Friday, January 3, 2014

Magic is potentiated when the self is effaced by pleasure and pain.

Austin Osman Spare

“Magic is potentiated when the self is effaced by pleasure and pain.” This statement is said by Leo de Lux to Mirelle Soleil in the fantasy fiction novel La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi by Soror ZSD23.  But what does this mean?  It means that paradigmatic shifts occur at the extremes of consciousness.  You have heard the adage “it is always darkest before dawn” or “I saw the light” or you have heard stories about people who claimed to have been “reborn” or who have claimed to become “enlightened” at a direly critical point during an emotional crisis.  This is the basic idea.

This idea that paradigmatic shifts occur at the extremes of consciousness is utilized in postmodern magic and was advanced by the  early 20th century sorcerer Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) who potentiated his magic through inducing liminal states of consciousness usually either through orgasm or a condition he called the “death posture,” which was a (very not recommended) practice involving pseudo-catalepsy and auto asphyxiation.  Later, magical practitioners spoke of the potentiation of magical intention through excitatory or inhibitory techniques, recognized as key in shamanic and mystical initiatory experiences.  An example of an excitatory technique might be dancing to exhaustion or else engaging in some other activity past the point of tolerance (eg, “erotocomatose lucidity,” a practice brainstormed by one of Aleister Crowley’s lovers and possibly inspired by legendary Tantric sex practices, theoretically involving keeping a person in a state of sexual stimulation through “any means possible” until that person had an “enlightenment”-type experience or died). 

A resourceful and healthful rather than extreme or  self-harming example of an excitatory technique is found in Kundalini and other types of yoga in which a simple motion or posture is held or continued through and past the point of emotional and physical resistance.  The experience of breaking through physical resistance becomes a metaphor and method for breaking through psychological blocks.  When a psychological block is neutralized, thoughts and behaviors are reframed and neural pathways in the brain are rerouted.
An alternate example of how an excitatory technique might work and how an inhibitory technique might work is related to hypnotic technique.  Hypnotic-type suggestion best occurs in states of liminal consciousness.  These might be states between waking and sleep, during orgasm, states of shock or surprise, or deep self-absorbed focus or fixation.  In these states, there is a window of opportunity to bypass the mind’s critical factor, or what is known in magic as the psychic censor.  When the critical factor is bypassed, which is what occurs in hypnotic suggestion, new ways of thinking and behaving can be programmed into the subconscious mind.  A person who understands how to skillfully induce and embed hypnotic suggestion into her own mind or the minds of others could establish paradigmatic change with efficiency, grace, and ease and minimal drama, couldn’t she?


For long, people have thought of magic as something supernatural and spooky.  Even in manifestation spirituality, which is certainly a form of magic although some practitioners wish to think otherwise, people hold the idea that some divine spiritual force in the universe is magically making things happen for them or else they may be of the opinion that their personal-ego desires and quantum physics  are somehow related.  But what if magic was really a psychodynamic process?  What if magic and the ability to manifest one’s desires had nothing to do with spooky supernaturalism or belief in miracles but with the quality of belie f, perception, attitude, and behavior  and the effects these expressions have on interpersonal and intrapersonal interactions?  What if it was all about where one’s attention was placed and where, through skill, one could place someone else’s attention and perception and manipulate one’s own and others’ reactions and motives?


Excerpt from  Chapter 13 The Daughter from La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi

Leo de Lux character study
See more at http://www.sorcerersandmagi.com 
“If anyone asks, you’re a member of this house,” he said quietly and glared at her. “Understand what this means,” he snapped. “Do not cross me. Do not interfere with my designs or my momentum. Can you manage that, Mirelle?”
She nodded. The Consul huffed and grimaced. He stood up and approached his altar. “Alright, then. Stand here,” he commanded. Mirelle complied. The Consul grasped a highly polished diamond-shaped dagger from the altar and lightly pressed it against Mirelle’s breast bone. With his free hand, he gripped the back of the girl’s head and arched her neck into a taut and choking posture. He glared into her eyes, white to white. Mirelle felt her blood drain from fear of what he had in mind only to feel the rush of the hallmark of empowerment initiations—a hot, scintillating, and heady pulsation.
“‘Magic is potentiated when the self is effaced by pleasure or pain,’” the Consul lulled.
An electrically erotic sensation flooded through the dagger into Mirelle’s chest and through the man’s eyes into her brain. She relaxed into it. The searing stare and torturous grip became softer, until they seemed like a caress.
The Consul gently released his hold. He placed the dagger within inches of Mirelle’s brow. She focused on it past the light that was flooding her mind. The platinum grip had a ruby and citrine inlay of gems that spelled “de Lux.”
The man grinned as if he didn’t think Mirelle would believe what she would next see. A miniature angel with a lion on its breastplate and a flaming sword in hand emerged from the dagger and flew into her head. It generated a peculiar tickle as it snaked its way to her chest where it settled like a glowing ember.
He placed the dagger back on the altar and announced as if commanding the spirits there, “No one dare touch this child with malice! She belongs to me.” 



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