Why magick is important

It occurs to me that I may have inadvertently done a disservice to magick in my previous post – when I was writing about Magick, Religion and Spirituality it may have sounded as if magick isn't all that important, that it was really just a practical skill for getting laid and getting job opportunities when you need them.  Given I'm a huge advocate of magick as a lifestyle and a practice this seems very remiss of me.  So to balance things out lets talk about why magick is so damn important – in essence, magick may not do everything on it's own, but it is hugely valuable in supporting other practices.

Let's look at them in turn –

Magick and Religion.

Even when young I can remember talking about 'dead' churches and 'alive' churches.  Some churches seemed to have something real, meaningful and living going on within them and some did not.  I now recognise that some vicars and priests have a real connection to the divine, and some do not – some can give their celebrants an opportunity to be genuinely within the presence of the spiritual, and some can do no such thing.  What it comes down to is that some of them can do magick and some can't.

This difference between a 'good' priest and a 'bad' one is so much greater within pagan circles, particularly as in many cases we act as our own priest or priestess, forming our own personal connection with the divine.  In some people the divine connection is palpable, and one is left in no doubt that when they call on their god their god hears them and draws closer.  This is an act of magick – without it we are  reduced to observing our gods from afar, or hearing tell of them, or seeing representations of them, rather than genuinely communing with them.

One doesn't necessarily need to study the theories and practices of magick in order to understand how to draw the gods near (I suspect very few of the 'good' Christian vicars have ever done so), one can just 'stumble upon', or be guided towards, the right way of doing it.  However, learning the basics and practicing some magick can really accelerate the process of understanding what works and what doesn't, how to get a message through and how to be 'open' to the energy that comes in reply.

Magick and Spirituality.

One can certainly be entirely successful in the spiritual quest for enlightenment without ever using magickal techniques.  However, I see magick as acting as a terrific accelerator for personal growth when used correctly.

One clear example of this is the concept of the Holy Guardian Angel.  The idea of the HGA is that it acts as your personal tutor and guide towards the goal of enlightenment.  So the first serious act of a magickian is to make contact with their HGA which from then on can act as a guide to take the magickian through the rest of their initiations as efficiently as possible.  This isn't a necessary part of the spiritual path, you don't need your HGA to get there, it's just that an HGA does seem to make certain parts of the initiatory learning experience rather easier and quicker.

As I've written elsewhere, I also feel that the very act of doing magick brings about change and transformation.  My belief is that if you do a concentrated work of magick either you bring about the result you desire, or bring yourself face to face with the barriers that are preventing the manifestation of the change you desire.  This is why it can be useful in some circumstances to repeat a work of magick – if at first you don't succeed, you'll be brought into situations where you can learn enough to transform into someone who can succeed.

This, I believe, is why a ritual like The Bornless Rite is not performed once, but daily for a prolonged period.  It is designed to bring about the Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel, but your average magickian is unlikely to be capable of achieving that particular level of spiritual contact the first time they perform the ritual.  However, the ritual puts out a very powerful intent into the Universe that says 'this is my goal' – so if the ritual cannot 'succeed' in the Universe as it presently is (because the magickian doesn't have sufficient skill, or insight, or has psychological blocks, or any of the other reasons that they aren't in full contact with their HGA) the ritual begins to move the Universe towards a state where it can succeed. It begins to transform the magickian, and puts him in situations where he has the opportunity to learn and adjust and gain insight so that he may progress towards his goal.  Repeating the ritual continues to put pressure on the magickian to continue to learn and transform so that eventually the ritual can actually succeed.  Hence the simple principle – don't give up.  Keep pushing and paying attention to the lessons and messages that are coming your way, transformation will happen.

This need for transformation before magick can be successful can create deeply frustrating results.  Less experienced magickians may become concerned, and dispirited when an act of magick to achieve a particular end actually seems to make the situation worse.  Rather than simply 'getting what they want' they find themselves getting sucked into a mini-life crisis concerned with the change they were attempting to bring about.  For instance, they try to invoke for a new relationship, but actually they have a miserable weekend when they overhear two people they are attracted to discussing how they act weird and dress funny.  What may be happening is that their reality is currently incapable of bringing about the change they are trying to invoke (they are putting people off because they act weird and they dress funny), so instead the barrier that they need to learn to overcome is presented front and centre – they become even more aware of their desire but also the thing that is frustrating that desire.  If taken correctly this is a great opportunity to learn and understand what the real blockage is.  Often, however, it may be greeted with frustration and sulking for a while.

Magick is about bringing about change according to your will.  If it is your will to progress spiritually, even if that isn't uppermost in your mind, then practicing magick will keep bringing you into situations where you are given the opportunity to progress – even if you are working on mundane problems there will be a spiritual component to the results you receive… for good or bad.

As I've written previously, magick pushes the accelerator of life – it gives skills and insights which are exceptionally useful in pursuing many goals, including forming a personal relationship with the divine and in spiritual transformation.  Mundane magickal tasks are a great way of practicing your skills because you can get immediate feedback on whether you are succeeding or not (and examining your failures can teach you a great deal about yourself and magickal technique).  Neither religious nor spiritual practice requires magickal understanding, but I've found experience with magick has been invaluable at enhancing my abilities in both.

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