Friday, March 2, 2012

Why Do We Do This?

Well Jason, as usual we're secretly in sync with each other!  In your lastest entry on Magic and Mind and Psychology you discuss the need to not just be magically delicious but to have your shit together too.  I just sent an entry to my editor for Week 13 of the New Year, New You: An Experiment in Radical, Magical Transformation on this topic as well.  I also discussed that it's okay to have mostly mundane goals there too.  Spooooooooooooooooooky.

But it also made me contemplate why do I do magic and how do I feel about psychology and magic?  Because, as Jason said, there are easier ways to get power, prestige, money, love, etc.


From a spellwork perspective, if you are more into "low" magic over "high" magic, you may not truck much with spirits.  You may ask God/dess/es or totems or ancestors for help but you may not get into the world of angels and demons and other various spirits.  You may just say, God.  (Scandalous!)  You may . . .and this is where things get touchy . . .not have any significant meditational practice at all.  (le gasp!) You may only be minorly concerned with enlightenment or magical powers and personal growth may be something you look at from a mundane perspective primarily.

I just described myself, honestly.  But not just me, lots of kitchen witches, hearth witches and hoodoo practitioners as well.  Possibly Wiccans (almost none of my sisters have a real steady meditation/power gathering format that they use outside of circle to the best of my knowledge) and ADF Druids (. . .we're totes supposed to meditate but I have a rudimentary practice at best and I still have my card but no actual dedicants' book despite the fact that I did cycle two of the dedicants program *and* contributed data to the program but oooooh Jow joins and you just send him a book no questions asked.  I'm looking at you, KirkAhem.  Anyway it stands to reason that there are many other ADF members who attend their groves faithfully as I do and suck at meditating.  Especially since ADF is primarily celebratory, at least in my grove). 

I find if you're not trying to get super into the spirit world, your spells fall under the following categories:  love, money, protection, hexing and health.  Ta-da!  Not everyone is really fantastic at communicating with the spirit world and that's okay too.  It is one aspect of a strong magical practice, but it's not the only one.  Faith can take you a long way along with offerings (especially when you don't have your hand out).  Maybe you have a steady magical practice to get ahead and keep things running smoothly and that's all you need.  Frankly, it's all I need.  And if I never get enlightened or get infinite cosmic powers, I'm really okay with that as well.  It's not really part of my bracket of goals.  I don't need a never ending amount of people attracted to me, I don't need to be rich, I don't need a lot of things.  I've learned from my divorce, mo' money mo' problems.

I do magic to (consensually) keep my relationship good, to keep bringing in money with a day job, that I can handle minor problems like a car problem, to keep things smooth in my family, to help me keep making money as a writer and a crafter, to protect my home and occasionally when I'm irritated enough, to smack someone's ass down.  And . . .that's it. That's all I need. 

Because my magic tends to be more faith based, how it works is less important to me than having it work.  Maybe it's somewhat psychologically based, maybe it's not.  Listen, I get why it's important.  I have fibromyalgia.  The way we're treated varies a lot based on whether that person thinks it's "all in your head" (psychological) or it's actual neurological damage (hard science!).  But at the end of the day, no one knows for sure yet if fibro is psychological or science based or both and no one knows about magic.  But . . .I still have fibro and magic still works.  If you ever want to be validated because someone is scoffing at you, offer v. sincerely to do work on their behalf.  Because I've found that backs that train up real fast.  Everyone in my life who has scoffed has also refused to let me do magic on their behalf.  Obviously, some part of them believes that I have the power to change their lives in some way.  Last I checked, that's what magic is.


Andrew B. Watt said...

AWESOME COSMIC POWERS come with a price tag: Itty, bitty living space. I mean, we all have awesome, cosmic powers in the temple, don't we? But life would get pretty boring if that was the only place we lived.

I'd add another aspect of Magic to your list, though: I wish more people did magic for education or creativity. I think that our traditions would benefit from magic directed specifically at that purpose, and our health and our tribalism would grow from that... I don't necessarily mean the bad things about tribalism, like stabbing your neighbors, but the good things like artistic traditions and new social groupings. That would be awesome.

Mr. J. said...

It's not my fault I got a book! I swear I did not tell them to send me another book for free! It just appeared. Like magic.

Rose Weaver said...

I find both Jason's post and yours quite interesting because I don't normally work with Spirits (although the occasional ghost does come to visit, but that's different). As I mentioned on Jason's post, however, I've noticed my magick works far better when my mind is clear... psychologically healthy. And that is any form of magick, not simply Spirit work.

There was a long period of time when I was simply not functioning well due to a breakdown. I'm a strong woman, but we all reach our limits and I finally reached mine. After I performed my most significant rite, situations occurred which just ... smashed me to bits. During that time, I had significant problems performing even simple candle magick. It wasn't until recently when my spells and rituals, simple as they are, began working as intended again... because I was working again, if that makes sense.

And I think it is wise for anyone performing magick of any kind to seek assistance from a good therapist when they know issues in their lives are stopping them from doing what they know they need, and want, to do effectively... magick included.

Deborah Castellano said...

@ Andrew - I agree about creativity! But for me, creativity = money which is why it sort of gets lumped in together with that as a general heading but I agree, there should be more work done on that.

@ Jow - You are seriously the only one I know who can make books appear like magic. This is not the first time you've done this.

@ Rose - I do agree. I think the same can be said for physical illness too. However, some illnesses are permanent and my thought there is that you should get to a point where you're managing your illness(es) comfortably before doing magic. Once you're managing comfortably it's a lot easier. But while an issue is accute and still being sorted, it is generally best to leave magic alone while you're figuring it out.

Rose Weaver said...

Deborah, with the physical illnesses, oh yeah, we do agree on that as well. This is one reason why I've scaled back so much until I can get my physical health back to a point where I'm feeling where I once did... or at least better. And, just found out I'm in menopause which explains a lot. Doc said that was a sudden onset (duh, yeah) which is rare, but does happen... so once my health is back in balance, my work will be back where it was again.

I think we all deal with these various issues from time to time. It's being able to recognize when we're not physically/mentally at the same level and doing what we need to do to stabilize or become more healthy so our work strengthens again which is most important.

But, hey... you already know that. ;)

~ Mari said...

i made notes from where we were discussing this on the list. and i want to address it on-list if not on my blog, as well. i just have to squeeze in a couple of hours so i can get it all written down.

~ Mari said...

Obviously, some part of them believes that I have the power to change their lives in some way. Last I checked, that's what magic is.

Same here. I never did understand that whole not doing magic for personal gain thing ... Makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever!

Anonymous said...

I second what Andrew B. said about doing magic for creativity.
I do it.
It helps.

I find it kind of tricky to do magic for "creativity" that doesn't vear heavily into "fertility" (which, in my world, is a VERY different subject, and one to be avoided. No babies for me, thankyouverymuch!), but I try to do it, none the less. :-)

MG Ellington said...

This makes so much sense.

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