On being magic

This was a blog post I was going to make before the total proverbial shit hit the fan and I had to make a post about that instead. What I am about to discuss is a case of “no one’s wrong, it’s just a matter of different perspectives and words getting in the way of understanding.” It’s a kinder, gentler post, but no less important. So without further adieu….

I posted a link to a blog a week or so ago entitled Magick, Money, & Bullshit: Do the F**cking Work. Literally my only complaint about this post was the need to censor an excellent word such as “fucking”, but I digress. One of the best parts about it was this section here: “Magick isn’t something you do. Magick is something YOU ARE. How you think. How you live. How you love. How you behave all affect any magickal working you perform.” 

When I posted this to Facebook, I was surprised at a few who didn’t seem to understand the spirit of what was being said, namely “Magick isn’t something you do. Magick is something you are.” One felt the need to point out that magic(k) is a practice while another voiced the idea that once you hit Adepthood, magical practice is something you do less often out of pursuit of other things. Neither of these statements are “wrong”; they just weren’t the point that I felt the deep need to express and celebrate. I also fell short of being able to explain it on Facebook, as the medium really isn’t sufficient for this sort of discussion. Expressing why magic is who you are and not just what you do requires more than it provides.

Magic is a mindset. It’s a mentality. There is no separation between your “mundane” life and your “magical” life, and when you live out your life in a way that expresses that, all of the barriers towards manifestation come tumbling down. It’s not just something you do when you’re lighting that candle, casting that spell, doing that working, this invocation, robing up and entering your temple room, or spending all of your hard earned money over at Wolf & Goat.

Yes Virginia, you ARE magic. This is why it’s so important to take care of yourself, get your physical needs met, and don’t neglect any part of your life. If there’s an area where you’re struggling to manifest something take a good look at why. Maybe it’s your approach, maybe it’s something you haven’t quite digested yet, or maybe you’ve been treating it as something you’re not yet worthy of. Maybe you’ve only done it when you desperately needed to as opposed to making it something you do on a regular basis, like brushing your teeth. Perhaps it’s a fear of failure o the belief that magic is somehow limited to certain things. It’s time to put all of that away and set aside the notion that you’re not deserving. Yes, you ARE worthy. You don’t need to feel guilty or make excuses as to why you can’t do money/job/career magic or any sort of magic; you are the vessel from which the power of the gods flow. You are a magical being, and with every step you take to perfect both the person whom you are and what you put forth into the world, you can make the world around you more in touch with the very essence of magic.

I’ve always found that magicians who quote the statement “As above, so below” and yet draw lines in the sand on their spiritual/personal and “mundane” lives to be demonstrating a sad cognitive dissonance. Repeat after me: it’s all the same. There are no lines, no boundaries, no differences between them. You cannot keep your altars tidy and not extend that into the rest of your life, and while doing one can help to improve the other it’s not enough. Take action, get it done.

One of my magical teachers once said to me that magic is about making a connection. And it’s true. We need to make connections between all of the bits of our lives, and if it’s the physical world we’re struggling with we cannot continue to divorce ourselves from it. Ultimately it’s about striving for what is termed in my faith as aretéexcellence in all things and living up to one’s full potential.

Don’t just do magic, be magic.

On being ready

When it comes to magic as well as personal alchemy, I’ve discovered two things about being ready:

  1. It’s easy to underestimate when you are
  2. It’s easy to overestimate when you are

#1 is the one I tend to be the most familiar with, and what I typically tell people who are wondering when they need to begin the next phase in their spiritual and alchemical development is basically when they’re feeling comfortable. Like, maybe TOO comfortable. Perhaps they’re even dragging their feet and feeling like the water is just fine so why get out?

But then there’s that second one. I see it all the time. People win the lottery but are unable to handle it, aren’t prepared to deal with it, and lose it all and then some. People who do job spells, money spells, love spells, and are totally unable to deal with the consequences that follow because they haven’t done the personal development and growth necessary to be able to deal with that next stage. And when your magic is good and that spell is all well and awesome,  you could very well lose any sense of safety net which prevents you from getting in over your head.

