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Thoughtforms and Spirits

By Phil Hansford | July 25, 2001 | Leave a comment

Although there are hundreds of kinds of divination, the principle ones are astrology, geomancy, the tarot, the I Ching, and direct psychic means (especially clairvoyance). True divination is more than a mechanical system, for it implies true psychic interpretation (receiving). Some form of divination is often used in magick ritual to communicate with the entity invoked.

Since divination operates through the mind, it is affected and biased by the mind. Our attitudes and fears may alter it. Sometimes results are very detailed, and accurate — but not always. Often the future is plastic and changeable anyway, and the use of magick may alter the result. Thus divination shows tendencies only, which may be helpful, but must not rule us.

Developing Clairvoyance

It is possible to improve your natural ability with clairvoyance through practice. A good start might be to look around you, then close your eyes and try to picture your surroundings. This is also good exercise for visualization. And visualization is an essential talent in magick. Open your eyes again and check your accuracy. Then close your eyes and try it again. When you use your physical eyes, look at everything like a child seeing it for the first time. Let the vividness of colour and form burn into you, until everything takes on a veritable glow. Try to capture that glow when you close your eyes now and picture your surroundings. It’s just a simple step to extend what you see with your eyes closed into what you remember seeing in the next room, or what you *imagine* seeing in the next building, the next city, even the other side of the world. Don’t expect perfect results, especially at first. Just try to be even partly right. Another exercise is to picture a clock face, and thereby tell the time clairvoyantly.

The Aura

Under the right conditions, it is possible to clairvoyantly observe a coloured light around other people. This is known as the ‘aura’. Sometimes the aura is seen as multi-coloured emanations around the person, built up of various differently coloured layers and zones. Although many occult dabblers claim to be able to see the aura easily and under many varied conditions, I seriously doubt that they do. There are optical illusions and qualities of sight which can sometimes trick one into thinking he sees what he does not see. In this area, the quality of sight known as after image is especially pertinent. Do this: stare at any solidly coloured bright object for a few moments. Very intense red, green, or blue are especially good for this. Now look away at a white surface and you will see a phantom image of the object in its complementary colour (a red object will show green, a blue one orange, etc.). If the bright object is in front of a light surface, you may observe a fringe of complementary colour around the object after a few moments. This is all very normal, and is used by some magical groups as an aid to visualization sometimes called ‘flashing colours’. Some silly people will stare at other people in the same way. And when they see the after image of the person’s clothing, they think they are seeing his aura. What is more, various meanings have been attributed to the colours of the aura. A psychic who can see the aura is supposed to be able to determine that persons emotional state. Thus psychic frauds can have a marvellous time with auras. One deluded psychic taught a class I attended in which he performed instant psychoanalysis on the basis of the supposed aura. It was obvious that he was actually observing after images from the students clothes!

This brings us to the chart of aura colours on the next page. It is a general guide, based mostly on Theosophical material. Various groups may attribute different meanings to the colours. The colours we show on the chart are emotional in nature; useful if you plan to create an artificial elemental or do healing. Surrounding yourself with a particular colour will tend to produce the specific psychological effect described in the chart. That quality of colour is useful in magick ritual.

Colours of the Aura

BLACK                  malice
       dark grey       depression
       pale grey       fear
BROWN                  materialism
       muddy grey      selfishness
       dull rust       selfishness
RED                    energy
       bright red      anger and force
       dirty red       passion and sensuality
       dull red        selfish love
       rose            unselfish love
ORANGE                 pride
       orange cloud    irritability
       bright orange   noble indignation
YELLOW                 intellect
       yellow-green    low intellect
       earthy yellow   selfish thought
       lemon           high intellect
       bright gold     logical thinking
       brt. red-yel.   spiritual thought
GREEN                  empathy
       grey-green      deceit, jealously
       greenish-brown  jealousy
       emerald green   unselfish resourcefulness
       foliage green   sympathy & empathy
       brt. apple-grn  strong vitality
       brt. turquoise  deep sympathy & compassion
BLUE                   devotion (religious feeling)
       grey-blue       fetishism
       light blue      noble spiritual devotion
       dark blue       religious feeling
       brt. lilac-blu  lofty religious idealism
VIOLET                 spiritual (psychic & spiritual) faculty
WHITE                  purity/protection

Thoughtforms and Spirits

Whenever we concentrate our thoughts, we draw psychic energy together. This is called a thoughtform. Usually the energy dissipates as soon as we break the concentration, but it is possible to purposely concentrate energy in this way, producing very strong thoughtforms. Such thoughtforms are vortexes or centres of psychic energy. They can exist as entities by themselves, at least for a while. They are basically inanimate, non-thinking forces. Talking to one is about as logical as talking to a chair. In this way, thoughtforms are similar to elementals, ghosts, and spirits. All of these psychic entities consist of a psychic energy vortex which could be described as a localized field or as a discontinuity of the physical world.

