Introduction (Updated 2023)
Blue Moon, Halloween Night, 2020
In recent times, we’ve seen a reemergence of the old ways. More and more people are breaking away from mainstream religions to seek spiritual identities that feel less restrictive, less judgmental and more open to the evolution of the complex diversity of today’s society. What was once deemed as forbidden heresy, is now being explored and embraced at unprecedented rates worldwide. Occult practitioners and authors are coming out of the broom closet, and young people with an interest in the Occult are seeking spiritual alternatives & answers beyond the one-off tarot reading on Halloween. There is a rise in people who identify as witches, with far fewer people adopting Christianity (for example) as their spiritual identity. Mainstream religious doctrine, for the most part, was developed as a moral code. But in this day and age, established religious morals tend to demoralize women, homosexuality and transgendered people. Instead of spiritual awakenings, mainstream religion tends to induce a spiritual crisis for most of us. We are told that in order to be accepted by God, we have to live a certain way. This message suggests that the Divine not only resides outside of ourselves…but can only be obtained by those who follow strict rules…”My way, or the highway to hell.” We are separated out, not welcomed in… because of who we are. So rather than turning to clergy and rabbis for spiritual guidance, many of us now turn to astrologers and psychics.
I think it’s fair to say that most of us wish we had more magick in our day to day lives. I think it’s also fair to say that most of us want to believe in magick, but fail to find concrete evidence of it in the world as we know it. As I mentioned above, many of us tend to look for the Divine “out there” somewhere. But if you’re reading this, then you are already on a path of finding the Divine and magick within yourself. You’re on the right path. Keep going.
Welcome to The Practice & Tasks of The Seven Wonders. This is a 12 week magickal recovery and discovery program for people who are curious about, or who already identify as witches, empaths, psychics, mediums and healers. Your experience, gender identification and age are not factors, nor are your chosen spiritual modalities or traditions. All that is required is a desire to grow your spiritual and magickal potential.
The Practice and Tasks of The Seven Wonders will uncover your personal magickal path... leading to hidden gifts, beliefs, and healing. Your Seven Wonders experience is as individual, exquisite and mysterious as you are. You may have noticed that I use the spelling “magick” instead of “magic.” This is to differentiate real magick from show business magic. The magick practiced by witches and druids is an act of creation…it is a practice. The magic performed by stage magicians are illusions…which is a performance.
To me, the words Magick and Creativity are interchangeable. Essentially, one and the same. Knowing how to work with Magick is to first understand that Creativity is actually a substance - more than that - it is a pliable, reactive and responsive force. Creativity is the very life blood of the Universal Divine Source - The Great Spirit - The Cosmic Birther of all Radiance & Vibration…the Collective Consciousness of that is and all that will be…the Cosmic Force. We are all enmeshed in creation and the universe. We are creations, which means we are not separate from the universe or the Creative Force. We are, by nature, an active part of creation…both art and artist…the creation and the creator. Being raised Catholic, I call this phenomenon God. I realize that word may trigger resistance for many people. However I do not identify the word God with the traditional Christian/religious meanings. It may help you to read the word God as a code for “Good Orderly Direction” throughout this course.
Those who conduct and wield inspired creativity are called Artists. We are great painters, musicians and novelists through time. We are thespians, dancers and classic sculptors...practicing countless art forms...each with countless disciplines, mediums, and schools of thought. What we all have in common are excruciating fears of success, and creative failure. We suffer long bouts of creative impotency. And as artists...we are as creative in our suffering, as we are dramatic. Particularly when it comes to creating & maintaining debilitating obstacles that keeps us from creating art.
Commonly known as a Creative Block, some of the most legendary and celebrated artists among us have in fact suffered years of creative drought...and to hear them tell it, condemned to the depths of hell. Rejected. Alone. Misunderstood. Wounded. Tortured. Humiliated. Devastated. Disillusioned. Broke (financially, mentally, spiritually). And the worst of it all...completely...utterly...powerless.
Blocked Artists are astonishingly prolific when it comes to ruminating on misery and detailing the suffering of life. That’s not a jab. It’s not that artists are narcissistic, emotionally underdeveloped ego maniacs. On the contrary... artists are, at our core... extra-sensory beings. We are fundamentally inclined to feel deeply. We are naturally in touch with the more subtle, unexplored energies that weave the universe around us. Unfortunately, what makes us great artists can also work in reverse. Meaning we inadvertently use our creativity in harmful ways against ourselves...shutting down healthy, productive creative flow...which is abusive self-sabotage disguised as self-protection. This always signals an emotional or creative injury. Creative Injuries are actually serious, elusive, mysterious, painful, and can be fatal. But they can also be diagnosed, treated, and healed.
I see many parallels in the words Artist and Witch. The first, most obvious similarity, is the preconceived notions and cultural myths both words carry with them. Claim yourself to be either, (or both)...we then consciously or unconsciously brace ourselves for the skepticism, ridicule, and passive aggressive attacks from our audience.
But...there is something else a little more sinister skulking right along with the voices of our dim-witted peers and intimates...like the basilisk in Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets...we hear a nasty little voice hissing lies in our inner ear, disguised as our true inner voice.
My awareness of the magickal world coincided with my awareness of being gay...which came at a very early age...by the time I was 4 to 5 years old I was twitching my nose like Samatha Stevens in Bewitched, and kissing posters of Paul McCartney. Both seemed perfectly natural to me...until I “learned” differently, thanks to the “normal” people occupying my young life at the time. Homophobia was (and still is) the norm in rural America, and that hatred hinted at what was waiting for me in the world at large. People interested or involved in the Occult were blasphemous and doomed to hell along with all the queers. That Dark Seed was planted in my heart and consciousness at a very early age.
