Jason Miller is one of my favorite occult authors because he is rooted in reality. To paraphrase his approach: A goal must generally be obtainable through mundane means; magick merely tweaks probability in your favor. I like this; it seems right. However, it does lead to the problem of being able to verify results (which EA and others say is the primary benefits of magick versus religion). What I mean is this: If something was possible without magick to begin with, how do we know our magick was successful to begin with?
This doesn’t mean that it has to be a goal that is easy to achieve in a mundane way.
For example, you can become a famous musician if you have enough talent and are noticed by the right people, but the chances of success in the “mundane” way are very slim.
With magick, however, you can cut your chances down to a reasonable probability by bringing the right people into your sphere. You cast a spell to get a gig at the biggest hotspot around, and then you do a spell to bring someone with influence to your show who will like your music, etc.
You would know if your magick was successful if those things occurred because the circumstances aren’t that common.
Same thing with a love spell. Say you have been looking for a relationship. You dress well, take care of yourself, are reasonably attractive, and sociable, but it’s been months and it is just not happening for you. So you add a little magick into the mix, and the circumstances align so you are in the right place, at the right time, to meet the man/woman/anteater of your dreams.
Could it have happened without the magick? Certainly.
However, the magick increased the probability of the right circumstance happening considerably more than was possible through mundane actions alone.
The easiest way to differentiate a successful ritual from mere coincidence is to view every action taken after a ritual as magical. So, if you’re looking for love, and a friend suggests going to a club you’ve never been to before, you should look at that as a magical prompt. It doesn’t mean the result will appear that night, but you should be open to it.
I don’t believe a request needs to be obtainable by your own hands in order for you to find success. Magick doesn’t need your help, and it can do much more than simply tweak probabilities a little more in your favor. Authors put these lines out there to discourage blowback when some noob reads their book and proceeds to ask Magick to make him a billion dollars in two weeks. The limiting factor in most operations is the caster, in my view, not Magick.
There’s no greater evidence of this for me than with baneful Magick. You ever notice how with all other areas, if you ask for a lot, people are quick to say, “whoa whoa whoa…you got a route for all that cash to come that you’re asking for?” Or “whoa whoa whoa…you sure you have the looks to ask for a supermodel?” But if you ask to wipe out a town of assholes, you’ll never hear anyone interject with, “whoa whoa whoa, have you left bear traps on the front lawns of your targets before asking for their death?” It’s interesting to me that what most magicians would consider to be the hardest thing to do in Magick…to kill another person…requires the least amount of mundane “assistance” by the caster. But things that you see all the time, like a hot girl with an unattractive guy…the expectation is for the caster to bust his ass in order to help the Magick out. If murder wasn’t illegal, my guess is that baneful Magick too would be riddled with people putting a cap on expectations. Look up the odds of a healthy individual in the USA or Canada not making it to their 50th birthday. The odds are slim, but Magick finds a way, without our help
The truth is, I think the culture that a person grew up in dictates subconsciously what they’re willing to accept. If you’re american, you grew up in a culture that believes there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and so some take that culture into the realm of magick, assuming that something MUST be done on your part to deserve a particular request, in spite of example after example of people getting what I’d essentially label as a free lunch from the spirits. So in my view, you should set your expectations based on your own skill level, not some artificial cap you placed on Magicks capabilities. What I often ask myself is…if Magick is able to materialize fresh fruit within sand that never existed there before (and I have no reason to doubt EAs account of this happening), what is it that Magick cannot do?
I believe the key here is not focus on the goal but the ritual. Goals can change. When you use the same ritual and you achieve most - if not all - your goals…you could be an extremely lucky person or that ritual caused changed to occur by empowering the probability of the desired events in your favor.
This, at least until now, will remain a personal judgment that can be confirmed by unbiased observers to avoid self delusion.
I love what you write and on some deep level I feel that it’s true but I just have this mental block that says “there’s no such thing as something for nothing”. I know it’s a lie my ego tells me but goddamn is my ego super persistent in the telling of it.
Good question. You can’t prove that your magick caused it based solely on a single case, but if you notice that you get improbable results on a consistent basis every time you do a ritual, then your magick is most likely effective.
Holy shit, Verdo, this is an excellent observation.