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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 6,178,727  

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Question of the Week: 53 - 8/6/2001

What is 'Will' or 'Willpower'?

Okay, now that you're all rested up from your fun festival experiences, time to stretch the ole brain cells once more: What do you think the human/spiritual/magickal 'will' may be? Where does it come from? How do you get it? Is it a function of the brain, of the spirit? Does it emerge from rational mind processes/training or is it an instinctual survival method? How might 'will' be used to produce good ends and/or how might it be abused? Do you believe that a person or persons with 'will' can affect the processes of the natural world or change the course of history? If decisions and the course of human/political/social events are determined every day by people and systems with an agenda, how could/would (or not) Pagans use their own 'willpower' to either aid or deter such agendas? Finally, do you believe- REALLY believe- that one person or a group of like-minded persons with sufficient will can change the world? If you do, then why does it seem that so few people are actually working at doing so?

 Reponses:   There are 19 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 


As A Practicing Witch, I Know That Will Is The Most Important... Aug 8th. at 4:41:42 am UTC

Artemis Moonshadow (Kfar-Saba, Israel) Age: 16 - Email


As a Practicing Witch, I know that Will is the most important aspect in creating a flow of energy for a spell. Will, of course, does not only concern the magical field of life, but every aspect of life. Willpower is what makes the world move the way WE want it. Will is what makes us tick, what we want, what we wish, what we feel, they are all aspects of Willpower. Every person that knows how to use their will, is a true magician.
I am now studying Chaos Magic and Theory (the two have to be learned together since they are so entwined in each other) and in Chaos Magic The Will and System of Meta-Belief are most important. If you want something hard enough, and of course, work to get it, you will.
But we must remember, Will may be one of the strongest powers in the world it is not the only. There is a law in magic (i wish I could give credit to whoever wrote it so nicely) which think dscribes the power of will best:

"The Law of Predestination and Free Will: events are predestined, each person chooses whether and to what extent to participate in them."

Blesses Be.



Hi. I'm New. The Phrase That Popped Into My Mind When I... Aug 7th. at 11:29:45 pm UTC

Colin P. McBride (Easton, Pennsylvania US) Age: 22 - Email


Hi. I'm New.

The phrase that popped into my mind when I read this weeks question was the heading in the History of Dr. Martens shoes for the section about punk rock. I don't know where the quote is from but it has always stuck in my head. The quote is "History is made by people who say no". As a political science student with an interest in history I agree with this quote. Can a person or group of like-minded individuals change the world? Well, friends, that's all that ever has changed the world.

I believe that the will is that spark within us that says that we will not be slaves to forces beyond our control, that we can forge our own path. Whether (sp?) through magic, organization, rabble-rousing, political action or any combination of the above. The point is, the will is what gives us the strength to say no.

Because of this, the will can be used for good or evil. Both MLK and Hitler used their wills to change the world, but for different purposes. As with all things, it's the way you use it.

As for why people don't seem to be doing anything, it's all a matter of comfort. As long as people can eat, raise chidren, work and take part in some form of entertainment it is extremely hard to get them to take a chance on losing what they have to get more. Revolution is a gamble. Some aren't willing to take the bet.


I Think Your Will Is Like The Priest Or Priestess Inside Of... Aug 7th. at 1:49:19 pm UTC

