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Pagans All Around Us
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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article ID: 6658
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 4,909
Times Read: 4,688
Author: RuneWolf [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 10th. 2003
Times Viewed: 4,688
Speaking only for myself, I believe that magick is quite practical. But this may simply be because of my personal definitions of magick and practicality. To me, practicality equals results, and magick is the art of changing consciousness at Will (among other things). The ability to change consciousness at Will is a powerful tool, with direct and immediate effects in the manifest world, and thus must be considered practical, because it gets results.
I am, fundamentally, an energy structure. My job is, fundamentally, and energy structure. When the energy field of my job envelops and subsumes my energy field, then I am controlled by my job, and my life suffers because of the imbalance. When I enrich and extend my energy field so that the situation is reversed, such that my energy now contains and controls that of my job, then my life is restored to a healthy balance, and my job resumes its proper place in the scheme of things. In the process of reversing the energetic relationship between my job and myself I am changing my perception of that relationship, and as perception is a constituent of consciousness, I am therefore changing my consciousness at Will, making this a magickal act. This change in perception, in consciousness, has tangible positive effects in the manifest world - reduced stress, enhanced well-being, increased productivity, better workplace relationships - and thus produces results. Therefore, it is practical.
I'm one of those people who believe that anything that enhances my ability to deal with life on life's terms is useful and practical, and while I have my favorites, I don't care what others use, so long as it doesn't harm them or others. If gargling with peanut butter helps you deal with a broken water pump in your car, then gargle away. Magick helps me to deal with the exigencies of life by helping me to empower myself, and leave victimhood behind. When I convince myself that I am being slammed about by the hockey stick of "Fate," and I have no control over what is happening to me, my ability to respond appropriately and effectively is hampered by my perception that I am powerless. Magick may not always fix the problem, but it lets me do something, even if all other avenues are blocked, and that empowerment helps me to respond with Right Action, even if that Right Action is to accept the situation as it is and ride it out. At the very least, I am not just throwing up my hands and complaining that I never seem to get a break. I get a lot of breaks - an awful lot; they just don't seem to come when and where I want them. Magick - the Willed change of consciousness - helps me to see that fact when I am feeling victimized, and to pull myself out of that unhealthy state of Being.
There are many systems for altering our perception of life and empowering ourselves to "take control," some ancient, some not. My personal definition of magick borrows from many of these, because that is what my experience of magick has been. I often hear someone describe, for instance, an NLP technique, and I think to myself "That's magick!" We are, in other words, talking about the same "spiritual technologies;" we are simply using different terminology. Several authors have written on the subject of using the principles of aikido in interpersonal relationships, and I follow many of those practices myself, which again, I call magick. Magick, to me, is not simply spellcraft or ritual. Anything I do that changes consciousness and/or moves energy is magick. And since quantum theory seems to be telling us that consciences and energy are inextricably linked, it's basically the same thing. We have all been in those situations when "the energy shifted," and I think each of us could reflect on those occurrences and trace that shift directly back to a change in a person or persons perception of that situation.
Magick is often less about having what I want and more about wanting what I have. The Willed change of consciousness that empowers me in a situation often does so by allowing me to truly see and accept the situation for what it is, in this infinite Now. When I am thwarted in some endeavor, and I bring magick to bear on it, what I often find is I end up realizing that it wasn't as important as I thought it was, or I didn't want it nearly as badly as I did a moment ago. Or that, in fact, things aren't all that bad just the way they are. I subscribe to a couple of apparently conflicting philosophies: "Good is the Enemy of the Best," and "Better is the Enemy of Good Enough." The first helps me to avoid complacency, to not always settle for second-best, and to challenge myself to improve my life and the lives of those I love and care for. The second, however, tells me that sometimes it's not a good idea to screw around with a good thing. My incipient need to "tweak" things has gotten me, on more than one occasion, a lot less than I had before the "tweak." I'm sure many of us can relate to that one itty-bitty little extra bit of fine-tuning that did nothing but crash the whole computer. Or the last spoonful of sugar that made the coffee undrinkably sweet. So there are times when I engage the power of magick to effect change, and realize that, in fact, change is neither appropriate nor necessary.
In my understanding, all of the above come under the heading of "personal transformation," so that magick is in fact both practical and a tool for the development of the Self. In fact, it is a rising spiral: magick helps me to grow, and growth helps me to access more powerful levels of magick, which help me to grow more, and so on. If practicality can be defined as producing tangible results in the manifest world, then magick and personal transformation must be practical, because as I improve as a human being, as a Witch, my contribution to the betterment of the world improves and increases. The age-old question is "Why are we here?" I believe that one of the answers to that question is "To love and help each other." Through magick and personal transformation, I am better able to love and help those who share this life with me, and I can't think of anything more practical than that.
In Their Service,
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