When I first started to formally study witchcraft, I was mostly excited about all of the positive changes that I was going to make. It was all about empowerment. It was all about healing. I couldn’t wait to get started.
I had a lot of personal chaos to deal with–including, an anxiety disorder that was out of control. I was surrounded by unhappy, aggressive people. Everything was miserable. I wanted to jump right in and move things around….something, anything. I was already in hell. Any change would have been amazing. I started off with the basic practices of grounding, circle casting and calling in the elements. While I started with the energy basics, I was also studying the standard principles of energy manipulation, karma and the various standard philosophies found within metaphysical and witchcraft teachings.
While I was already practicing, I had every intention of also taking the scholarly route. I equated acquiring book knowledge with becoming wise.
In the Magickal Community, we emphasize the need to seriously study before we practice. We tell our new magicians….even each other…that we shouldn’t attempt particular feats, not practice until we are practicing regularly…along with a laundry list of other prohibitions, rules and regulations.
These are all wonderful ideals, with the underlying intention of keeping everyone safe.
However, there are important factors to keep in mind when we discuss any concept in the magickal or metaphysical world. Not all magicians agree on the same interpretation of reality. How reality works also includes how powerful you are (and think you are) in your personal world–are you responsible for what happens to you in your life or to which degree are you simply a victim of the negative?We differ on basic frameworks such as these. We cannot assume that everyone else who practices or discusses magick interprets their experience in the same exact way.
That being said, I tend to favor the psychological model of magick. It makes more sense to me that everything and every event has a corresponding internal meaning….therefore, one can interpret the outside world as being a projection of sorts of the personally internal world. Not that there is always a direct correspondence, but it is more equivalent to some objects and circumstances being in place because an internal condition allowed it be so, at the very least.
No one deserves negative circumstances, but general ideas, attitudes and fears make the ground fertile for such things to creep in. These are also not necessarily desired consciously, but agreed upon subconsciously….accepted as “that’s the way it is” or through similar ideas along those lines.
I was born into a family that had a lot of negative energy. This energy manifested constantly into negative circumstances. Naturally, I grew up feeling very disempowered and believing that these situations were normal, on some level. By the time I became aware of the art of magick, I was already so negative about my self-perception and what I expected the world to be like….that there was no way that I was going to have completely positive manifestations.
There is no way that all of your magick is not going to be colored by your emotional waters. What is inside of you is going to tint and taint what you ask for.
And, by all means, go for it.
My reasoning is that Magick is not anything different than what we do all day, every day, anyway. Being in the physical universe, we are manifestors. It’s the nature of this world. We have thoughts. We have feelings. We think. We feel. According to one particular model of reality, those things are what are projected out into….as….physical reality.
Performing a magickal act….ritual, ceremony, spellwork, prayer, petition, even wishing….is just a concentrated, conscious version of what we do all day, anyway. Just because someone does not consciously study the philosophies of magick or any new age material does not mean that they are exempt from the mechanics of the universe.
By this observation, people are already reckless with their thoughts and feelings, in the world. People manifest all manners of monsters and chaos, as it is. I am not advocating bringing more disorder into the world. In the bigger picture, I simply see more benefits to conjuring “where you are at” than not.
Start where you are, even if it is the most ugly, disorganized place that there can be. Magick just allows us to be aware of what it is that we are already doing. Dabble, screw up, be bad….but, pay attention. Do not replay other people’s warnings. Pay attention to what is going through your heart and mind BEFORE you cast that spell. Pay attention to what you are thinking and feeling DURING the ritual, even as you try to concentrate. Pay attention to which thoughts and emotions come up AFTER your ceremony….for DAYS after.
According to the psychological model of reality, it’s all about what is inside of you. If you are really so chaotic….get your therapy, read your self help books and pay attention to what manifests in your life situations….whether those manifestations come from a consciously cast spell, a casual wish or just daily thoughts and emotions.
Perhaps one way of looking at this physical plane is that we are here to let go of anything which keeps us from direct experience of The Divine Spirit. Maybe some of us are here to work out our Purgatory….get all the negativity out of our systems, so that we can be free of it. Be as positive as you can to the capacity to which you are able. But, when you can’t get around the negativity, meet it head on….with the intention of eventually understanding it….so that you can let it go, even if that means just getting tired of it.
Sometimes, we have particular people that bring more negativity than others into our lives. In addition to our regular psychic shields, we can make another layer that is specifically functioning to protect us from that particular person.
When you are centered and calm, call up the image of the oppositional personality so that they appear outside the safety of your circle. Be aware of their reaction as you invoke different energies to the periphery of your circle.
Once you have a good list of the various energies that the other person shies away from, call those specific energies into your personal space. Allow these specific energies to swirl around you and solidify into a shield, specifically made to keep that other person away from you. Be very aware that this particular formula will automatically solidify in place around you, whenever you are around that other person or their energies.
….or at least, why does it seem like that, sometimes?
