Your Word Is Your Wand

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Jumper cards… You know these: they’re the ones that leap out of the deck while you’re trying to shuffle, sometimes literally smacking you right in the face. The cynic would say that jumper cards are just a sign of shabby card-handling, nothing more. Others feel that these cards are popping out for a reason…like, they have messages that they’re just bursting to tell you. Which camp are you a member of…?

Now me, I like jumper cards. I think they come bearing gifts, and you ignore them at your peril. Here are the ones I got while shuffling this morning: The Magus and the 2 of Wands (“Dominion”). The Magus is someone who channels force of will through language and ritual and use of various tools in order to bring about desired changes. The 2 of Wands working with that card suggests some serious emphasis on the force of will bit, and on specific use of the Wand as a tool.

I’m reminded of this idea a friend shared with me not that long ago: “Your word is your wand.” What you say directly affects reality. Your word transforms you every day, and it also changes the world around you. If you’re sloppy with your word, existence as you know it suffers. If you have integrity with your word, existence will thrive. Not for nothing did Don Miguel Ruiz state clearly in his book, The Four Agreements to “Be Impeccable With Your Word.”

So that’s the jumper card message of the day – for me, for you, for anyone paying attention:

YOUR WORD IS YOUR WAND.

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Active Tarot

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Tarot Tip!

Most of us use Tarot in a rather “passive” fashion, in the sense that we ask for some guidance from Something Greater Than Us, and we hope that that Something will then speak to us through the cards so that we can make use of any wise counsel that might be coming our way. It’s a pretty reactive process: “Tell me, and then I’ll act accordingly.” And that’s all great – knowledge is power, and all.

But you can also use Tarot in more active fashion, too (and this is in addition to your reactive readings and meditations, not instead of). Consider trying out this simple exercise…

Take a card whose energies you want to encourage into manifesting in your life. Don’t draw this card at random – choose it voluntarily yourself. Maybe you want the “Victory” energies of the 6 of Wands informing your days, or maybe you’d like to have more of the conscious wizardry of The Magus at your fingertips. There’s no right or wrong here – whichever card you feel you need at this time is outstanding for this.

Then, when you next gear up to go to sleep, set the card up nearby. Acknowledge to yourself that you’re inviting the card to open up like a portal or a floodgate, and bathe you with its energies all night long while you sleep, so you can soak it all up. Then see if you notice any differences in the days that follow. Maybe nothing will happen at all…or maybe you *will* feel a little bit more Victorious, or just a trifle more Magus-like…

And keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming announcement here about the Tarot Toolkit Online Course!

5 Metaphysical Practices for Promoting Safe Travels

"I met a traveler from an antique land..."
“I met a traveler from an antique land…”

As I type up this particular blog post, I’m sitting in a desk chair several thousand miles and three time zones from my home. This transcontinental journey is all about visiting my family, and as I only made the trek a few days ago, I’ve very recently had my travel responses well-stimulated. And while I very much enjoy being in different places and experiencing different people and cultures, I have to admit that I don’t especially enjoy the “getting there” portion of the proceedings. I’m not as patient as I could be with things like waiting in lines and going through airport security, and I don’t love the panic-inducing phenomenon that airline pilots try to defang with the fairly innocent-sounding label of “turbulence.” With all of this fresh in mind, it seemed only natural to draw up a list of a few practices that travelers can employ so as to bring themselves comfort while they’re roaming…

1)  Invoke St. Christopher. Widely recognized as a patron saint of travelers, St. Christopher is believed to help those who are on the move. Petitioning this saint for help before or during travel via silent prayer or even through spoken requests can be an effective travel aid. People also find great comfort and even good luck while on the road if they take care to wear a medallion or carry along a statuette bearing the likeness of St. Christopher.

A smart-looking cairn in the beautiful setting of Lysfjord, Norway (photo by Andreas Tille).  You probably don't need to build your own cairn this high in order for it to be effective, although if you feel like busting that kind of move, the diligence almost certainly won't hurt your chances of success!
A smart-looking cairn in the beautiful setting of Lysfjord, Norway (photo by Andreas Tille). You probably don’t need to build your own cairn this high in order for it to be effective, although if you feel like busting that kind of move, the diligence almost certainly won’t hurt your chances of success!

