Outlaw Magic 101: Live Outside the Rules.




Outlaw magic is electricity, sublimity, grandeur.  

It’s the fire of god, the breath of life, the orgasm of the universe. It’s the magnetism of non-attachment which is fully engaged at the same time that it’s fully non-grasping.

To touch it, you only have to do the hardest thing in the world.  To wield it, you only have to surrender. To let it course through you, you only have to die.

You have to die to the finite game you’re playing with such great seriousness: the fight for security and comfort and the approval of others. You have to drop the story you’ve got about how you’re out to prove something.

No matter if you win or lose in that finite game, no matter if you end up with your security and your comfort and your respectability, you’ve lost as long as you’ve taken it seriously.

You’ve lost because the seriousness crushes everything true in you.

It either inflates you or it deflates you. But either way, you’re sunk. The most inflated finite player in the world is still not free, she’s bound by the game she’s attached herself to.

Because she’s not free, the finite player is empty of passion.

Passion is the province of the free. To be impassioned, you have to touch other people and liberate them. You can’t liberate anyone if you’re regarding everyone as a competitor in the game. The intimacy of touch requires total unconcealment. Unconcealment is the one thing that the finite player cannot afford, because it kills her seriousness and wakes her up out of the game.

To be serious means you suffer if it looks like you’re losing, and you exalt if it looks like you’re winning.

To play the finite game with seriousness means you try to make finite ends mean infinite things like approval and love. It means to place limits on approval and love, to constrain them.

I will only approve of this world and myself and everyone else when I succeed in getting this specific finite thing is the unspoken rule of the serious finite player.

The outlaw is an outlaw because she’s stopped playing the finite game with any seriousness. She’s outside of its rules, outside of its laws.

The outlaw decides to give herself total approval at all times. She decides to regard herself as already having won in life, no matter what her circumstances look like, no matter how other people respond to her.

No one gave her the authority to do this. No one can give her that authority. She gave it to herself, because she fucking felt like it. Because she noticed that no one else was doing it. Except for maybe the power that runs the universe.

And a strange thing happens in that decision to be in approval of herself without condition: she gets free.

And her freedom is magnetic.

In all of her interactions with people — whether she’s selling something or flirting or nurturing or arguing or teaching or dancing — there’s a ringing clarity and ease.

The clarity is the absence of a covert agenda. She’s no longer asking for validation in anything she does.

This means that when she asks for something, she’s always asking cleanly and directly: for money, for attention, for sex, for surrender, for truth, for fun.

She’s not secretly pulling for you to be in approval of her right to ask, of her right to her desire. She doesn’t fucking care, because she already fully approves of her right to ask and her right to desire.

Outlaw magic kicks into high gear the moment you decide that yours and everyone’s liberation is more important to you than winning, looking good, or being comfortable.

It’s the magnetism of non-attachment and the freedom to be present in each moment without a secret agenda.

(This is Red Tara, the Buddha of Awake Desire - she's fully non-attached and fully magnetic - an archetypal Outlaw.)

(This is Red Tara, the Buddha of Awake Desire — she’s fully non-attached and fully magnetic — an archetypal outlaw.)

To access the magnetism of non-attachment, you have to first forgive yourself for how very, very attached you’ve been. Forgive yourself for how much you’ve made yourself suffer over your finite games, and how you’ve used that suffering to hurt and disconnect and distance yourself from others.

When you forgive the attachment and suffering in yourself, you forgive it in all of us.

And we need that. We need you to be able to see us struggling and deluded and lashing out in pain and anger or hiding in cowardice and fear and for you to stand in the presence of your freedom, regarding us with tremendous love, knowing the truth that we’re also utterly free.

Outlaw magic is the ability to be playful with your darkness and terror, and with ours. It’s the willingness to cast off the tyranny of our judging and alienating egos and to step into the throbbing electric current that links us all, all the time.

When you’re standing wide-open in that current, strange and wonderful things happen.  

People are dramatically changed by their encounters with you and you with them.

You wind up in far-flung corners of the earth or in fascinating nooks of your own hometown that you’ve never seen before — and you discover that miracles are in progress there: a man in a brocade coat with a high collar is playing a guitar, the full moon is pulsing, oil is being poured into your hands, children are inventing new languages.

The world is unfolding in its fullest imagination of itself, alive and weird.

You don’t control the electric current of outlaw magic, but it asks for your participation. You play it out, you dance with it, you move, you fall flat on your face. It hurts, you’re bloodied, and you get up and go into the dance again.


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Carolyn Elliott
Carolyn Elliott is a bad bitch with a bodhisattva vow. She's committed to encouraging utter shamelessness and deep shadow integration. Carolyn teaches popular virtual courses on writing, business, and practical magic.
Carolyn Elliott
Carolyn Elliott
Carolyn Elliott