Experimental Magic: The Evolution of Magic

Experiment with your magical practice by learning how to apply art, pop culture, neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines to your magical work, as well as exploring fundamental underlying principles of what makes magic work. You'll never look at magic in the same way!

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How I'm becoming present with my Aging

Lately I've been doing a lot of internal work around aging. When I was at Pantheacon a couple weeks ago, I got into a conversation about aging and my realizations that in some ways I've been very resistant to it, wanting to stay young forever. I've never had an issue with dying or death, because I've had multiple near death experiences, but aging is something I haven't wanted to acknowledge. Yet at 38, I feel a difference in my body. I wake up and I need to stretch more than I used to. I have a bit of a belly now, and I eat less food because my metabolism is slower. I have less hair on my forehead and I realize I am changing. I am still relatively young, but aging happens and no matter what creams I put on my face, or how much or little food I eat, or what exercise I d0, I can't change the fact that I am aging. What I can change is how well I take care of myself.

In the Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts, Seth (an entity channeled by Roberts) makes the following observation about aging and people: "If you desperately try to remain young, it is usually to hide your own beliefs about age, and to negate all of those emotions connected with it." It's an insightful point that made me think about my own fixation on age. I realize I am so resistant to aging because I have this particular image of myself, this particular state of being, and what I see in the mirror doesn't reflect that. I'm changing and being in denial about that change isn't really serving me.

My challenge of late has involved being present with this awareness of my aging. I see this as part of my spiritual work with stillness, because in choosing to be still, I nonetheless call up what is keeping me from stillness. I don't think our culture really has a good handle on aging. The various commercials promise to help you keep your looks or even turn back the clock. Media in general seems fixated on people staying young and treating aging people as something that isn't desirable. And I get it in one sense, because as I admitted above I have my own issues around aging, but I also see how the media contributes to those issues, if only in terms of presenting aging as something to be avoided or put back for as long as possible.

Spiritually, I see this work with aging as a good step. I know I'm aging and its time for me to truly accept that and work with it. Some of that work involves taking better care of myself by making sure I exercise regularly and that I do portion control on my eating. Part of it also involves accepting the changing nature of my body and even appreciating that change for what it can be, if I allow it to be that. I know I will not always be the way I am now and if I can learn to take better care of myself and also accept that some changes will inevitably occur I can nonetheless handle these changes gracefully and embrace them as an opportunity to grow into myself.

How do you approach aging? What issues come up for you? Do you integrating aging into your spiritual work and if so how?

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Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magic Systems, Space/Time Magic, Magical Identity and a number of other occult books. He posts about his latest projects at Magical Experiments.


  • Philipp Kessler
    Philipp Kessler Thursday, 05 March 2015

    We're of an age, Taylor. And from what I see you have aged (if we can say that at our age) better than I have. :) I have arthritis, I'm balding rapidly, I have grey in my beard. That said, I think that I have handled aging well enough so far. I proudly display my grey. I've earned it, as the saying goes. The aches and pains are a reminder that I am alive. I don't really like them, but they do remind me that I am alive.

    Aging is something that all of us as humans (and human-likes) do eventually. Some of us age a bit more rapidly. I've actually found that as I have approached 40 that I have slowed down on my aging process. I actually look close to my age, just a bit more grey than most of my age peers.

    The added grey, the receding hairline, and some of the other physically visible signs that I am pushing 40 lend themselves well to my role as a leader and elder in my community. They aren't necessary for those roles, but they certainly help people accept that I have attained those roles.

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