2)  Build a Hermes’ Cairn. The great Messenger-God, Hermes, was believed by the ancient Greeks to be another patron-figure for travelers. In one of Hermes’ early exploits, he ends up being buried up to his neck in a pile of small stones. This was considered the first-ever such pile of stones, known as a “cairn.” From that time onward, travelers about to embark on any new voyage would pile up stones by the roadside to create small replicas of that original large cairn. The idea was that making this show of devotion and admiration for Hermes would inspire the God to extend his protection to the traveler as they set out on their journeys. Even in modern times, fashioning a small travel-cairn before setting out on a voyage can be an easily accomplished method of asking the Universe (or Hermes himself) to bless the trip, and to keep the traveler safe from harm.

3)  Utilize Reiki. Reiki is a form of energy healing first discovered in Japan by Dr. Mikao Usui in 1922. This or any similar energy-based modality can be harnessed as a means for improving one’s safety and fortunes while traveling. For example, as a Certified Reiki Master, I tend to cope with the aforementioned ordeal of mid-flight turbulence by calling up Reiki and then visualizing the benevolent energy-field permeating the entire plane and everything in it, keeping us all wrapped lovingly in a benevolent cocoon… The practice definitely has the effect of relaxing me, and while I can’t prove that it’s been the sole cause of my consistently safe travels and landings, I can at the very least offer the fact of my continued existence here on Earth as verification that Reiki doesn’t definitively not work in such instances. The same technique can be applied to any vehicle or any pathway that a traveler might select for their various forays out and about.

Raido.

4)  Perform Raido-based Rune-work. Runes are the letters of an alphabet that was used by the ancient Germanic tribespeople of Northern Europe as both the basis of a written language, and as a set of symbols employed in such magical practices as divination and spell-casting. The fifth Rune in this arcane alphabet, which serves as an equivalent to our own letter “R,” is called Raido, and it literally means “Journey” or “Riding.” It can therefore be used as yet another tool for encouraging probabilities to line up with safe and happy outcomes for travelers. As with Reiki, a traveler might use the Raido-Rune during their wanderings: it’s a very simple matter to trace the shape of the Rune onto one’s own palms or chest or forehead with a fingertip, while focusing on the concept of a fruitful journey. Another possibility would be using Raido before setting off on a journey, much as one might build a Hermes Cairn, so as to essentially bless the imminent voyage. For instance, on the eve of a journey, the traveler might etch the shape of Raido into a candle while focusing on that same notion of a successful trip, and then light the candle, allowing it to burn itself out completely, thereby energizing the safe travel notion, and hopefully bringing it into reality.

Yellow Jasper -- you probably don't need a huge slab to make your point with the Universe, though!  A small piece in your pocket while you travel about will do just fine...
Yellow Jasper — you probably don’t need a huge slab to make your point with the Universe, though! A small piece in your pocket while you travel about will do just fine…

5)  Carry Yellow Jasper. Many metaphysical practitioners make use of the common technique of carrying crystals in order to achieve certain real world effects. Different crystals are believed to bring various energies to bear, and the crystals enthusiast can select different crystals in order to achieve their desired results. In particular, Yellow Jasper is a crystal that seems to have acquired a consensus opinion as a stone of safe travels. This crystal is rather easy to find and is also comparatively affordable, and so it makes an excellent choice for someone wishing to improve their odds of favorable travel experiences through crystal work. Even something as simple as carrying one in your pocket or in a bag as you make your way from one place to another can be a very effective tool, but crystals also have the benefit of playing well with other modalities. That is, you might pour Reiki through a piece of Yellow Jasper while you’re en route during a trip…or you could try drawing Raido on that same piece with your finger as you go…or if you can afford it, you could even see what kind of travel results you might net for yourself if you were to build a small Hermes Cairn made solely of pieces of Yellow Jasper!

These are just a few ideas for using metaphysical concepts to improve your travel experiences and to augment your chances for safe passage whenever you’re on the go. Please feel free to share any additional such ideas of your own with me here…and whenever you travel, vaya con Diosas y Dios!

