conceptual framework, or move along, move along ...

Ahead of time, you should flesh out your new companion. They should have a name, and a symbol that represents them. Both of these you may wish to derive from a sentence that is their task. They should be clearly defined in terms of abilities, tasks, and looks; smell; texture; voice, and if you wish personality. They can be as simple as a ball of energy with its symbol upon it, to as complex as a human being, animal, or any sort of creature. The trick here is that the more sensory data we have at our disposal, the more absorbed we can become in its creation, the greater the strength it will acquire in our universe. Some people only need a ball, and yet can visualize it in all senses, wilfully absorbed in it long enough for its separation to manifest: this is what you have to do.

After it is fleshed out conceptually, create it in your mind as if it was before you, until you are convinced that it is. Some find focusing on a material base, a home that you provide for it, useful in concentration, but also in anchoring it partially in the physical plane. Concentration is an elaborate key. Once made, we may assign it its duties. Some make thoughtforms for general areas such as health, calling them at will with their sigil or name when they have specific tasks, others make one-shots, finding servitors more effective than other types ofmagick. It lends itself best to either general areas, or desires that you have repeatedly.

If you do hang on to one for a while, remember to feed it with offerings; with thanks; with energy; with thought. The gift of sentience, is like creating a new companion: talk to your friends

(unless of course, you don't like what they say, in which case you may have fucked up ... thankfully, you can just reabsorb it...1 make it sound easy, don't I?)

RITUAL CONSTRUCTION

As a friend of mine once asked me: "Okay, so I bleed or cum on this, and then what?" I expect that he was referring to what event would occur, or perhaps how it would be expected to happen, but I like to think that he was talking about ritual.

There is an expectation for the map to drawn for one; the territory, has already been seen, and yet it hasn't, for it is always changing. How can we expect our cosmos to be drawn for us, by another, and be what we want it to be? This isn't meant to discourage you, from not using traditional correspondences in ritual construction, or to engage in other people's written material, after all: hopscotch is fun. If we liken ritual to games, then we begin to see more clearly. When jumping rope, learning and sharing rhymes is as much a part of it as creating new ones. Construction is highly personal. Always strive to find what moves you, layering the associations you have with your desire in an aesthetically pleasing matter. Which techniques you use, is once again personal, a matter of what works for you, and what is apt.

I've taught myself how to surrender, because the control I want isn't

• --., ffi).;"..IIX r-.

the ego dominating: the ego on top of the pyramid. The mechanics

I want. .. the wheels that surround me, are wheels of liberation, that

making new machines.

~,-~ .. -

SPONTANEITY AND SYZYGY

Where are we outside of well constructed ritual: are we lost? Do we feel ineffective? Spontaneity in magick can be the hardest medium with which to exercise magical will. Our failures in it, are disheartening; our successes are like the widening of veins. We are left with two major options: seizing moments of naturally intense will, or creating frameworks of techniques ahead of time. The former we shall save for our conversation on omens and crisis magick.

A framework for spontaneity can be approached either via the creation of an Alphabet of Desire, or the direct manipulation of energy. Typically most people's spontaneous magic looks like this: either they ask for something, in their minds or out loud, or they visualize what they want to happen. When I was younger, I was taught a simple technique of visualizing what I want, wrapping it in a pink bubble of energy, and then sending it off into the universe, upon which I would immediately start thinking about something else entirely. It often worked, but perhaps not often enough to convince myself of my own power, since its main mechanism was always dependant directly on a firm assertion of will, which some states of mind seem directly opposed to.

We can increase its effectiveness by creating our own personal Alphabet of Desire. At its essence, it is a series of symbols that represent repeated desires, or basic concepts. With basic concepts we have the ability to create on the fly, a combination of symbols, that equal what we want to happen. We may try to include within these symbols, words of syntax, however, we may end up with a system that is entirely forgettable, due to its scale. Better is a stripped down, memorable system, that can be augmented. A simple method of augmentation is through feeling; words should be avoided. Instead we can use basic feelings in our bodies and the space aroundus, such as projection; repulsion; gathering; pushing; redirecting, etc. In this way, we can concentrate on a symbol that represents money, and simply feel that symbol repeatedly

coming towards us. These can be aided by visualizations. The beauty of a basic system of symbols, is that they can be empowered over time through our use in all of our rituals. Our example of anchoring a banishing into a symbol, is a good example, as it can be used once it is empowered, by pushing it towards something, when we want it to go away.

On the other side of things, if we are in a situation where our AoD cannot accurately represent a desire, we may attempt to improvise. While it is tempting, to fall back into a simple visualization, or statement of intent, it is perhaps worthwhile (if not in crisis), to coalesce. As we attempted to do in automatic drawing, we can focus on the feeling of our desire, perhaps by continually invoking images and sounds, and then try to give that desire shape. This need not be an actual symbol. It can literally be a shifting mass of various colours. The difference between this, and the pink bubble technique, or other brief visualizations, is not solely in the abstraction process. It is what the abstraction allows us to do. It allows us to interact over and over again, with a desire that is given form. When playing a movie in your mind, there is a certain point at which all of the information of that movie finally becomes an idea. It is our aim in this, to seize that point, and make it flesh. Once our desire is given form, we can repeatedly utilize it, until we arrive at another realized form: the idea that it worked. This idea is synonymous with: "I've done enough. It is done."

Magick: a technology of lubrication.

The movement of energy in some ways has already entered the discussion. It may only be a conceptual framework, after all. When we talk about coalescing or of augmenting symbols with feelings, we are talking of a very similar thing. In the case of energy, the aim is to feel it. We don't want to just visualize shields, or just visualize energy moving from our solar plexus to somebody's heart, we want to experience it as a physical feeling in our bodies. Closely related to the topic of spontaneity, is magical

syzygy: the joining together of our rituals and external juxtapositions. It is a method of extending ourselves beyond plans, in order to seize the rapture and awe, that often arrives, when we engage with things around us, in a playful and open manner. Both of these topics range from being antithetical to the well constructed ritual, to being disgustingly co-dependent. Since we are association machines, it becomes impossible to disentangle chance juxtapositions, from intense reasoning, from divine inspiration.

The technique of magical syzygy itself isn't actually a technique, as much as it is an attitude. The question becomes: do I let my cat playa part in my ritual, or do I let them botch it?

