A lot of people in the Western Buddhist communities are not thrilled with the fact that mindfulness and meditation has taken off outside the spiritual bubble of Buddhism and other faith traditions.

Part of this is simply that Buddhism and Meditation was brought and popularized by hippies and beats who were very counter-culture, and no counter-culture likes to see their shit adopted by the mainstream. True for bands, clothing, books, and it appears meditation.

Another part of this is that the goal of meditation should be spiritual, and when you think of yourself as “spiritual” as a thing in itself, set against a world that is “unspiritual”, it can seem like the height of corruption to turn that spiritual tool towards material ends.

This came up in a recent interview with Lama Surya Das .

“Each year, 1 million Americans take up the practice for the first time. Surya Das is not entirely happy about that. “Mindful divorce, mindful parenting, mindful TV,” he complained. Why not mindful sniping, poaching, or mindful waiting to find the opportunity to take advantage of and exploit someone when there’s a chink in their armor?””

First of all if you have your spiritual head so far up your spiritual ass that you see no difference between parenting, getting a divorce and watching television and harmful acts like sniping, poaching, and exploitation there is something wrong with your perception. But I don’t think Lama-la thinks that really. I think he is a solid man and I plan on getting his book. But lets take his question seriously: why not these things? 

If we are going to have snipers, people that kill others with the intent of establishing greater security* – shouldn’t they be mindful about it?

If your job as a Defense Lawyer, Activist, Martial Artist, or Policeman requires you to find the chink in an opponent armor, wouldn’t it be better to be mindful than not?

These things are not going away, so isn’t mindfulness as a rule better than not-mindfulness? There is no lack of spiritually mindful figures in history that were fully engaged with the secular world: Seneca was a Banker. Ashoka was a Conqueror and King.

You may note that I commented that the western Buddhist community has this problem. I find it not to be the case among the Asian Buddhist community. I am sure there are exceptions, but in general they have not bought into an idea of pacifist Buddhism that never actually existed (because there would be no Shaolin if it did) and have no trouble integrating their business practices with their spiritual practice.  Many Western Buddhists on the other hand tend to view their Buddhism as something that makes them very exotic and special, and the thought of their practice being turned to such worldly matters is troubling.

People need to remember that Buddha means awakened. It does not mean groovy-pacifist-vegan, dead from the neck down, super-calm dude, who is above all that…

Besides, a funny thing happens when people practice meditation with the intent of making more money, being better policemen, picking up girls, dropping pounds, or alleviating stress  – they get more compassionate and calm and most of the benefits of what so-called spiritual people are also seeking.

Which seems to piss them off :-)

It is good to remember the story of Khadgapa, who was a thief seeking nothing but the power to become invincible so he could be protected when he stole from people. He did the practices that his teacher Charpati recommended and did indeed become invincible, but along the way he also became enlightened, and no longer stole.

* Not entertaining a debate on the various conflicts we are involved in right now. I don’t like it either, but this is not the point of the post and comments about it will be deleted.

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Jupiter Glyphs and Occult Shops

11390311_10153356798170941_4004018941150689866_nThe Jupiter Glyphs from Strategic Sorcery always pop up in the darnedest places.

The Proprietress of Element Books in Winnipeg used the Glyphs for Entrepreneurial Work and Viral Marketing on thee awesome cards.

Check it out, then check them out!

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The Elements

BeFunky_FIVE ELEMENTS.jpgI just completed a 45 minute elemental meditation. While I do use western symbols and spirits sometimes to interact with the elements, my view of them is primarily informed by the east. I find the current trend in the west is to see them as “below” or inside (and thus less important than) the planetary spheres and starry realms to be disheartening. The elements and the interactions between them are as primordial, important, and subtle as the planets and stars. Moreso in my opinion.  These forces are as much the primal building blocks of reality itself as they are flesh, bones, blood and warmth of our own bodies.

These days the “spirit model” seems to be the prevalent thinking (or lack thereof) among magicians, and many people ONLY seem interested in which spirit does what and how to contact them. For sure there are Kings*, Archangels, Djinn, Dakinis, and Gods that rule over the elements, but to really get a grip on the elements and their role, requires more than knowing the right direction and names to use.  It requires work at all levels: Breath, Energy, Meditative absorption, and yes some spirit work too.