“We are, all of us, Scepters!”

“We are, all of us, Scepters!”

The line I used as the title of this post was spoken by someone in a dream I had last night.  It sounds pretty weighty, huh?  I woke up with that phrase resounding through my sleep-fogged awareness, and I decided to use it as the basis for today’s entry here…

So first, I should outline the meaning of “scepter” — that’s both what it means to the world at large, and also what it was being used to signify by the figure in my dream.

An ancient Egyptian scepter: a symbol of power, cast in brass...
An ancient Egyptian scepter: a symbol of power, cast in brass…

To a literal-definition/pure “dictionarian” type, a scepter is a rod, wand, staff, or other stick, borne in the hand to denote authority.  The ancient Egyptians used them.  The ancient Greeks used them.  Cave paintings dating back to the Stone Age imply that maybe even our cave-dwelling predecessors made use of the scepter principle, to make it easy for locals to know who was in charge…although back then, a “scepter” may have seen a lot more actual impact-heavy, cudgel-type work than its more ceremonial descendants…  But so the point is that in literal terms, “scepter” often means “staff of office,” or something similar.

My dream, however, is utterly informed by my own internal systems of private symbols and definitions — anyone’s dreams are — and in my own inner lexicon (influenced by an early love of fantasy novels and questionable but enthusiastic role-playing games), a scepter can also be interpreted as one of several forms that the classic “magic wand” may take.  In the various fantasy genre works I devoured as a youngster, a magic wand — a device utilized to channel the power and will of a magic-using individual — could take the form of the true wand, such as what a stage magician employs in the practice of professional misdirection, or it could just as easily and validly be actualized as a long staff employable as a walking stick when not spewing forth fire or lightning bolts, or it could be cast into the shape of a true scepter: something greater in length than the lithe wand but not so cumbersome as the staff/walking stick, and more likely to bear ornamental work, such as carving or affixed orbs or gemstones.

Scepters from Sumatra, Indonesia, fitting my own archetypal image of the Magic-Wand-as-Scepter...
Scepters from Sumatra, Indonesia, fitting my own archetypal image of the Magic-Wand-as-Scepter…

So in my dream, the figure intoning about scepters was using the word as a synonym for “magic wand.”

Excellent.  So what, then, more specifically, is a magic wand…?

As for the wand part, here’s a sound-bite shamelessly nicked from Wikipedia: a wand is, of course, a stick, and “a stick giving length and leverage is perhaps the earliest and simplest of tools.”  We humans, therefore, as lifeforms, have virtually always known sticks/wands.  We awoke to find them here with us in our cradle, and we’ve been playing with them, and making more serious use of them as well, ever since.  And then there’s the magic part: in essentially any source on this kind of thing, be it thinking drawn from World Mythology or from pure fantasy, a magic wand is viewed as a device used by someone to focus and direct magical energy and that person’s will, to channel it all and give the mixture a resulting manifestational form, quite often a tangible one here on the physical plane.  If you allow your vision to blur a bit, magic wands can be seen in the conductor’s baton, the shaman’s drumstick, the writer’s pen and the artist’s brush, and even in the sportsperson’s specialized sticks (baseball bat, hockey stick, tennis racquet, pool cue, golf club, lacrosse stick…).

That’s the definitional stuff down, then.  Back to my dream: what was the person saying, then?  All of us here on Planet Earth are…sticks?  Not the most flattering thing to be called (even if we do represent ourselves in artwork as…stick figures…)…

Wait...was the person in my dream saying that we're not just represented by "stick figures" in our crudest artwork...but that we actually *are* sticks??
Wait…was the person in my dream saying that we’re not just represented by “stick figures” in our crudest artwork…but that we actually *are* sticks??

Well…the person was saying that, kind of, but not exactly.

We are, all of us, Scepters!

The person meant that we’re all magic wands.  We are — each and every single one of us — living, breathing devices for use by the Universe, by our Creator, by whatever equals “The Divine” in your own inner Book, to channel Divine Magic and Will.  We exist to make some Divine Message manifest here on this plane.  The Universe works through us to achieve its ends, and we’re each of us these fabulous magical devices, lovingly conceived and created, helping to put on the greatest Show ever imagined.

