I don’t know if this is the right thread for this, but since Hermit can talk best about it, I figured I would post it here.
I saw somebody wonder what Hermit meant when he indicated the Great Work. So as my last post of today, this is my interpretation of magic uses.
First, there’s Alchemy, the alchemical process of transformation and healing the past, using a lot of fire, what used to be called the Secret Fire to transform and change all the things within ourselves that are holding us back from achieving our highest potential and a body of light. The past, the pain, the beliefs, anything that keeps us “stuck”. This is The Great Work, or the process of Illumination (and ascension). This is High Magic.
No surprise why SubClub is so enamored with the term Alchemy. It’s pretty much what they do, change us from within by “burning” away that which keeps us stuck.
The next level is shamanism. Using visualization, plant medicine, using liminal and altered states to “go into” different levels of reality, in order to converse with other beings, many of which are usually found in our fantasy and fiction books (keep in mind that just because something looks like a dragon or fairy or elf doesn’t mean that’s what it actually looks like, it’s just how our mind translates its energy into an image). These beings can guide them, answering questions about their own lives or the lives of others (channeling). In some cases it can help establish an empathic bond so strong it allows the shaman to take on some of the properties of whatever they are connecting with by partially “becoming” it (shapeshifting).
A little note on the shape-shifting, this doesn’t have to mean a shaman changes onto a wolf for example. It could mean they can see like a wolf, or smell like a wolf, or run like a wolf. They wouldn’t have to grow fur and paws for that. Some native stories talk of a man walking barefoot next to a wolf, then jumping over an obstacle far higher than you’d expect was humanly possible and landing on the other side to continue walking with the animal. More common are stories of animal “whisperers” that can sense what is going on inside the mind of the animal. These applications are pure empathy, and can be done with another human being as well. Word of warning, as a man don’t empathically connect to a woman during her menstrual period. You may find new compassion for her, but like many things women experience, men are very much unprepared.
This level is something that we were all born with, but have collectively forgotten. In theory each of us can empathically connect to others or enter into altered states without the use of chemical substances. All we’d need to do is remember how.
So in learning this level, you are learning how to get back in touch with what you were born to be. It may be hard to imagine, but there are guides out there trying to get our attention, wanting to help. We just don’t hear them. We forgot how to.
Finally, the “lowest” level is what we know as the classical wizardry and witchcraft. Essentially the art of manifestation. Combining your mind, your fire and strong intention, emotion(!) and clarity to manifest.
What you are doing looking through the veil or illusion at what it is you really want (everything is already out there somewhere) and once the image is completely clear, projecting that with absolute focus into your reality, then step into that reality. You are not bringing it to you, you are bringing yourself to it. And in theory there is no limit to how large the shift in reality is, provided you can maintain it and believe it. Zero doubts. Which is why small things tend to be a lot easier compared to large things like going from sick to health instantly or from living in poverty to living in wealth. You are usually getting in your own way.
EDIT: It also explains why affirmations use the “I am” statements so often and why yoga and taoist mantra’s don’t say things like “I am healthy” or “I am healed” but rather “I am health.” (or even just the word “Health” over and over)
They connect to a state of pure health. Not a healed body, but just plain health. It is its own thing. Or wealth. Or abundance.
So: the High Magic of alchemical transmutation into lumination, the shamanic journeys that facilitate reclaiming your awareness as an interdimensional being and commune with other beings and the art of magical manifestation.
Those are the three levels of “magic” as I have come to know them. I’m sure others may correct me or improve on these definitions. I am by no means an expert.