Psychic entities respond to certain electrostatic and magnetic fields, and to other energy vortexes. That is why they respond to magick ritual. Someday, we may accomplish the same thing with electronic machines. Psychic entities are sometimes able to affect our thought processes.

Thoughtforms, elementals, and ghosts are usually not very smart. If they display any intelligence at all, it is limited. They are the morons of the spirit world. Their behavior is usually automatic, repetitive, robot-like (just like some people). We see that artificial elementals are little more than astral robots. Spirits and deities are more intelligent and volitional.

Directed Attention

Your mind follows your attention. Wherever you direct your attention, there will your thoughts go too. By directing attention to a specific place or purpose you *focus* mental energy upon it.

For example: you’re having lunch in a cafeteria crowded with people. It is a large place, and everyone there is talking at once, so that the room is a constant jumble of noise. You happen to notice a man accross the room; he reminds you of someone. All at once he drops his fork and you hear it hit the table. But would you have noticed the sound of his fork if you had not been looking? No. Only by focusing your attention there were you able to pick out that individual event and associated sound.

It is a dark night. You are walking and the only light you have is from the flashlight you hold in your hand. As you move the flashlight around, the beam of light from it directs your attention first one way then another. Now, the mind is something like that flashlight in the dark. And by directed attention, you point the mind to one place or another. As with that flashlight beam, you see where the mind is pointed; nothing more. The rest is ‘noise’. And so we could define mental noise as anything not focused upon. In another way, noise could be considered as negative emotions, attitudes, and thoughts which make it more difficult to direct the attention.

Your emotions follow your thoughts quite easily. Your emotions are not YOU, but are rather reactions prompted by your model and ego — like a performance or an act, while the real you watches. In a similar way, directing your attention toward a specific emotion will cause you to experience that emotion.

Review Questions

  1. What is the aura?
  2. What is a thoughtform?
  3. How can you develop clairvoyance?

Book List

  • Annie Bessant and Charles Leadbeater, Thought Forms.
  • W.E. Butler, How to Develop Clairvoyance.
  • J.H. Brennan, Astral Doorways.
  • Piero Ferrucci, What We May Be.
  • Kilner, The Human Aura.
  • Swami Panchadasi, The Human Aura.
  • A.E. Powell, The Etheric Double.
  • Harold Sherman, How to Make ESP Work for You.

========
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042

Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.


Chakras and meditation

By Phil Hansford | July 25, 2001 | Leave a comment

According to East Indian philosophy, man possesses seven major *chakras* or psychic centres on his body. Each of these forms a bridge, link, or energy transformer; changing pure (higher) energy into various forms, and connecting the four bodies (ie. spiritual, mental, astral, and physical) together. The chakras are located along the nadies (a network of psychic nerves or channels) and follow the autonomic nervous system along the spinal cord. Chakras correlate with major acupuncture points along the ‘governing vessel meridian’ (acupuncture term). The seven major chakras are connected together by three major nadies which are parallel and near each other. The middle nadi is called sushumna and it has neutral characteristics. The nadi on the left (ie. nearest your left hand) is the ida nadi which has yin characteristics. On the other side of sushumna (nearest your right hand) is the pingala nadi, having yang qualities.

Chakras are visible to clairvoyant sight as variously coloured rotating circles or funnels. In the East they are described as petalled flowers or lotuses. Sources disagree on the colours.

The first chakra, located at the base of the spine at the perineum is the root chakra, muladhara. It primarily relates to the element of earth and to psychic smell.

The second chakra, known as the sacral centre, svadhisthana, is located above and behind the genitals. Its dominant element is water, and it is related to psychic taste.

