What is Magick?
Simply put, magick is a ritualized form of prayer or manifesting work that engages the imagination and energy using symbols and archetypes.
Ritual is a harness for energy. It is an intentional way to change oneself in important and meaningful ways. It also can potentially influence changes happening in the world around you. It influences probabilities. Magick has many forms in every culture from the beginning of time. Each type of magick has a few principles in common. When we know them, the potency of the work is increased.
The 3 Models of Magick
1. The It’s-All-In-Your-Head Model—Maybe all the energy work and pentagrams and angels are just made up? Maybe the phenomena you experience are all just aspects of your very impressive mind and consciousness. Even still, the way the rituals engage the body, energy, imagination and spirit very effectively produce positive changes in your mind and emotions. Scientific studies show that ritual can in fact mitigate grief, reduce anxiety and increase confidence. Interestingly, ritual even appears to benefit people who claim not to believe in it. However, it is important to be precise. Not all rituals are equal in efficacy. The studies show that the number of steps involved, the repetition of procedures, and the specific times influence the results one gets. Having an intentional method, informed by focus and study, yields the best results. The rituals we work with in Pentagram Yoga are simple, precise and time-tested through tradition.
2. The Energy Model—This is the idea that the practitioner can raise energy that interfaces with matter and can influence change at a distance. If this is true, it is also true that consciousness is a fundamental feature of the universe such as gravity or electricity. Neuroscientists are split on this point—that this is where consciousness comes from. Does it arise from the mechanism of the nervous system and brain? Or is it a fundamental property to the universe itself? Plenty of smart people now argue for the latter. When you look deeper, there is statistically significant scientific evidence that focused thought does in fact, affect matter. To read more on this recent research, I recommend the recent book “Real Magic” from PSI researcher Dr. Dean Radin
3. The Spirit Model—This model means I can ask an angel or a spirit or “God” for a request to be granted and they may carry it out for me. This suggests that the universe has a spectrum of lifeforms that range in density and vibration and are accessible to us through our own consciousness. There is of course, no objective proof either way that angels or other entities exist or do not exist. If it’s all in your head, as in the first, psychological model, then angels may work as metaphors or symbols, part of the collective unconscious mind where such symbols have been imbued with power over a long period of time. If they are real in an objective sense, we may never know with our physical senses. The point is, whether you believe in it or not, it doesn’t seem to matter. Acting as if they exist, as if you are addressing a real entity, does produce results.
You may ask how we could use all of these models when they may appear to contradict each other. For me personally my philosophy aligns very well with the quote (and book title) by Lon Milo DuQuette, “it’s all in your head, you just have no idea how big your head is”. I step into practice and teaching with the intention to engage every level of myself, including imagination. It isn’t about taking on a new faith or religion. Once it’s over, you didn’t join a club or a belief system. It is however about using everything you have in service of creating a life you want.
If you had to boil it all down most simply, magick is about:
1. Intention—What do you want? What do you really want? To distill your true intention is not always as straight forwards as one may think. When we have conflicting subconscious beliefs to our stated intention, somewhere, somehow we will sabotage our own best efforts. That could be as simple yet common as “I don’t deserve it” or sensing that getting what you want may come at the cost of other structures in your life such as a relationship or security. We have been conditioned to shut our imaginations down, only dream so big otherwise we may perceive that we will be kicked out of the tribe we are part of. With some exercises in imagination and self-inquiry we can get to that soul-level truth that carries a statement of intention that feels invigorating and super joyful. When you have THAT, you’re already half way there.
2. Attention—the amount of importance and energy you can muster to focus in on your intention. The more you can imagine, feel emotion and believe (see above) the more you are engaged in the three models of how magick works. Pentagram Yoga brings in a somatic aspect through breath work, yoga and sound which further intensifies the absorption you will feel. We create, very literally within a circle around your mat, a universe of chosen conditions and phenomena suited to the manifestation of your intention.
Lastly, there are two points to add which take us down to earth a little but make your work much more effective:
1. Influence Not Cause—magick is about nudging probabilities to work in your favor. What is “possible” isn’t the same as what is “probable”. It is possible that someone rich, famous and beautiful suddenly finds out who you are and wants to sweep you off your feet for a perfect life ever after. It’s just not probable. To enhance your luck, look at where you can influence outcomes using real world effort (see below) and magick. One way to do this is to take big goals and chunk them into smaller, higher probability, bite sized chunks.
2. Real-World Effort —Once you practice a ritual, don't sit around waiting for it to bring results. You must start taking real action on your own that will bring you closer to the goal or desire. The intention and energy you use in a ritual is an influence not a cause. That means an intention for money to arrive only goes so far when you're sitting on the couch watching TV. Give the process a chance to work—a ritual for a new job only works if you send out resumes. You need to move your conscious and unconscious thoughts, emotions, beliefs, actions and choices in a specific manner in order to shatter your reality and manifest the reality you desire.
Magick is therefore the method used to change your conscious and unconscious actions, choices, beliefs, emotions and thoughts so that you interact with the laws of the universe in the correct manner to bring your desire into reality.
Pentagram Yoga is different than other magickal systems in that we use traditional rituals but add in the use of your body and breath to enhance your attention and energy flow towards your intention. It’s also different than other yoga practices. Many yoga teachers will ask that you “set your intention” before class but it’s often a momentary thought that is not revisited during the class.
Pentagram Yoga also works very much with energy. Magick works best when your breath flows freely and your energy is clear. Add intention, align the body and you will open up possibilities for the future you desire. Through this practice, you will be able to achieve your goals and create the life of your dreams!