SYSOP'S NOTE: I would be remiss in my duties if I failed to tell
you that this is from PANEGYRIA volume 2, number 6, and was
downloaded from Earthrite BBS (415-651-9496). PANEGYRIA costs $8
per year, and their address is Box 85507, Seattle, WA 98145.
Enjoy! - Talespinner, Sysop WeirdBase
NLP: APPLIED MAGIC
by Brandy Williams
One: Matching Representations
In studying magic I've been exposed to a lot of related
fields--history, mythology, music--which enrich my understanding
of my vocation. One of the most helpful series of books I've
encountered is a set of five volumes starting with The Structure
of Magic I. and II. which focus on... psychology.
John Grinder and Richard Bandler developed the field they
called Neuro Linguistic Programming, or NLP. One reason I
suggest everyone I know become familiar with it is that they've
taught this stuff to salespeople, managers, Pentagon employees...
I see their techniques on television commercials and read about
them in seminar descriptions. NLP is a people manipulator par
excellance, and I think it's important others are made aware of
Another reason is that it's so incredibly useful.
Consider this: "The meaning of a communication is the
response you get." In their terms, an elegant phrase. It's
changed my entire relationship with others. If I don't make
myself clear, I don't blame the listener. I restate my case,
maybe trying a different body language, a different representa-
tional system, a little pacing...
Representational system? Well, what senses do we use to
explore the world? Sight--hearing--touch, and taste and smell to
a much lesser extent. So how do we think? In images, sounds and
feelings--or, in NLP terms, in visual, auditory and kinesthetic
What's interesting is that we all make images and sounds and
feelings to store experience, but we're usually only conscious of
using ONE system. The words we choose to describe our experi
ences reflect that: "I'm not very fo cused and I can't see what
you're saying." Or, "I've got a handle on the feeling that's
been bugging me." Or, "I hear that, it sounds like it will
Spend one hour listening to people and you can verify this.
Now, if I say, "I just can't feel good about that," and the
person I'm talking to says "I don't see what's wrong with it," my
communication hasn't received the response I want. If I switch
to my partner's most favored representational system and say,
"Let me make that clear to you. It looks like a really bad
situation," that's one way to match, or pace my partner.
See what I mean? Or maybe that gives you a feel for the
power of this particular "psychology".
What does any of this have to do with paganism or magic?
For starters, I wonder how many circle conflicts could be solved
by something as simple as accomodating each other's most favored
In a working circle, is someone having trouble visualizing a
goal? Is someone else very good at constructing mental temples,
but totally unable to feel when to release the energy? Put them
together, get them to trade notes and teach each other; both
skills are part of the same experience.
When you direct rituals, do you always include something to
see or imagine, hear or sing, feel--in the body or tactually? Do
your rituals work for some people and not others? You might
check to be sure you're satisfying everyone's most favored rep.
The function of magic is the response you get.
Works by John Grindler and Richard Bandler:
The Structure of Magic I.
The Structure of Magic II.
Frogs into Princes