Think about it: like the scepter I described above, we’re much like elongated sticks in shape, “giving length and leverage” to whatever might be making use of us…we can be used to signify dominion, to inflict discipline (like those subsets of the stick, the switch and the crop), and we can undeniably be used as conduits for will and for power…we’re “carved” into some unique, ornate, beautiful form at birth, and we grow even more into our distinct forms throughout the courses of our lives…and like scepters, we’re ornamented: we have proud heads, visages looking out upon the world, and there’s this glowing gemstone set into the very top of every one of our stick-like forms.  We call it our “brain,” and we see it as the very seat of our consciousness.

I don’t know, it was my dream, yes, but it’s certainly also open to your interpretation, too…but I take it as a startlingly perceptive commentary on one way to view us bustling humans: We are, all of us, Scepters!

 

Halloween = prime opportunity for Glamour!!

So, when I say “Glamour” here, I’m not necessarily talking about being all visually and fashionably sophisticated…although that could be one definite subset of what I mean…

My line of thinking this morning was prompted last night, while I was busy helping a friend work up a Halloween costume for her young son (to be clear, she did about 99.9999% of the actual work, while I helped clean up and offered moral support and boon companionship…still…).  But it occurred to me that the custom of dressing up at Halloween is a bit like people getting societal permission to cast specialized versions of a magic spell called a “glamour” upon themselves.

A “glamour,” then, in the context of this post, would be a sort of tailored illusion that enables a person to appear as something other than what they truly are.  In the true sense, a glamour would be cast such that no one but the caster and the wearer of it would be aware of the sorcerous deception (and the caster and the wearer of a given glamour could often be the same person, but this isn’t strictly necessary, either, as one person can in theory cast a glamour on/for another).  But so why would you use such a thing…?  Well, maybe you want to seduce someone, but you lack the requisite physical appeal…maybe you want to infiltrate some otherwise impenetrable area or facility by posing as someone who actually belongs there…maybe you want to intimidate someone, or fool someone, or maybe you just want to see what it’s like to pass in the world as someone or something that you yourself are not…which brings us back to Halloween…

"Trick or treat!!"  Halloween costumes are essential for this practice...and maybe great in other ways, too, beyond just the short-term procurement of processed sugar in a myriad of delightful forms...
“Trick or treat!!” Halloween costumes are essential for this practice…and maybe great in other ways, too, beyond just the short-term procurement of processed sugar in a myriad of delightful forms…

Now, when talking about Halloween costumes, then of course, sure, pretty much everyone else knows that you’re in costume, and that you’re not really an elf or an astronaut or a robot, or what have you…but my point is that such masquerades may still be good for the soul.  Halloween is one of the only times during a distinct calendar year when we’re all in effect given permission by the world around us to assume some guise that’s totally alien to our everyday personae, including dress and other trappings that will be likely to vary wildly from what we would usually employ in presenting ourselves to the cosmos.  And as any little kid will tell you, dressing up as something we’re not can be a tremendous amount of fun.  I’d go further, though, and offer the notion that it’s also actually rather empowering.  It’s no accident that people who consciously try to work magic will often add costuming to the mix, and will don things like robes or hoods or hats, or special jewelry, or maybe take up interesting props, all to enhance their concentration on the tasks at hand, and to more fully harness the energy of anyone and everyone participating…because costuming sets things apart as being special, as being “trans-mundane.”

Part of what I enjoy about things like rave culture and the whole Burning Man scene, myself, is the fact that costume-y clothing is not only acceptable at such events, but is even encouraged and, in a sense, rewarded.  Revelers get to sample different ways of being in the world, and in so doing, also contribute greatly to the positive energy of the events.  Until such time as society will be totally fine with people going to work in clown suits or fluffy bunny outfits or whatever else strikes their fancy, then getting all costume-y from time to time in a festive way can really feed the soul.  It can be restrictive to have a narrow range of personal presentations thrust upon us by our civilization, when the inner children we all still possess remain every bit as fascinated by larger than life, full-colored, cartoony imagery.  As “adults,” we can and do squelch our affections for outlandish visuals, but I imagine this can get not only depressing over time, but depending on one’s individual makeup, maybe even downright harmful.

