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Magick: Changing Your Brain

By Philip H. Farber

Are you still using the same old brain you had when you started practicing magick? Probably not.

Until nearly the end of the Twentieth Century, most neuroscientists believed that once a human brain was formed in childhood, it would remain pretty much the same throughout its life. Injury or disease could kill off brain cells but, other than that, what was in your head was yours, for better or worse, until the day you died. When sophisticated brain-imaging technology appeared in the 1980s, however, scientists changed their minds about brain change. We now know that the brain not only can rewire itself very quickly, it can also grow new cells. The ability of the brain to change itself is called and the growth of new cells is called neurogenesis.

So what does this have to do with magick? When we talk about using magick to change ourselves, our lives, or our perception, we are talking, in part, about neurological change. Our brains must change if our experience of the world is to change. If we want more fun, inspiration, wisdom, compassion, or knowledge, then we must teach our neurology to organize itself for more inspiration, wisdom, compassion, or knowledge. If we invoke the Goddess of Wisdom, we do so because we hope that her wisdom will change us or change our lives in some way. The sensory experience of being in the presence of a deity impresses itself upon our being and physically upon the structure of our brains.

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