Wyrdsmiths: Magical-technology in practice

Practical examples

Examples of magical-technologies described on this site-group include:

  • astrology – using the ‘as above, so below’ analogy as an indicator into the flow of wyrd
  • dowsing and water-divining – using body-responses (usually with mechanical amplifiers of some kind, such as the classic divining-rod) to augment sensory awareness of landscape and other features
  • feng shui and geomancy – working with the full range of perceived energy-flows in the landscape to provide support for individual and collective health and well-being
  • psychokinesis as a group-skill – extending the range of mechanisms available through which to manipulate physical objects
  • tarot and runes – using symbol-rich imagery to provide ‘seed-crystals’ for awareness of the flow of wyrd

For other examples, the bookshelves of any ‘alternative’ or ‘new age’ shop will be filled with descriptions of all manner of manner of magical-technologies – though note that many of those descriptions may be almost useless in showing how to work with the respective skills as technologies…

General guidelines for magical-technologies

The fundamental difficulties with magical-technologies arise from psychology: the human difficulties of dealing with a world in which there is the potential for literally anything to happen, and in which everything and nothing is true’. Although the technical issues – especially those of dealing with supposedly ‘paranormal’ activity – should never be underestimated, they are actually quite minor by comparison with the psychological ones. The guidelines below apply to any skill in any technology, but are mainly aimed at achieving results and improving reliability in magical-technologies.

  • Believe that action to be possible; to be probable; to be likely; to be obvious, inescapable; to be true.
  • Face, address and, as far as practicable, drop the notion that something can be true only if it is logically compatible and consistent with everything else (the ‘coherence theory of truth’). In a magical-technology, something is ‘true’ if it works, if that belief provides conditions which required results are achieved – logical compatibility or incompatibility does not need to come into it at all.
  • Whilst working, concern yourself only with ‘how it can be worked’ – concerns about ‘how it works’ are distracting, and usually irrelevant.
  • Believe that the action can be done at your request, and working through you as a catalyst; accept, however, that the action may not, and probably will not, be done solely according to your will or whim.
  • Be aware of the conditions of need, and subsidiary issues of order, responsibility and profit. (The concept of “take of the fruit for others, or forebear” is generally useful in this context.)
  • Develop a mental/emotional state in which you can accept the action as it occurs – for example, don’t be surprised, for you ‘know’ that the action is inveitable; don’t be frightened, for it is merely ‘a part of things as they are’. Just accept it.
  • Be aware that you are working with something which is inherently uncertain: although it can be directed, it is ultimately outside of any ‘control’. Because the processes may switch between levels and modes at any time, an analytic approach to understanding will be unreliable and may even be dangerous: develop an holistic awareness of the physical and non-physical conditions around, and use your intuition as a ‘guardian angel’.
  • Don’t try to get results: as a Carroll-like pun puts it, “‘trying’ can be very trying”, because it blocks the openness needed to achieve results. Because both active (‘trying’) and passive (unfocussed) states of mind will block metanormal/paranormal action, take ‘the Rose’s advice’ (from Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass) and “go the other way” from trying: a focussed yet receptive/patient mind-state is what is most likely to achieve the required results.
  • Take your actions seriously, but not too seriously – each action is an occasion for alchemical joy, not fatalistic gloom!
  • Remember that you do not control the action: you can only request the direction it may take. Ethical issues (rather than moral ones, or an evasion of either as in most ‘applied science’) tend to be important here: “be humble, for you matter but little in the equation of need”. For best results, your ethical focus should be one of questioning what you are aiming to do is of genuine use in the widest context rather than the pettiest conflict.

Other practical issues

  • Don’t be surprised at anything – surprise is ‘instant doubt’, which can destroy the connection with other realities. Accept those other realities as ‘normal’ – which in their own context they are.
  • Beware of using ‘imaginary’ as a synonym for ‘not real’. So what if something is ‘imaginary’? In a conceptual sense the ‘normal’ reality is imaginary too – an imaginary world is simply a world of images, which can be as functional as the ‘normal’ reality if it is allowed to be. (Cf. the Buddhist premise that ‘all is illusion’.)
  • ‘Coincidence’ is another similarly ‘poisoned’ word: beware of using ‘coincidence’ as a synonym for ‘meaningless’. It is much more accurate to use it as a synonym for ‘event’: a coincidence occurs when two or more threads of interest are perceived to coincide, as a ‘co-incidence’. Repeatability – when an event is perceived as recurring under the same perceived conditions – is the near-obsessive focus of science, but it is only one form of coincidence: there are many others, such as synchronicity, synlocality, seriality and subjective/shared realities.
  • In magical-technologies there appears to be far more emphasis on need – possibly to override witness-inhibition and ownership resistance. Much traditional magic, and most spiritual traditions, emphasise that things are not ours to keep – “take of the fruit for others, or forbear” – and that the mechanisms involved are way beyond any possibility of rigid control. As the novelist Alan Garner put it, in his children’s-story The Moon of Gomrath, “the Old Magic cannot be controlled; it is not ‘for’ any purpose; it is – and that is enough”.
  • Magical-technologies attempt to use the full range of ‘powers of nature’; mystical approaches aim more to be of use. Both approaches aim to access those powers or energies in part through manipulation of belief and world-view. However, there is a risk in both cases of being used by the beliefs instead of working through them. It is therefore vitally important to safeguard against circularity of belief-systems – self-referential and/or circular ‘proofs’ – and to retain some mechanism by which it is possible to return to and reassert the ‘normal’ reality whenever required.

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