I’ve been remiss in my ritual practice the past two weeks. The whirl of the world displaced me like a tree in a cyclone, and picking up the metaphysical pieces required some serious pentacle energy. In other words–I had to get shit done in the literal sense. I had so much mundane to attend to that I couldn’t sit with my matron. I was able to dedicate ten minutes a day to meditation, and that was all (minus one hour-long session the day after the election). And given the circumstances, it was enough.
I feel like we’re constantly riding the ebb and flow, all the while adjusting ourselves accordingly. Our priorities shift as events shift as our path diverges, and this is the general way of things. Sometimes, it’s all about heart-centered living. Others, it’s about health and wellness. And sometimes, if the stars align and our intentions are rooted in our intuition and desires, it’s about manifestation–that glorious condition of seeing our dreams appear to us in the world of the living.
As we approach the new moon in Sagittarius, we shake off the old and get the sneaking suspicion that we’re capable of anything. Our inner Magician winks at us and steps into his power, elements at the ready to do some serious conjuring on our behalf.
Perhaps you’re of the witchy variety and you know what I’m talking about (if you find yourself here, there’s a decent chance you are). Perhaps you’ve dabbled in spellwork, but you’re not about to make a habit of it. Perhaps you’re spiritual, but you’re more of the “live and let live” variety. Regardless, each of us has the potential to tap into the cosmic consciousness and play around there. And the Magician archetype–clever, eager, powerful–has something to teach wizard and muggle alike.
Pathworking The Magician
The easiest way to become familiar with the Magician is to study the archetype. One of the best ways to do this is through pathworking–projecting yourself into the landscape of an image and having a walk around. Before you do this, it’s necessary to obtain a visual representation of the Magician. If you have a tarot deck, rifle through and find the Magician card. If not, you can search “magician tarot card” and a number of representations will pop up that you can print out and use. Why do I stress the Magician from tarot? Because the goal of a tarot representation is to successfully convey the energy of what this archetype is (in other words, there will be symbolic hints and representations that help you get a better grasp of the archetype).
Once you’ve obtained your image, sit down and spend some time with it. What jumps out at you? What are some of the symbols the card includes, and what do they mean? In the Mary El Tarot, the figure on the Magician card is holding the Metatron’s Cube–the sacred geometric microcosm of the universe. So, the Magician is figuratively holding the universe in his hands, indicating his control and mastery over the laws of the cosmos. He’s also walking on water, so you get the idea that this cloaked manifestor is pretty damn powerful.
Once you’ve looked up the symbols and gotten a handle on the tone of the card, relax into a meditative state (*see instructions below) and project yourself into the scene and examine it with your senses–where are you? What does it look like? What are the smells encircling you? What are the textures of your environment? Next, project yourself into the body of The Magician. Feel the power of his potential coursing through you. Try to expand yourself, to feel yourself as one in the same with the cosmos (This is a very tall order. Don’t worry if you can’t manage it; trying is the most important thing). Sit with this feeling for as long as you can manage it.
Once you’ve grounded yourself, it’s time for some reflection (if you rock the journal, bust it out.) Try to describe how you felt as vividly as possible. If needed, try this exercise again. If you do, reflect on whether or not you felt a deeper connection to the archetype than you did the first time (chances are, you did).
Meeting Your Inner Magician
My inner magician has a set of wings with feathers from the Eagle and the Crow. She has a red crescent moon painted on her forehead, a leather thong encircling her head, and a silver bodice over yards of muslin (guided meditation and astral travel aren’t strangers to me). I like to compare my understanding of my inner magician with the concept of residual self-image–the way she looks is directly related to my psycho-spiritual state of mind and reveals a great deal regarding where I feel powerful and where I feel weak. Therefore, she’s an awesome ally in terms of shadow work–simply looking at her lets me know the areas I need to work on.
*So, how does one conjure the image of her inner magician? The method for each practitioner’s unique, but it helps to have a launching pad to jump off from. This launching pad is your center, your alpha mindset, your loading program. Yogic breathing is a really useful way to find this space–sit in easy pose (half-lotus) with your hands resting gently on your knees. Make sure your shoulders and jaw are relaxed. Take deep, steady inhalations, first filling your lungs by releasing your diaphragm and then by relaxing your chest. Your exhalations should work in reverse–first, empty your lungs behind your chest, and then behind your diaphragm. This allows you to direct your focus on something very specific, which in turn quiets your endless stream of consciousness (monkey mind), making room for your creative, generative mind to step into the driver’s seat.
Once your in this state, you’re likely to discover a number of things–you’re picturing the inside of your body. You’ve left you’re inhabiting the center of a vast landscape, almost as if you’re at the “start” phase of a video game. Or, you’re floating in an ethereal nothingness of white space (if you manage this your first time, well done you). Regardless, once you’ve reached this “alpha state”, you’re simultaneously in control and at the whim of your subconscious (awesome, right?) You’re primed to receive messages from the collective conscious and yourself. Look down at your hands. Take note of what you’re wearing. Attend to your hair and clothing style. When I was in the initial stage of performing this exercise, I looked a lot like Arya Stark from Game of Thrones–shorn hair, rough-hewn, earth-tone clothing, and bare feet. If you’re not able to get a read on your inner magician the first few times you try, try not to become discouraged. Practice is definitely the name of the game.
Of course, you don’t need to do these exercises to practice magick–we practice magick everyday, whether we know it or not. And the latter is precisely the point–if we’re doing magick, wouldn’t it be better to be aware of it? And wouldn’t it be even better if we knew where our power came from and what we need to work on? After all, a Magician who has equal knowledge and proficiency with each element is infinitely more powerful, balanced and just.
Happy Conjuring, Seekers.
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