How to keep a magical diary

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How to keep a magical diary

Postby Freya » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:48 am

I have been keeping a magical diary for some time, but I am not sure whether I am filing my entries right. I include date, time, place, weather, moon phase, as well as a reference to the quotidian of the day and SLR. Is there anything else, astrological that I am missing? or more broadly. Am I missing any important categories?
Any guidance on how to keep a good record for a magical diary would be very much appreciated.
Thanks :)
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Hermes » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:41 am

I guess it is very personal.

You might include things which are specifically important to you according to what you know of your true will, to a particular cycle in the great work , and so on...

Personaly i tend to write less and less, and try to build an "inner diary" instead so to speak. For when we die we take no book nor diary with us. And we dont know when the time comes. So i try to rely more and more on things i can potentialy make eternal. Things i can take with me. Thats a personal view of course.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Takamba » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:22 am

The purpose of a magical diary is for scientific research, not egoic grand standing. It is not for when you die, it is for while you are researching. And an "inner" diary can get flawed as memory is often plastic.

I write the date, the time, to astrological sun and moon placement, my location, the weather as reported by a local weather base (Weather Bug on Windows), my consumption throughout the day, my emotional states, anything that I feel is impacting or having a bearing on my "god forming" program. I write each ritual (each RESH included) with all the above data and surrounding feelings and thoughts about the program and progress.

A journal page of mine might look like this:

April 17, 2014
6:46 AM
Home
Sol: 26°Aries, Luna: 18°Virgo, Dies: Jupiter
33° F, no wind, no clouds
Hail Unto RA!

Ritual performed regularly and verbally on the patio. Was a little chill but I've grown more used to that. After the ritual I felt less chilled indeed. The day starts bright and beautiful!

7:15 AM
Home
LBRP

Performance was a little disconcerting as for some reason my thumb stuck twice into the hemming of my robe's sleeve when performing the Sign of the Enterer. Both in the West quarter and South quarter this happened. Otherwise the ritual was rightly performed.


.... and so on through each day, making note if the sun or moon change degrees etc. If i want to look up fuller astrological information, everything in the journal will have everything I need to use as my source of the data. Over the days, weeks, years I can go over my journal and see any progress I'm making in my thinking - places I also include daily living entries such as who I might have a love interest with or what my states are regarding the work I do or how my money habits are evolving and so on.

Don't fret too much how you decide to collect data - just remember that that is the purpose of a journal - not some half baked romantic notion of someone reading all about the mysterious and glamorous you after you've turned to (****) for the trees and beetles to consume.
"If we are to have Beauty and Love, whether in begetting children or works of art, or what not, we must have perfect freedom to act, without fear or shame or any falsity."
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby The_Hawkheaded_child » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:06 pm

I just relax and write whatever I will.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:39 pm

Takamba wrote:Don't fret too much how you decide to collect data - just remember that that is the purpose of a journal - not some half baked romantic notion of someone reading all about the mysterious and glamorous you after you've turned to (****) for the trees and beetles to consume.

I'm pretty sure that's not what Frater Horus wrote. He's at a point in his Path where he's contemplating his ultimate transition and working on ways to burn certain things into his consciousness for his next trip. He's not talking about some grand tome of paper and ink that others will bow down before. He's talking about his own inner book that he's hoping to take with him; keeping the important stuff so he doesn't have to spend as long re-learning it next time around.

He was also careful to point out that it was his personal choice. His Will, as it were.

Isn't that the ultimate purpose of all of this, regardless of your technique? Gain some knowledge. Wisdom even. Leave its mark on your consciousness so that, next time around you'll be one step further up the ladder. Leave its mark on the world so that the rest of the universe benefits as well. Lather, rinse, repeat until everything reintegrates into the All.

If it hadn't happened to me before I'd write this off as an honest mistake but, seriously dude... why so snap-judgemental?
Go in all ways contrary to the world.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Takamba » Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:41 pm

The_Hawkheaded_child wrote:I just relax and write whatever I will.


I'd say that doesn't sound scientific at all. Keep in mind that what you "will" and what you "Will" are indeed (in deed) not the same thing. Want in one hand and Do thy Will in the other.
"If we are to have Beauty and Love, whether in begetting children or works of art, or what not, we must have perfect freedom to act, without fear or shame or any falsity."
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Gnosomai Emauton » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:15 pm

Go in all ways contrary to the world.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Takamba » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:28 pm

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:A pretty solid guideline, FWIW:

http://www.cornelius93.com/EpistleonThe ... Diary.html


Excellent.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Takamba » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:30 pm

Gnosomai Emauton wrote:If it hadn't happened to me before I'd write this off as an honest mistake but, seriously dude... why so snap-judgemental?


