Written by Frater TP
In this article, I provide an in depth theoretical explanation of how to gain any occult power whatsoever. I also advise on how I believe it is best to make use of any power that we do gain. Some people will differ with me on this and I make no judgement which is why I give the information here for the viewer to decide how it might be used. It is recommended that you read up on Hermetic metaphysics via The Kybalion and other Hermetic writings either before or during the study of this piece.
Though I have been doing this for less than two years, I get questions every so often from curious seekers who are entirely inexperienced. They are concerned with the special powers that they have heard whispers of which allegedly develop on the spiritual path.
Since I do psychic work, I have been asked about how to gain these abilities in particular. The answer is given via another question, to get the person to ultimately discover it for themselves. I am just a mirror, so technically it is just as much me asking the question, and them answering. Nevertheless, the questions asked upon this first query are essentially summarized as: what are the motivations? For what reason are psychic powers desired? I never desired personally to gain psychic powers but they simply were observed as existing in me from time to time without me trying to acquire them. Upon thorough investigation I confirmed their existence in myself as real, to myself and only to myself, for I can’t even be sure that you exist, never mind what you are capable of witnessing. And be assured that psychic abilities are simply a witnessing of things beyond what is normally seen. They are, in one word, awareness.
If the motivations are because one wants power or another external thing, the seeker is foolishly projecting qualities that they now attribute to external things, from within themselves. The Adept has power because they have limited their projections to those which they make consciously, not
because they have accumulated anything from without. They are actually just claiming what is theirs. As a demonstration of this, a quick exercise. Perform a ritual in whatever way it suits you that claims your power as sovereign. Essentially what you need to do is declare with sincerity that your power is yours only by Divine right and that all attachments not in line with your true Will are now severed. When you are done, note any changes in the coming months. You will notice that this ritual is a banishing rather than an invocation. Do not make the mistake of presuming that banishing is not useful for manifestation. The banishment of a projection is the accumulation of an ability.
To be “gained”, any power is simply drawn back into the Self through awareness of it. Awareness means simply to observe. Witness is a good verb because it connotes a non-attached attitude, meaning that there is no value judgement imposed on the reality of the ability. For example, it is not good, unusual or hard to attain. Instead, it simply exists in some Form, meaning an expression.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn previously explained this in their own way when they declared; “by Names and Images are all powers awakened and re-awakened”.
My interpretation of this is as follows. The Name is the key to power. This key is the energetic signature. (Name = energy signature) By energy I mean something without solid Form and by signature I mean it is unique to this one thing. We can refer to these signatures as atoms, virtual photons, waves, frequencies or invisible goblins but it makes no difference to their ultimate ontological status.
The Image is the Form that contains the energy signature due to a connection that is artificially made to bridge the two. This is often created by the occultist. Once the connection is made, the Image itself gradually identifies to a greater and greater extent with the energy signature that has no
Form by itself. The link becomes sympathetic enough such that when a Name is stated and an Image is pictured, a particular power can become animated. It can flare to life.
This is how godforms, invocations, evocations, talismans and whatever other magical thing that you might think of, essentially works. They have a Name and an Image. The magician either creates the Image for the Name to come into, or uses ones that already exist. Of course, the magician is not really creating anything because what they are actually doing is associating a Name with an Image in order to link the two conceptually. The association is entirely arbitrary but since the universe is Mental we might say “it is the thought that counts”. Thus, no matter how powerful a talisman, if you are entirely closed off to the idea that magic might be real, it shall have no impact that you will ever notice. Occultists may happily utilize the apparently extra power of consecrated tools and objects to the point where magnificent things are accomplished with them, whether they are aligned with their true Will or not. The former is white magic, the latter is black magic, but if one is willing to take the consequences of their actions, black magic is absolutely advisable on some occasions. Personally, I limit my black magic but plenty of wise people I know use it far more often with the understanding that they will give back in due course. This is the law of rhythm, or what we often call karma.
