Tonight I got an interesting comment to my latest post on the other blog I write to, Frag/ments, where I muse about all sorts. Although the post references my life and time as a young student, Anonymous made the following statement, to which I then replied in a form that almost became a post in itself. I reproduce the conversation here, as some may find useful the magical advice that came out of it:

Q: –– ‘You know so much about magic and reading cards. sometimes I wish you’d spill the beans in a dumbed down manner so us not so smart folk can pick up that wisdom : P.’

A: –– ‘Ah, listen, you shouldn’t feel intimidated. If magic wants something from you, it will tell you. Try this: take a pack of cards with you to a quiet place in nature. Go to a nice tree at dusk, after the sunset. Sit by it. Tell it that you want to read the cards like a devil, or an angel, or a god. It’s up to you, really. But be honest about it. Whoever you imagine you want to read the cards like, be honest about hir name. State your purpose with an inflamed heart. Think of me, if you like. Then sit some more. Feel the warmth of the cards in your hands. How do your hands feel like? Are they transparent yet? Can you swear that your fingers know all the cards by heart? Good. Ask your question. Be honest about it. Ask what you really want to know, not what you think you should ask. Don’t be polite. Be violent in your question. The wind in the leaves can be gentle, so don’t worry about overdoing it. You do want to read the cards like a god, don’t you? Lay down three cards. Look at what’s on them. Don’t think. Not yet. Just look at the cards. You feel like stumbling. Remember you sit on top of old roots. They are not kidding about why they are there. Why should you? Look at the cards and let them formulate the logic of what you see. There will be logic, logic of the most solid kind. You get your answer. Say thank you for the wisdom and leave an offering. Walnuts is a good idea. They look like a brain. You will want to use yours. You will be ready for it. Good luck. Magic is no mystery. It’s just there. It will take you places higher than you imagine – if it wants to. And if not, you will still have read the cards like a god. Can you ask for more? You cannot. Live magically. It’s the only obligation. And then wait. The magic itself will revisit you. It will check on you. Show it your commitment. Do you even have a choice? Get real. What else is there? Conventions? Lord have mercy on our souls. Good luck.’

Q: –– So poetic and beautiful yet challenging in the eyes of someone who can just see Richard Dawkins and James Randi shaking their heads at the thought of it all. I’ve tried reading the cards and using your blog as a reference for magic for over a year now and I still cannot aced it. I cannot see spirits, pick up crystals and feel anything, understand Astrology, or anything of the sort. I stay away from the woo woo stuff but everything you write in Taroflexions is so honest and feels like reality. It’s far from what the New Age movement passes on it’s no where near woo woo. I wish to pick up a deck of cards and read like a devil, I wish to wander in nature and connect spiritually as you do, I wish to bring home beautiful items from my adventures that I connect with and feel something magically. I just feel like I’m missing something.

A: –– Thank you for this heartfelt comment. I’ll say this: practice makes perfect. If you are missing something, it’s listening. And don’t worry about people like Dawkins and Randi. They can talk, but they can’t listen. Hence they miss out on a number of things. They are too impatient to get their point across. But what is that point? If you ‘listen’ to their writings, you will realize that it’s filled with anxiety and fundamental fears. Such writing is devoid of the wisdom of real commonsense. Why waste time on prose like that? So, do what I said, and give yourself time. That’s the only trick. There is no woo anywhere. It’s just yourself disciplining yourself into doing something you will resist. Get your senses in there, all of them, and listen to your environment. Getting yourself in a most vigilant state and sharpening your acuity is the most difficult, but it can be done. The only requirement is to listen. Really listen. You won’t feel the need for the ‘rational’ folks to come and rescue you from your silliness. You will be there between the worlds praising your luck for being able to say to yourself: I’m alive and I know it. This is the only kind of knowing that you need. Good luck.

The above made me think about how we KNOW magic, just as I was arranging my newly acquired pumpkins. The cards on the table next to the tray said:

First we seek it, and then we have a few encounters. We get to move between the below and the above. The Devil spits his fire at us, and the Stars their light.

Perhaps the idea is to become skilled enough at reading the signs, as the Astronomer is here, so that we may move between the planes of perception without worrying about a thing.



Note on the deck:

Jacques Vieville (1650), reconstructed by Roxanne Flornoy.


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11 thoughts on “EXPERIENCE

  1. Miguel Marques says:

    That’s so true. Magick is probably the best known unknown secret. It’s
    there and it’s freely available. It seeks us out and then seduces us with strange and fantastical new worlds. With the promise of a different perspective of life and alluring sights. And just as long as you are honest to yourself and to the path that is presented to you, it will deliver the goods every single time. And enrich our lives in such a unique way that nothing really comes close.

