In Modern Magic: Reclaiming Your Magical Heritage, Matthew Krajewski invites all modern seekers of spiritual truth to explore their own unique magic. Psychic, paranormal, or otherwise magical occurrences are happening to people with increasing frequency, oftentimes at odds with our modern world, and the last refuge people often turn is the crystal shop. The dried herbs, tarot cards, and worldwide spiritual practices stuffed into these stores can be overwhelming, and not without a certain taboo depending on your own religious or spiritual beliefs. Modern Magic offers a new language, new portraits, and new explanations of anything that defies traditional explanation, otherwise known as magic. By incorporating new scientific findings, ancient mystical thought, direct experience, and firsthand accounts Modern Magic can empower anyone to explore, understand, and reclaim their own magical heritage.
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Reclaiming Your Magical Heritage
By MATTHEW KRAJEWSKI
Balboa PressCopyright © 2013 Matthew Krajewski
All rights reserved.
A World Without Magic
This world isn't right. We can feel it isn't right, intuitively. Environmental crises, political unrest, and social strife all point to the fact that we are disconnected from actual reality—energetic reality. We need magic to continue where science and spirituality converge. Our magical heritage is waiting to be reclaimed, and it can give us all an active relationship with energy. Increasing our sensitivity to energy yields an intuitive blueprint for healing everything: our environment, our communities, and ourselves.
Why Is Magic Increasing at This Moment in History?
People worldwide held their breath on December 21, 2012, the date of the so-called Mayan Apocalypse, half-expecting a sudden and all-encompassing global cataclysm. A big change, at least that we could perceive, never came. While I am no expert on the Mayans, the fact that their calendar contained a definite "end date" links it to similar doomsday prophecies, most notably those of the Hopi.
The end of the Mayan calendar likely only indicated the end of an era, but what the former era signified and what the new one means is not easily understood. Our modern perception of reality kept us looking only at the physical world as we nervously approached the end of 2012, as governments reassured the masses and gave proclamations that the world wasn't ending. Perhaps both physical and energetic realities must be considered to understand the significance of the date. Maybe it wasn't a disaster but an awakening that was foretold, an energetic shift, an end of a matter-based era, and the beginning of a new, energy-based one.
As our social constructs are routinely challenged and the very environment begins to crumble, we have intuitively and in astounding numbers turned toward a rainbow of energy-based spiritual practices. While 2012 was a year of disasters, there was an energetic shift present all over the planet, growing and increasing in intensity for decades, that we cannot precisely define, but can only feel and understand in populist, spiritual terms. Hopefully this new era will be one of understanding. This awakening and transition toward healing ourselves and the planet can be jumpstarted by magical people—sensitive people predisposed to energetic experience who can serve as guides between the energetic and physical worlds. They can help bring magic into our material reality.
While science is now beginning to provide traditional-style proof of an energetic reality, spirituality—in written history and contemporary individual experience—already gives us maps for navigating energetic reality. Today we are collectively, intuitively, moving toward a spiritual understanding of the world. Each individual culture has been preserving its own ancient traditions for centuries, and yet as one "global culture" emerges, no one talks about the similarities and connections between all the diverse spiritual practices that have crashed into popular culture like a tidal wave. What does it mean when yoga as a practice for mindfulness of the mind and body has become as popular and prevalent as Starbucks? What about Eastern practices of meditation at work, and corporate environments routinely using its tools as essential management techniques? Wicca and other forms of paganism—Earth-based and often Goddess-centered with positive intention—are now recognized as religious denominations at Arlington National Cemetery. All around us, people are reaching for this energy and cultivating a relationship with it in a variety of rising forms. These trends all point to a shining light in the room. It won't be long before we stop talking about whether this light exists, but start talking about what it means for us and our world.
This emerging spirituality has no official name—the diversity of spiritual practices included under its umbrella is too broad, the belief systems too numerous. Shamanic visionaries Sandra Ingerman and Hank Wesselman have helped this movement identify itself, however, by referring to it as the Transformational Community, which is an extremely accurate reflection of the emerging trend toward increased spirituality:
Modern spiritual seekers tend to develop in isolation, becoming deeply immersed in personal spiritual studies that are often triggered by spontaneous visionary experiences that society has taught them to conceal. If as many as 43 percent of the general population in the United States has had such experiences (as cited by an anonymous Gallup poll done in 1987), this pool may be even deeper than the 50 to 70 million "cultural creatives" (26 to 30 percent of the population in 2000) that Paul Ray has suggested.
Modern seekers tend to be individualists, people with very full lives who like to gather in local meetings or spend their vacation time attending workshops in which they can acquire direct experience of such practically useful subjects as qigong and reiki, psychic healing and shamanism, meditation and yoga, to name only a few. They then tend to disperse back into the wider society where they utilize what they have learned to benefit themselves, their networks of family and friends, and their communities. The growing body of social research reveals that the Transformational Community exists as an ever-expanding set of overlapping networks that extends across North America and into the international population.
