This is the fourth of a series of entries dealing with my growing spirituality. These posts are designed with a “evolving thoughts” theme, meaning I am using this space to get my thoughts in order and come up with a solid foundation to stand on for my continued spiritual development. What I say here will change and will do so without notice or apology.
Many Pagan paths include Magick as part of their practices. In most cases, magick is a set of rituals designed to bring about change in the physical world by using, what amounts to, positive thinking. This is not a disparagement, simply an observation. This, of course, begs the question: Is magick real?
This is a simple question with a complex answer. Like so many things we cannot directly see or experience, we must take the existance of magick on Faith. If magick is real, does it flow from a wellspring of magickal energy stored in the bowels of the Earth? Is it direct from a Deity? Is it stored in ancient tomes in some witches library, and not-so ancient tomes that are available at your local bookstore? Is it stored in a series of ley lines bisecting the planet in a never ending grid of primal power? Or is it simply a convieniet device designed for the superstitious mind to grasp as s/he works/prays for/to his/her Deity?
As one might guess, I am a skeptic when it comes to magick and magickal practice. I don’t do a lot of magickal workings simply because the chief explination for why and how magick works is that you cast the spell, then work really hard to accomplish the goal you cast the spell for. It seems to me that if one really wanted to be rich, then one would get a good education and work really hard. And leave the “magick” to those who need to use it.
This is not to say I don’t use some magickal ritual. Prayer and spellwork are, in reality, the same thing in my view. Both are designed to enact change by bringing in an outside force (magick/Deity). It is said a Wiccan, when s/he casts a spell is praying. This is fine, as far as it goes. But why not simply call it prayer and be done with it? Again, this is not a disparagement, simply an honest question.
Back to my point. I do use some magickal rituals. Chief amongst these are candle-based rituals. I rarely, if ever, cast a circle. Nor do I pay much attention to the Sabbats and Esbats. I’ll light candles for people who need help and pray for which ever Gods wish to intervine on their behalf to do so, if they so chose. I never command any being more powerful than I, should they actually exist. (I’m not terribly convinced they do, but that’s a post for later.)
In short, the inclusion of magick in your spiritual practice is one of choice. If you are not comfortable with such things, then leave it someone who is. If you regularly work spells and deal with spirits, then great. More power to you. Your magickal path is one where you MUST be comfortable in what you do. Magick is not something you should run into and do simply because “all the other Pagans are doing it.” Pagansim, of any stripe, is not a “do as I do” club.
Spirituality is a deeply personal and unique belief system where nothing anyone else does should matter a damn to what you do. This has led to my firm belief (and I’ll get blasted for saying this, I am sure) that Eclectic Paganism is the penultimate form of Paganism.
Let me say that again:Eclectic Pagansim is the penultimate form of Pagansim. All the other paths are just groups of people who’ve decided to do things the same way. Again, I want to say this here and now: There is nothing wrong with doing things the way your neighbor does it, so long as what you’ve decided to do is true to what YOU believe and not what some book or blog entry tells you to do.
Thinking for yourself is the truest form of Magick in the Universe.
OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES
Previous: At the Crossroads of Infinity, To Organize, or Not?
Next: Coven or Solitary: Which is Right for You and Why