Authors & Bloggers, Mind Magick, Occult Philosophy, Thoth

Today As A Magus (1-2-2021)


Harris-Crowley Thoth Tarot; image is © US Games Systems, Inc.

So today’s Medium article is “The Psychology of The Magus” by Jennifer Moore which I discovered when I was looking for a picture of Magus #3 for my collection.  That is the one I happened to draw for today, synchronicitly.  I wasn’t able to read as carefully as I would have liked, my brain was too racing to get my own thoughts out about The Inner Magus and True Will and Weight Loss.

I have given myself the resolution to not eat grain-based food, candy, or soda for 2021.  I started by giving them all up on December 26th.  Today is Day 2 of 2021.  I am not throwing myself at eating X number of calories, trying to balance my Protein-Carbs-Fats or any other food alchemy at this time.  The ~only~ things I’ve established for myself are:

1. No grain-based foods, no candy, no soda
2. Potatoes and Legumes are my primary starches
3. I eat as much fresh produce as I can; condiments are okay.  

I don’t know how much weight I will or won’t lose.  I would LOVE to drop an entire 100 lbs. by my 53rd birthday (tomorrow is my 52nd birthday) but you know what?  I have not, in all the years I’ve told myself “I will lose a hundred lbs. this year” come even close.  I’ve lost 20, 30, even 40 lbs. over a 12 month period but always gained at least half of it back.  Most years, keeping myself between 320-340 lbs. has been my biggest accomplishment. 

I’m not doing it that way this time.  My weight is currently 330 lbs.  I’m at my average.  But in 2021, I would ~like to~ lose at least 31 lbs. and I would ~like to~ feel what it’s like to be 299 lobs again.  I ~plan to~ to get off my ass at least 3 times a day and take three short walks to get in at least 5,000 steps even on bad days.   

But what I AM going to do, not simply hope for and plan for? I’m going to abstain and from grain-based foods (which include all cereals and baked goods and pasta), all candy, all soda.  

Because this is my Will.  This is my Directed Intention that I’m being and going to continue to be magickal about: I am stating to myself and the universe that I will not eat these foods with the self-understanding that what I really mean is that I will willfully and by intention not eat these foods and if I fuck up?  Then I will willfully and by intention smack myself in the head, laugh, and go right back to NOT eating these foods.  I will walk a set path with grit teeth, determination, and accept my human fallibility but not define myself by it.

At the end of the day (or in this case, at the end of the year)?  The point should not be “Laurel weighs less than 300 lbs for the first time in 30 years!”.  That is just the pay-off I hope for.  The point will be “Laurel honed her True Will and mind magick to stop eating grain-based food, candy, and soda… and as a result of that and moderate daily exercise?  She lost weight.”

The point will be that I established a sandbox for shaping and strengthening my True Will in 2021.  It’s that I’m making a resolution that regardless of circumstances, regardless of what events happen and how I feel-think afterward?  I am not going to eat grain-based food, candy, or drink soda.  Not when I’m happy and celebrating, not when I’m sad/bad/mad.  I can drink juice, coffee, tea, water, milk, seltzer…anything else.  I can nom on potatoes with ketchup, I can stick a spoonful of peanut butter in my mouth.  I can let someone buy me a bunless hamburger with fries and ice tea when we go pick up fast food.  

Because I have stated my intention and created a resolution and now I do the magick of creating the reality I want.  I made this resolution and initiated this working with full knowledge that my Inner Demons will gleefully look at ways to sabotage my Inner Magus because that’s their job as my psyche-as-Adversary?  (There’s some psychoteric writing for the future).  The point is to Be The Magus who, like Solomon, masters the demons rather than being mastered by the demons.  2021 is going to be a Solomonic story, not a Faustian story, I have decided.  I get to triumph.  All it takes is me, via praxis, keeping to my resolution via True Will which I believe I can do.  

My BELIEF that I. Can. Do. This. Thing and my embracing of “This is gonna be so hard some days but totally worth it and I will say this and believe this and make this my reality” is the Mind MagickUsing affirmations, rituals, tarot card readings, every tool I draw on to program my brain into consistent follow-through day by day (hour by hour on the rough days)? That’s the Craft. Because if I can say and mean and follow through on something as challenging as “no grains, no candy, no soda” for the next 364 days?