Take money magic, for instance. If you’re convinced that rich people are conniving and that it’s impossible to be both a good, spiritual person and have wealth, that’ll mess you up royally. You’re already standing in your own way and have issues with the very thing you’re trying to draw into your life. And like the biggest and worst enemy  you already are for yourself, you’ll commit self-sabotage. If you struggle with feelings of self-doubt, lack of “worthiness”, and wonder who you think you are to be doing such things when xyz people are poor and hungry, you’ll never get anywhere. Instead, think of the people who got rich and did good things with it. JK Rowling was homeless and poor before she wrote the Harry Potter series, and she was a billionaire–up until the point where she gave away so much to charity she was downgraded to a millionaire instead.

You don’t need to have heroes to lift you up, but finding good examples of people who are living the sort of life you want to live often helps. If you can’t find any, think up one and write it down in every detail the sort of people you want to become should your magic work. Visualize it. If you find that you need to develop certain traits in order to get there, work on it. Find out where you’re lacking and get on it.

Otherwise, you’ll get the job and later the promotion of your dreams and find yourself in over your head, worrying about whether or not you’re really qualified, and ultimately sink yourself. You’ll meet your soulmate but find that you’re getting in the way of both yourself and the relationship.

It’s okay to struggle and it’s okay to have doubts. Just don’t commit the ultimate self-betrayal by giving into them and not letting yourself live the life you richly deserve to have.

True will, personal development, and the most dangerous of all journeys

I got into a conversation today that got some wheels spinning on a long overdue blog post on the subject of magic, priorities, True Will and all that. I touched upon it briefly during the Esoterinerd podcast I was interviewed in, but I’d like to expand upon it further.

People cannot have their magical wills so completely drained by the need to survive, to be able to take care of themselves and the basic necessities, to the point where they cannot thrive. And worse yet, not even know what it means to be able to thrive. It is vitally important as a magician to learn how to set things such as financial needs, the roof over your head, basic health and well being into a self-sustaining but constantly fed magical system for yourself that you can spend time focusing on other things such as emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.

This isn’t an unusual or unknown concept. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs covers it quite succinctly:

2000px-Maslow's_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg

This is why I am very, very big on being able to take care of yourself in regards to your health and wealth as a magician, and why using magic to aid you in this endeavor is not only not a bad thing, but it is an absolute must and necessity. There are various traditions that may disagree with me on this, but I am giving of no fucks and will say flat out that they are wrong. I’ll merely offer up my own experiences and fruits as proof of this: once I set magic into motion in a way that not only had me both feeding it and feeding itself to give me a fulfilling occupation and the monetary benefits that came with it, much of my life–and my magic–got that much easier. Suffering isn’t a virtue; using your magic in a practical way helps both you and those around you gives you a means of perfecting your magic doing something you absolutely need to do. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone. Throw out your old programming and join those of us who are living happy and fulfilling lives while helping others to do the same. You have nothing to lose but your excuses, and nothing to gain but greater happiness, magical mastery, and the ability to help others.

Once you’ve got a reasonable handle on the basics of life and survival, you can focus on the rest of the stuff to power your life, thrive, and make you happy. What does it mean to be able to thrive? What would it mean for you to really, truly live a fulfilling life? I can’t answer that for you. Instead I’ll turn to one of my most favorite passages in all of literary history in Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story:

“What do you suppose it means?'[Bastian] asked. “”DO WHAT YOU WISH.'” That must mean I can do anything I feel like. Don’t you think so?
All at once Grograman’s face looked alarmingly grave, and his eyes glowed.
‘No,’ he said in his deep, rumbling voice. ‘It means that you must do what you really and truly want. And nothing is more difficult.’
‘What I really and truly want? What do you mean by that?’
‘It’s your own deepest secret and you yourself don’t know it.’
‘How can I find out?’
‘By going the way of your wishes, from one to another, from first to last. It will take you to what you really and truly want.’
‘That doesn’t sound so hard,’ said Bastian.
‘It’s the most dangerous of all journeys.’
‘Why?’ Bastian asked. ‘I’m not afraid.’
‘That isn’t it,’ Grograman rumbled. ‘It requires the greatest honesty and vigilance, because there’s no other journey on which it’s so easy to lose yourself forever.”

