Elemental Balancing Ritual Stillness month 31

Posted on May 21, 2017
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Copyright 2017 Taylor Ellwood

4-24-17 This prior weekend I went to a spiritual retreat lead by R.J. Stewart, where we explored the Further Path…basically a Faery teaching. It was profound work and it seemed like the right time in terms of matching up with some of the changes I’m feeling internally. There’s this feeling of movement…and a sense of stillness coming to an end…or maybe just a transition. There will always be stillness work to do, but ho do you come out of stillness? That’s really what I’m gravitating toward at the moment. It’s like this slow awakening and stretching is happening.

4-25-17 In order to grow you have to be willing to leave behind what will you hold back. I had a lesson in that this last month and it culminated yesterday. And it’s not easy. You get this idea that people will stay in your life and then you discover that’s not always the case. I’ve learned a very valuable lesson in the experience…and it makes me realize that I need to continue working on healthy boundaries in my life, particularly as it pertains to my community and friends.

4-30-17 In the Tao of Letting Go I ended up doing a meditation on the feeling of strength. The author made a really important point, which is: The feeling of strength brings its own tensions with it. I never really thought of strength in that way, but it actually makes sense and as I’ve been doing the dissolving work around strength its unlocked some feelings and tensions in me that I’m going to work with. It’s a good reminder that we can hold onto things in ways that even seem positive for us, but may not be.

5-2-17 Kat said something yesterday that I’ve been sitting with. She said I needed to give myself time to grieve. I am grieving right now over a friendship that’s ended. And I realize a part of me just wanted to skip the grief stage and get on with my life, but I can’t do that. Allowing myself to be sad is something I need. It’s not easy to feel, but pushing it down is worse. So I’m just holding space with my grief each day, being patient with the process.

5-11-17 I’ve been thinking a lot about image versus reality. When you do stillness work, you encounter a lot of images, because that’s when they come to the surface. What your images force you to do is come face to face with the ways you lie to yourself. And then you have to decide if you’ll continue lying to yourself or if you’ll face your images and discover what’s underneath.

5-12-17 For the last couple of days I’ve been using the water breathing meditation to become present with the feelings of physical pain and discomfort in my body, to see what it shows me. One insight I’ve gotten is just how easy it is to suppress pain or other feelings…but what you miss out on is what that pain can tell you and how it can help you. Sinking into the pain is allowing me to listen to it and discover what it reveals, which is more than just being in pain. I think the same applies to any other emotion a person can feel, or any other sensation…there’s always something you can learn from it.

5-13-17 I’ve been rereading The Hidden Adept and The Inward Vision again and there was an interesting point made in the book about the choice of purification over power. In some ways my stillness work has been as much about purification as anything else. When you open yourself to stillness, you open yourself as well to whatever lurks in that stillness, and so afford yourself an opportunity to work through it. And the choice of purification is a liberation of sorts from attachments that might otherwise hold you back.

5-21-17 I feel like the last couple of months have been a wake up call for me. In various ways I’ve gotten confirmation about the direction I’m going in with this work and my spiritual work in general and at the same time have seen that the dross and distractions have fallen to the wayside. Purification over power. Or perhaps power through purification.


How to grow your spiritual community

Posted on May 11, 2017
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Whether you’re building a public spiritual community or a private one, there’s a couple of factors you want to consider that will help you build your spiritual community and make sure its a healthy one. In this video I share what those factors are and how to strategically approach them so you can build your spiritual community.

Why intention alone won’t get you results

Posted on May 5, 2017
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The other day I got into a conversation with an acquaintance who said they wanted to be successful with magic. I asked them to define success and they told me that to them success was using intention to create manifestation. It sounded like a lot of new age fluff and the problem is that it basically is new age fluff.

Words like intention and manifestation have become ambiguous words that say very little while sounding very buzzy. In the defense of my acquaintance, this was a person just starting out on their magical journey. When I explained that they needed to be more specific in defining success with magic, they had trouble because they didn’t know what it looked like.

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When we use words like intention and manifestation without understanding how to apply them to practical actions, it keeps us from effectively applying magic to our lives. Magic isn’t just setting intention, but also following through on the intention.

In the video below I share why intention isn’t enough and what you need to do to set your magical practice up around obtaining practical results.

Are there rules of magic?

Posted on April 28, 2017
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The other day I was asked why so many rules of magic are made up, especially if they aren’t needed.

And the answer to that question really comes down to this: What is the underlying motivation for making up any rule?

The answer is power, or control, or some variant. People make rules up as a way to control what other people will do with magic. I know this from my own experience, because many times I’ve had people tell me my magic wasn’t real or that what I was doing couldn’t be magic and when I asked why, their answer always came down to some arbitrary rule.

