This came to my attention earlier, on this scorching hot day in Albion. So as my first faltering steps towards Occult Uncle (Agony)1234 , here’s my slightly sweaty response to a rather important question that’s close to my heart:
So I’m curious, how does a person with physical disabilities perform movement intensive rituals like the LBRP or Pyramidos? I get that these can be performed astrally, but are there methodologies that can make these rites accessible for the physically disabled?
Short answer? Do the bits you can, and then work on sensory control so you can feel/see/hear yourself doing it with 90% ‘reality’ (the number is arbitrary. There’ll come a point when it ‘clicks’ and you’ll know)
I’ve not done Pyramidos myself, but have used the LRBP and use the following technique myself as a physically disabled wheelchair user for various rites, and it seems to work:
Do this, [the bits you can] repeatedly, even if you don’t get results the first few times. I’m talking about doing it your temple space, not astrally. The point is to connect the body as much as you can. Do it on multiple occasions, even if you don’t get contact
After a ‘bit’ (a handwavy period of time) after those repetitions, you’ll get some kind of spirit contact. That is when, quite bluntly, you ask the spirit(s) what to do to improve contact. They will usually give you some tweaks. Then you run the rite with the tweak, asking again. Repeat as many times as needed.
After a bit, (lovely time period, innit) when said spirits are satisfied with things you should have a workable rite that’s viable for you and they, even if there are significant changes made to the original.
Now, the reason I say run said rites ‘as much as you can/are able, then fill in with Imaginal fill-ins’? I think it’s Josephine McCarthy who has said (and I’m paraphrasing) that the ritual begins the moment you decide to do it.
Now, I could quote you some studies on psi, or even current neurology which suggests that decisions and actions are begun before we are consciously aware of it. I could do that rather than waffle about ‘the power of intent’, and I probbaly should, but here I will say something perhaps a little heretical to acertain brand of chaos magician:
MAGICAL INTENT IS BULLSHIT.
Those Statements of Intent? Mean next to nothing. They’re just focusing tools for your consciousness. Intent has no oomph, no impetus at all. It’s just backward rationalization.
Now, apologies to Josephine MCarthy if I’m misunderstood/misquoted her ideas, because I’m sure it seems like I’ve just contradicted myself. After all, if Magical Intent Is Bullshit, then how can I say that the ritual begins the moment you decide to do it?
There’s a certain ambivalence towards the Arrow of Time in magic. On the whole, a magical universe tends to operate on circles, spirals and fractals, rather than linearity.
So when I say decide to do it both the decision and the action are ratified by the action. To quote a certain someone Do, or Do Not – There is no Try.
I could waffle on for ages, pontificating about retroactive enchantment, but, bluntly, it boils down to this The decision to do it, the ritual actions and the results themselves are a whole magical act.
They. Are. Not. Separate. Things.
Anyone who has had a bit of experience will tell you of rituals, the results of which, still reverberate years later. Across space and time, the act continues.
See, magic, in my experience, tends towards Wholeness, to Maximal Expression. This Wholeness is not a Singularity, but is in fact manifold, and varied. There’s plenty of coming-together-and-breaking apart.
So when dealing with physical disability and magic, well bluntly, in terms of population, there aren’t that many of us, which is to say, there’s more than you realize but perhaps less than you might like.
Secondly, and equally bluntly, if you’re physically disabled and doing magic, well, you’re kind of at the sharp end in terms of R&D because of the vast variety of differences in disability. Which is kind of cool, because there’s literallyno one like you in the game, except you.
(Until of course there is – or rather, was – but that’s another story)
Yes, yes every Man and Woman is A Star. We know.
But you, friend, suffer unique challenges, and have got round them in a statistically variant manner to the norm. Celebrate your difference.
Which leads me on to the fourth point – those repetitions and ‘make do’ imaginings? Waste of time. Except, y’know, NOT.
They are part of the magical act. But they’re also there to show the spirits involved that you’re serious, and you are trying desperately not to half-arse it. That you’re not some arsehole who thinks they know better.
It is, for want of better words, a show of good faith, with the added bonus that you develop your skills and begin the process of turning your body into your own particular magical machine/temple.
Always remember, humans are not the only ones playing this game, and sincerity goes a long way.
In 16 years, I’ve only ever ONCE had a spirit that wanted to work with me, and I it, insist on impossible so-called ‘traditional’ forms. In the end, I found another who was more willing to help me rig something up for the benefit of us both.
I’m not a ceremonial magician by nature, mind you – precisely because of such difficulties. That and I tend to ascribe to the notion of spirits having a stake in working with us, just as we do them..
Hope this helps.