Thursday, June 26, 2014

Prognostication, Divination, and Fortune-Telling

Practitioners of many different Magickal traditions engage in practices of prognostication, divination, or fortune-telling. While all of these are similar they not quite the same and very different psychology is at work behind each. Despite these differences, the same desire seems to drive the seekers of the arts, an attempt to ascertain and have some control over the future.

Prognostication, or forecasting is perhaps the most common and therefore the most invisible of the three. Most prognosticators must establish themselves through schooling or expertise in a field before being allowed to practice their professions. Some examples include Weather Forecasters, Economists, Sports Forecasters and even the people who compile allergy forecast. The basic model seems to follow along the lines of , observe, record, sample,and predict. The first element is essential, one cannot predict what will happen if one does not understand how things work. Take weather for example, if you do not know what usually happens after SE winds for three days straight followed by a shift to winds out of the NW in Central Texas in late September then you will not make a good Weather Forecaster. Secondly you must build a record to make your predictions more accurate by comparison to past events, this is how rain percentages are calculated. Third you must know what current conditions are for sake of said comparison. Lastly, and this is where it gets tricky, you must make a guess and hope it's right or you will not be employed for long. This approach is not only the most common but it is actually treated as science even though it ultimately comes down to intuition and guesswork.

Divination, or insight works a bit differently and is usually spurned by our modern scientific materialistic culture. This bias probably arises as much from the use of devices like Tarot Cards, Crystal Balls and Bone Oracles, as from charlatans and con-men trying to exploit the desperate and gullible. Disclaimer: I myself do use and believe in the efficacy of certain divinatory practices when used in the proper context. Some of what is done with these techniques and tools is closer to fortune telling than divination, but that will be illustrated more later. Tarot Cards have a long and mixed history of use as divination tools, the truly adept use them more as a psychological aid than a predictor of future events, in fact Carl Jung has written extensively on this subject. One must use techniques very similar  to prognostication to have an effective outcome with tarot. First learn what the symbols on the cards mean, then keep a record of ones mental well being, including feelings about the symbols themselves. Once a data base has been built, one may begin to ascertain deep personal psychological truths or predict ones behavior in a given situation, including alternatives. Scrying or crystal gazing, relies heavily on intuition and interpretation. Again this probably best done on a personal level or when the interpretation is left to the querant. Bone Oracles, or casting are purely based on intuitive interpretation and again record keeping seems to be the key to increased accuracy.

Fortune-Telling has been practiced for as long as humans have had tribal leaders and shamans.Originally
used like Weather Prognostication, or Personal Divination techniques, fortune telling has come to be more closely associated with charlatans, cheats and con-men. This situation is probably due to the fact that desperate and gullible people make easy targets for those who feel comfortable exploiting others. Fortune- Telling use some of the same tools as Divination but more as props. People who practice fortune telling are more like amateur psychotherapists than anything else. By listening closely to their clients, fortune tellers ascertain exactly what the querant needs to hear to believe that the outcome will go their way. Depending on the scruples of the fortune teller this may or may not involve further rituals, products, talismans, etc. Many agree that the easiest way to discern a fortune tellers intentions is whether or not they have products for sale and how they charge for services. Donation only fortune tellers seem to be the most sincere.

What compels humans to seek out foreknowledge about the future is I believe, quite simply security. When one believes one has inside knowledge of future events, one feels their plans are more congruent with objective reality. This both utter hogwash  and completely true. Some forces are beyond our manipulation, some on a personal level and some on a species wide level. Objectives beyond the scope of our personal power must be accomplished with aid from other souls, in whatever form that takes. Once one has a plan whether achievable alone or with the aid of others, one begins to change reality in accordance with one's will; magick. When you look past the few charlatans and cheats, and realize every newscast in America has a segment with the Chief Fortune Teller, i.e weatherman, then a realization dawns; we all long to know the unknowable and feel as if we can control even a small part of it. That is why we do magick, but that is a story for another day.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Earth Ties

Been coming across many references to the importance of taking care of Spaceship Earth as St. Bucky used to call her, so I thought I would share:

Rewilding Witchcraft-

 How tame we have become. How polite about our witchcraft. In our desire to harm none we have become harmless.
We have bargained to get a seat at the table of the great faiths to whom we remain anathema. How much compromise have we made in our private practice for the mighty freedom of being able to wear pewter pentagrams in public, at school, in our places of employment. How much have the elders sold us out, genuflecting to the academy, the establishment, the tabloid press. In return for this bargain we have gained precisely nothing."

 The Mother Octopus-

"Could it be possible that gaia is the type of organism that gave birth to an offspring that has the ability to reproduce another earth eventually?" 

