“The Magical Thought of the Week” was written and published by Dr. Joseph Lisiewski from 2006 to 2007 and included an additional column, “Responses to Readers’ Questions”. These articles were available through Dr. Lisiewski’s website until its removal in 2008 The following articles are excerpts from “The Magical Thought of the Week” and contain a great deal of knowledge and insight into the detailed operations of magic, mysticism and alchemy, and their effects on the human psyche as well as physical environment. Their editing has been slight so as to retain the author’s original style and content, but do not appear in order of their original appearance. Commentary has been added for clarification where needed.
For the Week of August 14 – August 20, 2006
The Nature of Physical Phenomena in Magical Practice – Part II
In last week’s column, I discussed the nature of physical phenomena arising from various magical practices as that phenomena effects the sense of sight, hearing (sound) touch, taste, and smell, and speculated as to the possible causes underlying such occurrences. The purpose in doing this was not only to quell the concern of those who actually performed a full Kabbalistic Analysis on their ritual performances prior to doing them and who thus received dramatic physical effects from those rituals, but to provide a reflective base from which all of us might further examine our ritual work to see if there were attributes of our Work that we might have overlooked, or simply dispensed with without further investigation or thought. I am happy to say that from the number of responses from readers over the past week, the first purpose was fulfilled quite well. Additionally, the second intention also produced results. And the two most prominent results so produced will now be discussed in this small paper.
My very dear friend and colleague, Mr. Mark Stavish, Director of the Institute for Hermetic Studies, sent me the following which readers of this column may find useful:
“Water – my experiences with water almost always occurred on the top of my left hand. It would be a drop. Sometimes two or three, but rarely.”
Mark further stated, “Jean Dubuis (a famous Occultist, Alchemist and Teacher who influenced Mark greatly) said that water, rain, was the means of transferring energy to the earth. So if you created a large energy sphere, then water or rain would often occur.
“During the period when I attended the Wilkes-Barre, PA Pronaos (AMORC) with my great-uncle, on the FIRST and THIRD Thursday of each month, we noticed that regardless of the month or even overall weather conditions, there was always some degree of humidity, rain, or moisture in the air on those nights. It became a joke.”
This is an interesting and telling point, because it adds a new dimension to the physical phenomena of both sight and touch; it is also a clear example of an astral force impinging on an occult operation or magical rite to such a magnitude, that a crystallization of an invisible material substance (in this case, water content of the air) results. If anything, this physicality of magical and occult work is a further demonstration of what can occur when such work is properly executed. If the reader will use Mark’s further example as an additional call to arms in the analysis of their own work, he or she may be able to recall and understand all the more those seemingly innocuous occurrences they may have experienced but overlooked or disregarded for want of a possible explanation.
Mark’s comments helped me in this regard, for there was something I overlooked completely. Something which taught me (yet another) valuable lesson in magical matters. In 2001 I was involved in some highly experimental magic. That is, I was trying to apply what I hypothesized were general working principles from some medieval grimoires to certain rituals I was striving to construct. Rituals that—while medieval in principle—were echoed and addressed by none other than Eliphas Levi in his classic, “Transcendental Magic.” This extrapolation and attempted synthesis required a formal “Working.” That is, a repetition of the ritual performance over a 14 day period, a fair experimental run as I then saw it. The ritual involved certain principles of the Water and Fire Elements.
During my daily practice, I noticed an extreme increase in humidity in my Magical Chamber. I noted it, but as such physical manifestations are common, I did not think too much about it. But on the 7th day, I began to realize that the humidity level became so high, I could not don my ritual vestments without extreme discomfort. I did take humidity level readings in the Chamber, and found that while they did rise daily, on the 7th day they reached 97% and were absolutely suffocating. There was also a dramatic daily temperature increase in the room; but on the 7th day, the temperature in the room reached 92 degrees Fahrenheit (F) (the average daily outside temperature at that time of the year—the winter time—being 37 degrees (F), and the average temperature in our house being 69 degrees F. Additionally, all heat was turned off in my Magical Chamber, as I prefer to work in as cold a condition as possible.)
Still, I was determined to carry out the performance over the calculated 14 day period, so on that 7th day, regardless of the 97% humidity level and the 92 degree temperature in the Chamber, I conducted the rite. Within one hour of finishing the performance, I heard the sound of water running, and a loud hissing sound. The sounds blended together in such a way that I could not tell where they were coming from, and quite frankly, began to panic. But the unknown factors did not last long: both toilet bowls—one in a half–bath on the first floor of our house and one in the Master bathroom on the second floor—had blown their gaskets and plungers and overflowed at the same time. In addition, the 1 year old hot water heater in the basement had “ruptured” as the plumber later told me, leaked water all over the basement, and had its heating coils destroyed by “…apparently an uncontrolled energy surge…” (Note the presence of the Water Element in the first case and the Fire Element in the second.) But that was not all. For when my wife attempted to do the laundry, the automatic washer overflowed, soaking the floor and everything in sight, including a new carpet in the laundry/utility room. And all of this occurred within the span of 3 hours after the performance of the ritual on that 7th day. All total, there was over $1,000 worth of damage done due to my not backing off the ritual, analyzing the inordinate physical phenomena I was receiving, and making adjustments to the performance accordingly.
The point in all of this is that the forces we work with in Magic and the Occult may not be ‘real’ in the sense by which they are defined and quantified by physics; but they have an energy component or capacity that is most certainly able to effect the forces that do effect the physical world, and we can and will pay for it if we are not as careful and vigilant in our work as we can and should be. As the old saying goes, “A word to the wise is sufficient.” I trust the reader will benefit from my folly.
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