Just. Effing. Magick.
This is a letter I wrote about my thoughts on the practice of magick- I mostly keep all this to myself for fear of becoming a pariah, but upon reflection, I don’t care. These are things I know, they are my experience, so I shall share them:
There is a current within the occult that is, for the most part, alternately ignored, abused, and reviled. And frankly, I’m not even sure I know how to talk about it without sounding like a lunatic.
So, you know all the worst of the internet trolls: The high archmage muckity mucks, the dragonkin elven fox furries, the astral goddess wielders of excalibur, the people who think they’re a faerie queen, the demon overlords, the people who took D&D and faerie tales Way too seriously?
Yeah, whole lot of facepalm going on there-
However, if you can get past the bullshit, all these people share the same Impetus, they’re all looking for the same thing- these loudest voices, typically being unstable and completely void of social skills and Utterly lost in their own personal mythology, have cast an indelible stain on anything that even resembles what they were looking for.
I know this, because I share that same Impetus.
I get it.
I have just put forth the effort to not be a dumbass about it most of the time.
I think a lot of people, if not most of us began with that Impetus, but upon finding the occult community the well adjusted among us decide “well, obviously, since everybody else thinks that’s just childish nonsense, it must be”, and let the idea go.
Or they still harbor that Impetus, but have sense enough to keep their mouth shut about it.
Or they choose one of the systems, like the Fluffy Pagan Brigade, who pretend they know all about it and make it all safe and happy.
Or they turn from it with a sense of betrayal and decide there’s no such thing as Magick in that sense, and it’s all psychological tricks and despise everyone who dares to believe in anything that can’t be measured with a ruler.
So what’s the point of this?
I have learned to use the language of the modern occult systems with it’s paradigms, energies, elements, programs, nexions, wave functions, etc. etc. but that’s not really what I do.
I just use Magick-
Like what people believe in when they’re kids.
The whole story doesn’t really matter, but somewhere along the way I decided
A) everything I’ve discovered about the occult is boring, fluffy, unimaginative, doesn’t line up with what I feel in my heart to be true, and really doesn’t seem very magickal at all.
B) Somebody had to be the first one to raise up off their hairy knuckles and decide they could use magick.
and C) children all over the world play really weird imagination games, and naturally use bizarre “little kid magick” all the time- until it gets beaten out of them sometime around junior high.
I’m sure this is technically faulty logic, but bear with me-
Every other young animal in the world (well, mammals and some birds at least) instinctively plays at the skills they will need later in life. I’ll spare you the list, but think about it for a second, and they Do.
So why the prevalence of Human children wandering around in imaginary realities, doing weird ass little kid magick (cootie shots, chants, bizzarre rituals to keep the closet monster at bay, jinx breaking, holding your breath so the thunder doesn’t get you, etc.
Not to mention a stick can be at will, a sword, a gun, a wand, an icky poostick of doom, whatever)- all these things that, in the normal adult world really seem to serve no practical function of survival at all?
Right or wrong, logical fallacy or not, I wondered what would happen if you took the same spiritual force, energy, gnosis, whatthefuckever, that people use in their magickal work, and applied it with the same level of dedication to these seemingly pointless beliefs and skills practiced by children with a critical eye to the most widely held occult theories, and upscaled to functional adult experience.
Apart from “it worked”, I don’t know what else to say about it.
I think I found the Impetus that keeps the trolls lurking, and keeps that suspicion in the backs of people’s minds that says the world of the occult, the magick should be more like we thought it would be when we were kids.
There was more Fail and more Silly than I care to contemplate, and we spent an unseemly amount of time running around in the woods Pretending (we knew we were pretending, but we had to go back before we could go forward).
What I *seem* to have discovered, is kind of… Like, a multilayered reality in which we all exist that all has some measure of “Real” to it for a subjective value of “Real”,
a means to influence and change that reality seemingly on the Quantum level,
and a semi-sentient Force, perhaps, that is not a god (though it might be a function of GOD, or the IS if you take my meaning) That Feels like what the idea of magick felt like so long ago.
It’s got the same feel as every faerie tale, fantasy book, movie, or song that inspires people towards magick, the ones that you experience that make you say “Yes!” and make you Wish that the world wasn’t so fucking mundane.
Not energy work, not systemic entropy, not elements, not intercessional deity, or psychology, not tricks, not overblown philosophy, and not religion.
Just. Fucking. Magick.
It has been my experience that all the real, recordable results regardless of paradigm, and the people who are validly successful, tap into this “current in reality” through whatever means they happen to use.
How does it work?- it’s Magick.
How do you do it- use your imagination, it’s Magick.
You can’t do that- why not? its fucking Magick…
I postulate, ladies and gentlemen, that this is indeed the root of the occult. It is what all the systems, and dogmas, and even the “gone off the deep end” idiots have been attempting to explain, and in the attempt, just like the words of every prophet ever- they took something really simple, and made it so complex you can hardly find the point anymore.
Every system, every paradigm, every philosophy of the occult I have ever studied or tried- every single one has, in the end, proven pointlessly unwieldy.