DIVINATION AND OMENS

Divination is very much about syzygy. In most systems we receive a set of symbols, appearing seemingly at random. We are then given the task of interpretation. I want to put aside the argument of how it works. This argument is only useful when considering effectiveness, such as: when dealing with Tarot, should we look at the cards first, and then only shuffle lightly, so that we are more capable to affect the outcome? In this case there is the presupposition that once again our unconscious is the operator. Another effectiveness issue is the employment of trance in divination. We can attempt to reach gnosis prior to the act, as well as giving it time to gestate in our minds before we attempt to interpret. Once again we can enter gnosis at this stage, in order to perhaps let more of our intuition into the process, and lessen the grip of our rational selves. This is especially apt when we find ourselves entangled with the outcome of a reading. Some people are naturally very in tune with this side of themselves. Others simply need light trances, and repeated experience to get on better terms.

What divination system you choose, and how to when to use it, is up to you. The use of one itself is entirely optional.

Another method brings us back to the idea of the drift. Instead of

going on walks in order to find objects for talismans, the answering of questions can be the intent of our quest. It operates once again, with syzygy. We will see a sign, or hear a snippet of someone's conversation that seems to jump out at us, seizing directly our enquiry. Experiments can be made, where one covers their ears until immersed in a large crowd, so that the first thing heard has weight; where one flips open a book to a random page, pressing their finger against a line of text. Interpretation can be rational, or like an epiphany. Searching out omens isn't necessarily forcing it, since the feeling of when to pay attention, or where to go, is entirely intuitive. It however, doesn't have the same weight, as a true omen that appears uncalled, just when it is most needed.

We cannot talk about divination and omens, without considering their role in enchantment. The beauty in coming out of conflict, by having a pressing matter settled, such as it is often in divination, is in how reaffirming it is. The act becomes enchantment, because we find ourselves believing in the possibilities in our readings. By being able to see clearly the situation at hand, we are able to make a decision on what the outcome will probably be. This can be enhanced at the end of a divination by rearrangement. We can accept our layout for what it is, heed its advice, and then replace this layout with our intention of what we are going to do, and what we want to happen. Another enhancement would be to avoid readings in which we set ourselves strictly in linear time. The future and past, can be replaced by probable futures and pasts. We can set ourselves up with potential time-lines, following their strands to where they may lead.

In omens we must stray from the urges of superstition; from the urge to look up meaning. To interpret in one definite wayan event, and to follow that with only one recourse, is to welcome demise. The mode of operation is to attempt to be aware of what one is thinking, while moving through the world. The attitude is: "what could this mean in relation to my thoughts, or current situation?" This is the same act as receiving a reading through the Tarot,

I Ching, or Runes, etc. Once the possible meanings are considered, it is time to assert. Sometimes, however our life blood depends upon immediate interpretation: when in crisis. This moment in time can be best summarized by accidents. In every accident there is a moment of time in which it could go either way, this is your crisis. Discovering this moment in real time, and having the wits to assert your will is a key ability for survival.

Our everyday tribulations in life are an interesting opportunity. When facing difficulties, it can be useful to think of them in terms of sacrifice. A string of bad luck, can be utilized as momentum for a positive event in the future that needs to happen. When faced with tribulation, we can keep this in mind, and push ourselves further into the depths of our misery. We can embrace it and wallow, until it reaches such a feverish peak, that we are given the opportunity to turn it all around. We learn to say "no"at the most effective time: when it is a matter of survival. Constantly we are given moments in which to assert our reality. How then, shall we use them?

MAGICK OUT OF TIME

The blossoming of a seed is in its manifestation into plant-form; of an adult plant is to flower; of a flower itself is to die. To blossom is to sacrifice, for it is always a becoming. In that vein, when it comes to human beings, our past must always be given up. In our history of animal sacrifice, the blood was often what was offered: the flesh was eaten. In our pasts their may be sources of nourishment; sources of clothing; of materials that bind one thing to another, but if it lacks nourishment for us, it should be left on the altar. Our pain should be given up for the present, for our futures to eat. We must sacrifice the waste of our past to these aspects of self, rather than holding on in an effort to justify our current actions. The reinterpretation of these pasts is our sleight-of-hand, our aces that we may sneak among the cards we've been dealt. This is an extension of the utilization of tribulations. Any moment we can access can be

reinterpreted.

Furthermore we can attempt to move backwards, grasping onto specific moments in our history, and rewriting them in our favour. Our probable futures can be utilized like this as well. In both cases, the ripples move slowly to our present space. With our consciousness we can direct ourselves into another time line, and do ritual there, pulling ourselves forward, or beckoning forth a latent self.

We can sow seeds in a probable past, seeds of powers that we wish to manifest; we can bring back ourselves from our probable futures, gaining abilities and knowledge that future experience may provide. If one is aware of non-linearity, they can begin to feel these ripples moving towards them. It can be a feeling that something pivotal is going to happen. It can feel like a current, an abstract thing that one can latch onto. Other moments will appear to have its signature. As we move we can watch for this signature, this trace, and interpret those events as connected. It is an unfolding, where the recent past, those pivotal moments where we made the decisions that brought us here are given purpose, and tied directly to futures that have yet to come.

We can either direct this purpose, or see what happens, reinterpreting as we go along. Sometimes we cannot conceptualize what it is that we need. We arrive at a moment, remembering a ritual we did six months earlier, suddenly realizing that what we may have truly been asking for, and that it has manifested. It is a strange plunge to state aloud: "I think this happened, so that this could happen." It is even stranger to follow the webs of associations that occur from such a union. It is most useful when interacted with as probabilities. The web or tree that strikes out from such an assertion, can go in countless directions.

At times it is more useful to assert only one probability: when it is the only one that we really want. However, this can always be retracted. Having before you, as many possibilities as possible that are engaging, is a useful approach. One can then, in the darkness, see many lit paths, and decide/intuit wherever they are, whatever

they are doing, which direction is most suitable for them now. After all, a moment in time, can have countless effects on oneself, and that which is surrounding. It ripples all throughout our present self, making connections; it moves onwards in time, and backwards too: to limit the effect to one, may be limiting power.

This moving through time is more of a framework, than it is a set of techniques. It is a set of beliefs that expand what we perceive as possible. How to convince ourselves that a ritual occurred in another time, or that our reinterpretations have a profound effect, comes with experimentation. We may wish to do cutups on diary journals, intermingling them with futures that we want to manifest; we may create a servitor, to alert us to these currents or signatures that are happening; we may discover a visualization technique, that allows us to visualize our probable timelines, moving through them, interacting.

When we later move onto identity, it is worth remembering this section. Our current identity is entirely entangled with where we perceive to be coming from, and where we see ourselves going. When you work on issues of identity, consider what they are linked to throughout your probable timelines.

HITCHHIKING AND CITIES

At times we need the freshness in life to regain our exuberance. Likewise, sometimes there are moments where we need the time and space to coalesce things into shape: to develop a skill, or a certain type of personality. Hitchhiking in particular, lends itself well to magical exploration. Overtly it is so much about survival: your next meal, your next place to crash. The moments in which we rely on our intuition increase, allowing us to test out our abilities. Our lives seem to reorganize around a few very basic, central ideas. This allows us to quiet down, to focus on what is immediate.

