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Magick 101 #5: R&R

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on August 18, 2011 | Comments (5)


Back when I was in high school, I took a course called “Drivers Education.” Part of the class was a basic discussion on how cars actually work. When we got to a discussion of how many times the pistons in an internal combustion engine moved per minute, one student complained that an engine would never be able to keep that up. The teacher told the student that she was comparing engines to people.

Image: George Rex/V&A Museum of Childhood
The instructor was right. People are not machines. YOU are not a machine. You cannot work endlessly. So if you’re going to school or have a job, and you’re studying and practicing magick, remember to get enough rest and relaxation, R&R.

In Modern Magick I wrote:

According to traditional Chinese medicine you should only need 4-6 hours of sleep a night. This does not mean that a way to health is to start cutting down on the sleep you need. Rather, it indicates that as you get healthier you will need less sleep. If you need 10-12 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis, however, you may want to see a doctor as this could indicate a medical problem.

Notice, too, that it is not just quantity of sleep which was recognized by the Chinese, but also quality. In this tradition “sound sleep” indicates a dreamless sleep. This, of course, is a misnomer. Perhaps it means a sleep with dreams that are not disturbing. But I know that I have experienced nights where I slept and awoke feeling tired, haven’t you? This is certainly not a sound sleep!

So get plenty of good rest. You’ll be better at school or work. And take some time off to do things you enjoy that are associated with things outside of school or work and magick. Go to a movie. Go to a club or concert. Play a game. Get out. Meet people. Play music. Take part in sports. Go dancing. See a play. Have fun. Participate in humanity.

Yes, this is a brief instruction. I’m gonna take a nap.

Reader Comments

Written By berkana
on August 18th, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

My dreams are always very vivid, colorful, and sometimes stressful. Mu best sleep is always at a minimum 7 hours

Written By Jack
on August 18th, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

What is it about Magicians that they do seem to need such basic good advice as this? It almost seems like there’s a temperament common to Magicians. Are we the kind of smart that lacks common sense? I hate to think so. I’d rather think that the discipline of balance, balance, balance, is so completely demanding in all areas of life that we simply have big shoes to grow into over time.

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on August 19th, 2011 @ 1:30 am

Jack, I think it’s more that people can become so excited about something and so involved in it that they forget other things. It’s like reading a book that’s so good you don’t realize that you’ve been reading it until 4:00 am and you have to be up at 5:00 to go to work.

Written By Kevin
on August 20th, 2011 @ 12:50 am

@ Kraig: You basically nailed it. I remember when I first got into the occult. I would spend night after night reading and studying and practicing. Gematria was especially fun, staying up all night calculating Hebrew words. Astrology, too, spending time interpreting my chart and those of my friends and family. Actually, when I first read your book, Modern Magick, I didn’t get much rest for a week reading, re-reading and doing the exercises. And for whatever reason, every writing of Crowley’s had the same mesmerizing effect on me. I still get caught up every now and then.

Written By Lisha
on August 22nd, 2011 @ 4:17 pm

The idea of adequate sleep may seem a basic thing or common sense, but just like drinking enough water it is something too often forgotten and/or passed over. I do not feel this is simple or basic advice but an important reminder. It is a foundation of Western cultures to go go go and achieve. We get caught up in life and things like sleep, water, healthy diet are put aside in our thoughts. It’s just a fact of a busy persons life that when something needs finished by deadlines etc the first thing we forego is dinner, then sleep. I appriciate reminders such as this, the relaxation exercises in Modern Magick, and the “Drink your Water”app I have on my phone to help keep my thoughts and body on a healthy path. Thank you!

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