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.

my Myers Briggs Type

Over the years I have played with different systems for categorising people. I’ve always found them unsatisfying. Not because they are inaccurate but because of what they do in my mind to the people who I meet. I’ve even played at creating my own, based on the Chakras. Seven types based on seven dimensions of being with a seven leveled measurement scales. By temperament and interest the categorising systems I went for were Astrology with 12 types, Numerology with 9 or 10 types (depending on how you count) and Tarot – Major Arcana with 21 types, even the Kabala with 10 types. Each of these have the possibilities for great complexity to try and cope with human realities.

  • Astrology has 12 signs, 12 houses, 12 moving celestrial bodies all interracting and professing the absolute objectiveness of the heavens.
  • Numerology has 9 numbers and one place marker, the zero. You can add up the numbers from you birthday and name to break them down to one of the nine resulting types and a destiny. Or you can map subtleties by applying the typing system to different dimensions of the person by not breaking down the numbers into the types mentioned by adding them together.
  • Each tarot card represents a person type allow you 21 types or 78 types if you want/need something more complex and enigmatic. Each of the 21 are also a role in society, a stage or moment of life.
  • The Kabala has 10 centres of light and 21 connecting paths. Each centre of light, like the Chakras, represents states of mind and being, and can therefore represent types of people who experience the world predominantly through that state. The connecting paths and the centres themselves let you measure the way these states interact to make the person. The cool thing about this system is that you can bring in numerology and the tarot deck./li>

These all work to help give a feeling of insight and security when faced by the complexity humans and their relationships. The system I spent most time with was Astrology in my teens and early twenties and through my marriage with a professional Astrologer who gave it great store (obviously). In these times and as I watched my ex-wife and others interact with Astrology and the other systems I noticed the system and its legitimacy seemed more important than the people I/they were meeting. That cliche was true about the first or second question asked when meeting someone was what was their sign. I used to be pretty good at guessing peoples signs before I started to get in depth with the system. When I started doing charts and studying the great complexity of the system allowes people.

In case you want to draw that box around me I was born 0235am 08/06/1958 in Sydney Australia. Most people will think my moon is in Pisces (as I did for while) but it actually in Aquarius. feel free to figure me out. Contact me if you think I’m your soulmate, I might just be who knows.

I have been tested for jobs using some of the modern categorising systems but rarely remembered much about them. They seemed superficial in comparison to the depths of history and human imagination and society that the systems have I mentioned above. Recently someone asked me what my Mires Briggs type was. I’d forgotten what they were at first, then remembered. I didn’t know until did some research that it was based on Jung’s work so I thought it might have some interest. I liked that it was based on questions about your experience of everyday life and your relationships with it.

But I still have the same worries about the validity and the limitations it places on how I might be percieved. I don’t remember what my IQ is for instance, though I have done some abilities testing at different times. The problems with its cultural relativity make it invalid to my desire for some kind of deeper understanding human nature. At least that’s my emotional response but I do realise that the test could help when you are wanting to get people who are successful within a cultural context.

Anyway here’s a box you can put me in. Just remember that it is a moveable feast because I think these modern systems a more effected by the moods of the tested person. Though hopefully someone, a true believer, will argue with me on this point.

I like that if I’m going to be unbalanced then it is towards the intuitive, so maybe that’s why my result is what it is. It does seem very unbalanced though, to me, and I do like balance.

According to this site – http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JungType.htm

This is My Myers-Briggs TYPE:
Extraverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving
Strength of the preferences %
11 75 12 11

ENFP type description by J. Butt and M.M. Heiss
ENFP Identify Your Career with Jung Career Indicator™ ENFP Famous Personalities

ENFP type description by D.Keirsey

Qualitative analysis of your type formula

You are:
• slightly expressed extravert
• distinctively expressed intuitive personality
• slightly expressed feeling personality
• slightly expressed perceiving personality

Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
by Marina Margaret Heiss
Profile: ENFP
Revision: 4.0
Date of Revision: 28 Feb 2011
[The following comes partially from the archetype, but mostly from my own dealings with ENFPs.]
ENFPs are both “idea”-people and “people”-people, who see everyone and everything as part of a cosmic whole. They want to both help and to be liked and admired by other people, on both an individual and a humanitarian level. This is rarely a problem for the ENFP, as they are outgoing and warm, and genuinely like people. Some ENFPs have a great deal of zany charm, which can ingratiate them to more stodgy types in spite of their unconventionality.
ENFPs often have strong, if sometimes surprising, values and viewpoints. They tend to try to use their social skills and contacts to persuade others gently (though enthusiastically) of the rightness of these views; this sometimes results in the ENFP neglecting their nearest and dearest while caught up their efforts to change the world.
ENFPs can be the warmest, kindest, and most sympathetic of mates; affectionate, demonstrative, and spontaneous. Many in relationships with an ENFP literally say, “They light up my life.” But there is usually a trade-off: the partner must be willing to deal with the practical and financial aspects of the relationship, and the ENFP must be allowed the freedom to follow their latest path, whatever that entails.
For some ENFPs, relationships can be seriously tested by their short attention spans and emotional needs. They are easily intrigued and distracted by new friends and acquaintances, forgetting their older and more familiar emotional ties for long stretches at a time. And the less mature ENFP may need to feel they’re the constant center of attention, to confirm their image of themselves as a wonderful and fascinating person.
In the workplace, ENFPs are pleasant and friendly, and interact in a positive and creative manner with both their co-workers and the public. ENFPs are also a major asset in brainstorming sessions; follow-through on projects can be a problem, however. ENFPs do get distracted, especially if another interesting issue comes along. They also tend towards procrastination, and dislike performing small, uninteresting tasks. ENFPs are most productive when working in a group with a few Js to handle the details and the deadlines.

Simple Acts of Love

Simple Acts Of Love
By Christopher Michaels © 2006

Love is when two rainforests meet in all their lush luxury with differences remaining yet they merge

Sit quietly with yourself, allowing yourself to be who you are in all your shame, rage, fear, weakness, strength and beauty

Wait for the silence

Be comfortable with your silence and your voice

Leave room for the stories of others

Feel yourself part of your relationships – you are affects and affecting, you are effects and effecting

Act in ways that enlarge everyone

Resist acting to enlarge yourself at the cost of others

Touch with all of who you are, as if you’ve been in solitary confinement for most of your life

Your ambition is good if it takes your friends and enemies with you to the top


Let yourself breath with your whole body


Relax your shoulders, relax your hips, relax your legs, relax your back, relax the drive to be other than who you are… now, relax the drive to push others to be… anything

Feel tall

Feel comfortable in your skin

Leave room for them to feel comfortable in their skin

Turn off your mobile phone


Listen with your ears, listen with your eyes, listen with your body, listen with your mind and your wholeness

Listen from the silence within, the silence between and under your drive to show yourself, to prove your point

Show your Self in a way that encourages them to show themselves, let them feel your interest in finding out who they are, now, and were, then and want to be

Hug often

Enjoy the struggle to share an exposed moment free of fear

Stand in your integrity while supporting theirs

Their fears and imperfections, and their defences against them, deserve your love just as yours do

Let them feel held, allow yourself to feel held

Let them feel the absence of shame, let yourself feel its absence too

Let them know you understand their vulnerabilities by showing yours

Let them feel their strength by showing yours

Let them feel your respect by giving yours

Imagine what it would feel like to have no fear, no need for strength, to be emotionally naked

Learn to ask good questions based on an excitement about who people really are and what they really need including what scares you about them

Take charge when they need it, let them take charge when you need it

Don’t take charge, don’t help, don’t offer solutions when it is the easy way, only do it when it will enlarge all of you, including them

Help them give themselves what they need and want

Resist the temptations of feeling attacked

Resist the temptations of bringing history into the present

Resist the mask of habit with the freedom of joyous spontaneity shared

Resist the shame-filled belief you need to change, without resisting change

Resist the idea that love is simple

Tantra and Everyday life

Originally published here by me…


Tantra is an insight, a reality, a mythic metaphor and a collection of practices. Even the practices are both metaphors and emotional and physical realities. They are all based on the insight that all of reality is relationships. Right now you are reading this through eyes that are relating to light and to the whole history of a language and culture through your unique relationship with it. The mythic metaphor is the Way of the Lovers for which Sex and Love are the central practices and proof. It answers the questions: How do you love yourself and others in away that expresses the deep connections that are the reality we are often too busy and self-involved to notice.

For me it comes down to energy sensitivity practiced in everyday life and also in our most intimate relationships, sex and love. It is cooking for and massaging lovers and friends, listening to people and holding back on reflex reactions based on your history/ego in order to allow something new and spontaneous to happen. The sensitivities I use in the daily life of work, friendship and dealing with strangers helps me to bring my whole self to my lovers.It is still something I practice rather than do reflexively.

