Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Magick: A Tool of Practicality or Personal Transformation
Article ID: 6647
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,580
Times Read: 6,103
Author: Iarrthóir na Fírinne
Posted: August 3rd. 2003
Times Viewed: 6,103
"Twinkle-twinkle-twink," says the television speaker. The screen shows Samantha's face morphing back into a more normal expression after having repeatedly wrinkled her nose. Oh what kind of hi-jinks was Tabitha up to this time? What kind of magical mother-in-law-born disaster did Samantha have to correct? I tell you one thing, she certainly knew about the practical uses of magick, even as she struggled to live a normal "mortal" life. Darrin was a lucky man.
But real life is not "Bewitched," and real magick is pretty far removed from what was portrayed on the boob tube. As real Witches, we live each day in a world that challenges us to find a way to put our spiritual beliefs into practice. Almost all religions, including the varied beliefs most of us practice, began with the purpose of explaining how the world came to be and how systems that are hard to understand work. A closely related second purpose for the existence of belief systems is to show adherents ways to deal with day-to- day problems and the stresses of life.
Some belief systems tell a person that if they cleave to a structured set of rules set forth by a deity (or at least an enlightened master) they will be better equipped to govern the steep and sometimes treacherous slopes presented to them by life. The risk inherent in this sort of belief is fairly obvious. First of all, many followers may find solace this way from the harshness of being, but neglect to remember that the rules are guidelines, taking them to be concrete and immutable. Over time this becomes more pronounced and slowly ekes away at the adaptability of the practitioner, leaving them increasingly unable to cope with the ebb and flow of existence. Also, by believing this way, people may become passive beings waiting for solutions to arrive at their feet. This lack of fluidity and inability to take direct action defeats the very purpose for which they were searching. It is a major reason why many feel disillusioned by organized religion today.
Luckily for us, most magickally-based belief systems understand how the world works in a different way. In magickal practice, one is taught not to sit statically and wait for a giant hand to descend from the sky to determine one's fate. Instead, we should be dynamic creatures; actively meeting challenges, facing them and finding a way through will to emerge with a victory or a chance to gain greater knowledge for the future. There is deity inside each of us, and we drive our own vehicles down life's highway rather than taking the bus. The God/dess is our co-pilot, so to speak.
Aleister Crowley in Magick in Theory & Practice defines magick as, "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will," along with enough postulates and theorems to fill several more pages than this essay is supposed to encompass. Using this definition, we use magick each waking moment to overcome the tribulations of everyday life. Crowley continues:
"Every intentional act is a Magickal act... By "intentional" I mean "willed." But even unintentional acts so seeming are not truly so. Thus, breathing is an act of the Will to Live."
"Every man must do Magick each time he acts or even thinks, since a thought is an internal act whose influence ultimately affects action, though it may not do so at the time."
While this is just about a universally accepted definition, I prefer to qualify it with this offering from Phyllis Curott:
"The universe is not a machine, and magick is not the secret formula for manipulating the machine. You don't stand here, say this, do this, pull the lever and out comes your instant gratification. Magick is a profound spiritual process that's rooted in the idea of co-creative partnership with deity, with indwelling deity, a deity that surrounds us."
How does this relate to our question at hand, whether magick is a practical tool used to muddle through diurnal obstacles or is a function of personal growth? My contention is that the two concepts are inseparable. By practicing magick, one naturally transforms the self by invoking a partnership with deitic energy, optimizing one's coping mechanisms and creating the possibility of bypassing life's impediments through one's own acts. To quote Mr. Crowley one more time;
"Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one's conditions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action."
Many of the books on Witchcraft I see on the shelves at my local Barnes & Noble take a "cookbook" approach to magick, using it not as a holistic system marrying knowledge of self to transformation of self to the solvency of difficulties. The "cookbooks" take a quick fix approach to solving problems using a form of magick that is not grounded in completeness of being and fullness of self. Instead, the focus is on rote repetition of words written by others, intermixed with use of herbs, crystals and the like in a ritual that may or may not hold any real power for the individual trying to contend with issues. Curott says that:
"The how-to books that [were] out there were phenomenally dogmatic. They were very two-dimensional and approached the universe as if it were a machine and magick as if it were mechanical. They're not. The essence of Wicca is that the world in which we live is holy and sacred and divine. It's numinous and alive. When one engages in magick, it is the process of co-creation with the sacred and living universe."
To continue the cookbook analogy, trying to perform "bookbound" magick is akin to knowing the ingredients of a recipe without having an inkling of the cooking instructions. What one gets in the end might resemble the desired result, but will most likely be less than what could have been attained or be totally ineffectual - the cake will fail to rise in the oven. A Witch cannot successfully utilize magick to disentangle his or herself from everyday issues without having been modified from within by magick.
Personally, I believe magick to be something not that you do, but you are. A magickal person is able to walk confidently upright with the knowledge that whatever occurs, she or he has the power to deal with both the bugaboos that annoy as well as the crises that endanger. Muddling through life dependent upon a book, someone's written incantation or a bejeweled pendant to better one's life is no improvement over sitting and pining for a savior to ride in heroically to the rescue. You are the only magickal tool that is needed to foster change in your environment.
Until you have dealt with the turmoil within and used your power to transform yourself, you will never be successful dealing with that which is without - those "ups and downs" of life. The power we have as human beings, call it magick, Will or whatever you like, lies within us. In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu tells us;
"Knowing others is wisdom; Knowing the self is enlightenment; Mastering others is strength; Mastering the self is true power." The two "uses" for magick we are charged to consider are wedded together and interdependent.
Iarrthóir na Fírinne
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Author's Profile: To learn more about Iarrthóir na Fírinne - Click HERE
Bio: Veritus is an Eclectic Pagan who lives in Waco, TX, otherwise known as George W's backyard. He is one of the founders of Waco Eclectic Circle, who will celebrate one year together this Samhain. He would like you to know that he is not wild about labeling himself according to any set tradition, but that it is kind of kicky to refer to himself in the third person. He is married with two children who are not afraid to question, two dogs, three cats and umpteen rabbits. Among his favorite Pagan authors are Kerr Cuhulain, Phyllis Curott and Grey Cat.
Other Articles: Iarrthóir na Fírinne has posted 1 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Iarrthóir na Fírinne... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).