Money, Time, and Attention.

When you are just starting out as an adult you tend to have a shortage of money, but lots of time to accomplish everything you need. During this period, a DIY mentality serves you well: from mundane tasks like repairing your own plumbing and fixing your car to magical tasks like making your oils and magical tools from scratch.

As you get older you hopefully become more successful and money stops being in such short supply. Sadly most people at this stage face a deficit of time. Serious careers, kids, and passions soon make it impossible keep up with all the demands on your time. Suddenly it makes more sense to pay someone to fix crap, mow your lawn, and make your oils and tools.

Hopefully you get that shit whipped into shape too: You streamline your life so that everything from business stuff. to family time, to personal time is happening in a good balance. Now your problem is attention: even with maximized time and infinite money you cannot give attention to everything, so where do you place it?

When you get to this point you start to jettison a lot of stuff.  Some decisions are easy. Here’s a hint: if you regularly watch anything on USA network you should re-think where your attention is going. Other choices are more difficult and bound to piss people off when you withdraw or do not give as much of your bandwidth as they would like.

So Strategerati, why am I pointing this out to you? Because if you are like me your passion for sorcery and the occult is so strong that it creates an added draw against money, time and attention beyond what most people experience. Same is true for those who are self-employed. If you are both? OUCH.

Here is what I want you to keep in mind:

ITS CYCLICAL: This progression of Money, Time, Attention deficit is not a single progression through life, it’s a cycle. When you get all three of them nailed down pretty well you will find a new opportunity for Money, which again creates a poverty of Time, and eventually attention needs to shift. The cycles get tighter each time you go through it, and eventually you adjust all three of them simultaneously.

WHERE IS YOUR POVERTY?: Too many wealth Sorcerers are focused directly on money. Figure out where in your life the real poverty lies. It might indeed be money, but it might be time or attention. Focus on where you really need the help and fire your Sorcery at that.

BE MINDFUL OF WHERE OTHER”S DEFICIT LIES: We all need things from other people. Maybe it at a teacher like me, maybe it’s your boss at work, maybe it is people you are trying to get to donate to a cause, maybe its someone even closer like your spouse or best friend.

If you are short on time and have people around you that are not, they might not understand why you can’t hang anymore, its up to you to explain. If someone has a specific method for people to access them through, make sure you know it and use it. If you have lots of time and are trying to get the attention of someone who doesn’t, be brief and to the point. If you write me a couple sentences with a question I can answer briefly chances are I will get back to you in a day or two. If you write me a 2000 word e-mail asking me to explain a whole system of magic, you won’t get an answer.

MANAGE YOUR ENERGY AS WELL: Whatever of the three deficits you are focusing on, you must be mindful of your energy. You can schedule your creative time in the morning, but if you have more energy and focus at night for that then you are managing yourself poorly. You can decide to work three or more jobs for extra money, but your energy will give out as we tragically found out this week. Keeping healthy, eating right, managing caffeine efficiently, and knowing your own cycles are key to making the most of your money, time, and attention.

CHOOSE YOUR TOOLS WISELY: Do you have a scheduling app? A method of note taking? A System for getting things done? There are apps and tools for making money, managing time, and managing attention: make use of them. I am fond of Google Keep for notes, Mint for money management, Calm for short meditation sessions, Rescue Time for getting focused writing done, and ZenToDone as an overall system of management. But I am tweaking it all the time. I will be testing out Todoist this week to see if it offers anything I need.

At the same time, make sure you know what tools NOT to use. I recently turned off all my phone notifications for Facebook messages and E-mails. I have started to again shop with cash rather than an ATM card. Never let your tools use you.

USE MAGIC: Meditation of course is something that you knew I was going to bring up. It is a great help keeping focused. So is unfocused silent time. I had some success recently with praying to Zurvan for managing my time. Planetary minded mages should keep the powers of Luna, Mercury, and Saturn in mind just as much as Jupiter and Sol. Time, thought, and discipline are as important as expansion and inspiration.

Offerings also are a huge help in smoothing things out. You would be surprised at what the un-names local spirits of your neighborhood and workplace can accomplish with less effort than a Goetic Demon. Make offerings and allies, and you won’t even have to ask.

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Advice for the Individual vs. Society

Simple concept that is important to strategic thinking: advice that you might give to an individual may not be appropriate advice for society at large, and vice versa. Simple enough right?

It should be, but I see people mixing up the two all the time. It’s important to keep them separate.