You can find this kind of thing in Tibetan Buddhism, and Hinduism, and you can also get a good start with Bardon, but to me the best thing is to go out into nature on a slightly dizzly day. Light a fire and give yourself over to the elements. Pray and meditate. Soon you will start to see.

From there you can start with my own Pillar and Spheres and the advanced elemental stuff in my courses, or you can take a different route – just as long as it is rooted in direct experience of the element itself. Otherwise you are really missing out on the meaning and use.

*Kudos to Rufus Opus for re-doing his holy table to reflect the Kings for the Elements rather than the Archangels. I think this is going to open up some new avenues and make the jump to his upcoming work all the more accessible.

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Mystical vs Paranormal Experience

I did a consult this weekend and there was some confusion in terminology that was tripping the student up. I laid out the following simple rule, which he thought others might find helpful so I place it here. Is that a synchonicity or just

A Paranormal Experience often causes you to question the reality of that experience. Was that a real voice of a spirit or just my imagination? Did that light bulb explode because of the working or was it coincidence? Is what I am seeing in the crystal real or just my own fantasy?

A Mystical Experience tends to cause you to question the reality of everything you have ever experiences BUT that experience. It seems hyper-real, as if everything till that point had been an illusion or a play that you have been getting too into. Depending on the experience it can shake the foundation of your perception of the outer world, your own sense of inner world, or both.

NOTE: I anticipate a flurry of comments from people with paranormal experiences and magical results who will tell me that nothing about the experience caused them to question its reality, and that they know the spirit/god/angel speaking was real and the vision in the crystal was 100% reality. I am not interested in that argument. Suffice to say that I don’t think unquestioning acceptance of our own experiences is a great idea or good foundation for work.

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Emotional Clearing

Last week I had the privilege of  getting a free Emotional Clearing session with Langston Khan.  It was an interesting shamanic technique that I found very useful. Not only does Langston lead you through a session that is useful for what you bring up in that session, but he gives you tools that you can go back to and use time and time again.

There are still a few spots open in his Healing Your Triggers: Emotional Clearing Webinar which starts next Saturday 5/30 and runs for 5 weeks from 11-1:30pm:…

He is also kindly offering a $50 discount code for readers of this blog and members of my course. Just type in: Strategic_Heart

Here is his description of the webinar:

We will hone our ability to discern when we have been triggered, pull back our projections onto others and use the trigger to clear the pain at it’s root in the past rather than being paralyzed by pain or obsessive thoughts. We will also be working to understand the language of our body and allow that language to show us the next steps needed to further our healing process.

In addition as a fun bonus– the techniques also improve our abilities to sense (and clear) energies within ourselves, improve psychic abilities and I find improve our signal clarity and ability to discern accurately when speaking with spirits.

Above all, participants will leave the class with an ability to truly engage with life as a teacher and the foundational skills needed to truly be compassionate with themselves and others.

Here is a brief outline of some of the tools and concepts we will cover:
• What is Healing? Exploring ideas of healing and developing a mature relationship with the archetypal energy of Healing
• The Felt Sense: Learning to listen to your body, interpret it’s language and come into relationship with your body’s unique processes
• Presence Language: Using linguistic tools to come back into presence with your body and emotions even when facing challenging emotions
• Developing an awareness of your inner landscape
• Turning over stones: Understanding what energy needs to be cleared and how to track it in your body
• Mirrorwork: Using your relationships to uncover internal wounds
• Your body is much bigger than you think: Different techniques for clearing all that you might encounter including beliefs, memories, emotional patterns, artifacts and past lives.
• Integration: Making sure the sense of renewed energy and joy you feel after a clearing sticks and you can bring the energy fully into your life.
• Tips for supporting a partner in their clearing process and helping yourself and your partner stay in presence throughout

Check it out!

Also check Langstons personal page HERE

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Field Report: Art Auction Success!

I think everyone has a fantasy about going to a garage sale and finding something worth big bucks. Below is a field report from a Student who used magical techniques on multiple platforms to do just that.

