Reflections on Intention Manifestation

In meditation, in my own personal inner landscape, Cernunnos most often finds me in the Forest of the Horned God; he emerges from a patch of dappled sunlight like something hidden in a puzzle-picture, his twisted horns reaching up among the tree branches, tall and dark, with twinkling eyes. Last October I begged him for guidance with my finances — I was at my wit’s end. Things were only getting worse and worse, with no end in sight.

“Are you expressing your will?” he asked.

I was caught off guard. “What do you mean?”

“Well, what does money do?” he said. “It lets you do what you want, yes? It allows your will to be carried out. It allows your will to be expressed.”

“But I don’t have any money.”

“Do you believe in magic? Do you believe in the Law of Attraction?”

“I — well, yes,” I said. “Mostly.”

“Then you alone are responsible for the amount of money that you have. You’ve made yourself broke.”

“It wasn’t on purpose!”

“Nevertheless. You’ve effectively made it very difficult for your will to be expressed. You’ve prevented yourself from acting freely. You’ve hamstrung yourself.”

“I have?”

ire1“Money can be thought of as a measure of the extent to which you believe your own will should be carried out. The more money you have, the more confidence you have that what you want should be manifested. If you don’t have much money, you must not believe that what you personally want is important. You’ve made it difficult to express your free will. You’re sabotaging yourself.”

“But why?…”

I got no answer then, and I still have no answer — and still no money.

What Do You Want?

Personal free will has always been at the center of Cernunnos’s message for me; he told me once that the exercise of free will is the surest, fastest path to growth. But these days it seems like all my guides have been harping on the theme. Beings like Apollo and Bel, who have given me excellent and specific advice in the past, are refusing to give me any guidance beyond, “What do you want? Make it happen.”

I even spoke with Loki about this a couple of months ago, in a meditation session I’m not keen to repeat soon. Loki and Sleipnir appeared together by a waterfall deep in the Forest of the Horned God, surrounded by white flowers. Sleipnir, Odin’s six-legged horse, is one of Loki’s sons, and Loki was grooming him. I asked if he had any messages or guidance for me, and he laughed unpleasantly.

“What is it you want?” he said.

I stammered something about wanting to improve my health and my finances.

“Look at you,” he spat, “sniveling there. You want something? You go get it! This reality is nothing more than a mirror. It shows you what’s inside yourself. If you don’t like it, you change it. Stupid!”

His eyes flashed. “You’re the driver here. You’re incompetent and ignorant, but you’re the driver. This world is nothing but a great big wish-fulfillment device. It’s a genie waiting on your every whim. If you give it wishy-washy wants, you get a wishy-washy world. Command it! Grab it!”

He laughed again. “Now go away.”

A great big wish-fulfillment device? A genie? Is this possible? Is this true?

Do What You Wish

This is the lesson; this is what all the guides have said, for months, again and again. And it’s finally started to sink in. I’ve realized I’m not going to get a lot more guidance until or unless I understand that I’ve got to carve my own path. Reality is a reflection, and I can mold it. (I am molding it — whether I mean to or not — there is no choice in the matter.) I’ve got to learn to consciously control it. There’s no other way forward.

It takes constant practice. And it ain’t easy.

Dollars and Pounds

I’ve been struggling with my weight and my finances for a long time, and I’m finally coming to realize that they are excellent teachers of this kind of lesson. Both issues are directly related to my own personal will.

The situation with money is very direct. Your money, as Cernunnos said, is just a reflection of your ability at intention manifestation. It’s a measure of your skill with the Law of Attraction. If you want to learn how to manifest, one obvious way to practice is to try growing your bank account.

Weight control is a more interesting case. These days, everyone knows how to lose weight and be healthy: eat more vegetables, and exercise more. The difficulty of the matter is not what to do, but carrying through with it — actually doing it. It requires self-mastery. Notice it does not require willpower — willpower peters out in a few days or a week at most, you can’t sustain a diet long enough on that. Instead, it requires the ability to control your own desires — to make yourself want those vegetables and that exercise, purely and completely, with no inner conflict or struggle.

