I got asked that question today. There’s a long answer with twists and turns in my autobiography, and it’s wrapped up in stories regarding my progression as a mystic within the Abrahamic Traditions and as an Integral thinker concerned with LGBT liberation, and as a poet frustrated with my endeavor to create an Epic Poem of Consciousness, and many other things. But that’s not necessary to go into today. Simply put, I developed a new magical system because I had to … to be whole. I had discovered that linguistic and numerological synchronicities were everywhere overlooked or misunderstood, and they were all pointing to something … but what? And of what significance were they? No other school of magic that I knew of had cracked the code on it. I found books on these topics and didn’t see anyone else who had tried to put the synchronicities together like I saw was necessary.
There were bits and pieces that were useful, but mostly I got the impression that magical systems were not really informed by a sophisticated philosophy of language. In fact, the esotericists I found were ignorant of the power of the linguistic synchronicities, even the ones who seemed like they ought to know better (e.g., Aleister Crowley). So I needed to come up with a new way of looking at language that was (a) Integrally informed — so it would fit as a puzzle piece within a holistic vision of human nature and potential, and didn’t pretend to actually be That Whole Picture, and (b) tapped into the magical power of linguistic iconism in a scientifically respectable and yet cutting-edge speculative way — because scientists were loathe to step beyond their objective perch and couldn’t be relied upon to sign on to a “magical agenda”, yet they shouldn’t be ignored, either.
There were aspects of magic that I didn’t find very intriguing philosophically, so I left those to the side. In my own version of Hogwarts, I put off taking classes in ritual magic, potions, and dark arts / defense against such for later. I found divination to be the most interesting subject, because I actually found that a good deal of it worked for me “magically” and I wanted to better understand how that could be so. It frustrated me that there were many divination systems, but they didn’t work together, and symbolically they were a hodgepodge of ideas rather than a rational approach to knowledge. These divination systems seldom agreed with each other, and the deeper you got into examining the “guts” of their symbolic edifices, the more you realized that there was a lot of divergence, one system from the next. And then, by chance or angelic guidance, depending on your point of view, I found the Tai Hsuan Ching (Yang Hsiung’s Canon of Supreme Mystery), the so-called “alternative I Ching”. Hsiung had built an epic poem, philosophical system that reconciled Taoism and Confucianism and other schools, a divination system, and a magical calendar. This magical system was the first time I saw something that had the potential to be a genuine Symbol of Everything — a single way of viewing the Kosmos that could unite language, sacred space, and sacred time. And yet the THC was completely overlooked and neglected, all but forgotten in China and seldom mentioned even among esotericists. It was an enigma.
As an integral Christian, I was also intrigued by the possibility that the THC could reconcile East and West in a way way that had never before been done: by aligning symbolic systems of subtle energies conceived in a ternary fashion. If the THC worked, it could “prove” through “magical means” the reality of the Trinity, all the while confirming mystical insights based on the number 3 in other religions as well, such as the Trimurti and Tridevi and the Gunas of Hinduism. I looked for other wisdom around the THC to see who had thought along similar lines, but the trail was thin. No one I could find had attempted to decipher and explicate the THC in our modern time in a way I found hugely useful, except of course the THC’s translators (who seemed to view it as an intellectual curiosity mainly of interest to historians of Chinese religion). I saw the THC as a potential Philosopher’s Stone, a new edifice for conceiving of magical systems by creating a new Kabbalah of the International Phonetic Alphabet — a metalinguistic tool for aligning the Sacred Words of all the world’s religions together into a single harmony, if it were possible. In this way, post-metaphysics could be grounded not only at the experiential level or cross-paradigmatic level (as Integral philosophers had already done), but at a subtle level as well (which had never been done). If a new metalanguage could be built that were based on subtle energy marks rather than phonemes, it could mark the start of a new era of magic: as subtle (Indigo/Violet) technology for advancing the enterprise of Integral thinking into the Third Tier.
That project excited me, but it was a lonely vision shared by next-to-nobody. So I set about slowly to make the THC into a focal point of my own spiritual and magical and psychic explorations, and to learn how to use it for divination, and to learn how to use it for calendary, and to see how it related to the Integral Map of the Kosmos. After several years of doing this, I discovered that yes my hunch had paid off and yes the THC could indeed become the linchpin of a new form of magic and yes it could even help to bring the Abrahamic Traditions into harmony with “pagan” insights into nature. (The final pentagram of the THC, No. 243, spells “Yahweh” and “Unity” and “Universe” and “Unique”). A magical system that could put the Divine Names into symbolic harmony with Buddha at the Base of Being and Allah/Yahweh at the penultimate station of Unity is a nifty trick/divine miracle.
I had to evolve the THC for a variety of reasons, and I wrote new descriptions of all of its stations and started to play around with them. I rebranded the linguistic edifice I built on the THC as Lingua-U and the sacred calendar as The Kalendar. I wrote a book of speculative fiction and epic poetry surrounding Station One, the station most closely aligned with magic, traditionally … and saw this book published by Tangent Publishers/Integral Publishers in 2016. I wrote most of a book called Lingua-U which will establish the definitions for the magical system in a Big Picture (the book is on its way, probably within just a few months). I started publishing a daily blog on The Kalendar to start to show the way that language works when it is viewed from the metalanguage, as a new form of story or fable for enacting the Integral Konstruct. I have coined the term Integral Magic as the working title for the whole cosmos of ideas that the THC inspires in me from the metalanguage and calendar to a new Tarot and new Zodiac and new sacred atlas. I didn’t find the old magic very useful for my purposes because no one had worked out the language problem in as compelling and comprehensive a fashion as I believe Integral Magic does, all the while integrating it into the Integral World Philosophy as a valuable addition, for folks who are ready for it.
Was it really necessary to scrap the old magical systems and start a fresh? It was, for me. Everything had to be brought crashing down so I could see the new terrain with beginner’s eyes, and begin to erect something fresh and powerful. In the process, I’ve started to see why … on a philosophical and existential level … it was necessary to “burn the old ways to the ground”, to to speak … and I’ve started to develop new stories and fables around it (see my sci-fi/fantasy story for the start of it). Basically, we live in a world that is evolving beyond dualisms of Yin/Yang into a postdualistic, ternary reality of Yang/Yin/Yung. Binary code of 0s and 1s is being replaced by ternary code of 0s, 1s, and 2s. This is the subtle crisis of our time, focused as it was at 2,000 CE, when the Yin/Yang system symbolically entered its deathbed. We are now living at a time of crisis which can only be resolved, at a subtle level, through a new system that will ultimately create new languages, new worldviews, and new religious movements/spiritualities/metareligions. At a time of crisis, you don’t pour new wine into old wineskins. You make sure you’ve got a rock-solid foundation at the source code. That’s what I’m passionately committed to evolving.