Last summer a friend and I, decided to create our own four elements, ones which you could find on any roadside. I used them on my way to Halifax. While walking to a spot, I would eliminate all thought, focusing on the four objects I needed to find. Once there, I would throw down my pack, and set down my four elements, becoming the four comers of an imaginary box. I would then stretch; clear my head; drink some water, and find my hitching sign. I'd step into my makeshift temple space with emptiness, concentrating on the feeling of holding my sign; the feeling of my stance itself, as if the feeling of it was my sigil. I would surrender, until my ride arrived. It was my fastest, least painful trip.

The summer before I had my first success at consciously transforming tribulation, but it wasn't as effective. A friend I had made on the road, and I, were stuck in Golden, B.C. for around five hours. There were other hitchhikers in the spot we wanted, and more waiting behind us. I was laying in the grass; ridiculously content, while he shuflled back and forth from panhandling outside of Subway, and where I was, getting more and more antsy. Finally it was our turn; I put my pack down and started taking a piss, turning around I said to him: "you know, I have a feeling that for this sacrifice we've made to the hitchhiking gods, that we'll get a straight ride to Vancouver." A quarter of the way through the piss he was yelling at me to get into the semi before it took off without me. Pissing is a good trance state.

Remembering this synchronicity, in the beginning of my travels last summer, I made the mistake of announcing it ahead of time. I talked to my friend of my recent hitchhiking style, that I would often get stuck for a long period of time, but be rewarded with a straight ride. We were soon stuck in Kenora. Our first few rides got us finally to a good position past an interstate, but in total we were waiting somewhere for five hours before bed, and around five the next day. We were rewarded with a ride all the way to a Toronto suburb.

This highlights an interesting aspect of spontaneous magic: that of recognizing, and evoking patterns of synchronicity. If you have experienced a synchronicity in the past, you can remember the feeling, and in a moment of rapture you assert naturally, that it may happen again. There is a wry smile that comes with such an assertion. You are trying not to say that it will, since there is often inner resistance to such a verbal statement. Often our addiction to dualism often counters immediately with: "no it won't." You are attempting to hint that there is a strong possibility.

The main mode of movement is our old friend the drift. There are things to be desired: a safe place to sleep; free food; alcohol and cigarettes; good rides, and moments of joy with friends, new and old. This is an excellent time to test our abilities to mana-fest. The development of the gut pendulum, is of prime importance. Build it up through repeated simplicity. At first at a fork in the road: which way should I go? Clear your mind first, then ask the question, considering each possibility separately, waiting in between for the answer to come in the form of a sensation. You may get an immediate strong reaction to one choice, or you may have to review them all separately, and then in total at the end. Soon you will be able to do this while looking for specific things.

When I was in Montreal last summer, I was walking around one day with the red lid of a spray paint can. Asking where to go, I was led to a bush behind a compound full of electrical transformers. In the grass was an empty and lidless, rusty spray paint can. Similarly, the

week before my friend stated aloud: "I want chocolate." In the middle of the next intersection was a pack of chocolate flavoured cigarillos, with one left in the pack. We smoked, laughing. A little while later we realized that it was just a regular cigarette. The box had nothing to do with the contents. If what you describe is not in the vicinity, you may be lead to the closest thing available (although its worth mentioning that on that same walk with my friend, we found the pair of sandals we asked for: much appreciated in the heat wave.)

Whether we choose to give it a spontaneous private dance in the late hours, or lay offerings at the great feet of its intersections; its bridges; its river banks; its alleys: it is often worth it, to align ourselves with the city we are entering. You may sense a hidden pact, when exploring its depths. There is an exchange here, of you being permitted behind its veil, and of it receiving your interest and dedication. Much like a person, it is possible that the city wants a certain kind of attention, and the travel stories you tell of others, of its magnificence, may be of interest to it. The places within it, that reflect our movement should perhaps be given extra attention. These are both the things that we rely on, and the things that resemble our journeys.

There is something interesting in this psychogeography. We are essentially remapping our space. Instead of the focus on what buildings serve; where roads go, we look to what they represent on various levels. If they had spirit, what would it be? If they had spirit, how could I interact with it? What could we gain out of each engagement?

Recently Duncan Bradford posted in his blog, Occult Experiments in the Home, about a drift he did to discover the chakras of the city of Brighton. He took it as an exercise to practice his pendulum skills on something irrational, something that he wasn't invested in. Using a map of the city, he would place his pendulum at one of the comers while focusing on his intent to discover one of the specific chakras

of Brighton. The pendulum would start to swing back and forth at a specific angle. Then he would lay down a piece of string. He triangulated the spot, by choosing another comer, and doing it again. Where the strings meet is where the chakra lies.

Using this same technique we can find other types of spaces. We can find powerspots, places where energy naturally gathers, or we can search out specific types of energies, such as the best place to do a specific ritual. We can also search out objects through this topdown approach. When we get on the ground there is always reaffirmation to be had. The pendulum should be able to lead you where to go, swinging in the direction of the place once you are facing it, perhaps side-to-side when you are not. There is also reaffirmation in yes or no responses. Each person is different, each pendulum can differ in response as well. I tend to have a counter-clockwise for yes, and clockwise for no.

Another example of the uses of specific types of powerspots, would be to gather those types of energies for use. For example we can tag a library with a sigil to attain knowledge; tag a bank for money; a bridge for crossing a threshold. That same sigil can then be applied to a talisman, which we can then visualize being actively empowered by the energies waiting for us. The tag on the wall can be thought of as a storage device, or simply a link, a tunnel to an object we have in our possession. We can also create a servitor instead, for the purposes of gathering.

Lately I've been enamoured by the idea of cities being connected: of portals that could be made or discovered, that lead to other places. Perhaps before leaving to our next destination, there is a place to visit, to imagine our entry through that will enhance our journey. Furthermore, perhaps these cities can be brought closer together, through cutups and collages, and through ritual. This idea comes from the feeling of the sameness in every city. Sometimes I have stood outside a building, knowing full well where I am, and yet have felt that I was in another specific city. There are maps that are hierarchical, in that this is Winnipeg, these are the roads that it

includes; these are the districts; these are the individual spaces, yet there is another map that is distinct from it: it is the map of feeling. This place feels like this other place, they are related through experiences, our feelings on the spatial level, and our emotional attachments to it. Why rationalize it away, when it can be used for something? All of these things have at its heart liminality. It is good practice to become actively aware, spatially. When you cross a threshold of one room to another, there is a shift in air pressure, in scent, etc. Every space has its own feeling. Asserting our relation to these spaces extends our power. It deepens our practice through the many options awareness of space provides.

