Secrets of Magic 9: Enlist your subconscious mind

The amazing human mind is the last great frontier. Western science has only been exploring this terrain for a little more than a century. There is much we still don’t understand about how the mind works. We do know that our beliefs powerfully affect what happens in our lives. Consciousness is a tiny fraction of […]

Taking a Break with 1920s Women Detective Novels

An important part of my work is standing up for human rights as described by the United Nations Declaration. In these times this means keeping up with the news, contacting lawmakers, and marching in the streets. It’s tiring work and we all need to take breaks

Secrets of Magic 8: Want it with all your heart

The first step in getting what we want is to figure out what that is. In Secret 7 we thought about dreams to explore: taking a trip, going back to school, starting a business. The next step is to identify the obstacles between us and what we plan to do. Some obstacles to achieving what […]

Research notes: Dark Places of Wisdom

Peter Kingsley’s book In the Dark Places of Wisdom is a story. It’s a scholarly work making a serious point but Kingsley sweeps away the academic apparatus and banishes notes to the end of the book. He writes in a strikingly simplistic style. It’s a conversational narrative, parceling out information in small bits and retracing […]

Seven Magical Ways to Resist Donald Trump

The resistance to the American political shift toward authoritarianism has become permanent part of the social landscape. Here are seven ways we can leverage magic to assist our political efforts. Magical Resistance Tip One: Look to our traditions for guidance. Magical folk have been the underdogs in the Western world for the last two thousand years. […]

Secrets of Magic 7: Ask for what you want

With magic we can accomplish anything we want. We already know that we always have access to the information we need to do the magic we want to do. The secret of magic is to figure out what it is we want to use the magic to accomplish. Once the goal is clear, almost all […]

Research notes: Sacrifice and Magic

Proclus wrote a commentary on the Chaldean Oracles which is lost. This is my current top entry for “books I would rescue from the mists of time”. However there is one fragment which survives, “On the Hieratic Art”. Marsilio Ficino paraphrased the text as “De Sacrificio et Magia” in 1576. The hieratic art is theurgy, […]

In defense of practical magic

Magical and academic texts sometimes make a distinction between low magic and high magic. Spiritual magic has lofty goals, connecting us to the divine; the priestess who works this magic has the best intentions and results. On the other hand the sorceress who conjures for her own benefit is the meanest of the mean, twisting […]

Secret of Magic 6: Trust yourself

There are many magical paths. Some of them are easy to walk on our own. Others require guidance from more experienced practitioners. No matter what magical path you choose, and however knowledgeable your advisor is, you are always the person who knows best what you need to do. You know what is working well for […]

Humanizing traditional magic

I am deeply committed to humanist values. I know as a fundamental truth that every human soul is equal to any other regardless of the body that soul currently wears. Women are as valuable as men, other genders are as valid as the man-woman binary, skin color and ethnicity are no bar to ability, disability […]

Essential reading for the modern sacred prostitute

Are you a Qedishtu, a sacred prostitute? Deena Metzger wrote about them thirty years ago. As far as I know she was the first person to use the term in the context of contemporary practice. Because we are quick to forget the contributions of women I want to draw attention to her work. Here is […]

Secret of Magic 5: Accept Guidance

Magic is composed of three things: The power of the universe The knowledge of how to access it The skill to use it The power of the universe is available to everyone all the time. The skill to use it comes with our magical practices. But how do we get the knowledge of how to […]