Rave on, ravers!!
Rave on, ravers!!

So as Halloween approaches, I’d suggest considering dressing up, even if you don’t have a child in your life demanding that you go trick-or-treating in full costume with them.  I suggest it because it’s fun, it offers a break from the sameness of your daily routine, and it permits you to at least briefly get a taste of being some other entity entirely…which can make you appreciative of both that other entity, and also of your own persona — vacations from things can be so helpful in reminding us of what we miss about the familiar!

Halloween: the biggest, most widely subscribed to occasion for casting glamours upon ourselves!!  Who and what might you be this year…?

Correspondence Course

One of the things I like about Occultism is that it comes in many flavors.  Some people like to specialize, but I tend to prefer sampling lots of different things.  I love a buffet…

If I can sample from among a bunch of different options (instead of just having a big plate full of only one dish), I'm usually pretty happy!
If I can sample from among a bunch of different options (instead of just having a big plate full of only one dish), I’m usually pretty happy!

Occultism offers just that kind of buffet, too: if I’m permitted to lump fields under the “Occult” umbrella fairly freely, then we’re talking about disciplines such as Tarot, Astrology, Runes, the I Ching, the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life, Crystal studies, Chakra studies, Color theory, the Ouija Board, and a whole gigantic slew of other forms of Divination and other sets of symbols.  These are all like different lenses through which one can choose to view Reality, and each has its own specific details, and its own pros and cons as a system for such viewing.

One tricky bit of business that pops up with some regularity, though, when you happen to study two or more of these disciplines, is the correspondence.  That is, people will often ask — or tell you — which specific symbol or element from one field corresponds to which specific symbol or element from another.  “Which Zodiac Sign does this Crystal correspond to?” and “Which I Ching Hexagram corresponds to which Tree of Life sphere?” are examples of the millions of variations of correspondence-themed questions you can land on once you start getting into multiple Occult fields.

The Equivalency symbol -- which Occult elements are equivalent to each other...which ones correspond to each other??
The Equivalency symbol — which Occult elements are equivalent to each other…which ones correspond to each other??

Now, on the one hand, setting up valid correspondences is a great sort of mnemonic aid that can really be of tremendous help when you’re trying to get your head around different sets of symbols — if you have a great handle on Tarot cards, for example, then sure, why not help yourself out in learning the I Ching Hexagrams by relating the still unfamiliar latter to the more familiar former?  On the other hand, though, there are a couple of possible pitfalls to going this route that I wanted to flag here…

First of all, relying too heavily on correspondences may shortchange a given symbol, and rob it of its uniqueness and individuality.  It’s pretty widely accepted, for instance, that the Strength Card in Tarot corresponds to the Zodiac Sign of Leo in Astrology, and using this correspondence to jog your memory as you’re learning one system or the other can be a useful tactic…but it would be a mistake to go no further than that, and to just think of the two symbols as synonyms for each other.  They do correspond, and they do share some similarities…but they’re not identical, and they’re not interchangeable.  Yes, both have to do with attributes represented for humanity by the Lion, and they’re arguably each the other’s closest counterpart within their respective systems…but they’re not the same exact thing just showing up in two slightly different contexts.  The Strength Card does deal with those qualities summed up by the Lion as a creature and as a symbol — raw power, potential ferocity, appetites, baser urges and impulses, prowess, a certain regal fearsomeness — but the Strength Card will virtually always also feature a Maiden, as well, and she’s a crucial counterbalancing force to the Lion, a sort of Yin to the Lion’s Yang that together make up a full system of their own (with the Maiden representing attributes such as civility, grace, self-control, compassion, altruism — things the Lion doesn’t possess but might benefit from, even as the Maiden lacks the Lion’s traits, but can gain from their presence when the two beings work together).  The Sign of Leo doesn’t involve any Maiden, though — it’s just the Lion.  And Leo involves other core characteristics that seem to always come up when discussing Leo in Astrology — traits such as self-expression, a need to perform, extroversion, generosity — but which rarely factor into the first few paragraphs (or pages, even) written about the Strength Card.  There’s definitely some overlap between the Strength Card and the Sign of Leo…but they’re not identical all the way down the line, and it can only help the budding occultist to grasp that, and to get on top of the differences as well as the similarities…