Not a "snap judgment" (you disregard my judgment as menial?) Horus clearly suggested not writing a journal, and that is not the advice of the masters.
"If we are to have Beauty and Love, whether in begetting children or works of art, or what not, we must have perfect freedom to act, without fear or shame or any falsity."
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:02 pm

Writing a diary is an excellent way to improve your memory, and has been called the single most important magical tool.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby The_Hawkheaded_child » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:38 am

Takamba wrote:
The_Hawkheaded_child wrote:I just relax and write whatever I will.


I'd say that doesn't sound scientific at all. Keep in mind that what you "will" and what you "Will" are indeed (in deed) not the same thing. Want in one hand and Do thy Will in the other.


Thank you for lecturing me :D . But don't you think you are to eagerly jumping towards some biased conclusions to what I'm really saying, since my reply didn't not reveal anything but the relaxed state of mind I have towards the matter? I'm simply more concerned with advocating against the mental worry involved in trying so hard to do things the "right" way, instead and "not so much" doing what feels good according to one's own nature.

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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:18 am

What feels good often is evading the actual thing needed.

Sometimes, though, it's providing what's actually needed.

I agree that the personal characterizations are inappropriate. You gave an opinion and mentioned something highly atypical that you are pursuing as part of the path you are taking. I found it interesting and insightful, and read it initially as a highly personal statement.

In some other respects, I would fault it - primarily in that it IS so personal that, while worth sharing is not particularly useful to the original poster and her question. That is, I would fault it mostly for not beginning, "This doesn't address your question directly, and may not be relevant to what you need to know right now, but here's something I've been working on..." Or words to that effect. Or a tone to that effect. Etc.

But I do find it interesting and worth sharing and consideration.

However, for 99% of everyone who is thinking of themselves as doing serious work, the diary is as basic a discipline as there may be. Additionally, while you have concentrated on building an inner record, with the idea that you can take it with you, the A.'.A.'. - and any other formal system that is committed to the well-being and progress of humanity as a whole - would focus on the opposite point: It's all about what you can leave behind. Your written record is of value to those who come later.

It's the Bodhisattva way, which is the A.'.A.'. way.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Hermes » Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:42 am

I find it sometimes very subtle to discern what to share and what not to share, in what way, when, with who.. :) I've just deleted my "real masters..." thread in the Initiation section because it just felt wrong sharing that, in a bad way... although my intent was sincere, the effect was not good on me. (It happened also in the past with my "holy places..." stuff for those who remember. That was not to share. It was a mistake.)

Also the point i was trying to make is actually said by Jim himself in his AA book("the mystical..."), basically that one might benefit from different qualities of teachers and methods according to different factors(i'm vague to avoid repeating what was deleted :) ) .

I understood also although my intent was sincere (potentially help people accelerate their progress), i was too "active". There was unconsious desire to influence people towards a specific direction.

Indeed it was not the case here with the "inner diary" thing. Gnosomai Emauton got rather well what i mean. There is the question of what data is "burnable" and also what functional skills are. Thats a reason i let go of everything that is not "burnable" or transmutable/uploadable into higher planes. I have no time to waste and accept the risk of letting go too much. I try to consecrate litteraly everything and what i cant i sacrifice without any hesitation. I went from a good social position to nearly bum, teacher in an art to beginner in an other, popular with women to weird hermit, and so on and so on. No hesitation, no regrets. To Nuit !

I genuinely think i suck in magick, yoga, and philosophy and it is intolerable for me as it is the only thing left i consider worth investing myself into. I'd do whatever it takes, absolutely, to achieve my goals(thanksfully my thing is not business or politics otherwise i'd be a real public danger :lol: ) . At least if i fail i will have no regrets and i'll thank Nuit for having me given the chance of trying(i do already) as i'm aware it is already something awesome in itself, that very few people are even aware of(of such a possibility). Just for that i'm actually at peace already, and if i left now it would be ok.

Great point Jim, when you say its about what we leave behind. Funnily i understood it differently before reading the next sentence("to those who come later"). I understood it as meaning "it's about how much we can get rid of everything that will be left behind".

