Magical Action to Increase Compassion towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Australia

This is part of an initiative I have started to…well, the title says it all 🙂

I will be inviting all and sundry on Facebook to be part of this – and you good MOTO folk here also 🙂 And please, even if you are not Australian, feel free to be part of the magic. I have a nice little outline of the plan and all in good pdf form HERE.

Of course, since some folk like to just read on screen, I will paste the text below also.

This form of magic obviously does not abide easily with the fourth side of the pyramid – silence. The symbol and principles are out there. However, the individual methods people and groups choose, the names of their sacred One(s), contacts and Gods are not on display. So please keep yours mum too 🙂

In my personal experience I have had mixed success with magic like this. As I recount in this post a similar initiative over ten years ago concerning the forthcoming Iraq war failed dismally. However, as I say in this other post:

In my experience the best and most successful forms of practical magic are those performed collectively for altruistic purposes and which work in alliance with spiritual beings under the presidency of the higher powers. These are keys elements: a collegiate experience to go beyond the self; altruistic and transpersonal intentions; working in harmony with beings in the other realms where we at best can but blunder around, and; an attitude of surrender to the One.

And this current magic ticks all these boxes. I’ve seen some wonderful results from this form of magic, as well as failures. So we will see on this one…but remember magic is like hugging a tar baby; it affects the magician as much as it does the world. So working inwardly, magically and working hard and non-personally for compassion will affect each of us and move us towards a more compassionate state. And that can’t be bad! 🙂 THANKS 🙂

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  • This is for everyone concerned about the current government’s actions in regards to asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. Polling suggests this is well over half the population.
  • While magic is predominately the realm of Witches, Magicians, Pagans, Druids and others, the invitation is here for any and all people to help open the group mind of Australia towards compassion for those seeking refuge.
  • This form of magic does not impede on anyone’s sovereign will. But it does provide opportunities for change should there be an inclination towards that change.
  • The daily reports of appalling conditions in offshore detention centres, the military style secrecy of the Australian government, the universal and repeated condemnation of these centres and practices by international sources and the increasing whistleblowing by those working in these centres is a concern for all Australians.
  • These actions by the Australian government are supported by choices and non-choices we have made and are currently making; as individuals, as groups and as a nation.
  • From a magical point of view these choices ultimately stem from the fabric of the collective unconscious, the hidden side of culture and society where our deepest assumptions and beliefs lie. We have all experienced transformation from reworking the weave of our own inner depths. We facilitate these changes in others through initiation, prayer and healing. Now we need to go broader and work directly with our nation and our culture.

 

INTENTION

To increase compassion towards asylum seekers and refugees within the Australian group mind.

METHOD

Everyone is invited to contribute to this magic which will be conducted in five phases from 9 January to roughly 7 February. The magic centres around the symbol below as a representation of compassion in balance within the Australian group mind and as a focus for the intention given above (please see ‘Notes on the Symbol’ below).

Compassion Australia web 96 J

PHASE 1 – SPREADING THE WORD (January 9 – 16). During this week, please share this invitation to all magical people you know, far and wide, personally, via social media and other means.

PHASE 2 – CREATING THE SYMBOL (On or around Full Moon, January 16). The symbol is created within the ‘astral’, inner realm and strongly exists ‘above’ Australia, and is ‘ALIVE’.

PHASE 3 – CHARGING THE SYMBOL (January 16-26). Additional magic is done to empower the symbol.

PHASE 4 – BIRTHING THE SYMBOL (On or around Australia Day, January 26). Magic is conducted to ‘bring down’ the symbol into the group mind of Australia.

Time of ‘gestation’ (January 27-31)

PHASE 5 – PRACTICAL ACTION (On or shortly after New Moon, January 31). Practical action such as letter writing to earth the magic.

SUGGESTIONS FOR MAGIC

  • Those skilled in magic can readily apply the principles below and should work as they normally do.
  • All magic should ‘start grounded and finish grounded’. This is very important. It means we begin connected to the earth, knowing ourselves and our boundaries, and we finish the same way. Grounding is normally one of the first skills taught in most magical traditions. Grounding exercise examples can be found here.
  • Another key point is that straight after grounding we connect with our Sacred One(s) and ask them for assistance in the magic.