    1. Camelia Elias says:

      Exactly, Miguel. When I wish to people, ‘live magically’, I realize instantly that we already do, or that they do. They just don’t know it yet. Too much ‘culture’ comes in our way. We are too concerned with ‘image’, our image, when we forget this this concern will never reflect ‘our’ image, but always that of another. So much for the authentic life. No wonder so many walk around thinking that they miss something. But things are really simple. The magical life starts with forgetting a few cultural things. Then you’re there.

  2. Saudade - Duende says:

    It took me a while to understand all of it as well. When I started learning the cards I was introduced to this world of everything that had been supposedly proven to not work. I’m much like the person mentioned in this post. I saw magic as what was advertised through media, culture and those who denounced it. It was hard to grasp it all and I still struggle with it but I’m getting there.

    I think people like Dawkins and Randi are missing a crucial point that magic can take the form of analogies. Just like how our favorite songs that lift our moods when we’re down. Those songs aren’t singing our lives word for word but we make connections and suddenly we’re no longer in that crummy mood. We do the same when reading cards or any form of divination. That’s magic.

    Living in your purist form and working on living an authentic life not influenced by the media and culture is magical in itself. I just finished reading a book by Alan Downs Ph.D called The Velvet Rage which deals with gays living in a world built for straight people. The whole book was built around DBT and working towards living an authentic life. Noticing why you are feeling a certain way, asking yourself what you in your purist form would do in a certain situation, etc. It was quite a trip to see all my faults and realize wow I can really work on all these things by just being mindful and practicing these skills. That’s magical.

    I think many get lost when they see people denounce magic because of sciencific proof or the lack of or when they’re introduced to the “woo woo” which in my opinion is an exaggerated form, a lot of instant gradification and no reflection, they misses a lot of valuable wisdom.

    Find magic with an open heart and mind, live authentically and make connections with analogies to find solutions.

    Thank you Camelia for the amount of help and support you provided me. It’s helped in many ways with my health.

    1. Camelia Elias says:

      Beautiful, I’m glad to hear that. You know, for me these things are really easy because I figured out the following: that it is awfully important to not only ‘know thyself’, but also to ‘know thy place’. It’s a constant process, but it’s also fun. Knowing how to relate what you know about yourself to the place you inhabit is a wonderful exercise of being aware of how you act in the world. What motivates you? Why are you doing what you are doing? To what extent can you determine that what you are doing, you are also doing for the right reasons, and not because you need others to give you stuff, such as stability, honors, reputation, children, a family, and all that? Can you know yourself in all of these cultural constraints? Do you actually want to be there where you are at?

      Asking these questions requires some brutal honesty, and the answer may not always be pleasant as it may lead to some drastic actions. But guess what, if you can see past the regular clichés – the ‘this is how we should or ought to think today, because Santa Claus has just dictated it – you will realize that there’s more to you than you can imagine. There’s more to you than other people’s diagnosis or perception of you, for better or worse.

      Magic begins to happen when you start asking yourself the nasty questions, the disturbing questions. So, yeah, I’ll say it again. There’s no mystery. There’s just you having the courage of confrontation. You in the mirror. Change doesn’t start with what the Harvard business boys tell you is efficient. Change starts with you getting humble. Kissing the ground you stand on, and acknowledging that you stand on a pile of bones. Ashes to ashes. Draw on that that ancestral power. See what it feels like. Nothing is more efficient than realizing that you love yourself with the highest power there is, and that you do it for the right reasons.

  3. Markus Pfeil says:

    Dear Camelia, I really liked your summary….we need to get good at reading the signs so we can move between the worlds effortlessly….maybe a sign is really a si-gn, an multilingual yes-gene, allowing us to accept what we perceive and not constantly say: it is not possible.

    1. Camelia Elias says:

      Indeed, Markus. Ultimately it’s not difficult to say to ourselves, ‘now I’ll pay attention for my own sake, than for the sake of what’s expected of me.’ But we need to make that decision consciously. Yet a conscious decision requires boldness and honesty. This doesn’t always appeal to all people, but if you want to get there, there’s no other way.

  4. Silas says:

    Very interesting post. I’m curious to know if you’re willing to share more exercises with us. The one mentioned here was a lot of fun and eye opening. I see you follow a variety of subjects so it would be very exciting to see what exercises you can come up with for tarot as well as other things like herbs, spirits and cunning folk traditions.

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