And this kind of self-mastery is essential for the Law of Attraction, as well. If you can turn aside sweet snacks and desserts day after day, if you can consciously establish a new set of habits, if you can change your own thoughts and desires to this extent, then you can do anything with intention manifestation. It’s an excellent training ground.

So far my success has been limited. I’ve been able to do simple quick things like locate parking spaces, make traffic lights change, and find exact change in my wallet when I exit a parking garage. More significantly, I have defused stressful situations and altered relationship dynamics. I am still working on my weight and my finances, and there’s not much movement yet; these are, I think, ingrained habits of thought and emotion that take a lot of time and effort to uproot. It is hard to work with situations where I’m working against very basic, long-standing beliefs of mine. It’s hard to maintain my intentions at high levels to achieve long-term goals. Sometimes it’s hard just to remember to try intention manifestation instead of banging my head against the wall. But the more I do it, the easier it gets.

The Worm Ouroboros

In The Neverending Story, the hero Bastian can make wishes as he travels through Fantastica, and his wishes are always granted. However, each time he makes a wish, he loses a memory. Gradually his character is destroyed, and he descends into selfishness and self-centeredness. But he cannot stop wishing — he cannot control his own desires — and he continues to wish, continues to lose himself, until at last he has no identity at all, not even a name. Michael Ende describes the process so vividly, it’s enough to put you off fiction entirely, for fear you’ll stumble into Fantastica one day.

And it’s a process that rings true. Intention manifestation is a kind of wishing that, when done consistently, is also self-transformation. And you really are destroying yourself: you are consciously destroying parts of yourself that you no longer want. And at the same time, you are creating new parts of yourself. You consciously, carefully, quietly create new feelings, new emotions, and new expectations; and reality is recreated to reflect the new You.

Hanging From the World Tree

One final vision. I am climbing Yggdrasil, slowly, laboriously. It is difficult, because I am climbing the trunk, and it is very think. It’s more like climbing a wall than a tree.

I am up very high. The landscape below is blue with haze and distance. The mountains are like rumples in a blue-green forest blanket. The ocean reflects the sun, and is too bright to look at directly. I am high enough that the sky around me is black with hard bright stars. But I don’t spend a lot of time looking at the view; I focus on placing my feet and hands carefully as I climb.

Far below me, the trunk of Yggdrasil splits into dozens of roots. Far above me, the trunk splits into dozens of branches.

At last I reach a branching. I choose one: the choice is entirely mine. I start climbing along the branch. I focus on placing my feet and hands carefully as I climb.

And when I look around again, I see that the branch has become the trunk; the trunk I was on has become one of the roots; and far above me, the trunk splits into dozens of branches…

reflectattraction

Comments

  1. It requires self-mastery.

    Yep. I managed that feat intentionally once – when I quit smoking. I had been smoking for years, and enjoyed it; but when I got engaged (15 years ago now – hard to believe!) I decided that there was more than just me in the equation now, and quit cold turkey.

    Weight loss is harder. There’s no instant gratification – when I quit smoking I *knew* that I had quit, and could see at least some result immediately; with weight loss you just have to trust that it’s working, especially if you take my friend Token Fat Guy‘s advice and hide the scale for a month rather than checking in every day and obsessing about it. (You might want to check out his blog – he has some good tips and his story is pretty inspirational, as well as just being a good guy.)

  2. Oh, and for the record… that weight loss thing? Still struggling with it myself. I *had* been going to the gym every other day, then in April I got sick for a couple weeks and just got back on the workout wagon yesterday… thank the kami that I still had Aikido twice a week, or I’d be a total loss by now!

  3. Jeff Lilly says:

    Erik, belated congratulations on quitting smoking! I have heard so many horror stories about how awful that is.

