What Do You Really Want?: Magic and the Collective Subconscious

A few weeks ago I gave some examples of my recent successes with magic (or “intention manifestation”).  The method I was using had three basic steps:

  1. Make sure you really want it.
  2. Believe it can realistically happen.
  3. Feel the gratitude for it.

astrologyAncientAndModernA simple method, and some good results can be achieved with it.  I gave four examples in my previous post, in which I generated some quick cash, repelled mosquitoes, improved my performance at pool (and caused my opponent’s performance to suffer), and located my lost beard trimmer.  In this post I’ll share some other recent successes, and discuss in some detail the question of what it means to really want something, which extends into the areas of the collective subconscious, dueling wizards, free will, and — what the heck! — the role of the Twin in mythology.[Continue Reading…]

Spiritual Weight Loss II: the Abyss

Over a year has passed since my first post on spiritual weight loss, and it has been, frankly, extremely difficult — and at times harrowing. At first, things went very well; but then I began to lose ground — slowly at first, and then rapidly. In the spring, my health quickly became much worse, and I began to fear that I had serious problems.

ire30But let me be clear: this was not because the spiritual weight loss program was failing. On the contrary — without the principles of the program to guide me, I would probably have been a lot sicker, and I certainly would not have made the complete turnaround and nearly-full recovery I achieved in July.

But I’ll begin at the beginning.

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Step By Step Magic: Simple Intention Manifestation

In the last month or so I’ve turned some kind of corner in magic / intention manifestation (whatever you want to call it), and I’ve gotten markedly better at it.  I’m not talking about manifesting thousands of dollars (yet) or a house or anything, but I’ve had some successes that blew me away nevertheless.  Gather ’round, and I’ll let you in on the secret…

How to Do It

It’s a three-step process.

1.  Make sure you really want it.  You don’t actually have to be specific about every detail, you don’t have to have a clear picture in your mind, or any of that; what you need is a very clear, simple, positive desire uncluttered by any doubts.  This can be tricky, because sometimes you have hidden doubts.  I’ll give some examples below.

2.  Believe it can realistically happen.  This can be kind of hard, depending on what it is you’re trying to manifest, and what your level of faith is.  But if you don’t believe it’s possible…  well, it won’t be.  I’m finding it easier to practice on more believable stuff first.

3.  Get yourself to believe that what you want is, in fact, about to happen and wrap yourself in the gratitude and happiness that you’re about to receive it.  I found it’s very helpful to say to myself, “I’m so grateful that X is about to happen!”  I repeat this a few times and imagine the feeling…  And then I really am feeling it.

Now, watch it happen!

Below are four examples of this technique in action.

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The Narnian Tarot

My nine-year-old daughter absolutely adores the Chronicles of Narnia. Nothing unusual about that, really — lots of kids do — but why?

ire52After all, isn’t Narnia Christian allegory? It’s blatantly obvious to anyone who gives it a moment’s thought. But I’ve argued elsewhere that children are natural born pagans. So what’s the attraction? Does Christianity touch something in children, after all? Or is Narnia not wholly Christian?

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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?…”

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Beltane 2008: Scattered Blossoms

I’m working on a very large post, and normally I would post it in sections, but it’s not the sort of thing that can be broken up. In the meantime, I offer some reflections of the joys of the season:

hangedgodThis morning — May First — out of the blue — our five-year-old son woke up and saw fairies everywhere. Everywhere. He was ecstatic, sitting in bed, watching the tiny things dancing on his blankets, dancing on his pajamas, dancing on his sisters’ heads. He laughed and laughed and laughed! He saw them at school, he saw them on the playground, he saw them at the dinner table… He whispered his secret into his best friend’s ear. “That’s so awesome!” said his friend. At dinner all the kids put a bit of their food into a bowl for the fairies.

Fairy folk are all around
In the trees and in the ground
Gods above we honor you
Be with us in all we do
Ancestors who’ve gone before
Wisdom from the other shore
Offerings we make to you
Fire, water, living wood.

Esmerelda’s weather witching this year has apparently led to a striking result. Look at this map, which shows temperatures for the month of March this year, alongside an in-depth look at the El Nino and La Nina phenomena. Notice in particular that while March 2008 was the second-warmest March ever (beat only by March 2002), and Europe and Asia in particular suffered amazingly high temperatures, North America (where Esmerelda focused her efforts) was pretty much dead-on average — even slightly cooler than average in eastern Canada.

