Many of the books and articles that I have read about magic presuppose that magic functions in a linear fashion. It starts with the preparations, culminates with a ritual performance of some kind, and ends (hopefully) with the desired effect. Magic would seem to be about influencing the natural cause and effect mechanisms that appear to operate in the world. A magically influenced event must therefore be triggered by a magical action. It seems so simple, but actually it’s this definition that is overly simplistic and not the process of magic itself. In fact, anyone who has experienced magic over a long period of time would likely tell you that magical processes are highly complex despite the mechanism employed by the magician.
There doesn’t appear to be a clean and simple representation of magic. It is never an associative process of “do these things and this desired event will occur,” since if magic was that simple it would be used as such by everyone and be a part of everyone’s repertoire of life-based actions. Being successful in life, however that might be defined, often involves many factors that are not tangible to the one who is striving. There is such a thing as “good luck” and “bad luck” when dealing with chance occurrences and probabilities, with which even the most hard headed and practical individual must cope.
As a beginning magician or sorcerer often discovers, magical effects and predicting the results of magical actions is slightly better (or worse) than chance. Perhaps that slight advantage can make all the difference, but the whole cause and effect perspective about magical performance might be too simplistic to deal with the actual reality of how magic works and what it really does. It is also possible that our collective sense and perspective on causality might not be particularly well informed or nuanced to notice that when magic is involved in a given situation, many strange and bizarre things can occur.
In the many years that I have performed magical workings and operations, I have found that the phenomena associated with magic is peculiar, quixotic and even downright strange at times. For many years I have adopted the opinion, or should I say that it has been forced on me by circumstances, that magical effects, operations and workings seem to represent a view of reality that is anything but straightforward, linear, sequential, or predictive in a cause and effect manner. I know that my opinion in this matter is not very popular because it argues that the generalization and modeling of magical practices and effects is misleading and probably far too restrictive.
If one were to classify the kind of magic that I work using the available models then I could be said to be using a highly extended and expanded energy model. I also incorporate the spirit model, or spirit plus, because the foundation of this magic is based on my use of a projected godhead as my higher self intermediary. I also use the information model, since I make complex declarations in my ritual workings as a part of my overall magical exegesis, not to mention the complex sigil systems that I employ to construct magical links.
The psychology model is also well represented in my work since the rites that I employ are written in such a fashion that they can be used by nearly anyone. I also extensively employ the “As If” magical tool to build my own personal mythology with deep psychological imprints to push the envelope in my own self-definition and expand the world that I live in. Perhaps because I am intensely using all of these models of magic, particularly the energy model (by employing vortices, pyramids, spirals, pylons, and geometric prismatic energy structures), I have found that the phenomena of magic is startlingly peculiar. Allow me to explain what I mean by this declaration.
Over the years I have experienced some very odd phenomena when performing magical operations and focusing magical effects into my life process. While these are particularly subjective experiences they are not limited to what I have experienced. I have performed these kinds of rites with other people on a number of occasions and everyone who participated had similar experiences. So, I have eliminated the possibility that I have just hallucinated these strange occurrences. Here is my list of weird happenings.
- Magical results for a particular working begin to happen before the rite is even performed. I refer to this phenomenon as a causality collapse, and I have experienced other situations where the perception of time has been slowed down or startlingly increased. Time dilation and causality distortion seem to be a part of the typically overlooked attributes of magical phenomenon.
- Magical effects can occur without any ritual being performed, or any intention of a ritual to be performed at a future date. It would seem that just being immersed in magic and its regular practice can cause phenomena to occur unbidden.
- Performing the same ritual over time can produce wildly differing results for the same person or different persons. Sometimes the experiences are analogous, but other times they are completely and radically different. The opposite can also happen, where a single ritual can produce very similar results when performed by different people at different times. It would seem that the effect of a magical operation cannot be cleanly or clearly predicted with any accuracy.
- Sometimes magical effects operate as if they are somehow “sentient” and able to either subtly interact with the operator or even anticipate his or her objective. I don’t know how many times I have either said or heard someone say that when working magic you don’t always get what you want, but more often, you get what you need (or deserve).
