Sunday, September 24, 2006

Probability Magic

I was at the Montreal Casino yesterday with two friends with $60 in my pocket to play with. I played some blackjack and slots and walked away with a $0.50 profit ($60.50). The best part of going to the Casino is the people watching around the blackjack tables.

As we walked by the slot machines, I commented to my friend that I had another friend who could sense which machine was about to go off (using a skill he called kenning). She rolled her eyes and replied that the machines had no memory (like the old expression "dice have no memory"). "How could you possibly be "reading" it? There's nothing to read in it!"

It was a proper statment and a good question. It's amazing what you can come up with when someone puts a question directly to you, which is why this friend is my girlfriend and why I like volunteering at the MPRC.

"He's not reading the "mind" of the machine," I replied. "He's reading the probability of the machine hitting the jackpot. He's trying to sense which one is likely go to off by sensing which reality is about to fall into place."

It got me thinking about magic and what we're tapping into when we do spells and such (or however you want to call it). If I do a spell asking for a nice weekend for my camping trip (which is next weekend), I don't think that I'm actually controlling the awesome power of the global weather. I'm thinking that I'm trying to influence the natural probability of getting a sunny and warm weekend.

Magic tends to try to find the simplest, most natural path to bring about change, so the results tend to seem more like coincidence rather than miracle. Miracles, by their very nature, tend to go against the natural order of life and the realities of this plane of existence.

** Will complete this train of thought later **

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Knee Deep in Deadlines

I'll be missing this week's class unfortunately. I'm knee-deep in a deadline at work that's keeping me here long after the sun goes down. *yawn*

Amanda will be teaching the class on her own, so pay close attention! Also, Amanda and I have been working on the course plan, so the topics might be in a slightly different order than what's in your student handbook. It's still in development, but we should be hammering it out (to meet with Scarlet's approval) in the next couple of weeks.

Have a good class and I'm sorry I can't make it!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Interview with the Farrars

In the last class, we covered more terminology and discussed the differences between Wiccans, Witches, and Warlocks. The students are bright and insightful, asking many interesting questions. It's fun.

We also led a guided meditation that raised some healing energy and sent it out to the grieving people in the city. It was a powerful session, but I forgot to guide the people into grounding the excess energy properly. Consequently, some of the students felt a bit wonky after it. I must make a point of grounding after each meditation to make sure it doesn't happen again.

We also talked about some of the important people in Neo-Pagan history, including Gardner, Saunders, Crowley (who I called the Steven Tyler of the occult world), and Valiente. We also talked about about the Farrars, so I thought people would be interested in listening to an interview with the Farrars.

It's episode 14 of Deo's Shadow, a pagan podcast run out of Waterloo Ontario. You can listen to it here.

In invite you to take a listen to Deo's other podcasts. I find them interesting and insightful, but I don't always agree with the opinions he puts out. Still, it's a good show. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

New Season, New Class

I just want to take a moment to welcome my new set of students. We had our first class yesterday evening and it went great. We've got seven students in this term: a full house! Five of the seven showed up for the class, but one of them has gotten back to me (he wasn't feeling well).

I was a bit loopy from having crossed the country in a jet plane, but Amanda helped bring the class into focus. We'll be meeting next Monday to hammer out the rest of the course.

As it stands now, it looks like we'll be starting each class with learning a new chant or song and ending the class with a grounding and centering. These things always take practice and it'll be good for the students to do this in a class setting.

I look forward to a new season!