Do You Need To Meditate To Do Magic?


So yesterday the topic of meditation came up. This, as most of you know is something that I recommend highly and talk about in every book and course I have written. Clearly I value it highly, but is it necessary for magic?

The first problem we have in answering this is that the word meditation is an English word that can be stretched to mean just about any mental activity at all. The terms in other languages that it get translated as meditation are vast and varied. What I mean by it, and what most other people mean by it these days is single-pointed concentration. This is linked to the practice of contemplation which both Theresa of Avila and Namkhai Norbu refer to as more formless resting in the natural state. Other activities like tai-chi, ice-skating, prayer, long walks by the beach, and baths where Calgon takes you away  can technically be considered meditation, and are certainly relaxing, but are not what I and most people mean by it these days. Single pointed concentration is different and develops other muscles than just relaxation.

So sticking with this definition: Can you be a wizard without meditation?

The answer clearly is yes.

Magic can be done without meditation. There is no evidence that the writers of the Grimoires meditated other than in prayer. No evidence that the conjurors who penned the PGM had a practice of silent meditation. There is no meditation like this in Hoodoo or European Folk magic.

So you can do Magic without meditation. And if you are one of those people who automatically reject everything brought into magic in the last 150 years, you will probably consider it some modern poison polluting your pure approach from whatever time and place pitches your tent.

It’s also worth noting that there are some people that react badly to meditation. This is not the “I am bad at meditation” argument, which I have dealt with elsewhere, but a distinctly negative reaction like a panic attack or overwhelming sense of ennui. This is most often caused by a sense of boundary deteriorating. As blood flows from the parietal lobe (controling sense of self and other) and into the frontal lobe (bring increased analysis of everything happening) it can be jarring. If people want to continue meditation after episodes like this, I strongly recommend a VERY qualified teacher who can help you one on one, in person. Otherwise I recommend another discipline. Not many meditation teachers talk about this possibility, but I bring it up in my first class of my Take Back Your Mind course. This applies to probably less than 1% of the population, but it does happen.

Like just about every other technique and method in the corpus of magic, you can do magic without it. But why would you?

The argument not to do it because its not traditional in western magic or written about in the Grimoires doesn’t really hold water. There are lots of things that these very same people do that is not written in the grimoires: training in scrying, yogic practices (which often have WAY less historical basis than meditation), inner heat, and all sorts of other supplimental practices that are not in the Grimoires. And besides, shunning all innovation is as silly as thinking anything written before 1904 is “Old Aeon”.

The overall benefits to physical health and mental acumen are well known. Unlike some other areas of spirituality, this has been studied tremendously at universities and the results are overwhelmingly positive. (Note: prayer has been studied heavily over the last 10 years, and the results are also kind of amazing. I will do more on this later, but expect oodles of articles hitting mainstream outlets in about 5 more years).

The benefits for the magician are immense, especially, those who traffic with spirits. Meditation IS the act of getting distracted from your focus, recognizing that when it happens, and returning to the focus. This builds a knowlege of your own mind and mental process that will greatly aid with discernment. Discerning a spirits voice from your own mind (and even if you hear it with you physical ears, unless it shows up on a recording, its happening primarily in your mind). Discerning fantasy wishful thinking from real contact. Discerning the voice of softer spirits (especially local spirits) who maybe do not go in for the whole blood running down the walls “Why hast thou summoned me?” response.

The control and knowlege of mind also helps in being able to shift into different states of awareness so that a gigantic “lets break reality” evocation to physical appearance, which can be the psychic equivalent of fracking, is not necessary every single time you want to talk to the spirit you have a relationship with.

If you consider magic as more than just communication with spirits, but a process of initiation and unfolding towards divinity, then how much more important is this process? Perhaps I rely on more mystical than esoteric methods in this area than many occultists, but meditation is no less important.

I get it, meditation is hard. It feels like anti-magic. Magicians want to shout invocations, meditation tells you to shut up. Magicians want to stand forth and wave wands, meditation tells you to sit the fuck down. Magicians want to have visions and visitations, meditation tells you to ignore the scenes on the inside of your eyelids and tell Atargatis to fuck off until you are finished. But it is precisely by doing these things and cutting through the surface chatter and habitual patterns that all these things happen stronger and clearer when they matter.

So, no, you don’t need to meditate to do magic. But it helps a whole lot.

About Inominandum

Author. Sorcerer. Consultant. I have 30 plus years of experience making magic a reality for myself, my clients, and my students. For a complete background go to
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4 Responses to Do You Need To Meditate To Do Magic?

  1. M.G. says:

    In my own life I was very surprised to discover, after ten years of serious daily meditative practice, that meditation was not greatly helpful to me. This was a real shock, as my lifelong interest in Buddhism had given me a very strong pro-meditation bias, but when I really looked at my meditative practice and its fruits, I honestly didn’t perceive it as having major significant benefits in my life. I definitely derived some benefits from meditation, but not nearly as much as I got from energy work. I mostly (not totally) gave up meditation a few years ago, and I continue to believe that was the right decision for me.

    I know that’s totally different from your experience, and how you teach, but that’s my honest experience. Different medicines for different people, perhaps?

  2. Blogos says:

    Hi Jason,

    When you say ”meditation” hasn’t formed part of the practice of western magicians – err Stoicism? Meditation and Kabbalah by Aryeh Kaplan begins with an overview of the role of Stoicism in Kabbalah (I have steeled myself before God) before looking at all the similarities between Jewish mystical practice and say Yoga – mantras, yantras, etc. I probably don’t need to mention the kind of things Cathars inflicted on themselves in order to achieve self-mastery, etc etc. It may not have been mentioned explicitly by Renaissance magicians but all Renaissance men were familiar with the work of the Stoics et al. All of them were concerned with the wandering of their mind, there are many ways to learn to concentrate the mind. Some (practice for) control of the mind is absolutely essential for magic otherwise ”magic uses you”…

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  4. Andrew says:

    Meditation is something many people believe to be a going to sleep process, but it isnt so, many people do not even know that the most effective form of meditation is not done with eyes completely closed, but in fact with eyes closed just enough to allow the tiniest fraction of light to be perceived.
    In my 20 years of meditative practice I have gained a very focused mind, I am able to follow my thought process way back during the past day, week and even months which allows me to gain very insightful observations on how thought effects my every decision and perception, this in turn opens up more possibilities and realizations.

    I am also able to control my physical senses, and be totally in tune with my body, my thought processes, intuition, perception and how I react in the world have all been sharply improved. The effect on my magical practice has increased exponentially, I also do energy work and my meditation practice has significantly boosted this as well.

    Therefore does meditation have merit and benefit for the magician? done correctly I have to without reserve state a resounding yes!.

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