Morgan Ezra Zigler (Salmon Arm, British Columbia CA) Age: 18 - Email


i think your will is like the priest or priestess inside of you, be it spiritual.magickal/human. the fact reamains that your will is the part of you that knows when and where to satisfy your need. be that in it's unconcious calls to the gods or the choice of orages over apples in the supermarket. your will is part of what makes you an indavidual. i think will is something which comes with any spirit, it just depends on weather or not you choose to use it and when. many times i think the will works without concious workings, so in that it is quite instinctual, but some do use their will and sharpen it to do tasks which would be hard for people with nominal spiritual energy or understanding, or even maybe physical strength. a good example was the group of wiccans (spiritualists) who worked together with a cllective 'will' to stop hitler from invading england and subsequently the rest of the world. as to weather or not it worked that is a question of happenstance vs. devinedestiny, a personal opinion/decision. i think the will is a thing most easily harnessed by the spirit, but it is all but useless without the brain/mind to form the outline for which the will is to work. as for spellwork, you need the visualization to construct the change, then the will or need to send it out properly. so in short, the will is used in both, but comes, from my expeirience, from the spirit. it is a christian proverb (if such a thing exists) that g-d gave us the choice but all other parts are devine, exept the will or choice, now i have bent this a bit as to how i understand it, but in the end, no matter denomination or religion, it is something which can be used for good or i'll, it depends on oyur choice. christians have a tendancy to relate this with temptation which makes for quite parinoid people, but that is irrevelent. if we are talking magickal workings, it is hard to decifer weather or not the intent counts as far as outcomes are concerned, you know 'the worst of deeds from the best of intentions', and this is a question which i have stumbled over in my ponderings and experience. intent and will can be constrewed into many diffeerent factions, but what is obvious to me is that intentions are cut and seperate from will, becasue will is more of a question of degree of effort, wheather you have what it takes, the will to be a good person is probably the hardest thing to do, and this is a question of how much you can take, while intent is more what you are trying to achieve, not how you acheieve it, will is how things are achieved though whatever means your intentions choose. i believe not only can people with will affect the natural world but if will is harnessed to it's fullest, then you actually are forfilling your destiny, trying your hardest, if you will :), be it joan of arc, jesus, hitler, or our new tyrannical hypocrit mr. bush, we see that if you have the will, your way shall be made according to how you choose. if the question is can one person change the course of history i say yes, but if its can the course of history be changed, that is something i'll leave the the philosophers..becasue by nature if history has a course, any branch along this course would be a part of it, so canges are natural but not nessisarily seperate from this course. pagans, in my opinion, have a higher responsibility than most concerning what is to be changed. i'm not saying that they are above others in any way, there are still ying and yang in paganism, male and feamale, people with collective good and bad intentions and degrees of will. but since the average pagan has more of a grasp on the concepts of events and processes of the natural and supernatural worlds, he/she has a responsibity to use this understanding properly. how could they/we do this, well there are many methods; the collective consiousness working l'chiam (to life), coven craft, we can lend energy to higher dieties who have a supremem knoledge of what needs to be changed for the good of all, we can go out and make websites like this one to connect all of us so we can be more informed in our daily and life decisions, we can cast our spells collectivly and strengthen the heartbest of this earth, regardless of the events conspiring upon the surface, we can get together for demonstartions against clear cutting, but not selective logging (exept in the older wizened trees), we can get our own into political power so we may have a step up in predicting and preventing such negitive agenda's, basicially we can do what we are already tring to do, and if we use our will to the fullest, to the most we can make of it, then we are forfilling our destiny and helping as best we can...but most of all i think we can stop complaining and start doing, instead of saying the garbage is a problem, try to fix it, 'the ozone is in trouble' as we use our hairstrey and drive to work at the same time. focus our will on solutions, not problems. i really do believe that collectivly people can change the world, they just need suffiencient leaders to bind the fear and combine the wills to things which will help the good to emerge in the indavidual and therfore in the collective. as far as where these leaders are..we need to prove ourselves worthy of their leadership, and then they will emerge in swarms. we talk to much, and i'm not helping, but procrastination and hypicritic forums are a start, but not and end in theirselves...maybe we just need a wake up call, and the next decade or so shall give us that call, once the castle starts falling on your head, you start to think of reservation, conservation and plaster, nu?


Will Is Decisions That Affect. Decisions That Don't Affect Are Wishes... Aug 6th. at 6:30:50 pm UTC

Moonraker Brooktrout (Halifax, Nova Scotia CA) Age: 27 - Email


Will is decisions that affect. Decisions that don't affect are wishes.


In Science, Energy Is Defined As The Ability To Do Work. Will... Aug 6th. at 3:02:17 pm UTC

Jason Brookbank (Grand Rapids, Michigan US) Age: 27 - Email


In science, energy is defined as the ability to do work. Will is the tool that one uses to focus and manipulate this energy. The tool of your will is shaped by many things. The first thing is your faith/beliefs. This dictates how you wield the tool of your Will. Your faith and beliefs determine whether you use prayer, spells, chants, rituals, invocation, evocation, etcÉ to focus you will and bring it to bear. This is the most visible and tangible of the elements that focus your Will. Second, and probably most important is your sense of self. This encompasses your perception of yourself, your self-confidence, and your belief in your own limitations. This also includes your state of grounding and centering. Think of this second item representing your ÒfootingÓ and balance. If this is out of order it will be like hammering in nails while standing on marbles. The third item is a simple one and that is your health. If you are not at your best both mentally and physically, your focus will not be at its best.

