Experimental Magic: The Evolution of Magic

Experiment with your magical practice by learning how to apply art, pop culture, neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines to your magical work, as well as exploring fundamental underlying principles of what makes magic work. You'll never look at magic in the same way!

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Mediation, Memory and Flow

The work I'm currently doing in my spiritual practice is a process of memorization. On the surface, it just seems like the memorization of words, but the words are a pathway to the deeper wordless truths that can only be experienced when you open yourself to what the words represent. What I'm really doing with the memorization is twofold.

First, I am connecting with the forces, spirits, etc., that are represented by the words. The words present a means to connect with those spirits in order to develop relationships and create associations that allow you to do deeper work with them. The words are the introduction to the spiritual current that is embodied and mediated by the spirits I'm working with.

Secondly, I'm also preparing myself internally to work with those forces. When I memorize the words, I'm embedding them into my consciousness and preparing myself energetically and mentally to connect with those forces and work with them. I'm preparing to mediate those forces so that they can be channeled and expressed in ritual to both myself and the world around me.

When I first start memorizing a chant, it initially is just about the words. I'm not trying to initially connect with the forces that the words represent. Simply saying the words again and again and embedding them into my memory will naturally help create the connections with the forces, but first I need to learn the words, make them part of my mind and my flesh and that only happens if I focus on the words themselves.

How I memorize the words is to say them over and over again, imprinting them on my mind through my voice and then mentally saying them to myself. I do this on the drive home from work, and when I exercise, and in other various moments that present themselves, making those words become part of my experiential reality.

As the words become part of my memory, the associations with the forces those words represent build. As I do the ritual where I chant what I've memorized I bring those connections to life, not because of a rote recitation of words, but because I open myself to the connections those words embody. 

It's something which happens over time. The first time you chant words you've memorized, you might not feel the connection. It just might be words that have been recited. You'll know when you've connected, when it becomes something deeper, where you feel the current you are tapping into start to carry you in its flow.

The feeling of flow in a ritual is the choice to step aside and let the ritual, let the spirits, or forces work through you. You are mediating them and you do it by not just saying the words, but feeling and experiencing the words. You let the words carry you to the connection and through the words you speak you embody and mediate the connection. That experience of flow happens when you make the effort to memorize and embody the words and connections those words contain. 

This is a relatively recent addition to my magical work, but I find that the memorization I'm doing creates an integrated experience over time. The initial effort is most certainly on just remembering the words, but as you learn the words and make them part of your consciousness, then the effort comes down to truly allowing everything to flow together. It means getting out of your own way and trusting the work to express itself through you. And when you do that you reach that place of flow and it reinforces the connection you've created through the memorization, which strengthens any work you do with those particular associations.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Taylor Ellwood can be found at Magical Experiments online, and otherwise working on whatever his latest project is. 

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Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magic Systems, Space/Time Magic, Magical Identity and a number of other occult books. He posts about his latest projects at Magical Experiments.


  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer Sunday, 01 April 2018

    Taylor, do you only do memorization of words that you plan on using in chants/rituals--or to also have a deeper connection/relationship to a particular being/spirit? (Or both)? Fascinating post!

  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood Sunday, 01 April 2018

    Hi Janet,

    It can be for both and I've used it for both. I figure developing a chant for a spirit can just as easily be integrated into a larger working. Thanks for commenting!

  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer Sunday, 01 April 2018

    Fascinating! Now, your post is called "Mediation, Memory and Flow". Is that correct...or was it supposed to be "Meditation" (as in, using memorization for/as meditation)?

  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood Sunday, 01 April 2018

    Nope the word choice of Mediation was purposeful.

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