Is Magickal Work Real?

I’m making a new thread for a conversation that has sprung up on this thread as it’s both going way off-topic now, and also, an interesting line of exploration in its own right. :smiley:

Relevant content from the original thread (and tl;dr of my answer, a resounding YES, on the question in the title - not via theory or philosophies, but rather, judged by observable results :+1: ) below:

That works when you consider only the magician’s point of view, but what part of the mind of the target - the boss who suddenly gives you the promotion, or the person who crashes their car and dies - is holding expectations and mental models, etc?

What if they never even heard of the spirit you summoned for this task?

Or the cat cured of an illness who was 5 miles away (this kind of thing is common core shamanism stuff, not banging my own drum there, no pun intended) - did they have a mental model that matched your perception?

And one thing that shamanism has, and evocation very much does NOT, is that spirits can appear as they chose, because you “go to their realms” - you travel in spirit, in varying degrees.

So, they’re free to appear as they chose, often answering the call to a task (“I seek a spirit who can heal such-and-such”) rather than by name or seal, and therefore they don’t have masks projected onto them, and again this is why I teach this method to people and recommend it highly, even though the mainstream tutors are often of a very love & light mindset.

I think to refer to the spirits as part of “your” mind is where the error creeps in - part of THE Mind, the Mind of the All, per Kybalion, yes, sure, so’s everything - but that’s exactly where new-agers fall flat on their face, with the Divine Paradox.


Have you encountered the works of Jung and Joseph Campbell? They interpret dreams as the self communication of the subconscious and the characters that we encounter in dreams as being aspects of the self. One major aspect of the self to be encountered in dreams is the “Shadow”; those aspects of the self that have been rejected and not consciously assimilated. What do you think of the idea that what you confronted in your dream was not in fact the Abrahamic god, but your own shadow self?

Incidently, Campbell suggests that the path to true Individuation lies not in slaying the shadow; but embracing it. This is why the practice of traditional witchcraft is a psychologically healthy practice; in working with the Devil (who not only represents the wild, darker forces of life, but also the wild darker forces within the psyche) the practitioner is embracing his / her own shadow.

If this interests you try reading “The Power of Myth” and the “Hero with a thousand faces” by Joseph Campbell and “Man and his Symbols” by C.G Jung.


Yes, I have. :laughing:

I respectfully discount that, as it wasn’t a dream, per se - that I can return at will, physically (with varying degrees of solidity) to that house; that enough affirmation has occurred since in various world events, and also independent gnoses of people who were loosely involved.

I take it about as seriously therefore as the notion that “All spirits are in your mind” - a person can make lengthy expositions about “but your mind is bigger than you think” - but those tend to seem meaningless when that spirit kills someone for you, in ways they would not otherwise have died. It’s even more meaningless when spirits exist without your willing them - such as those inhabiting people, animals, etc.

The size of “the mind” will rapidly be seen, in that context, to mean something other than it’s first portrayed as; for example, most people can imagine a 2-inch diamond, I don’t know anyone who can make one appear by holding the image in their mind in the same way.

Also, I’m experienced with shamanic journeying, and with seeing a journey that I do, and the symbolic actions undertaken and engagements with spirits in it, dramatically reverse a disease progression, or otherwise make a physical change to someone’s state of health. This happens with people who don’t know they;re being healed, and it happens with animals as well. :man_shrugging:

This is one of the oldest methods of magick, and trance is often not a willed thing in more traditional societies - I have good reason to believe that what I did was a form of that, rather than random mental burblings relating to my own psyche alone.

But you can believe what you want, because it won’t change anything, and I find it quite funny. :wink:


Right, I get that spirits are able to cause events and things to occur in “objective” reality, but there’s also a clear component of them that appears to be mental, too. Our beliefs about them, the way we see our world, and our perceptual biases all combine to influence how a spirit appears to us and how it behaves. That’s why it doesn’t make sense, for me, to say that they exist objectively apart from us when the truth seems to be closer to that it’s some weird mix of the two (hence the “but your mind is bigger than you think”).


