There is a problem going around much of the Western Occult World nowadays that leaves us in a spiritual rut. We feel deep down that there is a real power out there, somewhere, that we can grab hold of and wield to make our life and the lives of those we care about better. We read the tales of the grimoires and the fantastical magic therein and dream that we can use this same magic literally as it is written and have the same effects, and when we fail some begin to theorize that the authors of these grimoires were speaking allegorically and not literally.
We feel a truth in the statement that we are gods or part of God, but yet we often do not feel the presence or power that should be inherent in that notion. “If I am God, or one with God…then why don’t I feel it?”
Sometimes the heartache leads us to question magic itself, even in the face of personal evidence that it works.
This is my attempt to shed what light I can upon the “how’s” of magic to help those struggling and alleviate some suffering and point out what we can do about it. Please keep in mind that I, while pretty damn awesome, do not know it all and still bear the motto “Ancora Imparo” as a title. I have been practicing what I am about to discuss for the past year and I owe a great debt to Mr. Sam Webster who, though I have never met in person, has laid this foundation out for me. Following this path is the work of a lifetime but since applying what I have learned I have taken my magic to the next level.
First it is important to know that every civilization looks back at an earlier age as a “Golden Age” who had stuff pretty much figured out. As such (and even though we know that there are no real Golden Ages) I will be looking back to Ancient Greece. Keep in mind that I will filter this through my normal somewhat humorous mindset. We will be taking a short version of the journey an aspirant to the mysteries would have taken.
Bill Nye was right…
…science rules. This first thing someone interested in magic and mysticism needed to possess was a good understanding of how the World worked. Of course the Ancient Greeks did not have microscopes or lasers or anything in that vein. However they knew enough about how the world worked and what was possible and what was very unlikely.
For example I can yell all day and still not be able to shatter a solid stone wall with my voice, even if I am shouting in Enochian.
I feel like we are all well enough versed in the science of our age that further discussion is inappropriate, so let us move on.
The Love of Wisdom, or Socrates was totally a magician…
The next school the aspirant was sent through was the School of Philosophy. Here they learned to ask questions and theorize on the nature of reality itself. The hope was that those who made it through would not only be equipped with critical thinking skills and a love of questions, but also that the aspirant would be able to understand, adopt, and eventually create their own model of the Universe.
Far from prefect, and at times VERY subjective as to be of no use to anyone else, these models would allow the student to examine and question realities through many lenses while always seeking for “truth”.
From this we get both the Platonic and Aristotelian schools of thought. We seek to understand ourselves and place meanings on a variety of words, objects, or ideas and really ourselves. All the while we question, question, and question everything (can you see the point of a magical journal and critical self reflection?)
Philosophy is fantastic, however it IS mostly just in our heads as theories, to actually experience anything we need to get out of our heads and do.
Theurgy, the God Work…
This is the end of Philosophy, for though they may speak of a Heaven the philosopher does not get there. Only he (or she) who DOES the work gets to experience it. The aspirant, having gone through two schools is now prepared to meet the gods. Through a series of rituals, invocations, and evocations the aspirant now moves to become one of the Wise.
Armed with a knowledge of how things work down here, a model of the Universe, and a penchant for asking questions and critical self review the Wise now can speak to the spirits and be confident of the information given. Thus they become great having through great effort lifted themselves out of the mire and muck of the base world. They can speak with spirits who preside over and work in this world, they can preform miracles of power and work great wonders.
The aspirant would invoke and evoke along a path of spirits that would eventually lead them to experience their own divinity. They could then stand fast knowing that they were part of the All (or what have you). There is a difference between knowing you are a child of God in your head, and knowing that you are a child of God from having lived that experience.
So seeing this we know that to really get "good’ at magic takes a few things:
A working knowledge of the physical world
A mind melded by study and questions
A model of the Universe
The invocation and evocation of spirits on a set path that would lead one to experience their own divinity
After that…it’s all fun.
I hope this helps anyone who may be struggling with magic, chin up, evaluate where you are at and why, then fix it.
And as always…stay frosty,