It’s no secret that I am pretty liberal when it comes to politics and am generally supportive of social welfare,affirmative action, safety nets and corporate regulations. So sometimes people are surprised and confused when I talk entrepreneurship, independence, looking for opportunity, and generally pulling oneself up by ones own boot-straps, which all sound like conservative ideals.

The thing is that looking for opportunities and pulling yourself up is good advice for an individual in poverty. Do not wait for a handout, make or take whatever opportunity you can grab and make a better life for yourself. This makes total sense if you have a person in front of you asking for advice on how to make his life better. It is however a terrible plan when discussing impoverished cities or minority populations. They very fact that someone is even in a position where they are looking for advice on how to get ahead, or even in a head-space that this seems possible, means that they are already in a better spot than most most.

Similarly, while I think that plans aimed at eliminating the wealth gap, higher minimum wage, social welfare, equal pay laws, and affirmative action policies are great things for society it is absolutely shit advice to give to individuals looking to make their way in the world. It is one thing to think that fast food workers as a whole deserve better pay, it is quite another to tell the person you know who works at McDonalds that he should stick around and wait for it. See what I am saying?

But it’s not just about wealth. Recently the issue has come up regarding Rape.

You might have read about the four guys at North California State that invented a nail polish that detects the presence of date rape drugs. This is getting a lot of press not only because the great potential it has in preventing rape, but because certain Rape Crisis groups are NOT endorsing the invention. Here again is a conflict between a solution for an individual and a solution to a societal problem.

I absolutely agree that the victim is not to blame in cases of rape, and when women are raped people look for any reason to blame the victim or demand that women defend themselves rather than for men not to rape. Even though the problem of rape in society should not be solved by telling women to fight harder, an individual woman can benefit greatly from having tools to detect rape drugs and defend herself from attackers. To endorse a method for individual protection is not the same as shifting responsibility to the victim. Most people would agree that knowing martial arts and how to defend yourself is a good skill, but few would say that those who don’t are responsible for violence that happens to them. Sadly, this does happen with rape victims, but I will still be teaching my daughter how to defend herself and using any tools and tricks to prevent her from being raped.

But as I said, good advice for an individual is not always good for society at large. For instance Miss Nevada last year was asked what to do about rape on college campus’s and her answer was: “Myself, as a fourth-degree black belt, I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself. And I think that’s something that we should start to really implement for a lot of women.

Again, if she was talking to someone who asked her “what can I do to help prevent me from being raped?” but she wasn’t. She was asked what to do about rape on college campus’s – telling all women to become fourth degree black belts is just not reasonable and shifts the narrative back on the victim rather than the perpetrators.

Advice for society and advice for the individual should not always be the same. 

So why am I writing about this on a Sorcery Blog?

Because I see students and other sorcerers confusing the two things over and over with their magic. One person I know of refuses to use magic to further their career because they are afraid of adding to the income gap while others are suffering. On the flip side, I know someone who left a group that was enchanting for more help to a certain area in need because he felt that they should “pull themselves up”.

When planning magic or living life realize that good advice for an individual is not always good for society as a whole, and vice-versa.

 

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The Cyprian Handbook

2014 has absolutely been the year of St Cyprian. Apart from the two major works that came out this year: Jake Stratton Kent’s Testament of Cyprian The Mage and José Leitão’s Book of St Cyprian, The Sorcerer’s Treasure, there has been enormous interest in all parts of the world. Now that it is September, the days of the feasts of both Cyprians, I have invited my students to participate in the same Novena that I do, and am getting innundated with request for further prayers and supplimental spells.

Like a Cyprianista Superman Polyphanes from The Digital Ambler has delivered a new Handbook of Cyprian Prayers! This is a pithy collection of translations from Botanicas and Church traditions through the east and the west. I got mine on Friday vis my phone and took the prayers from the Orthodox Tradition out for a spin while meditating at the Shrine of Saint Anne.

One thing: these are largely translations of Christian Prayers. Many of us can look past some of the odious aspects of Christianity and see what lies underneath, but if you cannot, this is not the book for you. I give this caveat because the Church has done many terrible things and those who hold it in contempt have perfectly valid reasons. If you are looking for an uber-occult, gnostic, liberal, and multi-traditional Christianity this is not the place to find it.

For the rest of us this chapbook is a STEAL. 23 pages of Cyprian Prayers for just 9 bucks. Go grab it. 

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Ice Bucket Challenge

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My Reddit AMA

Here it is. My Reddit AMA.

It was a great way to spend an evening. Thank you for the great questions.

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Reddit AMA 9pm Eastern Time TONIGHT

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Just an FYI: I am doing an AMA on reddit.com/r/occult at 9pm tonight.

