Magic & Green Wizardry

I'm interested in how other Green Wizards use magic to cope with limits and the Age of Decline. How do you change consciousness in accordance with the will to cope with our times? Cabala? Rosicrucianism? JMG's last post about the world as will & representation indicates that he sees the magical as more real than the rational, in that all we know is will and all else is representation. He's also indicated that a big attraction for magic for him is what Dion Fortune said about the ability to land right side up and cope with anything the world throws at you. So, how do you incorporate magic into your Green Wizardry? Has the ADR and JMG made you take a second look @ magic? Has JMG helped you go from being a "Dead World Rationalist" to a believer of gods, spirits, and practitioner of the occult?

The other night I listened to JMG discussing The Lost Keys of Freemasonry, which wandered into wizards, sacred geometry, ley lines, earth power, agriculture and fertility. The program runs almost three hours so I was zoning in and out in during the last hour. It did overlap in interesting places with the podcast he did on Atlantis. I think I linked to that in another post.

I've always been aware that there's a deeper level to life than the material, but how that expresses itself and how I respond has varied a lot over the years. At this point, you'll sometimes find me talking to the animals, plants and even rocks like they have some form of consciousness (which seems likely) and trying to do something special on the pagan holidays (since they match Nature's cycles), but not "practicing" anything, except empathy. I read deeply in Jungian psychology, which has a spiritual aspect, and it makes sense to me that anything large enough to cause/create this Cosmos must be beyond my imagining, so I try to sense out some balance (which necessarily requires staying away from consumer culture as much as possible), and being humble about my place here. I certainly wish I could believe deeply, but I've been a skeptic as much as a believer all my life (constant contest there), so I just keep exploring.

I've struggled with the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. mainly because my deities are Mediterranean, and I know darn well their celebrations don't line up with Ostera and Beltane, etc. I have played around with making the Wheel less "denominational" and maybe even "secular" but haven't been sufficiently motivated to woek on it.

While I am throwing off all these book titles, let me recommend one that may resonate with GWs.

Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess by Demetra George


Celebrate the Solstice: Honoring the Earth's Seasonal Rhythms through Festival and Ceremony by Richard Heinberg

I've been reading about Minoan culture, Crete, and olive trees (which have a fascinating life cycle), and it occurs to me global warming could just just kick our northern euro-centric wheel right over a cliff. We could very well end up with something more Egyptian or Mediterranean--hot, dry summers and winter rains. If we're lucky.

So maybe I should work harder at reinventing the Wheel.

Maybe eventually that will happen, but, paradoxically, the thing that will first do Europe in is likely to be a deep freeze as the Gulfstream flow (?) that brings warmer air to Europe shuts down--that would cause European temps to equalize w/North America, and a lot of Germany, etc. is on the same parallel as Edmonton, Alta., Can.

David Trammel's picture

But if the Gulf Stream does slow or even stop and Europe then reverts to a more typical temperature for its latitude, then would we then see a reverse migration of Europeans fleeing the colder weather for a more temperate Mediterranean or Middle Eastern spot to live?

IDK how people would react to the changes, but I remember discussing this on the ADR or maybe it was one of the linked articles. Ocean currents are slowing as a result of global warming...

David Trammel's picture

I meant to post a reply earlier on this thread, sorry.

The way I incorporate my beliefs in the "Other Realms" and Green Wizards comes back to my study and practice of shamanism.

For most people in the US, shamanism is something that speaks of American Indians and people wearing leather and feathers. Medicine men and priests who dance with wolves. Its so much more than that.

I was lucky to have parents who were supportive when I explored the alternative religions. We were never as a family that religious. I also was lucky to make the acquaintance of a young women, in my senior year of high school who was a third generation pagan witch.

And cute, lol.

She took me around to the various shops and coffee houses of the pagan scene of the 1970s. That opened my eyes.

I was also a very good student of science and about that time, quantum physics was gaining popularity. At the time there were a couple of papers which looked at the occult and quantum physics and came to conclusion that what the occult was proposing as a world view, with metaphysical not corporal entities and alternate realities was possible.

Yet so much of the occult scene then over laid the possibility of a "strange" universe with the worship of a specific deity, mostly Gaia and Earth centralism.

About that time, the movie "Dances With Wolves" came out. I expect like many, the attraction of the American Indian religion was pretty strong. The thing is, shamanism as spoken to in American Indian lore is a highly warrior art.

As a slim framed man, the idea of beating my foe into submission didn't hold that much attraction.

Call me a follower of Owl and Coyote, I would prefer to use wisdom and tricks to win.

About that time I came across the book "Urban Shaman" by Serge Kahili King.

King spoke about Hawaian shamanism.

Let me step back for a moment.

Shamanism is not a religion. Its what I tend to describe as a mental martial art.

I was lucky in college to find an amazing antropology professor. So good I took all his courses. One of the things he taught was that the practice of shamanism happens in almost all pre-urban civilizations. And that when you look at them deeply, their practices and skill set are very close to being the same.

Look at the concept of "The Dreamtime".

This is a concept that many shaman cultures have across groups. The idea of a meta-physical realm, accessed through dreams or meditation, where you can interact with spirit helpers and guardians. Which also held dangers.

You find this idea in American Indian culture, Hawwian, Austrialian and even Siberian.

Shamanisn is a way to look at the World and say, "I don't know why its doing that, but I understand how it is, so I can deal with it"

I think that's why I've been so drawn to Green Wizardry.

Now, shamanism is something interesting. Back in another millennium, when we were young and foolish, my sister and our best friend used to have something called "weirds." Which was throwing a mattress on the floor, turning off the lights, holding hands, and waiting for something "weird" to happen. Which usually did happen. Strange shadows, levitating arms, flying mattress, and I don't remember what! And when I was alone, I could go into some kind of trance, and my arms and hands would dance. Crazy teenage stuff.

