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Bob Makransky is a systems analyst, computer programmer, and professional astrologer. For the past 35 years he has lived on a farm in highland Guatemala, where he is a Mayan priest and is head of the local blueberry growers’ association.
Bob became interested in magic at Micky Russo’s Spiritualist Church in San Francisco in the 60’s, but it wasn’t until twenty years later that he began channeling spirits himself. He moved to Guatemala in the early 70’s and started a farm which operates on principles akin to Rudolf Steiner’s Biodynamics, but with a Mayan slant. He became involved with local Mayan priests because of Mayan calendar software he had written, which they had all adopted; and he was given a ritual to invoke Mayan spirits himself. He studied Mayan astrology and performs ceremonies with his teacher, Don Abel Yat Saquib, until Don Abel's death in 2009.
The Magician’s Creed
You are the people,
You are this season’s people –
There are no other people this season.
If you blow it, it’s blown.
– Stephen Gaskin
I. The human race is in imminent danger of self-destructing and dragging our mother earth down with it.
II. There will be no miraculous salvation due to Mayan prophecies; or Jesus’ or the Mahdi’s return; much less from the irresponsible governments, corporations, media, and academics who got us into this mess in the first place.
III. The theory of probable realities states that each individual person decides the fate of the entire universe. If you truly choose to save the world, you will wind up in a probable reality in which the world is saved.
IV. The only chance for survival – not to mention prosperity – is for each individual to reject society’s mutual suicide pact and make saving the earth and future generations their NUMBER 1 PRIORITY (as opposed to something they may get around to someday). This is the magician’s equivalent of the Bodhisattva’s oath.
V. Rejecting social conditioning means eradicating all trace of self-pity. Only by clear, sober, objective thinking (not unquestioning adherence to beliefs) can each individual save him/herself and the earth.
VI. This type of thinking is based upon what each person’s heart tells them. It is different for everybody; and everybody has to find their own answers for themselves by examining their own habitual thoughts, moods, and concerns minutely. To do this magicians use various techniques, including:
a) techniques of self-analysis such as Active Imagination and Recapitulation.
b) techniques of transformation such as resorting to tree spirits and the earth.
c) techniques of hopefulness such as Creative Visualization.
VII. Detaching from society’s conditioning of self-pity necessarily implies taking complete responsibility for oneself rather than wallowing in helplessness or daydreaming. To do this magicians:
a) channel their own spirit guides themselves for information and advice;
b) go to nature spirits for validation rather than seek the approval of other people or society;
c) become as self-sufficient and frugal as possible, including growing at least some of their own food and reducing their needs to the bare minimum.
VIII. The goal of magic is to make everyday life more dreamlike; to be able to feel comfortable in situations beyond one’s control. Feeling relaxed and in good shape even in the midst of a maelstrom is called “enlightenment”. Enlightenment doesn’t mean light as opposed to dark; but rather light as opposed to heavy.
‘Introduction to Magic’ series – Vol. 1: What is Magic?; Vol 2: Magical Living -Essays for the New Age; Vol. 3: Thought Forms; Vol 4: The Great Wheel, by Bob Makransky.
(Published by Dear Brutus Press at Smashwords)
It’s a platitude these days to begin a glowing review with the words: ‘if you only buy one book on (subject) this year, then make it this one ...’ I could have adopted this phrase myself, but then I’d have had to urge you to buy all four. Here is why: if you’re the kind of reader who found the touchy-feely, scholarly-lite magic of Rhonda Byrne (of The Secret fame) somewhat lacking in substance, not to say conviction, you really need to check out the work of Bob Makransky. This, as it says of a certain famous soft-drink, is the Real Thing.
In this series, not only do we get an author who knows his subject inside out, but also a directness of approach often not seen in works of this kind. Not for Makransky the wishy-washy approach that attempts to soothe and reassure the reader with false promises of magical success - something about which many customer complaints arise on the Amazon website - but, rather, an honest and uncompromising study of what Magic really entails. For example, we’re told in various other texts on the subject that belief in the outcome of a spell or visualisation exercise is crucial, and Makransky sagely reminds us that there is, of course, a difference between real faith and hoping for the best. In Magical Living: Essays for the New Age, he asks:
What’s the difference between faith and fooling yourself? Just the way they each feel. Faith is RELAXED, is not pushing to get anywhere, is not frantically seeking an exit. Fooling yourself is the belief that there is an exit – that if you somehow found the right button to push, God would deliver a miracle and save you.'
In the first of this four part series, What is Magic?, he also writes about this matter of belief I touched on above:
'Faith in magic doesn’t spring from nothing. It isn’t blind. Faith comes from seeing the techniques of magic actually work time and time again. When the principles involved are clearly understood and applied, the desired result is obtained. The problem is that in the beginning all you have to work with is blind faith since there aren’t any results yet to base real faith on. Magicians get around this Catch-22 by using the technique of Creative Visualization.'
This, he very wonderfully describes as 'a technique used to strengthen intent by hypnotizing yourself.' He adds that 'where daydreaming stokes self-pity, Creative Visualization strengthens intent,' and this is because one is 'actively drawing the object of your visualization to yourself by imagining it physically happening in the now moment.'
This latter is an allusion to the so-called As-If Principle - it is a little known occult secret that magic works because we have successfully 'communicated' with the Subconscious, and that the goal or desire must be framed in the Eternal Present, or the 'now moment', as Makransky puts it. As Victorian occultist Austin Spare once wrote, 'desire nothing, and there is nothing you shall not realise'. In other words, since desires are usually projected into the future (which is not understood by the Subconscious!) then they rarely manifest through actual magic. Magic only occurs in the present, to put it differently.
Let it be said, very firmly too, that Makransky possesses an astounding knowledge of occult tradition and what we can expect when we work with the inner planes. He has an engaging writing style, too, and this makes him the perfect companion for your magical journey, whatever your level of experience. So, if you are the kind of reader who appreciates the value of sagacity, passion, years of real experience and a lovely down-to-earth approach, these four book most definitely deserve a place on your bookshelf (or could that be your Kindle device menu?)
James Lynn Page (author of Celtic Magic, Everyday Tarot and The Christ Enigma: The Jesus Myth and the Gospel Code.)