What we are witnessing is a silent revolution; people worldwide are reaching deep inside to try and better understand themselves and the universe, in order to bring healing and harmony to their communities and the world. Just as science begins to define existence as we know it as pure energy, it seems people are simultaneously reaching for paths to better understand their own energy and the larger world's. This impulse is toward forming connections to the reality that is energy, and away from the constraints of the contemporary world: structured religion emphasizing disconnection, the pursuit of wealth, and the destruction of our environment for material gain.
Lesson: We are all reaching intuitively and in a multitude of forms toward the realm of unseen energy that governs this universe.
My generation, the Millennial generation, is restless, and with good reason. They carry with them seeds of change, and are known in New Age thought as Indigo Children—those specifically incarnated to bring enhanced awareness to emotional and energetic realities. The sheer abundance and variety of recent mystical and New Age beliefs and thought points to something big on the horizon, but because energetic reality is only now being "proven" by quantum physicists, something formerly written off as junk. Magic and energy must be rescued from the labels of taboo and esoteric. We have not yet tried to draw parallels between diverse spiritual traditions on the canvas of an energetic reality to achieve greater understanding of its function or influence.
While some in the Millennial generation direct their restless energy toward extreme sports, world travel, or volunteering for nonprofits, there is something else emerging, something related to the interpersonal connections these diverse, cosmopolitan pursuits yield: a new hunger for spirituality, a different type of spirituality. "The World Values Survey and countless other polls show a generational shift in attitudes toward the divine, with the younger generation in the industrialized nations increasingly turning away from institutionalized religiosity and toward personal spiritual quests that are embodied in nature and empathic in expression."
This type of emerging spirituality, that is "embodied in nature and empathic in expression" has many faces. Beliefs can include, but are not limited to: Wicca, shamanism, New Age thought, and mysticism. "Spiritualism" can also be used as a catch-all term to describe an individual journey that incorporates many spiritual beliefs. Practices such as meditation, yoga, mindfulness, Reiki, and healing are also a part of this emerging spirituality. These diverse beliefs emphasize love, growth, individual wellness, and community involvement. All focus on energy work, either internal or external. They also include varying amounts of animism—the belief that everything has an energetic signature and is alive.
The people practicing this new spirituality can be seen as sensitive seekers of empathic expression, those longing for authenticity and yearning for connection to one another and nature. Active participation with energy manifests as magic and it is through awareness, or even sometimes intuition, that we can all bring more magic and healing into our lives.
Why Does the World Need Magic Now?
According to Discover magazine, in 2012 more than 4,420 daily meteorological records were broken in the United States due to blistering heat waves. This triggered droughts that affected 80 percent of the country and wildfires that devoured 9 million acres. More than 80 percent of oyster larvae did not survive in the Pacific Northwest's commercial hatcheries, which was attributed mostly to ocean acidification. Ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean shriveled to just 1.32 million square miles, the smallest expanse ever recorded. Rising sea levels amplified Superstorm Sandy and its devastating impact on the Caribbean and the Eastern Seaboard, specifically New Jersey and New York City. More than 90 percent of Greenland's ice sheet has thawed and melted, according to tracking that began in 1979. The worst floods in forty years plagued Nigeria and displaced 1.4 million people. China suffered from severe flooding throughout the year, as did Australia. All of this occurred with the memories of the Southeast Asian tsunami—chronicled in the motion picture The Impossible—and the devastating Japanese earthquake and subsequent nuclear fallout still fresh. Manmade environmental problems, such as climactic meteorological changes and the continued extinction or depletion of animal species, continue unabated.
It sounds like the end of the world is already happening, but remember that the heartbeat of the Earth is slower than our own. We often forget she moves at a different, more leisurely pace, one that is harder for us to see because it is not as fast as our own short-lived, up-and-down cycle. Her decline is far from over. Let's not dismiss the importance of an entire generation growing up watching global cataclysm films, from Armageddon to The Day After Tomorrow to 2012, to name a few. While these films are works of fiction, they nevertheless reveal an embedded cultural fear of the troubles we see brewing in physical reality—one that can best be described as An Inconvenient Truth.
Whenever horror and tragedy occur, however, we also see human beings the world over finding ways to help one another. After each tragedy, stories emerge of people opening their doors to strangers or sending aid. Don't underestimate the power of intangible help, either: feeling empathy for the plight of those suffering is also effective.