But some twenty years later, I came across an interesting book Where, the Spirits Ride the Wind: Trance Journeys and Other Ecstatic Experiences by Felicitas D. Goodman, And smack me silly, but there was!

..". a case study in experiential anthropology that offers a unique mix of autobiography, mythology, experiential research, and archaeological data to support a challenging thesis--that certain body postures may help induce specific trance states." --Shaman's Drum

I haven't looked at it in a very long while. I should dig it out.. At one time I had several books on the subject, but I never took to core shamanism, which was a kind of white bread self-help practice. IMHO I think I got rid of that one. I should still have a copy of Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit. by Tom Cowan. I like Tom Cowan. I've read read Yearning for the Wind: Celtic Reflections on Nature and the Soul a number of times. But I can't remember a darm thing about Fire in the Head.

And yeah, I also read the first three Castanadas (?) books, thought they were interesting, but eventually men eating magic mushrooms and puking lost its charm. And the reviews for the later books were kinda "out there."

The funny thing is, they've influenced a lot of people, despite all the weirdness. It's a minor hobby of mine to track all the threads of influence I can find.

Out of curiosity, what is your opinion of Carlos Castaneda's books, if you've read them? And if so, how many of them have you read? (That second part might sound like an odd question, but it's necessary context for Castaneda because the early, mid, and later books go in three completely different directions, and most people stop at or before Journey to Ixtlan.)

David Trammel's picture

I had to look on my shelves but I found I have three of Casteneda's books in my occult section though they haven't been opened in possibly thirty years, lol. I found his first three fascinating because of the rumor he was actually experiencing what he wrote about. In his later books it seemed like he had veered into out right fiction.

I may dig them out next weekend and reread the first, just to see.


Now let me clarify my feelings on something, that is fiction versus reality.

Personally I can accept that sometimes stories that many would consider fiction, can and do have a more powerful influence on reality than stories that we consider "real and true".

Hawaiian shamanisn as told by King has a set of seven principles and fourteen corollaries to those principles. Together they are a very comprehensive way of looking at the worls and the way it work. Its not to say, its the only true way, but they do set forth a group of guidelines that seem to describe the World.

The First Principle is, "IKE", which translates to "The World Is What You Think It Is".

Now if I feel that when I am driving in one of my cars, and we, the car and I, pass a vehicle that is broken down on the side of the road, that by patting my steering wheel and praising my car as "You are such a good car", that my praise contributes to keeping my car on the road and not breaking down, then who among us can claim I am wrong?

My world view can encompass a car with a spirit, just like the animal spirits that guard and guide me, like Owl and Coyote.

If you name your computer and your co-worker doesn't, who has less problems? In your universe, you do. In his, he does.

Who is right, who is wrong?

Can you even be sure?


Not all Principles have Corollaries, but IKE has two.

The first is "Everything is a dream".

Think about this, how do you know what you are seeing inside of your head, from the information feed of your eyes, is a true representation of the "actual" reality we experience?

We see and experience the world mostly through our eyes, and those same eyes see but a limited slice of the visible spectrum. Bees see a much different reality.

Which is the "real" reality.

But even more than that. Think of the last good book you read that has a passage in it that made you emotional. Those tears you cried from reading that passage were as real as the tear you cried from some occassion in so called real life. Both are as real to our spirit.

Here is the thing to chuckle about and why I like Hawaiian shamanisn.

The second corollary to IKE, is "All systems are arbitrary".

I can describe to you the seven principles and the fourteen corollaries of Hawaiian shamanisn and say they work for me. I can give you my old copy of Herbert's "Dune", which at its outer edge is marked with a black tick where all the teachings of the Bene Geseritt are mentioned.

Would picking one or the other, and living your life to that teaching's precepts mean it was untrue, whether you were living it to a fictional book, or to another author's writing.

Would you be living it wrong?

Both systems are arbitrary systems which someone has tried, with limited success, to quantify a Universe that we are completely unsuited to understand. We can swim in that Universe though, even if we don't understand it.

(grins and goes back to his book)

When the Moon is in the Seventh House

And Jupiter alligns with Mars

Then Peace will guide the planet

And Love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius...

Oh, yeah, I bought my Waite-Ryder deck in Old Town, Chicago, circa 1970. I can't say Magic interests me very much anymore. If "Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will," then compassion is about the extent of my practice these days.

Except for the Green Wizardry... The first three chapters of the Green Wizardry book are lifted almost directly from the Earth Path in Greer's Handbook of Druidry, and when I do meetups with Pagans I don't know well, I just say my path is "Applied Druidry."

Interestingly, in Micah White's book The End of Protest, he talks about using thaumatury and theurgy in protest. I checked out both The End of Protest and the Handbook from the library on Friday. I need to reread both of them and see if I'm more magical than I remember.

I found JMG through the occult, and TADR is what introduced me to peak oil and the limits to industrial society.

As far as magical practice to cope with trying times, I think being good at divination--the kind that kinds specific, actionable answers about outside phenomena, not vague personality descriptions--is likely to be just about the most useful, although general sorcery shouldn't be left out.

I think this question is perfectly appropriate for this forum. It's a very important question. I have viewed only a few of JMG's Galabales essays. I'm not versed in the occult or magical practice at all, but from my perfectly 'lay-person's' perspective, I'd have to agree that reading the ADR and this forum has given me a sort of permission to embrace spiritual feelings and realities as firmly as the tangible, 'rational' ones. I think that is HUGE. It is very important.