What Good is Your Magic – Clarification   20 comments

Greetings Seekers of Magick!

As I have said in previous posts, the first rule of writing is that if someone can take something you’ve written the wrong way, they will.  And the second rule is that someone will always take what you’ve written the wrong way.  ;)  And, of course, that has happened in the case of my most recent blog post about magick and life’s hardships.

This time, it was no one less than Donald Michael Kraig himself!  Now, before I go on, let me stress that I consider Don to be a friend.  That is, in real life and not just someone with whom I’ve had an exchange or two over the internet.  So please, dear reader, take everything you are about to read in the spirit of one brother confronting the other.

That being said, I’m afraid Don really missed the boat on my last blog.  If you want to update your score card, you can go read his post before going on with this one.  But I’ll also sum up the issue briefly here:

My previous blog was intended to address a specifically Western (and I dare say capitalist) misconception of magick and magicians.  That is, if magick really worked (or if a particular wizard were really any good at it), then certainly one should be rich, never sick, never harmed, never psychologically off-balance, etc, etc.  He should, in effect, be immune to all the down sides of life here on Earth, able to deflect all hardships with a simple wave of his wand and a hearty wingardium leviosa!

The point of my post was to say that this isn’t how reality works.  Magick doesn’t stop bad things from happening.  Cast all the spells you want, and I promise you hardships are going to come your way.  In fact, I would go so far as to say, as one who walks the magickal path, you’re probably going to have more than your fair share of shit to deal with.

Sadly, Don seems to have taken that a step further and into a direction I never intended.  He rebuts as follows:

I have to respectfully disagree with the implication here. It may not be the intent, but the idea I get from this is that [Aaron] is saying if things are bad, tough. Just deal with it. Don’t do magick to improve your situation. Instead, do magick to mentally and emotionally deal with hardship. To me that sounds like a sort of religious approach: “We can’t help you, but if you pray to our God[s] He [they] will give you courage.”

No, no, no and emphatically no!  My post merely addressed the fact that bad things are just plain going to happen in life – and that this fact neither proves that magick is false nor that any given magician is a fraud.  Never did I say, or even imply, that one should not use magick when those hardships arise!

Quite the contrary – I stated that “magick exists because bad things happen.”  And that “when bad shit happens, you inovke the magick to get through it.”  Magick is a toolkit that mankind has developed over thousands of years, intended to help us through the hard times.  Magick can allow you to live where you might have died.  It can allow you to eat where you might have starved.  It can even allow you to achieve things in life where you might have otherwise failed or faded away into obscurity.

My stance is exactly the opposite of what Don has suggested.  Here is the response I made on his blog:

I think you misunderstood my post entirely. I was not at all suggesting that magick should be only for the spiritual, and that one should just allow bad life situations to continue. In fact, if you look at the rest of my blog, it is chock-full of uncrossings, exorcisms, cleansings, defense spells and angelic invocations all geared toward dealing with real-world practical problems.

My post was addressing a specifically Western concept that, if one were truly a powerful magician, then one should be rich, never be sick, have a perfectly balanced psychology, etc. In effect, the concept is that a true wizard should glide through the world like Dumbledore or Neo, having hacked reality and therefore risen entirely above the hardships that life can bring.

Yet in the real world, magicians are as prone to hardship as anyone else. For example, I’m a wizard – but I still got into a nasty car accident a couple of years ago. There was no “invisible wall of force” around me to repel the oncoming car so that my car remained untouched. The car was totaled, and all the legal and financial hassles and hardships that followed were the same for me as they would have been for anyone else.

*However*, I firmly believe that my practice of magick is what allowed me to walk away from that car accident relatively untouched. There is just no logical reason at all for me to have lived through it. I believe without a doubt that my Guardians intervened in that situation, and tweaked reality just enough so the oncoming car hit mine just *in front* of where I was sitting, instead of t-boning directly into me. In fact, I have reason to believe that either some kind of time-travel took place, or that I was yanked out of one reality (where I died) and into a nearby reality (where I walked away).

Magick saved my life that day in a *very* real sense. It didn’t “magickally” make the bad thing “not happen.” But, where it *really* counted, it kicked in and saw to it that I made it through in one piece. And it’s not the first or last time that has happened either.

To say that I believe practical magick just shouldn’t be done is frankly ridiculous. Yet, I feel it is equally ridiculous to suggest that magick should make one 100% impervious to any and all hardships in life. It just doesn’t work that way.

Of course you should use magick to improve your situation!  That’s what it is for.  Whether it is to rectify your soul and allow you to better serve humanity (see Peregrin Wildoak’s blog on this discussion), or to just keep the proverbial wolves away from your front door (see Morgan Eckstein’s blog), or to advance your social station in life or any combination of these things – magick should indeed be used to improve your life.

