The Secret Art Journalis featuring our article about how to use an ancient genie-of-the-lamp charm as inspiration for making a wish come true. Here's the introduction:
Inspiration from Secular Talismans
To be more of a wiz at your calling in life, you can employ some of the closely-guarded techniques of wizardry that “magically” empower your thoughts and expressions. These procedures are at least as old as recorded history, and because they underlie myriad belief systems, they’ll be compatible with whatever worldview you may hold (even if you consider yourself wholly unspiritual).
It may surprise you to know that a framed vestige of these methods is likely hanging in your home or office right now — a parchment emblazoned with ceremonial calligraphy, evocative seals, and the hallowed names of higher powers. A diploma is, indeed, a secular talisman complete with carefully formalized language, circular symbols of revered institutions, and the signatures of authoritative figures. As a talisman, a diploma acts in several ways: it’s an open-sesame to quite literally open new doorways to opportunity, it’s a magnet for respect, and it’s a beacon to attract affluence. A diploma is a simple, secular echo of a more elaborate set of wizardly techniques.
Handed down through generations, these wizardly ways encapsulate a technology for carefully focusing the words of your intention. You might liken the technique to a ritual or, if you prefer, a solemnity, though it’s seriously fun. In a nutshell, there is a prescribed way to thoughtfully set your goals in writing by arranging key words on a page. The meditative process is similar to “mind map” diagrams, though this technique is not about brainstorming but rather efficaciousness. Historically, to benefit from this technique you’d have to consult with your local shaman, medicine man, wise woman, or magus, who would create a talisman for you. While it never hurts to seek expert help, there are proactive ways to jumpstart your own progress. Just to be clear, the magical spirit you’ll be conjuring is your own inner being, your own highest self, via the primordial power inherent in words and symbols.
Your Own “Lamp Charm”
Let’s go old-school and use a pen and paper. The model we’ll use goes back to what was called a “lamp charm” in antiquated India, whose original purpose was to beseech the genii of the lamp, on behalf of the wise King Solomon, to burn up whatever fairy or demon was wreaking havoc. Your own talisman can appeal to the genius residing in your best self—whatever power you mustered the last time a situation felt impossible but you managed to get through it all the same.
A few years ago, we collaborated on a deck of "wide-awake dreaming" cards for the celebrated mentalist Kenton Knepper. Kenton occasionally demonstrated this deck at gatherings of the magical underground in Las Vegas, and that's how the cards got the street names of "Waking Dream Cards," "Metaphor Cards," "Subconscious Communication Cards," "Transformation Cards," and "K-Kards." But their official name is "[Self-Intuiting] Polarity Cards." The deck long-remained one of Kenton's best-kept secrets, but we can now reveal that they're finally available to anyone who wishes to experience a mind-blowing insight that they verifiably didn't have before. Unlike Tarot cards or other well-known reading decks, Polarity Cards are wholly free of dogma and therefore allow for fresh, intuitive understandings that are neither influenced nor hindered by preconceptions. Deeply rooted in coded principles from the Mystery traditions, the cards also work as powerful meditational tools, unlocking a greater sense of harmony and well-being. Lots more information about the deck is at Wonder Wizards.
This manual seems to titularly announce its target demographic, but don't let that fool you. It's like reading Lewis Carroll. No matter how much weariness there is in your bones, the sprite of your mind will fly with and to these words.
It's lavishly illustrated by the author with all sorts of abraxases and magic squares and mystical beasts whose mix-and-match bodies were the precursors of today's recombinant, genetic portmanteaux.
How much ... a delight it is ... to simply enjoy the uncommon truths of these eldritch spells coiled upon themselves and their secrets like wonderful chambered nautiluses.
The book elevates sound (and its magical properties) to the same level the Theosophists did, but in a much more playful way. It is a preposterous work, in the best sense of that word.