Orgasm and trance – rhythm is the key

This research shows that orgasm leads to altered states of mind body. Something Tantra and paganism has known and taught the mechanisms of for centuries. It’s good to have added ways of knowing beyond tradition and word of mouth. http://www.iflscience.com/brain/having-an-orgasm-is-like-going-into-a-trance/

Christopher

Testimonial for a weekend workshop

This is so poetic and gorgeous… I’m deeply honoured by how Ebeth and Ken’s participation in the two day workshop we shared… the biggest compliment was their return for a second workshop, that they trusted me as their guide again. Then for Ebeth to write this on behalf of both of them is humbling and inspiring…

Whoever thought eating a strawberry could be so fulfilling to the senses. I found my self so involved that my eyes were screwed firmly shut. One more sense I could not bear to use so heightened was touch, scent and flavour. The tang of the berry on my tongue, the crunch of the tiny seeds between my teeth, the heady scent, the coldness on my lips. The sensual experience of our senses brought to life with a simple fruit.

We had signed ourselves up to a second round of experiences with Christopher and again we were treated to a mixture of philosophy and experience. Formally the class was on Tantra and how to understand the languages of the senses spoken and using this to deepen our relationships.

In many ways that exploration during the weekend, was the exploration of the strawberry. How many senses can be used to explore something we usually thoughtlessly place into our mouths or turn into a smoothie? Sometimes the experience was almost too intense, the need to screw ones eyes up and focus almost overwhelming.

The weekend provided an explanation of the rituals of our individual worlds using the seven chakra’s along with the five senses for exploring. The base of fear, the second of desire, the third our body and resources, the fourth the passion and action of the heart, the fifth the communication with the world the ability to listen to our selves and our lovers, the sixth the understanding of ourselves as a part of our environment and the seventh our understanding of ourselves as a spiritual entity and the smallness of our humanity.

Was this a structured learning environment, where the lessons are set long before the class commences with no thought of the learners journey? Or following a path of set didactic principles? Nope.

At times it was playful, other times intense emotional sharing of stories, sometimes downright silly and other times embarrassingly real. All the time guided slowly towards a understanding not of perfection but of ourselves.

The ability to let go and be unstructured in ones learning formed as much of the class as the formal elements. The energy of life becomes not what you are taught but how you interrupt that teaching. And so it was in this workshop.

The strawberry finally gone just a lingering flavour in the mouth, much like the lessons of the weekend. The thoughts of the weekend will continue to slowly evolve in our minds over months and years to come.

Tantra for Singles

Preparing for that Magical Relationship

Tantra is about the duality of life and as such it uses sex both as a symbol and a practice. Also because that duality represents developing an understanding of how apparently conflicting opposites are complimentary it also talks about the presence and absence of sex as being part of each other. In the absence of sex or a romantic partner you have an opportunity for personal development, for understanding how to relate to your self, manage your desires and fears, your self-esteem, and get clear about who you are and what you really want. When you’re in relationship your feelings crystallise, your ideals are tested by the sharing of your vulnerabilities, including desires and fears, strengths and weaknesses, and explore the dynamics of shared power, mutual creation of destiny.

sacred sex is when your maturity, knowledge and experience come together into a profoundly shared experience that goes beyond the ordinary into the ecstatic mystical

Then there is sacred sex. This is when your maturity, knowledge and experience come together into a profoundly shared experience that goes beyond the ordinary into the ecstatic mystical. There are a lot of legends about what people experience when putting the techniques of Tantra into practice – hours of orgasm without ejaculation for men, free-flowing orgasm for women. They come out of the Eastern idea that we are capable of reaching much deeper into ourselves to places that in the West are considered reflexes which are natural and untouchable. Insight offers us a deep understanding of our emotions and body so that orgasm becomes an energy which integrates desires, emotions and physical reactions so that fear can be overcome in order to share deep intimacy.

