An Aside on Self-Care for Magical People

This post over on Hermetic Lessons hit close to home. The frank discussion of how slippery depression can be, how it can take hold and manifest in beliefs that impair us, is important. We need to talk about that, need to be aware that we, magical and creative people, are often especially prone to it. So much magical work deploys symbolic and imaginal forms as an essential feature that we can pick up forms alien to our practice and weave them into our lives as nasty little depressive cages. Worse yet, because we produce symbolic and imaginal forms, we are an especially good vector for toxic ones to proliferate along.

I have seen people trap themselves like this, and have hobbled myself for years with these sorts of mistakes. The ones that can mask themselves in respectability are definitely some of the most insidious. Learning to read these cages as symbolic forms we are using to talk to ourselves helps (it makes clear their externality, breaking some of their spell), and reorienting toward ourselves, cleaning ourselves of other people’s business is a big part of getting on the right track again.

His follow-up post is also good, putting on the table a good strategy for breaking out of those habits. As the I Ching has put it to me before, put your ideas to the test. Let the work of moving toward a goal clean and clarify you.

Also, you know, be kind to folks who are trying to do this. If they are doing it right, they will tear through their own illusions. You don’t need to walk up and kick them around for having to stumble through some foolishness en route.

[NB Phase I or IV-ish speculation] Hauntings and the Modalities of Spirit Contact

This is a post that has been floating around in my drafts for almost a year. I come back to it, consider posting it, consider revising it, and never quite do either. I don’t quite like the tone here, it is a little too abstract, a little too analytical, but there is something useful going on in inside it, which might provide some fodder for the summation. So, with these caveats, enjoy.


We have been talking about hauntings around the house a bit and Stacey mentioned that she had recently seen a book note that most hauntings seem to be the response of land spirits having their land disturbed. That can be obvious disruptions, like plopping a house down on a sacred bit of land, but it can also be more subtle violations, the sort of taboos you might not know about until you thoughtlessly break them.

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Formation and Demolition

As I am talking about the sefirah, the Sefer Yetzirah, the book of Revelation, and Pharaoh’s spiritual function, I am also becoming increasingly aware of a difference in scale between this work and the work with which I began this blog. I named it Disrupt and Repair to reflect the texture of spiritual processes with which I was engaged. Following them out to my current work, I can see a family of practices centered upon formation and demolition.

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I have been away for the last week and have come back a little under the weather. There is one thing that I have had bouncing around in the back of my head that I want to clear out and that is the value of correspondences in magical and mystical work. Without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, this is one place that I think folks tend to get carried away on. They are absolutely essential, no doubt, because it is only through concrete and specific objects and concepts that we are able to generate an instance of the divine intelligence, but it is the relationship itself trumps all, trumps even and especially our ideas about that relationship.

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Demogorgon and the Metaphysics of Information

I have been thinking about the Demogorgon’s birth in a scribal error alongside the Kabbalistic concern that the misuse of the alphabet can be snatched up by Satan to generate false worlds. There is that simple slip of the pen from which centuries of myth and demonolatry spring. Can we think about that slip as the action of a willful spirit eager to find a voice or a sign of the power of the letter itself, taking root in its accidental inclusion?

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The Fingerprints of Angels

There are a set of spirits that I work with which have undergone a number of distinct transformations over the course of my work with them. My identification of them as belonging together owes a great deal to this, to them having been caught up in the same series of transformation. While they did not always undergo them at the same time, the transformations rippled between them and me. Between them and me…that is the other thing that is important. These spirits have been intimately bound up with my own spiritual development.

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Working with what stands out

I mentioned in my last post that I am thinking about starting up a private and presumably even lower profile blog. I feel like I am ready to talk a little more about the details of my practice and that feels like it needs just a little more privacy and intimacy. A little while back Cole mentioned he appreciated seeing the materiality of the practice, presumably because so much of what I talk about here seems a little (or a lot) immaterial. In more ways than one, the blog is the countermovement to the materiality in my practice.

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[NB] More Reflections on Type: Elemental Functions?

I have talked a little here and there about the way in which each of Jung’s core functions (Intuition, Thinking, Feeling, and Sensation) can be mapped onto traditional elemental correspondences, but lately I have been thinking that the better comparison may be the elemental lines within the tree of life diagram. Admittedly, I have been thinking about them an awful lot, but there is a logic there that carries between the two systems and encourages me to think that Jung’s psychological types might flourish better in an occult or magical account of the psyche than in an academic psychology.

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Magic and Psychological Type

I have been thinking about C. G. Jung’s typological work again, in part because I have been thinking about the opening of a personal magical practice, about what constitutes the healthy openign for a person. Reflection on such beginnings provide insight into the present situation they made possible, and they also provide possible insight for those who are at the beginning, so it seems like good blogging material.

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Time Images

I have had this post half-formed for a while, since reading some of Edward Butler’s work, and this post over at Hermetic Lessons served as a catalyst to extract it. The basic point is straightforward enough. If we are made of time, then it is important to think about how time can be made, how it can be constituted. Those forms of time define the substance of our experience and those forms of experience make possible forms of practice. One of the problems with this discussion is that we often have a fairly poor vocabulary for talking about this sort of thing.

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