Open the Book of Magick: How a magical record is the best tool you can have for charting your own spiritual development
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The Magical Record is the most potent tool in the magician’s entire arsenal.
Metaphorically speaking, the magical record represents the archive of your deeds in this life, but literally it can be anything from a text file on your computer to a simple blank notebook to a giant leather-bound tome (I like simplicity and functionality).
This book (which over time may become a pile of filled-up books) should contain several things:
1. Your dreams.
Every morning, the very first thing you should do upon awakening is write down your dreams in as much detail as possible. The more you do this, the more vivid your dreams will become.
2. Records of the magical experiments you undertake.
Every time you formally meditate or do a magical ritual, you should record what you did in detail within the book—as soon as your ritual is done. This way, you can look back later to see if you got results. You should be as scientific and detailed as possible in your notes, as if you were a highly skilled laboratory technician.
You should write intelligently and legibly, so that others may one day benefit from your notes.
How to start your Magical Record.
I want you to choose a book that will work as your ongoing record. You can use the following format to record your experiments (thanks to Aleister Crowley and Donald Michael Kraig):
Emotions and Mindset:
Name of Rituals Performed:
For the astrologically inclined, you may also wish to record the phase of the moon, current sun and moon signs, and ascendant sign(s) during the time of the ritual. But this is not necessary, and may add too much confusing extra information at first, unless you already know astrology well.
This is a bare-bones approach that you can customize and embellish as you like. You will find that your note-taking methods evolve over time.
Here’s a sample of a day’s record:
Monday, October 12, 2015.
Dreams. Dreamt I was flying over the city. Down below I could see my office. It looked like a cage. I flew down and was trying to open the windows so that I could escape. I saw my body inside—I looked hypnotized in front of my computer, working on a spreadsheet. I started yelling at myself. Eventually my body noticed, and together we flew away from the office.
Location: My bedroom.
Physical Condition: Groggy after waking up, had shower and coffee.
Emotions and Mindset: Hopeful after my dream. Excited about starting to practice magick!
Name of Rituals Performed: 5 minutes meditation.
Performance: Sat cross-legged and focused on the point between my eyebrows for five minutes. I was fidgeting a bit at first, trying to find a comfortable position. After a bit of discomfort I found my center and relaxed into the meditation.
Results: Brief feelings of clarity and focus. At one point I felt “bigger,” like I felt my body was expanded and taller. Weird. It went away as soon as I opened my eyes. Looking forward to trying again!
A few wise words from the past.
There is one final step. On the first page of your record, please include the following quote (from Aleister Crowley). Read it, understand it and make it a regular reference point:
“In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist.
“It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.
“The advantages to be gained from them are chiefly these: a. A widening of the horizon of the mind. b. An improvement of the control of the mind.
“The student, if he attains any success in the following practices, will find himself confronted by things (ideas or beings) too glorious or too dreadful to be described. It is essential that he remain the master of all that he beholds, hears or conceives; otherwise he will be the slave of illusion…
“There is little danger that any student… will fail to get some result; but there is great danger that he will be led astray, obsessed and overwhelmed by his results, even though it be by those which it is necessary that he should attain. Too often, moreover, he mistaketh the first resting-place for the goal, and taketh off his armor as if he were a victor ere the fight is well begun.
“It is desirable that the student should never attach to any result the importance which it at first seems to possess.”
Translation: Don’t take it too seriously. :)