As I stated the Will is a tool to be used. And like any tool it is not the size that matters, but how you use it. A tool cares not if it is used for good or bad, so it falls to the wielder to determine where and how it is used. To change anything in the world it takes force. Not necessarily physical or military. It can be through convincing discussion, or clever debate. It can also be done via prayer and less tangible things. All it takes to change anything is force and time. A small force over a long time can be just as effective as a large force over a short time. This of course assumes that this force is being applied correct and at the proper point and time. It is your learning and wisdom that will show you how to bring your Will to bear as well as where and when.

I strongly believe that an individual or like-minded group can bring their will to bear and change the world. All it takes is force and time. Many people have the ability to do this, but they care not to. To change the world is not an easy task and is defiantly not an easy path to walk. There is rarely a personal reward attached with changing things for the better, only the knowledge that things will be better for others. For the ones who are willing to make changes in things, this is a truly great reward in and of itself. It is true that a greedy person can change the world for a short time as, history has shown us, but things quickly revert back to where they essentially were before this change.


Will Has Many Facets Not The Least Of Which Are Focus, Tenacity... Aug 6th. at 8:12:07 am UTC

Trish Telesco (western, New York US) Age: 41 - Email


Will has many facets not the least of which are focus, tenacity, and attention to detail. I have often recounted stories where a person cast a spell, and either lost their focus, didn't follow up, or didn't put enough detail into it and got a similarly limp-noodle manifestation ;-)

Will also does not simply effect one part of a person's life. I don't "do" a lot of magick - I LIVE the magick in thought, word, and deed. IMHO this is an act of will (and stubborn will at that). To me this is very important - will, like spirituality, isn't something we should simply pick up and dust off when it's convenient. If anything we need both when it's NOT convenient!

Can one will-empowered, magickal person or group change the world -- at least their corner of it, yes I believe this because I've seen it happen. See to me the little changes count as much as big ones because they lay the foundation for real miracles. I have a friend who for a long time was afraid of witches because of her faith. After two years of talking she finally took a brave step, thought for herself, and took an opinion opposite that portrayed on a religious radio broadcast. Will this small moment change the world? No, but it certainly will touch every person her life touches.. and it certainly empowered my life to see that living differently, walking-the-walk, DOES count for something that we can quantify.

But let's take examples to higher levels. What kind of response did the I AM campaign recieve? One group's idea spread around this country and made our leaders aware that neopagans VOTE! And it wasn't a big flashy event, just a clever notion properly enabled. Which brings me to the nasty word WORK.

Wren spoke of work and will - and I feel they go hand in hand. Don't be willful if you're not willing to work for it. Don't expect the universe to do it for us. We have a real job on this planet, and it's up to each of us to figure out our "jobs" then do them with all the love and magick we can.

Ok, off the soapbox...


Magical Will Is One Of The Chief Skills Needed By Any Witch... Aug 5th. at 11:35:41 pm UTC

Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) Age: 59 - Email


Magical Will is one of the chief skills needed by any Witch, but is rarely found
among Wiccans/Pagans, in my experience.

We see so much operating on "Pagan Standard Time"; when I get there, and if I feel like it, that one just doesn't want to put out any effort for such a community.

The object of my trad in Craft has always been to train practical occultists. This means creating formidable wizards and wizardesses, who can work the warp and woof of metaphysical Time and Space.

It entails dedication to the Art above and beyond other aspects of life to the degree of excellence and the exclusion of trifles.

This means the Will must be honed to the utmost, as much as possible. In dealing with those wanting such training, an assignment, trivial in nature, is given
and if the assignment is not accomplished, no further association is forthcoming
in occult studies.

What I'm saying, is that if effort is not put into accomplishing a task, no matter how inconvenient, that person can not be given anything else along the line of occult studies.

It would show lack of Will and lack of dedication to the Art.

So many want to be powerful occultists, but won't take the time to develop those skills of Will Power which open the way.

It may, however, be a product of the current education system, but I don't see
young people being given challenges to carry out tasks and see them through
to a conclusion.

As a rule of thumb, when a person is late for appointments, or promises things and becomes a No-Show, or can not finish tasks as a habit, I see lack of self-discipline and Will power. That precludes any further association with "Craft"
from my end of the teaching spectrum.

Without a dedicated Will, logic, ethics and consequences of action proove a problem with such people. They wouldn't make for good occultists or Witches.


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