Workshop: Connecting to Your Urban Spirit

City spirit meditation can be listened to here.


Urban Magic- Seeking the City Spirit
I. Tell me about your relationship to the urban
a. Do you want to be there?
b. What about it do you like/dislike?
c. How much of your environment do you consider a life problem?
d. Do you feel empowered to address those life problems?
e. What are you expecting from this workshop?
II. Introduction
a. Who I am
b. Why city spirit?
c. Examples of city magic ancient and modern
i. Ancient Rome – having temples for specific neighborhoods
ii. Ancient Athens, devising a myth around how it became dedicated to Athena
iii. San Francisco’s Emperor Norton
iv. Fairy doors in Minneapolis
d. The ethics of urban empowerment magic
i. In many ways it is a retrograde form
ii. Rethink
iii. Revisit
iv. Reconsider
v. Renew
vi. Revise
vii. Change
viii. Participation is required
III. Exercise I: Finding the nature around you
a. Identify what’s natural in this space
b. Identify what’s unnatural – and let’s break down where that came from
A. Agrippa’s theory of five elements
B. Microcosm/Macrocosm (think of the universe as a great big house, with a matching dollhouse)
C. Sir James Frazer, the Golden Bough – Law of Sympathy, subset: Law of Similarity (aka attraction), subset: Law of Contagion (aka sneeze spread)
D. Bonewits’ Laws of Magic (that pulls from several of these concepts) – just drawing the significant to urban magic laws:
a. The law of similarity
b. The law of contagion
c. The law of names
d. The law of personification
e. The law of pragmatism

IV. Exercise II: Opening to the conversation around you – GRIDS AND HUMAN CIVILIZATION
a. Identify your human grids and regions, and make note of the differing energies in each:
b. Room
c. Hotel
d. Neighborhood
e. City
Demo: Spotting high and low energy points, using both observation and a pendulum.
V. Shapes
a. Look at the grid patterns – how does that affect energy flow?
b. What about rotundas? (What do you do with circles? What does it mean to do a 360?)
VI. Thought exercise: what does your city give you, and what are you willing to give to your city?
a. City: minority groups to connect to
b. You: taxes
VII. What does empowerment mean in an urban context?
a. More ways to take part in the participatory aspects of democracy
b. Less pressure to bring in food
c. What are the freedom trade offs?
VIII. Identifying your city’s landforms
a. Example: San Jose’s near mountain ranges
b. Guadalupe River Park
c. Alum Rock Park
d. Watersheds: Silver Spring, Coyote Creek, Calabazas, etc.
IX. Connecting to your city’s history
a. Yes, read the Wikipedia page and the Chamber of Commerce page
b. Visit any site possible that reflects a minority perspective on the place
c. Ask people who have lived their longer about how things were, and how they think things got where they are
d. Libraries

X. City spirit meditation
a. What is quintessentially San Jose?
b. This is the Saint Joseph that married Mary – and thus put a child that he was not the father of first
c. The patron saint of the dying, immigrants, house sellers, buyers, engineers,
i. Connections – Winchester House, which is the world’s largest spirit trap
ii. The sometimes sluggish energy
iii. This is Silicon Valley – it’s all about the engineers
iv. Could St. Joseph, or a Pagan version of Saint Joseph, by someone to petition about real estate conditions?
d. Lead the City spirit meditation
XI. Finding and building city iconography
a. What are the specific landmarks of your city?
b. When you are on a long drive home, what do you picture when visualizing home? (The Texaco star story when driving from Mankato to Minneapolis)
XII. Linking land and city
a. What was the terrain like before it was shaped into a city grid?
b. How has the grid changed?
c. If you touch the soil, what memories remain?
d. What humans and animals walked the soil before it was settled?
e. Urban Archaeology – how we find out what went before
XIII. Temple centers in the secular world – finding ways to honor and absorb in these often secular spaces
a. Libraries
b. Museums
c. Cemeteries
d. Government buildings
e. Universities
XIV. Taking it home with you
a. What small thing would you like to change about your city?
b. What aspect of yourself would you like your city spirit to have?
c. What are two or three small steps you can take to make that happen?