I have spent literally decades studying magick, the occult, paganism, old tomes, translations of Greek Magical Papyri, conjuring angels and demons to change the world, and perfecting myself to the best of my abilities. And I must say, I’m pretty perfect as a result. I mean, I’m pretty happy with myself after all this work. There’s room for improvement, sure, but me today is a much better dude than me 40 years ago.
I have almost completely mastered the flush toilet since then, for example. And that’s like the LEAST of my skills.
Ok, so yea, besides the toilet thing, I’ve also learned a lot about how the world works. Like, you know, the key to the universe. That kind of thing. In Thelema, the AA, and the OTO, we basically stick to a fairly standard Hermetic/Qabalistic framework to express the principles of manifestation. The material world we experience every day is ruled and managed by four Elemental Angels. The forces of Creation that give these four dudes something to do are embodied in the seven Planetary spheres, from the Moon to Saturn. The twelve signs of the Zodiac all have their own Angels too, and they hang out in Chokmah, managing the Eighth Sphere of Fate and, uhm, the transmission of experiences within the lower spheres unto the Highest. That part can be a little complicated, and gets philosophical and experiential in equal proportions pretty quickly. There’s Kether, which we also have here in Malkuth, and then the three other aspects of Ain Soph Aur, Ain Soph, and Ain. Mysteries and stuff.
But yea, basically it’s 4 elements, 7 planets, the zodiac/fate, and some mysterious stuff that you can bet if anyone’s talking about is probably not worth listening to. It’s better to go there yourself and come back with your own opinions that you can’t put into words, imho.
4 elements. 7 planets. 4+7=11. 11 is the number of Magick. It’s also 5+6, the pentagram and the hexagram. This is the simple layout of what we are working on in Thelemic magick. The “energies” represented by the seven spheres manifest through the four elements to create the experienced world, and then we experience it, and then we transmit that experience back up to the Source of everything that manifested the macrocosm so it could relieve the boredom of eternal unity.
Simple. Magick. Whatever you want to call it. It’s how we make things happen.
Making things happen is what we do. For fun. Existence is pure JOY.
It’s not that hard.
So for a long time after I started figuring out how easy this stuff is, I was absolutely and thoroughly disgusted that everyone else had such a hard time making their own lives fun, and mine more fun and interesting as a result. The number of people I’ve held while they cried over their poor choices in life partners is greater than the number of phalanges on my body, and after my third time, I basically was drinking as soon as we weren’t making eye contact while they were sobbing on my shoulder, because the script is the same every time.
I entered the lucrative field of IT. Information Technology. I was a tech writer, then I learned to code, then I learned database management, and then I learned how screwed both health care and international banking communities really are. And they shouldn’t be. Because we have had some friggin’ brilliant people map out the process of manifestation in every bit as much detail as we occultists have done over the last 10 years. It’s a simple process, and it’s the same thing that we do as magicians.
These days, I’m not so annoyed. I get it. No one tells people how it works, except under the auspices of “Mysteries” and “Project Management.” We think it’s beyond our grasp, or friggin’ boring.
And it’s both.
But there are some good things to learn from both. It’s necessary to understand how to create the world if we’re really going to become magicians, and in our generations, we have the resources to put all this stuff together into a process flow that explains what we have to do to make a world we want to live in.
So here’s how it works:
1) Have an IDEA
Ideas are the unmanifest framework upon which the entire existence of the rest of humanity relies. Whether it comes from a divine source poking its little white-gold head through in Kether or you just got drunk and took a shower and realized how to solve your nation’s refugee problem doesn’t matter.
It’s ideas. The stuff that we think. Thoughts matter. The greatest value of all the A.’.A.’. work I’ve done to date is probably learning how to observe what the actual heck is going on inside my head. And Crowley spent a lot of time making sure you know what’s happening between your ears. Because that’s where it starts.
But having ideas isn’t really worth a drop of spit in the ocean. I have had earth-shattering ideas that would solve the problems of the world on various types of drugs over the years that I never wrote down, so it’s at least partially my fault that we live in the world we live in. I could have fixed in 1994 after this really great experience on vicodins and really cheap beer, but I forgot. I didn’t write that shit down.
2) Write it Down
Seriously, writing things down is important. Even if it’s a note you give yourself on some hotel stationary while you’re vacationing in Colorado, those two words “Be Billionaire” will suffice to remind you later.
But the act of taking a thought and writing it down is the very act of manifestation. Letters are symbols of words. Words are symbols of thought. Writing is the act of trapping the invisible thought in form and symbol in the material world. Nothing awesome has ever happened in my life that didn’t involve me writing things down. That’s the ultimate form of magick.
There is nothing more terrifying to the forces of ignorance and oppression than a magician with a gel pen and a fresh spiral notebook in real life.
