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Monday, December 5, 2011

The First Axiom of magic

If you look where no one else is looking, you will see what no one else sees. I wrote a whole essay on this statement. This is what I view as the first axiom of Magic. It seems obvious to most and true on a deep level to a few. I changed my mind about presenting the essay here though. Looking and seeing are not efforts, not something to be worked at. These are things to do, or do not. Wonder and magic are all around us. Do you see it? If you do not see wonder and Magic, if you never look where others do not, you may still be happy and successful. You just won’t be Magical, that’s all.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Axioms of Magic

Something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time is; how do we define Magic?  When the question is asked on an individual basis it is usually phrased “How do you define Magic?” The question is phrased that way because within the Pagan community there is a strong tradition that truth is not necessarily absolute, your truth is not necessarily my truth. I sense that this is more rebellion than tradition. A determination that those who honor the Old Gods will not set an absolute doctrine of “My way or Eternal Hell” as Abrahamic religions are fond of saying.
 There is no evidence of a “Holy War” among Pre-Christian inhabitants of North-West Europe. There were different names for the same God and quite naturally so: The God of a river would be viewed, and named, differently by those who lived near the lake at its source, those who lived near the rapids and those who dwelt by the estuary. Nevertheless there is no evidence of strife, no insistence that this is the God’s name and nature. It seems that each area had its own “Folk Ways” that were accepted by the visitor and the settler. The way in which the modern Pagan movement emulates this is warming and comforting to the modern settler and wanderer in the spiritual communities.
That’s all well and good, but what about the Magic? Some will say that Magic is simply science that hasn’t been understood yet. The problem with that is that science tends towards the absolute and absolute means that one Magic must be everyone’s Magic. The argument that “Your Magic may not be my Magic” Raises the thorny question of “Then what good is it?” If it is only Magic for you, then how can it affect me or any other being? Without universal truth Magic becomes self- serving, growing, or diminishing the practitioner, having no effect in the World and leading to the assertion that Magic fails.
I’ve been wondering for some time if there could be a set of axioms, along the line of Euclid’s axioms that are common to all sciences that could be common to all Magics. So I’m starting a series here on my Blog all about the axioms of magic.
My next post will talk about the first axiom.
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Friday, September 23, 2011

The Lady of Llyn y Fan fach

 In the year 1180 CE a young farmer met a beautiful woman from the land of the fairy. They fell in love and married. Their marriage was with one condition; He must never strike her three times without cause Tri ergyd di-achos He readily agreed to this condition for he felt that he could never strike this woman. However, as so often happens when such a condition is made, he does strike those three blows. The woman, whose name is given as Nelferch, returns to her world and the husband never sees her again.
What makes this tale particularly interesting and unique among such tales is what happens after the tale ends. The couple had three sons and though she never again appeared to the husband, she did for her children. She took them around the Black mountains of Wales, showing them herbs and explaining the healing properties of those herbs. She taught them the arts of medicine until the three sons became famous for their healing skills. Their descendants continued in this tradition until Dr. Rhys Williams M.D. died in 1842. It is said that he was the last of the descendants of the lady of the lake.
Fortunately, the children of Nelferch wrote down the knowledge they had gained and a copy of it can be seen at Jesus College, Oxford. A translation of "The Medical Book of the Physicians of Myddfai" can be accessed online here;

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


South Wales Transport 1980
For almost all of my adult life I’ve been working for public transport. For many years I drove for South Wales Transport in the Llanelli and Swansea areas and then for a while in London. The last 20 something years, I’ve worked here in Los Angeles County, sunny southern California. I have a very high opinion of what I do; sometimes I suspect my opinion of mass transit is higher than the management and politicians who are in charge. Mass transit is essential to modern civilization. When viewed on a macro level it becomes very easy to lose sight of the individuals. Those people who need public transport are viewed simply as a group and are figured into planning as a group. Bus drivers see things differently, and bus drivers see real people every day.
I used to drive the 66 line in Los Angeles, it goes from the Wilshire and Western area, through the city to East L.A. Doesn’t mean much unless you live here but it’s worth mentioning that the line goes through the Hispanic communities and some very poor neighborhoods.
Los Angeles Metro 2005