The first steps towards these experiences are solo practices though they can be done together as a couple. You build awareness and control of the muscles and attitudes that are involved in sex and fulfilling any desire. The muscles are known as the pelvic floor muscles. For women these muscles are those inside the vagina. For men these are the more external muscles below the scrotum and above the anus that are involved in ejaculation. There are deeper muscles and experiences of the body for both sexes that are harder to talk about here. For both sexes exercising these of muscles are important for health helping to slow the aging process and enhancing the physical experience of sex. For women they are usually taught when they get pregnant but they should be taught to every girl by her grandmother, aunt or mother after her first period as part of personal self maintenance because of their long term affects on giving birth, on period pain (according to Tantra) and for what they do in helping women enjoy themselves when they final get to have sex. Their affect on enhancing their partner’s experience is an added bonus for both of you.

But as everyone learns sooner or later the physical experience of sex follows the emotional and mental. Women naturally know this. They know that there are different qualities of sex that are not only about the physical actions but about the emotional textures. Our society’s attitudes mean that usually only older more experienced men know it is not just true for women but for themselves. Both women and men in our society don’t realise, no better don’t talk, about the fact that orgasm isn’t just orgasm for men. It has different qualities. It can be a tension relieving mechanical event that takes place somewhere in the lower part of the body or an all encompassing multi-peaked wave that may or may not include ejaculation that leaves you thoroughly exhausted.

Beyond these physical aspects to get to the sacred ecstasies of Tantra we need to gain insight into the emotional sources of desire, fear, grief and our attitudes to success (however you define it) sex, love and solitude. These are the roots of both intimacy and its blockages. For some people this may mean willingly spending some time alone because their self-esteem is pathologically attached to other people’s attitudes expressed as sex. For others it maybe some therapy that helps them get-over, around, manage anxieties that kick in when getting close to others or even when faced with a stranger.

Tantra believes that your senses are central to your inner life. How you talk to yourself internally. Not just what you say but the attitudes expressed in that inner dialogue including what senses predominate – visual, talking, and feeling. Details like the tones of voice you use to others and yourself when imagining conversations, the angle of view you look at things with, how big or small you feel. What are the attitudes expressed in your daydreams and fantasies? Daydreams and fantasies (especially those most intimate versions that play a part in masturbation) are rehearsals for the real deal whether we are talking about sex or anything else that puts you on the line like sport and work – anything that you attach your self esteem to. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are both Western techniques that understand these ancient truths of Tantra.

Like the martial arts and other traditions, Tantra recognises the importance of integrating mind and body for achieving a full life. Its aim is to be a connoisseur of life. It is the way of the Lovers – lovers of life in all its joys and frustrations. This means being able to appreciate the differences between people, reading their emotionality as well as exploring their ideas, personalities and attitudes but most especially being able to be sensuously intimate in ways that lead to maturity in all its meanings, beyond the rather silly attitude that it’s just about getting old.

Christopher Michaels
Author of “The Way of the Lovers” which will be published later this Year or early next.

The Art of Consciousness

Consciousness flows… as it flows it has different qualities. Some might say that for the sake of communication and the needs of security we can use nouns like ‘states’ which let us put boundaries around groupings of qualities just as the rainbow has groupings of wavelengths that we experience and name as colours. An artist/designer trains themselves to be sensitive to, use and name many colours in ways that others have no reason to notice and use. Those of us fascinated by the beauty of experience, by the structure of the mind body system and how it perceives can become like artists are with colour. Hypnosis is part of such an artist’s palette.

The colours of consciousness can be drawn in many ways. Buddhism, Tantra, yoga and other mystery schools are fascinated by the structure of perception and its relationship with experience, its creation and qualities; how our relationships affect and effect our perceptions. It’s possible to say the colours of consciousness range from total unconsciousness in deep sleep to habit driven everyday flow to heighten sensual and/or internal awarenesses based on intense focus, not to mention drug states. Though I’ve heard another metaphor using computers talking about narrow bandwidth states (with high or low data compression) versus broad bandwidth.

