Today we have Leslie aka the Blue Magician who has generously agreed to an interview. More information on Leslie, his blog and his mentorship program can be found at the end of the interview. If you enjoy this interview or have questions for Leslie please let us know in the comments below the post.
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SOFB: Welcome Leslie to Students of Franz Bardon. Could you please introduce yourself and how you came to be in contact with the books of Franz Bardon.
Leslie: Hello, I am Leslie, also known as “Blue Magician” on the web. I was born in South Germany in 1983 and have lived in Berlin and Vancouver. Around my puberty (Saturn opposition) I started getting interested in occult subjects like astral projection. The following years could mostly be described as a dabbling phase, up until 7 years later when I encountered the Kybalion, a text widely regarded as one of the seminal works of what I would call modern Hermetics. Shortly after, I started casting my first spells and got my hands on Franz Bardon’s first book. It was at that time that I found Rawn’s book and web site “A Bardon Companion”.
SOFB: In every interview I like to ask some standard questions about sticking points found in IIH:
VOM: Franz Bardon said he expected step 1 to be completed inside of 2 weeks. Do you think this was realistic or the first of many tests of the students 'Will'. Opinions vary greatly here.
Leslie: Every student is different. The practices of Step 1 are a good start, but they are also one of many tests (or training courses) of the student’s independence. Bardon himself says that the VOM practice has to be deepened throughout the later stages of practice, so clearly he didn’t expect the student to achieve a 100% result (by whatever definition) here. It is my firm opinion that If you adhere to the practice then at some point you will resolve to move on to later steps. For a lot of students it might be years until they get mature enough to get to that point however, not two weeks. An experienced coach can help guide the student through this.
VISUALIZATION: People tend to spend years here expecting IMAX like results, what is your advice for those on these Step 2 exercises. Did you follow the method from IIH or come up with your own approach?
Leslie: Both. I followed the method, but I also supplied it with other approaches. Bardon provides hints but clearly expects the reader to come up with their own solutions. I feel it bears repeating over and over that Bardon’s course is not rote learning and practice, but the formation of the student’s own practice and system. I’d also like to note that astral sight is very different from physical eyesight for the large majority of people, so often is the case your expectations will mess with your progress.
VITAL FORCE:Some cannot feel it, or spend years stuck on this step. What can they do in order to get some mastery over the Vital Force.
Leslie: Stop overthinking. One very easy way to get in touch with the Vital Energy is to relax just a little bit, close your eyes and feel the position of, say, your right hand. You cannot see it, yet you know where it is, right? And then stop thinking and just feel the animating life force inside your hand. What sustains it? You will also note that the blood is a highly potent physical carrier medium of that astral life force.
ELEMENTS: Getting in contact with what Rawn Clark called the principle of the element can be difficult as at that point the student has no real idea of what this is real, when it is make believe and when this goal is finally achieved. What are your thoughts here?
Leslie: Similar to what I said before regarding VOM and Visualization, it is part of the training to work your way through this. Meditation will help you deepen your connection to the element and slowly, bit by bit, learn what it means to be in touch with an astral or mental thing like an element.
There’s also another approach here going through the physical plane. What physical manifestations of the Fire element, for example, can you find in everyday life? Make these the objects of your meditation focus.
Depth Point: How significant is this stage of the training and what tips can you provide?
Leslie: It is very significant, as it helps with establishing the Tiphareth self of the Magician in their mundane consciousness. I learned it mostly through other means, as I found Bardon’s instructions to be highly confusing back then (although he is spot on if you know what he is referring to).
GESTURE: Not much is ever heard about the application of Gesture training to create our own finger rituals. Has this been a useful part of your training and if so how have you applied these rituals in your training and daily life.
Leslie: I don’t use it, as I prefer to direct the elemental energies by other means, namely through my Now moment presence, my connection to my Divine Self and through the Beings of the Planes and Elements. It’s a good technique though, so I would encourage everyone to meditate on whether they want to learn it or not.
SOFB: How big a role does Astrology have in your practice ? Do you think it is important for students to have a good understanding of their chart before beginning the practice?
Leslie: Astrology plays a very big role in my magical practice and mundane life. 7 years after I discovered Bardon’s books, I learned to read charts and use Astrology for many things. It’s a good idea to work with the birth chart as early as possible, but I went a different route. In my own Magical Apprenticeship program, one of the first things I do with a new student is to work through their birth chart to find out how they tick on the astral plane.
SOFB: If people are interested in learning Astrology but have no idea how to begin, where would suggest they start?
Leslie: One of the first books I worked with was Rosicrucian Max Steindl’s book “Simplified Scientific Astrology”, in which you learn how to calculate and draw your own chart. It’s freely available as a PDF online.
SOFB: If you could go back in time and begin IIH again what, if anything, would you do differently?
