Strengthening Your Ethereal Muscles: Mental Posture

by Mike Sententia on September 22, 2014

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

Your physical posture is how you hold your body: Which muscles are engaged, which are relaxed, how they move.

Your mental posture is how you hold your mind: Which parts are engaged, which are relaxed, and how they move. You know how your mind feels different when you’re watching TV vs driving vs writing? Those are all mental postures.

In Direct Magick, we use mental posture to engage our ethereal muscles, so they’re listening and ready to respond to our intent.

By the way, most mages learn mental posture at some point. If you can put yourself into a magickal state of mind, congratulations, you already know mental posture. Skim this section, but feel free to skip the exercises.

Step 1: Finding Your Posture

Step 1 is about noticing the mental posture you use for magick.

When I do magick, I’m focused and alert. It’s a trance, but not zoned-out or unthinking. It’s close to the flow state when people write, play music, dance, or otherwise create. (Or play video games.) I’m focused on my ethereal muscles, and less aware of my body.

To recognize your mental posture, start by relaxing, and notice how your mind feels. Not your head or face, but your mind, your thinking. Create an image that represents this — maybe a glowing brain, or a serene stream, or something else. Remember, the point of a visualization is to speak to your unconscious, so use whatever feels natural.

Then, do your energy meditation. Note how your mind feels. It’s often easier to feel changes as they happen, so pay special attention as you start and end the meditation. Do this several times, until you get a feel for it.

(Note: Don’t build energy in your head. If you do, you’ll notice the energy, not the mental posture. Also, remember to release the energy after each energy meditation.)

Once you can feel your mental posture change, watch your posture through a whole session, from relaxed to energy meditation and back again.

Once that’s comfortable, you’re ready to make a visualization. If your calm mind was a serene stream, ask what kind of stream would represent your magick-focused mind. If your calm mind was a glowing brain, ask how your magick-focused brain would look. Remember, this is just symbolic, so it’s not important to be neurologically accurate. (Unless your unconscious feels that an accurate visualization is important to you personally.)

Optional: Now that you’re familiar with mental posture, notice how your mind feels as you read or listen to music. You can even create a visualization for non-magickal focus, then use it to get into the right state for your everyday work, too.

Step 2: Maintaining Your Mental Posture

In Step 2, you’ll do an energy meditation, then use Step 1’s visualization to maintain that posture. This is easier than using the visualization to engage your posture.

Do your energy meditation as before, and notice your mental posture. Now, alongside your energy visualization, do the mental posture visualization you created in Step 1. Hold both in your mind. Then ground and end your energy visualization. Maintain your mental posture using the posture visualization.

Notice your mental posture, then start another energy meditation. You should notice your energy responding instantly, without the several-second lag that typically happens as you engage your ethereal muscles.

Practice this until it’s comfortable.

Optional: Step 2.5

Do Step 2, but rest for a few seconds before doing the second energy meditation. During this rest, stop focusing on your mental posture. Let your mind relax.

After the rest, focus on your mental posture (using the visualization from Step 1) before doing the energy meditation. You should notice the same instant energy as in Step 2.

Step 3: Engaging Your Mental Posture

In Step 3, we’ll do the full technique: Using the visualization to engage your mental posture before doing magick.

Calm your mind, and focus on your calm-mind visualization from Step 1. Then, transition to your magick-focused-mind visualization. Do this before using any other visualization.

Once you’re in that posture, do your energy meditation. As in Step 2, you should notice an immediate result.

Success: How to Know You Did it Right

The point of mental posture is to engage your ethereal muscles, so they respond to any visualization, even a new one.

So let’s try that. Pick a new visualization for energy: Fire, stars, water, plants growing, etc. Make it something you haven’t used before, and something not 100% intuitive to your mind.

Now repeat Step 3 using your new energy visualization. As you do the visualization, hold in your mind, “water = energy.” (Or whatever visualization you’re using). It should work roughly as well as your normal energy meditation, and it should respond immediately, as in Steps 2 and 3.

How to Use Mental Posture

How do you use mental posture for other magick?

The same as in Step 3: Use your visualization to engage your ethereal muscles, then do whatever magick you’re going to do. That might be a visualization, a ritual, an energy healing, a psychic intuition, or anything else.

Note that different types of magick use slightly different mental postures. In this chapter, you learned the mental posture for working with energy. It should work well for any magick. But if you want, you can create postures for each type of magick you do. Just replace the energy meditation with a simple ritual, energy healing, or other magick, and create a new visualization for that magick’s posture.

Aside: The Limits of Magick

What happens if you engage your mental posture, then visualize flying or shooting fireballs?

