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From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
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Magic as Worship
Article ID: 12606
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: June 1st. 2008
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Sometimes when I am speaking to a group of people on the subject of magic, I notice many an eyebrow move askance when I state that I view magic as a form of worship. Many Witches seem to be used to viewing spell casting and magic as sort of secondary to worship. I have even spoken to Witches who say things like: "I don't cast spells anymore, I'm beyond all that". For these people working magic and casting spells seems to have fallen into a class that is lower than worship.
Before going into my perspective on magic as a form of worship, please allow me to first explain a bit about the Metaphysics of the Craft from my perspective, and as is taught in the tradition I follow. One of the basic principles I work from is the idea that we are all progressing. We are all on our way to becoming more perfect than we were when we started in this life.
I view the purpose for our existence on earth as being that of learning and growing into a fuller and more pure expression of spiritual oneness, or perfection. This is the reason for the law of Cause and Effect, or Karma: to teach. We learn (if we choose to accept our lessons) to repeat certain thoughts and actions, which produce desired results, and to avoid certain thoughts or actions, which produce undesired results.
The law of mental causation is such that everything in the physical, or mortal world is a reflection of that which is in the mind. While it is true that our conscious minds seem to have little or no control over our lives, our habitual (or unconscious) minds control every experience that we have. This is seen as the reason why some people can triumph over great adversity, while others with even greater resources fail. The mind is the determining factor. The attitude that we carry around with us, and the constant inner dialogue we play is what determines our experience in the mortal world. I place great importance on the principle that the mortal world is an effect of the mental, or spiritual world. The mortal world is not causative.
There is within each of us a seed of desire. We all have a calling (many of us have a calling which is quite diverse, and can appear to be many different callings). I don't believe that there is a person alive who doesn't have desires to become something greater that what they are. Some people are simply unconscious of these desires.
Try this: Close your eyes, and relax. Fantasize about what you would love to do if there were no limits at all. If money, responsibility, time, location, disability, or any other limitation were not present, what would your life be about? If you came up with something like just sitting on the beach doing nothing, then you may just need a good rest. In such a case, ask yourself what you would be doing next, after you were rested. This is your seed of desire.
Remember the last line of the Charge of the Goddess: "You'll find me when you reach the end of desire." The seed of desire is put there for our use. It is there to be followed. We did not create ourselves; therefore, we did not create our potential. Our potential was created by our divine parents (or God, God and Goddess, Great Spirit call it whatever you like to call it, it's not picky). Our divine potential is there to be realized.
This is the Great Work, the reason each of us are alive on this planet: to contribute our gifts, and to realize our potential.
Just as everyone is born with particular gifts and desires (potentials to be realized), each of us is also presented with a particular set of problems to solve. Our day-to-day problems are specialized for each of us. There is no mistake or random order to our problems. We can think of them as math problems to be solved, or repetitions to be completed on a weight machine at the gym. Our problems are there for us to solve, so that we will become stronger, more wise people able to support others in solving their problems.
Our life's work then is the combination of our desires to be realized and our problems to be solved. This is our individualized curriculum. No one has the same curriculum; each is highly specialized. I view this as the reason for each of us being here in this life, in this body, in this country, at this time, with this family, and these friends: to learn these lessons.
No one can stop us from learning these lessons, not even us. The most any of us can do is to delay our progress, but we can't stop our progress any more than we can stop the ocean from moving, and the planet from spinning. The same intelligence that makes the tides cycle, the planet revolve around the sun, and the flowers sprout up, made us. We are all progressing. The universe is expanding.
This brings me to my point about magic as worship. As a Witch, it is not only our right to use magic and spellwork to obtain our goals and overcome our problems, it is also our responsibility.
For instance, if we feel we are too spiritual to do a money spell, yet we are in a constant state of worry about money and bills, then we don't really understand how detrimental it is to waste our mind, time and energy worrying about money; nor do we understand how a real money spell works.
Unlike the spells published in many books, a real money spell is a very powerful device. It assists us in changing our consciousness at a deep level so that we can tap into a universal source of abundance. This connection to universal abundance enables us to have all the money we need to live comfortably in the world, and have all the resources we require to do the work we were sent here to do, without being preoccupied with money.