One young man would catch my bus regularly, he worked all day for a little above minimum wage then he would ride home on this overcrowded bus. He never had a place to sit so he would stand at the front and we got to talking. His frequent subject of conversation was all about how proud he was of his wife. While he was in work, she would be taking care of their two children and taking care of the rented apartment. She would also be making Tamales. He said they were the best Tamales anyone ever tasted. As soon as he got home he would pick up this bucket, filled to the top with his wife’s cooking and catch the next bus to McArthur Park. (Anyone who has seen the movie “Volcano” has seen McArthur Park) The tamales would all be sold in less than an hour he would tell me.
It’s been a few years since I have seen this young man, I’m in management these days so I don’t drive the buses anymore, but I think of him often. I never heard him say anything negative and I can’t help but believe that he and his wife are going to make it. With that kind of optimism, that kind of work ethic and that kind of sticking together and working together they are certain to succeed.
The other thought that occurs to me is; one day, when they are materially successful and reaping the harvest of their efforts, they may look back and see these days as the happiest days of their lives.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dirty Jokes from the Old Man

My big plan was to write a series of rather serious books on the subject of Magic. I have very clear ideas of what magic is and how to bring it into your life with some astounding results. I'm learning all about self-publishing and the joys of Kindle and it's fun learning about this new and exciting medium.
My first two books are in the series I've called "The Tools of Magic" It seemed to be going well until I began my third book "The Magic Wand"  The observant reader will notice it hasn't been written yet.
I know what to write but I just couldn't make it flow. Nothing seemed to come out the way I intended. The authors that I converse with online suggested that I put it to one side and write something totally different. Then I would be able to go back to it with a refreshed state of mind.
Here it is, something totally different. "Dirty Jokes from the Old Man" I love storytelling and I do have a twisted sense of humour. They were fun to write, some I heard over the years, some are new and some are ones I've made up from experiences I have had in my wicked and sinful life. No! I am not saying which ones fall into that last category. Some are just people in funny situations. I have a chapter of newspaper clippings, "Why Newspapers are fun to read" it proves that real life can't be written, it's just too damn funny.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

TRIQUETRA, The circles of our lives.

The sacred symbol

The Circles of Existence, sometimes called the Triquetra became popular as a result of the television series "Charmed" In that television series it is represented on the cover of the Hallowell sister’s “Book of Shadows” A book containing spells and incantations passed down by generations of witches. The Triquetra has a much older representation. The word “Triquetra” is a Latin word that translates as “Three cornered” However for the ancient Celtic people it had a sacred and special meaning. The Symbol has been found carved on stones in various parts of North West Europe and is found on the Irish Book of Kells. Its widespread use marks it as something more than decoration. We find the answer to the question of its meaning in ancient story and legend.

The three points have led to some in the modern Pagan movement claiming it as a representation of the Goddess in her three manifestations of Maiden, Mother and Crone or as a representation of the God in his manifestations of Youth, Warrior and Sage.

