Saturday, April 25, 2009

How to Begin Studying Magic

By Alan Joel

The art and study of magic is a vast study that can
take years, and I get many questions about how people should go about
studying this topic. It can be daunting and I understand why people ask
this question. In my observation and experience, the best place to
begin studying is with the four elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth.

Because
everything in the Universe is composed of the four elements, this study
is literally part of everything else you will study in magic. Thus, to
start at the beginning, start with the element Air. Air is a safe
element to start studying because you can do very little to yourself or
others with air. The most you may do is make yourself "spacy" or silly
for a while, but Air dissipates quickly so you'll soon recover. For
instance, we often start beginner magical practitioners with
cloud-moving and weather work. Clouds, being of the Air element, are
easy to move with intention and not likely to get anyone in trouble.

Learning
how to handle the Air element also helps you develop the skills you
will need to handle the more advanced elements of Fire, Water, and
Earth. Here is a brief summary of what each of the elements corresponds
to:

Air

Seeing, breathing, speaking, hearing, planning, thinking,
believing, memorizing, communicating, learning, teaching, information,
ideas, wisdom, understanding, worry, sensation, awareness, opinions,
data, memory, mind.

Fire

Energy, power, will, desire, anger, pain, motivation, radiance,
passion, initiative, aggression, limitation, endeavor, activity,
creative, willingness, urge, inspired, excitable, courage, bravado,
compulsion, fanaticism, frustration, resentment, rage, freedom.

Water

Emotions, feelings, intuition, compassion, empathy, sympathy,
knowing, devotion, quest, aspiration, intention, appreciation,
integrity, harmony, beauty, balance, serenity, fluidity, grief, apathy,
joy, love.

Earth

Strength, money, foundation, endurance, structure, mundane world,
serenity of beingness, solidity, boundaries, permanence, land,
commerce, products, confidence, loyalty, persistence, stubbornness,
fortress, security, anchor, barter, substance, body, base, possessions.

At
first, you will want to learn to handle each of these elements with
your bare hands, in what we call direct handling. For instance, if you
wanted to handle the Air element directly, you could increase or
decrease the balance of Air in your body. The simplest way to do that
would be to wear white clothing. White is one of the Air element
colors, and tends to increase your mental capacity. Other ways of
handling Air include pulling in white energy through your hands or
"breathing" in white energy.

Once you have become proficient at
handling the four elements directly you can move on to using magical
tools. Since magical tools, such as the wand, athame, chalice and
plate, are extensions of the basic four elements and your own energies,
they should be studied and handled only after you develop a working
knowledge and understanding of the four elements themselves. The same
is true of the more advanced topics of divination, tarot and spellwork,
which are directly related to your understanding of the elements.

Alan
Joel co-founded the Esoteric School of Shamanism and Magic with the
goal of the helping people create permanent, positive change in their
lives through the study of magic and shamanism. Get free magical and
shamanic tips and resources at http://www.shamanschool.com and http://shamanmagic.blogspot.com Basic Magic teleclass starting soon.



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