Speaking of weather magic: since we’re deep into 2008 now, it makes no sense to keep offering the 2008 Almanac at full price. It’s now available at 50% off: $9.99 for the print version, $7.00 for the download. Happy Beltane!

After a long winter of silence, I’ve started posting again at the Word of the Day and Druid Journal Meditation blogs. (Update 2010: these blogs are now ended.)

For the Word of the Day, I put up an analysis of the name Barack Hussein Obama, which was hugely fun to do and uncovered a lot of surprises about the names — and surprises about the man, as well.

For DJ Meditation, I posted a description of one of my daily visualization meditations — no analysis, no rumination, just what I experienced. See what meaning you can draw from it.

This winter I’ve been working on a major project for DJ Meditation, which I hope to unveil very soon. Stay tuned, true believers!

Tomorrow we will have Maypole dances for the small children at school, and this weekend we’ll be going to the big dance at Lady Tiana’s. Anyone else local headed out there?…

Oh, the green grass and the blooming trees! What greater joy??


The Tolkien Tarot Spread III: Fiction and Divination

What does fiction have to do with divination?

The common thread is the story structure, the plot. A work of fiction is an illustration of prototypical event structures, plotlines that are moving or meaningful. A divination system also provides plotlines, as well as general elements to flesh out the events of the story. A divination system shows you a possible plot line for your own personal story; it allows you to construct a tale to make sense of your life.

plightofbeeA Tarot spread can be thought of as a narrative structure upon which you can hang the life events surrounding the theme of your reading. The classic three-card reading — past, present, future — is just about as basic a narrative structure as one can imagine. The Celtic Cross is an elaboration of that basic narrative, showing obstacles, influences from ‘above’ and ‘below’, etc. Diane Sylvan has a marvelous spread (the Storyteller) that echoes Campbell’s journey of the hero. The Tetractys spread, which I learned of while researching this article, is a fascinating one that I’d love to try sometime, and seems to combine four plot patterns into one.

The Tolkien spread uses Tolkien’s favorite six-part plot pattern, which I explain in detail in the previous post; it underlies most of the action of The Lord of the Rings, as well as the overall arc of the novel itself. It illustrates Tolkien’s primary theme, eucatastrophe — the sudden twist, unexpected and yet intimately bound up with the framework of the tale, that brings the story to a positive conclusion.

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The Tolkien Tarot Spread II: Patterns of Action

Click here for the previous post in this series: The Function of Fiction.

Patterns of Plot, Patterns of Life

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither;
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.


ire57bOne way in which fiction influences our subconscious thinking is in its very structure, its plot. Different authors and different works have different plot styles and devices, sometimes woven carefully and consciously (The Quincunx), other times written on the fly with almost no forethought (Louis L’Amour). These patterns of plot can influence the way we, as readers, try to organize our own experiences — the way we make sense of our own stories. We come to expect our lives to unfold in the same way that our favorite fiction does.

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The Tolkien Tarot Spread I: the Function of Fiction

There is no question that Tolkien has had an amazing effect on my life, perhaps more than any other single person, including my parents. I am a linguist today because of The Hobbit. The runes absolutely fascinated me. And then — The Lord of the Rings! Can you imagine the thrill that shot through me when I read the inscription on the One Ring:

Ash nazg durbatuluk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatuluk, agh burzum ishi krimpatul.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness, bind them.

…and I realized that ash must mean “one”, and nazg must mean “ring” — and suddenly the name Nazgul — “ring ghoul” — Ringwraith — made perfect sense! There was no turning back after that.

Profound Lies

ire23And then of course there’s this whole druidism thing. Of course, there are no druids per se in Tolkien’s mythology, but the atmosphere, the moral values (e.g. the reverence for trees), and the character of magic throughout the works are unmistakable. I didn’t realize I was a druid until twenty-odd years after I read the books, but they set me on the path.