Now magic has certain principles at work which describes how magic works, but those principles don’t tell you what is or what isn’t magic. What those principles show is how magic works, regardless of what you’re bringing into the mix…and it turns out that magic isn’t as complicated as people make it. Watch the video to learn more:

Magical Experiments Podcast April 2017

Posted on April 25, 2017
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Copyright Taylor Ellwood 2016

Did you miss an episode of magical experiments in April? Here are all the episodes, for your enjoyment!

Magical Experiments Podcast: The Magic of Poetry with Bethany Moore

Magical Experiments podcast: The Aesthetics of Magic with Rune Emerson

Magical Experiments Podcast: Gnostic Christianity with Lainie Petersen

Magical Experiments Podcast: How to take care of yourself spiritually with Bill Duvendack

If you want to learn more about Gnosticism…

Gnostic Wisdom Network www.gnosticwisdom.net

Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio


Gnosticism: From Nag Hammadi to the Gospel of Judas: The Great Courses (Dr. David Brakke)

Priests, Gnostics and Magicians: European Roots of Esoteric Independent Catholicism Kindle Edition by Siobhán Houston

Gnostic Society Library: http://gnosis.org

Introduction to “Gnosticism”: Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds by Nicola Denzy Lewis

Sanctuary of the Sacred Flame: A Guide to Johannite Spiritual Practice Paperback – February 22, 2013 by Anthony Silvia

Gnostic Book of Hours: Keys to Inner Wisdom Hardcover – December, 1992 by June Singer

Book Review: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

This book came into my life at the right time. The author shares the core skills of whole-hearted people and how any person can learn those skills. This is a book I would recommend to anyone because it teaches you how to to bring joy into you life and change who you are as a result, in a way that truly will make you a happier and more whole hearted person.

Book Review: One small step can change your life by Robert Maurer

Big isn’t always better and this book explains why that is. The author makes a persuasive case for why trying to make big changes can cause you fear, anxiety, and stop you in your tracks, while if you make small changes it can actually help you build momentum and make it easier for you to reach your big goals, because you’re getting around your Amygdala. I’ve applied some of the ideas in this book to my clients and my work and it has made a huge difference in both cases.

Elemental Balancing Ritual Stillness Month 30

Posted on April 21, 2017
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Copyright 2017 Taylor Ellwood

3-23-17 One of the most pivotal lessons my work with stillness has taught me is to stop looking outside myself for completion. Stop looking toward a job, a lover, friends, etc., because when you do that, it never satisfies you and objectifies the people. With romantic love, we’re sold a myth that you can find that one true love, or multiple loves that can somehow complete us and know us. But no one can know you the way you know yourself…and yet many people do not know themselves. This is one of the challenges of internal work: It forces us to really know ourselves and to recognize that any sense of completion must come from our own ability to resolve the internal tensions in our lives, and as a result discover the true liberation of the self from all the conditioning and patterns we’ve previously lived with.

When a person is willing to do that work (and it’s a long path), what they’ll discover is genuine fulfillment comes from being fully present and living your life from a place of genuine awareness that is cultivated by the purposeful internal work you’ve done to liberate yourself from the cultural and familial preconceptions that have previously bound your life to an unfulfilling existence. Genuine fulfillment isn’t found in your accomplishments, or who you’re screwing or whatever else. Those are all fleeting at the end of the day, and best appreciated in the moment, instead of held onto as an attachment. Genuine fulfillment is found in BEING…fully BEING in the moment, and yet also being able to let go of the moment and move to the next moment, ready to step into whatever joy, bliss, sorrow , or discomfort presents itself to you.

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A Stillness Meditation

Posted on April 14, 2017
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I’ve been working with the element of stillness for 2 and a half years, via daily meditations and internal work. The stillness work is part of the elemental balancing ritual that I’ve used to create a dedicated system of internal work, which I’ve been implementing in my life since 2004!

Today I thought I would share why I’ve worked with Stillness for so long and share a stillness working with you. Check out the video:


5 Reasons going back to basics can help you become a Better Magician

Posted on March 30, 2017
Filed Under Magic | 1 Comment

I’ve lately been on a bit of a simplicity kick with my magical practice, and part of that has involved going back to basics. It may seem odd that a magician with 20 plus years experience would go back to basics. After all, don’t I already know this material? And the answer is yes, and yet also no. You see, I think one of the traps I see magicians fall into is one where you take for granted what you know. And actually this happens outside of magic. If you meet an “expert” in a field they know what they know and they sometimes take it for granted. So I want to share with you 5 reasons for going back to the basics and how doing that can help you become a better magician.

What you know becomes its own prison.

