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A Thelemic Perspective on Exercise

A Thelemic Perspective on Exercise

by David Hill


Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Exercise as Daily Practice

Exercise is a vital part of my daily practice. In fact, I usually log my exercise in my magical record, and I consider my day successful if I made it to the gym. Exercise is an investment in my body, which is the manifest vehicle of my Will. It allows me to maintain physical and emotional equilibrium even in trying times. It is also an expression of devotion towards self. Exercise is proven to reduce depression and anxiety while instilling confidence. Besides, it feels great to inhabit a healthy body!

Nutrition is also an important part of my life. I have diabetes on both sides of my family as well as a family history of heart disease. That makes proper nutrition and self-care essential for me as I move into middle age. No longer can a party like the rock star I was in my 20s. In my 40s I put on weight very easily and have to maintain discipline to keep myself trim and fit. A large part of that discipline is nutrition. I eat a diet that is primarily high in protein with some complex carbs and other low glycemic index foods.

Maintaining Physical and Emotional Equilibrium through Nutrition

Nutrition is not all that complicated if you focus on macronutrients and get sugars out of your diet. I track my calories with an app, and I plan and cook my meals on Sundays. That way I have healthy food available and already portioned out into containers so that I can effectively be lazy about it for the rest of the week. Tracking my calories allows me to quickly drop weight or slowly add calories to assist in building up lean muscle. You really are what you eat. I’ve been astonished at how important proper nutrition is at maintaining physical and emotional equilibrium.

I do find that having a focus on exercise and nutrition takes a conscious application of Will. It is much easier to disappear into Facebook while sitting on the couch and ordering pizza. However, that is the sedentary path that causes a cessation of growth (except around the middle). The easy foods in America are terrible for you. I typically do not consider processed food as something that is really edible. By crossing it off of my list of possibilities for nourishment, I free myself to make the correct choices.

Magick of Changing Daily Habits

Really, all of this is about behavioral management through the installation of daily habits. It is just like getting the hang of doing a daily banishing. It’s just that basic of a practice. When you get exercise and nutrition dialed in, you’re able to keep an emotional and physical equilibrium that greatly assists in your aspiration.

After a period of established practice, you’ll get an idea of exactly how subtle changes to diet or exercise affect your bodily vehicle. I highly recommend making nutrition and exercise part of your lifestyle.

Love is the law, love under will.


David Hill has a background in 7 Star Mantis kung fu and has integrated daily training into his physical and spiritual praxis. He is passionate about helping others to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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3 thoughts on “A Thelemic Perspective on Exercise

  1. David and I are follow each other on the app we use to track nutrition and exercise. I’ve found that, as with other practices, that ritualization is a useful part of my exercise and nutrition practice.

    With the use of similar apps, I’m able to plan my ritual (i.e. exercise program) and execute it throughout the month on a several week cycle of heavy exercise to one week of recovery.

    My transition from into the exercise itself is also ritualized; starting with the preparation of clothing and meals the night before. This makes the entire thing easier to get started. After arriving at the building, I transition from mundane life to gym life by putting away my belongings in the gym’s locker room and putting on my sneakers (consecrated for the sole purpose of gym workouts). I slide on my magickal gauntlets (i.e. gloves because I left heavy) and get into the proper headspace. Then, I can simply focus on the moment throughout giving maximum effort. I don’t have to think about what to do next because I’ve already planned out the ritual.

    I have been doing the same with meal prepping for the week. Here, I’ve taken the basic step of creating lunch plans and preparing them on Sunday. I only have to grab them in the morning and go. Then, during the week – when I’m in the execution phase of this ritual, I don’t have to think about what to eat or make decisions on the fly. This week, I started to expand that into breakfast. All of this has had the extra side-effect of reducing lunch-out expenses.

    This element of preplanning (or learning your lines well) removes the extemporaneous effort that sometimes is the killer of a good ritual. Indeed, is it ritual if you are making it up as you go? Yet, as Br. Hill said, this requires a conscious application of one’s Will. The key is setting it up so that it is more of a part of who you are rather than something that you fight against.

    Good article, Brother. I’m happy to have found it.

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