From the information about its worth, to pumping up the price at the end, this is Strategic Sorcery at its best. A combination of her own work, the Strategic Sorcery Global Rites, and some hired help from yours truly all played into her strategy, and generated a fantastic result.

“FIELD REPORT: I received Kurukulle and Simhamukha transmission from Lama Vajranatha the summer of 2014, but only began accumulating mantras at that time, did not try to begin working with Kurukulle in earnest until studying with Jason. October 31, 2014, I casually, as I was putting away my new Kurukulle talisman that I had ordered from Jason and had magically arrived that high holy day morning, thought to myself (ha ha) that when I felt I had accumulated enough mantras to begin asking favors, I would like to ask Kurukulle to help me earn significant amounts of money in ways that would not make me work any harder and which I couldn’t even think of myself at the moment. I almost immediately got my menstrual period which was early, painless, light and such bright red I knew Kurukulle was talking to my body (I offered some of the blood to her thangka and the talisman, thanking her for the response). Perhaps a week or so later, November 2014, my husband magically found out in conversation with an art dealer of his acquaintance that 3 small pieces of art I purchased years ago for $25 each directly from the artist could possibly be worth quite a bit of money, as another work by the artist (who died in 2001) had recently broken world auction records for her work and for the auction house. I immediately thanked Kurukulle for the opportunity she clearly had delivered, and the art dealer then helped me get my pieces to the auction house where the first piece was deemed best presented at an auction taking place Tuesday, May 12, 2015.

In March and May 2015 I performed the global Jupiter and Juno rites, and was surprised at the amount of connection I experienced with both–some funny little synchronicities also popped up making me realize they have actually been around me all along, and that it’s time to work with them in earnest. So I decided that before the May 12 auction, I would petition both Jupiter and Juno in addition to another puja to Kurukulle.

Thursday, May 7 at 2:03 EST, the hour of Jupiter here in NY, I sat at the base of an oak tree (Jupiter’s sacred tree), invoked both Jupiter and Juno as a sort of Tantric conjoined pair, offered them and the tree Sambuca Romana, and petitioned them thusly: “My beloved Patron and Matron, I thank you for your magnanimity, I ask that you favor me with your general good fortune, bestow upon me wealth and opportunity, and most urgently, at the auctions and sales of my artworks, please inspire purchasers to spend in excess, and let me receive far greater sums than estimated or expected by anyone.”

I consulted with Jason Miller on Friday May 8 as to whether I should do any further work myself before the auction and as to whether I should hire Jason to do any work on my behalf. The divination suggested I only add to my own work an offering of a red torma to Kurukulle, and to hire Jason also to do a puja to Kurukulle. (Note: actually Red Dzambhala in union with Kurukulla.)

Tuesday May 12, the little painting I paid $25 for in the late 1990s was auctioned for $18,725.

I immediately posted a public thank you to Kurukulle, Juno, Jupiter and Jason here on the Strategic Sorcery Board; I am also donating some of the proceeds when I have access to them, to one fund I am keeping secret, and to Nepal relief efforts (specifically to a fund managed by Lama Rangbar and concentrating on Sainkhu-area, where there are Vajrayogini and many red dakini shrines).

 I really directly credit Jason’s teaching, work and relationship with deities for strengthening my own connections with same deities (even if I had met them earlier via other routes), as well as work he is able to do for hire; AND I thank all my fellow sorcerers for performing the global rites together, because I feel those are really us together cooking a delicious stew we can all share!


I don’t normally share too many personal details with folks and primarily shared this out of gratitude to all parties involved– and also because I hope it is inspirational for other folks working, especially those who doubt themselves or doubt magic (I myself experience doubts on a regular basis) So I am wishing you all many many successes with your work, and I have no doubt that we couldn’t ask for a better teacher and mentor!

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Magic is an Influence

Element.jpgCrowley defined magic as  “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.”

This definition has had an enormous impact, and has deeply influenced other attempts at defining magic since then.

Dion Fortune clarifies “changes in consciousness”, but I think my readers already know that I think that’s only a part of it.

