Operant Technologies for Learning about the World include:
1. Gaining Awareness – Learn how you respond to places. Becoming aware of the subtle and overt effects can lead you to better understand their effect on you. Are there certain routes, rooms, areas you tend to favor, or avoid?
· Practice coming to a heightened, focused awareness whenever you transition into a new space – new room, building, or even when a new mix of people are suddenly in your space. Bring awareness to not only what you see, hear, feel, and smell, but how you are responding emotionally and physically, and what memories and associations come up.
· Go to specific places you don’t like, or very much like, and open your awareness of the components that might be triggers for you. You may be surprised at the subtle memory associations at play or your particular response to some specific sensory input.
2. Dialoguing - Learning about the nature of a place. The goal here isn’t to dissect exactly what you are responding to and why, as above, but to learn to become more sensitive to a place’s attributes.
Approach place with openness to get a feel of it, its unique spirit, and shed your expectations on what it will deliver to you. Going to a place with a preconceived idea of it or of how it will impact you (or your magic) can backfire. Rather, let place be a dynamic Element, something that will change as you interact with it. The difficulty in this is on the ‘letting go of expectations’ part, and being open to anything, rather than narrowing your focus to behold only the wonders, or seeking out what you expect to see as a useful aspect.
Being still and quiet and letting a place ‘be’ can relax your natural filters so you can listen and feel the whispers and inspirations that are evoked, or spy the weird thing, the little string that needs to be pulled, the path that might be interesting to take. Drifting (derive) for example, is one operative method – ‘following your feet’ around a city while in a more subdued state, letting it lead you. Another special operative work to utilize this approach with is Uncle Setnakt’s ‘Say Yes’ Working: For a period of time, commit to agreeing to all events, outings, invitations, and impulses to explore your city.
This work involves being present. It involves slaying expectations so they do not creep back at a critical moment. And, it is about approaching magic as a way to open up opportunities rather than blasting your will forth like a shotgun – in this way, Magia Loci is a useful methodology in learning to be open yourself to ways in which your Needs may manifest.
3. Significance – Learn about the History of a place. A few operations:
· Local History: Find out the histories of your neighborhood. Join your town/community board’s email list, or social media page. What’s your town’s claim to fame? How might you work with it? Weave these ideas into your workings especially if your Desire is associated with obtaining something that would manifest in some way with your city as a backdrop.
· Resource Appropriation: Once you know what your City/Town has to offer, think about what you can do with it, magically. This can be something obvious or something subtle and overlooked (ex: in NYC, I use ‘construction’ as a magical tool because I see it on every block and link it to my Work that needs constant attention: health, exercise, etc.) Also, by becoming aware of the resource, you may gain insights as to how better tune your work.
· Travel: Before visiting a new place you’ve never been before, research its history, track it’s current news. Find stories of inhabitants from the past or present that pique your interest, or specific places and times you would have liked to have lived. Plan to visit somewhere associated, and tell at least one other person of the story you have learned.