    I’ve been overweight, borderline obese, ever since puberty, and my body and mind are very used to it. I find it difficult to even imagine what it must be like to be a healthy weight. It’s a definite impediment to my progress. I’m still pursuing the “spiritual weight loss” program I wrote about a year ago, and it involves a lot of internal work that doesn’t (yet) have a lot of physical results. But there’s no way I’m ever giving up; and once I get there, I’m going to blog about it.

    I checked out Token Fat Guy — that’s awesome! What a great birthday present he gave himself! 🙂

  4. Yep – those lifelong patterns of thought and behavior really suck sometimes… 🙁

  5. Morgaine says:

    For weight loss, sign up at sparkpeople.com. It’s the best thing I ever did for myself and it’s free.

    I’m still working on the money thing. LOL. We’re comfortable and secure, thank the gods, but we need to be able to add on to our house and I like to travel. Weight and health first, money coming up!

    Good luck!

  6. Ah, Jeff, so you’ve “been borderline overweight, almost obese since puberty”? Take out the three words before “obese,” change the last word to “conception,” and you have *my* circumstance!

    Have you ever noticed how the psychological side of many weight-loss programs (particularly the ones that get good results for many people, such as Weight Watchers) tries to get you to “think back to the time when you were a normal weight … remember how your body felt back then … feel how it was, when you were a slim, active child running and playing and having lots of terrific active fun with your friends all day … don’t just IMAGINE it, you have to BE back there with those childhood happy feelings because that WAS you, and it CAN be you again”? The good folks in Weight Watchers _et_al_. didn’t take at all kindly to anyone who privately remarked, after session, on not having HAD anything near that particular kind of childhood to remember …

    … and if I had such a childhood in a past life, the memories thereof elude me.

  7. Ferry Man says:

    Ah yes. “If you don’t have money, it’s your fault and yours alone. You’re not thinking right.” That’s the Pagan version. The Xtian version reads, “If you don’t have money, it’s because there’s sin in your life, and God can’t bless you until you repent.” No, it has nothing to do with the fact that the economy has gone south. That people aren’t buying stuff because they can’t pay their mortgages, or they don’t have healthcare because it would take a 3rd of their monthly wages to pay for that. People have all they can do to put gas in the car ($4.79/gal here on the North Coast). Companies are cutting back, laying folks off, not giving raises, or cutting hours.

    Economics is a complex thing. EVERYONE is interdependent upon EVERYONE else. Magick offers some short-time solutions (like making money for the electric bill to manifest in the final hour), but you actually have to start planning for the future when you are too young to think about planning. When you’re 55 it’s too late.

  8. Jeff Lilly says:

    Thanks for the good wishes, Morgaine! I will definitely check out sparkpeople. Congrats on all your success!

  9. Jeff Lilly says:

    Kate, my heart goes out to you!

    In fact my mother in law was in exactly your situation for a very, very long time. She had a similar childhood (at least in this specific respect), and was overweight / obese her whole life, and had almost no success with Weight Watchers.

    However, a couple of years ago, she DID finally have success, and now she looks and feels fantastic. She got herself in on an Atkins-style diet study, one which was designed to test the effects of high protein & vegetable diets with a lot of feedback, psychological support, and the whole nine yards. It did the trick, and she’s stayed thin for two or three years now.

    Unfortunately I don’t know whether that solution is something that could work for you. But maybe knowing that she succeeded might bring some measure of hope or comfort?

  10. Jeff Lilly says:

    Ferry Man, I don’t pretend to know the nuts and bolts of how magic works, how the gods work, or how my personal finances tie into the world economy. I do know that my gods have told me that my personal financial situation is under my control, and I can improve it by working in the intention manifestation framework (which of course includes mental work, emotional work, and physical work).

    I suspect that reality is more a matter of choice than most people assume. I suspect that if I get my head together, I will either fix my finances regardless of what is going on in the rest of the world, or else the rest of the world will magically fix itself as necessary. I’m not saying that I suspect that I personally have power over the world economy. 🙂 Instead, I suspect that there are many parallel world economies, and through my conscious effort I can sort of move myself into a reality I prefer. This is what the final World Tree vision means to me. I talk a little more about this in my belief community article from a couple of years ago.

