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The Mind of the Butterfly 

(An Examination of Transformation Magicks and Perception)

Section One: The Power of Perception.

            Magick (in theory and in  practice) is often viewed as a force, pure and unfettered by morals and ethics. Through rituals we are able to bend or shape it so as to create the outcomes that we desire. Beyond the image of the Old Sorcerer, or Witch, we see that Magick is far more practical than most would assume or dare to hope. Magick is more than we perceive it to be, (or through our perception of it, allow it to be for us) Magick is an aspect of nature and the natural universe.
                As we expand our understanding of the Universe, more are becoming aware of the Hidden or invisible. Take for example a modern house, picture it in your mind with as much clarity as you can. Within this house are all the things that we appreciate now a days, electricity, running water, etc. Picture the house as darkened, the lights off and quiet. Then picture yourself turning on the light switch and illuminating the house from within.
                Now, as the lights come on, you begin to hear sounds from within the house itself, a humming/buzzing noise. Concentrate on that sound and mentally slow it down so that you can hear the rhythm it is creating. As you slow it down you can hear a very clear rhythm emerging, almost like a heartbeat. While everything is slowed, you need to picture the walls of the house being transparent, like clear plastic, exposing everything underneath. You can clearly see the wires, insulation and beams that support the house. As you hold this image in your mind, you begin to notice a stream of light surging through the wires in the same rhythm as the sound you heard. You notice how very similar the stream looks to a human bloodstream, right down to the movement of the light in time with the beat.
                Lets take this image one step farther and make this a metaphor for the Universe itself. The house (lights on or off) is our perception of the Universe, the wires, insulation and beams are the physical Laws that the Universe is constructed out of, and the rhythm and Lights are Spirit and Magick (both being normally invisible). Within this metaphor we have a pretty clear representation of the Universe and Magicks place within it. Taking this metaphor to its natural conclusion tells us that Magick is the equivalent to electricity, and like electricity, both are useful, powerful and dangerous if not used with care and wisdom.
                Perception (and perspective) is the key to understanding and utilizing magick effectively. Through a broader perspective (or viewpoint) we are able to see that the Universe is a complex system of simple sets of principles. Like attracts like (i.e. what ye reap ye sow), is an excellent example of the Principle of Dynamic Return (which is: "what you send, you get"). If I walk around radiating positive energy, I attract similar energies into my life and vice versa. This Principle is the foundation for a great many forms of magick. Prosperity rituals revolve around objects and symbols that have the concept of abundance or wealth attached to them. Thus you would radiate the energies of abundance and attract that into your life.
                Perception is the key to effective magick, as how we perceive our actions (based on moral and ethical standards) greatly effects our confidence and feelings about the working itself. For example, traditions vary as to what element holds what correspondences, because the perception of the founders of those traditions varied. This does not invalidate those teachings simple because they are different, only that their methods might not work for you if your view is different.  In terms of correspondences, it truly is a matter of perspective and preference, some see fire as the source of emotions, others use water for that same purpose. All of which are means of tuning your mind into a certain set of patterns to create the appropriate vibrations that are in harmony with your goal.
                If we "feel" that our magick was powerful, and effective, than it will be, because we are not affecting it in a negative way, as we would be if we were concentrating on how badly it felt for us, or how our negative self image says that we couldn't do it. The greatest  limitation places upon the practitioner is often created by themselves. Our perceptions of ourselves, in a way, create and limit our abilities to tap into magick and effectively shape it. I have met a few people with great potential, that have locked it away because they, themselves, do not feel worthy of it, or some other even less logical reason. In my minds eye I see them as being chained to a wall, where they are there against their will, but there by their own design.  Some are capable of freeing themselves, by reprogramming yourself out of the mindset that you have been taught from birth.
                The mind is a vast and (in some ways) terrible machine, capable of recording everything you experience. All the things you say, or are said to you, become locked in this machine, and if they are negative can come back to haunt you in the form of karma, or limiting self image. The process of removing these things from yourself, is very much like the butterfly bursting from the cocoon. You struggle with them until you are past them, and until that time you can only imagine what it is like to fly. Our perceptions of ourselves, and the world around us, limits our abilities to change both things. The True goal of a Magician, should be mastery of themselves, and through that Mastery, the ability to change the world around them for the better. Often many people take up the study and practice of Magick without thought of ethics, morals or responsibility. These serve to keep us on a Path of Goodness and Power. Without them, we are little more than the mindless elementals that we can summon. Power without Wisdom, is vulgar, and therefor of no true value to a Magician. If we expand our  perceptions to include the invisible, should we not also delete the invisible lines that keep us from connecting to each other, and vicariously to the Magick? All matters of prejudice and discrimination are matters of perception and improper thinking. These things a magician must strive to over come, as well as the discrimination and prejudice that we point at our selves.
             Here online, there really cant be any prejudice towards each other, because we do not really know each other .This in no way means that we cant be close and good friends, only that our prejudices cannot get in the way here. Our perceptions color everything we do, from walking down the street, to witnessing a crime.   We must learn to recognize what is perception, and what is reality, because they are often not the same thing at all.