I think it’s pretty common for works of fiction to have profound effects on peoples’ lives. Think of all the libertarians spawned by Ayn Rand, for example. But if you take a step back and think about it, it’s a strange thing. After all, fiction is just a pack of lies, right? And not just lies — lies that everyone knows are false. Tolkien wasn’t fooling anybody, or trying to. Objectively speaking, how could known falsehoods have any kind of influence on someone’s life?

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Winter Solstice 2007

What does a druid do on the winter solstice? That depends on the druid.

ire7If you’re a Reconstructionist, you don’t do much. There isn’t a whole lot of evidence that the ancient druids did anything to celebrate the two solstices and equinoxes; their high holy days were the four cross-quarter holidays (Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain). The solstices and equinoxes aren’t even marked in the Coligny calendar, for example, while there is evidence there for Samhain, Lughnasadh, and Beltane.

If you’re a Revivalist, you celebrate Alban Arthuan, the festival to honor King Arthur and the return of the light. Druids commonly gather in a sacred space and watch for the sun to rise, greeting it with the powerful “Awen” chant, and honoring it with ceremony. However, the Revivalists are not dogmatic, and traditions vary widely among them.

I have called myself Reconstructionist on this site several times, but honestly I’m not quite sure about that.

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Abundance Experiment: Adam’s Peace, Shift Your Spirits, and the Gods are Bored

A couple of weeks back, Lexi Sundell at Energies of Creation began an abundance experiment. In order to explore the dynamics of giving and receiving abundance, she came up with the idea to begin regularly contributing to web sites and organizations that she deeply appreciates. Each month, she intends to pick a handful of sites and link to them, explaining why they are meaningful for her, and donate to them publicly. The idea is simply to get the ball rolling — to use creative, generous energy to spread abundance:

As an example of creative energy, donating empowers abundance. Our attention and our intentions are fully directed to recognizing what is of value. When followed by the act of donation itself, what we value is then magnified not only for ourselves but for others as well. Besides that, it’s a lot of fun to do!

sellingsalvationiiI was delighted and surprised when she put me on her list — thank you, Lexi! I thought it was a great idea, too, so I decided to do it myself. The very short list of blogs below is not at all exhaustive, but for me at this moment, they represent bloggers to whom I feel especially grateful — because of their personal friendship and the light their blogging brings into my life.

Adam Alexander of Adam’s Peace is methodical, idealistic, creative, and as smart as they come. In his blogging he explores any and all topics, but especially the search for peace in his life and in the world at large. He always writes with raw honesty, and helped me personally more than once with his uncommon spiritual insight.

Slade Roberson of SladeRoberson.com is a spirit of fire that explores inner space, outer space and spiritual space with vigor and courage. It’s hard for me to say whether he’s more talented as a medium or an author — and perhaps, for him, it’s the same process. His advice is always sage and timely, and his heart is open to all.

Anne Johnson of The Gods are Bored has more naked writing talent in her little finger than I have in my whole body — and I’m not a small guy. Whenever she posts — and gods be praised, she posts frequently! — I click over immediately, because she’ll get me to laugh no matter what kind of day I’ve had. But don’t be fooled: just when it sounds like she’s being silliest, that’s when she’s most serious. In the grand tradition of Twain and Pratchett, you find yourself thinking about the issues she raised long after you stop laughing.

Thank you, and abundance on you all!


Finding Purpose and Direction Through Compassion

Every once in a while, I get really, really, really caught up in my goals. Sometimes it’s because I am so very excited about them, I’m on the edge of my seat — like I’m watching a basketball game or exciting movie — I just can’t wait to see whether my goal will be met, and how.

ire4Sometimes, though, it’s just the opposite. I don’t know what my goals should be; and it feels like no matter how hard I strain my intuition, my logic, or my emotion, I just can’t figure out what I ought to be doing with my time. My old goals that fired me up a month ago seem lifeless or petty; and all the new ones I come up with seem boring, or too ambitious, or out of character for me, or inappropriate somehow.

When I’m in this state, it’s like I’m deaf or blind. I’m so wrapped up in my worry, I can’t really hear music, or see the colors in the sky or the trees. I can see them — but I don’t. It’s like I’ve forgotten how.

Either way, I end up thrashing around rudderless and graceless until I catch myself up short. “Whoa, Nelly!” I say to myself. “Slow down before you hurt somebody.”