DO WE NEED GNOSIS?

Obsession is your enemy; rapture is your friend.

In a lot of cultures trance isn't a necessity for magick. One can enact a tradition without belief, without trance, and obtain nothing. On the other hand, one can enact a tradition with full awareness of its meaning, but without passion, and still obtain some results. For some gnosis as a maintained state, equals magical power. I however have witnessed my brother, in his everyday consciousness effect something material with a simple assertion: "Magic is just belief. For example, I can make the VCR stop working, simply by

believing that it will." And so it began to flicker. My mom pleaded him to stop, for fear of it breaking entirely. The real meaning of gnosis in my mind, is a very temporary state: the sudden illumination of free-belief. Ah, but of course, if belief is a major factor, then we humans of such low self esteem; of such tendencies of hope and entanglement, have much work to do.

The main thing in our way is what others have termed the lust of result. The more wrapped up you are in your desires, the harder it is to escape them, the more theatrics you require, those deeper levels of trance. Our minds have made a habit out of doubt. Even if we

maneuver successfully through a ritual without its appearance, it often surfaces afterwards in another form. We will start to fantasize. The problem with fantasy, in regards to magical acts, is that it brings back the future as a glimpse of the emotion we would feel, if the desire itself had actually manifested. This fantasizing if not checked can outgrow the ritual we have done. Essentially, our selves will be tricked into thinking that the magic has been successful. Parts of us will be confused, believing that the whole point was to feel good after all, and we have done an awfullotof that. They gather around, patting each other on the back: "goodjob; good pleasure." We degenerate into an orgy of the psyche, and our original desire never shows.

This highlights an interesting area of magick. As it can be thought of, as a technology of actualizing probabilities through synchronicity, we have to consider that the less probable desires are most likely the ones that will attempt to find easier ways to manifest. Put simply: if you look to move a mountain, you will probably do so in a dream, whether you are awake, or asleep. Perhaps the next day you will see a movie about someone who moves a mountain. Perhaps the mountain to be moved, you will discover, is an emotional one: a huge structure of great age and rigidity.

Furthermore, there isn't much difference between magical consciousness, and everyday consciousness. A fun way to think through this is the phrase we often say aloud: I am hungry. If we pause to consider this, at the moment of its inception, we will find many associations. There is the feeling of hunger in our bellies and there are the sensations of food prior to, and during consumption. This sensation of hunger, manifests these other sensations out of thin air. Remarkable. What is even more insidious, is that all this hunger that we feel, which is emphasized, and built up upon by our visualizations of food, manifests the act of us doing something about it! What great manipulators we are: so very evil! Now, if we are very good, we will not have to state our hunger aloud, and someone will just show up with pizza, however, that is just a gradient upon which to base success.

Magick is just the extension of what we already do within ourselves. It is reaching further, into what is less probable or even just less immediate, and coming back with it. Just as the smell of food, can cause us to feel sensations of hunger, sometimes it is the same in magick. Sometimes something happens, that we hadn't yet desired. This highlights our connectivity. We are association. Because of this we have to find a way to sidestep our desires.

One of the common methods is that of repression, albeit, it is highly dependent on what is repressed. The reason for this is the idea of how a neurosis can be created from repression. We push away a side of ourselves, we bury it under our own filth, deeper and deeper until it cannot breathe. Unfortunately instead of dying, it develops another method of accumulating oxygen. It comes back as a separate thing, seeking to control us; to ascend the throne when we are drunk, or not looking. The denial of an aspect, for some reason, often empowers

it. The real thing we should repress then, is the ritual itself. By burying the ritual, it will seek escape. We do this by wilfully forgetting it, just after it is accomplished. Then when we are faced with fits of fantasy, or of doubt, we simply have to laugh at them with acceptance, as if we were friends sharing an inside joke. We then turn our minds towards something else of interest. Another method would be to focus on the physical feeling of our doubt, or fantasy itself. We divorce it from our mental thoughts. We let the emotion stay for a while if it wishes, but it is no longer tied to what it was. We can focus the mind on it, through noting meditation, which is to state verbally a label that we put on the emotion, while it is there, circulating. If it is doubt, we feel in it our bodies, stating: "doubt, doubt, doubt," and it fades away like a cat that has had its fill of attention.

DISENTANGLING

It is helpful, to anyone aspiring to fulfil themselves, to know what it is that they desire, and what it is connected to in their psyches. It is

difficult to peel back the layers, uncovering motivations, but what we should be striving for is a sense of congruency, for when we are strapped down with conflicting desires, we attain very little. The conflicted, confused self is alone in the dark, unable to identify what it even is. Its boundaries seem to not exist; its contents are an unlimited, empty vacuum.

Let us start then with our desires, and let ourselves unfold from that point onwards. In defining what we want, there are some rather rudimentary techniques at our disposal. Firstly, there is the question: "why do I want this?" When turned towards one of your desires: it can be a scythe, or a vegetable peeler. A simple example would be to write down your desire, then begin a tree of answers, to that question of "why?" In this, it is of essence not to establish a hierarchy by trying to find one single answer. It is also important to try to take each possible reason, as far as possible. Often you will find, that what you wanted was either too specific, or not specific enough; that your desire may be better of split into a series of desires, or that it has lost its value.

You may find that a simple rewording states your intent more clearly. Related to this is the consideration of what avenues your desire has to manifest itself. It is a whole other exercise to consider not only is its probability high enough to occur, but also, may it occur more easily negatively, than positively? Should I restate this intent to protect myself, and others?

The opposite to our certainty of the correctness of our desires, is our doubt in general of our worthiness. The use of affirmations are useful to the self esteem, as are successes. Rather than simply picking an affirmation off the top of your head, keep rewriting it until it is good enough to make you smile; to make you blush; to make you exclaim. In this moment of realization you may not need any repetition. I tend to sigilize these affirmations, and consume them as eucharists.

Now that we are firm in our desires, and have reduced our doubts to

shrivelled corpses, we may move onto two other methods of disentangling ourselves.

Noting practice, while it may eventually be replaced by some technology that will transmute unwanted emotion into an energy to be redirected into an ability or power, remains a strong practice of liberation. It can be used to tackle any emotion that is in the way of our desires, or it can be turned towards our desires themselves when they feel too strong. Emotions if paid attention to, will be noticed to have both a cognitive function, and a kinaesthetic function, that is to say, there are your thoughts in your mind at the time, and there are your physical feelings within the body. To do noting practice, is to separate the two, focusing on the physical manifestations of the emotion, while labelling it mentally with whatever label you wish identify it as.