Though i agree as much with as you mean it. But for this, i am determined to at least write books when i'll be/if i'm ever able to. I understand more and more i'm not social at all. It is an ordeal even to write on this forum, even though it's the best i know and Jim one of the best masters i know, and i'm a sincere Thelemite. Many times i show the worst sides of myself as there is this great pressure behind "leave any {*******} social environement". Like unconsciously i'd like to be rejected so i can leave without being incongruent with my mystical aspirations. "it's their fault, they suck !" ego would say

If it was just for "personal" achievement i'd go and hide in a mountain with 30 books and nobody would ever hear of me again(believe it or not, i actually have a special bag ready for such a possibility... and the books ready... a while ago there was fire in the building where is my flat and i took the bag hapilly, hoping everything would explode and give me that extra little push... the neighbours, cops and firemen looked at my bag very strangely, like "wtf, dude knew it would happen" as i was the only one who found the time to take something out of the smoke lol... i was waiting in delight for a second shock if they were to open it and find only books of magick and yoga inside :lol: ).

It would probably "work" but it just doesnt make sense to me to do such a thing, even though i find the idea attractive. I'm happy karma actually slows me down a bit and got me "trapped" in society for at least a couple of years more(if i left now i would not be congruent for some reasons...). Incredible how everything fits, sometimes.

Sorry for the slight off topic. I guess it would have no happened if i kept a... proper diary :lol:
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby The_Hawkheaded_child » Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:14 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:What feels good often is evading the actual thing needed.

Sometimes, though, it's providing what's actually needed.


I assume you are answering Frater Horus, but the phrase "feels good" is a direct quotation of my post, so I'm not really sure what to make of it.

Edit:

I just want to say that the expression "feel good" was a most unfortunate choice of expression; I really didn't mean it in any "sensational" kind of way ("calling Dr feel good" etc.). But what else am I to call it, if not a "feeling", guiding me in all kind of situations in life? I do that which feels “right” and that might mean, lets say, experiencing either pleasure or suffering.

The other day when I was begging outside a fast-food restaurant, two employees were handing out offers for free French-fries. One of them saw me sitting there and I heard her ask her male friend if she was to give me one ticket. And apparently he thought it to be a bad idea, so she didn't. Now, she had the "feeling" that she wanted to give one of these offers to me, and instead she asked this imbecile guy thus "arguing" away her own heart.

I got a little emotionally hurt seeing people coming out of the resturant with free fries (Man everybody got French-fries except me 8) It reminded me of those typical childhood incidents: “You can’t play with us”.) but what actually bothered me was that she didn't follow her own heart, thus being true to herself.

I somewhat sympathized with her in her own insecurity…

Now, doing what had felt right for her, would have meant facing “social anxiety” making the very choice she feared might not be accepted by her colleague.

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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Hermes » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:02 am

The_Hawkheaded_child wrote:
Jim Eshelman wrote:What feels good often is evading the actual thing needed.

Sometimes, though, it's providing what's actually needed.


I assume you are answering Frater Horus, but the phrase "feels good" is a direct quotation of my post, so I'm not really sure what to make of it.


I think he answered you, then commented globaly, then answered me. As i understood it.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby danica » Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:44 am

Frater Horus, your "holy places" post was great, at least for me. I enjoyed reading it, and I definitely want to go visit that particular place you had been speaking about, when I come to France :D
I don't think it's wrong to occasionally share some deeply personal, intimate experience (in a form that we find suitable at the time); it's just a matter of finding the right words/medium (it can be through art of any sort); if it's genuine, it naturally has the inspirational effect on people.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Hermes » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:49 pm

I'm glad that you liked it Danica. It was not a mistake then. Only timing was a little hard onto me(it was too fresh then). M.'.M.'. did something there, next year i had the experience: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhumkrJrjhk When they were about to plan it i met one of their masters out of nowhere and was invited to join that order. Though the lady was especially kind and passionate i made the "mistake" of judging her in terms of "powers" and (very specific)"knowledge", so i did not call back. Now i see things differently and consacrate power to love instead of love to power. I know also without wisdom i'm a dead man, as simple as that. I had to face death many times to get it.

Thus for instance i could gladly and humbly join now and if you wanted to visit the place with me i'd be happier we have a simple peaceful good time together than to perform some weird secret ritual designed to evoque fireworks into visible appearance and make the sky fall onto our heads.

Now i've lost everything but Nuit i see the beauty of simplicity and love and cant help going towards that direction. And slowly i "rise again" and build myself into a (not too)"balanced" peaceful person

To relate this to the topic i'd say those words "circle" around the corresponding subtler truth noted in the "inner diary". A big point of the inner diary is simplification and stripping things to their core. And relating them. Like putting all of ones(significant part of) life and knowledge onto a tree. In everyday life i might function with a four times fourfold kind of "compass", like four elements in the four worlds. Thats a way an inner diary might look. I dont think about it, but rather feel and note intuitively "through" such "tool". What happens then is it frees a lot of cognitive ressources and make memory/decision making easier. I shall be able to explain it better in the future with more experience .

