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.