The classic Rider-Waite-Smith deck's Strength Card -- it depicts a Lion, yes, but it's not Leo the Lion from the Astrological Zodiac (and in fact, a lot of modern deck artists even use animals or creatures other than a lion in this card now)...
The classic Rider-Waite-Smith deck’s Strength Card — it depicts a Lion, yes, but it’s not Leo the Lion from the Astrological Zodiac (and in fact, a lot of modern deck artists even use animals or creatures other than a lion in this card now)…

The second major potential issue with relying too heavily on correspondences is that they involve a very heavy undercurrent of subjectivity to them.  That is, if you’re a newcomer to an Occult field, you might be inclined to swallow whole whatever a more learned author or teacher tells you…but in your eagerness to learn, you may not realize that what the author or teacher in question is saying stems greatly or entirely from their own individual and subjective take on things, and isn’t necessarily shared by other practitioners in the field the whole world over.  What if, hypothetically, you’re learning Tarot from someone who’s found over the course of 20 years of practice that the Strength Card almost always seems to pop up in questions about relationships that end in a break-up…so that teacher comes to associate the Strength Card with break-ups.  And maybe that generally does hold true for that teacher, too, and everyone she/he reads for over the years does suffer break-ups in relationships marked by the Strength Card in that teacher’s readings.  If you came to this teacher as a total neophyte, and just swallowed whole a statement that “Strength = break-up,” however, you’d just be adopting that one person’s unique take on the card, without understanding the greater Tarot community’s views on it, and probably even more importantly, without ever developing your own interpretation about it.  What if you then try to read for people by applying that “Strength = break-up” principle, but that principle doesn’t actually hold true for you?  Never mind that it likely doesn’t hold true for most people out there, either (which you might not realize if you never question the thing in the first place) — you may start receiving consistent feedback that this take isn’t working out whenever you try to apply it…and you may then get discouraged, and assume you lack some necessary connection with the cards or some such, and if you’ve also taken on even more such personalized interpretations that belong really only to your teacher, as well, then you may even get disgruntled enough to walk away from Tarot entirely…

So it’s vitally important to question correspondences that you come across.  If they’re being laid down by some source that you trust, then sure, you can try presuming them valid until proven otherwise…but the more I’ve learned about various Occult disciplines, the more I feel that lists of correspondences very often strike me as almost arbitrary, with no basis I can perceive beyond what the individual putting them forth may have established for herself/himself over time in their own private experiences…experiences that I wasn’t privy to (and you probably weren’t, either).

This guy may well be as Occult as his get-up would imply, and his notions may be totally valid, objectively, and applicable to everything, always...or they might only be relevant in his own little corner of the Universe, and won't help you at all...
This guy may well be as Occult as his get-up would imply, and his notions may be totally valid, objectively, and applicable to everything, always…or they might only be relevant in his own little corner of the Universe, and won’t help you at all…

I bring this up because I was recently reminded of how this very issue threatened to trip me up in a very large way as I began studying the Elder Futhark Runes.  As I’ve mentioned here before, the Runes comprise an actual alphabet that was, in fact, used for communication purposes by the Germanic tribes that wandered Northern Europe a few centuries ago…but they also fit hand in glove with Norse Mythology, and were/are used for things like Divination and Magic.  One of the resources that I picked up early on in my quest to learn the Runes, was a workbook designed to give a newcomer some hands-on exercises to work through.  I usually respond really well to this kind of learning method, so I was excited to jump in.  The workbook, though, contained not just some basic info about each Rune and some exercises; the author also listed a bunch of correspondences for each Rune.  These included not just figures from Norse Mythology that each supposedly corresponded to, but also gemstones, plants, animals, Astrological symbols, and Tarot cards.  I was already pretty well-versed in Tarot at this point, but the correspondences given there just baffled and confounded me.  I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that the author’s proposed correspondences seemed to miss the mark by a very wide margin far more often than they came close to striking it.  I was going into this assuming that the author’s work was The Runic Gospel, though, and so I began to despair that I’d never be able to understand the Runes.  I even started to wonder if my grasp on Tarot was as solid as I’d felt it had become by then…

Only after it suddenly occurred to me that Hey, wait — this author’s correspondences may belong only to this author, and I’m not obligated to adopt them!, did I find myself able to start relaxing.  Only then did I really start to learn the Runes (and it helped that I also put the workbook down, and moved on to other sources of learning).

