Archive for the Ask Me Anything Category

A puzzle I haven’t solved for 25 years. Thought you might have insight. In “The Duino Elegies”, Rilke goes on about angels as if he’s had experience with them. Do you think he was a real mystic, or just a great poet using mysticism as a literary conceit?

Posted in Ask Me Anything on July 23, 2010 by Patrick

Well, I don’t know if there’s any historical evidence off the top of my head, but it’s hard not to imagine that Rilke didn’t at least have a mystical turn. His Torso of the Archaic Apollo pretty much lays out the power of art to change lives, which sounds like magic to me. But the use of mysticism, as you say, as a poetic conceit is pretty common at this time, so I’m not sure it’s possible to say that he was certainly an occultist (like Yeats, who was; or Pound, who dabbled). At the very least, he foresaw the turn toward the mystical that modernist poetry would take with the decline of faith.


I love the french language. I feel amazing when i speak it correctly. Who is a god of language I could call on while studying french? What are some practices I could do to improve my french through magic. Im not asking for a spell per-say just exercises

Posted in Ask Me Anything on July 23, 2010 by Patrick

There are several generic gods of language that would work just fine. You could call on Tehuti, the Egyptian god of language; he’d be useful because he’s easy to visualize. Other practices and exercises include making some sort of symbol or sigil to encourage study; keeping your magical diary in French; or getting some occult books you’re interested in reading in French. That would combine your interests and keep you motivated. You could also do any daily rituals you do in French instead of English; that could at least get you used to pronunciation and would be easier than reading a whole book if you’re a beginner. The real trick to learning a language is to stay motivated over the long term. Other practices include ones to deal with anxiety about speaking the language to native speakers, if you suffer from that particular affective block. A simple exercise is to imagine your anxiety as a mist or fluid that you can breath out, gather up into a ball, and throw away.

I am a beginner to ritual magic and am trying to learn some of the basic Golden Dawn exercises. I am wondering if there it matters how exactly I visualize the archangels in the LBRP as long as I stick to the right colors and right directions. Thank you.

Posted in Ask Me Anything on July 23, 2010 by Patrick

Not at first. Eventually, they’ll sort of “take over” and assume a shape on their own as soon as you call their name, which is a sign of success. But don’t worry about pushing it; you’re doing fine if you just imagine them in the right colors and directions.

People say that when doing a sigil magic the last stage is to forget the original intent. But as you know the mind is a bitch. It tries to focus more on things we consciously try to stay away from. Any suggestions?

Posted in Ask Me Anything on June 5, 2010 by Patrick

Lots! I published several of them in my second book, Magic Power Language Symbol. But in brief, forgetting isn’t the only way to avoid the central problem, which is obsessing about a problem and not giving the solution time to work. You can, for example, simply distract yourself from your desire. Working really hard on forgetting your sigil is often counter-productive, because — well, don’t think of the elephant. Immediately, you think of an elephant. Similarly, don’t think about your sigil, and you will automatically think about your sigil. The real key is to consider the work a fiat accompli, and just not worry about it. It’s worry that’s the real problem, not remembering.

Any tips for a beginner on magick?

Posted in Ask Me Anything on June 1, 2010 by Patrick

Probably the number one tip I have is to get a good grounding in things outside of magic. A liberal arts BA is ideal, but not practical for everyone. Barring that, read widely in philosophy, religion, science, and the arts. The second tip is to develop a BS sensor; you’ll need it. Don’t forget to train it on yourself periodically. At the same time, don’t dismiss too much just because it sounds silly to you; sometimes the stuff that sounds silly is pretty useful. The last thing is to train your memory. At some point I intend, knock wood, to write a book on the role of memory in magic. It’s more important than most people realize.

Ask Me Anything

Posted in Ask Me Anything on June 1, 2010 by Patrick

This looks like fun.  I see some people doing it, and it occurs to me that it’d be a way for me to answer my legions of fans, who clamor at my door for attention.

So go ahead: ask me anything.  The only things I won’t answer are those I can’t because they (a) are too personal, or (b) violate oaths (not many of those).