- Performing magical operations often produce far more effects than are intended by the operator. Sometimes these additional effects are more engaging, interesting and desirable than the original objective. Magical effects can appear to permeate one’s conscious perspective of reality itself and can reveal things in dreams, fantasy, and even in mundane occurrences. The impact of synchronicity has often been downplayed or omitted when talking about the effects of a magical operation, but I have found that it often occurs. Magical operations can have residual effects, and these can be experienced days, months or even years later.
- Magical operations that are performed in a given space (temple) or focused in specific area (shrine or temporary working area) seem to accumulate a kind of residual field that has the capability to produce magical effects without any directive from the operator. (I have found that this is particularly true when working with a vortex in a temple environment. Even after it is sealed, the vortex continues to operate as a latent field because it cannot be banished.)
Perhaps the most interesting question that any magician could ask is whether or not magic as a phenomena can exist distinctly and separately from the magician who is generating it. Does magic begin and stop with the magician who is utilizing it, or is magic a kind of sentient and energized field that somehow resides in consciousness? If spirits can be said to exist distinctly (as psychic objects) and outside of our focused awareness or personalized perspectives then perhaps magic can also be said to be a very subtle and distinct unified field pervading consciousness. Maybe magicians only tap into something that is already there, and cause it to be consciously realized and activated for a specific objective. Perhaps magic is itself an egregore.
My experiences with magic are such that it seems to be a sentient process with which we interact for various reasons. Everyone and anyone can interact with it, but the mechanism might be prayer, pious offerings or personal sacrifice, grief and despair momentarily acquitted by hope, joy and insight instead of magical rituals. Magic might be a lot more common than we think, but far more complex, mysterious and subtle. This is because it has an inherent “beingness” that interacts with people on many different levels, but never functions as a mindless phenomenon prodded into action through the use of tools and occult artifices.
Those who work magic consistently for over a period of years develop an odd kind of magical aura around them that I call the “Process.” While I believe that magic itself is a sentient being that interacts with magicians, I have also observed what seems to be an aspect or attribute of the self functioning as the personal magical field of a magician. Sometime I can sense this emanating from another magician, and sometimes I have even visually perceived it as an entity that is bound to them and operates through them, but also acts like a localized field of magic. What I am attempting to describe is a kind of sentient energy field or egregore that appears to be attached to a magician. It not only produces minor magical phenomena, but it also seems to interact with the magician in order to guide and protect them.
I have declared that the magical Process can guide the magician to his or her ultimate goal (assisted with the Higher Self as personal godhead), but only if he or she will listen and be attentive to what is being communicated. The Process doesn’t talk to the magician because it operates on a very deep and subtle level of his or her being, so the art of listening to one’s Process is neither easy nor direct. Of course, my conjectures here could be readily dismissed as subjective nonsense, but what I trying to communicate is that magical processes are more complex, sentient and interactive than we understand them to be. There seems to be much more going on than what is typically written in books and articles about magic, and that magic is an odd, quixotic and sometimes, even chaotic phenomenon.
I have written other articles about the weird and strange phenomena regarding magical operations and magical effect, and you can find them here, and here. Many magicians find my ideas to be distasteful and troubling because I am proposing that magic is not straightforward nor is it something that will ever be able to be measured or described by science. It is one of the many mysterious elements of the overall phenomena of consciousness itself, and I am doubtful that science will ever successfully define what consciousness is due to the fact that human awareness, from the perspective of science, must be materially determined as a function of neurology. If that were so then spirits (or gods) couldn’t have an objective existence and magical energy would only be the product of a curious neurological phenomenon. We haven’t even gotten into a discussion of the meaningfulness of magical processes from a visual and linguistic perspective, and that would indeed seem to contradict, for now, the edits of science regarding neurology.
For this reason I am completely happy and content to observe magical occurrences from a subjective standpoint and to discuss what I and others have experienced. We will try to make sense of it all and attempt to teach and share methodologies that are less idiosyncratic and more overall objective, neat, orderly and seemingly factual. However, magic itself is actually very difficult (if not impossible) to quantify, measure and predict in a rational and scientific manner. What we long-time practitioners end up doing is sharing our own methodologies and experiences and allow others to help us determine what is real from a subjective perspective and what is our own personal, hubristic fantasy.