Working Magic
Daily Horoscope
     And now You are going to get a crash course in basic Magic!
     A word of caution and a disclaimer, first.
     It is possible that you may be exceptionally gifted;  you may be able to light candles with your gaze, bend spoons with your mind, or psychically predict the winner of a horse race.  But such levels of raw talent are rare; don't be disappointed, just practice more.  Even as some people are naturally big and strong, some are normal, some are weak.  But ALL of them can grow stronger with exercise.
     Now the disclaimer.
     The author and all associated with this work take no responsibility, real or implied, for any harm or loss, real or imagined, that results, directly or indirectly, from the use or misuse of the knowledge and suggestions given herein.  If you are dumb enough to deliberately try to summon up a demon, you probably get what you deserve.  If you deliberately curse someone and it backfires, the same applies.  Remember:  Practice, practice, practice-- but not to excess.  And, please, not on innocent bystanders.  Caveat Emptor!
     That said, let's get to work!
     The first thing any beginning mage(or psychic, or sorcerer, or whatever;  I'll just use "mage"  as a generic term)  should know is that magic is Not fickle;  it works according to certain definite laws.  A human being can control such forces and use them to his/her own advantage with only a little training in the tools of the trade.
     The first tool of the trade is visualization.  If you can call up in your mind a vivid picture of how things are, and then play that picture forward, changing it so that it comes to resemble what you want things to be, then you've got the first tool.  Typically, a mage will visualize what he sees is presently true.  After deciding what he wants to change.  It's really very simple to describe. . . but it's also pretty difficult to do.  Practice, of course, improves this skill enormously.
     Some visualization exercises:
     Sit down, get comfortable, and loosen any restrictive clothing.  Breathe in, a full, deep breathe, and hold it for about five seconds.  Then exhale slowly, relaxing with the out breath.  Repeat this until you feel relaxed.  If you have some soothing music, play that, too, but low enough to not be distracting.
      Now we're ready to practice.
     First, close your eyes.  You can also visualize things with your eyes open, " layering" reality and magick together for more powerful effect, but for now, close them.
     Picture the room you're sitting in.  The furniture, the walls, the lamp.  Picture the design on the chair, on the wallpaper.  Include the things on the coffee table or night stand.  Are your car keys on the table?  Where?  Once you have that image firmly in your mind, open your eyes;  how close is your mental picture to the room?  Keep trying.  After a week or two, you should by doing pretty good.
     Now try the same exercise, but this time, once you have the room pictured, change your point of view.  Still with eyes closed, and still seated, pretend you stood up.  How does your view change?  Mentally turn around and walk around.  Observe your mental map and remember it;  after you open your eyes, look around to see what you missed.
     For harder exercises, try these things with your eyes open, or imagine your night stand lying on the bed.  Feel free to rearrange the furniture and see how your mental picture looks.
     The second tool is focus.  Our visualization exercises are already designed to help teach that;  but focus is not just visualization.  It is the ability to concentrate one's attention and will upon an object  or event so intensely that it becomes all of our existence.  This is necessary for two reasons.  First, it allows us to ignore distractions (like kid brothers with loud stereos, or the occasional passerby who happens to observe a ritual), and second, it brings all of our faculties-- and power--to bear on the event or object we wish to influence.
     Focus exercises are easy, and can be done anywhere, although, as always, never try and mystic exercise while doing something potentially hazardous--like driving!
     Try taking a candle and lighting it.  (With a match!)  Sit a good distance away--20-30 feet.  Dim the lights and look at the candle.  Let the rest of the room fade away into nothing in your vision, so that only the flame remains.  After trying this exercise a few times and getting the hang of it, try it with the lights on.  Then try it on normal objects, like a painting or poster.  Students of the martial arts may find it beneficial to focus on one's sparring partner before actually starting.  Likewise, focusing on a particular task can be helpful in completing it successfully and quickly.
     The third and final tool in the basic box is knowledge.  Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, because the more you know about something, the more control you can exercise over it.  As an example, if one is trying to cure a cold, it is easier to do if one has some idea of exactly what the cold is doing.  Is it a scratchy throat, or a stuffy had?  Is it a fever?  And what, exactly, is causing the scratchy throat/stuffy nose/fever?  How does THAT work?
     The more one knows about such things, the more effective one's spells can be.  By using magick as a scalpel to perform precise and delicate work, instead of as a bludgeon, more profound effects can be wrought.  For example, one can bash down a door, but it takes a lot of effort; turning the knob would be much more efficient in energy, as well as quicker, even if it is a more complex action.
     Simply put, don't make the magick do the thinking; it isn't that smart.  KNOW what you want to do, and how you want to accomplish it.  With proper planning, good visualization, precise focus, knowledge, and a little talent, you'll be making it rain and changing traffic lights in no time.
     Now, the actual casting of a spell.
     So what, exactly, is a spell?  Simply put, a spell is any action or series of actions that is intended to manipulate reality through the use of magick.
     Yes, sitting in the dark and wishing really hard is a spell.  Not a very focussed one, usually, but a spell.
     To cast a spell, first you need to know exactly what you want to do with it.  Before you go on a trip, you have to know where you're going.  So, once you have a good idea on what you want to accomplish, we need to figure out how to make it so.  Let us use an example.
      Having decided that, say, we have an escaped axe-murderer.  He's escaped, and no  one can find him.  In this example, lets assume that we want the police to find him, and so decided to cast a spell to help them.
     First, we know that we want him found.  But how do we want him found?  Do we want his body found, gunned down in an alley?  Do we want the police to follow a trail of bodies to catch him?  How about someone sees him, calls in a tip, and the police actually follow up on it?  Let's go with that last one.
     We find ourselves a comfortable spot.  Maybe an easy chair, or lying in bed.  Anything we bring with us to focus our intent--mug shots, pictures from the papers, maybe a copy of some police reports--things that remind us of why we're here and why we want this man brought in.
     We consider what we want to do, and all the reasons why.  The murderer is loose, and he should not be.  He has killed, and will kill again.  He MUST be brought to justice!  Let those feelings grow.  Feed them.  Work yourself into a righteous anger.  Then visualize the man who is your target.  Picture him.  See his face, the shape of his nose, the way he combs his hair over his ears, the colors of his eyes.  See him walking down the street.  Focus on him.
     Now add to this.  See someone else--pick a face you don't know;  someone you've never seen.  Invent them completely--standing, maybe waiting for a bus.  The person you imagine then glances up from the paper a the article about the escaped convict.  That glance passes over the convict, an a light comes on.  See the stranger's face light up with recognition.  Actually make it glow, as though realization were a light.  Brighten it with certainty, and then set the features of the stranger into resolve.  Feel these emotions within you and project them outward.  The stranger has seen this man, he is certain of it, and he will do something about it.
     With that thought, let go of all your energies into this spell, projecting it toward the convict and the stranger.  The convict is the target, but the stranger is, too; the convict will attract people's gazes, and people will recognize him when they see him.  Let go of all the power and emotion you have built--for these are elements of magick, and you want to funnel all of them into the spell--and relax.
     Now calm down and center yourself again, repeating to yourself how well that worked, how powerful that was, how certain it is that he will be found.  Repeat these things until you feel calm and relaxed again.  Your spell is cast.

I hope you have enjoyed this little primer on magical working and psychic growth; you now possess the basic tools necessary to grow to be a powerful worker of magick.  With some time and lots of practice, I feel confident that you can be a full-fledged Wizard.  It is my hope that everyone, someday, will have minds strong enough to change the world, and enough heart and soul to change it for the better.

                                                  Meadow's Mist                                           
                                              Order of the Purple Rose                           

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