Workplace Magic

Most people spend their time in two places: at home or at work.  Not everyone, of course; some of us aren’t employed, and some of us work out of our own homes.  Sadly, the number of people in unemployment is rising and will likely continue to rise for quite some time, and I personally hope to see more and more people working home-based jobs for crafting, machining, and engineering as time goes on, but in our society it’s still common and the norm for people to work outside of their home in some sort of environment like an office, a factory, a restaurant, a store, or some other place that provides goods or services to our larger society.  Add to it, many people who are employed tend to work long hours, not including commuting to and from work which itself might be nontrivial.

Of the people who work outside the home, a smaller number of people do magic.  Myself, for instance: I’m fortunate enough to be employed in a sit-down office environment (which is still a surprise to me and my family), and I’m also a Hermetic magician (which may come as a surprise to some of you).  The problem for magicians like you and me is that the things we do typically takes a fair bit of time, and when considered alongside time commitments for work, we typically have to compromise our practices or overlap certain things to maintain both our spiritual development as well as our regularly-scheduled income.  For instance, for myself, my commute is about an hour and a half one way, plus seven to eight hours in the office; that’s ten hours out of my day that I’m not at home, and sometimes I work longer than just eight hours, though sometimes I work less, and sometimes I work for longer hours at home so I don’t have to work as long at the office.  That’s just my situation, too; I know some people with longer commutes and who also work longer hours on a more frequent basis than I do, so while my situation might seem icky, I know for a fact I don’t have it that bad.

Then again, a good amount of magic is in discretion, secrecy, and hiding things in plain sight.  Sure, we might be in a public space, perhaps surrounded by people, but that’s no reason to say that we can’t use our time out of the house to do magic or keep up our practice.  Of course, depending on where you work, not all types of practices will be available to you; performing meditation throughout the day at a desk won’t be possible if you’re working on a standing factory line, for instance, nor could you chant mantras repeatedly if you’ve got to do customer service throughout the day.  That said, there’s still plenty of opportunity to keep up your practices during the workday with good success and good secrecy.

That last bit is important: you want to be discreet and secret about this.  Many places across the US and the world generally frown on magical practices, and you may be subject to no small amount of discrimination if you’re found out to be one who does magic.  You might be ridiculed, barred from promotion, demoted, fired, or worse, depending on the type of people around you and their own beliefs, so any way you can keep your practice on the down low is a good way.  That is, of course, if you choose to do magic at all in the workplace; given how easy it can be, however, it’s not that hard to do.

I won’t be elaborate and give you details on conjuring angels or demons in the broom closet, but here are some things you might consider:

  • Any place where you have a modicum of privacy and time can be used for magic.  If you drive to work, use your car on your breaks.  Use empty conference rooms or neglected spaces, but nothing too suspicious like a broom closet.
  • If you get a break of any substantial length, take a walk to a nearby park.  Explore your surroundings for abandoned buildings or other desolate (but reasonably safe) places.
  • If you have a desk, set up one of the corners as a modest and incognito shrine; if you’re bold, go ahead and use statues or other explicit representations of your gods, but stick to the more innocuous things like attributes or abstract images.
  • If you want to tie your magic closer to your work without having much of your magic in your workplace, use things like business cards, dirt or dust or rocks from your office, and the like at home to do workings there from afar.  Similarly, take a bit of dirt, stone, or other part of where you live/do your Work to where you work and make that link from the other side.  Even better, do both!
  • If you have someone you want to lay a trick on, use whatever you can discreetly in the office or workplace to do so.  Any leftover pairs of shoes, cups or drinking-bottles, doorknob handles to offices, the threshold of their cubicles, their keyboards and pens, and all the like are fair game so long as it’s not suspicious for you to be hovering or touching these things without them present.
  • Protection in the office is huge; given all the politics and backstabbing and gossip, you want to keep yourself safe magically.  Use a protective oil on your desk or office walls to block out things, and reanoint these surfaces every month or season.  Set out a glass of water weekly to “collect” the ick passing around you in the office, and clean yourself off every morning into the glass.  Set out a Rose of Jericho to keep the spiritual airs clean and to also bring prosperity.  Lay out a line of salt leading into your cubicle or office.  Wear protective charms under your clothing when possible/safe to do so.
  • Set out a small mirror where you can to act as a means of communication or scrying with spirits.  Similarly, those ornate blown-glass paperweights can do the same.
  • If you’re more of a technologically-minded mage and have access to a computer, don’t forget that using hard disk or server space can be a fascinating and subtle way to spread magical influence.  I’ve done this by storing a massive text file consisting of prayers on several server arrays; as the had drives spin, they generate those prayers an unimaginably huge number of times not unlike Buddhist prayer wheels.
  • If you’re not bound to a particular uniform, try to color some of your clothes according to the planetary colors on different days of the week to align yourself to different overall workings or bring those planets’ influences into your office.  In my informal clothes, I wear a bandanna of a particular color in my back pocket (purple for Monday, red for Tuesday, etc.); on more formal days, I’ll wear a tie of that color.  Bonus: consider using Kalagni’s correspondence of tie knots with planets!
  • Most workplaces don’t let you have fire, but consider using an essential oil diffuser instead to spread particular smells around a place for a given effect.  If you move around a lot, consider wearing them (safely) on your own person or anointing a particular bit of fabric with them.
  • If you insist on having a set of magical tools in your office, keep them innocuous.  For instance, for the elemental weapons, you might consider a shaved pencil, a letter-opener, a coffee mug, and a CD your wand, sword, cup, and coin.  Use small coins consecrated to different gods or planets as their token talismans.  Use printouts as altar cloths, if you insist.
  • Never forget the importance of astral magic.  If you have the ability to doze off, you have the ability to go astral even for a short while (or do a half-projection using the mental faculties).
  • If you have downtime and aren’t using it for ritual or doing activity, always see if you can read and study, instead.  Hell, I’ve done more than half my occult research in my office between projects and on breaks, to say nothing of my occult writing and planning!

