Your Questions About Magick and Shamanism Answered
Q: Can you send me a book on spells to work with?
A: While there are many, many books on spellwork easily available in bookstores and websites, it’s highly unlikely that spells found in those sources would be either safe or effective. Magickally speaking, spells are formalized intentions created for specific people in specific situations. Since no two people and no two situations are exactly alike, it is quite impossible to create a generic spell that will produce reliable results for every person. Generic spells for simple results, such as clearing a sacred space of junky energy, tend to be more reliable than larger spells that seek the change overall life conditions.
For instance, many people wish to use spells to create prosperity, happiness or stable relationships. These are all complex topics and a spell must be able to address all of those issues on many different levels. Therefore, if you want to use spells, we suggest you learn the basics of spellwork and create your own spells. You need to know how to throw and interpret tarot readings (to get the specific factors of your situation), create directors and limiters that define the exact parameters of the spell, write verses and use the proper symbols. All of these are taught in the Esoteric School’s Basic Magic Course and Sonics, Spellwork and Tarot Intensive. For more information about these courses, visit http://www.shamanschool.com/courses/index.html.
Q: What is the difference between conjuration and invocation?
A: Great question. With all the magickal terms out there, it can be hard to figure out the difference between conjuration and invocation. The difference is that conjuration is a demand for a being to appear in our space, while invocation is a request for a being to appear in our space. Invocation is a much safer procedure than conjuration, and the Esoteric School of Shamanism and Magic teaches students always to use invocation rather than conjuration. Why? There are a number of reasons.
First, invocation is more polite than conjuration. More often than not, we are using invocation to request a being higher on the hierarchy than we are, therefore it’s polite to ask rather than demand. Second, if we are going to work with beings we’re not familiar with, it’s safer to go out of body to visit them in their space than it is to demand that they come to our space. If things get out of hand, your body is then in a safe place and you won’t have to worry about how to send this being back to its own space. Third, invocation requires that we prepare a sacred space since most upper level beings will not come into our space from an invocation without us making the proper preparation. Creating sacred space means that we have purified the area and then, more often than not, put up a full cast circle for our own protection. With conjuration, we aren’t required to make these preparations, so it can be highly insulting to the being we conjure to pull them into a non-sacred space.
There are more reasons than we can list here as to why invocation produces better results than conjuration, and the bottom line is that as shamans and magicians, our goals are cooperation rather than enforcement. If we want to work with certain beings, our work is more likely to be effective when we gain their cooperation, plus we’re less likely to encounter negative side effects.
Q: When can you use magick in self-defense?
A. There are very specific rules that govern the use of magick in self-defense. First, consult the Rules of the Road (free download from last week that can be found at http://www.shamanschool.com/resources.html#articles). Then consider this self-defense rule:
“In cases of direct and violent personal harm, you are entitled to defend yourself by any means available provided you did nothing to encourage or provoke the attack.”
That’s a pretty clear statement of the rules that govern self-defense. It’s very important to study the last part of that statement – “provided you did nothing to encourage or provoke the attack” – carefully in each situation. To avoid side effects or harmful effects coming back on you, study your motivation and actions in the situation. Did you in any way provoke the attack? Did you encourage it knowing that the other person has certain tendencies toward anger or rage? Did you display any anger or rage? If you have sorted through the situation carefully and find you have done nothing to encourage or provoke the attack, then you are entitled to self-defense.
Like everything, knowing when you can and cannot defend yourself magickally takes practice and discernment. This can seem like a very gray area until you have gone through several situations. To find out more about self-defense, check out the free article in the GIVING BACK section on self-defense.
Once you are clear about the self-defense rule, what can you do to defend yourself when you are under attack? Join our Basic Magic course to learn multiple self-defense techniques, including fireballs, lightning bolts, lightning rods and shielding. To find out more about the Basic Magic course, visit http://www.shamanschool.com/courses/basicmagic.html.
Q: Is magick real?
A: This is a great question and one that we get all the time. In our self-help society, we are inundated with so much “woo-woo” spiritual stuff that it can be difficult to tell whether something is real or not. Magick, when taught as a precise science, is very much “real.” That is, when you learn magick as a precise science, you are able to produce specific desired results using particular techniques and approaches. More importantly, your outcomes are reliable, meaning that you can duplicate the results again and again.