With practice we may begin to think that emotions coming in two parts, implies that they are sometimes born out of one another. You could be sad, out of the thoughts you are having, or you could be sad out of exhaustion; out of malnutrition, and be simply matching thoughts that go with that feeling. Secondly, instead of repressing, you are giving yourself up to these feelings, allowing them to reintegrate. Sitting down with an emotion, allows it to pass. It inevitably goes away; the body as a coastline with the rolling waves. If it is rooted in something, and keeps returning, then you will be given the opportunity to discover what it is. This may come spontaneously during noting practice, or through cerebral practices such as the "why game."

Like in the section about omens and tribulations, we can treat our emotions as potential symptoms of something that needs to be addressed, utilizing the energy to uncover it, and to flip it over, transmuting its concern into a momentum to activate the change required. In general we can treat the emotions that are released from their bonds of thoughts, as free-emotions, thereby funnelling their energy into another act of magick. Which brings us to one of the

conceptions of Neither-Neither. As a technique, it is the smashing of opposites beliefs into each other. This can be applied to different levels of identity, ranging from emotions; to roles and beliefs; to behavioural patterns; to loops of the mind. For example, if you are feeling particularly mad at a friend, you can counter with moments of joy you've shared; moments of love. This can be accomplished by taking your time evoking one side, filling yourself until you are almost overflowing with that one belief or emotion, and then anchoring it to a gesture, or symbol. You then repeat yourself with

its opposite. At the end you fire offboth anchors at the same time, experiencing the feelings as one. Sometimes instead, this action splits off, and you have lesser thoughts reinforcing the original belief or action. This can be countered once again, with points from its opposite, until there is nothing left. When you find that your mind, cannot come up with any counter points, you will probably feel a sense of calm, and a surge of energy. This energy or focus, can then be fed to other endeavours. Some seek out beliefs they hold, that they find limiting, and save them for the time of ritual, using them to fuel their rites.

SPIRITUAL CARTOGRAPHY

Although one cannot escape the self's will to make maps, we can at least be conscious of it, and utilize them only when they are useful: as tools we may wield. I think the ideal in all of this, is not only to not be afraid of making assertions, creating new meanings on whims, but also of treating your maps as if they were in flux, just like the territory will be: coastlines change. As Gregory Bateson once said:

paper. What is on the paper map is a representation of what was in

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the retinal representation of the man who made the map; and as you

push the ~:~stion back, what you fmd is an infinite ~e~e'ss, ~ l

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We are inundated with other people's maps, and this has not escaped the currents ofmagick. We are given many models of the universe. Ceremonial Magick is especially rife with hierarchies of spirits (many cultures do not assign permanent spirits of any sort.) Many of these orders also have vast list of correspondences, from one magical system to another, so as to make "sense" of it all. It is a vast game of forcing round things, into square holes. The square things lose "squareness," and the round holes become vacant passages, that cannot hold onto anything. One can attribute any territory to any map, because essentially, that is what the mind is forced to do. If you were not you, and you were only a mind, and were inundated with the sensory data of the world, you too would ignore almost all of it, striving to make sense.

The most universal map we are stuck with involves the double horns of opposites: dualism. One cannot separate anything from its counterpart, in the sense that its opposite is essential to understand what exactly "it" is. Ifwe have class that is labelled dogs, than it is essential that we have one that is labelled non-dogs. Some people can't help but feel an obligation to this sense of dualism. They feel that if they have good luck now, they must have bad luck soon. Their thoughts betray them. If they are happy, they must make themselves sad, as soon as possible. This is obviously useless; the only use of dualism is consideration. For example: if! have a "negative" behaviour of acting out in a certain way, what might it be trying to manifest that is "positive?" How can I satisfy this aspect of self in a more constructive, unified way?

THE NEXUS

We look at ourselves, as if from above, tracing back emotions to thoughts, following behaviours on up to social roles, however when we look at a map of ourselves, what we end up finding is more like that of a rhizome. When I ate my first young cattail shoot in a swamp outside of Steinbach, Manitoba, I followed the rhizomes from one plant to another, thinking about the glory of propagation both by seed, and rhizome. This is a more useful way of looking at maps. You can imagine briefly, an idea floating away from a cattail, like its seed, then planting itself in a fertile place, spreading forth from there in a web of associations.

This is the extent of hierarchy in ideas: these nexus points that seem to be interrelated to so many things in our minds. They are important primarily because they are so connected to other ideas, but also through their spontaneous creation, when one nexus point forms and you get a sense of its importance, or two fuse, creating a novel connection. Eventually origin stories in the web of ideas, are forgotten, and all we are left with are the meanings themselves, which often change.

Our core parts are merely the nexuses that have the largest nuclei; the most associations. If you imagine associations as yam, you may visualize clearly how tangled; how woven our "core selves" are. Scissors here are our greatest enemy; our greatest friend. When we disentangle we may only find silence. To some it may be a shock to find nothing there, but it is the silence of being present. If there is a core self, it may only be the light that shines through when we have reduced ourselves to glass.

Like the ambiguity found in the self, the ambiguity in magick both keeps us engaged, which helps us with our workings, and unattached which protects us from backlashes of failure, and of the gravity of our obsessions. The reason I talk about obsessions so much in this text, is that they tighten our core of yam, making us more entangled, more dependent on the lowercase self or "ego," in its mission to

protect us from our fear. The ego promises that it will help us avoid pain, and yet its tension lays us lovingly in a magnificent vice that replicates the pain we wished to avoid, stretching it out like taffy.

The inkling of having lost one's "self" is a direct address of what it is to be. The anxiety of not knowing what to do points towards our great fear of existing. To just sit is "a waste of time." So why are we afraid of being without context? You may think here, that magick is the context, since I have defined it as an assertion of meaning. I'd like to add that magick is the addition and removal of context. To change context with will is intensely magicaL

NOVELTY AND CUTUPS

If identity is made up of the associations between our various sensations, then our strongest chance for liberty is in the cultivation of novelty. If we are to accept this we have to assert that memory is a sensation; that behaviour is a sensation; that all is sensation. Patterns in behaviour, in life, can then be perceived as supported associations. In other words, your surroundings: the clothes you're wearing; the shit on your walls; your music; your friends; your culture ... are all props that sustain your ability to act in the roles you have chosen to allow to continue: a play that never ends. Ifwe accept all of these presuppositions, and we feel the urges of change wrapping around us like a spool of red yam, then we are free to escape, moving towards our strongest chance: the sensations of novelty.

There is a multitude of magical artists, from Austin Osman Spare; to Kenneth Anger; to Genesis P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle and Psychick TV; to Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs, etc. These people all worked magical intent directly into their artforms. We can extend this mode of art-as-magic, as some of them have, into including our life as a potential medium. We can find ways not only to make our creativity more magical, more honed to a specific intent, but we can also assimilate our artistic processes and conceptual languages, into magick.