Creating the Symbol

  • Visualisation is the key here. After grounding and asking your Sacred One(s) for assistance, strongly visualise the symbol. Keep in mind the intention. Once the symbol is strong, see it grow larger and larger and rise to fill the air above the whole of Australia. Keep visualising for as long as possible.
  • At this time experienced folk around the country will be working deep magic to create the symbol on the inner realms, so it will be easy for you to add your bit by simply visualising.
  • When finished visualising, thank your Sacred One(s) and spend some time grounding.
  • More experienced magicians can use other methods to create the symbol. A group can use dance, ritual, chant etc. to empower the symbol. Wiccan groups and couples can raise the cone of power or use the Great Rite.

Charging the Symbol

  • Magic here involves two forms of action. Firstly, the aims and hopes of the people of Australia to make a compassionate society are directed ‘upward’ into the symbol. Secondly, the blessings of the spiritual powers and beings we are working with are also directed into the symbol. These may be seen as being directed ‘downward’ into the symbol, but only because these beings are transpersonal not because they are ‘beyond the earth’.
  • So in meditation, in ritual, in group or solo settings, we charge the symbol in these two ways.
  • As individuals (after grounding and asking for assistance) we know ourselves to be representative of the thousands of others in our locales that wish for a more compassionate Australia. As representatives, we imagine ourselves taking their thoughts, wishes and love, as well as our own, into the symbol. We may create a chant to help with this.
  • We then pray and ask our Sacred One(s) to bless the symbol. We see their love and power and light enter and enliven the symbol. We do this for as long as possible as on each day in this phase, if possible.
  • Remember to thank your Sacred One(s) and ground at the end of each session.
  • If you are in a magical group, create sacred space. Have one or two people in each direction. Raise energy and go into trance. Consciously identify the quarters of the circle with the quarters of your city; see the east of the circle as and overlapping with the east of the city and so on – so that your circle IS your city. The people at the quarters now open themselves to represent the people within that quarter of the city. In trance they collect and channel the good wishes and intentions of the people of the city. They direct these, in unison with the rest of the group, into the symbol above Australia.
  • Now invoke in your usual manner your Sacred One(s) and see them enter the symbol with their love and power and light to enliven the symbol. Thank your Sacred One(s), close your sacred space and ground as normal.

Birthing the Symbol

  • We do this on Australia Day, when our nation is self-conscious and open to influence.
  • Again, after our preparation, we visualise the symbol. Once it is strong we again ask for the blessings of our Sacred One(s) to enter the symbol. We repeat our intention strongly. Then we slowly and clearly see the symbol come ‘down’ to cover the whole of Australia. We see it enter the group mind of Australia – see it enter the land, the towns, people in your neighbourhood, people in your city, politicians and media people.
  • Then clearly see the symbol produce results – these may be visualised as you wish, for example newspaper headlines like, ‘Australia Leads the Way with Refugees’ or ‘PM’s New Approach to Asylum Seekers Heralded by UN’. Or see people you know who are not now compassionate expressing compassionate thoughts. Use some clear and simple visualisation that shows the completed magic. Hold this visualisation for as long as possible.
  • Once again, when finished, thank your Sacred One(s) and ground.
  • In a group setting the ‘birthing’ process can take many forms from a group meditation to a full ceremony. Wiccans may like to link the birth to the Great Rite:
  • The Coven once again creates the circle as their city. Then the Priestess and Priest will take on the Gods, standing centre circle. Then the Coven will dance the Cone around them and draw the symbol down to just ‘above’ the Priestess and Priest who then perform the Great Rite, birthing the symbol into the Cakes and Wine. These are then shared with the Coveners, who are representative of the city, and thereby take the symbol and magic into the whole city. Some Cakes and Wine should also be offered to the four quarters of the city by people who live nearby.
  • Other methods of birthing will present themselves to experienced magicians.

