A 4-part essay series that explores the simple question: ‘Why does it matter to better understand how our tradition of Western Magic was reconstructed during the early 16th century?’
We are diving deep into the role the Catholic Church played in forming our late Medieval tradition; we explore the reality of the time from the viewpoint of the Renaissance magician and we will dismantle several myths that unfortunately have gone unquestioned for many years.
Personally, the learnings from writing this essay are amongst the most essential insights about our own tradition I gained in the last 10 years.
My personal journey working with the spirits to understand why and to which end I am supposed to practice magic at all. What is the nature of my Great Work? A journey that taught me so much about the importance of Ethics as part of our spiritual practice.
" (...) See, a rock is a perfect rock because it has no choice but to express its own nature in a completely pure and undistorted way. The same is true for any plant. All the way from seed to returning to soil a plant is a perfect expression of its species at any stage, wether sick or healthy, strong or small. Unfortunately that is not necessarily true for us humans."
In this article we are exploring a few traps and mistakes any practitioner does well in avoiding. In particular we are looking at (1) the fluidity of time in magic, (2) the importance of pacing and (3) the power of prayer as part of our magical practice. It is a follow up post to 'A Vision into the Great Work'.
"(...) How do we marry the virtues of discipline, focus and commitment with their balancing counter-weights of letting go, accepting, experiencing and immersing ourselves into what is offered to us? In short: how do we marry our male and female sides to become one in the Great Work?"
Often overlooked or belittled, faith is an absolute essential foundation for any magical work. This becomes very apparent in situations of need or crisis. Here is an article exploring this topic from my personal experience.
"(...) Unless we build our faith during times we don’t depend on it, we won’t have any when we do. This becomes very apparent when we spent a considerable amount of time in hospital. None of the magic that we can work to support healing processes would be possible without a strong underlying belief system."
The first part of this Book Review exploring Volker Lechler's liminal 2014 publication: "How do you review a book that begins to dismantle the myths of an entire tradition? A tradition that depends so much on the numinous, the ill-defined such as Western Ritual Magic. A tradition that was only able to develop in the absence of books like this one?"
In this article we explore one of the most long-standing misconceptions in magic: the importance or lack thereof of being effective in one's practice. Goal-orientation and a high drive for results might make us professionals in our jobs - but the same attitude will easily cripple any magical journey.
"(...) Remember, the shortest way towards any goal is the least sustainable. No river follows a straight line. It looks for cracks in the earth, meandering around the rocky grounds. No bird ever attempts to fly in a straight line. But it allows the winds to carry it instead. So what are the winds that carry us towards our goals in ritual magic?"
The second part of this BookReview - exploring further the Pansophic ideal as part of the Rosicrucian tradition as well as the four major learnings we can all take from Heinrich Tränker's biography for our own magical paths.
"(...) Structure in magic has a funny way of ruining the people trying to uphold it. It seems the forces we deal with as magicians are so ancient and powerful, so beyond human control that they don’t accept being locked up in directions and patterns controlled by humans for a very long time."
The first English translation of one of the finest gems from the archive of the Fraternitas Saturni: the transcript of a lecture given in 1933 by a German Jewish magician and lodge member by the name of Brother Leonardo. This lecture deserves to stand on its own, to speak for itself and to find ears that can hear wherever you may life.
It is powerful call to never forget why we are, and how quickly the chain can break we are forming links in - everyone of us.
Brother Leonardo - a Jewish member of the early Fraternitas Saturni - gives blazing speech in the advent of the Nazi regime in Germany and calls on his brothers to tear down the artificial divide between their magical and everyday lives. He calls for an immediate sense of urgency amongst his magical community to do everything in their power to avert the danger of the a second world war - whose omens he read so clearly. For a magician of course such aversion needs to be fought on all levels and with all instruments available. The sharpest and mightiest of all being their own consciousness.
Here some thoughts on how to properly make us of divinatory tools - such as Tarot - as part of your magical practice.
"Before you learn how to sit still, before you learn how to breathe, before you learn how to cast a circle, before you even learn how to focus your mind, ideally the very first thing you learn is how to look. That is: How to look into the talking mirror of your inner contacts and listen to what they tell you."
In this article we are looking how human brains operate when processing new information - and why this matters when we aim to learn magic. What emerges is the importance of reading broadly about the ancient myths, legend and fairy tales especially when we are young or only beginning to set out on our magical journeys...
The map we are trying to explore for the rest of our lives, is really shaped and formed through the stories we hear when we are still too young to fully understand their significance.
The article explores the subject of Resilience and Renewal from the viewpoint of the practicing magician. The tools and models shared, however, are not ‘magical’ by any means. Instead they stem from various fields of modern research such as behavioral science, science of sports or performing arts. Irrespective of their origins none of these tools will work unless they are practically applied - repeatedly.
The ultimate goal of this introduction is to support each one of us on our ongoing journey towards looking after ourselves. On this journey it's the small steps that matter most.
Chuck Close once famously said: 'Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us show up and get to work.' In this article we explore how such an attitude can be applied to our own magical practice and path. The essential shift is to understand that in magic it is not us who decide which work to pick up - but it is us, who are being worked upon by the spirits.
In this article we explore the uniquely human ability to form a gate with our bodies and minds - between the physical and the astral realm. We are looking at our outer, physical bodies as well as at our inner, visionary selves - and reflect on the importance how we bring these two together to form a single gate.
Here are some thoughts on freedom in magic. And maybe what life is like without a master? No one to serve to, no one to subdue to, free from all bounds, unbound in time... Following the ghost light of being one's own master has led many great magicians astray.
If you plan to travel to South of France - you might enjoy reading this article before you start out. In the mountain of Montserrat a strong, ancient magical contact can be encountered first hand. All it takes is a bit of queuing in the long lines that lead up to the old monastery...
"Imagine a place full of light. Blinding light as you see it high up on the mountains. That is where we are. We are sitting on a stone bench right below a mountain peak. The ridge is ragged. So much so that people in the valley down below know the story of angels with golden saws who had come down and once given the mountain head its current form. (...)"
The Ancient Egyptians said that in every limb of our body resides a living god. In this post we are exploring this idea a little further - and leverage the concept of the 'holon' to better understand how such an idea is experienced as part of our magical practice.
As part of this we are discussing what the relation of Microcosm and Macrocosm as expressed in the Emerald Tablet really means when it comes to our own physical bodies.
In this two-part essay we take a closer look at some ideas behind Daniel Schulke's book 'VENEFICIUM'.
"The Poison Path still is a concept little explored in its relation to ceremonial or visionary magic. In this regard Mr. Schulke is unlocking a heavy door for us, full of dust and little used in recent centuries. It might be worth following him into the land that lies behind that door. If you choose to - consider these posts the closest thing I can offer to a map."