Nothing happens, sadly. The mental posture will help you communicate your intent to your ethereal muscles. But your ethereal muscles need to know how to fulfill that intent. Energy healing, manifesting, and other common acts of magick usually work well. Flying and fireballs do not.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

George September 24, 2014 at 2:24 AM

Might we get flying and fireballs eventually? What would the nature of the restrictions be – just that we don’t have the appropriate software in existence yet?

Most magick “breaks the law” to some extent – how far can it go, do you think? What stops us pushing it?

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Mike Sententia September 24, 2014 at 4:40 PM
Martin January 3, 2015 at 7:09 PM

When you become aware of your current mental posture, is it common to have some physical indicator of the posture and connections? I’ve noticed, for example, that when I connect to the Direct Magick software I feel a very specific physical sensation as well. I’ll then think of another system, or something else unrelated, and there will be a shift in the physical sensation in addition to the shift in thought processing.

It’s usually a light tingling and a very light pressure that becomes more intense the more I become aware of it, and the sensations usually increases in intensity after interacting with the software. When I think of a different system of magick the “shape” of the tingling changes, and is usually accompanied by a different pressure pattern as well.

My worry is that I’ve subconsciously associated the physical sensation to indicate a mental posture or connection (possibly tied to the visualizations, which I’ve noticed can produce physical sensations), and that I’ll begin to rely too heavily on the visualizations and physical indicators.

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Mike Sententia January 11, 2015 at 12:03 PM

Excellent question.

When someone touches you arm, and the nerves in your arm send signals to your brain, that’s a “direct sensation.” When someone almost touches your arm, and you feel that weird tingling, that’s your unconscious mind creating a sensation to draw your attention to your arm. It’s a “referred sensation.”

Most magickal sensations are referred sensations. That tingling in your arm doesn’t come from your arm, it comes from your brain.

Details in this post: http://www.magickofthought.com/2012/07/magick-anyone-can-feel-an-experiment/

So, your brain has decided to represent Direct Magick with some sensations, and other magick with other sensations. That’s great, it sounds useful. Good job, Martin’s brain!

And I get your concern. What if you start thinking about the sensations, instead of actually connecting to the forces? I think that’s an excellent thing to think about, and the fact that you are thinking about it means you’ll probably do just fine. Focus on your mental posture, ask yourself if you’re doing things properly, and don’t rely on the sensations, and you should do just fine.

Good luck!

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Ron April 21, 2017 at 7:37 AM

Hi Mike, thanks for this very useful technique. I tried it and it is something related to what I could recall, “altered state of consciousness”. My definition of ASC is increased perception to the point that it could the the subconscious.

I have been practicing some HOGD rituals (lone practitioner) like LBRP, BRH and even SIRP. I could tell you are very well informed about those rituals and I find your system of magick very intriguing.

I am still bewildred by the difference of Energy Meditation and Mental Posture. Is it feeling the energy a part of energy meditation and dictating some sort of intention (but not the magick/spell itself) is the mental posture?

To translate it to what I have comprehend:
Is it like meditating on the aspect of Mars (as an example) and by exerting energy or effort, you trying to attune yourself to the planet intelligence so when you visualize or make yourself aware (exerting effort to see, feel, hear, smell or even taste astrally) to the attributions of that particular spirit/energy you creating some sort of connection, maybe a rule, that this kind of sensations is Mars’ aspect so when I need to have drive in life I bring forth this kind of experience again and focus on my spell.

Let’s just say: energy is a unit for the force exerted by the spirit and shaping this energy, dictating how it will be understand by unconscious is a mental posture? You are not casting yet, you are just attuning yourself to that particular “shaped energy” just to identify which is which?

Correct me if I am wrong of what I have understand. From what I could comprehend it will be a useful technique to attune any mages who wants to practice magick ecclectically. Because in all my experience reading many kinds of books of magick, They just give their attunements exclusive to their discipline. No general ideas were presented to make all the definitions universal. Not until I saw your system.

Thanks Mike :)

Reply

Mike Sententia April 21, 2017 at 2:16 PM

Thank you, I’m happy to hear that my work is helping you.

Mental posture is a general technique to engage one’s ethereal muscles. Once engaged, one can do an energy meditation, manifesting, a ritual, or any other work.

An energy meditation is a technique to build energy. It’s a common technique to teach novices, so most people reading this page already know it.

How they’re connected: Most people don’t consciously think about their ethereal muscles. They just learn various rituals, visualizations, and other techniques, and let their ethereal muscles engage unconsciously. What I’m doing is to start with a technique most people know (an energy meditation), use that known technique to get their ethereal muscles to engage, then teach them to feel the difference between engaged vs not-engaged ethereal muscles (which is the mental posture).

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