From Chapter 5. The Power Within
As part of traditional spirituality, natural magic respects the creative life force in all things. According to the natural magical worldview, being human does not give us the right to dominate and destroy nature. Rather, it teaches us to be mindful that all things are interconnected, that polar opposites are actually two sides of the same unity. Meditation on this leads us to a new understanding of our human existence, for without this worldview, we cannot work natural magic.
Might and Main
Traditionally, the powers of the body are seen as embodied in two separate but linked qualities: might and main. Might is the physical strength of the body: the energy within it that enables it to live, powering its movements and actions. Main is the inner strength that empowers the personality. Without main, might is useless, for main includes the will to live. It is main that enables a person to exert his or her will in all realms of life. It empowers the magical arts of the human being. We must have both might and main in order to live effectively. Without one or the other, we are close to death.
Natural magic enables us to fully utilize our might and main in a creative way through spiritual empowerment. Spiritual empowerment is the harmonization of the body and mind with the all-encompassing power of the cosmos. It can be achieved by means of spiritual exercises that bring the functions of body and mind into alignment with each other, and then into alignment with eternal forces. There are five stages in the spiritual exercises of natural magic, as follows.
First, sit in an alert, yet relaxed position, either with legs crossed, or with the legs beneath the body. Next, regulate the breath. Once the breath is under control, regular and slow, banish all unwanted thoughts. This is not easy for the beginner. Firstly, by closing your eyes, withdraw your attention from all external objects and distractions. Suppress inner mental images, too. Then, let your bodily sensations gradually fade and become unimportant.
It is possible to banish unwanted thoughts by concentrating on a specific thought, perhaps the visualization of a symbol. This can be something spiritual that has personal meaning. Use it regularly, and it will become part of your consciousness.
Once you are in a meditative state, then the next step is sound, in the form of chant or song. The sacramental energy present in words is recognized throughout the world. An appropriate chant, spell, or song that comes from within will raise that energy and empower the singer. Once the activity is finished, there must be a re-awakening, a re-entry to the everyday world. This is accomplished in the reverse order, consciously bringing each part of the body and mind back to “normality.” The body, as well as the mind, will feel revitalized at the end of the process, giving us a greater awareness of our surroundings, and our creative possibilities.
A good way of gaining bodily and mental familiarity with the four material elements, and the fifth non-material one, is to use them in meditation. Like other magical activities, you should perform these meditations inside a protective boundary. Each time you work with an element, use the same technique. Begin with the densest element, Earth, then proceed to the lightest, Fire, in the sequence Earth, Water, Air, Fire.
Earth Meditation. Put some earth in a ceramic or glass bowl, and place it in a convenient location. Sit in a meditational posture, and focus your attention on the earth in the bowl. Explore in your mind the many possibilities of earth symbolized by this small sample. When you have done this, allow your consciousness to enter the earth. Become at one with it. Experience its heaviness, its many variant forms and possibilities, and the feelings that they bring.
Water Meditation. Pour some natural spring or well water into a bowl, and place the bowl in a convenient location, as before. Focus your meditation upon the water. Explore the many forms of water: wetness, rain, streams, puddles, lakes, and the sea. When you have done this, allow your consciousness to enter the water. Become at one with it. Experience its fluidity, its many variant flowing possibilities, and the feelings that they bring you.
Air Meditation. Light some incense. It is best to use one that you have collected yourself, such as resin from a tall conifer. Burn it on charcoal in a fireproof dish. Place the dish in a convenient place, as before. Then focus your meditation upon the smoke that indicates the invisible air. Explore the many forms of air: the atmosphere of places, breezes, winds, storms, hurricanes, and whirlwinds. When you have done this, allow your consciousness to enter the air. Become at one with it. Experience its freedom and motion, and the feelings that they bring.
Fire Meditation. For this, light a candle, using struck fire. It is best to use a fire-colored one, deep orange or red. Watch the brilliant flame, and focus your awareness upon the qualities and forms of fire and flame: heat, flickering light, red-hot metal, volcanic eruptions, and the power of the sun. Then imagine yourself as part of the fire, experiencing the feelings that this generates.
The Subtle Power Meditation. Sit as before, visualizing the natural empowerment of all existence, the flowing energy matrix upon which all things are patterned. Envisage it as ever-changing, flowing geometrical colors and forms, like the rainbow patterns on the surface of a bubble.
When you have finished each meditation, direct your consciousness away from the object. Return to a full awareness of the things around you. When you begin, it is best to work several times with each element, until you feel ready to move on to the next one. Once you have worked through all five, you will find that your understanding of the subtle realms has been greatly empowered.