Everyday consciousness varies greatly depending on the marriage of internal and external elements, including history and desires for the future, in each situation encountered. To a greater or lesser extent you manage that flow yourself and/or allow it to be moved by external factors. The spectrum of consciousness maybe measured so that some states are closer to sleep and dreaming, internally directed, others have heightened external focus.

Hypnosis and the trances associated with it in popular definitions can be said to be closer to the dreaming, sleeping end of the spectrum. It is an obvious time when individuals allow themselves to be open to suggestion. I disagree with those who say hypnosis is an internally focused state. They allow themselves experiences that alter perceptions in profound ways; because beliefs, expectations (whatever you like to call them) built by the social context and the fantasies participant share let the implausible become plausible, because in that state we are close to the world of dreams and so can have conscious experiences of the dream world.

There are other times/states when we maybe open to suggestion, (without being fully aware of it) though they maybe limited by what our beliefs allow to be plausible. Most people think communication is about ideas, concepts, definitions, maybe images, and sometimes it is, especially in modern academic attempts at so-called objectivity. But for communications to be powerful, to become actions then the communications are really about affecting the consciousness, the states of the participants. It doesn’t require trance as defined by the structure of the hypnosis ritual. Good poetry, storytelling, fine rhetoric, good movies and TV can be measured by how deeply they affect our states of being.

NLP, as a part of the rhetorical traditions (don’t tell NLPers they think they are original and new) that go back to Aristotle, can be very powerful parts of communicating in ways that affect your states of consciousness, without the rituals of trance transitions that are associated with hypnosis. The limits are what you believe are plausible. If you are a religious believer who accepts the plausibility of miracles then conversational hypnosis as part of sacred ritual could cause you to experience perceptual changes that are similar to those you can experience through hypnosis via trance like a guru making diamonds out of ash, or people with traumatic paralysis walking. Otherwise you may just buy a car you can’t afford because you believe it’s plausible for you to make the money need sometime soon.

The more you refine your sense of consciousness’ flow and it’s changing qualities then the more freedom you’ll have and can offer to others. The greater awareness you have of the reality of your responsibilities for the flow of your consciousness, of your pleasure and pain (or at least your relationship with it) the more freedom you have and can offer to others.

Formless Tantra

How to prepare for a magical relationship
By Christopher Michaels

All relationships are Tantric, in a sense, or at least can be. ‘Formless Tantra’ was coined by a friend to describe the way I approach facilitating the experience of Tantra using everyday relationships and life. When she came to me she expected training in various rituals, techniques and exercises pointing to sexual ecstasy and from there to spiritual bliss or vice versa. She expected various intense multi-sensory meditations, the invocation of Goddesses and Gods might be involved, setting the space, possibly various magical tools might also be used and maybe initiation into secret knowledge. And maybe sex. All of which she was already an expert at, it seemed repetitive to go over what she already knew. i wanted to take her somewhere new and towards the essence.

Instead I listened and we talked about her life, we exchanged energy and power and explored its dynamics in our relationship as we lived it in our gatherings together. That relationship came to an end some time ago but lasted eight years. For a long time I didn’t use this term or another term we played with the “Zen of Tantra” because well I thought it was a little cliché and seeking undeserved authority from going along for the ride as so many do. But recently I did a series of mini-workshops under the name Formless Tantra and it made sense.

The essence of Tantra is what I’m trying to get at. There is secret knowledge but it is that Tantra, its energy and power, are not exotic and occult, it is here and now in everyday ecstasies. It is in the simple realisations that whether we experience the spirit in everyday life is a matter of point of view. Like so many insights it is secret because it is too obvious. Tantra is how we are made up of our relationships both internally and externally. Its rituals, the breathing, spiritual and physical awareness and control are great and useful, I teach them, but it is the mindfulness shared in relationship that is the core. It is the centre in the sense that all the other games we play are given meaning by it.