For me all relationships are part of the practice and reality of Tantra to limit it to the bedroom is to get caught in the metaphors and practices rather than focussing on the reality of the psychological insights that are at its core. This is not to say that the sexual practices of Western Tantra aren’t important, they are important to our relationship with our body and lovers. But it is to say they are deepened by understanding that their spiritual meanings are applied to everyday life. I have a different point of view than the Indian and Buddhist traditions where it is usually isolated into monasteries, forests and temples. And different to the new West traditions where it is also isolated but into the sensual rituals of bedroom as temple and sensual body within.

All of these are useful and important parts of the whole of Tantra. The part of it that is often missing is the use of what they call in India Kama, the sensual everyday world of work, family and friends, as the test and practice of your spirituality. Many say the platitude that love must start with loving yourself, but how do you do that? How do help others to do thats if you are a teacher/therapist?

You do it through your relationships, that is the dynamics underlying what is said and achieved, the quality of attention you give your partners and yourself, the way you handle internal and external conflicts about your desires and fears. Love of self is a catch-22 because we have to learn it through relationships, but you need the self-esteem filter them in order to choose partners who will help you learn. This lesson is best leant through relationships which leave us less vulnerability such as friendship and work relationships, and maybe therapists and other knowledgeable leaders like teachers who can model for us the respect and dignity we need to feel good about ourselves.

On your lonesome you challenge attitudes expressed through self talk and feelings that are reflective of your past when people close to you didn’t respect you and your choices and needs. When you feel fear of things that don’t logically deserve it like pictures of frogs for instance, I actually know someone who has this issue, or social gathering (more common) say choose to gently and lovingly build your strength. For example, lets take the frogs, spiders or sharks. Start by thinking, visualising and remembering the good feelings you have about something you really love, an activity or pet, a friend. Then keeping the good feeling in mind look at a cartoons something funny and friendly, look at the picture and simply breath whilst observing the feelings and how they change over time, then move to photos onto movies then finally go to a zoo or park where they are on display, maybe buy a pet one. You don’t have to like or love the activity and thing that used to cause the overreaction, you just have to be able to stand it. This is easy to write but hard to do. But the results are very good for your self-esteem and self-knowledge, and therefore self love.

Love is about all of who we are. It is first about feelings, but those feelings are just the beginning because they sometimes trap people in relationships that are disrespectful, that undermine your power to choose your lifestyle, your choices in general. Some people don’t do relationships based on shared power, on power exchange which brings co-creation of destinies and lives. Tantra is definitely about sexy passionate relationships with your body, yourself and your partners and it is also about mutually created destinies, deep listening and everyday moments of ecstasy and bliss from doing everyday things alone and with partners, friends, workmates and family.

A Tantric Food Experience Poem

Mushrooms and Halloumi

© Christopher Michaels 2012

breakfast is ended
the flavour of fried halloumi and mushrooms has me stuck in time
or is it out of time
the poached eggs were… well poached eggs
the pesto on the toast was buried under them
they were the symphony that supported the duet
the first taste of the mushrooms had me alive to my body,
just the torso
then a bite of the eggs with the toast and pesto calms me
a small nibble of the halloumi fried just right
and I am full bodied alive feet, hands, thighs and arms
I am greed and gluttony
but woofing it down fast will end it too soon
so back to the eggs and toast
then another mushroom tasting with the whole tongue
and a piece of the halloumi…
and time is slowing
each cell of my tongue is awake wondering how long it has been asleep
“is the person who did this to me available for marriage?”
the music has faded, the voices around me are dead
a galaxy inside the space of my mouth overpowering me
possessing my body
finally the last bite brings regret
I sit
a stare
hoping to somehow freeze time
a beautiful behind walks into view
a shadow of my usual response
I am lost in time and space desperate that it won’t restart
that I won’t be found
the beautiful pineapple, lemon and ginger juice warms
a universe decays, gods die
I blink and a poem writes itself
I take a drink of the juice

this was an experience I recently had…
here something for you to consider… … balancing external focus with internal focus is one of the essences of tantra… many of us are so inwardly focussed that we forget, as the poet says, to smell the roses. I once spent 3 months taking the time each day to give total undistracted sensual attention and awarenss to the preparation and eating of at least one meal a day. The aim is to use every sense with as much focus as possible. If you can share this with someone of like mind then all the better.

Deep Connect Tantra

Below and around, from the core to the surface is connection. Before and after decisions, knowing, saying and doing is connection, is mystery, is power. Behind the focal point of the self as you, as being, as feeling, as naming are the deep connections placing you here and now, courageously open to me, to her, to him, to it, in front of you/me, inside of you/me until we are we known through separateness and togetherness. I sit here in me, you sit there in you. Experiencing this in full allows you/me to reach out touching, talking, listening to we in shared knowing and feeling. Confident in trust and integrity we can be, we can evolve, we can???