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Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Magick

There are few words in our language that can set pagans to squabbling was swiftly and efficiently as "magick." Even it's spelling is a contested point.

So what is magick? What constitutes magickal work? How does the magickal differ from the mundane?

The answers to these questions are so simple, so elementary, as to be laughable.

Everything is magickal. Nothing is mundane.

I can hear the arguments piling up, I can see the heads being scratched, and the eyebrows being raised, so let me clarify.

The world around you- everything that you experience in any way, via any of your senses- depends entirely, without exception, on your point of view.

Imagine that you are standing in a roaring fire. Your frame of reference from that position is most likely going to be extremely narrow, very tightly focused: being on fire tends to draw ones point of view to a very fine point. What you had for breakfast, how the president is doing, and what your weekend plans are... those things suddenly become orders of magnitude less important when you find yourself aflame.

Likewise, everything else that happens to and around you has a tendancy to divert your attention in a particular direction. In my world, we refer to a specific flavor of this phenomenon as Shiney Object Syndrome: simply put, the tendancy of humans to be easily distracted by things that they like (or dislike). It changes your point of view.

Following the trail of logic (ironic, isn't it, that I'm using logic to prove the existence of magick?), since everything around you is defined by your point of view, and your reaction of those things changes your point of view... you are, by dint of your reactions to the world... changing it.

You're manifesting it. You are, literally, MAKING reality happen. Every moment of every day.

We all know highly focused, highly driven people. They work very hard, they're very hard to distract... some of them even get referred to as "obsessive" or "compulsive" or both; some of them may be exactly that. What they really are, though, is in tune with their world. They have, in their minds, in their hearts, an image, a vision of how they want their world to be... and they make it so.

Some people have the misapprehension that magick is in some way easy- a flick of the wand, a wave of the hand, a burning candle, and BAM, you can get... whatever you want.

If Only.

Magick, like meditation, is hard, hard work... but there are different levels of magick. Different approaches to take.

For instance... if you're hungry... you could take the bread, and the cheese, and the lunch meat from the 'fridge, and make a sandwich, and eat it. Takes a couple minutes, not too onerous, and you're fed. This approach also has a ridiculously high success rate.

You could also put on a black robe, cleanse a room, draw up a circle, light candles and incense, and conduct an elaborate ritual to banish your hunger. I am not going to say that this approach wouldn't work... but it would take lots longer, is much less convenient, and, honestly... it's success rate isn't likely to be as high as just makin' a sandwich.

The thing is, though... by responding to hunger by making a sandwich, you change your reality. You went from hungry with no sandwich to hungry with a sandwich to fed with no sandwich. Hungry... to fed... by doing "mundane things."

One of the phrases I learned early on in my Pathwork was this: Magick takes the path of least resistance. Therefore, to live your life in the most magickal way possible, you should do likewise.

Note well, the difference between taking the path of least resistance and taking the easy way out. NOT the same, not in any way. Taking the path of least resistance can be expressed using another word: Flow. If we stop, and look at a situation with honest, open eyes, we will usually see the best way forward. Not always the easiest way. Not always the right way. Just the best way... and, eyes open and informed, we can make the choices that carry us forward, on course. At some point, Magick and Mundane, Ordinary and Extraordinary, Right and Wrong, Good and Bad... these Dichotomies cease to be important. They don't stop being meaningful, necessarily; they just stop being relevant.

In The Book of Runes, Ralph Blum said that we should strive to "live the ordinary life in an non-ordinary way." When you reach the Balance point between "this" and "that," EVERYTHING becomes BOTH. The mundane is magickal; the magickal is mundane.

Remember, All is One. When you treat all things as equally valid, equally important, "as above, so below" becomes more than just a shiney ideal; it becomes an easy-breathing, simple norm in your life... and when you can live your life like that... it's amazing how readily it conducts and conveys itself to your whole world.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I am easily distracted (my mom says it's because if I really focused I could rule the world and who would want that!), but I enjoy flow and a very fluid reality. Well said and very thoughtful as usual.