Since it’s very conception, rationalism has managed to impose itself as nearly the only way to approach, explore and understand reality. But before rationalism’s rise, there were many other ways to explain what the human being lives and experiences. Myths, methods of divination, rituals, religions, introspection, meditation, and even philosophy, and, in its earlier phases, alchemy. Little by little, all of these have been buried by reason, and before reason’s rise to dominance, we’ve forgotten that it’s but one among many ways to understand the world.

For many centuries, magic held that distinction. Magical knowledge –hidden, reserved, available only to the initiated– over time developed with the dual purpose of both inhabiting reality but also of transforming it, following, thus, a double path: of knowledge and of practice. In essence, magic is nothing more.

It seems simple, but most of us don’t live with knowledge or under any active practice of knowing. Most of us act without knowing why we do what we do and, in our ignorance, we continue doing it. A decision apparently as simple as living, and knowing why we live is, in the end, so radical… as to be almost magical, because when we begin to live with an authentic awareness of the world in which we live, that same magic begins to flow around us.

Below are three tips for starting and keeping a magical diary. In the magical tradition, it’s an especially powerful tool. Though it seems simple, the power of a diary is this: when you begin one, and work at it daily, you’ll have begun the cultivation of consciousness and self-awareness, a path which will continue to make you, in one way or another, unbeatable.

Record your dreams

Keeping a dream journal is one of the simplest, most useful tools for following a path of self-knowledge. To the greatest extent possible, whenever you wake up remembering a dream, transcribe it immediately, either into a special notebook, an electronic document, or into some similar format. The important thing is that you don’t let it slip away, and that you take a few minutes to try to understand the dream.

Since Artemidorus and down through Sigmund Freud, it’s long been known that dreams are messages from ourselves, for ourselves. In other words, with a certain frequency a dream condenses what our interior selves look for, but which, in our daily lives, for whatever reason, we don’t allow it to emerge. That something is the unconscious, a raw life force, and pure desire. The reason for this vigil is our consciousness, which usually watches over and curbs such desires.

This is the importance of not only transcribing, but also trying to understand. What makes you dream that dream? What relationship do you find with the dream and the facts of your daily life? What evocations and connections can you perceive in the images?

Remember too that a dream is an encrypted message. It needs to be decoded, and only you have the key to do it.

Record your magical activities

“This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.” Terence McKenna’s definition reminds us that magic is everything that we do to re-program our own reality. Meditate, take a few minutes to reflect on your life and act accordingly, perform a ritual that advances self-knowledge, undertake some action capable of hacking reality… All of these are, in their own way, magical, and as such they’re useful for knowing the effects that your actions have.

Whenever you do any one of these activities, record the changes provoked in your reality that resulted from the action: in yourself, in your personal relationships, even in the feeling you have for life itself and for your place in the universe.

Finally, some advice:

Jason Louv, from the website Ultraculture, suggests recording the following data along with every diary entry.

Date:

Hour:

Place:

Meteorological conditions:

Physical condition:

Mental and emotional state:

Rituals performed:

Performance success:

Results:

This recommendation is extremely useful because it allows you to connect a dream or a few minutes of meditation with your state at that moment. That’s to say, although the dream or the results of meditation are precious in themselves, so are the conditions under which they occur. These are nothing less than your own life circumstances. By writing down this information you connect it, ultimately, with yourself.

Why go to all the trouble? In short, because magic is one of the ways we change reality by discovering it. Franz Kafka, who came to understand this, wrote in his own diary:

It is entirely conceivable that life’s splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come. This is the essence of magic, which does not create but summons.

Also in Faena Aleph: Magicians: Inhabitants of the Frontier

 

 

 

Image: Public Domain

Since it’s very conception, rationalism has managed to impose itself as nearly the only way to approach, explore and understand reality. But before rationalism’s rise, there were many other ways to explain what the human being lives and experiences. Myths, methods of divination, rituals, religions, introspection, meditation, and even philosophy, and, in its earlier phases, alchemy. Little by little, all of these have been buried by reason, and before reason’s rise to dominance, we’ve forgotten that it’s but one among many ways to understand the world.

For many centuries, magic held that distinction. Magical knowledge –hidden, reserved, available only to the initiated– over time developed with the dual purpose of both inhabiting reality but also of transforming it, following, thus, a double path: of knowledge and of practice. In essence, magic is nothing more.

It seems simple, but most of us don’t live with knowledge or under any active practice of knowing. Most of us act without knowing why we do what we do and, in our ignorance, we continue doing it. A decision apparently as simple as living, and knowing why we live is, in the end, so radical… as to be almost magical, because when we begin to live with an authentic awareness of the world in which we live, that same magic begins to flow around us.

Below are three tips for starting and keeping a magical diary. In the magical tradition, it’s an especially powerful tool. Though it seems simple, the power of a diary is this: when you begin one, and work at it daily, you’ll have begun the cultivation of consciousness and self-awareness, a path which will continue to make you, in one way or another, unbeatable.

Record your dreams

Keeping a dream journal is one of the simplest, most useful tools for following a path of self-knowledge. To the greatest extent possible, whenever you wake up remembering a dream, transcribe it immediately, either into a special notebook, an electronic document, or into some similar format. The important thing is that you don’t let it slip away, and that you take a few minutes to try to understand the dream.

Since Artemidorus and down through Sigmund Freud, it’s long been known that dreams are messages from ourselves, for ourselves. In other words, with a certain frequency a dream condenses what our interior selves look for, but which, in our daily lives, for whatever reason, we don’t allow it to emerge. That something is the unconscious, a raw life force, and pure desire. The reason for this vigil is our consciousness, which usually watches over and curbs such desires.

This is the importance of not only transcribing, but also trying to understand. What makes you dream that dream? What relationship do you find with the dream and the facts of your daily life? What evocations and connections can you perceive in the images?

Remember too that a dream is an encrypted message. It needs to be decoded, and only you have the key to do it.

Record your magical activities

“This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.” Terence McKenna’s definition reminds us that magic is everything that we do to re-program our own reality. Meditate, take a few minutes to reflect on your life and act accordingly, perform a ritual that advances self-knowledge, undertake some action capable of hacking reality… All of these are, in their own way, magical, and as such they’re useful for knowing the effects that your actions have.

Whenever you do any one of these activities, record the changes provoked in your reality that resulted from the action: in yourself, in your personal relationships, even in the feeling you have for life itself and for your place in the universe.

Finally, some advice:

Jason Louv, from the website Ultraculture, suggests recording the following data along with every diary entry.

Date:

Hour:

Place:

Meteorological conditions:

Physical condition:

Mental and emotional state:

Rituals performed:

Performance success:

Results:

This recommendation is extremely useful because it allows you to connect a dream or a few minutes of meditation with your state at that moment. That’s to say, although the dream or the results of meditation are precious in themselves, so are the conditions under which they occur. These are nothing less than your own life circumstances. By writing down this information you connect it, ultimately, with yourself.

Why go to all the trouble? In short, because magic is one of the ways we change reality by discovering it. Franz Kafka, who came to understand this, wrote in his own diary:

It is entirely conceivable that life’s splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come. This is the essence of magic, which does not create but summons.

Also in Faena Aleph: Magicians: Inhabitants of the Frontier

 

 

 

Image: Public Domain