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The Benefits of Asana

10561570_10203313317928556_7145974589779264419_nLast week I replaced my most important magical tool. I had some fun letting the Strategic Sorcery group guess what that might be before someone rightly guessed that it was my Zafu.

Matt Brownlee and I took a drive over to Samadhi Cushions, visited the actual workroom where they are made, took an assortment out for a test drive and both decided on new cushions. As you can see from the photo, I picked a buckwheat half-moon Zafu with matching Zabuton.

The cushion and the Asana are important, not just because it is the seat where you perform meditation. When practiced regularly an asana like Lotus or Siddhasana, become an instant trigger for your body and mind to focus, clear, relax, and even heal.

I had a pinched nerve in my hip persisting for a week straight and was about to head back to NJ to see my doctor, but after 7 hours in Siddhasana it went away. This was not 7 hours of meditation mind you – I meditated, did ritual, and worked at my laptop. The position itself did the work.

Today I was sick. After laying around for a few hours I dragged myself to the cushion. Kids were home, and my son was also sick, so other than a few prayers and mala rounds of Sidpe Gyalmo practice I did not get to do any kind of healing work for myself. Still, the asana promoted a type of alert-relaxation that was deeper than simply laying down.

Sitting an asana promotes spirit contact as well and most of my evocation methods are done in a small circle with the cushion and small table in the center.

If you have knee or back problems and can only sit in a chair, then pick a particular chair, or better yet a backless stool or ottoman. Same rules apply.

Pick a good asana though. Thelemites seem to overwhelmingly favor “Dragon Asana” mainly because there is a photo of Charles Stansfield Jones in that position and it was also featured as one of the positions in the Equinox. It is a version of Seiza position from Japan. If you meditate wearing swords on your belt, or are going to be springing up into kneeling position in an Aikido dojo, or are learning tea ceremony this is great. If however you are planning on doing long periods of sitting it is unstable, bad for your ankles, and just generally a dumb choice. Most Thelemites aren’t even doing Seiza correctly and hold their feet straight rather than separating the heels to rest the seat in. If you ARE going to do this position, find an martial arts teacher to teach it to you correctly.

If there is interest I will do a short video on Asana basics for Sorcerers. If my fat ass can do it, you can to, and really it is quite amazing practice all by itself.

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Market Sorcery – Apprentice Guest Post

As a follow up to my Financial Forecast post, one of my apprentices decided to do a guest post and talk a bit about about how he uses Sorcery as an investor and business person.

Most of what I write about is aimed at people who want a comfortable and stable financial situation. Here is advice from someone who uses it for much more than that:

I have been a vice president at a Fortune 500 company. Today I am an entrepreneur, business owner, investor and professional money manager. Over the course of my career I have done several billion dollars worth of financial transactions.

I use sorcery at the macro level to aid me in reaching my specific goals by smoothing difficulties, defeating competition, improving relations with others, and sometimes for giving momentum to new projects. I have been hit with specific business ideas while chanting the mantra of certain wealth deities.

I never use divination to make investment decisions. My skill and knowledge of investments and the markets is far more reliable than my skill with any form of divination.

If a person wants to learn to trade they need to invest the time and energy into it just like any other discipline such as sorcery or martial arts or music, etc. As you often like to point our, first the working; then the work. Sorcery can be used to support this learning and even the actual practice, but it is not a substitute for doing the work. Anyone that thinks otherwise is living in a fantasy world.

For those that just want to know a little more at a high level, start with this: http://www.amazon.com/Journal-Complete-Investing-Guidebook-Guidebooks/dp/0307236994/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407594019&sr=8-1&keywords=wall+street+journal+guide

For those that are kind of interested in trading and will likely only read one book, read this one which I had mentioned to you the last time we talked: http://www.amazon.com/Trading-Intermarket-Analysis-Financial-Exchange-Traded/dp/1118314379/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407594184&sr=8-1&keywords=trading+with+intermarket+analysis

This is a great book. It is clear, concise and easily understood.

For those who look at the markets as a fascinating puzzle to be figured out and are passionate about learning to trade, go read the same books that the pros do. Specifically, work your way through the reading list for the CMT program: http://www.mta.org/eweb/dynamicpage.aspx?webcode=chartered-market-technician

Click on the links for the recommended reading lists. If you are not passionate about the markets and trading, figure out how to start a business instead, which is a different set of recommended reading.