Why do some of us believe in Magick, in the first place? When I first started to explore witchcraft, I had the vague awareness that I was either trying to fix my life or escape it. The idea that I could influence the situations in my world sounded so appealing. I really felt like I had no power in the world…not in any practical way. My anxiety was through the roof, which prevented me coming through with a lot of practical solutions. Looking back, maybe I needed to believe in magick as a form of self-empowerment. It was the only thing that I could relate to.
The only hope I had for altering the situations in my life was through magick. Whether or not it was true….or to whatever degree it was true….I had to believe it completely. At the time, that was the only thing that could give me comfort….the idea that I would be able to fix everything with magick.
Beginning magicians enjoy “apprentice’s luck”. We are so excited with the idea that all of our spells will work, that it doesn’t occur to us that it can’t. This is the wonderful honey-moon phase where we are usually at our most powerful, across the board. Basically, my petitions were answered in a very timely manner….at a relatively high success rate. This immediately validated my belief in magick.
Over the course of our magickal and spiritual journeys, we magicians have our ups and downs….our periods of deep conviction, confidence and painful doubt. We learn. We practice. We are inspired. And we also have those dark periods, when we lose all faith in our abilities and re-evaluate where we are at….our personal Winters, times for further personal growth.
Recently, I had a period of doubt in my abilities and capabilities, that left me questioning my beliefs themselves. I don’t believe everything I read, every idea that I am presented with or every story that I am told. I use reasoning and analysis, along with faith and magickal thinking–just like many other religious or spiritual people. I don’t use purely magickal or purely analytical thinking, exclusively. I use them both. I know how to come at my experience from a purely physical-sense orientation. I know how to analyze and view a situation through logic-only…but, I have also had enough personal experience that can’t be completely explained in physical-only terms.
I’ve been trying to deal with a particularly difficult person for years, now. The fact that I can’t banish him from my life made me question if I had any personal power at all. Because I haven’t been able to successfully perform this one specific act, I dismissed all of my other accomplishments and feats. I’m not sure when I decided that I should be able to perform every magickal act. At some unseen point, I had eventually trapped myself in the black-and-white idea that if I couldn’t complete this one act, I am incapable of successfully performing magick, at all. I’m not sure when some part of my psyche decided that I was either omnipotent or powerless–that there was nothing in between.
This recent period of doubt has probably been a good thing. It has made me trace back my steps and pick up a book on “beginning” magick. As I am going back to basic instruction, I realize that (in my case) I never questioned the “honeymoon” phase of the apprentice, where I believed that every attempt at magick….that is, ritual or spell….will eventually manifest results, given enough repeated efforts.
This idea is actually more of a big “maybe”. The idea of repeat effort eventually producing the desired effects CAN be successful if it is based on the thoughtform that the idea is true. It’s an amorphous, indirect cause-and-effect….that could have been replaced with a specific number of times of performance. We can also hold the idea that performing a spell three times will make it manifest after that specific number of performances. Maybe it might be helpful to invest time into getting excited about the idea of manifestation after the spell/ritual is performed (once)….before performing the magickal act, in the first place.
Getting back to looking at my personal past in magick–it seems that I had somehow accepted the idea that I was supposed to successfully produce any and all effects that I wanted. This would have been a great idea, if anyone actually trained me on how to remove the obstacles to manifestation and BELIEVE that every one of my magickal acts manifested results in a timely manner. This is a subtle difference–I was taught the technical aspects of how magick should work, but not how to ensure that it manifests at all times. This brings me to another point. There is sometimes this inference to new magickal practitioners that anything is possible. It might be more practical to point out that manifestations are possible to the magician, depending on the level of allowance/resistance and the mental and emotional obstacles that they personally have at any time. Personal belief that a magician can pull off a particular type of magick AND a particular spell are both necessary for success in that area of manifestation. Belief about personal skill needs to be evaluated.
Depending on the level of self-directed negativity, being able to perceive one’s blessings might not be a concept that the magician can relate to. However, spiritual evolution consists of being able to be aware of how much abundance the universe consists of (not how much each of deserves)….and that the magician is a personal manifestation of the entirety of that abundance. Part of the problem with viewing “blessings” is that many people associate that concept with the negative interpretations of Abrahamic religions….and “blessings” are associated with the judgmental god of those religions. Blessings are not something that we work for. Blessings are what the universe is made of–this is an exercise in clear perception, not trying to please an imaginary version of a ‘withholding God’.
On the subject of Deity, I also had a bad perception of “God”–as his behavior was explained to me, by my family and my church. To be honest, I had the feeling that God was out to get me, to screw me over like an unfair and unreasonable parent or boss. Even when I began to work with Deity in the forms of Goddess and pagan gods, I never had the same degree of emotional investment that I had when I thought that my childhood God was mean and petty. It could be that I missed it, but I think that if it were emphasized to me to EXPECT the gods to work positively on my behalf, to actively work FOR me…I think that would have led to more positive manifestations in my life.
Maybe it just was not as explicitly explained to me, as I needed. Or maybe, I was never in the place where I could hear it.