Practical Action

  • We leave the symbol to affect the group mind of Australia from birthing (26 January) through the dark moon until the new moon (31 January). This is an important period where the ‘ferment’ of the magic grows.
  • On and after new moon is the time for practical action to fully ground and make the magic work on the material level. Without doing something physical the magic will not work. Suggestions include:
  • Speaking to people about the issues; sharing accurate information;
  • Writing letters to the media;
  • Writing letters and contacting politicians clearly stating how you wish things to change;
  • Creating a simple flyer and letterbox dropping it for a few streets around your home;
  • Donating to various Refugee and Asylum Seeker advocacy groups; and
  • Volunteering at refugee agencies.
  • Groups may like to spend a night writing letters and emails. Each member is assigned one letter to write (to local MPs, the Prime Minister, the Immigration Minister Etc.). They bring along a template, and all of the group copy and write and sign all the letters. These are sealed and stamped and magic done to bless them before posting.
  • On all letters or emails it would be good to include the symbol as this will help bring the magic to the fore for those reading it. The symbol can be found here: small (jpg), large (png), for letters (jpg).

 A NOTE ON THE SYMBOL

  • The symbol expresses the intention. Yes, it is a little twee, but we want it to be simple and clear for people from all traditions and backgrounds.
  • The colours are from the Australian Flag to help link to the Australian group mind.
  • The blue in this case represents the raw consciousness of Australia, which we act on and inspire.
  • The red heart represents the compassion we are seeking, rising out of the raw consciousness.
  • The Southern Cross represents the Australian soul, now surrounded by compassion. It also can be used to bring in the stellar forces for those working this form of magic
  • The presence of the symbols of the Sun and Moon represent the balanced approach to refugees and asylum seekers. The symbols also represent the binaries of the Goddess/God for Wiccans and other polarities for those working them.

RESOURCES

Christianity, Magic and Politics

A few days ago the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres described the election of Kevin Rudd as “an Obama moment” for Australia. Now I think the good Bishop has made an understandable mistake here. It is true that the election of Kevin, like Obama caused immense pleasure. However, there is a major difference: Australia’s effusive welcome of Kevin was born more out relief that John Howard was finally being booted out than any anticipation he would be make much difference. Obama on the other hand is seen as a secular saviour of America and the ‘free world’. The difference is marked – at a bookshop yesterday, here in Australia, I saw a beautifully bound copy of Obama’s Inauguration speech, displayed in the most prominent spot in the store. Kevin’s speech was nowhere to be found – if it indeed it has been published at all, which I doubt.

I am very cynical about Our Kevin, particularly his government’s farcical Emission Trading Scheme that will actually result in no less Australian made pollution in reality whilst looking good on paper. However, he has written some good things and this recent news report reminded me to re-read an article Kevin wrote in for ‘The Monthly ‘ in 2006. Entitled ‘Faith in Politics ‘ it is mostly a review of the ideas of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who ended up swinging from a gallows at the hands of the Nazis . The central theme that Kevin reiterates with great precision throughout the article is that Christianity is a social, not a private religion, and one which started as and should be maintained as a religion of the oppressed, the Anawim. He argues that Christians have a role and duty to play in civic life, that they just cannot stand by and divorce themselves from the social and political spheres.

jesus-smallThese ideas are not new, but it is good to see them as part of the personal makeup of the Australian Prime Minister. And while such ideas may cause discomfort in many secularists, including esoteric folk (who often are secular in their world view) they are part and parcel of the religious impetus since the advent of Christianity in the West and Buddhism in the East. For me, the next logical question is how do these ideas relate to the esoteric and magical traditions of the 21st century?

In the west the esoteric traditions grew out of the Christian tradition. As mentioned elsewhere on MOTO there are no surviving indigenous traditions of note. The Hermetic and near eastern traditions that informed the esoteric were interpreted by devout Christians through Christian eyes, as was most of the Qabalah that we practice today. There has been some reinterpretation of these sources (and indigenous remains) by contemporary magicians, but often this is done in reaction to the Christian milieu and so partakes of it in some way.

