“If you’re referring to the incident with the dragon, I was barely involved…”
As you may expect, I’ll be popping up on a few podcasts in the coming weeks to talk about Star.Ships. This past weekend I actually got the days wrong which meant I was ever so slightly intoxicated for the show. (Only got a couple of things wrong!) Hopefully I’m as entertaining drunk as I think I am when drunk.
Because the podcast isn’t specifically about magic, we inevitably spoke about it, and this blog and sigils and so on. The hosts asked if sigil-based enchantment was similar to intention/positive thinking practices. My response is yes and no, but not for the reasons you may think. Intention practices are much more difficult and much more advanced. I want to unpack that a bit.
Most readers would be familiar with Crowley’s description of taking himself off to an oyster and champagne lunch as a form of money magic but it’s fairly likely he was a more competent magician than you. There are components to this technique that go unsaid because they were specific to him. What do I mean by that?
Thing is… we don’t know how any of this works. None of it. Not even close. But analysis of findings from physics, archaeology, astronomy, consciousness research, anthropology, etc suggests we can kinda squint down to some sort of Deep Structure in magic that potentially says something existentially significant. (Hence Star.Ships.) Just as there are probably reasons we have multiple sense organs, there are presumably reasons why a hypothetical Deep Structure includes divination/clairvoyance as well as sorcery/probability enhancement: So the sorcerer can ‘hear’ the universe as well as ‘speak’ to it. (I’m so sorry for these descriptions!) In my conversation with Chris Knowles, I refer to magic as being like the last scene of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and I mean that pretty much literally. It is a call and response engagement with the spirit world.
Let’s look at another component of a possible Deep Structure. Have you ever wondered what form the first ritual ever performed by a human on earth took? It was probably a body movement -a dance- a matching to the sway of the trees or the flight of a bird… or even something unseen. It was probably a resonance or a bringing into alignment with an external agency. That’s the most common form of call and response patterns.
Moving into some of the oldest extant rituals of continuous Gondwana cultures we see this resonance played out in more sophisticated ways. I remember hearing about an (I think) Aboriginal rain maker from a university lecturer. He would take his shoes off and walk on the dried earth, picturing his feet slurping in and out of deep mud… until they were. If clairvoyance is accessing yourself at a future state where you know the information -and that’s a reasonable suggestion- then it is equally reasonable to suggest the rain maker is doing something similar with a future self living in a preferred outcome. Or was the impetus for the ritual coming from the future state transmitting the awareness that rain is coming anyway? Why do you wake up with the inspiration for one particular enchantment or another? Again, we know nothing.
Crowley was rainmaking with oysters and champagne. Sounds hard, right? It is. Enchantments and their outcomes appear to exist as infinite loops. You have to be fairly fluent in your own personal twilight language to either bring a future state into preferred alignment –speaking– or to become aware that your preferred outcome exists further on down the timeline –listening– and respond accordingly. This is why, no matter how many times someone goes on daytime television to talk about the power of intention, the success rates are so extremely low. We are asking people on plastic tricycles to become test pilots in an instant.
Great chunks of my upcoming book, The Chaos Protocols, go into exacting detail about how you achieve such a state, geared toward ‘success magic’ (we went back and forwards on what kind of magic it is) on a permanent basis. So if you’re interested, that’s where you should look.
If you’re not interested, then I have good news for you. You can just use sigils to mimic a lot of the call and response pattern impacts. (If you’re new, find your sigil launch codes here.)
Whilst, after at least 50,000 years of continuous practice, we know embarrassingly little about how magic ‘works’, the last few decades have given us some quite good data on what the majority of us consider to be preferred lives. Weird shit like regular church attendees live longer, prayer improves surgery response times even when the patient is unaware they are being prayed for, mental health is correlated with immune health, ‘benign unpredictability’ makes us happier, you’re more satisfied with your income if you make more than your friends (jerks!), and so on.
What this means is we can approach an improved life obliquely. Consider the following sigil targets.
- Increasing synchronicities: Leaving aside the limitations of the term itself, consider what might happen if you incorporate this into your shoal, given that synchronicity is largely how successful results manifest? Silicon Valley bro futurists call this a ‘force multiplier’.
- Increased dream recall/’I remember my dreams’: Like Sarah, I have a strong bias toward dream magic so there’s a call and response uplift available here. The sleep phases associated with dreaming also correlate with improved mental health.
- Happiness: Just plain happiness. What better message to sink/sync into your unconscious?
- Unexpected Kindness: See above. Consider the conditions of reality you would have to be in to have this one manifest. It’s probably a pretty good day.
- Immune health/strength: Again, just while you’re rooting around in your own basement. Proper immune functioning is the battleground of personal health. (It’s also the battleground under continuous air strikes by literally everything in the modern world.)
- Great sex/better sex: There is no one out there in any form of relationship with the possible exception of asexual people for whom this does not apply, however much of a sack demon you happen to be. Good, regular sex also correlates with both immune and mental health improvements.
There are other potential targets of a specifically magical nature: improved clairvoyance, strengthening spirit contact, ancestral dream visitations, improved sigilisation skills (!), encountering new sorcery techniques, finding new magical ingredients… the list is endless.
More seasoned practitioners will spy the highly manipulative little trick I am playing here. If you incorporate these goals into your sigil enchantment -particularly the first two- then you may find yourself living in a call and response world sooner than you would expect (which even opens up the ‘oysters and champagne’ approach further along down the track).
That’s the thing with nudges out of the door. They almost always end with you riddling a dragon so you can keep robbing him. It may not feel like it at the time, but even this turns out for the best. All you did was step out your door.
Now you live in a world that contains dragons.