Our Wild Imaginations & Practical Magic
“Without the tools of metaphor and symbol we would have precious little to say, for they allow us to talk about that about which we cannot talk.” James Hollis
“When we practice magic we are always making connections, moving energy, identifying with other forms of being. Magic could be called the applied science that is based on an understanding of how energy makes patterns and patterns direct energy. To put it another way, at its heart is a paradox: Consciousness shapes reality; Reality shapes consciousness.” Starhawk
The loss of the archetypal or mytho-poetic imagination in western contemporary culture bears serious consequences. We have become a culture untethered from the mysterious force that flows through us - the same force that ensouls the world with depth and meaning. Our imaginations speak Mystery’s language - through gesture, image, symbol and metaphor. They beg us to come closer, to gain intimacy, to seek purpose, and to live our destinies into the world. As bridge builders, we human beings are designed to bring consciousness and praise to the earth, thereby enlarging the destiny of all things. As James Hollis says, “we are organisms of meaning and make our contribution through consciousness.”
Mystery surrounds and pervades all things. It bookends our lives, and infuses our world with the great gifts of the abyss - infinite potential in every moment. Our task in this work is to reinstate the imagination as the meaning-making, mysterious medium that it is, so that we can all get closer to the initiatory experiences that live behind each dream, each symbol, each gesture - so that we can practice magic, which is to admit our participation in the world of depth is our great task, and does indeed effect change.
For some of us the imagination as a trusted intelligence has atrophied. The muscle needs tending, rebuilding, and working. I invite you over the following year to begin to track the images, symbols, archetypes, dreams and imaginings you have as intelligence reports from Mystery - arising into your awareness for a specific reason - a reminder perhaps, or an invitation to participate in a certain way. I invite you hold the possibility that what you imagine is not untrue, false, a myth, or in any way lesser than what you can prove and rationalize. I invite you to play, as you did as a child, that those images that arise from depth are fluctuations of the sacredness of our lives, and direct us toward our deepest purpose. This make take some practice, so be patient with the One of you who may say you’re making it up, or doing it wrong, or unworthy of visions or…
I get it. This may require a leap of faith. A great big, what-if right here in the beginning. What if the intelligence that ensouls the world is our guide to destiny? What if, in participating, communicating and working with the sacred in all things is to practice magic?