I’m a big advocate of down-to-earth practical nuts-and-bolts magick (aka witchcraft) that makes things happen!  Even my pursuit of the high magickal arts intended to elevate my soul closer to God is undertaken to obtain the spiritual authority necessary to direct the forces of nature right here in the material realm.  (That, and to give me a choice over where I go after I pass on – but that’s a concern for later.  Much later, I hope!  lol)

On the other hand, one cannot point to a wizard (or even an entire culture) and say “well they aren’t rich” or “things aren’t so great in their lives” and assume that means their magick is worthless.  Magick proliferates in situations where people need it to survive.  And the existence of poverty or other hardships in the lives of those who use or rely upon magick is no proof the magick isn’t working.  The fact that they are still alive, still eating and still making it year after year might just be evidence that their magick is working pretty damn well.

 

Posted May 29, 2013 by kheph777 in magick

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20 responses to “What Good is Your Magic – Clarification

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  1. I agree completely and to be honest, I don’t feel the clarification was necessary…especially as a chunk of it was already in the first post.
    I’d put it down to Don’s lack of morning coffee. (and make him buy you lunch) :)

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  3. I whole heartily agree, from what I’ve learned over the years is magick is not a “cure all” but it can help with situations that you know that needs a little push. You may not be invincible to sickness, but you can learn to work with certain systems in your body to help you heal faster along with outside combinations of herbs, medicine, or other types of modalities to get you back on your feet. Never disregard as something as worthless just because it doesn’t work exactly the way it wants you to. ;)

  4. I agree appears Don lack a bit the point. I agree there’s no Dichotomy. You commented about some condition and I’m in an area on this is very real. Where are not miraculous in any way (IMHO). Talking by myself, often people who do not know me fell strange because I speak a little weirded nonsense or use of humor in my comments despite being serious about what I’m doing. The same when In a reading or counseling I tell I have all sorts of problems as anyone else. My “How viagra works” article is popular :)
    It’s part of life. Magic is a path of self-knowledge and a part of it, facing the problems, but using the tools and oturas whenever possible, trying to anticipate and avoid these problems.
    Of course I do activities for my health, wealth, prosperous life. I want do things. And not always I get everything I want, but at least adequate for the moment. But sometimes shit happens. Talking a comment from your previous post, when in the sea, sometimes the water is not calm.
    Back to my cup of coffer. I need some thousands $$$ coming as a gift. Ok, may be I can work a bit for it too.

  5. Aaron, I think anyone who has read your blog, your posts on other forums (yahoo groups), or even attended one of your classes/lectures would realize that you have never been against using practical magic (often with the assistance of angels/spirits) to solve one’s day-to-day problems, as well as in helping one create a wonderful and prosperous life. In the past you have offered many practical methods for doing so based on what has worked for you in your own life. It’s one of the things I admire about you. Keep doing what you do buddy!

    Adesh!
    -Aghor Pir

  6. Magick, in the sense of “making things happen” in the material world, always follows paths of least resistance. In my experience, when Angels and such like creatures communiate directly, they never use four words when three will do. When magick produces material results it usually does so through a string of mundane coincidences, not through blatant violations of the laws of physics. That’s why it is easier to “make things happen” when the material one is working on is part of a complex, chaotic system where small but consistent changes in probability can add up to a major shift in the end product of the process. Prompted by something our Mr. Kraig wrote years ago, I have learned that it is helpful to explicitly open a path for invoked forces to work in the past as well as the present, giving them “more time” to create conditions favorable to the desired outcome while expending less energy.

    That said, sometimes the laws of physics do take a beating. I happen to have seen the car Aaron referred to above, and carefully examined a diagram of where it came to rest on the road after it was hit. Either the car that hit the one Aaron was in happened to be going at fairly high speed on the wrong side of a divided road when it entered the intersection in question – although all witnesses said it was not – or Newton’s laws of motion took a brief holiday just then and there. Per usual, whatever extra-dimensional force intervened to annoy us all with Aaron’s continued presence did the absolute minimum it could to accomplish that goal – the car was “totaled” and massive inconvenience was enjoyed by all the involved parties.

  7. Not only did he misread your entry, he misread mine.

  8. “The point of my post was to say that this isn’t how reality works. Magick doesn’t stop bad things from happening”

    Says you. And if that is your true belief then perhaps that’s why you experience the world that way?

    As for “that’s why magic exists” (to improve you/stuff).
    No.
    Magic exists for the same reason the moon exists, or dolphins. Or people. and a _lot_ of other existing stuff.
    It might be why many humans find it interesting, and in an Evolutionary effort-reward scenairo why the interest is growing/sustainable – but that’s not actual why it exists.