Third of the chakras is the solar plexus, manipura, located at the navel and corresponding with the emotions and with the element of fire; also with psychic sight (clairvoyance).

The heart chakra, anahata, is the fourth chakra, located over the heart and corresponding with the element of air, and also with psychic touch.

The fifth chakra is the throat chakra, vishuddha, located at the base of the throat (thyroid) and corresponding with psychic hearing (clairaudience).

The remaining two chakras are very important. They relate mostly to elevated states of consciousness. The frontal chakra, (or ‘third eye’) ajna, the sixth chakra, is located between, and slightly above, the eyebrows. Ajna is the centre of psychic powers and can produce many psychic effects. Meditation on ajna is said to cure nervousness.

Finally, the crown chakra, sahasrara, located atop the head, (pineal gland) is the seventh chakra. It is referred to as the thousand-petalled lotus and corresponds with astral projection and enlightenment.

There are also many minor chakras throughout the body. Each chakra has a sound (letter) and a pitch which is sometimes used to invoke it.

The Tattvas

Some occultists prefer to describe the magical elements as tattvas according to the Eastern system. Notice that these symbols and colours are generally different than the western symbols and colors for the elements.

element             tattva              tattvic symbol
=======             ======              ==============
earth               prithivi            yellow square
water               apas                silver crescent
fire                tejas               red triangle
air                 vayu                blue circle
(spirit)            akasa               black oval

Yoga

Yoga originated in India. It is a physical or mental discipline designed to condition and invigorate the mind and body. There are many kinds of yoga, but they may be generally divided into three main types…

Hatha yoga — affect the mind through the body using physical exercises; improve physical health and endurance.

Raja yoga — affect the mind through mental training; improve concentration.

Mantra yoga — affect the mind through chanting and affirmation; achieve relaxation.

Meditation

This is a much touted area of the occult. There are many meditation techniques, and many claims made for the benefits of meditation. Basicly, meditation has two functions — relaxation, and perhaps, improved concentration. There are two main types…

  1. concentration meditation (focusing),
  2. insight meditation (mindfullness).

Most kinds of meditation are the concentrative type. One simply focuses his attention upon a single physical object (such as a candle flame); upon a sensation (such as that felt while walking or breathing); upon an emotion (such as reverence or love); upon a mantra spoken aloud or even silently; or upon a visualization (as in chakra meditation, see below)…Concentration meditation is, simply put, a form of self-hypnosis.

A mantra (or mantrum) is one or more words or syllables which are repeated — often chanted — aloud…A simple yet powerful mantra is to vibrate the mystical word ‘OM’. This mantra has long been associated in India with the godhead/unity. Use it to aid in tuning into universal vibrations which promote feelings of harmony, peace, and well-being. Use it before magick ritual to ‘get into the mood’ and afterwards to ‘dismiss the forces’. You vibrate a mantra by saying it slowly aloud in a lower-pitched voice than your normal speech, and a more or less constant pitch as well. Let the sound fade at the end of the mantra. A powerful one such as ‘OM’ will seem to vibrate the air around you. It should be vocalized for 5-10 seconds and repeated a number of times with a few seconds rest between each vocalization. Chanting of mantras may cause slight dizziness from hyperventilation.

The other main type of meditation — insight meditation — is the analysis of thoughts and feelings in such a way as to cause realization of the subjectivity and illusion of experience. This is done in a effort to attain transcendental awareness. Such statements as, ‘This body is not me’, fall under this category. Buddhist meditations are usually of this type.

Chakra Meditation

There is a special type of concentrative meditation which we will call ‘Chakra meditation’. This is basically Kundalini yoga — the practice of causing psychic energy (kundalini) to flow up sushumna, energizing the various chakras along the way. The practice, considered dangerous by some, will produce definite physiological sensations and psychological effects if continued long enough. It should not be attempted by epileptics or persons with an unstable mental or physical condition, or with heart disease. Certain drugs and medications, such as those used to treat epilepsy may retard progress. Although the technique is very simple, it may eventually produce powerful results. Results may at first appear hours after the practice during sleep. As each chakra is energized by this practice, it is said to add occult powers (sidhis), until at last the crown chakra is reached, and with it, full enlightenment is attained. Sometimes kundalini awakens all by itself.

