Energy Work Issue

I am way too tired to put links to everyone. Suffice to say that yesterdays debate has broken out amidst the blogs and Jack, RO, AIT, Balthazar, Jow, and nicely summed up by the Scribbler who laid it out very nicely in a post that I 100% agree with.

We are at this point having two separate debates:

1. What is the place of energy work in magic? what is energy work? how essential is it?

2. What is the appropriate level of synchretism or cross fertalization in magic?

I am tired of #2 for now. People know where I stand in general and I am preparing a post to flesh that out in more detail soon.

#1 is more interesting at the moment.

Patrick Dunn made a bold and pretty cool statement that I partly agree with: “The vast majority of talk about magical energy is bullshit. That which isn’t bullshit is that in which “magical energy” is a metaphor for something that isn’t bullshit.”

The first part I disagree with. Most talk about magical energy is not bullshit, it is however a metaphor for something that isn’t bullshit.

There are different types of energy out there and different ways of working with it. I recently have a series of three lectures on advanced energy practice at Mystical Tymes in New Hope PA and one of the excercises I did was to open up peoples channels and have them run energy from different sources. You can do this right now. Simply stand up and face east. Feel the psyco-magic flow that is linked to the path of the sun and the rotation of the earth. Now face north and do the same thing. You will feel a shift as your etheric body and mind automatically switch into locking in the magnetic flow on the planet. Obviously you can tap into specific sources of energy for different things. Some are obvious like planets and rivers and such. Others less-so such as particular pure lands or mandalas that act as batteries of power for specific work.

Now Frater AIT, who started this whole thing, has stated ” I consider “energy work” to be an umbrella term that covers meditative practice that involves the energetic bodies and the spiritual energies….and thought this was a pretty standard understanding. Energy work isn’t just visualization-based exercises; for example, the Incantations we utilize in Enochian Magic have a powerful effect on the energetic bodies and are potent energy work. They require no visualization at all, only vibration and meditative trance. I don’t know of any spiritual traditions that exist completely without it. The African traditions certainly utilize it as well, with active sacrifice and prayer done to align one with the God/Spirit that one is working with.”

But this doesnt quite sound like what he meant originally, nor what most people mean when they talk about energy work. I agree with his assessment that various types energy is involved in almost every ritual, prayer, offering, etc that you make in magic and also that the subtle bodies are effected by meditation and prayer. This however is not really energy work. Your breath is effected by running on a treadmill, but you wouldnt call it “breath work”. On the other hand the sources like Mantak Chia and Charles Luk are directly dealing with the manipulation of different types of energy using channels and structures in the etheric body. There is a big difference between noting that meditation has an energetic effect and actually going into the channels and playing with that energy consciously. Its the difference between ringing turning on a light switch and re-wiring the house.

I think that this type of work is important. It certainly is to me. I also think that certain goals can only be attained by it, and other goals are attained much easier with than without it. I think the same about spirits, infomation magic, and psychological magic too. They all have a place. However not every system deals with them directly and that does not invalidate those systems. It just means that they do what they do and you do something different.

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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14 Responses to Energy Work Issue

  1. Jack Faust says:

    I agreed with pretty much everything you’ve written above. Actually, the only slight concern I have is: are you running this page with Akismet or a similar plugin?

    • Inominandum says:

      I am now. Thanks for the link. That was getting really annoying.

      • Jack Faust says:

        No problem, man. I figured you could make use of it. You might also want to look into “WordPress Mobile” as a plugin if you haven’t already. It’ll let people read your blog from their cell-phone. That’s like, the sum total of my advice. The blog rocks, by the way, dude.

  2. As always Jason, your post is both insightful and though-provoking. I am determined to address energy work as I see it in both the modern traditions as well as hoodoo in my own blog.

    While I agree that some traditions don’t address it directly, I think that for me energy work is a misleading term. I believe that the term “energy” is in reality more a metaphor for metaphysical force and concept that we simply have a hard time defining in scientific parlance of physics.

    Now you’ve got me thinking. I’m going to be up all night trying to coherently write up my ideas XD.

    Here’s too an awesome discussion so far.

  3. Ron says:

    A very interesting discussion.

    With regard to energy work; I like the idea of “energy” as metaphor. The problem with “energy” in occult/spiritual usage is that rather nebulous. Few take the time to really define what they mean by “energy.”

    On magical appropriation: I have been exposed to this argument in the local pagan community here. I don’t quite buy into it. As an American, most everything in my culture came from other cultures; my language, the religion of my parents, my spiritual views, the food I eat, the government I live under, etc. If cultural ideas are adopted by other peoples and cultures, it means that they have value to offer. If I eat Italian food, it shows that I respect what they have created and find it good. The same if I adopt spiritual beliefs that originated in India. Likewise, if other people and cultures adopt certain cultural ideas from America, it demonstrates that those artifacts have value. It does not harm us or our culture. It validates us.

    If I perform magic that originated outside of my culture to better my life or the lives of others, it honors the culture of its origin and shows the level of respect I have for them.

    One point of clarity: I am not talking about stealing cultural objects, enslaving people, violating copyrights and such. I see those as destructive but they are not equal to adopting others ideas, beliefs and practices.

  4. Shadow says:

    occultists, for practical reasons differentiate two types of “spiritual energies” chi or prana, which is pretty clear what is it and “mana” or “elevated state of energy” , in simplest form, direct translation and lack of exact synonym , mana translates to “magick” or “magickal energy”

    As for place of energy magick in different systems, well being that humans are partially energetic beings, I believe the righteous place of energy work is indeed guaranteed. Still, I also believe ( and when I say I believe, means that is purely my opinion ) that energy manipulation can only get one so fare, and most of the effects caused by energy work are manifested on inner plane. There, the energy magick has very important role, as well in amplifying Your work. Spirits will certainly commune easier with ones that balance their energy well and are perceptive for certain energies more than most of other people, which is a matter of exercise of course, not only some “inborn power”.
    I would say that the whole trouble comes from a simple fact that humans naturally tend to fundamentalism based on their subjectivity. Paradoxal no ? So when people get good results in some areas of their spiritual ilves with energy magick, some of them start seiing ( and “preaching” If they have the means ) energy magick as the only correct way to go, in terms of spiritual work. Great number of those people are also self centered and over self-confident.
    One must know it’s limits, for spirits are more prominent in ANY kind of spiritual work than humans.

  5. Energy is in no way a metaphor!

    Serious work with Chi Kung or kundalini yoga, say, shows that sooner or later — Mantak Chia, as mentioned in the OP, is a fine choice. I don’t think this kind of work is necessary for a magician, but if you do it seriously the idea that it is a mere metaphor doesn’t hold water. People in the throes of kundalini awakening will get thrown around by this energy. It can do physical work if there is enough of it. When you work with it you don’t imagine, you directly sense.

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