For those that want to go pro in an investment related field, skip the MBA and do the CFA program. The CFA program is around $4-$5 K all in vs. somewhere from $30 – $100 K+ for an MBA. The CFA is also a globally known and respected program, while unfortunately MBAs are a dime a dozen particularly if you get it from BFE State vs. one of the Ivy’s. Be aware that the CFA program is much harder than doing an MBA and will require a very real minimum 2 to 3 year commitment.

One more thought – for the person looking to get their first entry level position as a corporate number cruncher, read the following book and do all the exercises:  http://www.amazon.com/Financial-Modeling-Simon-Benninga/dp/0262027283/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407600801&sr=8-1&keywords=financial+modeling+simon+benninga

For $100 and some quality time spent with Excel a person can have a better set of marketable skills than your average newly minted MBA.

I hope this is helpful!

- Sorcerer’s Apprentice

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Sorcery and Financial Forcasts.

I received an interesting e-mail a few days ago. It’s the type of question that I think a lot of magicians ignore or blow off with a statements about how magic is not really about this etc. I thought I might share the question and answer:
Dear Jason,
I enjoyed your recent interview with E. A. Koetting that is posted on his YouTube site.  In it, you mentioned a book you have published named Financial Sorcery.  However, I do not see this book listed on your website.  Is it currently out of print?
You seemed to be a very sensible and down to earth guy in your interview.  I would like to ask you a question that doesn’t pull any punches.  It is a question that I have difficulty ever being answered by occultists.
Can you explain why, with your claims of being able to evoke demons, spirits of the dead, dark gods, and to divine the future and prophecy, you are not able to forecast a single financial market with accuracy over any significant period of time?  I am presuming that while studying and practicing divination you would have attempted to divine the future price of a commodity or other financial instrument.  I am presuming you were not able to do so successfully over any length of time, or you would be listed in Forbes Top 100 richest people.
If the occult is true and its powers are real, why is something as seemingly simple as accurately predicting (over a statistically relevant period of time) whether the gold market will close higher or lower tomorrow than it did today apparently out of the reach of every magician, remote viewer, psionics practitioner, etc., etc.?  I say “out of reach” because even being able to predict the movement of a financial market accurately 70% of the time would soon make someone the richest person on earth. Yet, I see no occultists at the top of any “richest” list. It doesn’t make sense to me.
I hope I have explained my quandary clearly.  Thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you or someone on your team.

WB-

Dear WB-

The problem with your question is that your presumptions are incorrect. You wrote:
 I am presuming that while studying and practicing divination you would have attempted to divine the future price of a commodity or other financial instrument.
I have not, and neither have most occultists. The reason for this is that to even understand the market to the extent that you could frame such a question requires a good deal of patience and interest. Most occultists are not primarily driven by money. If money is your primary concern there are much better ways of spending your time than magic.
Heck, I have trouble even getting Pagans and Occultists to take  money and financial wellness seriously enough to open simple funds, much less get involved in the markets directly. The most talented mages are simply not going to be doing this  because money is not the primary drive.
  I am presuming you were not able to do so successfully over any length of time, or you would be listed in Forbes Top 100 richest people.
This too is an inaccurate presumption. Despite the general lack of interest in the market among occultists I do in fact know some who do use magic to play the market. They do exceedingly well and make into 7 or 8 figures. The people in the Forbes Top 100 are not simple investors though – they are captains of industry. Again – if you are going to spend all your time training in magic and spirituality you are not also spending 80 hours a week as a CEO.

Out of the occultists that I know who are investors or CEO’s or money driven people I can tell you that they are EXTREMELY private about their practice. These are not people who are going to be on forums or showing up at the local gathering. They practice in small groups that have zero web presence. To belong to a group like this requires signing a NDA. There are Billionaires, Politicians, and Academics who are serious occultists. You simply do not hear about them unless they contact you. I only know about them because I am a writer and known to be discreet about contact.
Finally, many of the powers of spirits and such have been overblown. They are not omnipotent or omniscient. It is an edge, not an infallible force. This goes double for divination which is the touchiest of the disciplines. IMO you are better off at enchanting for an outcome you desire than divining the market. Even then, you are improving chances, not defining the outcome. If your chance of winning the lottery is 1 out of 18 million and you cut that by 2/3 it is still 1 in 6 million. If however you start a business that has a 1 in 4 chance of success you can do AMAZINGLY well with magic. 

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Global Venus and New Cycle Have Begun!

VENUSCycle 18 of the Strategic Sorcery Course and the Global Venus Rite have begun!

If you want to sign up there is still time to…

TAKE THE LEAP!

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