Jung calls all those objective correlations with subjective states “synchronicity”.

But then again perhaps it is easier to believe literal interpretations of dreams where one battles and defeats monsters than to come to an understanding that those monsters are you, or at least, a part of you.

But I’m curious Lady Eva, what would you do if, one day you woke up, looked in the mirror and saw the face of the Abrahamic god staring right back at you? Would you respond in a similar way to Siddhartha when he came face to face with Lord Mara?

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There’s a lot of it about!

Again, you’re opting for the dream concept, have you ever undertaken shamanic journeying? (Serious questions, not snark!)

I have, and do - therefore, I know the difference, though I can understand to an outsider they may appear the same.

Well, I have a grasp on what’s inside my head and what’s outside of it; I’ve experienced many other forms of magick that make lasting, tangible, and objectively observed changes to the world; I can parse the difference between real, unreal, and the various shades in between.

Therefore, I no more believe this would happen, than that I’d see the cat described above, or the person whose illness I healed, or the disease which afflicted them, or you - all equally held within THE MInd, but not my mind.


In my days as a student of Druidry, this was a big feature. Now my soul travel exploits tend to focus on the paths of the Tree of Life.

My own stance on this is that the beings we work with are the creations of our mind; and we are the creations of theirs. We co-create each other in a vast web of dependent co-arising. This is where I part company with Asbjorn who argues much more from the subjective than the intersubjective side. So from this perspective what you were confronting in your dream was perhaps indeed your own creation and at the same time; you were its creation; as much your shadow as it was the "objective"Jehova. But here’s the thing. If we co-create each other; everytime a relationship ends; be it through separation or death; a part of us dies as well, as the other who has been co-creating us is no longer there. This leads back to your dream; what did you feel when you murdered Jehova? Do you think that a part of you died along with him?

“Dream.” :roll_eyes:

No, I didn’t feel any of those things, I’m sorry to break your model but I felt like I feel taking out the trash - no deep-seated, vital yet spurned darker part of me goes with it.

It is merely trash.

I don’t feel a part of me “dies” when I heal a cat, remove a spirit intrusion, nor is a part of me healed and made whiole when I do a soul retrieval.

Sometimes things are in your head, and presumably that has been your experience with your own magick, which is cool - but sometimes, magick just exists, and it works, and the magician gets to accomplish their goal.

This was one of those cases when I accomplished my goal. :smiley:

Do you believe that a part of you dies when you consume a formerly living being (plant or animal)?


It depends upon degrees of consciousness. I live on a farm that provides the meat I eat; I feed the cow, sheep and pigs, I watch them grow; I accompany them to the slaughter house. When they die do I feel that a part of me dies with them; absolutely. Do I feel as if a part of me is born when I develop a new relationship with a calf just delivered from its mother? Absolutely.

Do you feel that a part of you died when you ate animal flesh or fish that you didn’t know face to face, that you did not hold an internal mental and emotional image of?

A vegetable, maybe?

My point is anyone can attach emotions to animals they know, anim nals are adorable, but does a part of YOU die in the same way for every living being, or only the ones you get to know?


This is where proximity in the web of significance and dependent co-arising comes into play. Of course the death of a fish or a carrot half way across he world is not going to have the same impact as the death of a partner, sibling or pet; the proximity is removed both in terms of degrees of consciousness and in terms of spatial proximity. Proximity (of space, time and consciousness) is proportional to significance in the web of relational dependent co-arising.

But now the forum is advising me that I’ve responded to you more than three times and I should continue this conversation through personal message. You are forum goddess; what should I do?

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But things can exist, live and die, wihtout you being aware of them.

Things can affect you without you being aware of them - and you can affect things without them having to be some aspect of yourself.

When you lead these animals, who trust you and expect you to be harmless, into the abbatoir, is this some deep inner aspect of your own trusting nature that you seek to destroy and feast upon?

(That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.)

