Practical magick.

An introduction to writing tarot poetry

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Tarot journal, photo by LimerykTarot-inspired poetry can be a vehicle for ritual, reflection, joy, and for release. Creating it adds a new layer to the act of divination, requiring introspection and expression. Metaphor and mythology feed the imagination in tarot readings and when tarot is used for poetry.

Writing poetry

A poet’s strongest tool, arguably, is metaphor, which helps interpret the significance of tarot cards. The sea on the Rider-Waite-Smith two of pentacles represents a bumpy, busy emotional or subconscious experience informs a card reader, and it is just this work that a poet does, with or without cards. Do not be afraid to consider those undertones in your cards, as poetry often draws from our depths, and the subtlest message of each card is easily fodder for poetry.Poetry – and creative writing in general – provides opportunity for a personal journey. The results of creative, conscious efforts have no room for judgement. To explore your words is the means and the reward. Poetry is a unique language that condenses the larger universe and plays with anything the imagination offers. Poetry is allowed to roam and wander, or it may creep and crawl and gather details other forms of language will not. The poet is often a navigator, but in this style of writing, one should always let mood, inspiration, spirit or whatever you wish to call it, lead you. Read More

How do you find a teacher?

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Spiral Nature Letters, Mailbox background by RaSeLaSeD - Il Penguino, with additional work by PsycheIn the past we've answered questions about being ready for spellwork and building self-discipline.This question came in via our newsletter, where we ask, what’s the one thing you’re struggling with in your practice?
I have a keen mind for occult studies and my biggest hang up is lack of a teacher. I have read many books in numerology, astrology and yoga, and I very much desire a teacher in these areas.In ancient times, yoga was disseminated person to person, this was the study of yoga. I have had many wonderful teachers, especially during kundalini teacher training, but I long for the intimate interaction of a teacher.When it comes to numerology and astrology, I have basic tenets but I long for the next step in learning. I've asked the universe for a teacher and guide both in my writing and my meditations.
Finding a teacher can be tough, especially finding the right teacher. You've taken the first step and put your intention out there, and now it's time to take action.You can always Google for books, blogs, and people, but personal recommendations tried and tested from people who have already walked the path are always strongest. Read More

Binaural beats meditation

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Brain waves, image by normalityreliefTechnology is supposed to improve our lives by making things easier and more convenient, and save us time, freeing us to do more meaningful things. Yet I have not seen a lot of in-depth analysis of the ways technological advances have impacted the occult student.It's been suggested that binaural beats can act as a shortcut to years of disciplined meditation and yogic techniques, and while I derive massive benefits from a formal sitting meditation practice, I have found that it is not always the most suitable for preparing you for real life. Your mind may be a still clear pond when perched upon a zafu in a temple setting, but that serenity can fly right out the window the first time you get stressed out at work, or get in a fight with your significant other. Read More

Necromancy in the digital age

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Skeleton, photo by Kevin DooleyWhat comes to mind when you hear the word necromancy? Do you think of ghoulishly gruesome grave robbing under the light of the full moon? Do you picture only sinister sorts enslaving the deceased and making them do their bidding? Well if so, then you only know of the sordid past of the ancient practice known as necromancy. But what of this arcane art in these modern times? Do people still revere and utilize the death current in occult operations? They most certainly do. While necromancy does indeed have roots in many ancient cultures, this sector of the occult sciences is far from dead. Read More

How to read inverted tarot cards

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Tarot, photo by aquarian_insightA card is considered to be inverted or reversed when it is placed in a reversed position. If, for example, the card is placed vertically, its top edge will face the bottom of the spread. The card is read normally as part of the spread but carries an altered meaning.The use of inverted tarot cards may seem intimidating, but they are not inherently bad. They simply represent a counterpoint to each card's standard meanings. Consider the balanced energies of the yin and yang: each exists as a reflection of the other. There are those who choose not to make use of inverted cards. The introduction of any negativity to a reading is something they would prefer to avoid.

Why use inverted cards?

Inverted cards are a useful tool for understanding the context of a card's position in the spread. Contrasting the inverted cards with their conventional counterparts can help understand the tone of the reading. Read More

Depression, the dark night of the soul and magick

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The dark night of the soul, photo by Marko MiloševićI have had some interesting conversations with some insightful magicians, discussing the phenomenon of the dark night of the soul, and the feelings of desolation, despair and deep depression which can occur to anyone who is following the initiatory path of magick. There seems to be consensus that all magicians at some point retire from the world (and, in a sense, renounce it) to undergo the mystical rigors of the dark night of the soul while seeking union with the One.Strangely, I seem to be one of the few who takes issue with this. I think that it has more to do with a mystical approach to the godhead than a magical approach, and there are also the issues of chronic or situational depression, isolation and despair that have really nothing to do with spiritual ascension. In clinical depression, removing oneself from the world is a common symptom, and strong feelings are often replaced with a feeling of numbness, stasis or apathy.The real question then, is whether or not mystics and magicians experience the iconic dark night of the soul in the same way. Read More

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