When I started drawing it improved my ability to write. Not only was I given new sets of language to use in writing, but I was bringing back the concepts that I discovered in another medium. The interests and aesthetics I developed in painting and drawing, were bleeding into my other discipline: an interest in texture; in multiplicity, and the realization that most of the world was beginning to look neutral, with only an oasis here and there of vibrant colour. When I first started drawing, I approached it from the same angle as I approached music years before. I drew wildly, with no consideration of style, or focus. I engaged in automatic drawing.

This was a favourite of Spare's, and his entire magical system seems to derive from his interest in the regurgitation of his Deep Mind:

Self-love. There is great novelty to be found when we let out ourselves without the application of our filters. In terms of process, cutups are a technique of interest. It harkens back to our talk of syzygy, because the random juxtaposition of sensations that we experience in life are natural cutups. It is the ability to find connections between things, leaving "noise" out of the equation. However it is in the noise itself that we find a stream of truly free associations: scrying in the static of a T.V. set for sigils, listening to the amplified sounds of a tape recorder for evidence of EVPs, channeling newly imagined beings through pens and little scraps of paper. The point here is that all sensory data is noise until it is shaped by us: we deem it meaningfuL

In regards to written material the process of cutups is straight forward. You cut a page of a text of interest into quarters, recombining the sections; you can cut a stack of pages in half, and recombine those, etc. Picking up Burroughs' The Job, a moment ago, I stumbled upon the following cutup by reading a line from one page, flowing into the equivalent line on the next page: "Yes, we will abolish the laws." As Burroughs states in an interview in The Third Mind: "You find it often makes quite as much sense as the originaL You learn to leave out words and to make connections." For Burroughs this technology was a useful weapon against what he termed the wordvirus: language as a species that lives within a host, propagating, eventually killing it off.

Our dependency on words, is similar to our dependency on identity: our instinctual desire for a structure to hang our sensations upon. When identity itself is approached loosely via the cutup, we can discover secrets that would forever otherwise remain buried, since it bypasses the usual threads of association. We can do this through the use of diaries, including dates from the future that contain events of our desires; through lists of identity roles, values and behaviours; through our relation to the raw material of the world's

noise, and our unfiltered creativity. With these source materials we can merge various aspects of self into new configurations. We can empower the most favourable of these new combinations by acting as if we were them. We can give them gestures; attitudes; styles of dress; figures of speech: entire lives.

There are a few other ways to find new associations within language that I would like to mention. The use of etymology can uncover the lost meanings in words, as can discovering various translations and their additional meanings and usages. There is also the use of ciphers, such as various types of gematria. In these each letter is given a numerical value. A sum of a word, is then compared to other sums. For example, using the New Aeon English Qabala the word: wordvirus = 95. Other words with this sum include: bullets; cataclysm; escape; fence; simulacra; systems; text; voidness.

There is also the act of writing lists of associations, and of cutting these lists up, down to the individual word. Once a pile is assembled, we can pull out random words, and try to find the connections between them. This can be an interesting way of representing desires. We can break down a sentence of desire into each individual concept, making lists of associations with each concept. We end up with separate piles, combining a single word from each of these piles to create a unique representation. These concepts can then be weaved into writing; into works of art; into our rituals.

IDENTITY MAP AND USES

In Dave Lee's Chaotopia he goes into a brief outline of self:

Identity I

Values and their Criteria

I

Behaviours

With this model we can tear apart various aspects of self, and map them, bringing them in for scrutiny. Using the "why" method, we can identify the reasons for their existence; using affirmations, glamours, eucharists and invocations we can insert new ones into place, and with the Neither-Neither technique we can liberate ourselves through cancellation.

A method that I have used is to make a grid using these three categories, as well as a vertical separation. On the left are the things you want to move away from, on the right, the things you want to bring in or empower. Often when you make such a map, you will discover things that are in conflict. Also, you may find that some of your identity roles or values are empty, having no current behaviours to support them, or that you have a whole host of actions that serve no purpose. It is worth saying here, that the roles we associate with ourselves, are often the most profound ways of change. However, at times it may seem that our roles and identities are so propped up by our values; our behaviours, and by our social contracts, that we are forced to tear down the supports, before we can change ourselves.

This brings us to the subject of ritual, and of its purpose. Ifidentity is made up of associations of behaviour (memory also falling into this category), then bringing in new associations through ritual: foreign gods; dark shadows; brilliant auroras: is an effective method of change. You are molding yourself by running yourself through unique experiences; by playing with meanings. The more novelty you experience, the more fluid your psyche becomes, and the easier it is to be open: to endure the entire scope of beauty.

EVOKING CONCEPTS

Any concept we imagine, can be given form or flesh, and sentience. Once they are given a voice, we can bring them in for conversation. Our methods can be the same as in the section on servitors, although now our focus is different. Here we are looking at aspects of self

that are already in some senses formed. I'm talking of personal demons. They are those aspects that take control under certain conditions. They are our repressed shadows, that can only be seen under a certain lighting. In this vein, paying attention to them tends to change how we relate to them entirely. Acknowledgement changes the dynamics between us and them, from a focus on power, who controls whom, to recognizing their free will. They are tied to us, yes, as are people within our communities. Our mutual entanglement, unveils the fact that they have an interest in our preservation. Ifwe die, they die. What then are their goals? How are they trying to benefit our totalities? Or have they been whipped so badly by us, that they are the anarchists, and we are the state?

Our approach then, with all but the most vile, toxic aspects, should be one of reintegration. Their root motivations need to be uncovered, and their effect on us as a whole needs to be shown to them. We can then, with their agreement, look to replace their behaviours with more holistic alternatives. There is another approach, which is the binding of these demons to our wills. This is of course, a very top-down approach, and may be useful in extreme cases of resistance, as well as our final option: their complete expulsion from our world. For now, let us consider how can we get the conversation going.

Ramsey Dukes, in his Little Book of Demons gives us a simple tool to begin communicating: the pendulum. In his approach these demons are already with us, and require no fleshing out, besides uncovering what aspects of us they are. The discovery then of their personality; of appearance; of various powers are to be found within our interactions with them. To construct a pendulum, fmd a horizontally symmetrical object, that has a fair bit of weight to it, and attach it to a string, cord, or chain. Its operation is in discovering what our demon considers a neutral position, and what is a "no" or "yes" answer. Typically for me neutral is forwards and backwards, counter-clockwise is "yes",and clockwise is "no."