So anyway, the point is that if you’re just starting to learn an Occult field, always try to remember that you’re picking up things for which a subjective interpretive component will always be at play — you’re not just memorizing scientific constants that will never vary, such as the boiling point of water or the speed of light.  There will usually be a large patch of conceptual territory that most people will agree on for a given symbol in any Occult field…but then there will also be a possibly even larger stretch of turf that others don’t generally recognize in connection with that symbol, but which can be equally valid for you as an individual practitioner.  The most helpful correspondences you’ll ever find are the ones that you ponder and verify for yourself…

Write On…

I like to write.  The practicing astrologer might be inclined to say that this is because Mercury, in my natal chart, sits in my First House, only a few degrees from my Ascendant, thus coloring almost everything I do…Mercury being the Planet that represents our drive to communicate.  Writing is, of course, a primary subset of communication in this world that we share, and when you have a Planet sitting on or adjacent to your Ascendant (that’s the Eastern Horizon at the moment when you’re born), then the energies of that Planet tend to be inextricably wrapped up in your everyday self, the you that interacts with the world.  My own Mercury also happens to be rising within the embrace of the Sign of Scorpio, which, the astrologer would likely go on to say, lends my drive to communicate a certain passion and intensity: I want my meaning (all of my meanings…) to be tirelessly conveyed with great eloquence, clarity, and poetry, always.  This is what the astrologer would say, anyway…and I’d actually agree with the astrologer on all of the above as it applies to me!

While I was busy being born, Mercury was busy rising over the Eastern Horizon, indelibly etching its properties into my being (Image processing by R. Nunes, http://www.astrosurf.com/nunes)...
While I was busy being born, Mercury was busy rising over the Eastern Horizon, indelibly etching its properties into my being (Image processing by R. Nunes, http://www.astrosurf.com/nunes)…

And I believe that writing is not only an undeniably useful means of communication, but that it’s also another one of the tools that we have at our disposal for use in changing the world.  And I don’t just mean that certain people get to publish their thoughts to vast numbers of others out there, thus adding their characters and plot ideas to the collective world-mind — you don’t need to match the popular acceptance achieved by, say, Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, in order to have your writing change at least your world.  I believe we can all work with writing on a smaller, but no less meaningful, scale.

I’ve talked before here about rituals a little bit, and how they can be used to change our reality.  Some people label this kind of practice “magic.”  Some would instead file it under “Self-Hypnosis” or “Effective Visualization” or “The Power of Positive Thinking.”  Whatever you feel like calling it, I do feel that usage of writing in this manner really can open up doorways that might otherwise have remained closed.  And it’s really simple to use writing in this fashion.  For one thing, what I’m talking about doesn’t require lovely prose, or an inexhaustible vocabulary, or a prodigious grasp on the rules of grammar.  Mostly you just need something to write with and something to write on, which can range from charcoal and a cave wall, to a keyboard and a computer monitor, or could include anything from in between those two extremes.

Any equivalent to this writing station and its implements will work just fine for what I'm discussing here -- accomplishing some writing far outweighs concerns about the minute details of how that writing gets done...
Any equivalent to this writing station and its implements will work just fine for what I’m discussing here — accomplishing some writing far outweighs concerns about the minute details of how that writing gets done…

So I mentioned up above the concept of the power of positive thinking, and that’s about where I’m going with this.  My suggestion here is to consider simply writing down a desire of yours as if it’s already true.  That’s it.  And the idea is that this may help to program the Universe like a computer, to go ahead and edit reality so as to be more in line with the desire you just committed to written form.