Your Ego is Screaming

I’ve let my ego take over. It’s talking so loudly, I can’t hear anything else. Either it’s totally self-absorbed in chasing its little goals, or it’s afraid of picking the wrong goals, and its fear is making it deaf.

And in both situations, the solution is the same: put the ego to sleep for a while.

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Positive, Specific, Timeless Intention Manifestation

Whether you call it the Law of Attraction, Intention Manifestation, Calling Upon the Gods or just plain Magick, the advice is the same:

  • Don’t use negatives. Phrase your intentions positively for the best results. Don’t say “I don’t want to be alone”, say “I am with Bob”; don’t say “I don’t want to live in the ghetto”, say “I am living in a comfortable home.”
  • Be specific. Avoid generalizations like “I want everyone to have what they want”; it’s much more effective to list out the individuals and their particular desires.
  • Don’t live in the past, don’t live in the future. Phrase your intentions as if they were already taking place now.

You can see all these laid out along with a bunch of other great tips, in this article. I can attest that my personal manifestations work better when I follow these guidelines.

But… Why?

Why all this worry about negation, specificity, and past and future tense? Why should Spirit care how we phrase our spells?

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Lughnasadh 2007: Embodiment of Sunfire

This Lughnasadh has been a quiet one for our family, but one with some very interesting revelations for me personally.

Our Family’s Lughnasadh

tolkientarotiiiOur usual mentor, Ellen Hopman, was away in Tennessee leading a large gathering, so the six of us tramped into the woods to do our own little thing. It turns out that back behind the farm where we get our summer vegetables is a stand of woods with a network of crisscrossing paths, and a lovely little brook with bridges scattered here and there along it. It was amazing to us what a sense of peace and reverence permeated these quiet woods, even though they are almost completely surrounded by developments now. At one of these bridges we sang “We are Children of the Earth” and silvered the water; then we went to the top of a hill and gave our offerings to the trees and to fire. I read a selection from the life of Lugh — the part where he’s taken from his home on earth and raised up to be a man by the King of the Sea, and how he decides to return to Ireland and free it from the yoke of the Fomorian invaders. Then we did a brief divination using Druid Animal Oracle cards, asking for guidance in our search for a home closer to the land. The general indication was that the search will take considerable cleverness and a strong warrior spirit, but that we will have help.

Then we tramped back to the farm proper and had a feast of whole wheat and oat rolls and salad. We placed a roll at the base of a birch for the local fairies, as well. Afterwards, most of the kids headed for the sandbox, but our 6-year-old second daughter, who I sometimes think has more intuition about people and relationships than the whole rest of the family put together, sought out the farmers, buttered them up properly, and secured a free cantaloupe and other random fruit. We had a lovely time.

Lugh: The Embodiment of Sunfire

Lughnasadh is Old Irish for “Lugh Gathering”, and it was a fire festival celebrated midway between the summer solstice and the fall equinox — a time of gathering together for trade and exchange of goods and ideas. As such, it wasn’t primarily a harvest festival, though according to legend it was established by Lugh, king of the gods, in tribute to his mother Tailtiu, who died readying the fields of Ireland for agriculture.

Lugh is the primary syllable of Lughnasadh, and it is similar to the name Luke and Latin lux in sound and meaning: a light, volume-filling energy is gathered with speedy, fluid motion into a grounded container — or, put more simply, embodied, flowing light.

It appears that some of my guides arranged matters so that they would be “revealed” at this time of year, when the energy of the sun is made manifest, because they are so closely tied to solar energy.

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Summer Solstice 2007: Innovation and Tradition in Religion

This past spring, an arsonist destroyed the Church’s meeting house. It is now a two-story skeleton of blackened bones, wrapped round with a single yellow caution strip, as if that were the only thing holding it up. Around it, the forest, lawn and garden are lush with summer growth.

ire18Near the top of the hill stands the husk of a tree, struck by lightning. It was also smitten this spring. At the base of the tree, one of the Church’s members cut a crop-circle-like maze in the tall grass with a weed whacker, and placed a salvaged soot-covered statuette in its center. Before the Solstice ceremony, and late into the evening afterwards, the children played games in the maze, and chased lightning bugs.

The Nature Church has been purified by fire.

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