A Master’s Degree In Magick
Master Yourself and You can Master Anything
Master Plumbers, Master Electricians, Master Mechanics, and so on. The word “Master” tells us that these individuals have achieved the highest level of education and proficiency within his/her field of endeavor. Our colleges offer a Master’s Degree in an assortment of fields of study. A Master’s degree tells us that these men and women have met the required standards of education and proficiency within their particular curriculum. In many circles, the word “Master” has a very special significance. In the realms of the Occult, we sometimes hear about the “Ascended Masters”. These “OtherWorld” beings which have “mastered” the trials and lessons of mortality, and have evolved into beings of great power and authority. They are frequently known to use this great power and authority in behalf of the planet Earth and her mortal inhabitants.
It is this “occult “Master’s Degree” that I would like to discuss. The “Ascended Master” still in the flesh. The Master’s Degree that few will ever experience. This is an accelerated course in human and planetary evolution. At the completion of this course there will be no diploma or title. You may be the only living person who even knows that you’ve taken the course. This curriculum is actually a two-fold program. The first part relates to a “Master of Self”. The second part relates to a “Master of Humanitarianism”. The first aspect is about you. The second aspect is about how you relate to everything else around you, including the OtherWorlds.
The Master of Self
Master of Self includes the subjects of Self-Discipline, including becoming a master of your emotions, and the Dark Side.
Self discipline is about the higher aspects of human nature.
It’s about the ability to consciously choose your actions and responses by controlling your thoughts without regard to external stimulus. Among the first lessons that I was taught as an apprentice Shaman was control and temperance. I was told that unless I learned to control my thoughts, my feelings and my desires, and bring them into subjection to my will, my training would end. This end would be through no act of my mentors, but by virtue of my own inability to do what was required. I was trained, through a prolonged period of deliberate abuse, to maintain my composure through every situation. No matter how difficult or ugly the circumstances, I was required to maintain mental and emotional balance. These tests were necessary for a number of reasons. Probably the most important reason of all can be stated very simply, “How badly do you want what you say that you want”? How much are you willing to sacrifice or endure to achieve your desire. The tests require you to place a value on what you have asked to receive, in this case, the knowledge and power of the Shaman. Secondly, real power should only be wielded under the influence of absolute control and balance. Like any other lethal weapon, in the hands of the immature or imbalanced individual the effects can be devastating. And thirdly, the tests, when successfully completed, build ever higher levels of self-confidence. Ultimately, you realize that no one gave you this great knowledge and power, you acquired it. Through a program of carefully orchestrated lessons and tests, the Master Teacher walks you down an age old path, most of which you never realize, except in retrospect.
Master of Emotions
Emotions are the seat of power within the human psyche. It is the emotion attached to an event that creates a memory. The greater the emotion, the more powerful the memory. Emotion is the stimulus that gives life meaning. We define our world in terms of the emotions we experience. We consciously or subconsciously generate emotion on a nearly constant basis. As if the current moment and the affairs thereof are not sufficient, we project emotion through time and space. We relive old memories over and over, while intermittently projecting our emotions forward to all the anticipated events we have yet to experience. It is through thought and emotion that the power of manifestation comes. Emotion is power. It is the force that propels our thoughts into the Ethers of Creation. Sufficiently empowered, the thought magnetizes the Ethers to the pattern of that thought and begins the manifestation process. Just as thoughts are real things, emotion is real power. Very few people realize the awesome power that they wield by the combination of these two things (and maybe that’s a good thing!). Thus, control of one’s thoughts and emotions are a critical aspect of real Magic. We must be wise enough to know the process by which magic occurs and mature enough to accept responsibility for our creations. This requires conscious control.
The Dark Side
I was taught that the dark side can be a powerful ally. It is the seat of most people’s mentality, and that we, as humans, go through life constantly building our Dark Side, while carefully concealing its contents, for fear of betraying our true selves. I was taught that the ease and power of tapping the Dark Side makes man an easy target for its temptations. The Dark Side is the place where our sexuality, creativity, power, and more base emotions reside. It is by working extensively in this realm with one’s own psyche that understanding of one’s emotions occurs. A shaman does much of his work in this realm. This site contains an extensive page on the Dark Side, with all its attendant power and pitfalls. For more information on the dark side, please see Shaman And The Shadow.