Yes they all work. All of them. Any of them. Make some shit up, and it works-
Because it’s Magick.
Is it easy to figure out how to use it?
Is it really easy to get sidetracked, or fall off into the bullshit pile?
Tools and tricks and mental aids can be helpful, certainly, but in the end, in my opinion, it is just plain Magick at the heart of the matter.
After my initial posting of the above essay, someone asked me to clarify what, exactly, I meant by “little kid magick” so here it is:
Ok, so a whole lot of the things children Pretend, play at, are strange imagination games.
As you know (or will quickly discover as you study) “visualization” is the most common, across the board, tool of using magick.
Kids are born doing this, and they do it better than all the adults who have all sorts of hard techniques to learn to do it effectively. Kids can change the whole of their personal reality in the blink of an eye- it doesn’t Do anything most of the time, because they’re kids.
Remember when you were playing, you could Be Superman, and it didn’t matter whatsoever that you were running around a playground- You were Superman?
Or the couch could Be a spaceship?
Or a pile of old bushes would Be a dragon?
And it was Easy.
So here’s the short version of how to apply this to magick-
Remember how you could Be Superman?
Now, Be a Wizard. Pretend.
On the surface, this seems silly, but bear with me- you have to let go of the silly. Kids don’t feel silly when they’re Superman, they’re too busy Being Superman, flying around and shooting lazerbeams out of their eyes.
You know how you can recall the feeling of a physical sensation or an Emotion? Like the feel of wind, or drinking something cold, or stubbing your toe, or excitement- and you can, if you concentrate, Feel it?
So what you do, Pretending to be a Wizard, just imagine what *Your* magick Feels like, what it would look like blasting out as a spell- Kids don’t worry about How it will work, they just do it, usually with some impressive whooshing sound effect.
Or maybe your magick is quiet and creeps like tendrils of smoke, or flows like water.
Summon the vision, and more importantly, summon the Feeling, and Pretend like a kid that you’re casting your spell, and like a kid, Believe it.
It took me a while, some years, to become truly effective at this. Just as it takes a while to become effective at any paradigm of magick. Apart from a certain (rather large) level of creative versatility, immediacy, and freedom, it’s no stronger, better, nor more effective than any other paradigm.
However, this style does allow for a Lot more practice.
In many systems you have to wait around for the right phase of the moon, or star alignment, or you have to build a ritual, or be in a special place, or evoke some god or spirit, or create a servitor, or a sigil, or whatever. Many people, especially among the pagan and ceremonial groups cast maybe one spell a week if they’re particularly active- certainly some do more, but, I’m talking about average practitioner.
I throw like 20 a day.
Who’s going to be better at magick?
So long as you have the juice left to throw a spell you can do it (you will discover this method will wear you the hell out when it works.) I have also found that in using your Own magick, rather than relying on some spirit or non sentient “energy” do it for you, you don’t have to worry as much about the unintended consequences that everybody always gives dire warnings about.
It’s a part of you. It won’t manifest in ways that You are not ok with-
not to say that you can’t miss, or that cause and effect won’t whack you in the face like stepping on a rake hidden in the grass, but it won’t off your grandmother because you cast a nonspecific money spell- which is one of the favorite examples.
One other little tidbit- You know how most systems place emphasis on visualizing the end result in exhaustive detail? Seeing your will after it has come to fruition?
Screw that. It’s backwards.
Focus instead on summoning up your Magick and it going out there to do your will.
Certainly- Know what you want, use ritual tools like a sigil or a written out spell if you need something complex and specific.
But the important bit- the Really important bit to doing magick is the Doing of the Magick.
Utilize your imagination on the Front end of spellcasting, not the Back end. Trust the Magick to find the path of least resistance through reality from where you’re standing, rather than hurling it into some as yet non-existent possible future and hoping it finds you again. That, in my opinion and experience, is putting the cart before the horse. Not that it doesn’t work, especially from a particular point of view, but when I began using this mind set, my effectiveness increased dramatically.
All paradigms have something to offer: ideas, tricks of the trade, good knowledge. Listen to everybody- it all builds your vision of the whole.
But this technique of coming at it from the little kid mind set makes it all a lot easier-
they don’t have to fight themselves to make magick.
Neither do we.
There are people of course, who’s mental landscape is quite different, and as such this method doesn’t work for everyone. Many need a distinct process, a more rigid practice, a distinct trail to follow, or who’s main mental process is something other than visual based imagination.
What I think people of such mind should take from this idea is license to find their own form of creative magickal expression, to feel free to explore the way their mind Does work- to use their natural inclinations in their magickal practice to their advantage.
Because it’s Magick, it doesn’t matter What you do, so long as you Do Something to make it work.
I’ve struggled for years to try to figure out how to convey to people how to find Their Way, as I found My Way. That’s the truly important bit, I think- To ponder how You would make the magick work.
If it was your ideal world- What would You do?
When you think about magick, how do you Wish the process worked?
Keep at it till it works.
And it will.