If you only do rituals and visualizations, you’re missing 90% of what magick is. Here’s why:
Rituals and visuals communicate your intent to your unconscious mind. Same with Chaos Magick’s use of belief, A. O. Spare’s runes, etc. Pretty much every popular style of magick focuses on communicating your intent to your unconscious.
The real action happens as your unconscious acts on that intent. It fills in the details: What to connect to, what energy signatures to use, what magickal structures to make, and so on. Your unconscious figures out how to make your magick work.
That’s good for skills your unconscious already knows how to do. But it makes it hard to learn new ones.
There’s a better way to learn magick. Instead of leaving the complex work to the unconscious, figure out how your symbolic actions cause changes in the world. Then you can watch your magick, see where it falls short, and fix it.
I’ll explain more later in this series. But first, let me show you the 90% of magick that most mages miss.
How Reiki-Style Energy Healing Works
In Reiki, the healer channels energy from an outside source. Normally, healers become attuned to that outside source over the course of a few months and a few thousand dollars. You can learn to use these forces on your own in a few months practicing magick, without paying for attunements.
You can make it work without understanding how it works, but understanding all the moving pieces lets you learn faster, develop better techniques, and become a better healer.
How It Works, Step By Step
Magick Starts In Your Mind
All magick starts by communicating your intent to your unconscious. You can use symbols, visualizations, rituals, and other tools to help focus. Since it’s just communicating ideas within your mind, pretty much any method will work. I call all those methods “symbolic procedures.”
Special parts of your unconscious mind respond to that intent by moving energy, connections, etc. to make the magick happen. I call them “mental muscles,” because they turn your thoughts into movement in the world. (I also sometimes call them “mental areas,” my term from before I started blogging).
Your mental muscles don’t have a physical location. They connect to your brain, but they’re magickal structures. You can’t touch them, and you can’t show them to a non-mage. (Other mages can sense them, like they sense energy). But mental muscles are the seat of all magick.
Being able to engage your mental muscles — through conscious thought, visualization, ritual, etc — is what separates magickal ritual and visualization from ordinary acting and imagination. Learning magick really comes down to strengthening your mental muscles, and directing them at will.
Each magick muscle has a particular role. Some make connections, some control energy, some handle telepathic communication. For this healing, you’ll use the mental muscles that channel energy. But let’s pause a second and focus on the source of that energy.
The Source of Healing Energy
Most healers I know say the healing energy comes from “The Universe,” or “The Source,” or some similar infinite-sounding name. I call these sources “systems”, an umbrella term for any outside force that supplies energy, information, power for ritual magick, etc. The name matters. The Universe begs to be incomprehensible, while a system begs to be understood.
Don’t confuse systems with spirits. Systems are intelligent but non-sentient, like a computer. Spirits are like people born without a body (intelligent and sentient). Both are different than ghosts (dead people), which I don’t work with.
Systems are the workhorses of magick for most mages. They provide the energy for healing, the information for psychics, and they connect your intent (communicated through symbolic rituals and visualizations) to changes in the world.
Systems are made by spirits or skilled mages. Some are available for anyone to use, like free software online. Some only let initiates use them, usually by requiring you to match the system’s energy signature. You connect to a system by focusing on a symbol tied to it, doing a ritual it recognizes, or just recalling the system’s signature (the feel of the system; same idea as an energy signature).
The system connects to your mind, reads instructions from your thoughts, and acts on them as best it can.
Using the Energy Source
So now you’ve focused on a symbol, ritual, feeling of the system, etc. and connected to a system that does energy healing. Now you can tell it what to do: “Heal the person.”
Only, you can’t just say “this person.” You have to give it a connection to the person. The system will use this connection to find the person and heal them. You’ll usually connect to the person by touching them or by focusing on their picture. (There’s another system that handles connecting you to a person based on their picture). You can make these connections even if you’re not consciously aware of what your unconscious is doing.
Healing the Person
The system now has everything it needs to heal the person: A connection to you (the user of the system), an instruction from you to heal a person, and a connection to that person that lets it interact with them. Now the system can send healing energy to the person.
Energy has a signature, which determines how it interacts with the nerves and cells of the body. These systems are set up to make energy that numbs nerves and causes cells to grow more quickly. The numbing is usually instant, and the cell growth accelerates healing over several days.
The system usually makes its own connections to the person being healed to make sure the connection has the right signature. A connection can only carry energy that matches its signature, and making a new connection is the simplest way to ensure it can carry the energy the system will use.
(Some systems require you to make the right kind of connection to the person, then have you channel the energy).
When the session is done, you can stop supporting the connections. (If you know how, withdraw them to keep spirits and mages from noticing you). The system will stay connected for several days to continue providing healing energy.
That covered most of the major components of most magick. Here’s the summary to help you keep track of everything:
- You focus on a symbol, ritual, etc to connect to a system.
- You tell the system to heal a person, and give it a connection so it knows who to heal.
- The system makes its own connections to the person, then sends them healing energy.
- You can disconnect, and the system will continue healing the person on its own.
You have 2 options:
- You now know all the major moving pieces behind magick, so you’re ready to read about the best way to grow as a mage.
- Or, if you’d like more details on how magick works, read the second example showing you how magick works when you don’t use systems.
- How To Learn Faster, More Effective, More Reliable Magick (November 25, 2010)
- How Magick Works: The 90% Beneath the Surface (This post) (October 18, 2010)
- How Magick Works - Part 2 (October 21, 2010)
- How Magick Works - Part 3 (October 25, 2010)
- The Best Way to Grow as a Mage (November 4, 2010)
- Learning Direct Magick, Step by Step (January 27, 2011)