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but the demon will weasel past it. Thus demons have to be cast out in a mood of
unbending intent and decision. That’s all that’s required – unbending intent to cast the
demon out. Jumping up and down and shaking your body vigorously is another way to
cast them out. This is also a good way to get rid of bad moods or the bad vibes other
people lay on you as well.
How will you know whether your exorcism worked? Successful exorcisms are
often accompanied by sensations of something that was inside you leaving. There may be
some kind of whoosh of something flying out of you and away. But this isn’t always true.
One way you’ll know is that in the next few days you’ll feel lighter, more hopeful and
optimistic. Your friends will notice the difference too: they’ll remark on how much better
you look or feel.
If there’s any doubt, though, you can always repeat the exorcism. Just make sure
to do it in a mood of decisiveness and determination. That’s all, it’s not difficult. And,
don’t worry too much about this whole demon thing. If you are pure of heart, they won’t
bother you any.
(Excerpted from What is Magic?)
* * * * * * * * *
The salient feature of magical training is learning to use the world around us for
validation, rather than the devices of people; to come to appreciate more the gurgling of
water in a stream, the whisper of the wind in our ears, and the healing warmth of a tree,
rather than the approval of people. All of our unhappiness in life stems from our trying to
live up to the expectations of people, and our having forgotten what ancient humans
knew: that we are first and foremost children of the earth, and that she loves us from the
bottom of her heart.
The earth isn’t insensible, as we’ve been led to believe. She is vibrantly alive.
She can heal us, soothe us, and provide us with a sense of complete and unconditional
acceptance. She can nurture and protect us even more than our human mothers could
possibly do. We don’t have to feel at odds with the world, like alien interlopers in a
hostile environment. The earth is just busting to cuddle us with her love, if we would
only make an effort to reach out to her.
We do this simply by 1) acknowledging that she is alive, sentient, and capable of
communicating with us; and 2) acknowledging daily our debt to her and thanking her for
all her gifts. Try doing the following earth ritual every day: dawn or sunset are the best
times, but do it whenever you conveniently can. Go out to a place in nature (if possible),
take off all your clothes (if possible), and prostrate yourself face down with arms
outstretched above your head pointing in the direction of the sun. Begin to breathe out
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