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth 

"Because our spontaneous initiative has been frustrated, too often inadvertently, in earliest childhood we do not tend, customarily, to dare to think competently regarding our potentials." 

That is all for now, Enjoy. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Further Open Source Experiments

Hello again dear readers, I hope you have all been well. This the second installment of my Open Source Magick series. I will discuss ways to expand on last months experiments and add a few new topics for consideration and play. I will suggest ways to expand your daily practice, increase awareness, introduce a self blessing ritual and discuss briefly some Magickal theory. So grab a coffee, or a Margarita depending on your personal situation and let's get started.

Daily Practice

Last month we talked about the importance of daily practice and I suggested a few different techniques that myself and other Psychonauts have found helpful, hopefully you have explored some of these. Now I would like to add to the importance of these techniques. First let me stress why I feel so strongly about this topic; daily practice is where your routine maintenance comes into play.By taking time each day to check your overall progress it becomes easier to know where you have grown and where you need to grow. Don't wait for the check engine light to come on, go ahead and check your fluids on a regular basis.

Hopefully you have found a practice that allows some time to be still and quiet, so that you can have a
conversation with yourself. If you are still having difficulty with this try the following exercise. Get a piece of paper and a pen. Write the following question, "Seeker what do you desire?" Contemplate this for a while before answering. Asking yourself questions like this will open up access to your Higher Self and begin to direct you to your True Will. Once you become adept at this sort of practice you will begin to live in alignment with your Divine Presence.


I believe last month I referred to this as Body Awareness, but really it is much deeper than that, it is about total awareness . Let's revisit Body Awareness for a moment and then I will expand upon it. I recommended before that one try to lay still for at least 10 minutes a day and become aware of one's body gradually increasing the amount of time to 30 minutes twice a day. So now let's add to this, starting with your head, use your imagination to see your brain. This simple act will increase blood flow to your brain and relax it completely. After your brain do the same for your eyes, ears, nose and mouth, continue to do this until you reach your feet. You should feel warmth in the part you are concentrating on as the blood flow increases, this will be how you know you are doing it right.

Now it is time to try a new exercise, find a comfortable place outside and sit down. Glance down or close your eyes. Begin by becoming aware of your breath, now listen to the world around you. As you become aware of more and more, you are actually expanding your consciousness. Going with that try to tune in directly with the earth below you, the clouds above you, all the water on the planet even Cosmos herself. Do this as often as possible.

Self Blessing Ritual

Step One: Banish, you have been practicing, right?
Step Two: Draw bath, add salt and herbs like lavender or chamomile.
Step Three: Light candles and incense to set the mood.
Step Four: Enter the bath.
Step Five: As you soak try to let go of everything that causes you stress. Once you are relaxed, use a washcloth or loofa to wash yourself from head to toe, imagining all the while that you are removing impurities from your psyche.
Step Six: Pour water on your head and see it as blessings raining down on you. I usually say something like, "I trust myself in this moment, I live in and value the moment, I love and accept myself. So mote it be." I usually do several recitations of this until I feel it into the core of my being.
Step seven: Drain the bath, stay in the bath until fully drained. As the water drains feel all of your obstacles falling away.
Step Eight: Lie down somewhere until you are air dried.

Magickal Theory Part One

In this section I will begin introducing you Axioms of the Magickal World View, if you would like to read more about this I recommend the following:
The Fourth Dimension by Rudy Rucker
Synchronicity by Carl Jung
Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson
Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstader

I will begin with Three Axioms that help to make up the Magickal World View. The Axiom of Reality Tunnels, the Axiom of Evidence, and the Axiom of Synchronicity.

The Axiom of Reality Tunnels
Everything we perceive as reality is an interface being the objective (Noumenon, Tao, Godhead, Universe,
etc.) and the subjective (our personal interpretation of the objective.) As we shift our awareness of the world around us we literally perceive a different world. Since there are infinite ways to interpret this data through our senses and the model we choose to make it fit, there are literally an infinity of Universes contained in a moment. Our awareness is the key to opening different realities.

Most world views support an idea of separateness of self and the objective. You are already one with the objective , but as Godel's Incompleteness Theorem states we never fully know the objective because we cannot step outside of it. There are no independent observers, your perceptions help to co-create Universe in every moment.

The Axiom of Evidence
Simply stated this Axiom goes like this the more evidence one looks for to support a Reality Tunnel, the more you will find. Our brains do this automatically everyday, by means of subconscious internal dialogue.
To illustrate this I will introduce you William Burroughs' 23 Virus. It goes like this; 23 is the most common number in the universe, the more you look for it the more you see it. This is an example of a recursive loop, our brains are full of them. In fact, the majority of therapy is learning to reprogram theses loops through a variety of mind tricks, so too magick.

