When I was just a wee little thing (if I was ever such) I was fascinated by Saturday morning cartoons. This was in an era before cartoons were nothing more than advertisements for dolls…I mean “action figures,” and commercials for sugary, overly-processed breakfast cereals were actually addressed to parents rather than easily-influenced ijits like myself.
One of the shows I remember through re-runs was the King Leonardo show. This was typical of the era with amazingly bad animation and worse stories. If cartoons were so bad why did I watch them? It kept me busy and let my mother sleep in.
Well, the King Leonardo show was aÂ short-lived series that actually divided its half hour into three segments each with its own cartoon heroes. The one that fascinated me and which was the only part of the show I actually wanted to see featured the adventures of Tooter Turtle. Every episode had the same basic plot. Tooter is wondering what to do in life, hears or sees something that looks great, and wants to try it out. So he visits his friend, Mr. Wizard the Lizard.
Not to be confused with Don Herbert, the science teacher who created the truly wonderful “Watch Mr. Wizard” TV show where he introduced eager kids like me to the science behind everyday things (I really wanted to figure out how to be on that show!), Mr. Wizard the Lizard was, according to Wikipedia, “an anthropomorphic lizard wearing wizard cone hat, robe, and pince-nez eyeglasses. Mr. Wizard lived in a tiny cardboard box at the base of a tall tree.” He also had a bizarre and ambiguous Germanic/Eastern European accent.
Mr. Wizard the Lizard rescuing his student, Tooter, from another flawed adventure.
Tooter would come up to the box and tell Mr. Wizard that he has another favor to ask. Mr. Wizard would use his magic powers to shrink Tooter small enough to get into the door of the box, whereupon Tooter would beg the wizard to help him become something such as a cowboy or astronaut.
The wizard would work a spell, sending Tooter to experience life with one of these professions. Inevitably, the experience would turn into a disaster and Tooter would cry out, “Help Mr. Wizard!”
It was then that the magical lizard would do his best spell to bring Tooter back to the “real world.” He would chant,
Drizzle, drazzle, druzzle, drome;
time for this one to come home!
Tooter would apologize for causing such trouble and Mr. Wizard always gives Tooter the same advice:
Be just what you is
not what you is not.
Those that do this
are the happiest lot.
I, of course, was fascinated not by the stupid story, but by the magick! As I look back at those shows I think there was something very negative about them. Superficially, they’re telling young kids to never aspire to anything. If you want to be happy just don’t make waves, don’t try anything new, don’t exert yourself.
In my opinion that’s a horrible thing to tell kids! In defense of the show, however, it was made by adults at the end of the 1950s, a period where “fitting in” and “not rocking the boat” were major goals of society. These goals were about to be disrupted by the experimental attitudes of the 1960s, but that’s another story.
Looking Beneath the Surface
Looking at a silly children’s cartoon for sociological commentary may be of ethnological value, but we tend to analyze such past events with our modern-day vision. This processâ€”which ignores or downplays the original contextâ€”is sometimes called “deconstruction,” and I would contend it is a process of interesting but debatable value. However if we’re going to deconstruct Tooter and Mr. Wizard the Lizard, we can see two very important messages. The first comes with the wizard’s advice. If you want to be happy, enjoy your nature. Deconstructing more, we can see that it goes a bit deeper. The awkward grammar focuses on the present tense, twice using the word “is” inappropriately. Thus, the advice is if you want to be happy, be in the present. Focus on what you have, not what you want or what you had.
This concept of living in the present moment sounds easy, but to achieve itÂ can be challenging. Is there something you want, from answering the phone that started ringing to watching a TV show tomorrow, from dating that person who is “incredibly hot” to wanting a raise at work? As soon as you have those desires, you are not living in the present. You are in a state of want and desire. And as long as you are wanting or desiring something you don’t have, you’re going to be unhappy.
There is, however, a bit of “sleight of mouth” going on here. We all have desires of what we want for the future. Does that mean we can never be happy? Of course not. There is nothing wrong with having desires for the future or memories of the past as long as they don’t control us. The goal it to “live” in the present moment, not be stuck there! One of my teachers, Dr. Turk, used to say:
Learn from the past.
Live in the present.
Create your future.
Living in the past creates a case of what I call the “if onlies”: If only I had done X, I would still have Y or would now have Z. There are a couple of things that are false with that belief. For example, if you keep dwelling on a broken relationship in the past, wondering what you “did wrong,” I can assure you it was not because of one thing you did or did not do. That was only one part of it. If you had only done that one thing different it would not have dramatically changed anything. It might have slowed things down a bit, but not much else. Living in the past and thinking over and over that “If only I had done this,” keeps you from moving ahead to a better future and keeps you unhappy.
