Introduction to Ceremonial Magick
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Whenever we concentrate our thoughts, we draw psychic energy together.
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.
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 color 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.
Under the right conditions, it is possible to clairvoyantly observe a colored light around other people. This is known as the 'aura'. Sometimes the aura is seen as multi-colored emanations around the person, built up of various differently colored 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 colored 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 color (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 color 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 colors'. 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 colors 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 marvelous 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 colors on the next page. It is a general guide, based mostly on Theosophical material. Various groups may attribute different meanings to the colors. The colors 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 color will tend to produce the specific psychological effect described in the chart. That quality of color is useful in magick ritual.
COLORS OF THE AURA BLACK malice dark gray depression pale gray fear BROWN materialism muddy gray selfishness or dull rust 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 lemmon high intellect bright gold logical thinking brt. red-yel. spiritual thought GREEN empathy gray-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) gray-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 centers 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.
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.
Visual imagination and concentration are very important in magick. Here are some exercises to help in your development...
A. Close your eyes and visualize a single digit number as clearly as you can. Then a two digit number, then a 3 digit one. Hold the visualization in front of your 'inner eye' for about two minutes. Repeat with a letter or a word.
B. Visualize a brightly colored green circleor spot. Again hold the visualization for two minutes. Try again with a different color.
C. Visualize in succession, each one of the tattvic symbols, in their proper color. Hold each symbol for at least two minutes.
D. Look through a tarrot card deck and pick out several of your favorite cards. Then, after briefly studying a card, visualize it vividly in detail. Hold the visualization for at least two minutes. Do this for each card you selected.
E. Repeat the above visualization exercises with your eyes open.
1) What is the aura?
Annie Bessant and Charles Leadbeater, Thought Forms.
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