Ignore the nag about the number of replies, it’s programmed in and is on all forums running Discourse, sometimes it might be helpful but it’s not a rule or anything. :+1:


Absolutely, and there is a mutual affectivity precisely because there is relational connectivity, albeit via degrees of separation and decreased levels of spatial proximity.

but could you affect things, situations and people if they did not have significance for you? Significance implies relational connectivity and the projection of your own desires onto the other such that the other becomes an embodiment of those desires; those desires being an aspect of you.

No, it is my own desire for a tasty steak that I have projected onto poor old Charlie such that his significance has changed from that of loving pet to juicy sirloin. The relationship has radically altered in terms of proximity of consciousness; the sirloin is vastly removed from me in proximity of consciousness than living Bovine Charlie. This change has been affected by my own desire. Charlie has become the embodiment of my desire thus an aspect of myself.

Yes: suppose I accidentally knock over some chemical into the water course while fixing up outdoor paintwork.

Miles away, that chemical causes some poor fish to grow a horrible tumour and die before its time.

I did not have a desire to knock over the chemical, I did not have a desire to affect that fish. And neither would really have much significance for me, nor would I be consciously aware of them. If I didn’t know the chemical was poisonous, and many people don’t know these things, I may not even have a subconsious awareness of this.

Can you comprehend that Charlie may feel differently about this?

Or do you honestly think he has no existence except in your mind?

If someone (to use a gruesome example) kills someone for their wallet, has thet vic become in the same absolute sense nothing other than the robber’s next fix, in your model?

Which, I say again, falls afoul of this, as do so very many:

This is discussed in the Kybalion as the Divine Paradox: the infinite All witnesses the universe as a dream; the finite (us) witnesses the universe as real. To think as God is to be in a state of detached “mountain-top consciousness” which is incompatible with everyday life and everyday consciousness with desires, hopes, etc.

The universe is; and is not - these two poles of truth are the Absolute and the Relative - and half-truths, such as when new-agers play “blame the victim” towards someone who’s manifested an illness, are a trap for feeble minds.

This seeming paradox regarding what is, and is not real, is an aspect of the Principle of Polarity described in the Kybalion.

Further questions for you to consider, regarding the relationship of mind, Mind, and observed being:

  1. can you create a steak by desire, without going through normal cause => effect chains? If not, why?

  2. Can Charlie exist when you’re in deep dreamless sleep cycles, and not conscious of anything much in your waking brain?

  3. Did people or animals exist before you were born? If so, what mind were they part of?


Let’s jump back a bit in the chain of causality; your immediate item of ready-to-hand equipment (the can of chemical) had a significance for you; especially in its loss. You had a relationship of intent with it that was subverted by your accident and you most certainly affected a change in that relationship.

Most certainly Charlie feels differently about this. His projection of his desire for safety and security on to me has been utterly subverted by my own desire for steak. By virtue of the different degrees of consciousness in the relationship, there is established a hierarchical line of power between myself and Charlie, it is this line of power that enables my projected desire to dominate the relationship. These power lines exist in every relationship which is why, if one has an established ethic, a certain care must be taken such that ones projected desires onto the other correlate with once consciously adopted ethic. But of course Charlie is not just the projection of my desire, he is a projection of the desire of all who have come into contact with him (with concomitant lines power); his sense of who he is is molded by his interactions with others. Just as the victim is far more than the robber;s objectification of him, but he is a product of all the interactions that he has had in the past and is engaged with up until the moment of his death.

As for the Divine Paradox; notice that I am not invoking the existence of any supreme being; be it the Abrahmic god, Platonic Demiurge, or flying spaghetti monster. Such a being is not necessary for dependent co-arising. However, the underlying principle of ultimate versus contingent or relative reality is relevant. Dependent co-arising is the phenomenon of contingent reality, what it arises out of is emptiness, sunyata, the abyss, guningagap, the outer darkness which is also the inner darkness, the Ain Soph, whatever you want to call it.

Further questions for you to consider, regarding the relationship of mind, Mind, and observed being:

1.can you create a steak by desire, without going through normal cause => effect chains? If not, why?