To practice this chakra meditation, you simply concentrate on the chakras, beginning with the root chakra, and moving progressively up, as you visualize psychic energy from the root chakra traveling up shushumna and vivifying each higher chakra. As we mentioned the chakras have certain properties associated with them, so that this type of visualization may ‘raise consciousness’, promote astral projection, and other things — once you have reached ajna and eventually the crown chakra. You might typically meditate in this fashion for 15 minutes to a half hour a day. It might help to practice some hatha yoga or other physical exercise in an effort to make the spinal cord ‘more flexible’. Diet may also affect the process. The technique is also similar to the Tibetan ‘Tummo’ meditation. The rise of kundalini is sometimes experienced as a ‘vibration’ or buzzing, as light, or as heat.

Heath and Diet

Certainly the way you treat your physical body will affect your mind. In magick you want an alert mind. Therefore, your body must be as healthy as you can keep it. Take care of your body. Exercise regularly. eat a good diet (with vitamin supplements), and do not consume anything which will have a negative effect upon the mind. Drugs, smoking,, and alcohol should be restricted, or eliminated. (The mind can create any condition which a drug can create.) A good rule here is moderation in what and how much you consume. (Most of this stuff is pretty obvious isn’t it.) You may also want to cut down on sugar and processed foods. Many occultists advise dietary changes, especially the non-eating of meat. We cannot deny the physical, psychological, and spiritual effect which all foods have. This effect may be described as the ‘heaviness’ factor of foods. Various foods are so ranked in the chart, lighter to heavier…

  1. lettuce and other greens.
  2. fruits and most vegetables.
  3. wheat, rice, and other grains.
  4. nuts, beans, and other legumes.
  5. cheese, dairy products, including eggs.
  6. fish, seafood.
  7. chicken, poultry.
  8. beef, pork, other red meats.

Note that meats, especially red meats are the ‘heaviest’ foods. Generally, foods which are harder to digest, or which are higher in protein are ‘heavier’ than those which are not. Animal products are heavier than plants. Foods high in carbohydrate (candy, bread, starch) are heavy. However, the ‘heaviness’ of foods is not directly related to the amount of caleries.

What this means is that for various reasons, the heaviness of food in your diet will affect your magical experiences. You may be able to increase your psychic receptivity (‘energy level’) by eating lighter foods, or by eating less. Conversely, emphasizing heavy foods in your diet, or eating larger helpings, may help to ‘bring you down to earth’ should you ‘rent the veil’ too much. These are generalizations, of course, and it may take a number of days of dietary change before you notice much effect. I do not advocate radical dietary changes, excessive fasting, or malnutrition. Your good health is far more important in magick than any temporary effect you get from prolonged starvation. A change in diet will sometimes only produce a temporary effect, until the physical body adapts to the change. Healthy natural foods and lifestyle make it easier for us to be healthy, but ultimately, good health is a mentual quality (attitude).

The Four-Fold Breath

With physical exercise too, moderation is advised. (You should be cautious, or not attempt it if you have a respiratory or heart condition. Check with your physician if in doubt, and don’t overdo.) One of the most useful physical exercises is pranayama, or controlled breathing (actually a type of hatha yoga exercise). For this and any other calesthentics or hatha yoga which you might choose to do a ‘kitchen timer’ is suggested (many of these aren’t accurate for under three minutes, but are helpful for longer periods).

The main purpose of pranayama is to relax the body and mind. There are many kinds of pranayama, but a simple one called the ‘four-fold breath’ will suffice. This consists of four short quick inhallations, then four short quick exhallations; then repeat, continuing until the allotted time is used up. It will take about 1 1/2 seconds for the four inhallations, and about 1 1/2 seconds for the four exhallations; or about 3 seconds for the complete in-out cycle (‘rep’ for repetition). There should be no strain of any kind during your pranayama. You will probably notice a slight dizziness, particularly at first, since the effect of pranayama is to hyperventilate. Try sitting back in a chair with your eyes closed when you do your pranayama. Begin a minute a day for the first week and gradually increase up to about five minutes a day. If you do the pranayama befor your magical activity, it will help you to get ‘into the mood’. It is also an excellent aid to relaxation and tension release. Pranayama should not be done during heavy air pollution. Other exercises you might consider are hatha yoga, calesthentics, walking or jogging.