But writing an idea down isn’t enough to change the world (unless you have a blog that lets you penetrate the psyches of the masses and impregnate them with magical babies that will continue to change the world long after you’re mostly just dead and dirt). From the notes jotted down, you have to develop the thing that is the anathema to most magicians I know:
3) Plan the Manifestation
This is the part that sucks. You have to figure out where you’re at right now, where you want to be when the Idea manifests, and then… actually figure out what has to happen in between to lead up to the desired end result. It usually seems pretty simple and obvious when you have an idea and write it down. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!” OBVSLY! What’s the problem? Everyone will read it and get it, right?
But then there’s all the people who don’t want to share bathrooms, who don’t trust others not to shoot them enough to give up their own guns, who think they can actually overcome their redneck status and become millionaires like Kid Rock, even though they don’t even know what a drum machine is, and who think that corporations won’t really screw over the worker class just to make a profit, or at least think they could become that corporation and benefit from the inherent lack of equity between corporation and worker. And then get bitter when they can’t make $60k a year pulling a lever 3 hours a day.
Hell is, indeed, other people. To quote some French guy.
To manifest an idea, you need to convert the opposition-in-authority to your way of thinking, or to convert enough other uninterested people to become a force that will make what you want to achieve manifest. You need a persuasive essay, a speech, a resume, a pick-up line that’s funny and respectful and original enough to change the minds of others so that they agree with you.
The key to this has two points: “Audience and purpose.”
Who is your audience? Who makes up the group of people you need to convince to support you to get what you want? That’s your AUDIENCE. Understand them. Know who they are, and what makes them tick. Figure out what benefits them personally, and design your approach to appeal to the things they want to see happen. Show the value of your idea to the things that make them feel safe, wealthy, happy. It’s the people who make choices that either conform or resist the manifestation of your will. Persuade them. Woo them. Make them one of us.
What is your purpose? This is the biggest thing people fuck up. In appealing to the desires and needs of others, it’s super easy to lose sight of what it is that we want to see happen. Never lose sight of you Purpose. Why are you doing this stuff? Why give your weekends and evenings to the OTO if it’s not to give the world a chance to experience existence as pure joy? Why go to a job you hate that screws you over weekly? Why hit on a person who is only interested in their own ecstasy, if they haven’t figured out that your ecstasy adds to theirs?
Write out what you want to happen. Review your notes. Figure out if you’ve lost sight of the end goal. Make corrections to the plan…
That’s sort of the thing you need to have. If you don’t have a plan, you’re just doing things. And that’s ok, if that’s your plan. But if you want to change the world, you need a plan. Plans are steps that lead from the current state to the desired end state.
Make a plan. Focus on the purpose. Analyze the audience. Put them to work for you. They aren’t really doing anything else with their time, usually. And if you’ve done the Alchemical Work, chances are you’re on their level and they will do with you the things you want to see happen. The people around us are beautiful, and we need them. They want the same things we want. Fun. Peace. Happy.
4) Manifest the Plan
Ok, so once you’ve got the steps necessary to move from where we’re at to where we want to be, follow the steps. You wrote them down. You know what has to happen. You have to make changes to the plan sometimes, but in the end, to make a thing happen, you have to do stuff. Speak. Write. Set up events. Do stuff. Change the world. It needs it. It needs you.
5) Maintenance and Control
Did it work? Does the world work the way you want in a way it didn’t before? How can you keep it going now?
Acolytes. Minions. Employees. Volunteers who value the change you’ve made in their lives. These are the things you need to set up and incorporate. Every idea needs to be turned over to someone else at some point. Someone who has new ideas, or someone who will make sure what you’ve done keeps on going without you having to turn the crank all the time. Train your successors. Be ready to leave your project in other people’s hands.
You’ve got other things to do.
6) Revise and Repeat
So, once things have changed, you need to go back and figure out if you’re done, or if what you’ve been working on as the salvation of the world is the salvation of the world, or if it was just another step in the process. Is there anything you can do based on what you’ve done? Are there other things you’re ready to do next? What did you learn, how can it help you do another thing, and now that that’s over…
What happens next?
What needs your attention? What’s your latest IDEA?
This is how we change the world. It’s a process. It has stages. People have examined the way things work, and have documented systems that take an idea from an unrecorded impulse to an experience shared by as many people as you can imagine. Project management, PMI, Six Sigma, Agile, these are IT terms that you can apply to your Magick. Nous, Logos, Planetary Governors, Elemental Kings. These are magical terms you can apply to your life experiences. From the invisible to the experienced, we have tools and methods that work to change the world. Change your world. Teach others to do so, otherwise we have to put up with amateur hour.
We can do this.