Leslie: Listen to all of Eckhart Tolle’s talks first and practice his teachings.
SOFB: What was the most challenging part of the IIH training for you personally?
Leslie: Just like in my profession, the most challenging part for me was overcoming “impostor syndrome”, where you think you’re never good enough and not a genuine student. It’s a lesson in self-love and objectivity.
SOFB: You have answered a lot of commonly asked questions on your youtube channel, what do you get asked most about? What do you feel is the biggest challenge people are facing in their IIH training?
Leslie: A big blockage for many people is overthinking. “Is this the right book for me”, “Am I doing this exercise right” etc. Just practice, observe what happens and try to not listen to your mind so much. Oh yes, and expect to stay with it for a couple of decades, no kidding.
SOFB: Mental Travel and Franz Bardons specific approach to Astral travel. How significant were these skills in your development. What I mean here is was your worldview impacted at all after completing these steps in what you experience upon being successful in the training?
Leslie: Good question. Mental and astral travel a part of my core practices. Through exploration of these planes, we can plan our next manifestations on the physical as well as influence them. A lot of the benefits of PME can be reaped as well just through astra-mental travel.
One interesting thing I have to note is that my preconceptions of astral travel have never matched what it looks and feels like in practice to me. There are many layers of astral projection, and usually it only gets discussed as this VR-like vivid experience, which diminishes the variety of the whole experience and confuses people because their mind gets loaded with what it’s supposed to be like.
My world view has become very different since the mental and astral planes have become a more conscious part of myself. Spirits come visiting me regularly, a lot like physical visitors. It’s beautiful and opens up a big part of what we all really are.
SOFB: PME and KTQ.
What have these books brought to your practice? We know these are very private but would appreciate anything you can share.
Leslie: PME is and has been very important to me. The exploration of the spheres, especially in conjunction with Astrology, is something the student must not skip past. It is an enjoyable and fruitful practice.
I have worked with KTQ in some ways but not much. It could be said that KTQ is very similar to the Gesture rituals. It’s a language, or system, of energy, that allows you to apply your energies in a very refined manner. But if you think the practice and charging of the Gesture rituals takes a lot of time and work, then KTQ will take lots and lots more of that.
SOFB: I see from your blog that you have several projects and services you are offering including Magical Apprenticeship. Could explain a little more about each of them and where people can find further information.
Leslie: I’d like to focus on my Magical Apprenticeship service, as I consider it the most important and effective of all for students of Bardon and other occult systems. Bardon wrote his books because he felt that many students do not have the means to work with a genuine teacher. He did have an inner circle of students however, and many medieval depictions of that magical arts feature a master and apprentice. It’s a beautiful and very effective tradition, but it seems to have largely died out nowadays. More or less genuine teachers seem to prefer selling books or cookie-cutter courses, instead of providing 1:1 coaching and guidance tailored towards the student. While these things have their place, I firmly believe that a highly tailored coaching service provides the most value, as every student is different.
In my Magical Apprenticeship program, I connect with every student on a very intimate level. I use Astrology and Clairvoyance to “feel them out”, and work with them to set goals and then approach those goals with confidence and as effectively as possible. I function as supervisor, guide and coach, and my ultimate goal for every student is to bring out their conscious Magician self, stripping away all the confusion caused by mental illusions, addictions and karma. This will make them a powerful creator, and will bit by bit enable them to take on Bardon’s course in its entirety.
SOFB: Lastly is there anything else that you feel should be discussed or that you feel does not get enough attention?
Leslie: Yes, I’d like to talk about some things.
The first one is the sensationalist attitude many Bardon commentators nowadays like to employ, like giving your videos clickbait titles like “Five things you’re doing wrong in your VOM practice (you would never guess #4!)”. Of course with a very serious looking guy on the cover image that looks like he’s shooting fire rays out of his fingers for breakfast. It’s my personal opinion that this is not in the spirit of Bardon’s tradition. Just like with physical food, I would encourage every student to look for a nutritious source of mental nourishment instead of consuming junk food.
The second one is that many students are fascinated by physical manifestations, like lighting a candle. I can see the appeal of that, but in my experience stuff like that is either a by-product of astra-mental work or something that you will have to put a lot of time and work into to experience it, time and work that might be better spent in advancing elsewhere. Again, don’t fall for the junk food your mind and ego might crave.
These two issues have the same root, which is immaturity.
SOFB: Many thanks Leslie please remind us all again where we can find you on the web and where readers can follow up with questions to you.
Leslie: I’d like to thank you in turn for providing my with this opportunity to spread the word about what I’m doing, and I’d also like to say thank you to everyone reading this.
You can find my blog with a copious amount of public writings at http://bluemagician.vc/
If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message on Facebook or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org