Ouroboros Part II: Pointers for Effective Magic Practice
by A. C. George
The aim of this series of posts is to work out some thoughts regarding a system I have been designing and working for the last decade and a half. It is not meant to be a point by point tutorial; just a series of observations and conclusions as my work progresses. This work, by the way, is also a stepping stone for an even more ambitious project involving the construction of a coherent cabalah- I find the term ‘logocentric alchemy’ more descriptive- based on the English alphabet, and its use in the formulation of power words and spells. I realize it’s been done before, but not quite the way I am approaching it, to my knowledge.
The pointers described here are only a few examples, and by no means allotted space to make the information instructive in any systematic way. On the other hand, the information on the posts in the Ouroboros series is cumulative and if one persists in following the thread, the topic may prove insightful. On occasion there may even be some posts that will offer point by point information. Mostly that would depend on the train of thought, since the posts are anything but products of meticulous planning. That would be work, and work should involve compensation.
As it stands, I am writing up manuals on all manner of esoteric themes for personal use. Until I feel comfortable with the organization of the material and the consistency of its application capacity, I’ll hold off the publications. The question of charging for occult knowledge is a valid one, as far as I’m concerned. I only frown upon it if it’s done irresponsibly. Although that simple assessment requires elaboration, I leave it as a topic for another time. For now, let us play with the idea of practice, with or without the design of a personal system, being made more effective.
Back when I used to frequent occult oriented forums there was one frequent poster who would exhibit a seemingly endless esoteric creativity when it came to fashioning rituals and cultivation practices, which would have made them a formidable master of the art had they been able to consistently actualize what filled their mental drawing board- or at least put some substance behind what applications they did manage to cultivate. Yet they always complained that their proverbial rival in occultism- an older brother- was always stronger, even though it was this older brother that taught the aforementioned occult enthusiast all they knew.
I have to admit, it was fun getting into discussions with the guy and coming up with practices that sounded as if they would blow whole buildings away, fit for the most elaborate fantasy worlds being a spread of popularized knowledge and the smattering of contrived esoteric common sense that seemed to fester upon it. I cannot help the extra helping of sarcasm even though I am quite sincere in expressing my enjoyment of those online written discussions.
The practices were not all that difficult. The hard part was doing them right. As it stood, he treated the designing of magical process as the be all and end all of the art, while his idea of practice did not appear to involve the quality of focus required, being more akin to vivid fantasy dressed in stubborn will than real application. I don’t remember even one of the many occult techniques we embellished, and attempting practice gave me a headache for most of them, and did nothing for the rest. There was simply no groundwork to back up the methods.
My point with this little anecdote is that there is more that goes into the design of occult process than making shit up. There is also more than mental light play. The person in mention practiced some form of martial art, and so was aware of sensing ‘energy’ and directing the sensation via his attention. Altered states induced by meditation where not strange to him, although I did not see enough emphasis to empower his esoteric imaginings. It’s easy to say you are doing things right, but results may just as easily say otherwise.
That being said, different esoteric approaches as well as different occultists emphasize different things. Some are more visionary, some rely on abstract symbolism, while others are more about internal alchemy and sensing/directing energy. Some focus on entities and some on thought-forms, while others on the possibilities of their own human and divine potentialities. Some are geared to enhance perception or work in the unseen realms and others prioritize changes in the ‘real world’. There are those who rely on tradition and others who appear to make things up as they go along.
I tend to embrace the latter approach so long as one’s creativity is founded on the reality of occult experience. While imagination is indispensable for occultism, there is more that goes into it. I’m not just pushing the old adage of hard work and study. Those are means to an end. The end is to attain a useful skill set, and a raw work ethic does not guarantee that. Quality of work is more important than quantity, in my view. The understanding of occult theory is a step in the right direction, in that sense. Many don’t value theory because it tends to get convoluted, but theory is there to make sense of concepts denied by our more commonly socialized reasoning processes. It affords an alternative perspective in such a way so we can work with it just as we work with the more objective conceptions of our day to day lives.
In my experience the simplest practices are often the most potent. One can put their whole being behind a simple practice, whereas a more complex practice can involve mental multitasking that makes it difficult to sustain necessary focus. One must be well endowed indeed- esoterically speaking- for complexity to reveal its power. Simple practices can also be mastered individually and then compiled into something more complex and elaborate as well as potentially stressful. I am of the view that occultism need not be dangerous per se when the practitioner is prepared and in shape.
I would say that systems originating in Eastern and Southern Asia are most effective when it comes to getting in shape. These would involve the practices of yoga and internal alchemy. The methods are not all that different than parallel practices in the Middle East, and those originating from archaic Egypt. It’s just that the available information regarding such practices is not as available and as well-organized, but that’s just my experience.
Whatever the case may be, the idea is to awaken the abilities of subtle perception, enhanced internalization and receptivity on multiple levels of awareness potential. Even if one considers themselves already too sensitive, responsible cultivation practices will help balance out that sensitivity as well as deepen it. Experience will expand one’s capacities for comprehension of information, not to mention awaken the ability to recognize the quality of thoughts, feelings and sensation in terms of parameters that the conditioned objectified mindset does not even recognize as such, and which most of one’s human relations would probably refuse to acknowledge.
As mentioned, I only present an outline with a few examples of suggestions to increase the probability of satisfactory success in occult application. As these posts evolve, and the information clarifies further, mental digestion us still necessary to personalizing the knowledge. Copycat magic works well enough when one is in the process of gaining the needed skill set and empowerment, as it were. Maturation, however, is a function of individualizing the practice to one’s own unique nature, and is as natural as muscle mass growing with successive trips to the gym, provided good sense is applied. Easier said than done, but not as hard as all that…