For those who think its still off topic maybe consider the possibility the inner diary stuff might be used as a filter for a normal diary, and/or memory/searching device to navigate better into it.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby AliceKnewIt » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:21 am

Crowley writes about the magical diary in Liber E vel Exercitiorum

Ch. I

It is absolutely necessary that all experiments should be recorded in detail during, or immediately after, their performance.
It is highly important to note the physical and mental condition of the experimenter or experimenters.
The time and place of all experiments must be noted; also the state of the weather, and generally all conditions which might conceivably have any result upon the experiment either as adjuvants to or causes of the result, or as inhibiting it, or as sources of error.
The A∴ A∴ will not take official notice of any experiments which are not thus properly recorded.
It is not necessary at this stage for us to declare fully the ultimate end of our researches; nor indeed would it be understood by those who have not become proficient in these elementary courses.
The experimenter is encouraged to use his own intelligence, and not to rely upon any other person or persons, however distinguished, even among ourselves.
The written record should be intelligently (WEH NOTE: EQUINOX I, 1 has "intelligibly".) prepared so that others may benefit from its study.
The Book John St. John published in the first number of the "Equinox" is an example of this kind of record by a very advanced student. It is not as simply written as we could wish, but will show the method.
The more scientific the record is, the better. Yet the emotions should be noted, as being some of the conditions.
Let then the record be written with sincerity and care; thus with practice it will be found more and more to approximate to the ideal.

http://hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib9.html
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby AliceKnewIt » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:27 am

I also recommend a book, "Aleister Crowley And the Practice of the Magical Diary"

http://www.amazon.com/Aleister-Crowley- ... ical+diary
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Freya » Thu May 29, 2014 3:28 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:However, for 99% of everyone who is thinking of themselves as doing serious work, the diary is as basic a discipline as there may be. Additionally, while you have concentrated on building an inner record, with the idea that you can take it with you, the A.'.A.'. - and any other formal system that is committed to the well-being and progress of humanity as a whole - would focus on the opposite point: It's all about what you can leave behind. Your written record is of value to those who come later.

It's the Bodhisattva way, which is the A.'.A.'. way.

I thought as much..... Jim what do you think it is worth recording, astrologically, in a diary? Are relevant Quotidian charts worth printing and recording them under the day in question?
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu May 29, 2014 4:21 am

Freya wrote:Jim what do you think it is worth recording, astrologically, in a diary? Are relevant Quotidian charts worth printing and recording them under the day in question?

You can use a magical diary that way, though I don't. (I keep those records elsewhere.) One has to find balance between "too much" and "too little," and Q's are data noisy. Primarily, one wants to record specific magical and mystical practices, and enough other data to accurately track progress.

I have a short chapter on this in Pearls of Wisdom. It isn't rewritten much from the article in Black Pearl (I think it was in No. 4) which you can download for free from www.thelema.org/publications
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Freya » Fri May 30, 2014 8:35 am

Thank you Jim, I have just read it. :) Do you think the moon phase is worth recording?
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri May 30, 2014 9:37 am

Freya wrote:Thank you Jim, I have just read it. :) Do you think the moon phase is worth recording?

I''ve recorded it during specific intensive periods of work (and it was really valuable - showed me a lot of the patterns that later helped me sort out how phase affects magick).
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Selene » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:22 am

How often do you re-read your diaries? What do you look for when you re-read them?
I suppose that knowing what you would look for when re-reading a diary, would help guide what you write in the first place.
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Re: How to keep a magical diary

Postby Al-Shariyf » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:52 am

Selene wrote:How often do you re-read your diaries?


In my case, I have no set period of time to review my diaries. Often times, something will happen in my life that prompts me to review my diaries.


Selene wrote:What do you look for when you re-read them?

A "narrative", some "insight" that is a clear measure of my development, some issue that I've overcome, some observed phenomena that I didn't understand when I recorded it but presently understand, a consistent performance outcome of a ritual, a synchronicity. The list goes on.

Selene wrote:I suppose that knowing what you would look for when re-reading a diary, would help guide what you write in the first place.

The thing is, you don't always know what you're looking for. More accurately, [b]I[/b] don't always know what I'm looking for. I just work and record my work and occasionally circle back to look at the ground I've taken.
"To advance—that means Work. Patient, exhausting, thankless, often bewildering Work. Dear sister, if you would but Work! Work blindly, foolishly, misguidedly, it doesn’t matter in the end: Work in itself has absolute virtue." -Magick Without Tears
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