Section Two: Transformation Magicks
         There are a great many forms of magick that fall under this category, some of which are: Aspecting, Manifestation, Shape Shifting, and Glamoury. These magicks can be amongst the most difficult to perform for many reasons. The most important being that the practitioner MUST know what they are working for, and what will happen once they have begun the working.
                 In greater (this is not meant to imply magnitude or power of workings, simply that in this type of magick you are tapping into energies far more complex than normal) magicks where we work directly with the Gods, such as Aspecting (which is when you draw that Gods mindset into yourself for a working), we work to attune ourselves to the Gods that are in harmony with the occasion or our goal. For example on Beltaine, two are selected from the Coven to stand as Maiden Goddess, and Hunter God at their wedding night. During this ritual the two selected Aspect Deity, and radiate those energies within the circle as the ritual is observed. Most Aspecting is done through opening a channel to that Deity and allowing them into you for a period of time. As a word of caution, Aspecting can be dangerous for the beginner, and in general is not advised if working alone. During the time of Aspecting, the individual goes through several changes, they feel stronger (in all areas) and they may even be seen differently. For the time of the ritual, the practitioner's aura is altered as it is in tune with that specific Deity, allowing Manifestation to occur.
                Many Traditions, inclusive of non-Wican faiths (such as Voodoo), have a practice that fall under the category of Manifestation. This is when the Deity (or Spirits called Loa in Voodoo) actually take control of the practitioner for a period of Time and speak and act through them. As we covered in Principles of Magick, each one of us has a spark of the Divine inside us. This form of Transformation Magick occurs when the practitioner allows the Divine energies  to subsume their own consciousness, thus becoming a physical vessel for the Divine energies they have called into them. Unlike Aspecting, where the practitioner retains conscious control and directs the energies through their own force of Will, Manifestation normally leaves the practitioner without any conscious control or memory of the events that occurred while Manifested. Practices like Manifestation, are very similar to speaking in tongues, the 'ecstasy' that some people feel in certain types of religious services.
                These practices are all very similar in that the practitioner (or parts of them) are transformed in some way by the working at hand. In almost all of them, the Aura of the practitioner is changed by the energies that the person is working with. There is an ancient practice called shape shifting, where the person alters their aura to be more like something else. Shape shifting is commonly used during shamanic rituals where the practitioner 'becomes' the totem he is working with. Though not impossible (only improbable), some are reported to be able to actually shift their entire form into that of an animal, (most likely this is simply a metaphor for the perception of their aura being totally altered to look like that of their animal totem). Some can shift their senses as to be more acute, like that of their totem.
                Another form of magick which has its basis in this technique is Glamoury. Glamoury (or glamour) is a form of magick often attributed to Fae creatures and those that work with them. This is another "illusionary" art, in which the practitioner alters their Aura to create a physical illusion of having changed their appearance. By altering their aura, the person practicing Glamoury, forces a change in the perspective of the  persons that look upon them. This magick covers things like features, hair, eye and skin color, and even age and gender are effected by Glamoury.  However thus far, we have only touched upon the surface of these magicks as far as their effects upon the caster themselves.

Section Three: The Mind and the Magician