Heeding the Call of the Magickal Life
Author: Maggi Horseman
What do you hope to get out of a magickal way of life? What led you here and what will it mean to be a magickal person in the decades to come? In the Age of Aquarius, I would say that it means for us to be living our beliefs fully and immerse ourselves into a magickal mindset and into fuller, more fruitful living.
What draws you to the magickal path? Is it fantasy, wishful thinking? Is it about hoping for a better way and seeking that which you do not have? For me, I took to the path because I was led toward the magickal life by a sense of necessity. I had an undeniable urge to explain my relationships with the fairies, oracular dreams, my relationships with plants and stones and places. I felt as if future destiny was knocking in the August afternoon sunlight, in the boughs of my favorite tree, and the midnight light of the full moon. I opened the door, and found my home.
At my tradition’s annual retreat a couple years ago, I had another year of peering into the cauldron, only to see visions of bombs and blood and death, I look no more for suffering. There is no use in fixating on the trials and tears of life. Instead, I reach for the glimmering hope of what I can help bring into this world to make it a better place. Last year, I looked around me and above me. People became glowing stars, circling to their own dances and rhythms in the colliding parallel universes in time and space. For as Crowley said, “Every Man and Woman is a Star”1
Folks in my tradition are fond of saying that at this turn in the Ages into the Aquarian age, that we live in interesting times (in the Chinese curse sort of way) .2 In interesting times, an individual person has much more impact and there are more ways in which to make a difference.
During the dark time of the year, a single candle in the darkness makes a much greater impact. It is easy to get down on ourselves and become discouraged when times are tough. Despairing like this though makes it easy to throw up one’s hands with a big “I can’t”. Complacency is of now use. I ask myself, “What did I do today that made a difference” “How did I make headway, however small, toward progress?” My favorite home organizer, The Fly Lady, loves to say “Progress, not perfection!”3 How true is this axiom?
Perfectionism is a fallacy. It is a part of the religious thought that exhorts us to throw off pleasures of the flesh and our Worldly nature and seek the perfection of the divine through transcendence. Yet, in a Pagan viewpoint, the Divine is immanent and the World is our Kingdom. We are imperfect not through fault of our own, but the design of our limited perspective. This is not something to feel guilt or embarrassment over! Our imperfect nature means that we should never expect to know it all, or be above having accidents or making mistakes. We will never be perfect and shouldn’t be disappointed when we cannot reach perfection. This is liberation of what the pagan path offers us!
The unseen worlds exist around us whether we can ascertain their nature or not. The more we know of energy, magick, people, energetic health, the spirit worlds, and how we fit into the big picture the more effective we can be in our lives. In this way, we can thrive. Therefore, “being a star” is not just a pleasant saying, but can be used as an active paradigm in your life. Do you burn as the core generator in your life or do you pretend you are a comet, cold and burning at an obtuse angle to the rest of creation? Do you work with your Universe or ignore the laws of physics? For, as Aristotle wrote, his treatise called Metaphysics4 was not something separate from the study of physics but just his next work after his other work dubbed Physics for metaphysics literally means “after physics”!
So what can you do to make a difference and be the solar center of your World?
Meditation, developing psychic and energetic skills
Daily practice, just like physical exercise, quieting the mind, practicing visualization skills, prayer, and doing energy cleansing and exercises daily helps us strengthen our psychic skills, our energetic resiliency, and our capacity for doing magick both in ritual and in our daily lives.5
Taking care of yourself
Our bodies are our temples. If there were one truth of divine immanence, the aforementioned would be it. It’s also one of the hardest things to do. Keeping up with a proper diet, exercise, listening to your body’s wisdom, doctor visits, it all takes a lot of attention and diligence. I find that when I exercise, my energy, mental focus, even healthy food cravings repay me in spades for the rest of the day. On the other hand when we don’t reeve up the engines in the morning and don’t fuel ourselves properly, we cannot work optimally. This goes for the higher planes and subtle bodies too! You have to start at the bottom and work your way up. The root of our existence in this world IS our physical form. The better it functions the better you can function.
Devotion to the Gods
Prayer, and more importantly listening and opening to the Divine is another great way to connect to the whole and add some magick into your life. One difference I really enjoy about praying to Pagan Gods is I spend a lot less time talking and a lot more time listening. The more we devote to the Gods, the stronger they become as they are fed by our thoughts and energy. We pay homage to them by doing their works in the world and their influence, in this way, is also felt in the world. They are more willing to come to our aid the stronger our connection with them is as well.
Helping others (people, spirits, the environment, etc)
This one is simple. Everything you come in contact with in the universe you are interacting with. You have decisions to make about how you affect people and things around you. In the craft, we learn that we are responsible for everything we do. You are making choices whether or act or not. Do you want to act as if you can affect things to the good and make the world a better place? You in fact can make quite the long-term difference if you do little things all the time. It’s amazing what a positive attitude, friendly demeanor, and attention to people in your environment will do.
Being tolerant and compassionate
Everyone has bad days. Just think about how easily it was to despair or become cranky and irritable the last time you were sick. People suffering from illness battle this all the time. It’s our responsibility to decide how we react to others and how we speak and treat people. This idea expands to those who had abusive upbringings, suffer from addictions of all sorts, and may be in horribly trying situations in their lives now. You don’t know the whole story. You can choose to not make it worse. Don’t buy into others bad behavior. You’re the solar center of your universe, remember? You have more sovereignty than that.
Practicing magick and living life as a magickal act
Even with activities, like my job that aren’t exactly the cat’s meow, I ask myself, “How can I be consciously aware? What can I learn from this”? People who know me marvel that I am willing to do the incredibly tedious and minute tasks for 8 hours a day while I’m at work. I look at it as a challenge for mental focus and discipline. Hey, if I can scour legal language all day and plug it into a spread sheet for hours straight, I’m more likely to be able to not be distracted while in an intense ritual. It’s easy to pay attention to things you enjoy, even if they are strenuous. I pay attention to the sky and weather and animals I see on my drive to work. I watch the colors and smells and consistency of my food when I cook and eat. I really try to connect with people in my life and listen and understand them. In this way, everything we come in contact with gives us the opportunity to be spiritual beings and have magickal acts every moment of our lives.
With opened eyes to the subtle realms there is no turning back. Fantasy no more, now the world of dreams and visions is all too real. I am a Star in the center of my universe, powering and fueling all of the life and movement around me. I am in the Kingdom already, crowned a Star. In this way, I am divine. In this way I choose hope, and progress, and life. I seek to make a difference, however small, every day to come more into balance and into harmony with my life’s purpose and the natural order of All things.
1 Aliester Crowley, The Book of the Law
2 “May you live in interesting times” When times are not interesting they are happy and fly by and do not make history.
4 Aristotle Physics and Metaphysics
5. I recommend Creative Visualization by Shakti Gaiwan and Meditation Secrets for Women by Camille Maurine and Lorin Roche