We therefore have the situation where our traditions draw upon a religion that as Kevin puts it,  “must always take the side of the marginalised, the vulnerable, the oppressed.” And if Kevin, and a myriad of other Christian philosophers are correct, a religion that actively calls its adherents to be active in the social sphere to enact justice. How do we, as an esoteric community respond to this?

Madame Blavatsky

I would suggest we have largely ignored this calling because our traditions have been skewed by an anti-traditionalist and anti-Christian bias since the formation of the Theosophical Society and the Golden Dawn in the late 19th Century. This is not to say modernity and anti-Christian sentiments had not entered esoteric pursuits before then, but simply that from that point they became dominant and quickly embedded in our traditions. Before that time the majority of esoteric fraternities were Christian. In 2009 most magical Orders may occasionally ‘use’ Christian symbolism but are loathe to require their members to be Christians. Before that time nearly all esoteric fraternities were western lodges and, as part of that broader tradition, engaged in collective charity and good works. In 2009 most magical groups do neither of these things, though there has been a recent shift towards charity evident on some websites.

The modern bias towards individualism is very evident in the esoteric, magical and particularly Pagan traditions. I have blogged on this theme before and continue to see it as a major problem in our traditions. This bias stops us from engaging socially and politically as these are seen as separate spheres of activity – personal ‘spiritual development’ is seen as different from social change and repair (Tikkun in Qabalistic terms). In a recent blog post GD magician and author Nick Farrell says ‘The goal of the outer order is to become yourself, an individual’ which precludes unreserved dedication to anything other than God. What needs also to be mentioned is that the individual self does not actually exist, as I have blogged about before . And in the Inner Order we are reaffirmed as ‘a member of the Body of Christ’ which as St Paul points out is comprised of all people. God is thus the collective of humanity which therefore deserves our dedication no less than any theistic transcendental perception of ‘Him’.

Live Long & Prosper

Live Long & Prosper

Or to be be Vulcan about it, ‘the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few’.

The outer forms of Christian expression when practiced fully collapse the false dichotomy between the one and the many, between the individual and social. They do this by prayer, by intention and faith but also equally by social engagement and political action, which are the tools available to them. As esoteric folk we can also collapse these false boundaries and take this process further by seeing ‘the personal as political as spiritual‘. And we have tools other than social engagement: we are magicians, weavers, change agents, witches and sorcerers. Here we enter the realm of social magic, practiced in the contemporary world mainly by feminist witches like the Blessed Starhawk. The rest of the pagans, motivated by personal not social concerns do not touch this often taboo area.

However, there is no reason why we as trained western magicians cannot practice social magic. Indeed I believe we should, that we are called upon to do so. Let us not forget the fountainhead of modern esotericism, the Rosicrucian movement was aiming as much politically as spiritually for a ‘General Reformation’. If our basis, which comes from the Christian and Rosicrucian traditions is concerned with the communal as much as the individual we have to try to repair the communal world as much as we try to ‘better ourselves’. We are also, as impolite as it may sound, far better trained and capable of magic than most pagans or witches.

Understandably there will be some disquiet about these suggestions for social magic. People often talk about it being ‘unethical’. However, one of the strengths of the esoteric is the refusal to separate the divine from the material, the spiritual from the physical. Magic, for example, to influence public opinion against war is functionally equivalent to peace rallies. One method – magical action to influence the population or a politician – focuses more on the subtle, energetic realms. Other methods – advertising and and mail-outs – focus on the more visible, tangible processes. But both forms seek change in the minds of others. If either method is to work there has to be change in both realms, inner and outer. The magical action on the inner realm has to causes changes in the outer, physical action of the politician(s). The outer physical actions have to cause changes in the inner realms; the minds of the people who receive the flyer, attend the rally or hear the news.

Magic is not simply a spiritual event. Many teachers and traditions insist that any willed action is a magical action. Everyday we influence others’ opinions; by talking with them, being around them, engaging with them. Some of us do this with more force than others; some of us do it unconsciously, but we all do it. So why should conscious action to influence a politician by magic be seen as more unethical than conscious action to influence them by letter writing. Why should an attempt to promote peace within the consciousness of the nation by magic be more unethical than the use of advertising techniques (based on psychology) to increase a government’s support for the war, or even to boost the sales of Big Macs? The magical world view sees no difference in these actions.