Review Questions

  1. What is a chakra? List them.
  2. Name the three major nadies. Which nadi is hot?
  3. What is pranayama?

Book List

  • Arthur Diekman, The Observing Self.
  • W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines.
  • Sandra Gibson, Beyond the Mind.
  • King and Skinner, Techniques of High Magic.
  • Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga.
  • John Woodroffe (pseud. for Arthur Avalon), The Serpent Power.

========
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042

Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.


Elements and Forces

By Phil Hansford | July 25, 2001 | Leave a comment

The Ancients divided the world into four basic principles or *elements* — earth, water, fire, and air. That viewpoint has mostly changed with advances of science, but the four elements are still accepted in magick, for they are more closely linked with emotions, the human psyche, and with nature than are modern explanations of the world. These *magical elements* are also of some importance in astrology. Many occultists think of the magical elements as forces, or as *qualities* of energy; especially within the astral world. Each element has a symbol and colour. (Common symbols are — fire: a triangle pointing up; air: a triangle pointing up and with a horizontal line through the middle of it; water: a triangle pointing down; earth: a triangle pointing down and with a horizontal line through the middle of it.) Colours of the elements are — earth: brown and green; water: blue; fire: red; air: yellow…The Eastern tattvic system uses different symbols and colours. (The tattvic symbols are briefly described later on in this course.) The elements are often used in magick ritual.

Magick sees relationships between things. These relationships are called ‘correspondences’. Although magical correspondences are not literally equal to one another, you can think of them that way (such as gold equals sun). Tables of these relationships, called ‘Correspondence Tables’, are available (an important one is Crowley’s ’777′). Thus one thing or symbol can be used to suggest another. This is important in magick, for the magician may surround himself with as many appropriate correspondences as he can to vividly affect the senses; thus making his magical contact with the inner planes more lucid.

The magical elements have correspondences with the tarrot cards as the four suits. The four quarters (directions of the universe as used in magick ritual) and the Archangels also correspond with these same elements –

Element         Suit            Quarter         Archangel
=======         ====            =======         =========
earth           pentacles       north           Uriel
water           cups            west            Gabriel
fire            wands           south           Michael
air             swords          east            Raphael

Astrological signs also correspond with the elements. Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are earth signs. Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are water signs. Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are fire signs. Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are air signs.

Elementals

The magical elements are said to be peopled by spirits and mythological entities called elementals or nature spirits. These are grouped into four main categories –

Gnome (earth)   Undine (water)  Salamander (fire)  Sylph (air)
=============   ==============  =================  ===========
dwarfs          nymphs          djjin (genies)     fairies
elves           tritons                            storm angels
brownies        mermaids
hobgoblins      mermen
leprechauns     sirens
harpies

Elementals are usually only visible to those with clairvoyant sight and are more likely to be seen at night in the mountains or country away from cities — especially if you are tired or sleepy. Although elementals exist naturally, it is also possible to create one which will exist for a limited time — no elemental has immortality. A created elemental is called an ‘artificial elemental’.

To the Ancients, elementals were the physical explanation of the universe. However, some contemporary occultists see them only as symbols for forces and otherwise not ‘real’ at all. Another word sometimes used for elemental is ‘familiar’ (usually in medieval witchcraft); the term is ambiguous, as it might merely be an ordinary household pet such as a dog or cat.

Yin Yang

Chinese philosophy and acupuncture talk of yin yang. This is the idea of polarity, or opposite pairs, as shown –

YIN                     YANG
===                     ====
water                   fire
contraction             expansion
cold                    hot
feminine                masculine
moon                    sun
negative                positive
passive                 active
ebb                     flow
wane                    wax

The list could go on. In Chinese literature it is quite long. Some occultists suggest everything can be similarly arranged into related opposite pairs.

Simple Magick

Here is a simple magical technique you may wish to try. It is a variation of affirmation, which was discussed in an earlier lesson…To help you to achieve your goal (magical or otherwise), find a word or short phase which sums up what it is that you want to accomplish. Write the word (or phrase) down 10 times each day until you achieve success.

Review Questions

  1. List the four elements.
  2. What is an elemental?
  3. What are correspondences?

Book List

  • William Britten, Art Magic (long out of print, but in some libraries).
  • Pete Carrol, Liber Null.
  • Wing-Tsit Chan, A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy.
  • Manly Hall, Unseen Forces.