Everything else I want to accomplish is possible and probable too.  But this is the sandbox and canvas for the microcosm of my Great Work for 2021.  It is something I do have control over, and only I have control over, which is what makes it so useful as a sandbox.  You, my readers, will get to watch as you please.  While I’m doing this mental alchemical Magnum Opus (a year of abstinence from grain foods, candy and soda) for me?  I am also sure that using my blog as one of the ways I hold myself accountable for thinking through and typing through this working will really, really help it happen. 

Typing about my inner demons when they manifest and start cavorting about to try and sabotage my work will really help me snap my fingers and say “no” with confidence and prove that my Inner Magus is stronger.

There is most ~definitely~  some very deep delving into The Magus vs. The Devil coming in not too distant writing.  Remember that I believe the entire Major Arcana is there in our psyche all the time. We are never just one card, one archetype when it comes to the zodiacal or tarot archetypes. We simply draw on certain archetypal forces and play them out in what we say-do-feel differently at different times. Educating ourselves about the archetypes and then developing the True Will and magickal prowess to intentionally manifest a specific archetype in a specific way as part of our communication-actions-feeling is the endgame. Perfection in it is an illusion. Doing it most of the time and accomplishing most of what we hope for, getting better with practice? That’s being a good magician.   

Occult Philosophy, Self-Development

Card of The Day: The Magus (Thoth)

Once again, Medium brought a Mitch Horowitz article to my attention. I was clicking it just by the title alone: “Why the Best Spiritual Practice Is the One You Invent Yourself” and only noticed afterward who the author was. I really like how he described his anarchic magick as being a cousin of the chaos magick I learned it from reading a lot of Austin Osman Spare, Peter J. Carroll and Phil Hine. There’s at least one book from each of them on my bookshelves which survived the random purges of the last seven years to drive down my paper book collection and just work with pdfs and audio books instead. I should try and re-read them in 2021.

© US Games Systems, Inc

By synchronicity, the card I drew for myself today was the Thoth deck Magus. I wasn’t planning on doing a blog post though. I spent the early afternoon writing up the script for the second episode of Tarot Esoterica after catching up in social media after a two day hiatus for Xmas Eve/Xmas Day. I figured that was enough but then Mitch Horowitz inspired me. That’s another article I really recommend to my own readers.

I’m beginning to figure out my limitations as a tarot content creator; guaranteed daily blog posts are beyond them. Daily card draws for my personal tarot journal + reading/listening to a Medium article are going to almost always happen. It might be though that only when those two things make good bed partners on the same day that I’ll be writing here in Musings & Ramblings.

One of the things that had come up as I writing the script for a 10-11 minute talk on dualism and polarity (which has a different approach than Lesson 2: The Monad And The Duality ) was the way I stumbled across The Kybalion when I was a ten year old girl. I own a different copy of that same edition .

What the hell was a copy of The Kybalion doing in the Hawley Elementary School Library in Ft. Dodge IA in 1979??? Now, I was -that- kid, that year. The introvert who did spend as much time as possible in the library rather than the playground, peering at every shelf and pulling out things that were interesting. I have only a handful of childhood memories that go back that far but I do remember book nerdy little me getting this book off a shelf and feeling amazed by the look of the cover and having no clue what it would be about? I took it to a table and started to read.

Age 10 was also when I got my first AD&D books. They made a lot more sense but I pushed really really hard to understand the Kybalion and kept it as one of my “little secrets” I didn’t talk about. I had this sense that book wasn’t supposed to be THERE and hid it on a dusty back shelf nobody else would notice it. For reasons I wouldn’t be able to explain to this day, I didn’t ever try to check it out, I never mentioned it to school mates, teachers, the librarian or my parents. I’d just read it some of it during lunch period in my corner of the library whenever I could and then put it back on the shelf when it was time to go.

The Kybalion was fascinating and arcane for a school year. Then when we moved to a different neighborhood and I transferred schools, I completely forgot all about it for a really long time. Even when I discovered Wicca a couple years later, I didn’t remember anything about the Kybalion. I saw it or heard about it again after I was in college and went browsing all the used book stores in downtown Olympia WA looking for everything about tarot and the occult and ceremonial magick that I could find.

