Working with intention

Intention and ritual magic in LondonI’m sure that those who’ve seen me at work, particularly at demos like Your Kinky Cherry, imagine my main tools to be floggers, paddles, canes, cuffs and the like. In a sense this is true: these are the things I use to take people into an altered state of consciousness from which they can expand and grow.

In another sense, however, these items are secondary to a tool that I use in almost every session, and without which the magic wouldn’t work. This tool is intention.

When I first started this blog I laid out a simple Mathematics of Magic to explain this key aspect of my work:

Increased energy + focussed intention = change in the world

To put this another way: when I take someone into an altered state of consciousness while they hold an intention in their mind, we together invite this intention to become manifest, to be made flesh.

With this in mind, what is the right intention for you right now? This is a very important question. Setting your intention isn’t like writing a wedding list or asking your partner for something special for Christmas. You might really want that gorgeous Le Creuset skillet to complete your collection, but is that really the right thing for you to ask for in your ritual?

A useful question to ask yourself is this: what does my system need most right now? (By system I mean your body + your mind + your heart + your soul.) Asking this question usually leads you to the most powerful intention quite quickly.

To give an example: a few years ago I realised that my heart was closed and I was not available to let other people’s love in. This felt very important at the time and so I chose it as my intention for a big ritual. The effect was astonishing. For the six months that followed I felt a lot of pain: pain that had, apparently, been locked in my heart while it was closed. Gradually more and more came out, and in time my heart opened so I could receive love from others.

It is a good example because the intention was perfectly ripe for me at that time. Barbara Carrellas encourages you to add a phrase when setting intentions: “for the greatest good of me and all concerned.” Whether you choose to add these words or not, the sentiment feels important. Your intention will have a much greater effect if it comes from the highest place you can access right now, and if your underlying desire is to grow into a wiser, kinder, more compassionate version of yourself.

That doesn’t mean that you should balk at intentions that invite material success. A friend of mine recently did a ritual with the intention of “effortlessly receiving cash for her work”. She was a little hesitant about this until someone in the group pointed out that cash was necessary for her to meet her basic needs of food and shelter, and that without this she wasn’t able to contribute anything positive to herself or those around her. I would also add that in this case her worries about money were stopping her from fully accessing her wisdom, kindness and compassion. In this case the clear, simple and apparently materialistic intention was just perfect for her.

In my session work I use ritual magic to help you manifest your intention. During a session I support you to identify and hone your intention, helping you to tune into what is right for you at this stage of your journey. Then together we identify the best activity to support this intention. (I wrote about the unique “medicine” of different types BDSM here.)

For example: if your intention is to let go of shame and guilt about a past relationship, a powerful cathartic beating might be just the thing you need. If your intention is to welcome a new partner, I might invite you to self-pleasure while I witness you. If your intention is to cleanse yourself of an old habit that no longer serves you, I might run you a bath and wash you from head to toe. (It’s not always as harsh as it looks!) The important thing here is that there’s a resonance between your intention and the action, and that whatever we do raises the right energy.

When you are ‘bang on’ with your intention things move very fast, and not always exactly as you’d expect them to. Returning to my example above, I didn’t realise that what was stopping me from letting love in was that my heart was blocked with pain, grief and anger. I found out in hindsight because my intention was perfect for that moment. This highlights an important point: once the process starts, there’s not much you can do to stop it. You just need to ride it out and let things happen until the intention is fulfilled.

This is why it’s so important that your intention come from the highest part of you that you can access in that moment. If this is true then even changes that seem painful at first will unfold beautifully. By tuning into what you need for your growth, you can feel safe knowing that you are moving in the right direction, even if the journey feels bumpy at times.

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