Saturday, August 06, 2011

Cherry Picking in the Apocalypse

Gordon's been writing about living in an apocalypse. I was skeptical for a while. I mean, yeah, we ARE living in an apocalypse, he's right about that, but we have been off and on since 1974. There were a couple of good years in there, but most of the time I've been alive we've been on the brink of some kind of apocalyptic calamity that could hit at any time. Nuclear holocaust, the Reagan recession of 82, Y2k, 9/11, the housing bubble, H1N1, the double dip recession... Our food is either poisoned or too expensive to buy regularly. We've had gang warfare and race riots, tornadoes and hurricanes and floods and fires, and one political clusterfuck after another my entire life. 

Everything fun gives you AIDS or cancer. 

As Furbish Lousewart explains so eloquently, you really are "unsafe wherever you go." The world could end at any moment. Calamity. Fear Fire Foes!

And yet, it never did. Life just sort of went on, and shit worked itself out. A few smart and/or brave people saved the world for the common man, who was able to keep calm and carry on. Work, stress, party, fuck, rinse, repeat. Basically what we've been doing for 10,000 years, as far as I can tell from the cynics of the past.* 

But this week the stock market crashed, again, and at first I was like, ok, whatever. Shit happens and we carry on. Then I read Gordon's post, and it really hit me, the reason I don't give a shit about the state of the world's economy is because I'm used to it.

In a post apocalyptic world where zombies have killed almost everyone before they died off themselves and bands of urban foragers are scavenging the remains of our current civilization as they begin the return to global domination, It's all about finding opportunity. A hidden stash of army rations, a Brita filter warehouse, a book about rebuilding civilizations with blueprints for fixing the internet. And once in a while you stumble on a cherry tree that used to be for decoration bursting with ripe cherries and you can feast on fresh sweet deliciousness, and dry the rest. You find that shit and you're living large for a while.

That's how I live my life. The world is a difficult and dangerous place to live in. I'm always looking for opportunities, windfalls, stockpiles that haven't gone past their expiration date, methods and processes and information that will help me get the things I want out of life.

That's partially why I'm a magician. Reality hacking. Lookin' for a loophole, an opportunity. I'm an opportunist of the worst sort. If you can control the manifestation of opportunity, you're going to do better at being an opportunist. You can make that cherry tree discovery just sort of happen, as if by coincidence. How convenient is that?

For the last few years, I've focused a lot on money and wealth magic. I'm not wealthy, but I'm getting there. I've made a lot, and I plan to keep on making more. Lots more. No matter what the economy brings. I studied history, I know that in the worst of times, lots of people lose and suffer, and a few people somehow manage to get ahead. The ones who get ahead are the ones who do what Gordon's talking about. They have that mindset, the brain that perceives the world's struggles and misery as a backdrop, but are still doing what they do in good times, they keep moving forward. It's risky no matter if they try to survive or if the try to get ahead, so they might as well try to get ahead.

So read through those posts he's got tagged "Apocalypse." All the details of what he's talking about doing to get ahead may or may not apply to your personal situation and goals, but I guarantee the mindset, the approach that they are manifestations of will definitely apply to your life, no matter where you're at. You start living your life as if you're in an apocalypse, you start doing the things he's talking about, and you'll find yourself getting ahead in ways you can't begin to appreciate until they're moving.

Really good stuff.

Magical Assistance

Hearthwork and Homework

You need to eat, a place to live, and it needs to be peaceful so you can rest and have the energy it takes to seize opportunities when they appear. If you spent all night arguing with your wife because you don't have the money to pay the car payment and buy groceries too, you're not going to notice that your boss needs help with a side project that you've already done before. 

Spirits of Venus are great at helping you establish this kind of thing. They're where you go when you need to make changes to the core of your existence, your main sources of financial, emotional, and spiritual "income" that provide for your household and your daily living. They can make you happy, or at least content, and being happy and content changes your brain chemistry, and helps you see goodness where before you couldn't see it. Opportunities are a goodness. Asking to see the good in all things that bring happiness to your hearth and home is a powerful kind of Venus magic. 

