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The Principles of Magic. 
   Part 2: The Cosmos and You.
   By: Lunarian Stormbringer

        SECTION 1: The Dual Nature of Magick

            With the fundamental understanding of the Three basic types of energy, you see that one form of energy can affect and influence the other two. The basis for effective magick is this relationship between the person and  the universe itself. In Eastern thought there is a principle called the Tao ( or the Ying/Yang) which demonstrates that two different forces (the ying and the yang) are separate yet contain part of the other force. The Yin force is receptive (the black half of the Tao), drawing into itself, and the Yang force is projective (the white half of the Tao) and pushing outward constantly. In Eastern thought it is the dynamic tension created by these forces that keep the universe in balance, and maintain life. If you examine the Tao image of the Yin and the Yang spinning together you see that each one contains some aspect of the other. This represents the balance of each of these two forces, and for the purpose of this lesson will be used to symbolize the magician (witch, etc.) and the Universe.
            For this example the magician (witch, etc.) is the Yang portion when he (she, they, etc.) is performing their ritual and sending their focused energy out to the universe( the Yin half as it is receiving the energy). Yet this relationship is reversed once the energy is sent out, the magician becomes the Yin as he waits for the energy to return to him in manifest form. A prime example of this dual nature is folk healing magics.
            In the majority of folk healing techniques (by folk healing I mean  empathic healing and like methods as I have witnessed them) the illness is forced out and replaced by healing energy. Bearing in mind the image of the Tao, most often in inexperienced healers the cycle of send/return (Yang/Yin) is completed by the healer drawing into themselves the illness they are trying to purge from the person afflicted. Experienced healers use themselves as conduits for the healing energies from the environment, and send the illness to there to be dispersed instead of into themselves. For the beginning healer in this example, it is not their intention to draw it into themselves, but a by product of the dual nature of magic. If you accept that each of us (in some way) is a Tao, and that neither half exists without the other, then when the healer pushes out the negativity using their own energy, it is only logical that it would follow the displacement back to its source (the magician).
            Just as when you perform a ritual for a goal, you create this form of conduit to the universe when you send energy out to it and it sends it back. This also explains the three fold law of Harm none when you look at it that what you send out becomes thrice as powerful when it returns to you. With this thought is mind, there is another thought that needs to be addressed, that of the nature of the relationship between the magician and the Universe, the Microcosm Macrocosm relationship.


    SECTION 2: Where You Fit In. (The Microcosm/Macrocosm relationship.)

            One of the Fundamental principles that enables us to perform magic and many other things is this relationship that exists between the Universe and the magician. This relationship exists for all things, we as magicians however tap into its potential to a greater level. Let me first define two terms: microcosm and macrocosm. Macrocosm mean area at large, or in this case the Universe, while microcosm mean local area or the magician for our purposes here. To further build upon the metaphor I have been using, the Macrocosmic Universe, as the projective source of Life energy, is represented by the Yang half of the Tao, and the Microcosmic magician (the recipient)  is represented by the Ying half of the Tao.
           This understanding of the Taoist principal is crucial to understanding the manipulation of energy as done by the magickal practitioner, for as the halves of the Tao contain shards of their opposite, so too the magician and the Universe. Inherent within every living being is a smaller center of Life energy, a well if you will. This is the personal energy mentioned earlier. The magician, using personal energy, starts the cycle by projecting their own energy ("flavored" by their goal) out into the Universe. The receptive part of the Universe absorbs this energy. Because of the empty space left within the magician (the place where the energy was originaly) the Universe, from it's own projective source, sends energy in the form of the manifest goal. As Nature abhors a vacuum, the magician plays upon the the natural Law by sending out, creating a vacuum, and letting the universe fill that void by manifesting the magicians goal. Thus completing the Tao between the Magician and the Universe.  Unfortunately, utilizing this technique, we as magicians do feel "Drain" (the stress following the sending of personal energies) for the time in which it takes for the Universe to "reply".
            Environmental energies can be used in the same way. In this instance, by using their ritual skills, the magician taps into the local energies of their environment and from these energies forms the sending of their goal. The ritual Circle is of great assistance here, as it serves to contain the energies "harvested" by the magician until a sufficient amount is generated. Within the Circle, the ritual actions and thoughts of the working magician serve to flavor the environmental energies with the task at hand. When the energy is released, there is the subsequent vacuum, and the Universe responds by manifesting the goal, thus filling the void left by the ritual.
            In conclusion, the practitioner can be seen as, literally, the little dots in the halves of the Tao itself. When projecting into the Universe, they are the white shard in the dark half, while recieving their goal they are the dark part of the white half. The secret to successful Magick is knowing how this relationship works and utilizing it as a tool to achieve your goals. It is said that Magicians "walk between the worlds". The path of the mage is the center line between the halves of the Tao, as we must always be in balance with the Universe or our rituallized goals will never come to fruition.