Friday, September 26, 2014

Are we there yet?

Mage Music Are We There Yet?
You have an array of facts in front of you that can fit any of several truths. You have to choose what you're going to allow to drive your decisions about how to deal with those facts
~ Jim Butcher, Skin Game

Mage Music 88

Are we there yet? I'm going to say something very obvious here, but it needs saying. Whiny kids in the back of the car don't keep asking you that irritating question over and over again because they don't know if you've reached the destination. 

Of course they know you haven't gotten there yet. They're asking because they're bored to death.  They have no control over the trip, from the planning to the driving. They're just passengers.  The only power they have is disruption:  demanding bathroom breaks, fighting with siblings, puking and whining.  But that doesn't get the kid to the destination any faster, does it?  So why do they do it?

Heck if I know.  I don't even like kids.

Besides, this isn't about kids, it's about you and your journey to your destination.  You aren't a whiny kid. You're a grownup. You have tools to help you figure out where you are and how far it is to your goal. If you aren't there yet and you are feeling kind of whiny about it, just remember, it's always been under your control. Your choices are what get you to where you want to be.  Suck it up but don't beat yourself up, because you may have forgotten one important thing.

The mountain keeps moving

You want something in your life and you make it a goal. You focus on it and you sweat and slave and it takes forever, and then when you get there, it doesn't quite feel like what you thought it would. 

If you aren't there yet -- wherever that may be -- it's probably because you're aiming at the wrong place. 

It's easy to forget that real life is not about static points, i.e. goals that exist in the future and that you spend all your time striving for. Real life doesn't work that way. While you're busy focusing on a goal, you're still living life now. And that means you're changing. All the time.

If you use Magick to change reality, the desire you base your ritual on is a crucial factor.  If you are alive, you are changing.  Obviously if you change but you don't take into account how your desires have changed, your ritual is going to fail.  And if you don't take into account how living life -- even simply aging -- changes your desires and you don't change your goal accordingly, then you're just never going to get where you really want to be. 

The dreams of a child will hardly serve the adult. Only the dreams of the adult, in the now, can be used for Magick. The now is where you must be because this plane of reality requires dwelling in the here-and-now, on the journey, not in dreams of an end when the goal is achieved and the ritual is complete. Your point of control, the possibility to bring about change -- your Power -- is now.

Because this is Truth:  When you reach the future, it has eluded you and become the now of that moment.  And that now is necessarily different than anything you can formulate in this now, because between now and then you will be a different person.  You will never reach a goal that you set today, not really.  You can only reach goals that you adjust constantly to account for how the setting of goals changes you, and oh gods, will you ever get there?

No, you won't.  And that's a good thing.

The future is a moving target

The mountain - the goal, your destination - is really only a way to provide an excuse for your journey. The best destination is necessarily vague - does it really matter what exact square inch you end up on, as long as you get to climb up to the top of the mountain? Does it ultimately really matter which mountain, as long as you are having a good time? If you are constantly changing, your target is, too -- and life isn't a mountain with a top that can be reached anyway. It's a mountain range.  When you reach the top of what you thought was your goal you are greeted with a vista of another mountain, and another. Go with the flow, baby. Live in the now, the journey.

The ten-year-old in the back of the car is whining because she's focused on the goal and doesn't care about the journey. If you're feeling crabby because you haven't gotten where you want to be in life, I say this to you with the best of intentions: Grow up.

Magick, I remind you, is a process.  It is not in itself an end goal even though the process is targeted at goals. Magick is a living thing, not static.  Like the best living music, Magick responds and adjusts and adds to what it is being built on, even as it changes the meaning of what it has come from and thereby changes what the last note of the song can be. 

Are we there yet?  Yes.  We always are if we remember to be.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


No particular reason for compiling these photos or posting them here - just wanted to make you smile.

Mage Music - Jimmy Page Smiles -

(Click image to enlarge)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It’s Your Life

Why don't you take a good look at yourself and describe what you see,
And Baby, Baby, Baby, do you like it?

~ Led Zeppelin, Misty Mountain Hop 1971

Mage Music 87  
Mage Music 87 Its Your Life

One thing that most teachers are pretty sure of is that it’s their way or the highway. You see that with Magick, of course, though it’s not just the Masters of Magick who expect the students to follow directions in lock step.

It’s true in music, too, and all the arts. It’s true on social media and it’s true in society and basically everywhere you look.

Just about everybody wants to be an expert, an artist, a creator -- yet few dare step out of the herd far enough to show what they can do because they will be challenged. The only way to avoid being challenged -- and derided, which seems to be how challenge works mostly -- would be if everyone was just like everyone else. And what a boring world it would be if we humans really could stand to live that way.

But we can’t. In fact, we are always looking at what we see in ourselves and – more often than not – deciding we don’t like it. We decide to change who we are but then we look outside, to teachers who supposedly know more.

That generally doesn’t work so well.

When the student is ready…

It’s one thing to learn a how to do something from someone who knows how to do whatever it is better than you do. The more expertise an instructor has, the more the student can learn. But learning how to play the guitar doesn’t mean you are learning how to create music. Learning how to read and write doesn’t mean you are learning how to create a novel or a poem. Learning how to do something isn’t the same as learning how to be who you were born to be.

They say you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Generally that’s understood to mean that you can’t force it to drink, which is true -- but the real meaning is that you can’t force the horse to choose to drink. Only the horse chooses.

Only you can create who you were born to be. If you choose, you can use many tools to do so. One of them is Magick.

But how do you do Magick? Who do you believe? What do you believe?

The uphill battle starts early

Problem is, it’s too easy to take someone else’s opinion on what you should do or how (or who) you should be. There’s a lot of pressure coming from everywhere to bend to authority and to peers. It starts early, with parents who want to protect their children by choosing for them. From the very first day of school kids are taught to follow directions, and teachers don’t have time to allow for kids to learn by seeing where the wrong path will take them. After that it’s teen years with the pressure to fit in, to belong. And after that, well, the habits of conforming are hard to break, and there's little outside encouragement to do so.

Trouble is, all your life probably all who have been your teachers have taught what you should do without ever teaching you how to be the person your born to be.

Magick in your life

They also say that when the student is ready, the teacher will come. The teacher is, of course, you -- but you have to choose to believe that.

Somewhere along the line most people do learn how to start making choices based on their own desires, but for most those choices are limited in scope. Most people live reactive lives most of the time, letting the circumstances they encounter dictate which paths they take. For some, though, the need to create original works – of art or knowledge or discovery, including becoming the self that you choose – overcomes the powerful outside pressures to conform. This means approaching life very differently.

The creative act requires opening from the inside, opening to the inside and then through to the other side to let the energy of the universe flow back up that pipeline to manifest in your personal reality.

If you don’t know who you are, you are creating blindly. If you are creating blindly, you can’t know if you are creating your own work or if you are in fact creating at all.

If you take someone else’s word for who you are, you aren't creating your own work -- you’re simply assembling someone else’s vision.

Creating art or creating a new personal reality – it’s all the same. It requires understanding that if it’s going to be your life, it has to be your choices that create it. That means taking a good look at yourself, acknowledging all that you are – the good and the bad, the attractive and the ugly - and accepting that it is there, that it is you, and that it is, in the end, all perfect. 

This is the first and most important step. You can’t change what you don’t know about. And then you boldly go where you've never been before.  

Know Thyself.  Then Do What Thou Wilt.  Other people's words, but they're true.