It is unfortunate that many published money spells actually feed into the fear of lack and poverty, rather than permanently healing the disease in consciousness, which caused the poverty in the first place. These spells are often written to sell books and "occult supplies, " not heal our poverty. This is why many of these types of money spells fail.
When confronted with a problem, we can work it out the so-called "mortal" way by going into the physical world and manipulating circumstances, or we can go right to the source of the problem (our deep mind) and cast a spell. Casting a legitimate spell plugs us into a power much greater than our own rational mind and helps us overcome our problem victoriously and permanently.
For instance, if you are desiring a relationship, you could go through all the mortal means of finding a mate: websites, bars, parties, blind dates, dating services, personal ads, mutual friends, etc. Or you could cast a spell to find your perfect mate. In working a properly formulated spell, you would be able to confront your consciousness on a deep level and discover and change your current habitual ideas about relationships: your self-esteem, fears, resentments, expectations, etc.
Until these deep levels of consciousness are changed, the people whom you draw into your life will continue to match your current unconscious thought patterns. If you continue to confront your problems with the same consciousness you had before, you will continue to get the same results you have always gotten.
Many ask: "Does this mean that we can't change our consciousness without magic?" Of course not. We all shift our consciousness and grow bit by bit based on trial and error. Everyone learns from his or her experiences. We are all progressing.
When we work magic, however (at least when we do it in a conscious, enlightened, and effective manner), we are able to save ourselves a great deal of time and effort by getting straight to the core of the matter in question. This is why magic is such a sacred art. It is a process by which we are able to call upon potent spiritual forces to work with us in order to realize our own potential, and to overcome our problems.
I have always found it quite humorous that some people at this point in the conversation will worry about what they would do if they actually got everything that they wanted, and overcame all of their problems. I usually ask them what happens when a student passes all the final exams in ninth grade? That's right, they move to the tenth grade.
Once you overcome your current problems and start to realize your goals, you will be astonished at how quickly you are presented with much more sophisticated problems and more lofty goals. There is nothing wrong with moving forward and being successful in this life. There is no sin in pursuing happiness and satisfaction.
The only person responsible for your progress is you. How you view your place in this world is completely up to you. You can view yourself as a little spec of dust lost in the big bad universe, alone and powerless, struggling and fighting to survive; you are free to perceive yourself anyway you choose.
Unfortunately, when you view yourself in this manner, that perception will most likely be your experience in the world. You could, instead, see yourself as somebody who is a force to be reckoned with. A powerful force for good and healing on this planet, someone whose talents and gifts are something significant and vital to the health and well-being of the world.
Are you worried that this self-image sounds egotistical? It is only egotistical if you are coming from a point of view of arrogance, i.e. you are better than everyone else. Remember that you did not create yourself.
Every time you think of yourself as small and insignificant, it is an attack on the power that created you. That is arrogance. To say, "I accept the gifts that my Holy Mother and Father have given me and I dedicate my life to pursuing them, " is true humility.
Each of us must be very clear about this. Low self-esteem is arrogance, and accepting our spiritual connection to the Creator is humility. The more we connect on a regular and conscious basis with our true spiritual self (i.e., our True Will), our enthusiastic self esteem will be contagiously encouraging others to use their gifts.
Egotistical people are afraid for anyone else to make it. Spiritual adepts want to help everyone realize their potential.
Many neo-pagans often stick their finger down their throat when I start to talk like this and say that I am nothing but a "fluff bunny." Yet, I am happy and successful, and these people are often bitter and miserable. Why do we insist on thinking that life is supposed to be a drag?
Who said so?
What would happen if we all just changed our minds about this? I have, and for me it means living with a greater sense of respect for all life, forging deeper and more meaningful relationships, participating in a regular discipline of devotion, exposing myself to more and more beauty, contributing to the health, wealth and happiness of the world, and having a fantastic time in this life.
Did magic do it for me? No, but without magic, I am certain it would have taken me a lot longer to get here.
Copyright: 2008 The Lance and Grail
Location: Santa Ana, California
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