Book Four: The Book of Fire covers chapters 15-17 of Full Contact Magick. Fire is a transformative element, and in its hands lay creativity and imagination.
Chapter 15: Imagination describes another side of the Witches’ Pyramid, To Imagine, which is clearly visualizing your objective. It is allowing inspiration to fill you.
Twelfth Warrior Precept:
To illustrate this precept, the author tells the story of Miyamoto Misashi, who taught himself the sword. In the 16th century, when Miyamoto lived, it was tradition for the samurai to choose the katana or wakisashi, based on the circumstances, and use the one sword with both hands. Miyamoto would instead draw both swords, one in each hand; the others complained that it was unfair, untraditional, and improper, but it worked. He was never defeated. The point here is to not do something because it’s tradition, but to use a technique because it works.
Thirteenth Warrior Precept:
Do not engage in useless activity.
This is about seeking results. Experimentation is okay, but if you find something that doesn’t work, set it aside. This is the benefit of using a Book of Shadows as a working journal, to record your processes and results (and failures).
The section on visualization springboards off of the previously-discussed meditation techniques. When you can focus on an object for ten minutes or more with no stray thoughts, try closing your eyes and imagining your focal object. The more vivid you can make the object, the more potent your magick will be. “To visualize something fully you have to build a CASE.”
- C = Color (Visualize the object in the most vivid colors you can imagine.)
- A = Action (Moving things hold our attention, so put the object in motion.)
- S = Size (Make the object HUGE. Imagination is bigger than a bread box.)
- E = Emotion (You need to be emotionally involved in the process.)
The author gives a few variations on this technique, eventually working up to visualizing yourself getting up and walking away from your body. This is usually called astral projection, so it makes sense that the next section is on building your astral temple.
The astral temple is sacred space created entirely within your mind. Before you begin, you must first decide what kind of temple you want; Use whatever you’re comfortable with. Then you take “a voyage inward,” visualizing your temple utilizing all of your senses. (For the full technique, read the book.)
There are several reasons to make an astral temple. “It serves as a link between your conscious mind and your subconscious. … What occurs in this astral temple resonates through your world and can manifest in it. … The astral temple can also be used as a meeting place for several people who aren’t able to meet physically.”
Chapter 16: The Wand and the Spear describes the Weapons of Fire, which should be made by the person who’s going to use them. Wands are usually made of willow, elder, oak, apple, peach, hazel, or cherry, while Spears (or Staffs) are usually birch, willow, or hazel, because those trees grow long, straight branches. They may be as plain or as decorated as you wish, as long as you remember that wands and staffs are focussing tools and are not a source of energy themselves.
There follows a few techniques on how to get used to channeling energy through your wand and spear. “You may experience a number of sensations when you are successfully sending energy through the Wand [or Spear].” These tools can also be used as lightning rods to ground out excess energy, and to draw energy into you. Remember to try not to rely only on your own reserves when making magick, but to let the energy of the universe flow through you.
The next section is on sending shared energy, and describes the Cone of Power as a visualization technique for building and directing the energy. One of the most common ways to raise group energy is by dancing: “The difference between a soldier and a warrior is that soldiers march, warriors dance.” Sometimes chanting will accompany the dance, but they must be simple chants:
“The ultimate aim of dancing is to be able to move without thinking, to be danced.” ~John Blacking
Chapter 17: The Magick and Seasons of Fire begins, “Fire magick is a very effective way to help you break away from habits or relationships obstructing your progress or adversely affecting your well-being.”
The first example the author gives is to write down on a piece of paper anything that is obstructing you (fears, habits, etc.), imagining as you write that these things are in your past. As you burn the paper, visualize the negative ties dissolving and affirm that they are in the past. The author offers a variant of wrapping the paper around a flammable powder and tossing them in a bonfire, as the resulting flash when the powder ignites “is a very satisfying visual” to assist in visualizing the end result.
Another example is candle magick. Traditionally, you choose a color candle that corresponds to the type of magick you’re working, which helps in visualization. Anointing the candle with oil and writing words associated with the magickal objective on the candle are also ways to help focus on the objective. After you’ve lit the candle, put it in a safe place and let it burn all the way out. This works because the knowledge that you’ve got a lit candle going will stay in your mind, which keeps bringing your focus and will back to the magickal objective.
The seasons of Fire are summer, the season where warriors did their fighting. This is the season of action and achievement.
Beltaine (April 30 / May 1) is a fertility celebration, so this is the time to exploit any opportunities that present themselves and further your goals. Be fully committed to your chosen course of action. Put maximum effort into achieving your goals.
Litha (summer solstice) is a time to make adjustments. Monitor your progress, and see if there is anything else you could be doing to help your plans come to fruition.
“What ever you can do or dream you can do, begin it… boldness has power, magic, and genius in it.” ~Goethe