The ecstatic sexual and spiritual experiences of Tantra, so many people focus on, are natural outgrowths of profound honest deep connections when you share your spiritual journey with your partners. Those partners maybe lovers, friends, mentors, gurus and even workmates.

When people teach mindfulness they usually teach it as an individual practice, not a shared one. Tantra at its core is about shared mindfulness where each partner undertakes to acknowledge the prominent role they play in each other’s life, both inner and outer. They accept and experience each other as real, not just teachers, not just reflections but real partners living both inside you and outside.

Many people will have values, often expressed in the form of emotional reactions, that decide this or that response and/or event is negative or positive. Mindfulness is a process of intentional awareness of the sensations, emotions, thoughts and feelings and their affects on your experiences and actions as an act of loving acceptance, respect and care. It is greater than tolerance because that can mean just putting up with the bits of you that are uncomfortable for you rather than truly embracing all of who you are.

All the traditions, with a few exceptions, start the great journey from the earth plane of our existence. The earth plane is the here-and-now daily life, not just the simple sensations but also the emotional connections. If you are to be trusted with a direct relationship with yours and/or other people’s spirits, their whole point of view on the world, then how you conduct yourself in the mundane ordinary world is the test, and training ground. How you love your romantic partners in everyday ordinary life points to how you love yourself internally. How you negotiate, share and create energy and power at work, with friendships and in your intimate relationships points to the way you’ll relate to the spirit, to the Goddesses and Gods, to other kinds of power.

So how do we go about this? First we explore the power of the senses, and develop awareness of our experience of the moment and our relationships with games that come from many different traditions. Though I call it “formless” we still use the Chakras as a structure because they allow us to be sure we explore all the dimensions of who we are. For example, we start by exploring the very fact that we are strangers rather than try to artificially creating trust and intimacy. This is the first chakra. How are you with strange situations and setting, with people you don’t know? We exaggerate those feelings so as to clarify and demonstrate what mindfulness is by using the real experience of the moment we are all living. We help you be aware of the way you draw your boundaries, and your changing experiences moment to moment. This helps you develop choice in the way you attract and push people away in drawing those boundaries. By the end of this very first exercise, paradoxically, you are actually really close to everyone.

We use psychodrama and ritual, shamanic dance, multi-sensory imagination, sensitivity games and experiences from yoga and esoteric (inner) martial arts, and discussion circles in an atmosphere of growing trust. As we get to know each other we track our changing feelings and the whole experience we are sharing. The aim is to have a direct experience of the transformative power of loving mindfulness. Through these we reframe your experience of your relationship with yourself and through this all your other relationships.

Just a reminder on the upcoming workshop on the 5th of February, 2011.

Sex Magic

The alchemy of Tantra, the magic of love and sex
Is the marriage of conflict and harmony, the lover and warrior,
Communing the inner and outer,
The resistance of your skin, the boundary of your being
Is the source of your sensuality, of your pleasures and pains, in all its forms
The fire of desire, desperation and fear distills the reality of you
Incarnate
It’s how you can give vision body
Transforming your relationships with yourself and your world
Manifesting your highest and darkest dreams
As expressions of your greatness, your power
The structure of ritual is the ground that frees inspiration
Intimacy brings reality inside you
Exploding sacred passion up your back
Leaving you boundless
The Goddess and God breathing the universe into existence

A Tantric solution to War

The very essence of Tantra is how to create a beautiful and ongoing harmony that brings peace, security, fulfillment, intimacy and contentment allowing bliss and ecstasy to be normal easy parts of your life. The Tantric way, unlike many other traditions is to accept opposites as part of the whole. So conflict is embraced as part of harmony, because a harmony based on avoiding or resisting conflict, will be overpowered by it. Rather if conflict is embraced in the right way it fuels, enhances harmony making it deeper and more beautiful.

