Moving house is bad for magick

I moved house about three weeks ago.  Whilst we're very much 'here' in the new house, there's still a whole list of things on the 'to do' list, stuff to be organised, sorted, laid out appropriately, and so on.  One thing I realised very early on when moving – moving house is bad for magick.

The kind of problems associated with moving house are rather different to those associated with being ill.  I noticed it most immediately when I sat to meditate for the first time mid-move.  As I've previously discussed, the early stages of meditation do tend to involve a certain amount of 'emptying out' of my mind – sorting through the clutter, putting down thoughts and ideas, sometimes remembering important things I need to make a note of before I can continue.  But then that's over with, and I can slow down, calm down, go empty and get on with meditation.

But I found, having just moved house, my to-do list and related mental baggage was huge.  And whilst I could keep telling myself that it wasn't important, didn't need to be dealt with now, and that I could let it go, my unconscious mind didn't seem to want to agree with me.  In fact although I sat and sat, I found my mind did not empty.  I bounced from one thing to another, one sense of urgency to another, forming plans for things to sort out even before I realised I was doing it.  Eventually I had to abandon the meditation and just get on with the magickal practice.  But even then I found I was doing 'double think' – enough of my mind was on my practice to ensure I got it done, but the rest of it was wandering off into how I wanted to organise my books this time, or who I still needed to tell about my change of address.

All of this resulted in a much weakened magickal experience.  If my mental discipline were better I'm sure the disruption would have been less (I've never had that great an ability at 'pure' focus).  But it's worth realising just how disruptive this was to my normal practice.

Of course, it doesn't have to be moving house that brings about this kind of disruption.  Any time we are deeply enmeshed in the 'mundane world' (that is when the day-to-day is taking up a lot of our mental space) magickal practice tends to become more difficult.  A stressful time at work, the climax of a project, any phase of life where there are a lot of problems that need to be solve… these can all pull us away from spiritual thinking.  It's a lot easier to be effective at magick if, as well as a daily practice, you are spending time thinking about magick, spirituality and being introspective.  Just 'switching on' once a day helps a good deal, but having the sense of spirit with you constantly is much more effective.  But sometimes life just makes that difficult.

Whilst the practical effects are fairly obvious – less time thinking about something means that when you go back to doing it it's harder to get completely lost in it (think about how much time musicians spend listening to music, thinking about music, talking about music even when they aren't playing) I think there's a more esoteric effect as well.  And once again I'm forced to use the catch all term of 'energy'.  It appears that beyond the simple psychological effect of being distracted from things spiritual, there is some kind of energy effect as well – or at least another effect that I perceive or observe as an energy effect.

When I'm deeply enmeshed in mundane tasks – working hard with practical things, sorting out money, and, of course, moving house – I find that energetically I feel 'heavier'.  I work a lot with elemental energies (invoking each in turn is part of my daily practice) and it seems that during these periods earth energies start to dominate in my system.  I feel more of what I feel when I'm drawing on the earth energy – the kind of heaviness, stability, solidity that I associate with it.  But the problem is that this energy seems to push out the more 'subtle', spiritual, energies I associate with the magickal work I'm currently involved with.  Now, I'm not one of those people that in any way things 'earth: bad; spirit: good'.  I like earth.  It's where I live.  Most of my favourite toys wouldn't work without it.  But when earth is dominating it does make some things harder – like losing oneself in alternative states of consciousness, 'scrying' (to what limited degree I can do it) and the kind of invocation that I do regularly.

It makes sense really – just as your head gets full of mundane thoughts which are hard to shift, so your energy system gets full of earth energies when your working with the aspects of life that they govern, but this energy is also hard to shift when you are trying to 'tune in' to the more refined, spiritual, energies.  Getting 'all practical' certainly makes you better at some things, but 'pure' magick suffers somewhat.

Which is why, I imagine, the concept of the spiritual retreat has existed in so many cultures – set aside the mundane for a while, put down the to-do list, stop fretting about what you need to do next.  Stop, rest, contemplate, gain insight.  I suppose that's why monks rarely move house.

Up next – being sad is bad for magick.

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