    Anyway, I very much appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to comment!

  11. I suspect that if I get my head together, I will either fix my finances regardless of what is going on in the rest of the world, or else the rest of the world will magically fix itself as necessary.

    I was talking about something similar recently with some folks at my UU church – specifically about those moments when I make a decision for some sort of life change, and it seems like doors start opening left and right where there were just blank walls a second ago. I’ve concluded (provisionally, of course! 🙂 ) that what’s happened is not that reality has rearranged itself around me, but that I have aligned myself with the pattern of the universe, and suddenly I can see and interact with at least that one bit of the pattern more clearly.

    This has happened a handful of times, most notably when I met my wife and suddenly needed to be able to support a family – shortly after we got engaged a job opportunity came up that has allowed us, over time, to be in the position to homeschool without *too* much financial stress. It happened again a couple of years ago, when we decided that we needed to be more local and/or organic in our food shopping – a brand new CSA started up barely a month later, which is the only way we could have gotten into one (there’s not that many here, and they all have waiting lists, including ours now), and a member of our homeschool group mentioned that she could get us organic, humanely raised and slaughtered, grass-fed beef (and chickens as well) from her sister in Kentucky. And another member just mentioned that she’s bringing back fresh fruit from the mountains to sell to offset the cost of visiting the grandparents…

    Token Fat Guy has been nagging me to join sparkpeople.com as well, incidentally… I think I just need to do it.

  12. Well, Jeff, your response provides some hope anyway!
    I just wish that more “helping professional/semi-professional” types would stop producing therapy/self-help methods which depend on background assumptions that may not hold true for the clients who most seek and need the help. (The common tendency to regard certain cultural/psychological specifics as human universals, and to base upon them an interaction or series of interactions, doesn’t help therapy/counseling any more than it helps such areas as language instruction. For example: you wouldn’t do a great job of teaching English to Koreans if you incorrectly assumed without question — and wouldn’t change your assumption on any evidence — that Korean and every other language all over the world happened to use the same word-order, the same set of sounds, and the same writing-system as English.)

  13. Jeff Lilly says:

    Erik, I like the way your solution sounds, too. I wonder if there’s any way to tell the difference?… Congrats on getting in on that CSA! Ours has finally started up for the year (things start growing awfully late up here in Massachusetts) and we had our first strawberries and greens today… Heavenly!

  14. Jeff Lilly says:

    Yup, Kate, that’s definitely a problem, and not just among self-help gurus and other semi-professional therapists. Whole branches of social sciences have been blind to the variation that’s possible in the human family. In American linguistics, for example, even today, there’s two basic camps: one that says everyone shares the same basic linguistic architecture, and you just have to tweak it to allow some variation, and one that says that languages can have all kinds of strange structures, and are essentially unpredictable.

  15. Jeff,
    I don’t know if the result looks any different in a measurable way, but it definitely affects intention – seeking to conform my will to that of the Universe instead of the other way around – and according to most magical theory I’m familiar with that does indeed change the outcome…

  16. Jeff, for me, I believe that when all of my emotional issues are healed then I will lose the weight. Weight for some of us is a form of protection. I can lose it. I have done that several times over the years. Learning to deal with the emotional stuff that comes up when I do lose is what I haven’t gotten a handle on yet. I have found that when I deal with my grief, some of the weight comes off and stays off.

    I have been a vegetarian for about 10 years now so even eating healthier hasn’t helped. I do believe that when I love every part of me then the healing will bring the weight off.