The second I saw another copy of the Kybalion though? I recognized it immediately. I immediately had a flashback of being that remembered being awe-struck and mystified (as in completely lost and bewildered) little kid trying to process its the lofty and obtuse language. That second copy has been with me for 27 years and I’ve grappled with it a dozen times.

I’d like to say that the Seven Laws of Hermetic Magic were the most influential thing I’d ever read but that’s not true. The greatest personal truth I learned about magick and being an occultist only indirectly relates. This personal truth is this:

Not all the rituals and grimoires and spellcraft in the world is going to be helpful in changing your life if your emotional intelligence and stress resilience are train wrecks. As above so below also means as below so above. Garbage in, Garbage out also means Garbage out, Garbage in. The most effective acts of magick and most effective magickal practices work from the inside outwards; magicians who de-junk and de-gunk the stuff inside their own brains to reduce their general shitheadism make the most successful practitioners. I’m not there yet, but I have the best of intentions.

“Chaos magicians sometimes see their work from a psychological perspective; my path is spiritual,” wrote Mitch Horowitz on February 13th 2019. I really love his writing. Of course, since I do see my work from a psychological perspective rather than a spiritual one, his definition makes me (possibly) a chaos magician. Except I think I’m too eclectic for even that? I’m definitely a lazy ritualist and need to improve that at least a little even if I never go back to starting my day off with the LBRP and a self-made Invocation of the Sun ritual like I did during my peak years as a tarot reader and life coach.

… on the other hand, maybe if I -did- start my day off with the LBRP and a new Invocation of the Sun ritual that fit my 2020+ sensibilities? Maybe I’d have less fibromyalgia woes. (Then again, since I think possibly I got fibromyalgia from being touched by an angel, maybe not. Wow. Now -there- is a story for this blog some day soon.)

Maybe I’d find it easier to channel my desire to drop my weight by a hundred pounds into consistent acts of True Will if I did more rituals and put all my theorycraft into more active practice. Did some praxis and kept it up, every day.

I don’t feel an urge to go looking for a god of weight loss to pray to and invoke. I’d never become that much of a ritualist or spiritualist against. There is a whole lot of psychoteric stuff in the tool box to get me from being a morbidly obese theoretical magician to being a a healthier and happier one though. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually better than average in the happy department. There’s just a lot of complacency and I get the feeling I’m supposed to Do Better. Be Better. Make Better. I am pretty sure dropping 100 pounds will add years, maybe even a decade to my lifespan.

Losing a hundred pounds in 2021 would make it a whole lot easier to survive the Bad Things Ahead if we humans don’t really and truly fix the things we broke or at least get close enough that the #Galactic Federation decides we’re “good enough” to save. I am hopeful and I’d really like to be around to see what happens for at least three more decades. Losing a hundred pounds would sure help make that possible.

I’ve actually put a lot of research into diet, exercise, nutrition. Theorycraft, just theorycraft. I can’t blame everything that 2020 took away (like access to swimming pools) excuse me not losing the weight in 2016-2019. I had total access to swimming pools, exercise machines, a dietician and everything else during those three years. I knew everything back then that I know now about why a person like me should be eating a flour-free plant-centric whole food diet as much as possible. I half-assed it in 2018-2019 and used Covid-19 as an excuse eat the Standard American Diet crap food for most of 2020.

The best weight loss practice might very well be the one that I invent for myself too. So lets see just what I can accomplish between now and Christmas 2021. Let’s be a helluva good modern magician for the next 365 consistent days and use that magick to transform me into a 235 pound woman by the time I turn 53 on January 3rd, 2022.

The first condition of success in magick is purity of purpose. -Aleister Crowley

The Magician In The Pride Tarot

© US Games Systems, Inc

“Here, the Magician of traditional tarot takes on the form of a Nahual, a Mexican witch or sorcerer, who has the power to transform into an animal at will.” – Felix D’eon (Pride Tarot Guidebook, © US Games Systems, Inc)

Suggested Archetype: The Nahual

The Nahual (Nay-hoo-awl; also spelled Nagual) is nuanced beyond the Euromerican “Trickster”. A Nahual ~might~ be a spirit that claims an animal as its host and then lays claim to a human companion. A Nahual ~might~ be a Mesoamerican human who is born (or learns) shapeshifting magic from a local elder. Nahuals are understandably mysterious and if I met one? I wouldn’t expect a truthful origin story.