We teach students that magick is a precision science, and “altered procedures produce altered results.” When our students carry out the techniques in exactly the format they are taught, they get reliable results. As they progress in their studies, they develop the knowledge and presence to research their own techniques, or further enhance techniques learned in the school. The aim of a school of magick is to develop spiritual or magickal scientists who are capable not just of parroting what they are taught, but are interested and able to create new rituals, rites, ceremonies and procedures appropriate to current conditions.
If you look at this question from the perspective of world history, you’ll find that until modern times, what we call magick today was the real life experience of every tribal citizen. The procedures and mind-sets that we teach in Basic Magic formed the fabric of society in ancient times – every person was steeped in this knowledge. Magick was the common stuff of everyday life, and the ancients would have found our current world quite “unreal” and unbelievable!
If you want to find out whether a magickal approach, procedure, technique, mind set or school is “real” or not, see if it produces reliable results again and again (but be sure and check that it’s safe and follows Rules of the Road* first!). If it’s real, it will produce specific outcomes and not depend solely on your being in a “good” state!
*Find out more about Rules of the Road, the rules that govern magickal and shamanic practice at http://www.shamanschool.com/resources.html#articles.
Q: I’ve heard of the four elements. What are they and how do you use them in magick?
A: The four elements are air, fire, water and earth. Everything in made up of some combination of these four elements, with the exception of “elementals” – beings that are composed exclusively of a single element. In magick, we work with these four elements to create desired changes in our environment, our lives and ourselves.
Magickally, we define these four elements slightly differently than we might define them in everyday life. For instance, when we think of the element air, we tend to think of the air we breathe. Magickally, though, air is defined as any vapor. Therefore, steam, fog, smoke, any gasses, or anything vaporous would be considered “air” to a magician. Fire is any energy, water is any liquid and earth is any solid.
We are all composed of air, fire, water and earth, and each person of a different balance or quantity of each of these elements. A person high in air is good at planning, thinking, communicating, speaking and conceptualizing. If you are a person high in air and you would like to think less and feel more, you would want to decrease your level of air and increase your level of water. This doesn’t mean that you breathe less and drink more water. It simply means that you release air energy and take on more water energy. We normally use a variety of techniques to accomplish this, including energy boxes, direct flow, energy balls and rooting (sometimes called grounding). There are specific ways to handle each element safely, and all of these are taught in the first 10 weeks of the Basic Magic course (http://www.shamanschool.com/courses/basicmagic.html).
Q: Why did this happen to me?
We often get questions about why certain events happened in people’s lives. There are too many specific questions to list here so we thought a general answer might be useful.
A: Because our lives are all so complex, it can be difficult to determine why certain events take place, especially events that we perceive as negative. However, there are some laws or rules that apply here on Earth that might be useful. Generally speaking, the level of our attention or intention determines the cause of events in our lives.
At the lowest level, we have very little ability to focus our attention on any single thing over a long period of time. We are scattered and distracted by life events, and spend most of our lives reacting to one thing or another. At this level of attention, things happen in our lives by the Law of Accident, which means that things simply happen by accident. We reel away from one event and stumble into another, only to react and be bounced to the next. Under the Law of Accident, there is no way to determine the causes in our lives because everything is a mixed-up confused jumble. It would be like trying to untangle twelve skeins of yarn that have been mixed in a blender. Things just happen.
At the next level, our focus and intention is stronger. We spend much less time reacting and much more time listening for guidance and responding to events. At this level, influences such as astrology, numerology, life contracts and fengshui can reach us. We have a little more space in our lives, and these influences can affect our lives. The number of influences is far less than under the Law of Accident, and we may be able to sort out various causes in our lives. This level of attention is developed through esoteric study, meditation, yoga or any discipline practiced over long periods of time. At this level, we don’t have much will but we can at least see the influences that penetrate our lives.
The next level up is the level of real will. This is the goal of man’s evolution. At this level, our attention is so finely honed that we ourselves may choose the influences under which we operate. We see clearly when we fall under higher or lower influences, and actually have the will to move ourselves from one to another. This is the level achieved by the ascended masters such as Buddha and Christ.
While these are clearly very simplified views of the earth school in which we live, it does show us the need to develop our attention and focus. So if you have a question about why something is happening in your life, check your level of attention. Do you bounce around from life event to life event? How much of your life do you actually choose? Under which influences do you live? This will get you started on the investigative process, and as you are ready, more will be revealed to you by your angels, guides and the Universe.
