Elemental Balancing Ritual Stillness Month 33

Posted on July 21, 2017
Filed Under elemental work | Leave a Comment

Copyright 2017 Taylor Ellwood

6-26-17 I’m reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. She talks about the relationship we have with being vulnerable and what do we associate with vulnerability. Until I started doing my stillness work, I’d say my association with vulnerability was that being vulnerable was being weak. But with stillness, I’ve opened myself to being vulnerable and found that its actually helped me become a better person. When I am vulnerable I can open up and share. Stillness has taught me to become more comfortable with being vulnerable and to become better at expressing it.

6-30-17 There are moments where I really question the point of anything I’m doing. This is one of those moments.

7-1-17 Today I saw my dad. It’s been almost a year, but in that year he underwent some health struggles…and seeing him now, physically and mentally so different is hard. It reminds me of my own mortality, but also the awareness that the people in my life don’t live forever. I love my dad and the time I have with him is precious.

7-8-17 Back from the trip to my dad’s. It was good to see him and it brought some clarity to me about my relationship with him and also my own ongoing work. We only have so much time, and I recognize that I need to be crystal clear about the time I have left and if I’m using it as optimally as I could be.

7-11-17 I ended up figuring out a time solution that I’ve employed this week. It’s been amazing in terms of the amount of productive work that’s happened, both professionally and personally. On a different note I’ve been employing the Taoist dissolving breath to work through some lingering issues from April. In doing the breath work its helped me release attachments and let go of feelings and stresses that had been problematic until now. The clarity that can be achieved by letting go of what no longer serves you is the clarity of stillness, of holding onto nothing and discovering everything.

7-13-17 You know even though the last 2 years and 3 quarters has been about stillness, its also been about really coming face to face with myself. And when that happens its not comfortable at all because you really see all of yourself when you’re still. I wouldn’t take it back for anything though because while it has been hard its also been helpful. And by no means do I feel these last couple of years and change has made me enlightened, because the truth is I’ve got a lot of work to do. But as with all the other internal work, it has opened me even further to doing the work. And that’s the point. The journey doesn’t stop, because there’s no end destination in sight.

7-17-17 I’m working on being more vulnerable with myself and others. I feel like this lesson in particular is one which Stillness has been trying to teach me. I haven’t always handled it well. But right now I’m really needing to be vulnerable and I realize my main obstacle as always is shame. In continuing to reading Daring Greatly, what stands out to me is how she explains that shame is the fear of disconnection. And that really stands out to me because if I look at moments where I’m afraid to communicate or share or be seen it is a fear of disconnection, yet I see how that very fear actually does disconnect me. And how that leads into shame. So this week in my Taoist meditation practices I’ve been working on that feeling of shame and disconnection, instead of shying away from it. Hard work, but so necessary.

7-19-17 Last night I asked Kat to tell me no. I’d seen yet another business class and I knew I needed to not take it, but part of me wanted to sign up anyway. So I asked her to say no, because I needed to hear it externally. So she did and afterwards she pointed out something I needed to hear. She said, “You’ve been working really hard with these class. You’ve been obsessed. You need to slow down and integrate what you’ve learned and you need to also figure out what’s going on internally with your obsession.” And it was a good point. Now I can say that obsession can be good in one sense in that it applies pressure to change, but in another sense I see how its also gotten me focused on shiny object syndrome…so I’m slowing down a bit and already seeing some benefits. Having someone who can say no to you when you need them to is precious.

7-21-17 This has been a tough month for me. But working with stillness isn’t just about being still. It’s about stripping away the lies we tell ourselves and in this case, just being more vulnerable and open to asking for help. I’ve sometimes approached my life trying to be as self-sufficient as possible, but its keeps you lonely and it isolates when you need help. And this month has really helped me see that clearly I do need some help with different things, where I’ve been trying to take it all on my own shoulders.

The Possibility you feed is the reality you create

Posted on July 7, 2017
Filed Under Magic | Leave a Comment

The possibility you feed is the reality you create

The possibility you feed is the reality you create

The other day I was having a conversation with one of my friends. She shared she was feeling anxious about the upcoming weekend where she would be doing a lot of vending and she pessimistically said she didn’t think she’d sell a lot of product.

Now I’m no stranger to such pessimism, having some of it myself, so after she vented for a bit, I asked her if she was open to some feedback. She told me she was and I gently pointed out the following:

The possibility you feed is the reality you create

The beliefs we bring into a given situation influence that situation. In the case of my friend she’d already decided that her product wasn’t going to sell much and so this was increasing her anxiety and setting up the result of her product not actually selling. Once she heard what I said, she acknowledged that she was setting up the reality she was describing. But she still had another problem, the anxiety itself.

Now we all have anxiety. I have it, you have it, and so does my friend.

So we talked about it a little further and I suggested a simple solution. Turn the anxiety into an ally.

Now you might be wondering how you can do that.

What I suggested to my friend was to create a sigil that described the ideal reality she wanted to manifest (lots of sales) and then use her anxiety as a fuel source for the sigil. That way anytime she started to feel anxious and started to worry, she could take those emotions and push them into the sigil and let them actually serve a useful purpose instead of one that was undermining her.

As magicians, we know that emotions our energy in motion. We just need to direct the energy the right way, in some manner that actually serves a purpose. In the case of my friend, she could acknowledge the feelings and then push them into the sigil and get them to help create a better reality. Afterall the possibility you is the reality you create, so why not feed the optimal possibility and create a better reality? You can do the same thing in your magical practice.

Stop feeding the pessimistic possibility. Create an optimal possibility. Create some type of magical working that leads to that optimal possibility and use your anxiety as a fuel source to manifest the better possibility into the reality you want. Add in appropriate mundane actions as needed to also help you get where you want.

And if you’re having trouble with your results, check out my better results guide which shows you why you may not be getting the results you want.

Results vs Consequences and how to plan for both in your magic

Posted on June 27, 2017
Filed Under Magic | Leave a Comment

Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about results and consequences. Often times in practical magic workings we focus on the results that we want to achieve, but what isn’t always considered are the consequences that come with the results. Yet consequences are a natural reality of a result.

The problem that happens is that the result is treated as a point of closure. You’ve created and executed the magical working and then the result has occurred and that’s the end of the story. But is it?

ripple

Courtesy of Pexels

I think of a result as a rock you’ve thrown into a river. You through the rock in the river and it’s now part of the river bed, but when it first hits the water, it creates ripples and in this metaphor those ripples are the consequences that occur because the result has been achieved. Now consequences, in and of themselves, aren’t inherently good or bad. They’re just something that happens because a change has occurred, and it should be obvious that we don’t need to do a magical working to deal with consequences. We deal with consequences everyday of our lives, because of our actions, regardless of whether those actions are magical or not. So it might seem like I’m making much ado about nothing.

But I think what makes a magical working a bit different is this: We’re purposely and consciously choosing to do a magical action in order to achieve a result. There’s premeditation involved. So if we’re putting this time and effort into creating a magical working that will help us get a specific result, should’t we also do a bit more forecasting and look at the possible consequences that could occur?

Now it could be said that this is where divination comes into play. Some people will say that before you ever do a magical working, you ought to do a divination in order to get insights on that working and discover potential consequences. And so divination can be one way to discover potential consequences.

But another way to discover your potential consequences is to spend some actually defining your result. When you define your result, you also are looking at the environmental variables influenced by the result, and so this helps you plan for and anticipate potential consequences. The more defined your result is, the easier it is to anticipate possible consequences. The less defined your result is, the harder it is to plan for consequences, because you’ve leaving a lot up to chance.

Let me explain…

If your defined result is vague, then there will be a lot of unanticipated consequences. For example, if I do a working to get a job and the defined result is simply a job, without anything else defined, then not only have you settled for whatever you get, but you’ve also accepted the consequences that come with it. Those consequences could be less pay, bad co-workers, and a micro-managing boss.

But let’s say you take your time and really define your desired result. What you’re defining as well are consequences of achieving that result. So you end up defining not just the fact that you want a job, but also what kind of job, the salary and benefits, the people you work with and other details that are important to you. And by defining those details you actually plan for the consequences and make them part of the result, instead of something that happens because of the result.

Now this doesn’t mean there still won’t be unanticipated consequences, but as you can see when you take your time to define your result, the amount of unanticipated consequences goes down significantly.

