One of the things I regularly forget to do that I really should not forget to do are my personal empowerment exercises. I'm not talking about affirmations here, I'm talking about the kinds of exercises that make me a more powerful magician.
The kind of magician who shoots fireballs out of his hands!*
But that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm talking about much more practical magic. Like if someone has a loved one in a dangerous situation and needs help right now, it's not a good time to need to wait two weeks for a manifestation. I agree with Jason Miller's "Emergency magic is bad magic" point, but in real life, emergencies happen, and it's too late to start a year-long process of attaining Knowledge and Conversation with your Holy Guardian Angel when a kid needs help right frickin' now.
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by the Flamen Dialis
Part of my increased success has been some initiatory stuff I went through when we did the Seven Spheres in Seven Days last year. That blew the doors off and prepared me to receive some major advancements. As soon as I finish the manuscript and get it over to Nephelim Press, I'll be selling a printed rewrite of the Gates Rites and having 6-week sessions that you can participate in, and you'll be able to see for yourself.
But mostly it's because now that I'm out of a bad relationship, I've got the attention to pay towards the thing that matters the most to me: my personal attainment, understanding, and empowerment. You know, the Great Work.
And it's a lot like working out. The more regularly I work out, the higher my metabolism gets. Even just 20 minutes of cardio a day and some weight training is enough to keep pushing my metabolism up, and making the pounds go down, and the body shape get closer to my ideal. I'm not killing myself here, I'm just doing some maintenance stuff that feels great to do, and it's awesome!
Also like working out, I target different muscle groups each time. I cycle through the planetary spheres regularly, especially while doing the Hermetic Diagnosis stuff for clients, but also just for myself. I look for weaknesses in each of the spheres, and spend time balancing thigns out so I'm a well-rounded magician, capable of noticing the forces at work in my life when they're spinning out of control. I noticed that as I've been working with Harper as the Seer** during our conjurations, I've slacked off in the Lunar sphere a bit when it comes to seeing the spirits for myself. Monday I spent some time going deeper into her Sphere, and got some key pieces of information and exercises to perform from the spirits themselves.
Note I'm not perfect at any of this stuff, and not as consistent as I'd like to be... which is another way this is like working out. I aim to work out daily, six days a week, but I only make it to the gym around four times a week most weeks. I try to cycle through each of the planetary spheres regularly, but I also get immersed in my writing, web site development, client work, and the stresses of daily life, just like everyone else, and miss the planetary hour, or am just wiped out by the time it rolls around again.
And I miss the rite, and then I suffer the consequences. Weird shit pops up in my sphere that I am not prepared to handle, and it takes a while to work through it materially, or to find a fast-acting spirit readily available, and then I'm stuck hiring out the local available mercenaries instead of using my custom selected crack team of commandos ... which can be great, if you know where to go, but still... not the ideal scenario.
So do the Work, Magi. Put together a regular routine of empowering rites. Conjure the spirits and intelligences, and go ahead, ask them to make you more powerful, more skillful, more adept at working with the forces they represent.
Those fireballs aren't going to shoot themselves.
* I can't do that yet, and I haven't met anyone who can. I've seen some videos of people who looked like they could do stuff like this, but you know... videos. Even if you want to believe it, you can't all the way. Even seeing it in person, I'd be skeptical. I've known too many magicians. Until I can do it myself at will, it will remain something I doubt can be done... But that doesn't mean I won't keep trying. Because fucking fireballs! Right?
** Harper's got a blog where she explores what it is to be a Seer. One of the main questions I get from students is "how do I hear/see the spirits?" Harper's experiences as a Seer are some of the most helpful lessons I've seen in learning to sense the influences of the spirits, and I encourage you to explore her posts for yourself.