Q: I want to manifest more money in my life. What kind of magick can help me do that?
A: There are a lot of different magickal techniques that you can use – techniques that fall in the realm of what we call “hard magic.” Hard magic includes all the techniques that are precise and produce reliable results, no matter what state we are in. To learn hard magic techniques requires study in courses like our Basic Magic Course*. In lieu of being in class, however, the best technique we’ve found for manifesting is the appropriate use of your intention.
In our culture, we are taught by advertising, news, authority figures and other mass media to want things. We want better cars, more money, a more prosperous life situation, to go on vacation or own a house. There’s nothing wrong with wanting any of these things. Along with being taught to want, however, we are also taught to feel the pain of not having. Look at the examples we see on the news: children beating each other for a pair of new tennis shoes or people going into debt playing the lottery. By our culture, we are taught to feel ““less than when we don’t have what others have. While jealousy and envy are natural emotions, our culture tends to really play on these emotions by blasting us constantly with commercials and advertising. So, we are a nation of people stuck between the rock of wanting, and the hard place of not having.
Therefore, if you don’t have what you want, the best way to get it is to stop feeling the pain of not having it. The Universe always delivers to you what you feel, and if you feel only lack, that’s what you’ll get. Many of you have heard these words hundreds of times before in many different ways, and some of you will say that you’ve tried this approach and it hasn’t worked. It’s true. When we try to apply a principle like this to our lives in a general way, the effect is diluted. Plus, we usually don’t have the attention span necessary to apply it over a long period of time. So here’s what you do. Undertake a series of small, simple exercises that will help you focus your efforts to feel the wanting but not the pain of lack. Here are a couple of exercises to start with – neither of these exercises does anything direct to manifest your aim, but it will open a space in your life so that the Universe can squeeze through the cracks and bring you the manifestation you desire. The first exercise is to sit quietly
twice a day for 10 minutes or so. Simply sit and do not hold onto any thoughts that float through your mind. The quiet creates space for the Universe to create, space that’s usually filled with negative thoughts and emotions. The second exercise is to meet incoming events in life with delight and wonder. It will transfer the impressions you take in to different parts of yourself, and every event will look different. If someone is driving fast, meet it with wonder: “I wonder why they are in such a hurry?” If someone is driving slowly in front of you, meet it with delight: “How nice that these people aren’t in a hurry.” It feels artificial in the beginning, but the results will astound you! Give either or both exercises a try for 30 days and see how your life changes. Attracting more money will not be the only positive thing that manifests in your life.
Q. I’m under 18 – can I still study magick? Your website says that you must be 18 years or older to take these courses.
A. Great question! The reason we limit our classes to people 18 years and older is because you need a certain amount of life experience before you can really profit from the material. However, there is a lot of preparatory work you can do.
You can begin your research into a magical and shamanic way of living by accessing all our free articles at http://www.shamanschool.com/resources. Another great place to get an overview is to read Paxton Robey’s book “No Time for Karma.” You can download the free ebook at http://laplaza.org/~paxton/index.htm.
Finally, it’s never too early to begin training your attention. We always manifest what we put out attention on, so the more you can control your attention, the more you will be able to control what you create in your life. Begin by working with the consistency exercise. Download the article about this exercise on the Resources page. Good luck!
Q. What kind of magical protection can you teach me?
A. There are as many forms of magical protection out there as there are magicians. There are various kinds of shields, including temporary, permanent, moving and standing shields. Here are some guidelines to take into account when studying various kinds of shields:
– Moving or spinning shields are much more effective than static shields.
– Curved shields (convex or concave) are much more powerful than flat shields.
– Use the minimum level of shielding necessary to get the job done (excess shielding attracts too much attention).
– If you set up house or property shields, make sure you program them so you never ‘lock’ yourself out.
– When programming your shields, choose the words you use carefully. Magic is a precision science and altered procedures produce altered results!
– If you start to feel isolated from the world, check your shields. You may have left your shields up too long or programmed them against too many things.
– Learn to put up personal shields at a moment’s notice. With out-of-body travel and other exercises, you may get into situations that require instant shields. You won’t have time to think about it!
– For house and property shields,,take into account off-planet beings that can penetrate many of the simpler kinds of shielding.
We teach most forms of shielding in our Basic Magic course. To find out more about Basic Magic (which taught in self-paced, online and teleconference formats), visit: