Memory and Retroactive Magic

Posted on February 18, 2014
Filed Under Magic, time magic | 8 Comments

hourglass-desktop-nexusLately I’ve been doing some work some new space/time magic entities. One of the ones I’m working with, which I’ll discuss in more depth in another post is the Goetic Daimon Glasolya-Labolas. One of the topics we’ve focused on is memory and retroactive magic. The concept of retroactive magic is that you do a magical act that effects a past event in such a way that it changes the present and the possibilities you have access to in the present. I also think of retroactive magic as doing magic in the present to effect a past event. To illustrate both concepts, let me share two examples from my own practice.

My first example involves doing magical work to change a present behavior by going into past memories and changing the behavior in those past memories. I have found that if you want to change a behavior in the present, it becomes much easier when you change it in the past. What I do is do a pathworking exercise where I revisit specific memories and re-live those memories, but change the actions and behavior I did in those memories to ones I find to be more desirable. This consequently enables me to change the behavior in the present, because I’ve built a past where the desired behavior was already being performed.

The second example involved doing a magical work with a group that was in the U.K. I did the working several days after the group did their working (but before they reported in) and sent my magical working back in time so that even though I was doing the working in the present it was contributing to the working in the past. When I checked in with the group from the U.K. they reported strongly feeling my presence on the day they did their ritual, which indicated to me that my present working had effectively reached back to the past.

I’ve used retroactive magic to also discover possibilities in my present that I initially didn’t were available due to past choices. When I felt that way, I’d do a ritual working to change the past choice, or at least change the outcome of that past choice and then I would discover new possibilities that were more favorable to me.

In my meditations with Glasolya-Labolas, he has suggested that time is not fixed and that memories aren’t set, but only seem to be set because of the linear perspective we apply to time. If we were to instead consider that time isn’t fixed and that within a given memory there are also other possible experiences, we could access those experiences and work with them to change the experience of the present we are in. It’s an intriguing idea to experiment with, and although I feel I’ve done that to some degree via retroactive magic, I’m going to work more closely with Glasolya-Labolas to explore what his approach is and how it might fit or challenge my own understanding of retroactive magic and memory work.





Been thinking a lot about time and magick lately, and your take (and book) is interesting. Thinking...

Isn't all this really just another way of saying that: "Right now, anything is possible. Your enfolded assumptions may lead you to think that some things aren't possible or that the routes by which things may occur are limited. However, this is not the case. Discard those assumptions, and see the truth."

Imagining "going into the past to change behaviour" or "imagining you did something in the past" is really just a way of saying: From this point on, I want the present to unfold "as if" these past events occurred.

There is no past, there's just the direction of the present?

Magicexperiment moderator

@TriumphantGeorge That's an interesting way to phrase it. I could see some value in exploring the concept of such work in that way...It does raise an interesting question about the concept of the past and present and future and why we need those concepts (and if we even do need them?)


@Magicexperiment And perhaps the future path is basically "deterministically enfolded" into the present, unless we change our nature/the world/belief - at which point the path is re-pointed in a new direction. This may be what we're actually doing with time magick.

After all, where is the past, the future, right now? We find it in imagination and memory (the same thing), but where do those images come from? Subtle traces in the present, perhaps, so that's maybe what we are really changing. We are "inserting new facts into the universe - right now - or amending existing ones".

Magicexperiment moderator

@TriumphantGeorge I think that's a good way to examine it. Certainly my own experiences with time magic seem to work in that direction.