In short, what it takes for you to thrive is essentially your true will. I can’t tell you what that would mean for you, nor can any other magician in the blogosphere. But I can tell you that if you spend much of your time stressing over bills and basic necessities that it is very, very difficult indeed to have energy left over at the end of the day to spend on thriving. I also don’t want to give the impression that anyone who continues to struggle making ends meet cannot advance spiritually or magically, as that’s certainly not the case! It just happens to be easier to get other needs and desires met once the basic ones have been dealt with. But do not despair; in order to learn how to fly you gotta master the art of getting up onto your own two feet then walking. And that fine art of learning how to stand up is beyond essential. Don’t neglect it, and don’t think that you are doing such a terrible job in your own life that you’re still learning it. Some go into the grave before ever having given it the slightest chance; just the fact that you’re trying puts you way ahead of the game.

Figuring out what works for you and how to get your life in order is all a part of that personal development which is magical, difficult, essential, and humbling all at once. And as I’ve covered in another blog post, personal development is about 80% of the work. Get that done and you have much of the rest made. Fail and just do magic alone, and it’s basically the equivalent of trying to out-train a bad diet. Which is, if you ask anyone in the fitness world, impossible–you cannot. It’s well worth getting all of that under control and figuring yourself out before mastering the art and science of magic.

What can I tell you about the personal development process and figuring yourself out–aside from it being a nearly never-ending process? I can tell you that I learned my own true will, staring at me right in the face during what was the most magical and ultimately later the most traumatic of times for me. It’s not the way I wish for others to figure it out, that’s for sure. You are best off just figuring it out quietly one day or merely moving from one thing to the next until you reach that “ah ha” moment. But once you realize it, it’s a lot like falling in love, it just happens and no one can do it for you nor tell you how it goes. But some of us gotta walk through hell to find it then claw our way out afterward. And if you plan to make it out alive let alone thrive, you can’t do it by magic alone.

All in all, just trust me on this one: Do. Personal. Development. It’ll help you with your finances, practical goals both big and small, and last but definitely not least in your magical and spiritual work. Don’t know where to begin? Read the works of others, figure out whose writings and ideas jive with your own experiences and inspire you, and take it from there. Examine your life and learn from others who took the time to examine theirs. People have walked these paths prior to you, and while their experiences may or may not resonate with you, it’s a start. I’m a big fan of Wayne Dyer and Joe Vitale but they’re not the only names out there. Some jive on the Law of Attraction stuff but for myself, I’ve found that while it’s useful it’s typically oversimplified, doesn’t tell the full tale, and is merely a stepping stone. People often like to tell you that the so-called switch is perpetually on and everyone’s always attracting (and of course insert blame/victim nonsense here), but that’s not actually the case. The reality is that most people are in neutral gear and being thrust along according to the whims of the Great Magnet. Master yourself and master magic, and all of that changes.

 

On a side note: I am toying with the idea of doing a series of personal and practical alchemy/development classes in a learn-as-you-go email series with readings and various ritual and meditative practices to go along with it, all of which would be at a reasonable cost. Essentially I would love to boil down the esoterics and complicated nature of both personal development and alchemy and build it in an organized fashion in a progressive fashion–no initiation or mystical order membership required. If this sounds interesting to you, let me know. If enough people are interested, I’ll do it. It’s something I’ve been slowly writing a book on, but I’ve often wondered if the classes should come first and the book itself broken out into chunks taught in the classes and given out as readings. Feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments, on Facebook, or by email: scarlet.magdalene@gmail.com

Abramelin, day 266

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well, but today was a personal struggle. My job continues to go VERY well and I remain blessed in this regard. I’m working with really great people and I thank my gods daily for being here.