On another note: if you choose to ignore the rain, will you not get wet upon your heading outside? Such a scenario may imply to some that we cannot walk outside, claiming the rain as ourselves as I am describing in this very article, and remain unaffected by the water. This is a misunderstanding of what we would need to integrate within ourselves. The rain is an expression of wetness, the opposite of which is dryness. Wetness and dryness are, as we know, in polarity and according to Hermetic metaphysics this means that they are actually different aspects of the same thing. Thus, we must walk into the rain and Imagine dryness because we have control over both wetness and dryness, they both being different types of Moistness. (for want of a better word) If we get this right, we can indeed keep ourselves dry. How? The rain may not fall upon us and be dry. Instead, we dictate moisture by controlling the weather. We stop it from raining. This is actually a fairly common ability, most notably to me though, in Daoism, which has a whole specialized system in itself of advanced weather magic.
It is often believed that Names already attached to Images that have been used for a long time are more powerful. This is sometimes true. If one is not careful to observe, they can more easily be swept by the egregore within a stadium than one person in the street. But where is the Image in such a case? It is the crowd itself. By stepping back from identity with the crowd, we are uninfluenced by whatever force has become connected with it. Now Imagine that a group of occultists charge a talisman. They are forming a connection to each other by proxy, the proxy being the talisman that they are charging. All occultists must be in harmony because they are acting as one thing. We may picture it as a Venn diagram where several circles are linked by their overlap to a central one which represents the talisman. But it is also viewable as two circles merging into each other until they are superimposed, one of the circles being the occult group. Both layouts shed light upon what is happening, each in its own way.
Alternatively, we can identify ourselves with the Name containing the powers that we want, using our own awareness as the Image. The only thing we want to do this for though, I suggest, is our Higher Self. This is the macrocosm that contains all powers within it, at least in my conception. We are not doing this in an attempt to gain all the powers in the universe. Instead, we do it so that our Higher Self can grant us any power in the universe that is required. The study of the occult arts puts us in a position to accept, if we wish, the responsibility of more power than if we led a relaxed life of little effort. This is because we are a match to roles which require high performance. In other words, our true Will changes depending on what actions we decide to take. It is a process of co-creation whereby some things are destined, but the times and ways in which they are destined are still determined by our choices.
In other scenarios, it is better to simply observe the animation rather than to be involved with it. This is how we should use our psychic abilities if we are wise (but unenlightened). That is, instead of listening directly to the messages that come through the various “claires' on the astral realm, we want to rise above this plane and look down like a King looking down from a chamber in his castle. From such a vantage point he is able to observe events appropriately, being situated inside the castle but uninvolved in the activities of its inhabitants.
All analogies used should be read with certain understandings. Firstly, that all is ultimately one. These linkages, created and uncreated, are actually all inside of the occultist in timeless fashion. The demons, the angels, the elementals and the intelligences are all in a microcosmic sense within the self as well as a macrocosmic sense within the Self.
Now to demonstrate the gaining of a “power”. Let’s take the example of psychokinesis. This is the ability to move objects with the mind. There are 4 main methods.
- We can use the godform of Thoth for Thoth is related to; magic, the element of Air and the sephira of Hod (which relates in itself to the conservation of energy/repression of any kind). Thoth can command the Air through it’s spirits which are known as the Sylphs. Thus the object must yield. This could be called an indirect identification in that we have linked ourselves to something that corresponds to the power we wish to have. It is easy to do but often-times the harder method has other advantages. I would also consider it a very advanced practise when done with potency and though some people consider god forms something to be learnt in “basic training”, I think to quite the strong contrary that they should absolutely be avoided until Adepthood.
- We can call upon things “outside of us” to assist us without identifying with them. For example, we can petition the Elemental King of Air to send the Sylphs to our aid such that the object may move when we command it but only if the spirits agree to our request. Of course if our request is Divinely guided, no spirit could deny it, but many people call spirits for various extraneous things. This method is easier than taking on the god form of Thoth but about as dangerous.
