Remember that story about how Crowley took Rose into the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid and impressed her by conjuring up all those spirit lights. And then how he asked (paraphrasing) “Yeah, but what’s the point of it?”
There is a personal lesson in this and it is one that took me years to learn. Not that this is unusual for me, of course.
With all the blog talk (and a bit of misunderstanding) around core magical practices recently, I have settled on my own (current) personal view about this:
- It’s different for everybody otherwise magic would be standardised like breast cancer screenings.
- It can (and will) change many times in your life.
- Mine is currently ‘integration’.
Integration -in this capacity- means taking magical learnings and achievements and then applying them in how you live every single moment in your life. It’s taking the core magic assumption; that making use of your abilities will improve your situation in some way; and systematically deploying it in every corner of your existence.
This is quite different to treating everything that happens as a direct communication between God and your soul. There are no sought-out messages in the way I vacuum my living room.
You see, magic is addictive. Because it’s awesome, probably.
And I, for one, have a recurring tendency to lose myself in its minutiae. There’s a new medieval herbal grimoire uploaded on the British Library’s site? Bring that shit on. Found a bunch of recently translated 15th century mantras from North-East India? Tell me more. It’s. All. Good.
“Yeah, but what’s the point of it?”
So one of the things I struggle with is integrating magic into my domestic and professional life. Because the way I see it, magic is one of the few developmental systems on this planet that actually gives you the tools you need to develop.
But I have a tendency to spend too much time in the shed marveling at my tool collection. (Insert masturbation joke here.) This is why I need to regularly push myself back out into the real world with lists like this.
Now, I don’t like the phrase “living a magical life” because often this amounts to hanging a few dream catchers in your house and collecting little ceramic gargoyles to adorn your garden of loneliness.
I prefer the phrase “see the world with magical eyes”. For me, it’s about the intention behind your actions, rather than their manifestation.
And this is where ‘integration’ comes in. What’s the point of spending all this time developing these skills and -to be a bit overdramatic- learning the Song of the Universe if they can’t be used as change agents in your physical life?
So, with that in mind, here are 10 semi-magical things you can do this weekend to make your life better.
1. Clean then smudge
In that order. Not that I’m suggesting it should be clean enough to perform surgery in any room of your house at a moment’s notice… This is your frikking weekend, after all.
But smudging immediately after cleaning seems to ‘lock’ the new vibrations at a higher level. (Much of that is psychological, but I ain’t complaining. My house is clean and has a wonderful energy afterward.)
Smudge sticks are cheap and readily available in mind/body/spirit stores (even in London) so I just tend to buy them. But you don’t have to. I have historically got pretty good results from cooking sage and a charcoal briquette.
I’m also hearing good things about using fresh lemons on window panes as a way of allowing more ‘Spring-ness’ into your house. Though I’m not sure how this would work. Do you just rub the lemon halves on the glass? Wouldn’t I need to use window cleaner after that?
But anyway. Think about lemons. They’re certainly on my list for this weekend.
2. Remote read someone you haven’t seen in a while
Tarot cards, clairvoyance, whatever.
This has the double benefit of keeping your skills sharp as well as checking in on someone you probably care about. (Hopefully not in a creepy way.)
If it transpires that they need someone to talk to then just pick up the phone. This has happened to me exactly twice (out of the three times that this has been included on my personal ‘magical weekend’ list). It would seem that you are ‘called’ to read someone in particular.
I will leave it up to you whether you mention the reading you just did if you get in touch with them. It all depends on the type of person they are and the amount of time since you last saw them.
Item number 2 is going to work better if you perform it immediately after number 1. Remote readings always seem to need a ‘less crowded sky’. (But maybe that’s just me?)
3. Reorganise your magical library
Don’t even think of trying to tell me it doesn’t need doing.
This is my own big task for the coming weekend and is the origin of this post idea. Here’s how I am going to do it:
- Plug my iPod into my new iPod speaker sound system thingy (which is great, by the way).
- No alphabetical, Dewey or any other binding categorisation.
- Group them together using this single rule: this book is useful when combined with this book.
- Arrange the groups by proximity: the groups I use most often are closest to me. Distance increases as usefulness decreases. (I have a lot of books. Also I appear to be massively lazy.)
You probably intuitively understand that such a reorganisation can have a truly powerful effect on your brain and your world view. I have been aware of the awesome power of library arrangement ever since I studied the essay Unpacking My Library Again at university.
