Another word on the art of magic

Beginning in January of 2017 I began a series of stories and articles about real magic. This article is a continuation of that series all of which are leading up to the publication of the book “Psyche’s Dream: A Dragon’s Tale”.

Webster’s Dictionary defines magic in this way:

1a: the use of means (as charms or spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces

1b: magic rites or incantations

2a: an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source

2b: something that seems to cast a spell : enchantment

3: the art of producing illusions by sleight of hand

In all three definitions we’re talking about manipulation. Real magic on the other hand isn’t about manipulation. It’s about getting yourself out of the way to allow the magic that is there to manifest. Though that’s also a form of manipulation, but only of the self. 

Because what you see is only a projection of your inner thoughts, anxieties, emotions, memories, and beliefs the real world isn’t available to you. But when you get yourself out of the way your vision of the world shifts. Every religion teaches this, every enlightened teacher has embraced it. 

Magic can only happen in the real world, not in “your” creation, but in “the” creation. Spell casting is about trying to change what is. Stop casting spells on the creation and it will flow for you much better. But first you need to be open to “what is” and the first step in that is to acknowledge it isn’t what you think it is.

“If one has done ones best to steer the chariot, and one then notices that a greater other is actually steering it, then magical operation takes place.”

– CG Jung, Lieber Novus

Another step is to watch where you’re stepping e.g. step too far into what’s good also means moving too far into what’s bad–super good creates super bad. Good requires that there be a bad and vice versa. You need to learn how to keep them together rather than to separate them. You need to learn to balance.

He who knows the darkest error knows what light is.”

–CG Jung

In everything I’ve discussed so far the Soul plays a central role in the redefining of ones self as a magical being. We are all trapped in the cocoon of the mind, the ego-self. It is here that we wander aimlessly through the cold landscapes of the material world–separated from the divine. We are only partially ourselves when all we see is mind. Finding and nourishing our soul again can make us more whole.

Because I love playing with archetypal images I’ll end this with the Magician of the tarot, the real wielder of the magic so to speak. According to Wikipedia it is the Magician [that] “guides The Fool through the first step out of the cave of childhood into the sunlight of consciousness, just as Hermes guides Persephone out of the Underworld every year (see picture at left).”

It has been said that all created things are the expression of the interrelationship between God and humans. In my mind The Magician represents the wholeness of this relationship. He, or she, (because the Magician has both female and male aspects) represents the dissolution of the separate personality and the reintegration of its opposites. When we resolve our dualities (see #8 in last weeks Blog posting “The 12 laws of Magic”) we become whole again. Psychologically, the Magician represents this resolution and magic happens when our wholeness expresses itself, if only temporarily.

From a psychological perspective let me pose an example: when a woman comes to terms with her inner male she will be able to express her opinions more critically by penetrating more deeply into their origins. When a male comes to terms with his feminine he will be able to express his compassion more readily by accepting the nurturing aspect of his core self. 

She may be able to deal more effectively with any unresolved issues with her father, or any other male figure that may have helped her to develop her attitudes about males in general and more specifically about those masculine aspects within herself. He may be able to deal more effectively with any unresolved issues with his mother or any other female figure that has helped to form his attitudes about those feminine aspects within himself.

Each sex is imprinted with culturally mediated material about gender. This material until dealt with at its origin in the individual psyche will negatively affect, or limit, or determine an individual’s relationship with the opposite sex and/or globally with all people.

So it may be imperative that we begin the work of integrating our gender opposites if only to make life easier on ourselves and with those around us.

Males and females are more than anatomically different, they are psychologically different, and it is these differences that when allowed to remain in conflict within us that keep us separated within ourselves and thus becomes the main impediment to the experience and wielding of magic.

“Magic is dangerous since what accords with unreason confuses, allures and provokes; and I am always its first victim.”

