Minimum Viable Praxis

What are the essential bits of a magical practice that should be implemented as close to every day as possible?

Since launching the podcast a little over a month ago, I’ve been juggling enough things in my personal life that I haven’t been able to put out anything other than the podcast and my monthly lunar mansion guide; despite having the inspiration and inclination to do so. As a result, I’ve had this post gathering dust in the back of my mind for weeks now and I just found the time to scratch it out. All good though, basic magical truth ages very slowly, if at all. I just hope that my next post doesn’t take another month…

My daily grind aside, this post is actually about the idea of a regular practice or, as we say in ‘the biz’, your praxis -what you do, essentially all of the time, that keeps you in good magical shape.

Praxis is the ongoing, routine part of your magical practice that supports, like a foundation, all of your discreet (individual) magical workings, like spells, or the creation of magical talismans, etc. And nearly everyone says that it’s important to have a daily -or at least regular- practice that helps you stay attuned to spirit and feeds the collection of spiritual relationships which your magic tends to draw upon.

Magic is more about community relations (when that community is the more-than-human world) than it is about specific words, gestures, and traditions. Those things are cool, and valuable, but they aren’t really what gives magical workings the power to shift reality in your favor. It is the relationships you build, and how to maintain them, that lends power to your magical workings.

Of course, as spiritualists -some of us actually devotees to a particular God/Goddess or spirit(s), etc- our devotions may need no practical purpose; but as magicians, regular praxis is very much about “charging your spiritual batteries”, or perhaps it’s better to say, “praying it forward” with your spirit team.

It’s also about readying your temple for more serious work, referring both to the physical space in which you conduct your magic and to the state of your mental, emotional, and spiritual “temple” as well.

So this is what regular praxis is about…showing up for your spirit team before you need something and maintaining yourself as a conduit for magic. This isn’t the sexy wizardry we all dream about, obviously, but it lays the foundation for a successful magical career -as well as maintaining the grounds, to keep with the metaphor.

Gratitude And Recognition

The majority of my personal magical practice is composed of various ceremonial acts of gratitude. Nearly everything I do magically starts and ends with a statement of gratitude and is usually accompanied by an offering of some sort. And within the show of gratitude, something else important is accomplished: recognition. Everyone, every thing, needs to be seen; needs to be recognized for their purpose in the grand scheme of life. Witnessing and acknowledging the unfolding of a story is essential and increases the coherence of the field.

In many ways, modern materialistic society’s insistence on denying the reality of spirits causes great incoherence; so much so that it drives us towards spiritualism as a correction. Reality is a story -a narrative- to which we all contribute and incoherence cannot be permitted.

Therefore, I place both fundamentally simple acts, gratitude and recognition, at the top of my list of essential practices. And it is fundamental that they be practiced regularly and with full participation -not rote, mechanical tasks but intentional acts.

This is perhaps the simplest technique because it hardly even requires doing anything new, but simply doing it with gratitude and while taking a moment to recognize the Other at work.

It should go without saying that prayer should be a daily activity, so instead of praying for what you want, express gratitude for it -in advance. And while you do, acknowledge, with wonder and awe, the power that you call upon and witness (become actively aware of) it working in the world.

The Big 6: 4 Directions, Mother Earth, And The Sky

Coherence is a vastly underrated consideration when it comes to, well being alive, first of all, but also, doing magic. When attempting to shift reality, it is sort of essential to know how to orient yourself within it, that is to say, what role you play.

Opening every magical ceremony by orienting yourself to the universe helps to reenforce the coherence upon which our beliefs are based, and, therefore, that we believe our magical will work.

The essence of this is the recognition of our place at the center of our own experiential reality, surrounded by infiniteness on all sides, east, south, west, and north, in an endless universe, ready and eager to engage in intentional co-creation with us. We live on the surface of the Earth, in 3-dimensional reality and most of that experience is described in x,y geo-coordinates. The dramas of our lives are described by the heavens, the cycles of time are described by the Moon, and the Sun gives life to everyone and everything. All around us, above, and below, we’re supported by the powers that maintain life and enable our magic. This “sets the table” for magic to take place and should be done before every working small and large.

The Greeks personified the directions in various ways, most notably the four winds; Boreas, Eurus, Notus, and Zephyrus; the Moon is, most generally, called Selene, and the Sun, Helios. This is a fine way to address them if that’s your jam.

My shamanic training included a simple daily prayer to the four directions, Mother Earth, and our sky family, Father Sun, Grandmother Moon, and the star nations. An adapted version of this prayer is what I use in my daily praxis and it serves to illustrate the basic idea of directionality in praxis.

Wind of the South, Sachamama, Great Serpent:
Thank you for wrapping me in your coils of light and teaching me to shed my past the way you shed your skin,
For keeping me close to the earth, belly to belly with the Mother, that I may see things and know things as they truly are…
And helping me always glide effortlessly through this world. Aho!

Wind of the West, Otorongo, Mother Jaguar, thank you for protecting me in this medicine space,
For teaching me the way of the luminious warrior, to be fearless in life, and to courageously cross the river beyond death to return again with wisdom and power.

Wind of the North, Siwar Kenti, Royal Hummingbird, grandmothers, grandfathers, thank for you attending my rite and whispering to me in the wind,
Telling me of that which came before and those who will come after and my role to play in between,
And always helping me find that sweet nectar in life on my great journey. Aho!

Wind of the East, great Eagle / Condor, thank you for bringing me the energy of the rising Sun,
For lifting me high under your wings that I may soar over the mountains I have always seen as obstacles
To fly side-by-side with the great Spirit. Aho!