However, my creativity was identified & encouraged in grade school. My formal education in acting, creative writing and music began there. I got my first paying job as an actor when I was 13 - cast in a professional theatrical production called The Life and Times of Mark Twain, at a prominent amphitheatre in Hannibal, Missouri...my hometown...as well as the boyhood home of Samual Clemens. After six years with the theatre company, and the untimely death of my dad, I left the banks of the Mississippi River to pursue music in Austin, Texas
Unfortunately, I took my Dark Seed with me. My acting abilities soon became a form of self protection. I molded a disguise to make myself more “user friendly” for the realities of the deep south...where the AIDS epidemic was beginning to take hold. I began drifting from bartending gigs at a Country & Western gay bar in Fort Worth, to waiting tables at a 24 hour jewish deli in Austin- where the drug test was literally: “What do you think of this drug, Danny?” I had written songs, but had no idea how to begin or enter the local music scene...because my trajectory into the arts was sidetracked by a series of life events seemingly out of my control...until I literally had no control of myself. Magick had all but evaporated from my life. Along with all hope.
By the time I was 32, I found myself in the depths of a major creative block, along with a serious cocaine and Jack Daniel’s problem. I literally staggered into an AA meeting in South Austin and was suddenly struck clean and sober. But staying clean and sober means starting life again with a clean slate and facing sobering facts. While AA can be a little too churchy for some folks...I had the advantage of being in a free thinking, spiritually diverse and mature population that defined Austin in those days...the witches literally came out of the great oak and cedar trees that nestled a little pink house, converted into a 24 hour AA meeting shelter.
All 12 steps programs have their roots in the 12 Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was Step 11 that stood out to me in a meaningful, sustainable way:
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and the power to carry that out.”
This step was the most critical in my personal recovery, because meditation was literally the daily medicine I needed to maintain my emotional sobriety. I was wanting more than just abstinence from alcohol…I wanted to induce a meaningful, fundamental spiritual awakening in myself and in my life. I wanted to free fall into my creativity and music.
Just a few months into my new sobriety, my longtime friend Linda Byrd, (a gifted astrologist and Consciousness Awakening Couch) recommended a book called The Artist's Way to me. Written by my fellow Santa Fean Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way is “a spiritual path to higher creativity.” I was at the local bookstore within hours, purchased the book and drank it up like the elixir of life. Within months, I was a completely changed man...with an honest internal inventory, a clearer vision of who I was, and a renewed knowing of my true potential.
By the end of that year I had recorded a 5 song demo, won a prestigious songwriting award from The Austin Songwriters Group, and hailed as “an artist of immense talent and promise” by Larry Flick, Editor and Chief at Billboard.
I’m not self-promoting here - I want to illustrate that my commitment to recovery, paired with a devout practice of The Artist’s Way, did in fact create the scaffolding that supports my success as a recording artist, producer, graphic and web designer, a damn good husband, and ultimately... a highly prolific, gifted and functional witch.
My personal understanding of God radically changed and expanded in profound ways. I mention this because like all recovery programs, a specific belief in a Higher Power is not as important as opening yourself up to the possibility that there could be a higher power. Recovery programs should not teach doctrine, religious theology, or favor denominations. For that reason I want to be clear here... The Seven Wonders is not a course in witchcraft, per sa. Rather, it is a course to guide you on an individualized exploration... to recover and discover the magickal modalities, traditions, and practices that are unique, and specific to you. And hopefully expanding beyond the rigid preconceptions of a Higher Power you may have had up to this point.
It really doesn't matter if you’re a lifetime Pagon, Wiccan, Christian or recently became interested in magick...The Seven Wonders is a recovery and discovery course designed to tap into your own inner guru and sage. You will recover blocked magick and discover un-tapped gifts.
I wrote the course chapters under specific and rare astrological events, beginning on the Super Full Blue Moon of Halloween 2020, through the Grand Conjunction of the 2020 Winter Solstice, and ending on the First Full Moon of 2021, January 28. In doing so, I charged The Seven Wonders with all the transformative, magickal energy of these extraordinary moon cycles. It’s important to note here, that practicing The Seven Wonders under the recommended moon phases moving forward will help you connect & gauge your emotional, magickal and physical cycles. Connecting with cycles can be challenging for those of us who identify as male or non-binary. So connecting with how we feel under the various moon phases is highly beneficial. The tasks for each chapter are built to coincide with the energy of various moon phases…from New Moon, or Dark Moon as it’s known in witchcraft, to the Full Moon phase, and following the waning cycle back to Dark Moon.
I will first introduce you to Shadow Work: The Basic Practice, which you will use throughout the entire 12 week course, and hopefully much longer! You will also begin week 1 by excavating and detecting Self-Imposed Curses, your personal Angels and Demons, practice some Mirror Magick, and set up Protection for your recovery process.
You’re welcome to scan ahead through each chapter to get a feel for all of the material covered in the course, but it is critical to take each chapter one week at a time when you begin. There are a number of tasks you will be assigned for each week. You can do all of the tasks, or choose a couple to perform for each specific week. If you only do a few of the assigned tasks each week, I suggest you pick one that feels exciting to you, and one that feels more challenging. You can always circle back and perform additional tasks later on.