Donald Michael Kraig expanded on Crowley also “Magick is the science and art of causing change  to occur in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science.”

Frater U.D. attempts to bridge the gap by saying: “Magic is the Science and Art of causing Change, on a material as well as a spiritual level, to occur in conformity with Will by altered states of consciousness.”

Phil Hine says that  “A magical act may be defined as causing reality to conform to will.

The list goes on. In fact you can find many great definitions listed in this convenient Spiral Nature Article.

The key word that I wanted to address here about these definitions is the word cause. It is a fine word because whatever magical acts you do are in fact a cause in a chain of cause and effect. When it comes to understanding practical application though, I think influence is a better word.

When we say that Magic causes things to happen it gives the impression of a process that is as sure as turning your car on or heating water. If you turn the key it will cause the car to start, if you heat the kettle it will cause the water to boil. If people start thinking about magic in such black and white terms it leads to ethical quandries and misunderstandings.

Despite my own writings, and the writings of many others to the contrary, I STILL regularly talk to people who have done a TON of magic to obtain a result yet almost no other work to influence their situation. The classic example is the bad resume, which I bring up a lot only because it happens a lot. I have known people that have college degrees, relevant experience, and have done everything from simple candle magic to Goetic Evocation but still cannot find a decent job. When I do the consult and see the resume, I know why. Your Batchelors in Chemistry does no good if the first thing listed under education is your Reiki Master certification, your dates are incomplete and formatting non-existent.

If we understand magic as the cause of getting a job this should not matter. If we understand it as an influence upon your search for a job, this makes total sense.

On the ethical side of things if a spell to get Woman X to love Sorceress Y always worked directly like a movie, I think that a lot of the “will infringement” arguments would hold a lot of water. But thats not how it works. That spell is an influence upon Woman X to love Sorceress Y. How much of an influence depends upon the actual work, the probable chances of success at the beginning and many other influences. There are still ethical concerns and lines that you may or may not want to cross, but the whole idea that “any magic that infleunces the will of another is eeeeeeeeeeevil!” loses some of its standing when we see enchantment as an influence rather than a cause.

This is also important to keep in mind when you hire someone to do magic for you. What you are hiring is someone to do the work. Just like a Doctor or a Lawyer, they will hopefully do their best, and hiring a good one increases the influence that their work will have the desired impact, but they are just an influence. In some cases the patient does not rest and the client keeps incriminating themselves, and no matter what the doctor or lawyer does, their influence is outweighed.

This is not only true in the practical sphere, but in the spiritual as well. Many people are solely concerned with “change in consciousness”, which is fine. But again you can walk the planetary gates and gain initiation from the angels and it is but an influence upon your path. Same with meditation, energy practice, prayer, and anything else. Ordinary consciousness has STRONG gravity and the chattering Monkey Mind is a potent enemy to take on. I know people that have done months of retreats, but no work outside of that, and have ended up the same or worse.

Magic is a powerful influence, don’t waste it.

Later today I will post a field report from a student that understands this very clearly and used different types of influence to attain a GREAT result.


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Extraction Magic

One of the points that I try to convey in my course is the difference between a quality that is inherent of a correspondence that magicians use as a tool to do magic. Most things like elements and directions, or planetary hours and days, are IMO a correspondence that magicians use to do magic and not inherently true. For instance I do not think that the west is inherently more watery, of that Thursdays are inherently more Jupitarian than Saturdays.

Just like a scientist might take a cell and use enzymes and alcohol to extract the DNA, magicians use colors, directions, days, and hours to extract the force that we want to address in our magic.  Certainly some people believe that these things are inherent, and that their system of hours, days, etc is the correct one. They believe Thursday is more Jupiter than Saturday as sure as the sun is in the sky, and that is fine – I am not really writing this to convince them otherwise. I am writing this because if you don’t think that way, some things can throw you…

Once you start adhering to a system you begin standing in its current, and those things can effect you even if you unknowingly make a mistake. Just because it’s a tool, does not mean that it is all in your head. If you start invoking elements and planets using the Pentagram and Hexagram directions, but you cock up the direction there is every chance that you will get the result of the mistake, rather than the intent.