The solutions to wars and other widespread social conflicts are the same as those used for a failing marriage, the most intimate war, but massively larger because politics is a marriage of millions. Essentially you have to build the right sort of trust. There is trust in a system based on violence and fear. It is trust that there will be violence and fear, thus it is self perpetuating.

Politics is about relationships, it is the social dynamics that govern the human cultural environment. The obvious version is the formal systems for distributing power and authority, leadership, through rituals like elections and crowning monarchs and presidents. And it is also the less obvious informal group dynamics of power, status and authority by which relationships are organized so that groups small and large can make decisions, choose roles and achieve goals for mutual and not so mutual benefit. It is an interactive product of a top-down AND bottom-up processes. When it is imposed it means the whole system is violent. Simply destroying ISIS just continues that culture of violence.

The very bottom of the bottom-up part of the process is the way individuals organise and cope with the inner conflicts between different desires and fears, the inner war they must work with to carry on living. Many say this is the real, deeper mean of “jihad” in the Muslim teachings. The process and culture of politics give a model to people about how they participate in this inner war.

The challenge is building trust in a state of war.

Then finding ways to let that process of building spread out into peace, security, wealth for all and finally a beautiful moral life. This process is extremely hard when the whole society is suffering from generations of trauma from an ongoing state of war. It is easier if, as it was in 20th century Europe, war was no longer the normal state; as it had been until say the 17th century. It was an extraordinary event, and therefore the recovery from the 2nd world war actually boosted their whole economy. This was helped by binding war to rhetoric, secret operations, small proxies away from home and strengthening exercises (that actually resulted in covert healing). This putting of boundaries around wars, by making it a “cold war”, points to a solution.

One way of solving war is if all sides agree to rules of war.

Of course this means they have to talk to each other first. If the traumas are deep then just getting people talk is no easy task. But once talking then some of the first things they could seek agreement on is defining who are fighters and who are not; putting boundaries around the violence, like what are acceptable ways of fighting – an honour code that all agree to without imposing a solution. This is not a fast project the Christians in Europe started putting boundaries around war in the 5th century and it has taken 1500 years for us to get to the situation that war is no longer the normal state of social relations. Now at least there are models of how it can be done and what results can come from it.

But this achievement has made the beneficiaries, like the USA, arrogant. They think they can impose the European solution. Europe and its best children, the USA and Australia, and its best copycats Japan etc show what can be achieved if war is no long the norm. And what can happen when trust that desires can be fulfilled in safety replaces trust in fear and violence.

Out of this system of trust created by negotiating boundaries on war can come a healing process with “civilians” being left alone to heal. Slowly the number of civilians will grow until they outnumber fighters and victims. It has to be based on consent and choice with the power elite and the ordinary people realizing they all can heal. Then mutual security will lead to everyone getting richer and more powerful. The whole society benefits from people choosing to participate in producing goods and services for living, rather than being forced by trauma into producing goods and services for defending against pain and death. With all the creative and productive energy eaten up by revenge scenarios inspired by widespread feelings helplessness and powerlessness, and post-traumatic stress.

As the situations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel prove overwhelming force coming from outside (or even inside) doesn’t work. People bow in surrender then use anything available to fight back first as individuals then in gangs and finally in armies. The current situation in Israel where a few people using knives against guns has become a movement is a model for the failure of overwhelming force.

Trance etc

Is anyone be interested in a meetup (or 3) focusing on trance and altered states in paganism, shamanism, magic and witchcraft? The focus for me is non-drug altered states of consciousness using Tantra, fetish, ritual, music, dance, hypnosis and meditation techniques. Join this group and come along for the ride – http://www.meetup.com/Looking-Glass/

Our consciousness is in continual flux, so in the broadest sense it is continuously altering. But there are specific states that we experience as stable enough to name. The most obvious being awake and asleep. Within these two big categories there are subsets like REM or dream states, lucid dreaming, deep dreamless sleep. In daylight consciousness or being awake there are different states of stress, emotion and focus which we experience in different ways.