2.Can Charlie exist when you’re in deep dreamless sleep cycles, and not conscious of anything much in your waking brain?

3.Did people or animals exist before you were born? If so, what mind were they part of?

I’m going to invoke quantum mechanics to answer your questions; which nicely supports the model of dependent co-arising. Quantum mechanics posits that reality is probabilistic rather than deterministic in nature. In the sub atomic world this is seen with the Heisenberg uncertainty principle which posits that you can not determine a particles position and momentum at the same time. Electrons are seen no longer in terms of particles having a fixed position and momentum but rather as a wave of probability spread out over space. If the Universe is probabilistic in nature then a steak could potentially occur without going through the usual chains of causation. If consciousness influences how sub atomic particles behave (an it does as can be seen in the double slit experiment) then such a creation is possible by an observing consciousness. I have not seen a quantum theory of magic yet but it might proceed along these lines.

Can Charlie exist when not observed? According to quantum theory he both exists and does not exist at the same time; ala Schrodinger’s cat. It is the act of observation that brings him, and all of us into being.

Did people or animals exist before you were born? Have you encountered the phenomenon of gravitational lensing before? It’s basically a larger version of the double slit experiment. The light from a distant galaxy (emitted millions of years ago) can take two paths bending around an intervening star, it’s light detected on earth. The path that the light takes is found to be dependent on it’s being observed; the act of observation in the present determines an event that occurred millions of years in the past. This violates temporal causality in a big way, in fact it inverts it.

But no desire was involved, nor consious intent, which is the point I was addressing.

You do however seem to accept that there is a Mind beyond your conscious mind in which all things are held in some degree of relationship?

“Divine” in this context, as I apologise for not making even clearer, relatres solely to the state of possessing all knbowledge and a lack of preference for any individuated self-perception within it.

Interactions with what?

Yes, because at quantum level things behave somewhat differently than they sdo at the various levels of reality that can be more reaily observed.

Which leaves out of course the animal as observer - an acceptable workaround in the thought experiment, not so when you are describing reality.

Charlie your murdered bovine is observing things and capable of a range of reactions, and of various levels of comprehension and emotion, as well.

The question you need to be asking here is whether 1. the light in and of itself is an observer, 2. whether it’s conscious of being such, and 3. whether it has an agenda or some kind of will regarding the route it takes.

Unless those things are established there is zero link to your poor murdered beefy pal, and what that means to him rather than you.

A mish-mash of Jung and quantum physics are some fairly first-grade newage tropes I’m well familiar with: none of them can unbreak an egg, though it’s highly entertaining. :+1:

@Warlock I’ve made this its own thread so as to be able to dog a bit deeper without derailment. :smiley:


One good manhandling by something that you can’t see is usually enough to shake most people out of the whole psychology model of magic. I was perhaps fortunate to have that happen before I embarked on my magical studies. I think it helped me filter out what was real and what was armchair theory.


“I once discussed the proof of identity for a long time with a friend of William James, Professor Hyslop, in New York. He admitted that, all things considered, all these metapsychic phenomena could be explained better by the hypothesis of spirits than by the qualities and peculiarities of the unconscious. And here, on the basis of my own experience, I am bound to concede he is right. In each individual case I must of necessity be skeptical, but in the long run I have to admit that the spirit hypothesis yields better results in practice than any other.”
~Carl Jung 10th July 1946 to one Dr. Fritz Kunkel, discussing the book THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE, by Stewart Edward White.

Might not add anything to this conversation, i just really like that quote anytime Jung is brought up. :grin:


The irony is that Jung is often used to couch magical theory in psychological terms. I had never read that quote before so the irony is too damn funny.


Its hard to say, since coiincedences or freak happenings/miracles can occur.
However, if you are fairly adept psychically, you may see synchronicities clear as day or night.
However, that’s if you train yourself to pay attention.
There are strange.energies felt, there are frightening coiincedences on.occasion.
However the magician has to be extremely aware of things and a journal kept for workings to put the workings and synchronicities together, and that requires strict organization and attention to detail.

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