Social Interactions

People who get ahead do good in social situations. They have extensive networks of people who know their value, and who provide value to them in return. They may be on varying degrees of friendship, but they have a lot of connections. They generally move up through the social classes, but they never necessarily cut their ties to the lower classes they pass through. Climbers.

It helps if you're socially gifted and are comfortable at parties, but that's not necessary. Look at people, assess their talents and skills, and let them know about your own. That's basically what you're aiming to do, and you can do it no matter how shy or socially awkward you may be. You never have to meet your social circles these days in the flesh. This isn't just advice for that world that exists when you're not at your computer, either. It's the same for online communities of friends and co-workers. They have value, and they value you.

Social stuff is mostly under Venus too, but there are things we can do to get ahead there too. Mercury can help you establish and maintain communication networks with other people. Lunar magic can be used to create a good image of yourself, attractive and intelligent looking. Solar magic can help people like you, and establish yourself as a recognized person in your community. Jupiter magic, especially, can get you the good favor of powerful people. It's good for your boss to like you. It's good to have friends think highly of you and respect you. 

And remember, working with these forces is not tricking anyone into thinking you're something you're not. Work with these spirits of the Moon and Venus and Jupiter to make your life better, and you'll find yourself changing, becoming the kind of person who people favor and value. It's not some gimmick, it's genuine. You get the positive benefits because you become the person that they belong to. People are attracted to you because you are attractive. People give you honor because you are honorable. People want you to lead them because you are a good leader.

Financial Opportunity

Chances are good that you know how to do financial magic of some sort to get a chance to get a lot of money. You know about money boxes for drawing wealth, you know about spirit pots for wealth spirits, you know about Jupiter talismans and rituals for luck. Jupiter is your best bet, followed closely by Mercury. But every planet is good for wealth, every single one.
  • Saturn - buried treasures, deep wisdom to bring insight, Fate to see what lies ahead, Plutonic wealthy wealthness. Jewels, precious metals. Literally, hidden treasures like salvageable ships in international waters with gold bars just sitting there waiting for you. Someone's buried jar of coins from 1890. Junk in your garage that's worth a fortune that you don't know about.
  • Jupiter - Expansion, opportunity, wealth, riches. Kingship and Kingly living.
  • Mars - Acquisition. Going out and taking it. Putting the competition out of business and buying their inventory at pennies on the dollar. Lowballing bids and ballooning overhead fees. 
  • The Sun - It manifests gold, solid gold. And victory, and fame. You know famous people who are famous for being famous? They're also rich just because they're famous. Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton got millions of dollars just for showing up at night clubs. People paid them to come because their presence attracted a crowd. You can live on your laurels. And seriously, just gold. Solar rites get the money to be there when you need it somehow. It's just there.
  • Venus - See the hearth and home stuff, word your requests towards that aspect of her, or for luxury, to treat your lover with the hedonism they so richly deserve, and Venus will make a way for that to happen. 
  • Mercury - Business, of course, transactions, increasing the margin by higher traffic volume or new product lines, or both. Also a silver tongue, wit, and eloquence, all things that come in handy when you're selling something, and honestly, any time you're doing something for money, you're selling something.
  • The Moon - Image magic, glamours of various sorts are good to change the shape of things, but there's also visions and seeing opportunities as they take form. Here you can receive the eyes to see the waxings and wanings of ideas as they manifest and return to the unknown. The play of the universe. seeing that gives you insight into the opportunities you'll be seizing.
Spiritual Growth

All this survival and getting ahead in an apocalypse shit is for something important: You. Who are you, and why do you want to get ahead? What are you getting ahead for? Who are you making happy here with all this shit you're doing? What's the point?

To really win this game, you've got to reach an understanding of who you are and why you're here. You've got something you're supposed to be doing with your life. There's one thing that when you start doing it, you'll know, this is what I'm here for, and you'll do it really well.

Magic makes that happen for you. It makes you the creator of the world. It teaches you how to create, and shows you how to make things happen that you want to happen. It gives you wisdom and insight to make things better for you and those who need it to be better. 

And you need to be getting better at magic. Conjure your HGA, conjure the intelligences of the planets, get some elemental familiars, learn the secrets of the universe. It's awesomeness. 

* All those cave drawings are one tired guy's record of all the shit he had to put up with just to bring home some mammoth to put on the table.