If a deity does not have a planetary correspondence or direction, there is no NEED to assign one. Use the name and symbols and history. No need to limit yourself. You CAN assign one, but be careful. In the process of seeking to find a special time or direction, you might be limiting yourself in other ways.

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MY advice for young occultists

So there has been a big kurfluffel about Nick Farrells advice for young occultsists and various people critiquing it, and now lots of people issuing their own lists. Its altready overdone and my mind is on other things, but someone specifically asked me to do it because there has not been a really good blog-go-round in a while.

So here than are my few pieces of advice for young occultists.

1. If you CAN do something else, do that. I am serious about this. Most of the world doesn’t even believe that this stuff is real. It is not the best way to get money, sex, power, or anything else. So unless you absolutely, feel a call to this that overshadows just about anything else, spend your time doing something else.

2. If you do feel that call to do it, DO THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF IT. There is noting better then doing what you love, so if you are gonna be about it, then be about it.

3. MEDITATE. I know, I know. It’s the most un-magical thing you can do. You want to get up and shout invocations to the quarters and meditation has you sitting down and shutting up. You want to see strange things and have visions, and meditation tells you to not pay attention to those. You want to talk to the gods and spirits and meditation tells you that if one interrupts your meditation that you should ignore it. Do it anyway. There is nothing you know outside your own mind, so having a clear one is REALLY important.

4. Keep your fantasy like separate from your occultism. It might SEEM like a cool idea to start making talismans in the language from Skyrim, but because magic is itself a subtle thing, and even the best of us can confuse a spirits messages and signs with our own projections, it is almost never a good idea. This is not to say that there is no overlap, or never a place for it, but become an occultist first. Then think about how fantasy and the occult impact each other.

5.Realize that you know a LOT. Because of ease of information you can actually get detailed and more accurate information faster then when I or Nick were your age. Sometimes you won’t have the proper context to process this information, but simply having the access gives you a leg up on where we were. That said information is not wisdom, which will come in time. You can benefit a LOT from having older people take you through the ropes and point out the mistakes that we made, but don’t let that cut you off from the tools and information that we did not have.

6. Make Money a part of your path. I am not talking about becoming a writer or professional occultist. I am talking about making money part of your life’s strategy. Unless you are a Monk or wandering Yogi you are NOT serious about being non-materialistic in your spiritual path, so make it a part of your path. Money is too big a monster to let run amok: if you are not going to banish it, then you have to master it, or it will master you. 

7. KEEP TALKING. Your theories are not fully formed yet, but unless you talk about them, they never will be. Your brain is more flexible than ours is, and if you can manage to take advantage of the experience of your teachers AND the flexibility and vigor of your youth you can break new ground. Everything that I teach today is rooted in stuff that I tossed around with peers and elders when i was in my Teens and 20’s.

8. KEEP QUESTIONING: By all means ask real questions, but there is a method of asking genuine questions that ALSO display how smart and serious you are. If there is one technique that I have used to get people who are older to open up and spill details about higher teachings, it is asking questions that show I know what I am talking about,

That and alcohol….

PS: The pic above is of me and some other occultists with Lama Vajranatha. We took him to the woods, got him beer, then learned some magic. Do stuff like that.

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One of the things I love most about Asian magical systems is that it does not position itself against technology in any way. People in the west have gone so far as to tell me they cannot light ritual candles with a lighter because they were not invented in whatever the time was that they are all hot and turned on by. By contrast you can get electronic prayer wheels or make offerings to Rahula to help you with computer problems.

I just received an Omamori of Inari from a dear friend of mine that just came back from a year in Japan, which of course prompted me to do some Shinto research when I found this little beauty in the picture above. Its a jōhō anzen kigan 情報安全祈願 blessed memory card that you can buy from Denden Shrine in Kyoto.

At that shrine you can pray to Myojin, the Kami of Telecommunications and electricity to cless memory cards, as well as RFID wallets and so on. This is the kind of thing that can get lost when we try to hard to re-construct a system. It is wonderful to recover broken links to the past, as long as we don’t lose our Sorcerous links to the present in the process.

So tell me, how does technology feature in your magic?


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