If these three subjects are not mastered, the psyche has a tendency to be immature and out of control. On the page, “The Male Mysteries”, I discuss the mature aspects of the King, Warrior, Lover and Magician. There IS another side, the immature aspect. We see it around us every day, we hear about its results on radio and television regularly, and unfortunately, many of us or our loved ones have been a victim of it. It is the dark, immature side of human nature. It is the immature bully acting out the Warrior. It is the self-centered sex partner seeking solely for immediate, personal gratification as the immature Lover. It is the ruthless dictator acting as King. And it is the misinformed, undisciplined, and/or out-of-control want to-be acting as Magician. These are, of course, very exaggerated examples of the immature male aspects, but never doubt, even these are out there in abundance.
Children go through many cycles of maturity on the way to adulthood. There is a stage of infancy at which the child believes the world revolves around him/her and everything in it is his/hers. Hopefully, that stage has ended before the elementary school years begin. When children enter school, they begin to learn how to develop relationships and social skills. When this does not occur, the immature pattern continues. If by puberty and high school, these immature patterns still persist, we can clearly see the result. The headlines today are filled with frustrated students that take guns to school and kill other students. In the final analysis, these students are usually the ones who are neglected at home, unaccepted by their peers, and bullied at school. The frustration of the student, combined with his/her immature capability to accept or resolve the issues, drives him/her to desperate acts of violence to avenge the wrongs of the “in” crowd. The immature Warriors and Lovers rear their ugly heads, and we see outrageous numbers of teen pregnancies, bullies, gangs, fights and murder. The immature Magician appears as children dabbling with Ouiji Boards, store bought spell books and secret rituals. The immature King, one of the prime targets in modern student shootings, is the school “jock”, cheerleader, or other elitist group member who openly flaunts and taunts his/her peers with his/her social prestige and power. By adulthood, these dysfunctional social skills result in divorce, spouse and child abuse, unemployment and welfare, rape and still more murder. I am told that social dysfunction is a contagious disease. You learn it from your dysfunctional parents and friends. Eventually, it becomes an endless chain of hereditary dysfunction because no one remembers what mature and healthy social function is.
We are faced today with social disaster. Immature attitudes and patterns are the accepted norm. The advent and frequency of “road rage” is a tell-tale barometer of just how frustrated and immature we have grown as a society. I agree that social dysfunction is a learned quality. This chain of events must be stopped if we are ever to evolve to be the enlightened beings we are capable of. I believe that man has the ability to discern appropriate behavior, and to make the correct choices. We are only as hopelessly lost as we choose to be.
Master Of Humanitarianism
The key to breaking this disastrous cycle has been clearly set forth in every sacred text ever written. We must reach beyond the limits of our own personal interest and desires, and allow our actions to become transpersonal. In modern terms, we call it “humanitarianism”. A humanitarian is someone who is in love with mankind in general, and concerned with the welfare of others. It is the ability to care as much or more for another than even yourself. Mother Theresa was a humanitarian. Humanitarianism is an act or feeling of benevolence, goodwill and affection for our fellow man, and the indulgence or forbearance of judgment against the same. It is the ability to see every other person as a divine creation, worthy of dignity and respect, if only on that basis alone. It is the ability to understand that on our journey through our soul’s evolution we play many roles from incarnation to incarnation. For our own experience, as well as the experience of those around us, there must be every kind and type of person, as well as every kind and type of situation. The true humanitarian can look beyond the veneer, and relate to the person inside. One must have the qualities of compassion and empathy.
In a world of self-interest and self-gratification, these are rare qualities. But when they appear, as they did in the personage of Princess Diana, the world responds. We are then reminded that the “Goddess is alive and Magic is afoot.”
Master of Credible Personal Accountability
For our purposes, CPA will be defined as “Credible Personal Accountability”. It means that from this moment on, you assume personal responsibility for every thought, word or act that emanates from you. You know the power of your thoughts and your emotions, and you become consciously responsible for their use. Credible means that not only are you honest with those around you, but you must be completely honest with yourself. You must be honest, not only in your thoughts, but in your feelings and motives as well. It means that you are no longer free to react, you must now respond. No one has power over you, except as you allow. No one has the ability to push your buttons. No one, including Satan himself, is responsible for your temptations or failures. And no one, including Jesus, the great Master that he was, is liable for dismissing them. You are on a soul’s evolutionary journey. Your experiences are just that – your experiences! When you assume personal responsibility for your own life, you pick up the power to become you own master. You look to no one else as the source of your problems and you look to no one else as you deliverer. You are the only Creator in your existence. Individually, we must accept responsibility for ourselves, beginning with our thoughts. When each individual on this planet accepts responsibility for his/her own personal stewardship as it relates to himself/herself and society, and becomes accountable for his/her actions, humanity as a whole will make the evolutionary leap. This comes one person at a time. As the “Hundredth Monkey Principle” teaches, when enough leaders step forward and take upon themselves this responsibility and set the example for the others, the tide will turn and mankind will begin to act as mature beings.