  17. Jeff Lilly says:

    Kate, Erik, Patricia: I want to thank you personally for your support here. I’ve had a very difficult spring indeed: because of work-related stress, I’ve gained over twenty pounds. However, I think I’ve finally hit a breakthrough on what needs to be done to solve this issue in a healthy, efficient way. I’m considering blogging about it — not here, I don’t want to bog this blog down with my weight issues, but on a separate blog set up just for this project. More coming soon…

  18. You have just put into words what I have been thinking alot about lately. Maybe if I quit worrying so much about something, then maybe that thing will work itself out. I am making an effort to focus on things that make me happy, instead of things that SHOULD make me happy. Thanks for the post

  19. Heya Jeff

    I’m also someone who has been overweight for most of my life. There was a point, however, when I started getting my inner world in order, where I did lose a lot of the weight (I never got down to my goal weight, but I managed to lose 25kg of it and kept it off for a few years).

    Unfortunately, life travelling in the cycles as it does, the past couple of years have seen me neglecting all the inner work I’d begun back then, and probably not surprisingly, seen a lot of my life (including the weight) go back to what it was before I started… which is, to be frank with myself, frustrating as all hell.

    On the positive side, if I’ve done it once, I know it’s possible; and hopefully, in line with the classic story of walking down the street and encountering holes in the path, this time around, it’ll either take me less time to climb out again when I fall into the same hole I’ve fallen into before… or I might even manage to walk around the damn thing 😉

    All of which is a long-winded way of introducing the one thing that I think made a difference for me the first time around when it came to getting to a healthier weight… which was doing whatever I could to make it easy for myself to do what was good, and hard to do what wasn’t. See, much as I’d like to have massive willpower and the ability to always do-what-needs-to-be-done-whatever-it-takes kind of mentality (much as I respect people who do), that’s not me. One of the things I learned about myself is that if it’s not easy, I don’t do it.

    That’s not a particularly pleasant realisation to have about oneself, but it is what it is, and unpalatable as it may be, it at least leaves me with a tool I can use. So I ended up arranging my life so that going to the gym every day, and eating fresh stuff on a daily basis, were actually easier than the alternative… and yeah, that’s when the weight started coming off.

    I’m not sure if that’s helpful (or just something you’ve heard a million times before), but I know it worked for me, and it’ll be what I start trying to do again this time around as I struggle to slowly, step by step, get my life back into balance.

    Blessings

    Starfire

  20. Jeff,

    Thanks for the post, I appreciate it. I feel I am in the same place, everything points to me just “doing it” in terms of money. I am slowly learning, I feel my issues are around removing all the negativity I grew up with around money. I have a strong reaction to just do it… I feel if I knew what to do I would have done it a long time ago.

    On the weight issue, again, I have had a very similar situation. Last Fall, I found Radiant Recovery and Kathleen DesMaison. Her story is long, but focuses on people who are born with a sensitivity to sugar which effects their lives completely. She has put together a program to heal your body and brain chemistry, and once it is healed she also has a system to lose and maintain your weight.

    She says once your brain and body is healed, you begin to feel radiant (hence radiant recovery). I know from the outside looking in this sounds like another diet schtick. But I had major changes happen in my life since I started and feel better now then I have in a long time, and I haven’t lost much weight (that will come later). But Kathleen has a whole system set up that is really incredible.

    Best Wishes
    glenn

  21. Jeff Lilly says:

    Starfire and Glenn, I really appreciate your encouragement. You both know how incredibly hard this can be.

    Starfire, without going into a lot of boring details: I have tried the strategy you mention, and I’ve had partial success with it. However, when I get sufficiently stressed, I tend to go to great lengths to break past all the barriers I put up. And I’ve been sufficiently stressed a lot this spring. 🙂

    Glenn: I’d be grateful if you dropped by again here and let us know how it goes!

    It may be a little too early to say this, but I think the breakthrough I mentioned a couple of comments back is bearing fruit. In the past week I’ve started a new diet and sleep schedule, and the weight has started to drop away most satisfactorily, and a couple of other health issues I had (which I did not mention in this post for fear of bogging it down too much) have cleared right up. It’s really been remarkable. Once I’m convinced these gains are solid, I’ll be writing a lot more about it.

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