I’ve been doing something past few days which I rarely do, which is eat calories at maintenance level. I’ve been in fat burning mode, but that’s no good before I start a week of fasting. Had some chocolate this evening, painfully aware it will be my last treat for a while. But it’ll be worth it.

I’m beyond nervous and anxious. I hope not to fuck this up.

I’ve moved all of the robes, ritual gear, and tools which I need for the last seven days into the temple room.

Evening rite went well. Gods help me.

 

Abramelin, day 265

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Nonstop meetings pretty much all day, managed to slip out to get myself some coffee. Nothing like doing the noon prayer rite over making myself a cup of coffee. There’s something to that but I haven’t quite managed to put my finger on it just yet. Again, no excuses.

Painfully aware of the fact that one very major, glaring personal issue remains before I start my final week. I am desperately hoping I will be able to get it resolved after the Abramelin. Everything else has been resolved or is in the process of being resolved, not sure why this is so damned special. Ah well. Resolving to just banish the rest of the bullshit with laughter, but for some things it’s just a band-aid.

Here’s to hoping I am successful. Just one day left until I start the final week.

Evening rite went well.

 

Abramelin, day 264

Morning and noon rite went well.

I’ve read the book over and over again for the last seven days, and it’s not very clear on whether or not you are fasting all seven days and breaking the fast after sundown with little other than bread. Talking with others who have done the rite who did the same for all seven days. This is not the weight loss plan I signed up for but hey, it’s not like I’ll be doing much other than conjuring angels and demons and such. I wonder how many calories that will burn? Funny how I’m worried about the fasting but it was the one part of this entire operation I struggled with the most and never really managed to get the hang of.

I am hoping I have everything all set. I am hoping I am ready. I am hoping I will be properly prepared. Good gods, I’m freaking.

Evening rite went well.

 

 

Abramelin, day 263

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Been going over my notes for the last seven days and in the meantime trying to rest up. For some reason I have zero energy today. I did an interview with RO, which was fun. I also got to gather my materials together that I will be using for the last week.

I’m not sure how else to prepare. I think I’m as ready as I’m going to be. I have no idea what to expect and I suppose I should expect that.

Evening rite went well.

 

Abramelin, day 262

All sorts of HGA related dreams last night. He came in one of the forms he showed up in my dreams years and years ago. So strange.

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Busy day at work today, but very aware that I am working with some really cool people. Incredibly grateful beyond words to have this job. How did I get it again? So much gratitude.

Decided to email the wand maker and get a status, got an email back saying they would look up a tracking number for me. Did some math and looking at the calendar, figured worst case scenario is I start on the 27th.

On my way walking home from the train heard a voice in my head asking if I was ready. Came home to a box on my doorstep, containing…yes. I will be starting on the 17th for sure, and will be in radio silence until done. I am nervous, excited, fucking terrified…gods.

Evening rite went well.

Abramelin, day 261

Morning rite went well. Missed noon prayer rite due to one meeting after another from 11:30 until I left work. Wow. It may be the first one I’ve missed since I started the Abramelin. Gods.

Paranoid as hell about that almond wand, still no word and it’s been over a week. So do I go ahead and start the final week next Wednesday and gamble that it’ll reach me in time for the conjuration? What the hell do I do? I’m a bit panicked. Taking off two weeks as a new employee is beyond problematic; if I can’t finish in conjunction with Christmas vacation/break I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do.

Trying to focus on what I need to focus on but so much going on. Readily admitting to focusing on shit that shouldn’t matter, probably because the stuff that does is too stressful to think about right now.

Evening rite went as well as could be expected.

Abramelin, day 260

Morning rite and noon prayer rite went well.

Still no word on the almond wand. I know that it needs to arrive by the 21st if I’m going to proceed according to how I planned it, and now the silence is getting nail-biting. Ridiculous.

My new job remains pretty cool. This is a massive stress relief.

I am painfully aware of the fact that I still have a LOT of shit to work on but if I wait to be perfect nothing will ever get accomplished.

Evening rite went well.