It’s fascinating stuff but it’s heavy going if you are unfamiliar with theories of postcolonialism and identity. Lupa will like it. Same with any Otherkin folk out there. It’s about identity and belonging and all kinds of good things. I encourage everyone to read it… Just maybe not on this particular weekend.
4. Cook something seasonal
Not that you shouldn’t be doing this every time you cook… But one of the best things about the weekend is having enough time to really push the culinary boat out.
This doesn’t mean do something complex or fancy or spend a lot of money or have the oven running for six hours. It simply means having enough time to plan from the very start.
- What’s in season?
- What’s in season that is produced near you?
- Where is the best place to by this seasonal produce? (Hint: it will always be a farmers market or independent retailer like a butcher or greengrocer.)
Here are some helpful starting points. Add them to delicious or whatever else you use to organise your links. (Though it should be delicious.)
- Eat The Seasons. This is a UK website but as long as you live in the Northern Hemisphere, much of it will apply to you. And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere then reverse the seasons, obviously. It’s a brilliant guide to which food is coming into season and when. I’m a regular visitor.
- BBC Good Food. An excellent magazine website with an enormous and easily navigable library of recipes. The dishes require no brand name ingredients, no ready made jars of horror… Just easy, simple, fresh meals. Every Pagan reader of this blog should check it out. Little heads up for my American peeps: it’s got metric measurements but you might as well get used to them… It’s only a matter of time.
5. Have an Art Date
Okay, so I may have stolen this idea from a screenwriting book I read once but it totally applies here. You are to arrange a date for yourself with some art.
- Visit a local gallery/museum/exhibition. This works better if you go alone.
- Just take your time. You don’t even have to read the gallery guide… You are there to simply absorb.
- I wouldn’t recommend trying to use a movie as your art date but if you do… At least make it an art house film.
Whichever way you slice it, magic is a creative pursuit. There is nothing quite like taking some time to refill those creative batteries by experiencing something artistic and moving. It’s a wonderful reminder of the awesomeness of human beings.
6. Fall in love with Penelope Trunk
This is unavoidable. She is one of the most amazing people writing on the web at the moment. Be prepared to lose a good couple of hours to going through all the stuff on her site.
Item number 6 counts towards career and financial planning because the post I want you to read first is about productivity. Then just feel free to explore at your leisure. She will rock your world.
7. Make a ‘learning list’
This weekend should not be about ‘worthy’ things like tax or bill paying. It should be about finding ways where your magical life and the daily grind intersect. It should be about possibilities.
Possibilities like making your brain less gooey.
You can also find free podcast lectures from universities including Harvard on iTunes.
Now, you don’t have to start your free schooling this weekend. Think of it more like reading the brochure. Think about what you might like to learn and then save it away (delicious) for sometime in the near future.
8. Mix a Sea Breeze
It’s probably because I have been re-watching Angel. (I won’t hear a bad word about the Buffyverse, even today.) But I want to bring the Sea Breeze back. It’s just so dated, like pineapple upside down cake or fondue. You can enjoy its irony as well as its deliciousness.
But also it’s Spring and this drink has a certain optimism about it.
- A few ice cubes
- 2 parts vodka
- 4 parts cranberry juice
- 2 parts grapefruit juice (preferably fresh)
- Squeeze of fresh lime and/or a lime wedge
Just mix and serve somewhere in the sunshine. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the next suggestion.
9. Think of five ways you can improve your wealth
You don’t have to do anything about it, just think of five. It might be cancelling a subscription to something or eating at home more. At the other end of the scale, it could be deciding to try technical trading rather than fundamental trading (because technical is better).
It’s imperative you get to five. You will shake loose whatever mental blocks are currently preventing you from improving your wealth. Something will occur to you that hasn’t occurred to you before.
Okay, so this one is just for me. I was going to follow up with part 2 of my post about historiography but I have had about 30 hours of problems with my blog host and I lost the whole damn draft. (Which took me more than a whole day to write.)
Spoiler alert: It was going to be about Theosophy as well as the Golden Dawn. That was the twist. Because both organisations have ‘gifted’ us with an unbalanced, Victorian view of the world that we need to be aware of if we are to separate the good from the bad.
Also it turns out that it’s really more of a Masters Thesis than it is a blog post (my flatmate’s words) so I am going to need more time to awesome it up. By way of recompense, I’m hopefully going to include interviews with notable occult historians. So it’s probably going to be an ebook or something but I will keep you posted.
Anyway, what’s missing off this list? What can you add to a weekend that is about integrating magic with making your life better?