- We can use the currents of lux (qi/lifeforce), visible to the inner senses, to direct the object. The danger with this technique is that if we do not know what we are doing, we shall drain our own vitality. Lux can be used for many things, including by black magicians to increase their power by manifold amounts, but only temporarily. It is extremely taxing and anyone who is foolish enough to bolster their power with too much lifeforce suffers severely from what we call karma. The effects can be blocked potentially for a while but eventually the pendulum must swing back. Imagine dipping a giant bucket into the ocean, a few hundred metres out from your small island retreat. After you void the ocean for a few seconds, your island is submerged by a tsunami which you would have seen coming if only you knew really how the water moves. This can be used by beginners in moderation if they are sure to channel lux from outside sources that are as pure as possible. It takes time however to be able to direct more than a negligible amount of energy. Start slowly and build up gradually.
- We may identify as the object itself (direct identification) until a relationship is formed and a familiarity is established. At this point, we may yield the object to move whenever we wish, so long as the relationship is maintained. However, at a certain point it becomes clear that we are what we are worshipping and once this abyss is crossed, no maintenance is required. This identification is direct because we have gone straight to the power itself, rather than something which corresponds to it. This technique is suitable for beginners when applied with common sense.
Thus our four methods can be summarized as the use of: correspondences, external help, lux and identification. All four methods are really different parts of the same thing. They are all akashic, meaning that they relate to the element of Spirit. Lux is an expression of this element, for want of a better way of explaining.
An occultist once asked Bael, that is, a goetic spirit, to describe it’s ontological nature. Bael replied, “There are 3 of me.”
- Existence of course, inside of the occultist in the microcosmic sense – the occultist’s own universe. This can be described as a psychological representation coming from the occultist’s own self which gives a link to the second type. A demon of wealth may appear to get out of a Ferrari in a modern sorcerer’s magic mirror, perhaps with famous adult actresses swooning nearby. It may stand in front of a mansion with remotely controlled gates and security guards who carry cellphones and M16s, because the image is entirely subjective.
- One in the macrocosm – a literal Bael entity that has its own experience of existence. This is a formless, omnipresent and individual expression of distorted consciousness, with the Name Bael. The Name also has certain “Enns' ' associated with it which are mantras that one should never vibrate, because a Name such as Bael (or things which summon it) shall invoke the spirit such that the magician’s consciousness is at least partially overcome by it. The magic mirror is used to make very clear to the subconscious that the entity is an external thing to be invited in up to the point of the circle, temporarily. People say that evocation is not invocation but such is a false dichotomy. The only thing stopping an evoked spirit from getting you to cause yourself harm is your awareness that you are not your thoughts or emotions. If you are not aware of this, a thought that happens during an evocation might trick you into stepping out of the circle, or inviting the Image you have created for the Name, in. The cuts, broken bones and other injuries that come about from interactions with adverse forces are inflicted by the aspect of oneself which corresponds to the force in question. Let me be clear that I am not advocating a psychological model of magic. I am however saying that the unconscious, meaning everything we are not aware of about ourselves, is the bridge between us and any occult force which we make contact with.
- And one in you. As in, you who are reading this. Another example of the microcosmic manifestation of the entity.
Should my article have failed so far in enlightening you to what I am trying to explain – the way to accumulate any occult ability whatsoever – let Lyam Thomas Christopher tell you about it in his own words, in the concluding parts of his book, Kabbalah, magic and the Great Work of self transformation. (Llewellyn, 2006, 1st ed, p318)
‘When we give other people-or gods for that matter-our power, we hand our un developed potential over to them, saying essentially, "This power is not my responsibility, it is yours. I am yours to command." The adept has learned to pull back that power, to curl it back in on itself to accumulate in his own aura. All things, good and bad, are contained within him. All are one. In such a state, he has the potential to claim any power in the universe as his.’