Then there are the in-between states, where sleep and wakefulness cross over. We in the West don’t have a great variety of words to measure and talk about the rainbow of consciousness that is put under the term “Trance” or “Altered States”. These are the states where the world of dreams meets the daily world and where in many traditions magic happens.

Brain waves studies have shown some of the variety of states but the numbers don’t come close to the real life experience we have on our consciousness in flux. Mindfulness and contemplation are practices that simply non-judgmentally follow the flow of consciousness without getting attached or excited or worried about any particular experience of consciousness, an attempt to be objective about the subjective. If that paradox is not going to send you to your High Priest, High Priestess, Magus, Guru or Master in confusion.

Television, advertising and other media use principles of hypnosis, ritual and Neuro-Linguistic Programing (NLP) to induce some types of trance to try to get passed our critical, intellectual mind so we can enjoy their storytelling with full imaginative involvement and coincidentally buy their shit and placidly go along with their interpretation of reality.

Meditation with it’s development of concentration and full sensory imagination, dance, music tantra, fetish play, ritual and surrender of bhakti yoga (which has some kinship with the submission in Dominance ans submission games in BDSM, a subject for another post) can help us develop deeper understandings of how consciousness works so that we choose how it flows, alters so as to allow us to reshape our reality, so we can wake up from the trances that sneak up on us in the hands of others and help others in the process.

One of my teachers suggested we should consciously participate in the trances created by the media because they give us the opportunity to, not only use the energy of all those minds focusing in the same direction, experiencing the same emotions at the same moment, but if we do it awake then they will learn to wake up from us. But it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the power/energy of all those minds. That’s why we work together in groups, covens, ashrams, magic circles so we can support each other, be a boat with crew on the ocean of the mind/spirit, rather than a solo swimmer.

If you are interested in exploring non-drug Trance and Altered States let me know.

If there is interest I have a new contraption, a head band and app for my smart phone, that lets me do readings of brain wave patterns. I also have experience with ritual and hypnosis, and of course Tantra, meditation and Bhakti so you can experience trance and altered states in safe ways. This is about a respectful experience of the spirit, not hypno showmanship at the expense of anyone’s dignity.

BRING A FRIEND.

Wildmandrake

choosing a spiritual teacher

One Zen student says: “My teacher is incredible.
He can go days without eating.”

The second student says: “My teacher has so much
self-control he can go days without sleeping.”

The third student says: “My teacher is so wise
that he eats when he’s hungry and sleeps when
he’s tired.” heard from – Clifford Mee from Hypnosis Training Academy

my friend Penny – “be impressed by a teacher philosopher who can bring cosmic philosophy and beautiful wisdom down to a baking a loaf of bread and educating children”

You can choose teachers in a number of ways. There are the miracle workers, the charismatic speakers and storytellers, the coaches or consultants who stands back gives advice and targets for ordinary everyday situations and tells you how to get there, there are the explorers, those that stand back even further and quietly support you in finding your own way to your own solutions, and there are the lovers who simply love you as you are and given time may get through to you with the simple honest responses to who you are now based on respect and deeply connecting with you in beauty reminding you of how big you are in your ecology.

The miracle workers gives us models for power, but that model is one of the primacy of the extraordinary, and is about ecstasy, power and control.

The Charismatic speakers and storytellers are also about the special, the impressive, the outstanding.

For both of these the focus is on the teacher and almost all of them use battleground metaphors to talk about the shape of life, the universe and everything. The language will be particularly about spiritual development as self improvement, empowerment and goal orientation, modeling success.

Coaches and consultants also work with a map to take you to your goals. Without necessarily questioning whether the goals might be reasonable for you. They’ll talk about formulae, laws and rules for achieving results, invoke science to as to convince to of the righteousness of their guidance. They are not on the journey with you, they are cheering for you on the side.