    • Greetings, Mist42!

      I must salute you on being a vastly powerful magus to whom no hardships of any kind ever occur. You have attained to something precious and Great. Surely you will write a book outlining how you have achieved this wonderful thing and share it with the rest of us. ;)

      Meanwhile, it appears you have fullfilled my two first rules of writing, and have taken my comment on “why magick exists” incorrectly. Magick, as you are using the term, is certainly a perfectly natural part of the universe. It is always here. Meanwhile, magick as I used the term in my comment, is a system developed by mankind (with the help of the spiritual entities who – for reasons unknown – seem to take an interest in us) over thousands of years to utilize that natural thing you call magick for our survival and our betterment.

      • What is it with all you lot and your writing books?
        No I took your comment on why “magick exists” exactly as it was written – how you expressed it. If that wasn’t your meaning then perhaps you should revisit how you decided to express that truth.
        Were I to express the same idea using the term “science” or “electricity” or “communication” you and others would have immediately have thought I was being far to anthropological. Electricity existing because humans want something – bah what nonsense….

        Now back to the original topic. Wealth and/or material use of magic(k)…. when you take the wider view, where magic(k) isn’t the subset of what a bunch of humans string together (c.f. advertising vs communication) then the picture gets a whole lot clearer. A bunch of folks like to get rich and power over their surroundings, does the way matter? Politics? War? Lies? Martial plots? Magic(k)? A bunch of meat monkeys trying to be tribal leader and protect their gene pool.

        Is that your “material magick”?

        Or is there bigger game afoot?

        One that doesn’t really give a toss about the meat-status put downs…. (or whose published the latest book)

      • Again I thank you for the sharing of your wisdom. :) I wonder, though, how your wisdom has somehow missed the salient point that one’s interpretation of a subject does not always reflect the reality of what is in front of us? Then again, a magus as grand and advanced as yourself has surely moved beyond mere “interpretation” of reality and into the full-fledged knowledge that what *you* see is the hard-fact reality of the universe. My hat off to you, sir!

      • Oh you’re welcome.
        Just spend quite a while watching how the shapes of words tend to reflect the transparent beliefs of my worldview. So often with magic(k) the use of words as a thinking tool can express hidden clues about how we are approaching the subject. This is best expressed in casual or oblique comments.
        While the conscious mind is focussed on one thing, the patterns of unconscious still show in the work of the conscious in subtle ways.

        As for the “reality in front of us”, it is always a lie. Platos cave ensures this, Hoards of Demons work to keep it thus. Why would anyone seek to fight that?
        Instead as I have just stated, we can watch for the patterns in the water. This Knowledge is still illusionary, but in an illusionary world which patterns form your truths?

        As for the epithets, I’ll bow to your greater skill in recognising these things as I am still but an egg=egg, so beat away.

  9. Thanks Aghor! And, by the way, it’s nice to see you turn up again! :)

  10. I think it’s worth pointing out that in the pursuit of effective magic, a magician is likely to gain a perspective that is different than the typical ‘muggle’. In learning to control, work with and affect change in the ‘flow of things’, a magician learns a lot about how the ‘flow of things’ works and why and tends to take on the ability to see the forest instead of the trees. Historically, experienced magicians and occultists (and shamans and witches and mystics etc) have been seen as a bit ‘crazy’ by the rest of society because of this difference in perspective that they have that those around them don’t have.

    So where a non magician or less experienced magician might look at a situation and see ‘oh woe is me, what a terrible thing’, a magician might very well see the bigger picture in which that ‘bad thing’ plays a vital part. So a muggle might look at a magician and see a lack of wealth or car trouble or whatever and say ‘see, Magic doesn’t work’, a magician might look at the same things and consider them inconsequential or even a means to an end or an acceptable consequence for other Work.

    • I agree Tzaddi :) It’s hard to share sometimes though. If someone has lost a loved one or suffered serious trauma. Not everything “has a singular purpose”, yet everything fits together with no gaps. A wounded person here, might create a great healer there, and their failure might create or block an avenue. Even the moment of first life, because it carries change, cries out for Death. The first Love, for Loss. Being able to hold that acceptance in ones heart results in a person that is different from others. To have compassion fully and truly, allowing it to change oneself, yet knowing that the moment will pass, is passing, everywhere.
      So the magician who is harmony with themselves and the universe, does not play chess to checkmate, but to develop the play. Early in my research for one thing, the universe and my mind threw everything but answers at me. It was learning my opponent, learning my own limitations, and learning to transcend those limitations – it was then I felt I knew my opponent. But by then the High Priestess had conquered. Neither pillar held the answer to my initial research. In understanding my question, I had reduced it to irrelevance.

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