In some regions, Nahuals are considered evil and nothing good is said of them there. Elsewhere, they can be forces of good or ill. They are still hunted with intent to kill in some communities. Really.

The indigenous religions of Mexico and Central America were so ravaged by conquest and then infused with Spanish Catholicism that the survival of the nahual at all is remarkable and speaks of its mutable and adaptive nature. In the traditional RWS cards, the Magician is channeling invisible magic from above through a wand in their right hand and then themselves to their left hand down below. This Nahual has the greater mastery of magick, of willful change.

Primary Symbolism

The Four Magickal Tools: The Magician grasps a wand (Fire) and sword (Air); in a pose that makes me think of the “the lamb of God” in Christian iconography. Before them is the cup as a gold chalice (Water) and around their neck is a gold pentagram (Earth).

The sword appears to have an owl on its pommel. That ~might~ be the emblem of Tunkuluchú the mythical owl in Mayan folklore associated with solitude, evil and death. I view the associations of Tunkuluchú and the nahual with “evil” and “wrongness” to be a very good metaphor of how many cultures (in North America and elsewhere) view transgendered people. If I am interpreting Felix D’eon’s imagery correctly, this card reclaims Tunkuluchú as a sacred creature of power not to be hated and feared.

The Magician as Huay Chivo: If I ever get the chance, I will confirm that the Huay Chivo was Felix D’eon’s inspiration but it is a reasonable guess. This is the “sorcerer-goat” found in Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán (southeastern Mexico) folklore. In this card, the Magus has their stout goat or ram body, a very masculine face (artistic self portrait I think?) and feminine hairstyle and jewelry. The red and white roses adorning the Magus’ hair correspond to the red and white flowers in the RSW card. Combined, they represent purity of purpose (white) and passionate intent (red) aka the Spirit + True Will as entwined forces of magick.

The background: The Magician is on a cliff only a mountain goat or mountain sheep could possibly reach. They are looking over a fertile valley. This has the Magician more separated (marginalized) from the mainstream community than RWS would suggest with its corresponding garden. The Magus is viewing home from on high, however, at the locale and time of their choosing which symbolizes independence and empowerment.

Reading The Magician (In General)

Upright this card could mean something like:

  • You have exceptional talent and skill; you will be a success at anything you apply yourself to.
  • Now is the time to act creatively and innovatively to get the result you desire.
  • As long as you take action, you can change the situation in a positive way.
  • Don’t be afraid to claim your own power and identity; what other people think doesn’t matter.

Reversed this card could mean something like:

  • Your idea is a little too ambitious and can’t realistically happen at this time.
  • You might be misperceiving the situation and wrong about what is really going on.
  • There is a lot of chaos and dishonesty being intentionally thrown into the situation.
  • The person (who the Magician represents in the spread) is being very selfish and narcissistic.

In Questions About Relationships

You as The Magician Upright: You are both very desirable and desired. This relationship can happen the way you want it to as long you don’t take the other person for granted or act in a rude or abusive way.

You as The Magician Reversed: Are you being honest and presenting yourself to this person in a sincere way? Do you want a relationship with them simply because you really like or love them or could there be ulterior (or shallow) motives? Take a good look in the mirror and decide if you are being the person this relationship deserves and focus on fixing that if the answer is no.

The Other Person As The Magician Upright: Whatever qualities this person has that are attractive to you? They are genuine. This person is metaphorically a shining star. They probably have very clear goals for themselves (such as career or artistic/hobby pursuits) and probably a big social network full of people who like/love them. If they are currently polyamorous or otherwise open to things beyond your own experiences? Don’t expect that to change. Jump in only if their established lifestyle is something you can embrace too.

The Other Person As The Magician Reversed: This is a very complex person living a very complicated life. They aren’t necessarily morally bad or toxic but they are not in a good position right now to offer the kind of relationship you are seeking. That ~could~ change. It might be worth to just stay friends to see where you both are in a few months.

“Learning the secret of flight from a bird was a good deal like learning the secret of magic from a magician.”

― Orville Wright

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