The Axiom of Sychronicity
Dr Carl Jung came up with the term Synchronicity as a label for meaningful coincidences that cannot be explained by normal cause and effect. This would be events that seem to have the same meaning or are connected by symbolic patterns rather than time. Such as noticing a particular animal right before something significant happens, over and over again. Some postulate that this is the result of an ongoing conversation between your soul and the divine, and it is only when we shift our attention to it that we realize the extent to which it happens.I recommend reading Jung's book above about it, as I do not do this Axiom justice with my explanation.

So there you have it, this months installment of Open Source Magick. Please give me feedback on your own progress, either in the comments below or email me at Keep up the Great Work and keep being your wonderful self.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Earth Workings and The Lesson of the Nazarene

First let me start off with a brief description of my initial Earth Workings. Over the Memorial Day Weekend I attended Flipside, the largest regional burn outside of Burning Man. I participate in burns because they encapsulate the ideals of Open Source Culture better than any other place I have been. This year for the second year in a row we took our children. Children are perfect avatars of the divine principle of Lila, which is Divine Play. If you have forgotten how to play and therefore lost some of that magickal shine hang out with some kids they will teach you all about Immediacy. It was in this setting that Earth yielded its first lesson, the magick of connectivity with positive humanity. There were many wonderful conversations, sword fights, balloon animals, bubble machines, a city that appeared in an enchanted forest and disappeared several days later, not to mention the pirates, unicorns and fairies, all of this temporarily existed as a manifestation of many individuals collective imagination. Better than Disneyland.

So Earth has begun revealing to me the underlying principle of magick everyday, all of creation is a miracle. Physics, mathematics, chemistry can all describe some of what is going on, but not why. Yes I know cause and effect, but what is the purpose? It is this ongoing question that fuels our imaginations and feeds our souls. it is the culmination of Intellect fired by Passion and cooled through our Emotive Selves that manifests as Earthy goodness.To often we get caught in the other realms, intellect, passion, emotions, are all wonderful in themselves , but when one becomes obsessed these elements reveal their dark side. I should clarify, obsession is what ultimately makes things ugly, however there is a cure. Remaining grounded, doing the routine maintenance, tending your garden, whatever you call it the important thing is to do it.

Now I am not so naive as to suggest that grounding will heal everyone, nor am I naive enough to claim its counter, suffice to say, it works most of the time. You will find all kinds of rituals on the interwebz  for grounding, but I want to offer you three  Open Source Magickal workings that have a lifetime of benefit. First, stretch, either with yoga or plain stretching, it will keep you limber. Next, go for a walk, it will keep you connected to nature, even human nature. The change in perspective will inform your magick better than any book, and it will also benefit your health. Not to mention the psychological benefits. God how I love brain chemistry. you should try to do the preceding rituals daily if possible or at least three times a week. Now the last grounding technique is as needed, but I suggest that you try it as soon as possible, go get dirty. I don't mean to do gardening or touch some potting soil, what I mean is play in some mud, or a sand box, or go to the ocean and play in the mud and the sand. In fact the beach is the perfect natural environment to experience all of the elements at once. Be aware wild mud has parasites, so boost up your vermifuge intake. Earthy wisdom is also the domain of one of my favorite Theriocephalic Godforms, Ganapati, but more on that later.

The Lesson of the Nazarene

While at the aforementioned burn event, I learned that a friend was in the process of losing his Grandmother. Having just gone through the process a mere two weeks earlier, it allowed for an interesting opportunity for conversation. Most folks will shy away from such conversations, but not Goose,which is one of the reasons I love him. Out of respect for both of us I will not divulge the intimate details of that conversation, but I will tell you about a revelation that was the direct result of that conversation.

Everyday at the event I did a Pronoia Love Circle, here is the flyer I made.
In the midst of talking about Pronoia and Love, I have a deep conversation with a friend about Life, Death, and Spirituality. Part of that conversation turned to the faith of our Grandmothers, so I began to ponder the message of the Nazarene. Over and over he talks of Love, equating it with  the divine. If we are to be alignment with the divine we must strive to be open to love. When we fully give ourselves over to this Love we are free from fear. The more you love the less you fear. Simple and effective. As I went about spreading good cheer, messages of Love and Pronoia, and hugs, I noticed all the love I felt in return. That's the thing  about Love you have to give it away to get more.

The lesson I learned is this; the Divine is Love, to participate in the divine, start loving, and all things even people whose political views you hate, you don't have to agree with someone to love them, just love that they too have a spark of the divine in them. When show love to even the most detestable of people we grow and love triumphs, this will not undo their acts or make them better people, but it will make you more humane.

Earth has been a profound and subtle reminder of the Magick that exists around me everyday. I will try not to take it for granted. Many blessed returns, now go play in the dirt!