Turn on tha radio, nah fuck it turn it off
Fear is your only god on the radio
Nah fuck it, turn it off
Turn it off, turn on tha radio, nah fuck it turn it off
Fear is your only god on the radio
Nah fuck it, your saviour’s my guillotine, crosses and kerosene
Back in the day, ( and by ‘the day’ I mean the paleolithic era ) when animism was fashionable, there was a lot of concern with what you might call psychic hygiene. In those days, it was accepted fact that everything in the environment had ‘spirit’, that it could theoretically exert influence on a person, for good or ill.
Even for the hardest headed rationalist materialist, it’s easy to accept the premise that humans are influenced by the environment. All the paleolithic peoples, and their first proto-shamans, understood the necessity of exerting some discriminating control over what was influencing your psychophysical life.
It might be part of the reason certain of these tribal peoples, that still survive to this day, experience dismay with our oversaturated environment. The average modern is inundated with signals and influence that we are rarely even cognizant of. Indeed there are whole industries devoted to quashing our active awareness of influence over our interior lives. So perhaps we can benefit from learning a thing or two about how to deal with malignant spirits. You may refer to this, if you like, as ‘banishing’.
Pretty much every occult or spiritual tradition has a version of this practice. Part and parcel of developing an authentic spiritual life, or magickal will, is learning to differentiate your own consciously chosen perspectives and influences, from the ones that are conditioned, imposed, implanted or habituated into you. More refined forms of ceremonial magick place great importance on ‘purification’ of the ritual space, which means essentially to cleanse it of outside forces that may skew the actions you take there. Clarity and purity of intent are paramount.
The good news is there tend to be lots of them, that are easy to spot. The bad news is, that’s because pretty much everything in your head came from somewhere else. Aside from the odd profound innovator, everything circulating in human culture is a recombined, repackaged, blended and idiosyncratic version of something invented ages ago. After all, the physical world is more or less exactly the same stuff that’s always been here for the last several million years now. We might recombine the bits in different ways, and describe them differently, but not that much is really ever new under the sun. So don’t feel bad if you haven’t got a lot of truly original shit in your head. Very very few people do. If it makes you feel better, you’ll be well on your way to original thoughts once you’ve done a thorough housecleaning. But I digress…
My take on this skill comes in two parts. It grows and evolves in all kinds of interesting ways, but here’s how you start:
First of all, take some time to notice what is influencing your thoughts, speech, and actions in your surroundings. Other people, the architecture, the weather, your job, the media. It may seem common sense, but do you ever really think about this? Do you ever really ask yourself how different your life might be without these influences? Do you ever ask yourself how deep the hooks really go? Would you be shocked to find out how much of your life is shaped by the imagined opinions of strangers on the street? Would you be shocked to realize how much your mind is affected by a stream of pixels coming through a computer screen? How you ever thought about turning these things off? Can you even conceive of shutting these influences out?
Once you’ve done that, you can proceed to a formal banishing practice. I do recommend you take some time to do this carefully and in depth, because not many people have the concentration to do this on the fly and get any significant results. Certainly, as you get better with this you’ll develop a clearer sense of what influences you can take or leave, and how to separate yourself from the latter quickly and efficiently. For now though…
1. Find a place where you can concentrate and not be disturbed. If your mind is fairly strong you can just close your eyes on the bus or lying in bed. You may even get good enough to do this while walking.
2. Allow your mind to fill up with the felt impressions of external influences. For example, you may be bothered by pictures on tv, especially recently. But alongside that picture will usually be some kind of mental or tactile sensation which is fairly palpable. Learn to associate the images and thoughts with how they make you feel.
3. Define your personal space. This is the area where you have comfortable emotional and physical distance from things that are pressing in upon you. Depending on your comfort level, this could be limited to your skin, or as far as the room, or your house. Keep the perimeter of ‘your space’ as clear as possible. Any visualisations you can do to augment your sense of enclosed space will help. All kinds of symbolic angels, guardian animals, pillars of fire, moats and whathaveyou will work. If you have a connection to some kind of higher force, by all means draw upon that as well. As you do this, allow yourself to feel anything outside your space recede and diminish in significance.
4. You may find just doing the last step will work fine, but I’ll add a little submodal trick from NLP. You’ll probably find that your ‘demons’ ( which is a nice conceptual shorthand for negative psychic influences, at the very least ) have some kind of interior visual or auditory aspect. What you can experiment with, is purposefully altering the sensory presentation of these things. If the pictures are big, make them small, if they bright and in color make them dim and monchrome. If they are loud make them quiet. And again, if defining your space is insufficient, and they still feel very close and urgent, allow them to be spatially displaced away from you.
5. Once you’ve got a good sense of detatchment, contemplate how you might change your relationship to these external factors, now that they aren’t urgently assaulting you. In particular, examine your list of goals and determine exactly how much of that list is a result of someone or something else influencing you. While a certain amount of that is inevitable, particularly in the formative stages of a goal, you need to establish how much you want that pressure coming in on you, as an ongoing thing. What level of conditioning are you prepared to live with right now?
Repeat this practice as often as possible. ‘banish often’ is a tried and true dictum of occult practice. The seemingly endless amounts of prayers and mantras of the devoutly religious have their roots in this concept. As you get more skills, you’ll find that you can get a good sense of personal autonomy at any time you wish it, and even when you’re not consciously thinking about it.
Homework: Obviously, do the above banishing practice. Having done it at least a few times, return to your list and decide what level of influence you will accept, and if necessary change your list accordingly.
You may have noticed that I haven’t been demanding that you go out and ‘do’ anything on your list of goals yet, right? That’s intentional. You may also have noticed that some of those things seem to be happening anyway, or at least in the case of far away goals, that things seem to be coming more into focus. It may also be the case that you’ve gone out and one some stuff already. That’s fine, just add more items to your list, keeping in mind all the criteria and practices we’ve done so far.
Next; Full-On Muthafuckin Sorcery, Bitch!