07-21-2004, 12:27 AM
Although most will learn with time and study, I thought I'd pass
along some basic skills that once learned (mastered even) can
greatly increase a persons magickal skill as well as thier
personal enjoyment of the craft.
This is all, of course, just my personal opinion based on only MY
First, its my personal opinion the the real function of much
practical magick is based on three or four basic functions. These
being; mental focus, raising energy, directing energy, and not
mentally interferring with the "magick".
Probably the first most important skill would be mental focus.
Which is good because its probably also the most accessable part
to work on, ie. meditation.
Meditate as often as possible, as deeply or lightly as you can at
Basic meditation is easy, you really don't have to do much. To
start, just learn how to sit still for 15 - 30 minutes. Just stop
the wiggling-squiggle. Stop scratching itches . . . they will all
stop bothering you once you stop attending to them. Then try
focusing on smooth, regular breathing. Just pay close attention to
the actual process of the breath itself.
Now, all the thoughts that keep churning in your mind . . . don't
worry about them. Its seems that you'd have to fight
tooth-and-nail to force them out. Dont. As you sit still and focus
on your breathing . . . the thought will subside on their own. Of
course, if you want to "practice" blanking your mind, fine. But
eventually, its happen anyway. Don't stress.
Maybe the next best thing to learn is a form of "divinition". I
quote it cause what you'd really be learning isn't "How to read
the Future". Its really just "How to talk to your Mind" with a
tool to help you not mis-direct your process. Find any tool . . .
Tarot, pendulem, runes, scrying . . anything thats a tangible
object to focus your divining attention on.
Now, here's the hard part of divinition . . . just do it. You
don't have to know the meaning of the card, or the "correct"
interpertation of the runes. Just regularly work with them (of
course, reading and researching the "ways-to-do" your tool is
fine). You WILL start to develop a capacity to talk and listen to
your deeper mind just by working with them.
One of the most often offered recommendation, and one of the least
developed in early magickal practices is the journal . . . or
often journals. Start at least one journal. Write about what you
did today in magick . . . what you thought . . . how you
meditated. Write as often as you can make yourself. Write down
exercises, spells, rituals. Write corrospondances (there can be
butt loads). Anything you can about your magick. Also, write what
you dream at night. This is often done in a seperate journal
simply because it can start to take a lot of space. I find that
magick journals work best for me, that are spiral-bound. They
don't look cool, or mysterious . . . but they hold open to a
specific page nicely when I'm reading an exercise or ritual while
I'm doing it. Having to pin back pages of a spine bound journal or
having it constantly closing while I'm "working" magick is a huge
pain. Frankly, sometimes I get more out of my journal writing then
I did out of the ritual I just did that I'm writing about. Don't
underestimate the value of the mental digestive process. It can
take time for your sub-conscious (deeper mind) to get, process,
I am an eclectic magician. I have studied and practiced many
different forms of magick, and am still a beginner and newbe at
the wider scope of the art and science. Find what you like, what
you understand, what works . . . but allow yourself to study any
and everthing around. Some say "If you don't focus on one field or
another you'll never progress" or " Such-and-such type of magick
is detrimental to your personal/spiritual/magickal development".
Bull shit! Find, study, research every and anything you feel
comfortable with. Occasionally look into area's your not quite at
ease with, expand your bubble a little at a time.
Well, I'd like to talk on some other basic subjects; energy
raising, energy directing, specific magickal exercises . . .But I
may need to do that later (work :( ). Would anyone be interested
07-21-2004, 08:23 PM
Ok, assuming you've gotten meditation, divinition and writing till
your fingers are bleeding . . . a bit of the fun stuff. Keep in
mind, many of the basic skills overlap to form a complete magickal
I need to interject some side-notes.
First is a concept of altered-perception or altered state of mind.
This is something of a cross between suspention of disbelief and a
flexibility of your mental state to allow mental-energy to move.
Its the state one is in while in trance or deep meditation. Its
also the state you want to be in while raising and directing
energy. There are about as many description of this state as there
are people talking about it. Some will say it a state of
absolutely Knowing that you are creating magick. Some describe a
tingling feeling or buzzing (inside the head) feeling. Tunnel
vision (mentally) or unusually focused are common.
The crux is, is that often raising energy PUTS you in an altered
state. And that you need to be in an altered state to effectively
raise energy. This is a bit of a paradox.
My trick . . . what I can't manage initially, I fake. :)
Thats not really as bad as it sounds. Part of the process of
faking it helps to put yourself into an altered state. As you go,
you start to accept that what your faking is real. Eventually
(actually fairly quickly) just the regular exercise of meditation
can give the necassary beginning of altering the state of mind.