The preliminaries are important. Getting yourself into the mood

will help unleash the right questions. There is also the art of addressing the subject. Explaining to them the situation aloud, as if they were a friend sitting in front of you, can be extremely helpful for getting things going, since it reinforces them as externaL

Another method of communication is the ouija board. These can be made simply by drawing all the required pieces, cutting them out, forming a circle out of them, and using a small glass to act as the planchette. The surface you do this on should be smooth. When working alone, instead of a planchette a pendulum can also be used. It will swing on an axis, between two answers. You can then verify which answer it was by moving the pendulum over either answer, receiving a "yes" or "no." Alternatively you can construct a board that is a half circle, to eliminate clarifications.

Lastly there is communication via your body/mind. This usually comes in the form of mental pictures, with the addition of gut reactions of yes, or no. Out of our options of communication, this one usually has the higher learning curve, and is the most dependent on the magicians ability to enter trance states.

GLAMOURS

A glamour is an assumed projection. It is you surrounding yourself with a visualization. It becomes how you hold yourself; how you communicate non-verbally. It is a minor becoming. Since how you see yourself is very much who you think you are, assuming glamours tends to leak back into self, especially when used over time. It is a very simple method for adding things to your identity which you lack. Although you can build up a visualization around you, it is more effective to build a double, and then to step into it. This allows you to feel how it feels upon entry, to step back out again, making improvements if necessary. When making a glamour it may be useful for you to imagine how you and others will react to the glamour. Sometimes your picture of yourself doesn't change much for your specific purpose. Other times it could be coded in a

specific colour overly, or of a shape, such as a specific animal. Likewise, a sigil could be used; a feeling coalesced.

If identity is once again, a matter of associations, then we can declare the world alive by extending ourselves: all is mind. Nexuses do not limit themselves by staying within. Likewise we are not made up of associations strictly between things of our internal worlds. We imbue the spaces around us with meaning. If within us there are many of us, rather than one self, then the extension of our minds into the world populates it with spirits. We can imagine that the universe is a mind as well. It has its own associations, its own nexuses made up of not only us, but all that could be construed as information. It too may have a tightly wound core of yarn, but it too might strive for liberty; it too may thirst for an ambrosia of novelty. There is the possibility that it is dying to associate; that nexuses and spirits wish to grow, to evolve; that ideas wish to be social. There is merit then in syzygy, in alignment with what is

external. There is a third mind between us and other people; us and our spaces; us and the totality. This third mind, when given sentience, allows us to engage with the world more intimately.

There is some evidence of this in our social relations. We are prone to enacting patterns with other people, acting out plays, the same scene rewritten: new dialogue, different locations, but with the same purposes and outcomes. We are sometimes swept up by these currents. Often when I visit family, or old lovers, I fmd myself enacting patterns of behaviour that I thought I had lost. My preference is thinking of these as individual spirits rather than through the lens of psychology, because there is a tendency in psychology to simple reduce behaviour via already discovered formulas; to tear them apart in an effort to uncover a source, releasing that which is cathartic. When instead we choose a third mind, the approach can widen considerably because it is no longer a mechanical part, it is a living being.

One can imagine us being surrounded by living thoughts. The longer they are in our minds, the more energy and weight they attain. They cling to our walls, to our furniture. When we return to a place we no longer frequent, they may still be there, waiting for us. They attempt, perhaps, to draw us in, so they may reattach themselves. Patterns solidify. A fortification reduced to rubble, may be rebuilt through the repetition of manual labour, this is why a catharsis can easily revert itself. It is also why spaces and ideas amass identity. In magical theory, there is a word that has been used since the Theosophists that is applied to the idea of a group mind: egregore. It is most apparent in magical groups, a summary of shared ritual, coalescing into a spirit. It is how traditions can be powerful. Egregores can draw us in, connecting to our nexuses, enchanting us. Egregores that move us can cause great novelty. We can be rewritten in an instant, be it beneficial, or damaging.

SPIRITS AND GODFORMS

There is a conceptual difference between spirits and gods: the former

are close to us. In some cultures, like the etymology of the word demon suggests, spirits hand out destinies. Gods on the other hand are distant, acting more like archetypes. When we work with them, we are often working with godforms: incarnate spirits. Gods are more suited to matters of identity, and manifest usually in broader strokes, unfolding sometimes slowly. They are invoked: we become them within rituaL Spirits on the other hand are called upon for material change by performing a task for us, or consecrating a talisman. They are usually evoked, that is brought into the space around us, visually separated as a means to emphasize their separation. Despite their differences they can be used within the same ritual, invoking a godform, becoming them in order to enhance our work, or to protect us, before envoking a spirit that we wish to work with.

EVOKING SPIRITS

Before you can evoke, you need to know what it is that you are calling forth. There are many grimoires available that give you the names and seals of spirits, however discovering them for ourselves is too much fun to cast aside. The other benefit is how specific we can be, finding the right spirit for the job. How then, do we wish to proceed? It is a question of whether we want to search them out, to discover their abodes, or whether we want their digits.

We can drift, in order to find their home. We can walk with intent; with a mantra that contains the exact type of spirit we require, what the deed is that it needs to be able to do. We can also start with a pendulum and a map, hitting the streets afterwards. There is also the chance that we are not looking for something specific, but trying to discover what is out there in our surrounding area. What are the spirits that populate our neighbourhood? What powers do they contain?

If we wish to stay in, then our main option is scrying. All that is really needed to evoke a spirit is its symboL Our intent can be turned

into a mantra. Our surfaces could be a television set to static; a black mirror; a pool of water with black ink, etc. Another option is automatic drawing, or any form of visual art as long as we are able to disconnect and let the symbol appear.

Evocation itself is for the most part the same when working with spirits, as it is with concepts. One exception is that we are not fleshing out its form, as much as we are letting it show itself. Our main focus than is the visualization, or gazing upon of their seal. There are other possible activities, such as drawing over and over again the seal in some sort of medium, or building it up like a mandala out of objects. Accompanying this can be an occasional statement of intent, or call, such as: It is my will to evoke n, for the purposes of x. Once we feel that it is arrived, we may offer it something in exchange for its services, and explain to it what task we wish it to perform.

Spirits of this kind, discovered, are not to be confused with our creations. Once again there is a certain level of respect to be given. One aspect of this is to not take up a lot of its time, especially if you are ripping it out of its abode, manifesting it within an object or triangle. When using spirits of various grimoires, it should be noted that they are literally grammar books. They are instructions on how to use a conceptual language. The ritual actions you are asked to perform in them, are then conditions that are required for that spirit to manifest properly, since these are the associations that make up its identity. If you speak in broken Goetic, chances are they'll still appear, perhaps just not as effectively.

As always, it's recommended that you banish, preferably before and after.