========
Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042

Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.


The Four Worlds

By Phil Hansford | July 25, 2001 | Leave a comment

The ancients described man as mind, body, and soul. Psychologists of the twentieth century added the subconscious to that definition. This produces a four-fold classification. The universe is also divided into four corresponding parts (‘worlds’), as shown below:

WORLD              BODY                           QUALITY
=====              ====                           =======
spiritual world    spiritual body (soul or kia)   intuition
mental world       mental body (conscious mind)   rational thought
astral world       astral body (subconscious)     emotions
physical world     physical body                  physical senses

The astral body (subconscious) is the intermediary for intuition, magical and psychic phenomena, and is the ‘psychic link’ to the physical world. J.H. Brennan says that the astral is the realm of visual imagination. It seems to be both a ‘place’ and a ‘state of mind’ at the same time. Most occult and magical phenomena originate in the invisible, non-sensate, non-physical realm (ie. without physical senses). Each of the four worlds interacts with the other worlds. Psychic energy flows from the spiritual to mental to astral to physical. The physical world is a projection (manifestation, reflection, or shadow) of the higher worlds. Our center of consciousness is generally within these higher worlds. “We are”, to quote the rock music group the Police, spirits in the material world”.

There are many similar terms used by other occult groups. For example, ‘astral light’ is another name for astral world, although it may sometimes also refer to the entire non-physical realm, as may ‘inner planes’ or ‘the invisible world’. Planes are essentially the same as worlds. Vehicles or sheaths are the same as bodies. Some groups include an etheric or vital body between physical and astral: it is mostly ‘physical’ with a little of the lower ‘astral’ besides. And sometimes astral and mental are each divided into two parts (upper and lower). The ‘causal body’ is the upper ‘mental’.

Microcosm and Macrocosm

We have been describing ‘traditional’ occult philosophy here, and certainly an important part of the tradition is the idea (and terms) microcosm and macrocosm. The greater universe, known as the *macrocosm*, includes everything that exists. It corresponds with the *microcosm*, or tiny universe, ie. man — who is thought of as a miniature replica of the macrocosm (whole universe). This basic magical relationship is demonstrated in the Bible (Genesis 1.27), where God is the macrocosm; and in the writing of Trismegistus (“As above so below”). Since man is in the image of God (universe) it follows that God is in the image of man (in other words, man and the God/universe match each other). The magician, as a microcosm is thus connected with the macrocosm. There is an intimate relationship of energies between you and everything else. The universe is reflected within us and we are projected into the universe. This is an important theory behind magick and astrology.

Magick White and Black

‘Personal magick’ is that magick used to affect the self; often involving affirmation, self-suggestion, and self-hypnosis. ‘Active magick’ is outer directed magick (as in PK) used to affect someone or thing, or to bring about an event. ‘Passive magick’ is to be affected (as in ESP) by an outside non-physical cause. Everyone possesses some magical (and psychic) potential. Some are especially gifted. Usually people are better at one kind of magick (ie. active or passive) than they are at the other kind; only rarely does an individual excel at both. Training and practice will, of course, improve ability somewhat.

Although the forces of magick are neutral, various systems may take on the qualities of good and evil. There is so-called white magick or good magick, black magick or evil magick, and gray magick between them. When many people refer to white magick they mean magick for unselfish purposes, also healing and mental influence with specific permission. By black magick they refer to magick for self-interest and healing *without* specific permission. Using magick to forcefully control another’s will is, in a sense, black magick too. There are also some people on the occult fringe who claim to be, possibly even think they are, ‘Satanists’, devil worshippers, or black magicians. These people are most likely charlatans, hoaxers, dabblers, or merely misinformed. They may be attracted by the ‘art’ of black magick, or even by the ‘glamour’ of doing something against the ‘rules’. But a real black magician is very dangerous. Because he has dedicated his life to evil. We usually think of ‘white magick’ as having *unselfish intent*, and (in the extreme case) of ‘black magick’ as being actual Satan worship, human or animal sacrifice, dangerous unconventional magical practices, and other bizarre stuff as makes a nightmare. It is all a matter of degree. Most mild self-interest magick (one of the most common kinds) would be called ‘grey’. Better terms may be *constructive magick* as being beneficial; and *aversive magick* as magick intended to work against the natural order, and to tear down. There is also the *high magick* of spiritual alchemy (ie. spiritual growth), also known as ‘the Great Work’; and conversely there is ‘low magick’ which is concerned with materiality.

