Environmental Awareness

No, I don’t mean keeping track of the natural world and our impact upon it (although that is a good thing). Rather, I mean being aware of things immediately in your surrounding area. Perhaps you’ve been to a party or club where someone just keeps bumping into people and things. That person is not aware of their environment. It’s important to keep this awareness. I believe it’s a function of being focused on the present rather than having your attention in other places. Living in the present, in my opinion, is an important part of magick. In my experience, people without environmental awareness tend not to be good magicians.

For the most part, I have avoided leading magickal groups. This is not because of insecurity or incapability. I just happen to prefer working with people and helping people rather than being at the top of a hierarchy or some sort of leader. As I like to put it, I’d rather have friends who walk by my side than followers who walk behind me. This in no way is meant to disparage those who do lead; they play a vital and important part of occult groups of all kinds. There are some people who claim they can have groups that are totally non-hierachical, but in my experience natural hierarchies tend to form no matter what is done to prevent them. It’s my belief that the problem with hierarchies is not that they exist, but that people cannot move up and down those hierarchies at will.

Some time ago, I became very interested in Tantra. Most people think of Tantra as being “that sex stuff,” but actually, Tantra is wide variety of complete spiritual and magickal traditions. When I was first initiated into one Tantric group I was amazed that it included so many concepts that were both foreign and yet familiar to my Western magickal and spiritual training. I was eventually given parampara, the right to initiate into this group. I decided that I wanted to share what I had learned by initiating and bringing people into this Tantric tradition.

And so, I started to pass the word. Soon, I had several people seeking initiation and a group to practice with. Within six months we had an active group meeting and doing rituals in San Diego, California.

I loved that group. I put my heart and soul into it. I wanted to share what I knew. All members would have to do is study the information I laboriously created for them from the training I had received and practice the techniques. Naturally, I would also have liked them to help in the work necessary to set up and run our circle, communicate with members, buy candles and incense, etc. I hoped they would do it out of the love of the teachings just as I was doing it. I spent many hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars on the group.

My devotion prevented me from exercising my environmental awareness. It blinded me. As we Tantrics say, the dance of the goddess Maya blinds us to the reality of the world. I didn’t allow myself to see what was going on.

One day, it suddenly dawned on me:

Members weren’t reading the documents I had worked so long and hard on preparing.
Members didn’t practice the rituals.
Members didn’t try to understand the concepts and ideas.
Members had no questions because they hadn’t read anything on which to base their questions.
Members did no work for the group.
Nobody, other than me, brought candles and incense.
Nobody shared their out-of-circle Tantric experiences.

I came to realize the only reason they were there was because of me. By this time I had a bit of a reputation in the area, and people wanted to be involved with what I was doing…as long as it didn’t take them any extra time or cost them any money. It wasn’t about the group, it was about me. And that saddened me. So I came up with a solution.

At the next meeting I told everyone that I was working on writing a book (this was true) and I wouldn’t have time to lead the group any more. I gave the names and addresses of those who had taught and initiated me to the members who didn’t have that information already. I urged them to keep the group going and contact the people above me. I said that if they had any questions I’d be glad to answer them, but I couldn’t put the time, energy, and money into the group any more.

I only received a couple of questions. The group lasted a few more meetings and disbanded.

We should always be aware of our environment. Otherwise, we may be entranced by the dance of Maya and not see the truth.

Don’t Let Your Ego Confuse You

So I was teaching a class in San Diego. It was one of the classes that eventually became the basis for Modern Magick. At this time I taught series of classes and required homework be turned in which I would return to the students with my comments. I also offered to give a free Tarot reading to any member of the class. I would give the readings in private at the apartment I shared with Scott Cunningham.

This particular class had about fifteen students, including some of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. One of these women, whom I’ll call Belinda, was unbelievably beautiful. She did office work, but made extra money as a physical trainer, teaching aerobics. She had naturally blonde hair (although she claimed it was red) and almost violet blue eyes that turned down at the outside. She was also one of my best students, great with raising and directing energy and a natural instinct for how magick worked.

So she came over for a reading. The truth is, I was having a difficult time focusing. Scott was out for the evening and I was alone with an incredibly beautiful, intelligent, and talented young woman. The temperature in the living room seemed to be getting rather hot.

So, she asked for a general purpose reading rather than having a particular question. The first cards that came up indicated there was a new romance coming into her life. She was not really with anyone, although she did go on occasional dates, so she said this was good. She was looking for someone who shared her interests, including magick. I kept turning the cards, but I didn’t like what I was picking up. Normally, I interpret each card as I turn them over. In this case I didn’t want to. The message was coming through the cards loud and clear: she was going to have a boyfriend and lover who was interested in magick and who was a teacher. I had no doubt that the cards were indicating this new lover of hers would be me.