The explorers will assume that you are going to change and grow that you are unique and even you don’t know all of you. You are a jungle inside. They know how to use a compass and a telescope, can test for poisons and nourishment of the plants and animals you meet, so you can discover your own path. That you will emerge as a new and exciting being. They learn from and with you and so are growing with you if not traveling with you.

Lovers will partner you on a mutually experienced journey. This relationship may or may not be sexual but must necessarily be intimate. Both of you are explorers of each other and the world of relationships, You are going to evolve together and be transformed by the shared experiences. One partner can be more experienced and be a leader in love, offering a model for loving but the focus remains shared and mutual.

Ritual is all around you

Some thoughts about ritual in everyday life.

Ritual is everywhere in every part of your life. It isn’t just something you do to invoke or channel a spirit or God to do magic or talk to the other side, or change your world or yourself. Ritual is the way you set yourself up for your day, set your mood with the things you do like brushing teeth and bathing, the other things of your morning routine. Ritual is the way you enter the space of your work, swiping the security card, the way you do your work, the boundaries you have in your work relationships. The little things you do regularly with, for and to your lovers and family to express and confirm your special connection.

When you watch a TV show you are entering a mythic journey that invokes archetypes that are manifestations of gods and spirits. The show will take place in a space, it will tell about its history with a montage so you get a connection with the characters and who they are. With music it will set you up emotionally to get into the right state to share the experience not just with your family but with everyone watching the show at the same time and who have ever watched it in the past and will watch it in the future. You are participating in thought-forms.

One of my magic teachers thought TV was a training ground for telepathy, for the New Age. The first step to telepathy is shared emotion. When you watch a TV show you are sharing emotions with millions of people empathizing with characters who represent the vital essence of human relationships. Some are hero’s journeys, like police stories, even many comedies and family dramas also follow that structure. They are direct descendants of the great stories of the gods and archetypes we use for ritual. What we, as conscious aware magicians, witches, yogis, wiccans and pagans can do is regulate our participation in and relationship with those thought-forms and transform them. You can use them to connect with everyone else participating in them changing their affect and meaning. Think about much how psychic energy is shared in the experience of Seinfeld or Friends or SVU or CSI, or the Voice. If you could channel that, direct it to your purpose what could you do with it.

These daily rituals might all seem mundane compared to talking to gods and spirits. The reason these rituals only transform life and the world in minor ways is the result of the combination of motivation for doing them and what’s at stake in them. For most ordinary people the motivation for daily rituals is maintenance of the current state of their life. So all these daily rituals are designed to keep life as they want it now, manage their shadows, hold back the chaos, keep control. TV shows and their stories are usually apart of that function. They let them experience emotions and alternative possibilities from a safe distant, impersonally helping them cleanse and manage emotions in safe ways. They help them to maintain their sense of themselves, their world as a security blanket.

Rituals that transform lives, that change your power relationships with the worlds must have serious parts of you at stake, must involve big parts of you. This may include the whole of you, your physical, your spiritual, your intellectual and your sense of who you are to yourself and in your society. This is what happens with tribal initiations where the whole society is involved in them. Other rituals are more personal where only your sense of identity, your sense of personal power and your experience of the world are affected. Some rituals only affect your intellectual understanding like the way most educational rituals work in our society. These can have big effects on your role in society and your sense of yourself, your identity and your understanding of the world and therefore your personal power and identity. But they like all initiations they indoctrinate participants in the ways on the society providing the education.

One of the insights that comes from magic and other spiritual traditions is that power and insight come from standing in more than one world, spiritual, material and view through the different lens of different cultures and traditions. For example having more than one language enhances your experience of all the languages. Being able to use different frameworks, points of view from different traditions – witchcraft, yoga, materialist science, wicca, magick – will give you insight and power in relation to any situation you face. Having a solid deep experience of one tradition with a wide understanding of others allows you to see passed symbolism to an intuitive relationship directly with biggest most beautiful reality at the core of all.