Any magick act is likely to produce side effects regardless of whether or not the desired result is achieved. Such side effects are no problem for constructive magick, since they are beneficial as well. However, aversive magick can produce aversive side effects which may even harm the magician — aversive magick is dangerous!

Magick is a Continuous Process

What we have been calling ‘magick’ is actually a continuous process. Since your subconscious never rests, your environment is continually being shifted into line with your model. This is true whether you study magick or not. For most people, these effects are usually very subtle, and they are probably not aware of them. However, as you work with the occult, the flow of psychic energy and your awareness of it increases. Your true will is more likely to be strongly expressed. Your luck may be affected (either in a positive or a negative way). Remember, our lives tend to follow what we want down deep. That is why a positive outlook is so very beneficial to us.

The Magical Diary

Sometimes it is helpful to keep a diary of your magical experiments and research. Such a diary should include the date, perhaps even some astrological data (or anything else you think may have a relationship to what you are doing). This is also a good time to begin recording your dreams — at least the important ones — in a dream diary. Your dreams can tell you a great deal about yourself, and may sometimes reveal premonitions. Dreams are personal. Don’t fall for the commercial ‘dream book’ gimmick.

Affirmations

The mind is always open to suggestion — especially the subconscious. Most of the time we censor any suggestions according to the model; but one way to break through the censor is with repetition. An affirmation does this exactly. By suggestion, we mean any statement which is capable of affecting your model. Usually suggestion is in the form of a positive statement (such as the hypnotist’s patter — ” You are becoming sleepy”). An affirmation is the same kind of thing — a positive suggestion, which you repeat (affirm) to yourself aloud or silently (for example, “I remember my dreams”). If there is some quality you wish to change or develop within yourself, an affirmation is ideal. Repeat it several times every day at several different times throughout the day, especially when you go to bed. Affirmations are subtle and may require a few months to work. Use them for changes, not miracles.

Simple Banishing Technique

Visualization is another important method we use to influence the subconscious. A good example of this is the simple banishing technique which follows. Banishing is used in magick to ‘clear the air’ of negative ‘vibes’ and interference…

Visualize a strong white light flowing out the top of your head, flowing down around you and covering you. At the same time imagine you are throwing away any ‘problem’ vibes. Maintain the visualization for a half a minute or longer. Good way to help you handle your emotions, and to control worry or anger.

Review Questions

  1. What is a microcosm?
  2. List the four worlds. Explain.
  3. What is an affirmation? Give an example.

Book List

  • Geoffry Hodson, Theosophy Answers Some Problems of Life.
  • Marc Edmund Jones, Key Truths of Occult Philosophy.
  • Marion Weinstein, Positive Magic.
  • Nelson & Ann White, The Wizard’s Apprentice.
  • Beatrice Bruteau, The Psychic Grid.

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Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042

Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.


The Subjectivity of Experience

By Phil Hansford | July 25, 2001 | Leave a comment

The universe is a projection of ourselves; an image as unreal as that of our faces in a mirror….We cannot affirm any quality in an object as being independent of our sensorium, or as being in itself that which it seems to us. Nor can we assume that what we cognize is more than a partial phantom of its cause.

–Aleister Crowley, Magick, p. 110

Your awareness of the physical world and of your place within it is mostly based upon the physical senses (hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste). These five senses continually send information to the mind, and it is up to the mind to select and interpret them. If you could not do so, your senses would overwhelm you and be meaningless. Selection and interpretation of your sensory inputs is essentially an automatic, mostly subconscious function of the mind. The program or map which the subconscious follows as its reference point is called a ‘model’. The model is a subconscious mental photograph of how you believe the world looks (ie. worldview, mindset, egregore, or belief system). It was built up from an early age by your religious and cultural background through interaction with family and others. It contains your experiences, attitudes, and habits. And whether you realize it or not, most of your behaviour, thoughts, feelings, and habits are based upon and conditioned by that model; even personality. The model is one of the mind’s master programs. Change in behaviour generally requires a change in the model. These limitations built into our way of thinking cause our perceptions to be subjective. That is why Hindu philosophy looks upon the world as illusory (maya); the world itself (object) is not an illusion, however from our viewpoint through perception (subject) it is.