And once you move into the energy raising "phase", altering your
state is almost unavoidable.
Second side-note is about visualization. This is probably one of
the most important skills a magician can develop. Its one of the
things that can pull many (if not all) the other skills together.
Its also one of the innate skill we all have. Everyone, at some
level, thinks visually. We all daydream or just plain dream. All
of us have some degree of artist ability. I personally am one of
the worst artist, but I know that if I try to draw even a
stick-person, before I even put pencil to paper . . my mind has
already created a picture (I just can't reproduce it as well on
The point is, exercise this skill. Work it. Regularly put it to
task. Startout with exercising it with your eyes closed. Picture
simple shapes or forms and hold them as long as possible.
Periodically change them, different colors, turn them, morph them
into new forms, progress them into move complex forms. Then try
the same exercises with your eyes open. I find this part easiest
if I start out by visualizing the shape as resting in my (real)
held-out hand. Eventually you should be able to play with
visualizing fairly complex objects in a moving, real environment.
Visualization is important because: its part of the process of
mental focusing; its action can start to process of altering
perception; it is often an important part (at least to begin with)
in the raising of energy and certainly important in directing
energy. All of these are either dependant on or facilitated by
being able to sustain a visualized perception of them.
Raising energy. There are lots of ways to raise energy. Most are
through a process of making your body or mind aware of or by
something stimulating. Just a few are
breath work: while breathing in visualizing energy coming into and
filling your body, while breathing out visualizing the energy
circulation around. As well hyperventilation and near-asphyxia can
create an altered or trance state, but they can be safety
(if you use any form of near-asphyxia, always use only you hands
to achieve it, this always allows the asphyxiation to end if you
chanting: this is the repetition of a key word or phrase, or a
"power" word (mentally or vocal). Its usually assumed that this
method works by causing the magician to enter a trance state.
Physical exercise: this is pretty obvious, you work your body to
raise muscle energy, then through visualization, translate that
into magickal energy. This is a common component to the wiccan
Cone of Power, and is part of the High Magick circumambulation.
They physical energy creates an environment of magickal energy.
Intense concentration: yep, just staring and concentrating
(focused) stimulates mindbody energy. This sounds easy, but to a
large degree this is effective at the point that the focused
concentration turns into a trance state. That take some effort,
Intense pleasure or pain: just to be on point, this is basically
the function of sex magick or "cut" magick. Both use the natural
sharp increase in mindbody energy at the moment to peak intensity
to provide the magickal energy. This works with masterbation,
coitus, pin pricks, burns, etc . . . . (this is probably more
advance then beginner and can be dangerous).
Trance: this is a bit hard to describe concisely. Primarily its
the inherent energy of being in a deeply mind altered state. Many
things either contribute to this or constitute it. Some of the
more common approaches are above. This is a state where your
natural mindbody energy is most able to flow, offering you energy
to use. IMO, this is one of the reasons for rituals as well.
Its very common to combine several methods together, like energy
breathing combined with chanting to enter a trance state then
(squeemishness aside) masterbating or dancing in a circle. Or
chanting a phrase and intensely concentrating on a symbol while
As well there are external ways of raising energy. Some of the
more common ones are candles, oils, herbs, crystals and the
overall ritual performance. There are also specific ritual
techniques such as Drawing down the Moon, Middle Pillar, or
Chakric exercises, and load of others (I can go into some of these
more if anyone wants).
Palindroem, I love your idea about absolute beginner advice. While
I agree 100% with what you said I still think it might be a little
hard for the absolute beginner.
Example: Mental focus, ok so how do I do that?....
Anyways no offense but I am going to chip in my two cents on
starting. This will be overly simple and that is the point.
You only have to do two things to begin. Do these two things
everyday for at least two or three months and you will have a good
start to move on.
1. Learn and preform the LBRP everyday.
2. Keep a journal about all your thoughts and ideas about the
It sounds simple but it is not. IMO the LBRP is the cornerstone of
all CM as well as other paths. The LBRP will get you started with
the routine of daily ritual. It will teach you correct vibration
and visualzation. It will teach you the basics of a protective
circle. It will also in time build up your aura and open up your
astral senses that you will need later.
The daily journal will get you in the habit of recording
everything and it will allow you to examine your feelings and the
effects of daily ritual. Plus it will allow you to look back and
see growth which will keep you moving on the path.
It may sound boring or pointless but trust me. Do this for two or
three months and then look back at your oldest journal writings.