Before I get too much further, I probably ought to talk a little about myself and my magico-spiritual work in specific. I’ve been doing that all along, but I have been avoiding about talking directly about my practice, circling around it at a theological and theurgical remove. Some of that is a natural predisposition toward privacy, some of it has to do with how difficult I find translating the work into clear language. A goodly portion of my theological distance has been an effort to lay some of the groundwork for that translation. Hopefully I can put that to some use here…
Okay, so when you get right down to it, what is it that I do? More than anything else, I listen. Listening includes:
- Praying, especially around objects that I have consecrated to spirits important to me or in places that have a certain spiritual tone
- Divining: for quick, general queries, that is Tarot or I Ching (occasionally, I will even just use Facade); for substantial questions, that will likely be geomancy; for queries of a particular spirit, that is sacred tools consecrated especially for them.
- Contemplating dreams; sometimes this is pretty straightforward psychological stuff, but it can also be straightforward spirit messages stuff, too.
- Paying attention to synchronicities, whether that is a string of related links on twitter, a book stumbled upon in the library, a snippet of conversation, a bird on the wing, or a bug in the bathroom
Form listening, I proceed to thinking and speculating, which often gets run back through the listening mechanisms for clarification and to pull out the excessive ego-drivel that always seems to sneak into this part of the process. Over the course of that process, I identify the positive and negative spiritual influences manifesting in my life at the time. With those in mind, I proceed to the anchoring phase of the process where I work to diminish the influence of the negative influence and strengthen the positive ones. Anchoring techniques are pretty diverse:
- Talismanic work, articulating objects that either intensify the positive influences or ameliorate the negative ones. Talismanic work ranges from the permanent to semi-permanent for me, so I don’t tend to do this too often unless I really feel it is warranted. For the major operations, there will be a lot of divining, of all three sorts.
- Meditation; this includes working to relax the ego-driven mechanisms that resist spiritual influence and make them more receptive to positive influence, allowing those influences to work upon me, as well as dissociative work to separate my sense of self from the voice of spirit. The dissociative work is super helpful when dealing with negative influences, but also important with positive ones as well, creating the sort of distance between my self and my spirits that makes meaningful negotiations possible.
- Entheogenic work, by which I mean working with materials that allow me to modulate the influence of spirit in my psychic and physical body; plenty of these tricks don’t even use recognized psychoactive plants and the like, just natural materials that seem to open those processes for me. One of the more intense mind-expanding experiences I had involved nothing more than working common tree leaves in a bowl of water over the course of several days.
- Mantra-ish / names of God sorts of work, intended to provide a strange attractor for other anchoring forces
- Trance techniques, which tend to be a sort of form of listening so extreme they become anchoring.
Of course, the anchoring work tends to be fairly listening intensive, too, because the anchoring process intensifies the connection with spirit and so allows their voice to come through all the clearer.
The overall direction of the work is one of unfurling, like gently opening a bud, examining its leaves, and finding your way to the gynoecium. In the more significant operations, the flower is the spirit itself with which you are working, but plenty of times the subject is something more subtle. Lather, rinse, and repeat, repeat, repeat.
What is the point of all that? In undertaking this sort of work, I aim to serve as a fulcrum between the eternal and the temporal, a point of interface through which those two dimensions of time interact, achieving a greater harmony. Through that work, the temporal acquires a degree of reality in the eternal and the eternal rejuvenates the temporal. The cultivated receptivity is important because to be that fulcrum it seems like I have to be in contact with both my own self and life as well as with an eternal correlate of myself that exists at tangent to that.
Huh, okay, that’s not a half bad way to describe this.