Got any other ideas you’d care to share?  Feel free to post them in the comments!

Search Term Shoot Back, January 2015

I get a lot of hits on my blog from across the realm of the Internet, many of which are from links on Facebook, Twitter, or RSS readers.  To you guys who follow me: thank you!  You give me many happies.  However, I also get a huge number of new visitors daily to my blog from people who search around the Internet for various search terms.  As part of a monthly project, here are some short replies to some of the search terms people have used to arrive here at the Digital Ambler.  This focuses on some search terms that caught my eye during the month of January 2015.

“rufus opus phone number” — Please don’t stalk my instructor.  Nobody likes an unbidden phone call from some random person.  I don’t know it and chances are you shouldn’t know it.

“alternative to isopsephy egyptian” — Alas, this isn’t possible.  Isopsephy is the Greek term for gematria, which is a method of numerology that corresponds individual letters of a writing system to individual numbers.  In this way, we can treat whole words or sentences as mathematical or numerical objects, using numerology to divine alternative or occult meanings from them beyond what the words themselves say.  However, this is only possible if there exists a mapping between letters and numbers.  Some writing systems that do this include Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, and Amharic.  However, many writing systems do not, and Egyptian writing (I assume hieroglyphs) is in this category.  For one, Egyptian hieroglyphs don’t use “letters”, where each symbol represents a distinct sound devoid of independent meaning; rather, they used a complicated system of ideographs and semanto-phonetic symbols to represent ideas and sounds-paired-with-meaning, while they used a separate set of glyphs for numbers, and never the twain had met.  Thus, there doesn’t exist a method of numerology involving Egyptian hieroglyphs in the same ways as Greek isopsephy or Hebrew gematria.

“how to clean oshun eleke” — If you have to ask, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.  Find your local santero/santera, or go to your padrino/madrina, and have them do it for you.  Next time, be sure to take more care in wearing your elekes.

“favorable fields generated by orgone on growing cannabis” — You’re considering wasting precious grow-space for weed by trying to add in congealed robot vomit?  How gullible of a hippy are you?

“instant huge cock satan” — It never ceases to surprise me how many people are literally willing to sell their soul or make deals with the Devil for a bigger dick.  There’s really no good and safe way to increase penis size; pills and the like are bunk, and training like jelqing or penis pumps can potentially be overdone and leave your dick literally burst.  If we have such a hard time with this using utterly physical means, how much more so with spiritual ones?  Be content with what you have, guys.  Trust me, if you know how to use it, that’s the best thing.  It doesn’t take much to feel full or have a good time.

“what liquor do you use to conjure spirits” — Depends on the spirit.  Tradition can dictate a lot: Hellenists use wine for some of the theoi, many Caribbean traditions use rum, Brazilian ones use cachaça, Shinto ones use sake, and so forth.  The keyword here is “spirit”, as in any alcoholic volatile beverage; most spirits won’t turn them down!  That said, ask the spirit directly.  Every god, spirit, ancestor, and the like have their own preferences above and beyond what tradition may dictate; while I offer red wine to Hermes, I’ve heard of some people getting a preference for wine coolers.  If you knew that your late great-grandfather loved scotch, pour him a glass of Glenfiddich once in a while.  If a particular culture hero was famous for owning a brewery, try offering them a glass of beer that they were known to make or love.  Ask them, and use your intuition.