We all exist in a web of subtle influence, personal, familial and societal. We cannot escape this influence and to suggest that we can is naive. Much of the influence generated by governments and corporations quite consciously taps into our deeper, unconscious fears and prejudices. This is also magic. How we respond with choice to these influences is also magic, whether we use rituals, write a letter of protest or do nothing and support the status quo. All of this is explained really well in the work of Starhawk. and I recommend you visit her site and read her books.

As magicians we have been given the gift of a tradition, a living, dynamic expression of the One that serves us in our needs. We also are called upon to serve our traditions and serve the One. We can do this best by using the areas of  ourselves most developed (through daily meditation and discipline) – our magical self that can transform and repair, heal and serve the world.

A Couple of (non-esoteric) Mysteries

Normally I am a public transport person, but since borrowing my parents venerable early 80s Toyota Corolla I have been reminded of a couple mysteries.

Occasionally I drive to work in peak hour along the Kwinana Freeway. I say drive, though of course I mean ‘crawl’ (in the words of Homer, “Brake, Gas, Honk! – Brake Gas Honk!”). It is a frustrating, mind-sapping experience.

So mystery one: how do people do this everyday, day in day out; the same grey frustration and stop-start madness surrounded by cars and fumes?

I need too much concentration to drive to allow me to do mantra or visualisation, but have enough spare mental space to be bored/tensed out of my skull. Today was slightly better as someone had hung a smiling, life sized, upside down Bart Simpson from one of the footbridges above the road 🙂

Every time I drive and look around me at the bored people (and myself in the mirror) I am reminded of one of the best songs from one of the most underrated groups ever: Fischer Z singing ‘It Could You’:

“Well here he is just home from work
He’s come home early to make their tea
He’s by the sink, she’s in the lounge
He tries to talk to her but he won’t succeed
His wife is on the ‘phone, again
His wife is on the ‘phone, again

Oh oh can’t you see
It could be you it could be me
Well sometimes I wonder
if this is life then I’d prefer to die

He sits and thinks he scratches his head
There must be more to life than being brain dead
He says a lot she just ignores
He gets the paper out and he checks the scores.”

The car is too old to have a CD player and embracing the digital age I gave away my cassette collection a few years back. I sold many of my cassettes at a Swap Meet to raise funds for the excellent Tibetan Support Programme. The program started from the vision of Lama Lobsang Tsering, who popped into the Swap Meet when he visited Australia. His English was not the best and I struggled to answer his question about what a Swap Meet actually was. When I explained that it was reselling items we had once bought to other people, and sometimes they may resell the same item in another Swap Meet, his eyes blazed with recognition. “Ah, Samsara!” he exclaimed.

I don’t think I’ve come across a better summation of western material culture or a clearer example of what Buddhists mean by the concept of Samsara, which is normally translated as the wheel of death and rebirth.

So anyway, to help alleviate my freeway anguish, the other day I entered deeper into Samsara and picked up a couple of second hand Midnight Oil cassettes from the Good Sammys. This led me revisit mystery two: Peter Garrett.

How does someone transform from a left wing, activist rock singer and anti-nuclear, anti-imperialist Christian inspiration to a comfortable, establishment government minister? And within a government that seems likely to outdo Blair in Blarite practices?

Ever since Peter joined the ALP in 2004 I have tried to nut this out. I still can’t get there. It is too easy to say that he’s ‘grown up’, that radical politics is essentially a young or immature person’s game. It is also too easy to say he’s sold his soul. I’ve discussed this and read a bit, but still can’t get an answer that clearly satisfies me. Maybe that’s the way it has to be?

I think Peter can be viewed as a microcosm of a larger issue, perhaps summed up in the words of that greatest of magicians, Albus Dumbledore:

“Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”

I know I tend towards ease, I think we all do.