INVOCATIONS

Becoming someone else, especially a godform, is perhaps the strongest technique for the changing of self. While the process of

any ritual, can bring in a wealth of associations, it is rarely as powerful, in this regard sans invocation. Our research this time, is comparatively more mundane than with evocations. To flesh out an idea enough to become that idea, takes considerable more work.

Personality includes many degrees, from gait to laugh; to dress and speech; to facial constructions and postures, etc. For this to coalesce we need an extensive list of their deeds, the events that shaped up their mythical lives. Read, read, read, and then excessively construct a mirror ofthem starting from within, bleeding out into everything else that makes up your ritual.

A classic approach, is to shift slowly from third person, to second, to first. We can first imagine them in their abodes, then in our room, then within us. This can be accompanied by a speech of their attributes. For example we can start with their titles, then move on to their specific deeds, then fmally their abilities or powers. Each stage can be summarized with our intent: "I invoke thee." Another approach is to build up a double of your godform. To visualize them in the room, collecting energy. Once you feel as if it is really there, in this case the evidence may be that it begins to move without you actively imagining it, you may let it open their eyes, and immediately move your consciousness to their body, seeing the room through them. You may prefer to let it walk into you instead, as I do.

ENERGY

Through ritual energy eventually shows itself, becoming difficult to ignore. Starting perhaps with heat, or pressure, we will begin to sweat, and we may begin shake or sway without volition. Afterwards we may find ourselves with burns, or rashes. If working with a spirit, you may fmd the room suddenly very cold, once they depart. If energy exists in this separate form, even if only symbolic, than it is worth it to figure out how to utilize it. Our friend in this then, is the use of our body awareness. For example, by moving the

awareness of your big toe, tracing it all the way through your foot, up your leg, through your entire body and back again. Eventually you can learn to move through your entire body in one pass, gaining speed the more proficient you are at it. It is a useful activity for trance, and meditation, something to focus on that eventually builds its own rhythm.

Additionally this can be the backbone for learning how to raise energy and move it around, such as in the Middle Pillar ritual, or when doing groundings or banishings. There is an entire system using body awareness in Robert Bruce's books "Astral Dynamics," or "Energy Work."

In the meantime, there is a simple way to play. If you rub your hands gently, until they feel incredibly different, maybe a few minutes or so ... when you stop and separate them you will find that your entire hands feel different, not just your palms. With a partner, this can be repeated, except with an additional factor: the creation of an energy ball. There are two basic ways to create this. One is to hold your hands apart at about four inches, and to bring them in slowly, repeatedly, as close as you can without touching, and then back out again. After a while, if your hands are sensitized, you should feel a pressure building up between them. Alternatively you can imagine energy flowing from your hands, coalescing into a ball between them. This can be aided with using a body awareness from your feet, or solar plexus, and flowing out your hands into the center. The ball once there, can then be felt to be bouncing between your hands, and beyond them, getting larger as it goes. Once it is strongly felt, a partner can sensitize their hands, and dip them into the energy field, seeing if there is any change. Its size can be estimated by going to its center, and slowly backing out, feeling the various layers of difference.

Even in a light trance, without sensitizing your hands, you may notice that you can feel fields of energy extending from things. It is a fun game to check how dense, or how big these fields are around your talismans, as well as ordinary objects. It can also be combined

with trying to pay attention to anything that enters your mind at the same time, discovering associations that exist with places, people, objects. The sensitization to your own energy makes it easier to feel differences in liminality, aiding in everything from drifts, to feeling the presence of external beings.

THE HOLY GUARDIAN ANGEL

There are many conceptions of the Holy Guardian Angel, and while arguably most practices do not include the HGA, it is worth mentioning for its implications. The most prominent conception (in my mind) is that it is a guiding spirit that will help you on the road to enlightenment. Sometimes this spirit is thought of as a True Self, or a Higher Genius, etc, rather than as an independent being. The HGA figures prominently in Crowley's Thelema, where the Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel, is equated to crossing the Abyss, thereby discovering one's True Will, and eventually obtaining the grade of Master of the Temple ... thus the Great Work is completed? .. yup. The thing about this is its a bit of a lift job. The original conception in the "Book of Abramelin" is more classical in that it deals with demons. After a difficult preparation of eighteen months, the HGA appears offering magical secrets. Afterwards, the magus, having their Guardian rooted firmly in their lives, are to evoke the twelve Kings and Dukes of Hell, and bind them into service. Not only are they to provide familiars to the magician, coming with various powers one could expect at that time, but the Kings and Dukes of Hell are also thought to be unable to manifest negatively in the magus' life henceforth.

At the very least this conception provides us with ideas. Stephen Mace has picked up this classical definition, and improved upon it. In his system, the HGA is to provide the name and seal of ANY

spirit that exists: a worthy shortcut. More interesting yet is his list of types of powers and spirits that may be bound. It includes internal aspects, as well as external, but more enticing are his ideas of binding the links or connections between different powers, including

the flow of energy between two powers, which he calls syncretic spirits. His example is a spirit that funnels hatred for the state, into a storehouse for literary creativity. When in a rage of this type, he merely says a word and the energy is harvested. When he needs that energy to write, another name is sounded and inspiration appears. Another example he provides is the harvesting of the energy spent on fantasizing about outcomes: a powerful weapon against the Lust of Result.

A fmal conceptualization would be the coalesced form. It could be the summary of your entire life, or if you're a believer in past-lives, it could be all that your soul will/could ever experience.

Out of these three conceptions, the second seems the most useful, since the other two can be included within its framework.

ENLIGHTENMENT

It can be said that awakenings are an experience of non-duality, that is to say feeling connected to everything. Enlightenment as a single event then would be the experience of making this state a permanent companion in our life. It is not that we stop grasping; stop feeling attached, it is that we do these things while simultaneously holding an awareness of being more than an individual. One can desire something, and feel attached to it, while simultaneously knowing that it is not required to continue our existence. There are of course other models, in other traditions.

Some state that we are already enlightened, only we don't realize it. Others don't seem to believe in enlightenment as something that can be attained by anyone, and that it has only been attained by a very limited number throughout history. Non-duality can arise naturally of ecstatic states, especially in cases where we are paying attention to the sensations our bodies produce. While this path is well beyond the scope of this text, like many of the topics I've glanced over, there is a very basic practice that I can impart. First we should learn how

to concentrate, honing our focus on mantras, or sigils, until we can enter a stable state of concentration that requires no effort to maintain. Once this can be easily cultivated, we can attempt to switch our focus to that of the sensations of our body. At first, perhaps you should pick a body part, and take in all that arises from it. Glamours could also be used, as could asanas; the movement of dance; noting practice; the movement of body awareness; just sitting and taking in all sensation, etc.

If you're truly interested in clear maps of this kind of a territory, I highly recommend Daniel Ingram's "Mastering the Core Techniques of the Buddha."

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