Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All that magick changes is you.*


I was listening to episode 25 of Speech in the Silence the other day wherein Lon Milo DuQuette performs a few songs and gives one of the most incredible talks I've ever heard. Among the many things he discussed, one seed of Wisdom in particular has stuck with me and blossomed into a fresh insight about the nature and function of magick in general.

This one seems self evident enough, but I really didn't grasp the entirety of this concept until I really gave it some thought and allowed several ideas to come together in my mind to form a portrait of this great truth. He says (paraphrasing here) "I believe that the only thing you can change with magick is yourself." I used to detest the sound of this idea, because I would proclaim "This is not JUST self help stuff! Shit happens! Stuff works!" -- he goes on to explain, "When you for instance work with a Goetic spirit because you want something to happen, or you want a certain person to fall in love with you, etc., and it isn't happening for you, it is because you are not the kind of person that that happens to. So you perform your Goetic evocation and go on an adventure and hopefully, if you survive that adventure, you become the kind of person that that thing happens to." (He gives an example of a "girl next door" who you desire, but is not at all interested in you. So, you evoke a Goetic entity, and life happens and you lose a leg. She feels sorry for your having lost a limb, and begins to spend time with you, bring you meals and gifts, and falls in love with you, because you have become the kind of person she falls in love with. Humorous as it is, I can certainly see the candid reality that lies behind this scenario.)

I really held this thought for a while and tried to reason with myself a few fundamental ideas and concepts to see if I could make some *real* sense of this. I considered the "As Above, So Below", the "Macrocosm/Microcosm" model, and put this in the framework of the fact that we all, every man and every woman, are stars--stars blazing on our own course. It is realizing your course and following it that allows the floodgates of the Universe to open wide for you, placing you in the ever rushing current of your true nature, which is the same nature that the cosmos themselves have made for you, so to speak - the same current which induces flowers to pollinate, the sun to shine upon the moon, all life to procreate, all being driven by its essential nature.

In practicing magick effectively, because strange things happen, as it were, "outside of yourself" that appear beyond any reasonable explanation (at times, not always) other than the magickal deed itself, it seems at first difficult to accept that the only thing that changed in this scenario was you. I have a litany of examples of what seems like outer orchestration of strange events and it seemed to blow this idea to pieces. Until I realized that because we are the Microcosm of a greater Macrocosm, we are the Below of the Above, we are a reflection of all that was, and is, and is to come, the currents that unfold the Universe itself manifest our existence in harmony with who we are, where we are, and the choices we are making. Our minds, our thoughts, our imaginations, prayers, magicks, dreams, hopes, fears, nightmares all mix and mingle and coalesce to manifest the conditions and events of our lives.

The stars answer to us, and we answer to the stars. The harmony of the Universe is that it all acts in accordance with itself and its parts, all a reflection of itself.

To change oneself magickally is to align oneself to a certain current, whether that current is right for your course or not shall be determined by the individual, but it remains plain that it directs a current into you, and you into a current. And that current brings manifestations of various forms, for good or ill, or neither, and it is up to the magician to adjust accordingly. Just because you set something in motion and it was effective doesn't mean that it's what you're truly after, and time truly will tell.

So, upon calling various forces, forms, energies, spirits (whatever) to act on your behalf, they really act upon you. And when your sphere has been adjusted by their presence, your general nature receives an attunement and a shift in the currents. When this happens, because of our relationship to everything which is seemingly outward, the Universe itself answers this change in the form of manifestation in what seems to be "external factors".

But really, if a thing is within your sphere of influence or perception, it is not "external" by any means. It is simply not the body that you think "you" are. That is the great illusion that we live in.

Very interesting indeed.

93 93/93

P.S. This is simply my current and certainly inadequate grasp of the way the game works, but it definitely has the ring of truth.

*Okay, so not ALL magick. But a whole shit ton of magick works this way. And this post is not about the objective vs. subjective experience and existence of spirits. Let's please just avoid that discussion. Not what I care to talk about here.


  1. He talks about this in his newest book, too, and I likewise found the particular example of the love spell to be a very good way of explaining what he's trying to convey. I had not heard of this "Speech in the Silence" before now, and must go seek it out.

  2. The largest issue with this view, and with the "you just have no idea how big your head is" that Lon adheres to is the insistance on the personal. Realizing the inherent lack of separation between internal and external phenomena is great, but of the nomenclature remains tied to the personal ego, it will fast become a solipsistic trap.

    It is more that you exist in the mind of the universe than the spirits existing in your brain...

    1. @Jason: I tend to agree with you, though at some point these lines begin to blur a bit and it leaves me asking "Who can really know for sure?" I'm very Gnostic in my approach to spiritual and occult matters, so I tend to go with what has been revealed to me through experiences and flashes of inspiration. Of course, many of these are transient and evolve with time, so I'm sure my view will be somewhat different a year from now (or less).

      The truth is, I don't know what is absolutely true in, well, most any thing. But this approach for most intents and purposes makes a lot of sense to me and has apparently been effective in my work.

      I like your shift in thought though to one existing in the Mind of the Universe. I totally agree and it's a nuance on the above view that adds a great dynamic. Thank you for reading and sharing.

    2. See the problem with the "magic only changes you" paradigm is that it just doesnt match most peoples dynamic. I cast a binding on someone so that they stop stalking a client of mine. The target falls from her 3rd story window and winds up in a wheelchair for months. That's not making a change within myself, thats pretty direct.

      In my experience it is actually WAY easier to make external changes than it is to make internal changes. If it were not we would just be able to magic up peoples habits and neurosis, which unfortunately almost NEVER works.

      The idea that magic only changes you can be true if you extend "you" to all or reality, but then you may as well not say it at all. It becomes something that at best is just a catchy thing to say, and at worst leads people to completely wrong-headed experiments. I know one body master of the OTO who, after attending Lons lectures on Goetia, was all set to recommend Goetic Evocation to someone in his body that was having serious mental problems as way of "getting his demons under control". Thankfully he was talked out of it or the results would have been disasterous.

      One can say that they exist in the collective mind, or mind of reality, and thus interface mind to mind with you, but this is a FAR cry from the type of "everyone has 72 Goets packed in their brain" or "the only thing you effect with reality is you".

    3. Okay, I can see what you're saying and I agree. But there are many instances in magick where the above is true. Most of the work I've done with RO's material has been internal first, and "external" second. The above explanation gives lucidity to a lot of my own experiences. But it definitely isn't a sufficient explanation for all magick. So, it is on me for making a blanket statement -- but I still stand by my point. A lot of magick dealing with personal development and building up your own Kingdom functions in exactly the way I've outlined above. You after all are an advocate of looking the part, playing the part, saying the part, becoming the part. What other than becoming the kind of person who [specified desire] happens to are you getting at? I'm sure you see what I am saying.

      Also, I left out the "in your head" motto for a reason. There's a grain of truth in that sentiment, but I wanted to discuss something more specific and not really discuss what I believed the spirits were and were not. Sure, I think there's some level of validity to what Lon has to say about the spirits, but I definitely believe that on a certain level, we are dealing with conscious entities in subtler planes of being.

      And of course, we could toss theory all day long about how and why the more unusual things occur, but I think what you have to say is valid. I don't do client work yet, and I'm only assuming that when I do, I'll see more of what you are saying. But when the majority of the magick I practice is for me, my development, my benefit -- the above model explains a whole hell of a lot.

      Thanks again for your input.

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