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September 16th. 2015 ...
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Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
What is Magic?
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Article ID: 10528
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: April 2nd. 2006
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Over the past six or seven months as I've clicked around the various boards, I've noticed that the same questions keep popping up: What is magic? How do I do it? How do I start? Can you tell me how to cast a hex?
Looking back at where I was when I first signed onto the boards and where I am now, I see an evolution in my own belief structure. My core beliefs remain the same, but how I view the “whys" has evolved.
Now let me start by saying that some of this may have a ring of Buddhism to it. I'm not Buddhist, but I do think that in some areas, they are on the right track. I am not Wiccan and, as such, I am not bound by the Rede. But what amazes me is that most of these questions are being asked by folks claiming to be Wiccan. Well, be that as it may, a few days ago I sat down to record my thoughts in my Book. I have posted it on a number of boards and have been told it was worth sharing. These are simply my thoughts. If you can use any part of it, good. If you find that it's tripe, that’s ok too.
What is Magic?
There is no easy answer that can help someone understand how to use magic or the correct ritual for that matter. To deal with this question, we must identify what it is we believe. I think most Wicca’s, Witches, Druids, and Pagans of every sort will agree and quickly identify with a need or desire to connect with nature. Some will admit to doing spell work to promote healing, promote harmonious living, attain restful sleep, calm minds, and so on. Very few will claim to have performed works such as bending another's will, causing harm, controlling the weather, or anything that has a visible or verifiable effect. Why is that? The answer is actually very simple. Because it takes more concentration, passion, and focus than the average person can muster in this hustle bustle noisy world we live in.
The first thing I think we must understand is that everything is composed of energy. The things we do in our every day lives affect this energy in random ways. For the moment, forget about good and bad, positive and negative. Think of the effect as ripples on the surface of a vast sea. Our thoughts, our actions, yes, even the very fact of "being" sends out energy waves -- tiny ripples across the surface of this sea. Even the plants and animals and even the earth itself, because they exist, send out waves of energy or ripples on this sea. Every minute, every second, our ripples are interacting with the ripples of every other "thing". Energies are interrupted and redirected randomly. Some of those ripples come back to you, changed from what they might have originally been: weakened, strengthened, noticed and unnoticed. It may be the ripple of some other “thing” but it could just as easily be your own. The surface of that sea is an area of turmoil, constant chaos. Attempting to perform magic is like attempting to navigate a small boat across that sea of chaos to reach some distant point. If you lack the knowledge of the sea, you will never travel far from the shore.
Every “thing” on this plane of existence has a certain duality -- a God / Goddess aspect, if you will; the physical form and the spiritual form. Both are of the energy and connected, yet at the same time, are separate in their existence.
The physical body, the anchor, the ground, the God form.
The spiritual body, the wisdom, the insight, the Goddess form.
Because they are of the energy, while separate, they still remain as one. Because some people can perceive the energy, they attribute personalities to these forms as they anticipate these forms to be represented, in part influenced by their own expectations or parental upbringing.
The mind is a powerful tool. It is the link between the two forms. It is the only tool that can be used to manipulate the energy or, in other words, perform magic. As I said, this is a noisy world we live in, hence, many of us use tools such as wands, athames, candles, etc. But these things only have value in that we use them to assist us in our attempts to focus our minds and concentrate on a specific goal.
When I refer to Placebo Magic, I am referring to things we do that give us the sense that we are benefiting the emotional well-being of either ourselves or someone close to us. We let them know we are sending them positive thoughts, good wishes, etc, and because they believe in our good intent, their minds translate this into beneficial energy for them. On the same note, we attain some benefit because we believe that we did a good thing. As another example, Voodoo is dependent upon common knowledge of the act. This however is only scratching the surface of the use of the energies around us.
Now, here is where I was going to discuss “Real Magic”, the act of directing energy toward a target, and touch on “Dark Magic” as well. But in the writing, I discovered that this too is just Placebo Magic. The need to defend, the ability to attack, etc -- we just visualize something in one way or another and, by doing so, give it “essence”.
If we can set aside the clutter of emotion and connect with the energies that flow from our own duality, we can experience a true reality of the concept of magic. That’s the truth in the balance. It’s not really about doing anything. It’s about being.
To attain a oneness with the energy is to attain enlightenment.
To attain enlightenment is the first step on the path to truly understanding the meaning and purpose of life.
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