Thus we are all conditioned by experience. Except that our perceptions, hence our experiences, are first conditioned and limited by the model. Our perceptions and experiences tend to conform to what we expect. We tend to misinterpret or ignore things which do not match our preconceived notions about them. This is automatic.

The True Will

The forgoing demonstrates how it is that there are so many different versions of ‘truth’. One’s particular view is almost arbitrary. Although numerous religions, philosophies, and occult systems abound, they do not contradict one and other as much as it might appear. Rather, they describe the same (universal) reality taken from different perspectives. For there can be no ultimate truth in the physical world. We can only base our actions upon assumptions and agreements. All experience is subjective. I like to think of the universe as something indescribable, perhaps a 4-dimensional ‘thing’. As soon as we attempt to put it into our 3-dimensional knowledge-base, something changes and we only see an aspect of the big picture. Just as a photograph can only show us a flat *representation* of a greater thing, so it is with any attempt to describe *spiritual reality* in physical terms.

Yet, there is a separate reality within each of us which is often ignored unless we seek it. This inner self is in magick called the ‘true will’. The true will is the centre of consciousness and identity. It is the ‘real you’. Everything else is an interface or link to it from the outer (illusory) world. Since that interface is based upon our model, it is conditioned and may sometimes produce false information. ‘Do what thou wilt’ (Crowley) is an axiom of magick; for the true will expresses our exact desires. And what we truly want (‘down deep’) we tend to automatically get. This isn’t always in our best interests, since the true will can be conditioned (tricked) by the illusion; and then we might desire and obtain that which is not ultimately good for us. (Karma strikes again!) The task of the magician therefor is to awaken his awareneess of the true will, to be free of conditioning, and thereby to transcend maya. (‘My will unconditioned is magical’ — Spare).

Happiness is Being Happy

There is no great secret to changing behaviour or habits. It is largely a matter of determination. It requires that you ignore the ‘pull’ of the model when you strive for changes within yourself. The model is, after all, a collection of ‘habits’, some of which must be unlearned for permanent change to occur. There are two ways to do this: direct, through will power and awareness alone — observing and acting out in an unattached or indifferent manner; and indirect — through conditioning such as affirmation (explained later), self-hypnosis, and magick. Meditation may help too, by relaxing tension and conflict.

Emotions follow physical expression: smile and act happy and you will tend to feel and be happy. The same is also true for other emotions. Also, emotions can be purposely used (or programed) to replace other emotions. Using this technique, a magician is somewhat like an actor in that he learns how to turn his emotions on and off at will. Note that this is not ‘faking it’; the magician is probably more in touch with his true feelings than most people. And for these reasons we say that happiness is being appy.

Systems of Magick

Magick always involves self-hypnosis. However, it may be more than that. For one thing, there are objective forces involved (or so it would seem). Deities, spirits, and cosmic force can have an independent existence. And the repetitive physical movement sometimes involved in ritual can itself generate PK force. On the other hand, it could be argued that all of this is subjective to the magician. Or that the deities and spirits are nothing more than archetypes or cosmic patterns which the magician energizes with his own vitality. Perhaps all magical effects could be produced through hypnosis alone. But the effects are certainly real.

Great complexity is not necessary in magick. Although basically magick is a medieval system of symbolism (in a modern context), any cosmological system will work from Cabala to Star Wars. We usually use the medieval one in magick because it is convenient and traditional, and because it seems to fit our thought processes well. Traditional symbols have greater emotional effect on the magician than modern ones because of his familiarity with them. What really matters is that the model of the magician be understood and programmed, and thus that the model and the cosmological system do correspond.

Review Questions

  1. Contrast subjective with objective.
  2. What is a ‘model’?
  3. Explain the task of the magician.

Book List

  • Eric Berne, Games People Play.
  • Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics.
  • Carlos Castaneda, The Fire From Within.
  • Arthur Koestler, The Roots of Coincidence.
  • John C. Lilly, The Center of the Cyclone.
  • ——, Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer.
  • ——, Simulations of God — The Science of Belief.
  • Alan Watts, The Book (on the taboo against knowing who you are).

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Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042

Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is licenced for free non-commercial distribution only.


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