Here’s an example…  Say you just completed a battery of guitar lessons, and you found some local ads from bands who are seeking guitarists.  You’ve never played in a band setting before, but it’s something you really want to do, despite being as nervous about trying it as you are excited.  My suggestion would be to write down your end goal.  However you choose to do this, be it writing on paper with pencil or ink, typing into a typewriter or computer, or even scratching words into dirt or sand, you just write out your desired endpoint as if it’s about to happen, or as if it is happening right now, or maybe best of all, as if it’s already a fact.  “I’ll answer an ad for a guitar player and will get the gig” or “I’m successfully auditioning for a local band” or “I’m a working guitarist in a band!”  Anything along these lines is terrific stuff, and can be highly helpful, and can even have real effects in the world.

Let me take a small side-trip into the topic of the “Mary Sue.”  This is a type of character that basically represents an idealized version of the author — it’s the author as she or he wishes to be, with traits like often encyclopedic knowledge about a wide variety of subjects, almost flawless capability in virtually everything they attempt, boundless charm and sex appeal, cool unflappability in crisis…you probably get the picture…

The Mary Sue character is an ideal...
The Mary Sue character is an ideal…

Now, in fiction, the Mary Sue is often an annoying, intrusive phenomenon.  I recently referenced the great seminal crime fiction authors, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett — a more modern crime writer by the name of James Ellroy once issued a fairly well-known quote that can arguably be taken as Ellroy praising Hammett at Chandler’s expense, and in essence, somewhat dismissing Chandler’s famous detective, Philip Marlowe, as a Mary Sue: “Chandler wrote the man he wanted to be – gallant and with a lively satirist’s wit.  Hammett wrote the man he feared he might be – tenuous and sceptical in all human dealings, corruptible and addicted to violent intrigue.

I’m not so sure I’d get on board with Ellroy’s analysis, although for fans of the genre, it makes for some interesting thought.  But my point is that what might be undesirable in fiction, can be exactly desirable somewhere else.  I’m actually suggesting here that it’s worth making a few attempts at writing down statements about yourself as if you are that idealized, Mary Sue-ish version of yourself that you dream of being.  Write down declarations of fact about your growth, your success, your good fortune, your accomplishments, your achievements, your fine traits.  Make them simple and to the point, without worry about whether they could be phrased better, or if you put in the correct punctuation — just write them down, look at them, nod at them as if they’re scientifically verifiable fact…and then get rid of them.

You can take care of this last element of the exercise through whatever means might feel right.  Scribble the words out so that they’re no longer readable…tear up or shred the paper they’re written on…erase the words…bury them…flush them…or, if you can do it safely, you can even burn them, which can be seen as releasing their meaning into the world, to climb up into the air on a thin plume of smoke…  All of this is like casting a simple spell.  You can add some extra trappings to the proceedings if you like, too — you can light some candles and/or incense, you can outline a grid or a circle around yourself as you write and then un-write, you can wear jewelry or clothing that has meaning for you, or even a mask if that sets the right mood for you — but whatever you use to write, and however you then do away with the writing itself, the final step is to put the notion out of your conscious mind.  The conscious mind — the ego — has a tendency to screw things up, to self-sabotage, and to gum up all manner of works.  Instead, just move on to other things, and allow for the notion that your subconscious mind will then step in and Take Care of Business.

Let your subconscious mind step in and handle the controls after you've done your writing exercise -- it knows what it's doing!  (painting by Tibor Renyi)
Let your subconscious mind step in and handle the controls after you’ve done your writing exercise — it knows what it’s doing! (painting by Tibor Renyi)

And if writing really, truly isn’t your bag, you can try something similar with some other mechanism that still falls within the Mercurial realm of communication.  For instance, a friend of mine tells of how when she was single, she drew a picture of her idealized, perfect romantic match…and soon thereafter, she met, and began dating, a guy who looked to her exactly like the image she’d drawn — and she isn’t even an artist!  And now, nearly two decades later, she’s still with the same guy, living together and happily raising a family.  As her example clearly shows, you can use whatever means of communication works for you, and the idea is to just expend a bit of actual effort in outlining your desires for the Universe to witness.  It may have no effect…but then again, it may.  It may actually help you to transform yourself into the idealized you that you’d love to be, living the grand life that you’ve always dreamed of — so go ahead and Write On!