Sometimes, I think in very materialist ways. But, I have also seen metaphysical occurrences that I can’t explain away. I have explicitly detailed clairvoyant experiences that I couldn’t have guessed or calculated in any logical way. I’ve asked for very specific manifestations that have come about, in the detail that I had outlined. I have moved energy and cast glamours without announcing them to anyone–and had people react to them in ways that they had to have registered that shift in energy, at least on some level. My spells didn’t always work, but when they did, they manifested with too much or all of the explicit detail that I had outlined.
So, why am I getting so upset that I can’t banish one bad person?
I don’t buy the idea that there is a lesson involved. Most of what people try to pass off as a “lesson” reinforces the idea that we are limited or separated beings of some sort. The ultimate truth is that we are One with the Divine. Anything that does not reflect that experience reinforces our delusion of illusionary separateness.
It must be more of a matter of incorrect perception. Dealing with the forms of the physical world is dealing with thoughtforms. And thoughtforms are all based on limitation. Could this mean that oppositional people are simply based on the idea of obstacles? Perhaps dealing with abrasive people requires going beyond the idea that they can withhold or block any of the goodness of Divinity. Instead, it might just be another call to acknowledge that nothing separates us from The Universe.
Love magick is probably one of the messiest areas of magick that we have. There are so many warnings and guidelines for performing love magick. There are so many disappointments that come from spells that didn’t manifest correctly, as directed or exactly how we petitioned. In a nutshell, the magick is only reflecting the personal relationships that we have with the energies of Love, Sex, Deserving and Receiving that we all carry with us in the world. The biggest misconception is that Love Magick is manifesting a particular person who will behave in particular ways. Love Magick is activating personal experience of particular sensations and interior experiences. Love Magick is never the problem. We already had all of the problems that we associated with Love and Sex before we started consciously focusing and asking for any manifestation, in any form of structured petition.The principle theory in magick is that we physically experience the events that match up with the expectations, beliefs and energies that we carry within ourselves in the forms of thoughts and feelings.
If we experienced the emotions and concepts associated with a loving relationship, we would already have a loving relationship manifest in the physical world around us. It is one thing to want or desire such a relationship. The magickal idea is to experience everything associated with it on a mental and emotional level….completely internal….REGARDLESS (and before) of what is happening in the material world.
Despite all excuses, reasons and justifications–this is how magick works. Magickal workings are just a conscious application of the principles that describe how personal reality already works. Even if someone never studied magick, under the metaphysical principles, they are still manifesting their world….albeit non-consciously.
Rather than just shooting for manifesting a physical relationship–set up a Love Altar to experience the different energies that come in a love relationship. Focus on essence before form. Consider this the preliminary work before the manifestation of a physical form or situation.
Create an altar working with the imagery and symbols of Venus, the Heart Chakra or anything else that you associate with Love energies. Steer away from images of people. You are focusing on the energies to begin with. Any stones, symbols, tools are completely acceptable as long as they bring a personal association with the energies of Love, in some form.
To begin, make a list of all of the general concepts that are associated with being in a loving relationship. This is personal. There are no right or wrong answers.
Perhaps, keep in mind that when we fantasize about our ideal relationships, we often use them as a catch-all for all of the other relationships that are possible to experience in Life….we look for experience of Divine Love, Sexual Satisfaction, Acceptance, Validation, Comfort, Peace, Fulfillment….even if something doesn’t seem logical to you, put it down–work with it, anyway.
Once you have your list, perhaps make some flashcards or notecards, with each concept on its own. This will make it easier for meditation and focus. Taking for example, Divine Love–place the notecard in a prominent place. Somewhere that you will be able to bring your attention back to the term, in case you lose your concentration. If you would like, add any objects to your altar that can represent Divine Love for your meditation. The practical work is that you are going to play with the intensity to which and the length of time that you can feel Divine Love–not only during formal meditation time, but also throughout the normal day.
The attitude during meditation/energy work is not to feel like you are clocking in practice hours. The idea is to see how fully you can experience these energies with all of your senses, to the limitations of your senses….and beyond…over time. Coming back to our example, cast circle or prepare the space in any way which feels appropriate.
Allow yourself to center and breathe deeply. Become aware that Divine Love is omnipresent. Your experience of this energy is dependent on your mental acceptance of any sensory experience that corresponds to this concept. Which correspondences confirm the conviction you feel Divine Love? What does your body feel like when you are Divinely Loved? Which sensations are in your physical form? Which feeling-sensations are in each one of your chakras?–go through each one. What does each chakra feel like when you are Divinely Loved? Go through all of the energy bodies, depending on the system that makes sense to you–Emotional, Mental or more. Feel whichever sensations correspond to you knowing that you are Divinely Loved. What is your mental dialog when you know that you are Divinely Loved? What passes through your head? Which interactions do you have in the world? Which conversations and interactions do you have with others, when you know that you are Divinely Loved? How do you carry yourself? How do you project yourself in the world?
Go through each of the other qualities on your list. Take note of which changes, internal and worldly, that take place as you continue this exercise.