There’s two ways to challenge what you know. One is to venture into the unknown and use what you don’t know to challenge what you know. But the other approach is to recognize that what you know brings blind spots with it, and so revisit what you know, but with a fresh perspective. I employ both approaches in my magical work.

Recently I started reading Tao of Letting Go. It’s a fairly basic book on Taoist meditation. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “But Taylor you already KNOW this stuff. Why aren’t you focusing on the more interesting intermediate and advanced material.” Yet in reading this basic book I found a couple of basic exercises I’d never done before and I tried them out. I didn’t get caught up on how basic the book was…instead I used it to challenge what I know, because in doing so it allowed me to revisit what I know and understand it in a different way.

The different understanding I arrived at helped me deepen the internal work I’m doing, and also develop a closer relationship to my body and what it can teach me.

breathing meditation

Courtesy of Pexels

Knowledge unexamined becomes dogma.

The problem with knowing something is that it becomes assumed. And eventually what is assumed becomes dogma, wrapping you in rote messages and rituals, but never expanding your horizons. If, on the other hand, you revisit what you “know” you provide yourself the opportunity to examine it and test it. You rediscover it and often that rediscovery shifts what you knew in favor of what you didn’t know. It’s on the edge of what we don’t know that we find the dynamic power of change that keeps us from becoming too rooted in the status quo. Yet when we come back from the unknown and revisit the basics of what we know, we invite ourselves to change what we’ve known into something else altogether.

Your Foundation is never completed.

No matter how much magic I’ve practiced or experimented with, something I always come back is that the foundation is never completed. And when you do advanced work without the right foundation in place, it quickly becomes shaky. I’ve been rereading books I’ve read a few times over of late because in coming back to them I’m bringing all the experiences I had since I first read those books. And yet I’m applying what I’ve rediscovered to what I’ve experienced and the puzzle pieces come together differently as a result, but there’s still a click in place that makes sense in its own way. Revisiting the basics cements your experiences and inspires you to build on them even further. That inspiration isn’t found by just charging into the unknown…

Look to the future, but remember the past.

I think it surprises people sometimes when they discover that while I’m a magical experimenter, I actually advocate for developing a well-rounded education in magic. But what those people forget is that you can’t effectively experiment with magic until you actually understand what you’re doing. And if you don’t understand it…well what you don’t understand can be dangerous. So sometimes a return to the basics is really an opportunity to make sure you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s. But revisiting the past is valuable because it gives you context to draw on. Every magical working I do is informed by the past knowledge and experiences I have. And revisiting all that information and experience provides perspective to the other workings I might do. Much of your inspiration will come from what you’ve done, as much as what you could do.

Top 5 secrets of personalizing magic

Finally, you also discover what to let go and what to bring with you.

When you revisit what you already knew, it provides you an opportunity to assess what you learned and then decide if you’ll keep it or let it go. Sometimes you’ll let it go, because you know it no longer fits with what you’re doing, and sometimes you’ll hold on because it makes even more sense than it did before. Revisiting the basics puts what you know into perspective, and that perspective frees you from holding onto anything that isn’t useful while also emphasizing what works for you.

Revisiting the basics helps you become a better magician because it provides you the opportunity to fill in the gaps, challenge what you know and inspires your work in different directions. When we revisit the foundation of our practice we bring back our experiences and go forth inspired into the more advanced work, but with a greater awareness of what we bring with us and how it can serve us in our spiritual work.

March 2017 Magical Experiments podcasts

Posted on March 28, 2017
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Copyright Taylor Ellwood 2017

Did you miss an episode of the magical experiments podcast in March. You can listen to all of the episodes here.

And if you enjoy these episodes, please donate to the magical experiments fundraiser. Your donations allow us to continue putting shows liek these on, for the next year.

Magical Experiments podcast: The Aesthetics and process of magic with Taylor Ellwood

Magical Experiments podcast: Magical Activism Pt 1 with Crystal Blanton, Jacki Chucalate, and Felix Warren

Magical Experiments podcast: Magical Activism Pt 2 with Tallah Hovisdottir and Katessa Harkey

Magical Experiments podcast: Magical Activism Pt 3 with Shauna Aura Knight and Joseph Robicheaux

Book Review: Inner Traditions of Magic by William G. Gray

This is an excellent, must read book on magic. In it Gray walks readers through a number of magical operations and shows you how to take those operations apart and work with them. I like the depth of theory he explores and find that his approach really makes magic easier to understand. I will note that his writing style does tend to be ponderous at times, but if you stick with it, you will get a lot from his work and be able to significantly improve your own magical practice.

Case Study: Glasya-Labolas influence working

Posted on March 24, 2017
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In this case study, I share a recent working I did with Glasya-Labolas that shows how focusing on the influence aspect of a spirit can produce great results. To learn more, watch the video below.

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