Some people argue you shouldn’t define your result too much. I used to feel that way myself, but as I’ve continued to experiment with results based magic, and helped other people out with their results based magic, what I find is that when the result is defined it helps you understand the magical working you’ll do and the consequences. Defining the result can help you decide if you really want it, which is better to figure out before doing a magical working or taking other actions…for once something is manifested you do have to live with the consequences of it. If you figure out what those consequences are ahead of time and incorporate them into your defined result, it helps you get very specific with your working and also allows you to measure the effectiveness of your working.

Elemental Balancing Ritual Stillness Month 32

Posted on June 21, 2017
Filed Under elemental work | Leave a Comment

Copyright 2017 Taylor Ellwood

5-26-17 I had a dream this morning. In the dream was the dark haired, dark eyed woman that had shown up in a couple previous visions. She showed me an alternate life, where I didn’t have a lot of stability. I traveled a lot and did work I didn’t like and I had no deep connections. As she told me, it was really about showing me what a life without stability would be like. Afterwards I felt this radiating sense of fear in my chest and I sat with it for a while. It’s that fear of being too stable, which may seem off, but when you’ve lived a life where much of it has been chaotic, it can actually feel strange to have stability. It makes me realize again what the next element needs to be, but also what I can do to use stillness to work on that feeling of fear of stability.

5-27-17 I’ve been reading Daring Greatly, and the author talks about the mentality people have around scarcity as it shows up toward themselves. It made me think about some of my motivations for doing what I do. when I look at my life I see how much scarcity has driven me. I’ve talked about that before, but its important to sometimes come back to those realizations with fresh eyes and new perspectives, to see what you’ll do with them as a result.

6-1-17 Seems like the last couple of months has just been a downward spiral, but today I wrote a post about what’s working and not working in my businesses and while a lot isn’t working, some is working as well. And while my businesses aren’t my identity, it’s fair to say that most of my time and effort is focused on them right now. I find I need that kind of focus…its similar to when I write a book. I usually end up writing a book over a month’s period time because that’s how I get the work done. Working on your business takes more than month…

6-6-17 I’ve been sick the last few days. That brings its own form of stillness. I couldn’t work or do anything really, so I just took it as an opportunity from the universe to slow down and just be still.

6-9-17 I had this meditation today where I connected to the viruses and bacteria that aren’t so friendly to humans. And what they showed me was that they are just trying to propagate. It’s not that they are against us…we just happen to be a medium for them to continue thriving. It was a fascinating meditation and I’m going to integrate it into my Alchemy of Life book, because I think its important to recognize all the different types of life that can live in the body.

6-16-17 I had this realization today that I feel, at the moment like I have learned so much that I’m like a tea cup that’s filled to the brim. And at the same time I ironically feel like I’ve lost my voice in a way. So I’m just being still with those feelings and trusting myself to get where I need to go at the right time for me. Sometimes you just have to stop and take a breath and that’s very much where I’m at.

6-19-17 Sometimes the hardest part of handling a reaction is figuring out how to be still with it. I have a temper and a mean streak in me. I know this about myself. I’d like to think that most times I’ve made good progress with it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that temper and mean streak comes out sometimes. I don’t know if it ever won’t and maybe the real challenge is just learning to accept that and figure out how to acknowledge it without necessarily stirring up the pot.

6-20-17 I only have a few months left of this work with Stillness. Part of me feels impatient, ready to move on and be done with it now. The rest of me is just about sticking to this commitment. Doing this work with Stillness is some of the hardest work I’ve done, but also the most rewarding, in terms of clarity and focus. It’s ironic I suppose, that some of my big changes in life have happened while working with stillness, but I don’t think the point of Stillness is just to be still and I don’t know if I ever really am still so much as I’ve learned to slow down and be more in the moment.

The Devil is in the Details: Why knowing how magic works matters

Posted on June 21, 2017
Filed Under Magic | Leave a Comment

In my own magical practice I’m a real stickler for details. The reason is because I like to figure out what is working and how it’s working (or conversely what isn’t working). Not everyone feels this way about magic. Sometimes I’ll hear people say that it doesn’t matter how magic works, as long as it produces a result. I always find this response (and variants of it) to be fascinating and perplexing.

“Why wouldn’t you want to know how something works?” is one of the questions that I ask, along with another one, “What do you do if your magical working doesn’t work or produce the results you were going after?”

I never really get a satisfactory answer to those questions.

push button

Courtesy of Skley

One of the problems I have with push button magic (Basically where you don’t know how it works) is that you don’t really know the details. You’re pushing a button and hoping something happens, but there’s no way to determine if what you’ve done has actually worked.

And when you don’t know if something has worked or not worked, then its hard to make effective changes to what you are doing.

This is one of the reasons I keep records of my magical workings and what this allows me to do is discover specific details. And as the title of this post goes, the devil is in the details…

What that really means is that sometimes you can put together a magical working and execute it and on the surface of it, everything seems to make sense…but when you take the time to examine the working and look over the details you discover what isn’t working or what can be improved on. That knowledge can help you design better workings, as well as improve on existing ones, and fix what isn’t working in your magic.

But we need to know what details to look out for. Getting better results isn’t simply a matter of better ritual design. It’s an understanding of the variables that need to be accounted for to make your working successful. It’s also the development of your result.

In practical magic we don’t want to go for vague results. We want to define our results in concrete terms that enable us to factor in variables such as when and where, perhaps even who, and whatever else might be significant to the success of our magical workings. We may not even overtly include these details in the actual working we do, but we should include them in the thought process and planning of our workings. Because when we do that, we account for the details and it makes the magical more focused. It also provides a way to measure the result and the process used to obtain that result.

By attending to the details, what you help yourself do is understand what you are putting into your magical working and how that contributes to the entire working. You’re not simply pushing the button and hoping that something happens. Instead you’re paying attention to what is being put into the working to create the output…and if the output isn’t the result you want, then you can go in and look to those details and figure out what’s not working and why. And then you either fix it and see if a change happens or you factor the details in for the next working and see what happens. Either way because you’re paying attention to what you are doing, you understand how your magic ought to work and you can fix what you’re doing accordingly.

 

 

 

How to stack the deck of reality and possibility in your favor

Posted on June 19, 2017
Filed Under Magic | Leave a Comment

I find that a lot of people think of magic as something you actively are doing, but sometimes the way magic works has more to do with being in tune with the flow of possibilities into reality and allowing the right possibilities to come through.

What does that really mean?

I look at it in this way. Yes, sometimes the magical work involves taking action, but sometimes it involves being in a situation and recognizing how to make that situation work for you, even when it seems to be stacked against you.

Stacking the deck of possibility and reality in your favor involves recognizing a situation for what it is and then finding the best possibilities that make the situation turn in your favor. Yet it is also a reliance on magic, being in tune with magic and letting it carry the situation to those possibilities. I share a recent example below where coincidence quickly became synchronicity.

What made that situation work out really involved being open to the right possibilities happening at the right time to resolve the situation favorably. I didn’t have control over everything that could happen, but by being open to the possibilities and in tune with magic, it made it possible for the right possibilities to slide into reality and stack the deck in my favor.

Sometimes the best magical practice we can employ simply involves being open to the realm of possibility and then picking the possibility that allows us to manage the situation favorably. We still won’t have full control, but when you can steer a situation into the direction you want it to go into, then it becomes much easier to achieve an outcome that works for you instead of against you.

May 2017 Magical Experiments podcast

Posted on May 30, 2017
Filed Under radio show | Leave a Comment

Copyright Taylor Ellwood 2017

Did you miss an episode of the magical experiments podcast in May? Here are all the episodes.

Magical Experiments podcast: Magical Activism Pt 4 with David Salisbury and Mat Auryn

Magical Experiments podcast: Paganism and consent with Shauna Aura Knight and Katessa Harkey

Magical Experiments podcast: Building and Maintaining Sacred Space with Ivo Dominguez Jr

Magical Experiments podcast: Conflict and Community with Crystal Blanton

Book Review: The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene

This is a fascinating book which explores the various theories about parallel universes and uses modern physics to examine the veracity of those theories. The author does an excellent job of walking readers through the physics and exploring the viability of the various theories. Whether you enjoy physics or are just curious about the universe, this is a good book to read, which will provoke some thoughts and ponderings to be savored.

Elemental Balancing Ritual Stillness month 31

Posted on May 21, 2017
Filed Under elemental work | Leave a Comment

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
Filed Under Magic | Leave a Comment

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
Filed Under Magic | Leave a Comment

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.

How magic works

Get my FREE guide How Magic Works

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.

keep looking »