–Carl Jung

In my experience magic can happen when I am willing to allow it to happen in the way it wants to happen and not in my way. It establishes the when and the how, not I. When I allow, or to put it another way, when I get myself out of the way, the universe will work its magic. The power of wielding magic is to not wield it at all.

Now I feel compelled to try and make myself clear at this point regarding some of the things I’ve been talking about such as “ego”, the “shadow”, “gender opposition”, “Self”, “spirit”, and “magic”. First of all these are not things that have any reality in that they are words that symbolize something without form, they are only concepts. You can’t find the ego anywhere in the body for it is an affect of the body, its name and definition is but a construct to help one get a handle on the affect. And “Self”” is but a concept for something contextual. And “spirit” is a name for the ephemeral motivator of life. 

All these words are just metaphors and have no real substance. All are unknown in their true nature and most likely unknowable. They are ultimately imaginary. But something imagines them, don’t you think? It is that “imagining” (as verb, noun, adverb and adjective) that I refer to with all the linguistic metaphors of the philosopher, psychologist, and scientist. It would be a mistake to reify them i.e. to give them substance for to do so would only limit them through some mental objectification–it’s why I don’t bother to describe God. And to limit something is as we have seen to limit its magic. 

Real Magic

 

tumblr_mftv2hFCaA1ric07zo1_400.gifMagic, or at least the image of magic is showing up everywhere. There are several new TV shows that take place in magical kingdoms or libraries and magic and wizards show up in the mainstream cinema several times a year. I’ve written an entire chapter on magic in the Dreaming Wizard website and spent several chapters in the book The Dragon’s Treasure on the subject.

In our dreams magic often symbolizes the need to shift a point of view or to approach something from a different angle. It also can symbolize wonder and awe. A magician in a dream might be saying that some problem is trickier than you thought. Through the Magus, or Magician, it is thought that one can perceive their origin, their eternal nature. Often he is an archetype for a wisdom guide.

But is there really magic?

There is a place where magic and enchantment exists, a place where all potential lies in waiting to be manifest. It is the space between your thoughts– that still quiet place where the essence of human kind resides. It is beyond the ego i.e. the personality, in a place where there is only stillness and pure awareness without judgment, or categorizing, contrasting, labeling or analyzing. If you could be in this place where you strive for nothing, where you let go of trying to control, or get power, where you let go of fear i.e. have it when you do but don’t become it, then this is where you can find magic, real magic.

In order to access the magic one needs to expand the space between their thoughts, let go of judgments and just ‘be’. Take just a moment and be still and be neither beneath nor superior to anyone. It is here that you will experience your true nature.

Try doing this when looking at another person. At first you will see the mirror to yourself. All your judgments about them are merely a reflection of you and your relationship that you have with yourself. But eventually when you allow the mind to be still, you’ll begin to see who they really are at their core and in that moment get a glimpse of yourself at your own core.

 

“Be still and know that I am God.”

–Psalm 46:10

 

Being still is not easy, the mind is constantly chattering away, judging, labeling, analyzing and the world requires a constant inner dialog as a means of handling our fear, our anxiety, and our loneliness. But the chatter masks a profound background within which the soul resides with the wisdom of the world.

The “voice” in your head, the thing that is talking to you all the time, the thing that’s saying “what voice?” right now, is of the ego that is an object-based, fear-based construct that masks the sound of the real power of the soul beneath. Don’t be fooled by the loudness and forcefulness of your mental voice because the loudness doesn’t mean power, it’s there to hide power. Real power resides beneath, between, and behind the chatter of your personality. Real power is the scriptwriter behind your actor, it is your core self, it is what you want to be in relationship with.

You want to perform magic? Be not the voice and know what you are.

 

“Sit, be still, and listen,

because you’re drunk

and we’re at

the edge of the roof.”

–Rumi

 

 

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I

Be still and know that

Be still and know

Be still and

Be still

Be

–a reduction prayer, meditation, into silence (try it! Say it slowly)