Master of Metaphysics
Having now covered self discipline and control, personal accountability and humanitarian spirit, let’s look at our individual ability to work magic. We are now going to discuss personal authority versus generic authority. The easiest way to begin an explanation is by example. Many years ago I was ordained a priest within a very large Christian religion. As part of that ordination, I was told that I had been given the authority to act in God’s stead through the intervention of Jesus Christ. Or, in other words, in the name of Jesus Christ, I could call down the powers of heaven. This is a classic example of generic authority. I am not using any power or authority of my own. All power vested in me belongs to someone else and is used by their permission according to the terms and condition of that permission. You are in essence borrowing authority. Personal authority is the authority vested within an individual to perform acts of magic based on their own individual knowledge and abilities. Generic authority can not become individual authority. You must step out from under the generic umbrella and stop using someone else’s authority to begin vesting yourself with individual, personal authority. The greatest difference between generic authority and personal authority that I personally discovered, having made the transition myself, is that generic authority tends to have a very high failure rate based on the fact that the practitioner assumes the authority is inherently present without really being required to understand the principles upon which the magical act is predicated. “I have the authority, therefore, this must work”. When it does not, the practitioner is left bewildered. To one who exercises “individual authority”, every aspect of the act requires a very specific understanding of the principles upon which that act is predicated. According to an old adage, “If you have done everything right and no greater force is opposing you, then you may have every expectation that your desire shall come to pass”. Once again, the emphasis is on “if you have done everything right”. It is the responsibility of the would-be practitioner to seek out, study, learn, and master the formula for effective magic. Or as Jonathan Livingston Seagull learned, it does not take faith to fly; it takes an understanding of the laws upon which flight is based.
One other point of personal versus generic authority is the long term aspect. Personal authority is eternally cumulative. It can not be taken away. Once you learn the principles of magic, everything else is just refining and adding to what you already know. Simple magic can be worked with just a clear understanding of the Five Steps of Universal Magic, as described on an earlier page, and sufficient powers of concentration and visualization. This point has been proven repeatedly by my apprentices and students. With as little as one hour of real, understandable principle, they have worked some truly amazing, life changing magic. That is not to say that there is not more to learn, but all of the more complex aspects of magic can be studied, understood and integrated as you become more knowledgeable and practiced. Sometimes, in our un-enlightened bliss, we do something, not knowing that it should not work. It worked because you didn’t know that it shouldn’t. This is often the basis for very powerful results from very elementary practitioners.
I cannot over-emphasize the importance of personal authority. When you go to the airline counter to purchase a ticket, who determines when, where and how you will travel. Generic authority is like being a child and allowing someone else to be responsible for you, making those decisions and paying your way. With personal authority, you become responsible for yourself. Granted, in the short run, you may not be able to go as far. But in the long run, with diligence and practice, you own the plane.
The Master Magician
If we examine the lives of all the great men and women in recorded history, both in religious text as well as political text, we find many similarities. The greatest similarity was their willingness to sacrifice all, including their own lives, to bring about change in the human condition. As “Master Humans”, their desires and their motives were transpersonal. They superseded their own wants and needs with a greater cause, the good of their fellow man. This transpersonal attitude was wrought from self-discipline and control. Of course they were human. They had the same wants and needs as all of us. Having achieved the status of “Master Human”, they began to shift the reality of the world around them. Through the long term application of magical operation, they altered the fabric of human social reality. Mahatma Handy unified a diverse and fractured India. Rev. Nelson Mandela, after decades of incarceration, now stands as the Architect of the fall of Apartheid in South Africa. The Rev. Martin Luther King had a vision that eventually swept America. Sister Theresa, by her work and example, created an entire order of nuns willing to risk their lives in unthinkable circumstances to promote humanitarian aid. But for every name recorded, there are thousands whose names were never recorded. Their impact was just as great. In the end, you may be the only one who knows that you have taken this course, but the world will be a better place because you did!