Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hot and Cool in Magic

In a comment on Discussions on Y So Srs?, Girasol makes an interesting point about the hot and coolness of the magic that gets balanced in his experience in Palo. The magician does a lot of cooling Work leading up to the conjuration, then he does the hot magic, balancing out the heat ahead of time.

This is so very much in keeping with the grimoire instructions in the Key of Solomon that it isn't even funny. All that abstinence, the baths, the chanting of Psalms... It's got a really cooling effect on a person. You're not doing anything passionate leading up to the rite, except maybe some ecstatic mysticism that might get a little hot once in a while, but still in a cool way.

It got me thinking about my magic. I do a lot of cool magic. I do a little hot magic once in a while. When I do the Gates rites, it can be sort of in between, and influenced heavily by the heat or coolness of the planet I'm working with.

Agrippa gives the qualities of each of the planets in his lists of attributes. I wondered why that was necessary, before, but it makes sense. I tend to stay on the cool side of things in my practices, and it's been more intuitive, a quiet understanding of what needed to be done to achieve specific goals of ... uhm, stability in my life after a prolonged period of doing rather more hot magic in comparison.

You know how people talk about putting cayenne pepper in their spirit pot to heat up the spirit and make it more active? I've talked about it. I did it a few times with Bune. It seemed to give him the fuel to get things to happen more quickly and actively in my life. I put in a dash before my house burned down and I got that money I wanted from him, in fact.

That's called a coincidence.

No really.

Ok, whatever, think what you want.*

Anyway, think about how hot your life is before you start adding heat and hot magic to it. Maybe you can think strategically about fighting fire with fire, put out a financial crisis with some active new customer production magic or something like that, but in general, hot magic provides the Alchemical Heat of the Great Work in addition to everything else you're going through. Heat purifies by melting the good stuff so it flows together and burning away everything else that's of lesser grade.

Sound pleasant to go through when you're already stressed about something in your life? Cause that's what's likely to happen.

Strategize. Strategitate. Achieve strategizm. Think. Think about balance. Perfect balance is perfect stagnation, in my opinion, but if you go too far away from it, you'd better hang on for dear life, cause things are going to get rocky. I try to stay as close to balance as possible, without getting things too stagnant.

Cool magic leads you inwards and upwards. Contemplation about your place in the cosmos, ascending through the spheres, spending time in Mercury, and dipping your toes in Saturn once in a while are good ways to keep cool. Magitate. Keep calm, and re-lax. Aim for balance.

* You're probably right.


  1. Great post.

    Whenever I do magic, I like to think of the 'cool sandwich'. I do some cool preparation work, such as meditation, cleansing baths, divination, that sort of stuff, then I may do some of the hot spellwork and then do some more cool stuff to end with, perhaps take another bath or do some quiet praying.

  2. Could I propose (and this is just a ponder) that perfect balance (if it exists as such) is not stagnation but the vibrant centerpoint of energy where the play of hot/cold, above/below and other opposites meet?

    Perhaps that gets a little irrelevant for practical use. But I think of how when you are riding a bicycle you are always subtly tweaking the movement and lean of the bike in response to the terrain, thus maintaining that centerpoint where it all flows in harmony.

    Useful? Crap? :D

  3. I think it's the constant adjustments that make forward progress possible. Stop making those adjustments, and you fall. There is no perfect balance, a point at which you no longer have to keep making adjustments. When you can just sit without moving, you are no longer working to maintain the balance. Any movement at all will destroy the balance. So you're stuck, and over time will stagnate.


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