In one of the Tantric traditions I was later initiated into, there is an idea that there are five blockages to spiritual advancement known as kleshas. One of these is kleshas is the ego. In the Tantric tradition, the ego is not the same as our Western concept. It means a false understanding of who you are. If you were to write down all of your good and unwanted qualities, and then have some close friends or relatives do the same, where your understanding of yourself contradicts theirs, it is your ego, your false self-impression, that is getting in your way.

It almost seems like society is made to ruin our self-image. In the movies from our youth and into our formative years, only the gorgeous guys and girls became romantic partners. The truth, however, is that appearance is only part of what causes romantic interest. In real life we’ve probably seen any number of people we’d consider unattractive dating partners we consider unbelievably attractive. Even so, most of us not only have the “only gorgeous men and women become romantic partners” attitudes, we also have a belief that we don’t fit into that category. So here I was, a two or three, looking at a woman who was a nine-plus. She was way out of my league. The cards must have been wrong.

So I looked at the cards and tried desperately to see what they were actually saying. What I was seeing couldn’t be right. I apologized to Belinda, said I was tired, and that I wasn’t getting what the cards were trying to tell me. I told her I’d be glad to give it a try another time. She gave that bright smile of hers with her amazing eyes, and accepted my apology. However, she said she had some questions. I put away my cards and we talked and laughed.

Finally, it was time for her to go. We arose and she spread her arms for a hug. I gave her a nice, chaste hug. She hung on for dear life, looked into my eyes, and pulled my head in for a long, passionate kiss. We looked at each other for a long time and she asked me to call her tomorrow evening. We ended up becoming off-again, on-again lovers with a tempestuous relationship for years.

Normally, when we think of our ego getting in our way, it’s when we have too high of an image of ourselves. But our false ego can also get in our way by making us live in a box indicating that we have too low of an image of ourselves. Either one is a false representation of reality and keeps us from seeing truth.

***** I’ll Be In Las Vegas *****
Tonight and Tomorrow!

—Free Meet and Greet Tonight—
Tantra Magick Workshop & Ritual Tomorrow

Well of the Moon
2650 S. Decatur Blvd. Suite A02
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Information: LINK

Meet & Greet: Friday, November 15, 6:00 p.m. Free!
Date:……………..Saturday, November 16, 2013
Time:…………….Workshop: 2:30–5:30……Ritual: 6:15 to conclusion

                  Besides myself, the workshop and ritual will be led by Shama Helena: a Life, Love & Sex Coach and Tantric Educator for the last 20 years in Los Angeles, she has helped thousands of lovers through personal coaching, lectures and workshops, books and articles and on Television and radio. She offers private sessions with individuals, couples, and people in alternative lifestyles, to empower, re-balance, and provide tools that enable, enhance and energize their lives to live more consciously and create their own Heaven on Earth.
See her website: www.thepleasureparadigm.com

                 TANTRA is more than “that sex stuff.” It is a complete spiritual system that includes everything from philosophy and psychology to divination and magick. Spiritualized sexuality is just one part of the system. On November 16 you’ll have a chance to learn about and experience Tantra and Tantric Magick.

Come out to amazing Las Vegas, Nevada, where you’ll learn practical techniques of Tantra. During the afternoon workshop, you’ll learn such things as:

  •  A brief history of Tantra
  •  Tantra as a Path of Pleasure
  •  The nature of real magick (as opposed to magic tricks)
  •  How to set up effective goals for magick
  •  Tantra and the secrets of Vibration
  •  The importance of compassion
  •  The chakras and their activation through sound, visualization, breathwork and movement

At the conclusion of the workshop there will be a brief break of about 45 minutes. During this time please have a very light meal. Fruits, grains and vegetables are preferred over meats and processed foods.

……………Please return promptly. Only those who participated in the workshop will be permitted to attend the ritual. During the ritual you will put what you learned into practice. Either come dressed appropriately (please wear white, especially a white shirt, blouse, or dress. You may then adorn with jewelry and makeup of your choice), or change once you have arrived. The ritual will include banishings, cleansing, traditional honoring of the gods and goddesses of Tantra, movement, and finally activation of the chakras leading to sending magickal energy to achieve your goal.

……………During the ritual we will be sitting on the floor. Please bring pillows or other items that will cushion and support your bottom and your back. If possible, bring a colorful flower from your personal garden as a gift to the deities. If you don’t have one, it will be provided. Bring water to drink.

……………Please note that although we will be raising energies often associated with sexuality, there will be no nudity or sexual contact. Finally, due to the size of the location, attendance will be extremely limited. You are advised to register with the payment for the class as soon as possible to guarantee a location. Here, again, is the LINK to contact.

Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...