Pachamama, Mama Gaia, Madre Tierra. Mother, I thank you.
I thank you for life, and your love, and for regeneration.
For your healing, and nourishing, and nurturing Nature.
And for all our brethren here on Earth, the Stone and the Plant people,
The two and four legged, the creepy crawlers, the finned, the furred, and the feathered ones,
And all many the creatures invisible to us, I thank you for them Mother.

Inti Tai Tai, Father Sun. Mama Kia, Grandmother Moon. Chaska Kuna, the great star nations. Thank you for your light and for your guidance. Thank you for lighting the way before me and keeping me on the path.

Great Spirit, you who are worshipped around the world and are yet unnameable and unknowable, thank you for bringing me here to sing the song of life again today. Aho!

Give Unto The Sky Gods Their Due

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t think the celestials necessarily have our best interests at heart. If benefiting a human or some humans helps them achieve their ends, they have been known to favor people to achieve their ends (whatever those may be) but they tend to be fickle and give nothing for free, in my experience.

Just like kings and CEOs, the gods are most pliable -most amenable- when regularly appeased. And if you want to work astrological magic successfully, you will absolutely need to give regular offerings and devotions (prayers and invocation) to the olympians you intend to call upon.

Simple “day and hour” prayers are perfect for this. Praying the Sun at sunrise on Sunday, the Moon at sunrise on Monday, Mars on Tuesday, Mercury on Wednesday, Jupiter on Thursday, Venus on Friday, and Saturn in Saturday; reciting an Orphic Hymn, for example, is a very good start.

Accompanying the prayers with incense, a candle of the appropriate color (yellow, white, red, orange, blue/purple, green, and black, respectively), and a simple offering of oil, wine, etc. is best practice.

This is also the perfect opportunity for remeditation; meaning, attuning yourself to one of the planet’s energies more than the rest to make up for a deficiency in your chart (or in the current space weather). I have too much Mars in my chart for public consumption, so I remeditate regularly with Venusian prayers, oils, talismans, and so on, to smooth my rough edges.

Energetic Hygiene, or “Self-Care”

It’s important to reset your energy regularly, just because life is crazy right now, but particularly if you are working magic of any kind. Most magic requires engaging with the energies of various spirits and when you do this, they sort of rub off on you. And not all energies are really compatible so you don’t really want to go from a Mars working to a Venus working without resetting your energy with a simple cleansing ritual. Sure, you can use a banishing ritual for this but I find that to be unnecessarily heavy-handed and energetic cleansing is more of a multipurpose solution that works as a hygienic measure.

Smudging is perfect for this. You can give yourself a good, thorough smudging (suffumigation with cleansing incense like sage, lavender, or copal) regularly -perhaps even daily- to remove lingering energies so that where you were before, emotionally, doesn’t interfere with where you’re going next.

At least once a month, in the waning of the Moon, give your home, sacred space, and work space, if you can, a thorough cleansing as well, using incense and florida water (vodka infused with herbs and flowers, etc.) and a ritual blessing. This doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to be very thorough.

If you’ve had a really bad day, or you had an argument with a loved one, go ahead and cleanse the house immediately after and see if it doesn’t improve the energy in your home right away.

Meditation / “Praying Health & Wealth”

Focus is very important as a magician; without it our magic doesn’t tend to do anything. So practicing focus is an essential part of building a solid foundation for your magical practice. But, when it comes to learning focus, the old “no mind” meditation is more trouble than it’s worth and there are better techniques.

Instead of trying to have no thoughts, try to focus on just one idea, one simple visualization, which you can replay over and over in your mind and imagine in greater depth and detail as you meditate.

Pretty much everyone can always use a little more prosperity and better health, so if there’s nothing more pressing for you to be working on at the time, then just spend 5-10 minutes, every day if possible, focusing on visualizing yourself in a prosperous, healthy state. And, let me be clear here, do NOT visualize yourself working your dream job or healing from a health problem. Visualize doing what you love in a state of prosperity and with no concern for money. Visualize yourself already healed and doing things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. This is important!

Practical Considerations

It’s not necessarily possible to do everything you need to do regularly, on a daily basis. I have to sort of rotate through my most important practices to feel like I’m getting enough done on the regular. This gives me the freedom to change up my praxis every day and keep it from becoming rote but also allows me to cover more ground as well.

Some days I’ll spend more time cleansing my energy, if I feel I need it for some reason. Some days I have more to discuss with the sky gods, more drama that needs praying on. Some days my meditation game is off and it’s hard to stick it out and some days I’m able to focus longer and can send more good intentions out into the world.

The most important thing is just to practice your magic regularly, and to focus on building the relationships you rely on magically more often than you ask them for favors. Pray it forward…

It’s just good technique to approach all your magical workings from a place of gratitude, it sets you up to receive more from the cosmos right out of the gate. You don’t need to work big magical rituals all the time to achieve measurable results. In my experience the big workings need lots of preparation and you also need have “charged your spiritual battery” with works of devotion and offering before petitioning for favors, so it is simply impractical to work this kind of magic very often.

Instead, focus your praxis, your regular daily / weekly / monthly magical routine, around gratitude, recognition, devotions, offerings, prayer, and other methods of developing a relationship with spirit. The more time and energy you invest into your regular praxis the more effective and powerful your magic will be when it’s time for one of those rare, bigger workings.

And, eventually we all learn that “working magic” is better described as “living an enchanted life,” and this isn’t always about getting something you want or need; more often it’s about creating sacred space and being with spirit, fulfilling your sacred responsibilities, and generating reciprocity with your spiritual allies.

It’s this day-to-day magic of living that charges your battery and gives you the spiritual juice to invoke, conjure, and petition effectively. It’s the every day practice that makes your magic work in the first place; so if you want to be a powerful witch / wizard / sorcerer / etc. establish a sustainable routine of essential magic -your praxis– and keep to it.

Featured Image: Sorcery Early Character Design by littlepoop

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