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In four short commentaries we’ll shine a light on some of the magical scenes this wonderful action movie is taking us into. The following brief comments are not at all meant to ‘explain’ the respective scenes, but to draw our attention to specific places in the narrative of a movie that might deserve a second viewing...

WARNING: If you are an old-school grimoire ritualist - or simply fancy things that are shiny and beautiful - please be warned. You might blush or even loose sleep over the quantity of mystical paraphernalia displayed in this post.

If you ever make it to Florence (Italy) the odds are high you'll be leaving without even having heard about this magical place. And yet walking along all the famous sights of this beautiful ancient city, you are never really more than a mile apart from this hidden gem. 

(...) Now, to make this project happen everyone's contribution is required. Whether you want to help through pre-ordering your copy now or instead through a crowdfunding donation - every little helps! This project has been carried for years by very few people, they have brought it a huge way - and so close to its realisation. I truly hope in the next 21 days we can bring it over the finishing line jointly.

(...) what I had misunderstood is what the term ‘work’ actually stands for. The Latin word ‘producere’ can be translated literally as to ‘bring forth’ or ‘draw out’.  So in my simple Western mind ‘work’ was something that flowed from the inside outwards. From intend to action and from action to result. I understood work as the process of achieving a state of change by means of applying ourselves to the world. May it be through the help of our hands, of our minds or words. Whatever interface between us and the world we choose to use, work was an active noun, the opposite of death almost, and altogether a pretty safe sign for being alive.

Let’s begin with a very simple thought: There is a man inside of us and a man outside of us. Both of these men are not us. The one outside of us is marked by our skin, the bones and blood and nerves we are clothed into. He - or she - is what the Gnostics called the living grave. Nothing could be more misjudging of its possible power and beauty and divine alignment. The man inside of us on the other hand often remains buried and un-contacted until the day the man outside of us dies.

Now, in my eyes we are confronted here with an essential consideration about the nature of the Great Work. And that is the question of its pace and speed. People often say ‘You cannot speed up the harvest.’ Often when I hear this I get impatient and think to myself: ‘Right. But you can certainly forget to sow, water and shield your crops.’  (...) So the question that emerges seems to be: 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?

So once we have fine-tuned, trained and strengthened the magical and spiritual faculties that make up the human being - what is the Great Work we are meant to do? How do we contribute beyond ourselves? And what then is the path that we need to keep ourselves from squandering?

Last night I woke up from a strange dream. I had visited the remains of Gustav Meyrink's old house 'Home to the Last Lantern'. -- Here is the story of what happened next and where this dream guided me  over the course of a day...

Over the last weeks I spent a lot of time diving deep into current research on empathy and its relation to the common psyche of mages and witches. I summarised what I learned in this article. Yet, once finished realisation hit me that I had missed an essential point. What this was, was to reflect on the purely practical implications of empathy in magic - outside of the realms of psychology, sociology and history. So here it is...

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.

I never thought a single book could contain an entire library. I never thought a single book could contain the actual workload, the depth of practical guidance that easily fills an entire lifetime as a magical adept. With the final part of Josephine McCarthy’s Magical Knowledge trilogy, however, this is exactly what you are holding in your hands.

Many of us when they were young had imaginary friends. For all of us who are now frowning, thinking ‘Well, not me!’ I honestly wish you've had as well. The question wether imaginary friends are better or worse than real ones is pretty irrelevant here. What is relevant is how either of them enrich our lives. Let me explain why I think this is not only true for the subject of imaginary friends... 

In a previous post I shared an overview on the human constitution according to Gnostic Hermetism. The differentiation of inner organs as Vitals, Elementaries and Elementals is essential for a deeper understanding of how magic and magical Yantras work as we will see.

Reading and writing about the works of Emil Stejnar opened a fascinating door into a new magical paradigm for me. Yet, at the same time my own magical practice is strongly influenced by the techniques and inner pathways Josephine McCarthy lays out in her seminal works.

When explaining how to work magic based on inner vision it is helpful to take a look at one of the main differences between traditional Shamanism and Western Ritual Magic. It lies in the different pathways chosen by its practitioners to achieve a clear state of Inner Sight. Wether we aim to develop it in the circle of practice or in the forests at night, wether we use a crystal ball to fix our gaze or wether we keep our eyes closed with our fingers following the lines of our mesa: Inner sight knows no differentiation between paradigms and so don’t the spirits we aim to work with. Inner vision represents a gift we can only give to ourselves.

I had planned this vacation for a long time, a very long time indeed. Finding a hideaway in the Bavarian Woods - the largest national park of closed forest space across Europe - that would allow my wife and I to spend weekends out in a completely remote environment. It took me more than three years to find the place we were finally about to visit. 

With the recent release of the Magical Knowledge III I thought it's a good time to share a fundamental magical insight I only realised through Josephine McCarthy's liminal books. Actually it's a quite embarrassing to admit that I have spent so many years practicing magic without understanding this very basic principle - as everything you want to achieve in magic really flows from it.  Yet, embarrassing or not - a life led to looking good must be pretty boring? You simply miss out on all the playfulness. So here we go...