In studying magic I've been exposed to a lot of related fields--history, mythology, music--which enrich my understanding of my vocation. One of the most helpful series of books I've encountered is a set of five volumes starting with The Structure of Magic I. and II. which focus on... psychology. John Grinder and Richard Bandler developed the field they called Neuro Linguistic Programming, or NLP. One reason I suggest everyone I know become familiar with it is that they've taught this stuff to salespeople, managers, Pentagon employees... I see their techniques on television commercials and read about them in seminar descriptions. NLP is a people manipulator par excellance, and I think it's important others are made aware of this. Another reason is that it's so incredibly useful. Consider this: "The meaning of a communication is the response you get." In their terms, an elegant phrase. It's changed my entire relationship with others. If I don't make myself clear, I don't blame the listener. I restate my case, maybe trying a different body language, a different representa-tional system, a little pacing... Representational system? Well, what senses do we use to explore the world? Sight--hearing--touch, and taste and smell to a much lesser extent. So how do we think? In images, sounds and feelings--or, in NLP terms, in visual, auditory and kinesthetic representational systems. What's interesting is that we all make images and sounds and feelings to store experience, but we're usually only conscious of using ONE system. The words we choose to describe our experi ences reflect that: "I'm not very fo cused and I can't see what you're saying." Or, "I've got a handle on the feeling that's been bugging me." Or, "I hear that, it sounds like it will work." Spend one hour listening to people and you can verify this. Now, if I say, "I just can't feel good about that," and the person I'm talking to says "I don't see what's wrong with it," my communication hasn't received the response I want. If I switch to my partner's most favored representational system and say, "Let me make that clear to you. It looks like a really bad situation," that's one way to match, or pace my partner. See what I mean? Or maybe that gives you a feel for thepower of this particular "psychology".What does any of this have to do with paganism or magic? For starters, I wonder how many circle conflicts could be solved by something as simple as accomodating each other's most favored rep. system. In a working circle, is someone having trouble visualizing a goal? Is someone else very good at constructing mental temples, but totally unable to feel when to release the energy? Put them together, get them to trade notes and teach each other; both skills are part of the same experience. When you direct rituals, do you always include something to see or imagine, hear or sing, feel--in the body or tactually? Do your rituals work for some people and not others? You might check to be sure you're satisfying everyone's most favored rep. system. The function of magic is the response you get.