It appears Darwin was wrong. We aren't just in this for survival. In fact, pop culture only relates half of what the "father of evolution" was really communicating. In his follow-up work, The Descent of Man, Darwin suggests that it is only through nurturing one another that we can truly evolve and sustain our species. The man responsible for the concept of the survival of the fittest also spoke of "aiding the weak to survive" and that "the instinct of sympathy [is] the noblest part of our nature." Thus, survival of the fittest was only part of the story. To truly understand evolution—and evolve ourselves—we must nurture and care for one another too. Natural compassion is the true trajectory for our evolution as a species, and yet we treat it as an exception, not a rule.
Unfortunately, this empathy often seems to fade away again as quickly as it appears. Nurturing, compassion, and empathy, our nobler features, are marveled at as exceptions to our own predominantly selfish, survivalist culture. After any display of true altruism, we quickly go back to work, worry about our bills, isolate ourselves with computers and television, and continue to watch from our windows as the world crumbles.
I'm not just talking about the environment; things have become extremely polarized in many ways. In United States politics, the conservative right says fend for yourselves and don't vilify the wealthy. However, that attitude has wrought a popular backlash that won't go away. This young, Millennial generation is rewriting the American dream—they want more than homeownership, family, and financial security. These young upstarts want community and authenticity. They want what is real. Not just regularly scheduled programming and the constant onslaught of fame, wealth, greed, social propaganda, and survivalist tendencies it celebrates. Like true Americans, they want more.
We know the current state of things isn't right. It has been brought about by a script for what supposedly constitutes success that has been playing out, generation after generation, for the last few hundred years. The symbols that used to guide our minds, hearts, and souls no longer sustain us as a people. We are waking up from the illusions we have been told and retold about what should make us happy. We are waking up from the illusion of material reality. Just look to the Occupy and Anonymous movements brought forth by a new generation—compassion, basic ethics, and decency are paramount. Not money. Not illusions. Not the material world.
The places and institutions where we previously went for spiritual sustenance no longer seem to serve us, especially in industrialized cultures. As James Rufkin explains in The Empathic Civilization, global surveys over the past thirty years show a sharp decline in affiliations with traditional religious organizations in the most technologically advanced countries. "Most important, two-thirds of the people in poorer countries say that religion is 'very important,' while only one third in industrial nations, and only one-fifth of the population of postindustrial countries think religion is very important." People's views have been shifting for quite some time.
We have sad people the world over. Religion isn't working for them, spending money isn't working for them, and they can't seem to make relationships work. In short, they aren't finding connections—with themselves or other people. They can't seem to find satisfying work. They also can't seem to make themselves work—that essential balance of body, mind, heart, and soul is missing. Psychology and other forms of collaborative therapeutic treatment of the mind are now commonplace, but it often takes months, if not years, of consistent therapy for effective change to take place. People are increasingly turning toward psychics—people sensitive to energy—to get advice that's quicker and more direct than traditional therapy.
In a world of sound bytes, tweets, and PowerPoint presentations, it's easy for anything real and genuine to be distilled out. In this push to simplify communication, we lose all intention, all emotion, all context, and all authenticity. "Authenticity," the buzzword of the Millennial generation, is perceptively defined by Frank MacEowen. He sees that a universal longing has emerged, "rumbling in the deepest layers of our humanity, a longing for simple things like beauty, silence, connection to nature, story, rites of passage, peace, and initiation into our fuller selves." Authenticity is a catch-all term to describe a connection to energy.
Yes, the masses are clamoring for something real. Anything real. But unfortunately, the magical people are just as isolated and alone. Like others, they are sad, disconnected, and without a proper outlet for their energy. Magical practice would help them to expand their awareness and engage with energy.
Lesson: The world of a disconnection from energy is fading away. We are being intuitively invited to take an active role in establishing connections to energy. Through connection, we have the potential to heal this world from the inside out.
When disaster strikes, our hearts and souls open up. We know protecting and caring for one another, treating one another as we would like to be treated—just as the Golden Rule advises—is the most important way to live. But it doesn't have to be reserved for our darkest hours. We can all be magical every day. We can all live with our souls fully engaged and our hearts fully open. We can all feel energy.
Excerpted from Modern Magic by MATTHEW KRAJEWSKI. Copyright © 2013 Matthew Krajewski. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Note to the Reader.................... xiii
Magical Heritage.................... 1
A World Without Magic.................... 1
Magical People.................... 13
Magical Heritage.................... 22
Modern Magical People.................... 26
Profiles Of Witches.................... 26
Energetic Reality.................... 43
The Other Side.................... 64
The Tools of Experience.................... 77
Your Essential Self.................... 77
The Tools of Experience.................... 78
The Mind.................... 80
The Heart.................... 85
The Body.................... 97
Multisensory Human.................... 108
Psychic Abilities.................... 110
The Mind & The Heart.................... 147
Betwixt and Between: Balancing Energy.................... 149
Meditation & Mindfulness.................... 157