“is bornless rite necessary” — Depends on what you need it for, but the Bornless Rite (or Headless Rite, Liber Samekh, Stele of Ieu the Hieroglyphist, etc.) isn’t necessary in the same way as any other ritual isn’t necessary.  It really does help, though, especially in the fields of exorcism and gaining contact with the Holy Guardian Angel.  If you want to achieve either of these things, then the Headless Rite is awesome.  It’s by no means the only way to do them, but it’s a good one.  Give it a try; you could do much worse.

“occult offerings workplace” — This is an awesome idea, and one I use.  The general rule, no matter what kind of job or office/work environment you may have, is BE DISCREET.  By all means, use all the pomp and circumstance you may want when you’re at home or in a secluded grove in the forest or cliff on a mountain, but in an office, factory, restaurant, or clinic, you don’t have that luxury.  Consider memorizing a prayer and muttering it under your breath while looking at a particular innocuous devotional object you may have (a peacock paperweight for Hera, a soldier action figure for Ares, an obsidian necklace for Tezcatlipoca, etc.).  If you have a desk or locker, consider using a secluded corner that won’t draw much attention and set an equally-innocuous figurine there as a focus and a glass or mug of water, coffee, tea, or juice out for them.  If you can’t afford this, use a break to go to the bathroom, out back on the porch, or outside to a crossroads and make a quick, quiet, and short offering there.  Not everyone has the ability to do that, though, so modify your method to suit your circumstances.

“greek dicks” — I know there’s a trend to “go Greek” in a lot of ways, what with this cultural openness encouraging Greek yoghurt and buttsex and Hellenism and all sorts of stuff.  Mediterranean stuff and things are hot!  That said, have you also considered fantasizing about Turkish oil wrestling?  Because I certainly do.

“very large dicks” — Not just large dicks, but very large dicks!  Honestly, this is just lazy searching; using the word “very” is lazy writing, anyway.  To wit, I quote John Keating from the movie Dead Poets Society:

So avoid using the word “very” because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys—to woo women—and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.

“god hermes pray protection from rape” — …are you aware of the corpus of Greek mythos at all?  While I know certain things aren’t culturally translatable from 2500 years ago to today, the Greek gods tended to do whatever they want or whomever they want and whenever they want.  This includes forcing themselves upon any number of mortals, men and women alike, sometimes to great ends and sometimes to awful ones.  Hermes doesn’t really operate in the same way as his brother Apollo or father Zeus and isn’t one to have very many sexual exploits of his own, but he’s better at setting up clandestine affairs and lovers in secrecy and shadow.  While he can be called upon for escape and protection, like with Europa from Hera, this is more from wrath and less from rape.  Then again, Hermes is a god of many things and is a microcosm unto himself, so if you want a way out of anything, definitely give it a try.

“dee’s enochian demons killing symbols” — As far as I’ve read of Dee, he never had any such symbol.  Medieval and Renaissance occult works don’t usually describe the killing of demons, usually only going so far as to say they can be bound but not killed.  The implication is that demons are immortal and unable to be wounded by mortal means.  However, there are some symbols that are related to Solomonic designs that can maim or kill demons, but that’s another topic entirely.

The earth must have her due, apparently.

So, that crazy earthquake today!  No lie, I thought it was a fat person running down the aisle of cubicles.  (I mean, it’s happened before.)  Then I figured out something was up when my flimsy little walls started shaking more than ever, and realized the office windows were warping slightly.  I thought it was cool and didn’t know why everyone else thought it was so scary.  No damage to life or property, though.

I get home, finally, after a two-hour train ride on one of the most packed trains I’ve been on yet, and find that the books on the top of my desk slid, pushing my lava lamp onto what will be my altar.  The altar has a slight ding now on its edge, and the top cap of the lava lamp has a slight dent now, but no harm done.  The lava lamp, though, did knock over a candlestick on my altar.  As I went to reach for it, I knocked over the sherry glass on my altar which was going to be used as my chalice, which promptly shattered.

Womp womp.

I guess I had to sacrifice something, after all.  The glass wasn’t even mine, truthfully; I pilfered it from a box of my brother’s old stuff back from when he was a neopagan years and years back, took it to college with me as a petite classy wine glass, and eventually used it here for offerings before I settled on using it as my chalice.  No biggie, really.  I just need to go out and get my own, apparently; I consider this a way of the world telling me that I need to sacrifice or make something from my own wares and resources for this stuff.