Here is a much older definition. Welsh words are used. There are literal translations of these words but they do not sufficiently convey the meanings. Certainly not in the context they are used in the old Welsh Myth and legend.
Abred, our mortal home
The first Circle is called "Abred"
This is mortal existence. This is where we are now. Abred encompasses this Earth and all the other Worlds that exist on this material plane. We are born to live out our mortal lives here in Abred. This mortal plane, this Middle Earth, is not some punishment nor is it a testing ground. It just is. It’s the place where we live a mortal existence and experience the “Cause and Effect” laws. Here our actions, whether good or bad have an effect and we must keep coming back here until we have wiped out all of our footprints. When we have learned to live without disturbing the flow of the universe then we will be ready to move on. Until then we are caught in the circle of our mortality. This story illustrates the dilemma;
“There was once a priest whose duty it was to sacrifice goats. One day while preparing a goat for sacrifice he heard the goat laugh, a very human laugh. Surprised, he asked the goat why he was laughing. The goat explained that for the past 500 years he had been born as a sacrificial goat, to die on the altar and be reborn only to be sacrificed again but this time he was to be reborn as a man. The priest was pleased for the goat but then he saw a tear in the goat’s eye. He asked why the goat was sad. The goat replied; “Because 500 years ago I was a priest who sacrificed goats.”
Annwn, The Otherworld
The second Circle is "Annwn"
When we pass from this mortal existence our spirit, that essence of us that is truly us, enters Annwn. For those who die bravely and honorably in battle this is a place similar to the halls of Odin in Scandinavian legend. Annwn is also a place of rest and reflection; it can be a home of joy and delight for those of a less warlike nature or for those who wish to rest from war. For the wicked it can be a grim and forbidding place but it is not an eternal resting place for anyone. After we absorb what we have learned and experienced we prepare for our re-birth.
We die into Annwn and are born into Abred to die into Annwn and so on.
Gwynfyd, The "White Life'
The third Circle is called "Gwynfyd"
When we have passed all the trials of Abred it is time to move on. Now we go to Gwynfyd, known in Irish as "Tir na Nog" the land of youth. Here, in these undying lands, we face other adventures. Little is known of this Circle. Only that in each transition from Abred to Annwn we become better prepared for Gwynfyd.
The Ceugant
Now it is time to add the three Circles together, where they intersect forms a sacred symbol that we have come to know as the Tri-Quetra.
There are beings that are able to travel freely between all three Circles or spheres of existence. These beings are said to live in the "Ceugant" Sometimes a fourth Circle is added to symbolize the Ceugant itself and the wanderers traveling through the three Circles.
This is the symbol of the Ceugant and the travelers of the Multiverse.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Invocation of Thoth

This post has to go with a word of warning. I should have been a lot more careful when I made this video.
 Thoth is an Egyptian God and I am not Egyptian, I am a Brythonic Celt, that’s all I am from as far back as I know. I usually do not mix my metaphors but in this case I thought I was simply making a video. It turns out there was more to it than that.
The invocation of Thoth is a ritual translated by Alan Bennett from old Egyptian manuscripts. His translation was adapted by his friend, Aleister Crowley, into the Liber Israfel’ The Liber is what I used in the making of this video. Yes, I’m old enough to know better.
When performing any kind of ceremonial Magic and especially when it involves invoking a powerful spirit, proper care and attention should be paid to the environment and to the process known as “Grounding” The action of grounding is one I often refer to in my books, it involves a recognition of the world as being the place we belong at this time. We inhabit a material world, a reality that we should not lose sight of.
 When I made this video I was not considering any of that. After all, I wasn’t really invoking, I wasn’t trying to do anything magical. That was the first mistake, I rose up powerful energies and the energy had nowhere to go. I had no intent outside of making a cute video and Thoth is not cute. I was not paying attention to my environment, in other words I had not created a sacred space around what I was doing so the energy had nowhere to go except in me. Finally it had not occurred to me to do the things necessary to keep me on this plane. The simple things like eating and drinking.
The end result was that I had the heebie jeebies. I was disoriented for over a week. It took me a long time and the assistance of friends to bring me back from between the worlds. The experience was not pleasant and I hope not to repeat it, although I did, once again, make a mistake during a Druid ritual. That story is for another time.

 For now; If you dare to listen to the video, be warned. I got so caught up in the intensity of the invocation I didn’t realize I actually was invoking Thoth. So here it is; The Invocation of Thoth. The background music is “Om Namaha Shivaya” Arranged by Robert Gass.