Living for the future prevents you from enjoying life now. Of course it’s good to take care of your health, get a good education, and watch your finances. But here’s a not-so-secret truth: tomorrow never arrives. Tomorrow is always in the future. People who plan on starting something “tomorrow” are less likely to actually start it than those who pick a day, date, and time to begin. It’s good to prepare for the future, but living there prevents you from living today. The future is something you can createâ€”just don’t live there until it arrives. Otherwise, you’ll always be unhappy that you’re not there.
From Mid-20th to Early 21st Century
So it sounds like I’m giving advice here that is perfect for the mid-20th Century mindset: Just do your job, shut up, and enjoy it. Actually, just the opposite is true. And this brings us back to Tooter and Mr. Wizard. As we look back at that show, it seems that in every instance it was not Tooter who was at fault for the disasters. Rather, the fault was Mr. Wizard’s and his alone.
Sure, Tooter wanted to become a fireman or policeman or something he felt would take him out of his humdrum life. Mr. Wizard, in good 1950s’ style, encourages him to accept his fate. The lizard’s error was simple: he didn’t prepare Tooter to be any of those things. He didn’t have Tooter go through the athletic training, interning, or schooling necessary for any of his goals. There was absolutely no outcome possible other than disaster. Playing with Legos or Lincoln Logs may result in an interest in becoming an architect, but I wouldn’t want to live in a home designed and built by someone who had no training other than building with those toys.
The same is absolutely true with magick. You can’t just pick up a book, mumble a spell, and expect the magick to work. You need to train, practice, and study the concepts and techniques. For some people that may take a short time. For others it may take a long time.
If your purpose for doing magick is based on living in the past, you’ll still be unhappy. If you successfully use magick to cause problems for that person who broke up with you or cheated you, the result may temporarily be satisfaction, but very soon you’ll remember those real or perceived slights against you. Living in the past leaves you unhappy. Learning from the past so you don’t allow those things to happen to you again leads to happiness.
If you consume all of your time preparing and performing magick to have something occur in the future, you’ll never have time to enjoy things in the present.
Live in the present. Learn from what happened to you in the past. Prepare for an incredible future, but don’t let the future be your only concern. The path of the 21st-century mage is not one of loneliness and unhappiness. It’s a path of having friends and working hard to achieve goals while enjoying things as they are today. Work on making things better, but enjoy life now. That, I believe, is that path of a true magician.
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Sunday, September 29, 2013
12:00 p.m.â€“2:00 p.m. Easternâ€”â€”9:00 a.m.â€“11:00 a.m. Pacific
Topic:Â How to Make and Use Talismans and Amulets
Summer is rapidly drawing to an end. Just as many people have started or are beginning to go to school, itâ€™s time for you to add to what you know. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m so happy to have a relationship withÂ Thelesis AuraÂ and their Online Academy. Theyâ€™ve already held some live webinars for me (and for others teachers) and the attendance has been wonderful, including people from North and South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
My next webinar will cover talismans and amulets. Throughout history, humans have used objects to bring health, safety, good luck, and to fulfill desires. Today, these objects are known asÂ talismansÂ andÂ amulets. In this live, worldwide webinar, youâ€™ll learn how to create them, how to turn them into powerful magickal tools, and how to use them effectively and safely. Topics include the three necessities of magick, differences between talismans and amulets, timing, designing effective magickal goals, types of talismans, how to prepare a talisman, what to do after you create a talisman, and more. When completed, you will have the information you need to create powerful talismans that will help you achieve your goals.
This webinar isÂ notÂ some recording. It is aÂ live, onlineÂ training event.Â You will hear me live, just as I am talking. Youâ€™ll see my presentation slides, live, right on your computer. Youâ€™ll be able to download handouts. Youâ€™ll be able to ask questions during the webinar. Youâ€™ll see everything and hear me giving the webinar live. Itâ€™s as if you were in a room with me, only you can participate fromÂ yourÂ location anywhere in the world.
In this online workshop-webinar, Iâ€™ll be sharingÂ practical techniques you will be able to useÂ to make positive changes in your life. Youâ€™ll be able to create and use talismans for any purpose, including healing and improving your luck. This is invaluable information with techniques that can be used by individuals and groups.
Please note that this is not a recording. It is a live event you can attend. You will be able to interact with me, live, from anywhere in the world. Therefore, please make sure to check the time. Itâ€™s 12:00 p.m.â€“2:00 p.m. Eastern U.S.; 9:00 a.m.â€“11:00 a.m. Pacific U.S. time.
Registration is now open. Here is theÂ LINK. Due to software limitations, attendance is limited to only 200 people, so I would urge you to register as soon as possible.