Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical Language Volume I and Volume II, and Essential Enochian Grimoire.

Back in the 1990s, a ritual called the “Tesseract Working” appeared and was in vogue for a while. Based on the concept of multiple co-existing universes, it promised to allow one to jump from one universe to another at will. (Yes, like that old TV show Sliders—though that didn’t yet exist.) Frankly, the ritual wasn’t that mind-blowing. It had a Neopagan structure, and basically took you ritually through the entire Major Arcana of the Tarot. (The GD has been doing that for a hundred years…) At the time, I didn’t see what it had to do with jumping to another reality.

Over the years, however, I have experienced what I came to call “reality jumping” many times. You go through a major ritual (where a LOT of energy is raised) or experience a traumatic event, and suddenly you start noticing little differences around you. You might notice a few landmarks—like roads, buildings, or even natural features—have changed, vanished, or even appeared where they were not before. Maybe a different actor starred in a popular movie. You may remember events happening that others do not, or vice-versa. Maybe even someone who was dead is suddenly alive.

This isn’t a phenomenon reserved for occultists, either. It has become something of a subject in modern pop culture and social media—having acquired the name “Mandela Effect.” The name is based on Nelson Mandela, who a large number of people seem to remember dying as a political prisoner in South Africa in the 1980s. However, he actually passed away a free man just a few years ago in 2013. Another popular example is the children’s book series “The Berenstain Bears,” which many people (myself included) clearly recall being spelled “Berenstein” in the 1980s. If you do a quick web search for “Mandela Effect” you will find plenty of examples. And a rather large number of people have personal examples as well—probably moreso among occultists than most other groups.

As far as I can tell, it doesn’t take a specific ritual (like the Tesseract Working) to achieve this effect. It seems to happen quite naturally at times when a large amount of energy is raised—be it a ritual or a traumatic event. (I once suffered a traffic accident that I’m pretty sure killed both me and my wife—yet we both “came to,” completely unharmed, in a car that was in an entirely different place than physics said it should have been.) When it involves a ritual, it is as if you step “between the worlds” to enact the magick, and somehow step back into a different reality than the one you left. The changes are rarely drastic, and can in fact go unnoticed for some time even if you are looking for them. This makes sense if we think of these parallel realities as clusters of strings, where neighboring realities are very similar to one another, and the differences grow larger the further out you go. It’s not likely you’ll experience something so dramatic as an America that lost the Revolutionary War, or a world ruled by Nazis who won WWII, or where Cro-magnon Man came to dominate the planet. However, you might find a local road now has a different name. Or maybe the road wasn’t there before. And the example I gave above about different actors starring in popular movies—that one has happened to me and my wife. Sometimes it is fun to compare notes with others, to see where we have come together from other realities (we share the same memories of things that are now different) and where we have jumped alone (we share different memories of past events).

Occultist Nick Farrell has suggested this might even be how all magick works. Many years ago I contemplated the same possibility: what if all magick is merely the method of programming the destination of your trip, to “slide” into a reality where what you desire already exists? I admit it is an intriguing thought, with seemingly endless possibilities. However, after well over twenty years of observation, I am not at all convinced this is something we can program or control. Simple spells, or magick done through your familiar spirits, do not apparently result in a reality jump—it seems to take massive amounts of spiritual energy to accomplish. (So think of initiation ceremonies, large Sabbats, evocation rituals, etc.) And I see no way to write a ritual that would guarantee a target destination. It appears to be random, its scope is limited, and I have found no real practical use for it.

However, that doesn’t stop it from being endlessly fascinating. It is an experience all humans share, and which just a few of us are crazy enough to seek out. And it absolutely says something about how the universe (or omniverse, as the case may be) works under the hood. I’m willing to bet most of you have your own “Mandela Effect” experiences, especially associated directly with your magical work. Feel free to share them!


Our thanks to Aaron for his guest post! Visit Aaron Leitch’s author page for more information, including articles and his books.

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Written by Anna
Anna is the editor of Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, and Llewellyn's monthly newsletters. She also blogs, tweets, and helps maintain Llewellyn's Facebook page. In her free time, Anna enjoys crossword puzzles, Jeopardy!, being a grammar geek, and spending time ...