What does a triangle have to do with getting what you want in life?

Well today, I want to tease out the deeper secrets of manifestation by using very simple geometry–no protractor required. 

Talk about synchronicity:

As I was writing this, I got an email with the subject line “Butator, Angel of Calculations,” and I had serious goosebumps when I opened it to find a stunning angelic figure holding a very geometrical scepter. 

All right, back to the Geometry of Manifestation… 

First, we have a point. In geometry, a point is simply a dot at a specific location. This poor little dot doesn’t yet have a length or width or height–meaning, it has no size. It’s just a dot. 

Let’s zoom in with my magical microscope and see how sad and bored the dot is. 

In terms of manifestation, this dot is like the initial spark of an idea before we flesh out any of the details. It’s a pinprick, a flicker of light emerging in consciousness–ding!–from the depths of the unknown. 

If we left things as is, our manifestation wouldn’t have much going for it. It’s incredibly cool and fun to get ideas, sure, but if they’re never given the chance to take shape, what a colossal bummer!

Let’s add another point and see what happens. 

Now we have a line (or if we’re being technical and math-y, a line segment). Well, now, this is a little more interesting, because you know what else looks like a line segment? A magic wand.

Smith-Waite Tarot

The wand is associated with the will, the ability to direct our energy and focus toward a specific aim. Aleister Crowley writes “The Magick Wand is thus the principal weapon of the Magus; and the name of that wand is the Magical Oath…the word is the will.” (Liber ABA: Book 4, Pt. 2)

Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses (1891) by John William Waterhouse

With the addition of a second point, our initial spark now has a bit of direction happening. It’s not just sitting there–it’s got places to go, people to see!

If we look at a few more correspondences with the wand, they tell us quite a bit about manifestation. The wand is associated with fire, and fire is associated with desire. 

In Jungian Magic, fire also corresponds to intuition, one of Jung’s four psychological functions (along with sensing/earth, thinking/air, and feeling/water). Jung saw intuition as special among the four, because it was the function that could pierce the future, imagining as-yet-unrealized possibilities, even beyond what rational thinking was capable of. 

With the addition of our second point, we’re generating the fiery desire that gives our idea a direction and a momentum. We’re beginning to glimpse where the idea could take us in the future, and this vision adds more fuel to the flames. 

Let’s add a third point, creating a triangle.

Now we have a shape. Our idea has progressed from a mere spark to its very own bounded area of space. 

In alchemy, the four elements are symbolized by variants of the triangle, and these four elements were seen as the building blocks of everything. If we want to manifest something, whether that be a higher-paying job, a satisfying relationship, or a new house, we need ingredients, and the four elements are the ingredients for making anything and everything. 

(Now, keep in mind, we’re not talking literal fire or actual earth; these are archetypal elements–more on the archetypes in my next post.)

This is where the word manifestation rubs me the wrong way a bit, because it can make the process sound intangible and abstract–a wave of a wand and poof!–like it’s somehow separate from going out in the world and doing things. It can make us forget that manifesting something involves real, tangible materials

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Even if you’re seeking, let’s say, a romantic relationship, that connection is occurring between flesh-and-blood people meeting each other in physical spaces, often doing things that they can touch, taste, smell, hear, or see (or all of the above for even more fun).

The triangle, with its emergence into shape and its connection to the elemental building blocks, reminds us that manifestation is a process of making something real, something perceivable in space. It’s not enough to keep that idea locked away in our heads for some far-off future, perhaps when “we finally have more time” or we feel assured that we can execute it perfectly. 

It’s also helpful to think of a shape as a distinction between this versus that.

The triangle isn’t whatever we want it to be; it’s that shape, right there. It’s not the space outside the line; it’s what’s bounded within it. 

To manifest requires the ability to tolerate FOMO. We can’t do all the things at once–we must choose. When I draw a triangle, I’ve missed out on drawing an octagon, but if I’m too scared of missing out on that octagon, I might never draw anything

What are you denying yourself right now, because you’re fearful of missing out on something else? 

We have one more point to add, Point Number Four, and with this new arrival, we now have form.

Our humble triangle has graduated to pyramid status, and it has the ability to hold stuff. It has volume. (Not just good for hair; also great for manifestation!) 

In magic, four often relates to matter and the earthly realm. The Emperor of the tarot is card number four, and there is an abundance of squared-off imagery in the card to reinforce the theme of rulership over the microcosmic realm.

Smith-Waite Tarot

Altars can be cubic, like the ceremonial magick altar created from two cubes stacked on top of one another. The top cube represents the macrocosm or the “large world,” which we might think of as the divine, the heavens, the above in “as above, so below.” 

Double Cubic Altar at The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic

The bottom cube represents the microcosm or the “little world” that we inhabit. By stacking the cubes together, the altar creates a conduit between these realms, allowing us to create changes in the microcosm that can then affect the macrocosm. 

If we think in terms of the dimensions of length, width, and height, the fourth dimension is also time.

And what do we do in the realm of time? We take action (or if we think about it the other way ‘round, time is required in order to take any action), and action is an indispensable ingredient of manifestation

If I have a book sitting on my nightstand, and my intention is to read it, unless I take action on the book over the passage of time, i.e. actually read it, that intention will never be manifested. 

We can have the spark of an idea, the desire to pursue it, the ability to start fleshing it out into a more coherent shape…but if we don’t take action on this plan in real time, our manifestation fizzles to nothing. 

In the next post, we’re going to meet the Emissaries of the Unknown…

…who will help us expand on this simple, geometrical model of manifestation, so we can glimpse the very fabric of reality and how it can be woven in the shape of our desires

Keep reading.

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