The Work Ethics of Magic
Every once in awhile I will take a look at what is being offered on the Internet in relation to paganism and as usual I come away slightly amused. Not that the information that is offered is of no consequence, in a basic way it serves its purpose. But then I begin to wonder if folks have taken such information and have enhanced and/or built upon their natural abilities. For the greatest magic in the world comes from within first.
Each of us is born with latent energies and the ability to tap into a source of energy/power that is much greater than any one individual. I personally like the term, “Mannuz” when describing such energy. This term is from the Hindu Vedas, and basically refers to the Self as part of the universal energy.
As a Traditional witch I resonate with such an ancient concept in that I endorse both, the concept of Animism and the ability of the individual to become as one with the universal energy. It is this union of the human psyche with such energy that creates the energy that what we know as magic. The developing of such abilities is not something that can be done instantaneously.
As an analogy, one does not learn to walk all at once. And Mannuz is an ancient primordial energy that takes a consistent effort and desire to learn. And in this time and age of instant gratification, extra effort and concentration may be required from those who wish to achieve their utmost abilities as such. This is in part because the work ethic of society has undergone some serious downward revisions that are not exactly beneficial to the honing of one’s magical skills.
And so what steps does one take you may ask, in order to step beyond the plethora of basic information that is out there? Obviously I don’t have all of the answers, for each of us are students for the duration of our lives here on earth. And each of us has our own unique goals and spiritual lessons to absorb. But as an old witch I do have some general suggestions.
The first and foremost suggestion is to be absolutely honest with one self and examine the goals and expectations one seeks from being aligned with paganism and the mystical arts. This sense of honest assessment will determine the amount of effort you will need to put forth. Many folks are ok with just wearing a title without any real substance.
This is not intended to be a sarcastic comment but rather a pragmatic acceptance of our pagan community as it is today. If you decide that you are one of those who desire to advance spiritually in a meaningful way, then the next step may be determining just which path provides the means necessary for you to advance in your journey. There are many, many choices in this respect due to the advent of the Internet. As you make this decision, you may want to keep in mind that whatever path that you choose should be seen as a supplemental tool to your spiritual and mystical growth.
As an individual, your goals and spiritual experiences should take precedence over anything else. For each of us is going to grow more or less according to our individual needs in life. The mystical arts and one’s individual spiritual goals should never be defined by the needs of the mass, though each individual can and does add substance to the group setting as a whole. This is what separates the mystical arts from the tenets of organized religion. Even when within a group such as a coven, we are still individuals.
Having made the aforementioned assessments, the next step may be to actually hone one’s abilities through daily — yes, I said daily — practice. The mystic arts in general and magic in particular should be a part of our every thought. And not just something that is half-heartedly engaged in on certain days of the year.
Mannuz is a consistent and ethereal part of our lives. We are constantly though not always consciously connected to the energy that forms the basis of our latent abilities. And this brings us to the next consideration when embarking on the path of the mystic arts. Our level of personal responsibility will over the course of our lives, define our spiritual growth and our ability to utilize that energy which we manifest into magic.
For instance, something as mundane as the spoken word carries power. Do you consciously think about what you say to others before releasing such energy at your fellow travelers? When was the last time that you stepped outside and felt the energy that emanates from the stars above?
When was the last time that you looked up at the clouds and saw familiar shapes forming? When was the last time that you felt a gust of wind touch your cheek and felt the energy of those that that gust of wind touched before it came to you?
These examples may seem benign, but it is such a sense of awareness that one develops when one consciously seeks to expand their latent talents. Magic is not just about manifesting energy into tangible results. Nor is it about making requests from Deity, for Deity has provided us with a plethora of tools to be utilized in our spiritual and mystical goals.
We as practitioners have to but put forth a bit of effort that will in turn open up other avenues of advancement. For each time we experiment and arrive at the answer to a mystery of life, there is always yet another mystical mystery waiting to be experienced. Each of us as individuals has the power to determine just how many such experiences we are willing to confront. And it is that will and desire that determines how far each of us will spiritually grow.
Simply reading books and paying lip service will reap only the results that they have sowed.
It is a well-known practice of folks who engage in the mystical arts these days to want to supplement their latent abilities with external tools. And that is all good. Instead of purchasing your crystals or wands from a store, where your selected tools have been handled and infused, with who knows what or whose energies. Perhaps you may want to consider putting forth a bit of personal effort and taking a walk into the woods and/or mountains and actually harvesting your tools directly from Mother Earth?
Yes, it is easy to come up with a thousand excuses as to why you would not want to do this, but then we get back to the question of work ethic and how sincere you are in your efforts to improve yourself spiritually and to enhance your magical talents. As an individual, only you can provide an honest answer to yourself. You have no requirement to answer to anyone else.
But at the end of the day, you may want to keep this in mind: Anything that affects ones spiritual growth and the development of their magical abilities always starts from within oneself.
Each of us has an inner voice, listen to it, it is there as a guide. Some will realize great strides in their mystical abilities, others not as much. But then it is what is. Magic and the mystical arts is not an equal opportunity for all. It requires discipline and a true inner desire and just as importantly a strong work ethic in order to truly succeed.