There, I said it. Granted, depending on whether or not is truth relative, this could be debated. For now, let’s not though. Give me a moment please, to get my thoughts together and then I will explain. Initially, what I mean by this is that people all have an idea of their beliefs or why them believe them.
Most people who believe in magick have some integral idea of how magick works. The better part of 20 years of my life has been spent talking to witches, mostly either pagan and Wiccan types or Golden Dawn and ceremonial magick type… just for clarity. I don’t know why it took me till this week, but I realized something this week.
I have officially decided that… on the topic of magick… you are doing it wrong. Simply by thinking that what we are doing inherently is right, then that leaves little room to think outside the box. That leaves no real way to force the mind to remain open, to look for the cosmic links out in the world or to see the impossible happenings. By doing magick right, it seems as though it is essentially against the concept of mastery in the first place and thereby, you are doing it wrong. That is my simple explanation
Truth is a Funny Thing, Especially to People of Faith
I said it. So, it must be true. Or, at least I think it is true. That is where it gets tricky. Because ultimately, the word “truth” has changed through the years and not everyone can agree on what the word actually means. Some say it is synonymous with fact. Other people say that it is something slightly different. Personally, I like the concept that truth is something with is accurate and factual to the person telling it. I tend to think of it as a anecdotal fact.
Sort of how a person will tell you that the bible is a truth, because for them it is. However, there is a lot there that thus far, can’t be proven… at least not empirically. That stuff, the substance that you can prove and verify… and that is repeatable (must not forget that part!) these are the facts.
Your Truth. My Truth. Truth to Truth.
If magick has taught us anything it is that one should not be shocked at the power of the mind. You really can change your mind, if you choose to. The trick, for those of you that say that you can’t, you may not be able to. I would challenge though, it is less that you can’t and more that you simply don’t know how. In any case, it may not be the greatest skill out there… like, technically I think that convincing of facts that never happened… that is one of those tale tale narcist sighs, isn’t it?
A discussion for next time: “When is the truth the truth and is there ever a time when gaslighting is psychologically acceptable?”
Ultimately, I am going through this because it occurred to me, after talking to a friend earlier, that it is sometimes easier to just go with it. I mean, I wasn’t joking when I said that I have spent the better part of 20 years talking to people about their practice and magick in general. My practice, my service to my local pagan community, and just a general curiosity or interest in the types of topics regarding practices, ritual, and the like.
There have been too many times that I can count, where i would actually get upset when someone would tell me something i did was wrong. Not for annoyance of being corrected. Rather, because it always comes with that tone. The tone where you know what is coming next… The tip or trick on how to do it right. Today, in that area… I think that i made a breakthrough and I wanted to share.
Everyone’s a Critic, Even Your Well-Meaning Friends
So, I was going to say that you were doing wrong in a podcast but well, the neighbors are mowing their lawn for the 3rd time this week. It is the end of July, over 100 degrees here, and they are mowing. At first it was frustrating, because who really likes to be inconvenienced by someone… anyone else, when they have a plan in mind for their day? Then, after a moment of breathing, I shook it off.
Later on in the day, a friend came over and I was telling her about my day about how I keep trying to plan to record but the noise… and sort of in the middle of it, I said (kind of under my breath and to myself), “When you fixate, you stagnate.”
“What did you just say?” my friend asked.
“When you fixate, you stagnate.” I repeated, but louder this time.
“You really shouldn’t be focusing on the negative if you want it to change. Vibrations don’t work that way.”
That’s what she said…
I paused, and just let it hang there. Vibrations work in a weird way… but I found there, in the moment, a sense of irony. Maybe irony isn’t the right word? I could feel the tension of silence building and the tail end of what my friend said echoed in my head. The words vibrated in my mind that vibrations didn’t work that way.
Who Knows How Magick Works?
The silence stayed a bit longer, and it was uncomfortable. Why must disagreeing come with so much tension? I don’t know about other people, for I am sure there are people out there that step on toes, establish their boundaries, or just say no when they don’t want to do something. I tend to try to be a people pleaser. My Sagittarian excess doesn’t always help that, but I try. Intellectually, I want to be right. I want to know the right way. I want to understand things better and then I want to dig more beyond that. Always keep learning.
Please Tell Me: “How Do Vibrations Work?”
That was what I wanted to say. I didn’t know. The silence went on for at least a few minutes and I found myself still not saying anything. As the silence grew longer, I found myself suddenly wondered if I was being rude. I walked to the kitchen, opened the fridge. I kind of moved things around, and then made some noise like I was figuring out what to grab. Finally, I decided to just break the ice.
“Do you want a drink?” I called out sheepishly.
I knew I sounded a little off. I didn’t get a response. That was weird. So, I poked my head back towards the living room. She wasn’t there. Turns out she had gone and took a moment to sneak to the bathroom. I will skip to the end, when she came back everything was fine. I had spent the last few minutes thinking about that one statement. She had been thinking about needing to pee. She didn’t mention it again. I am still up, past midnight thinking about it.
Magick is Essentially Controlling the Mind
I realize that perhaps I am fixating. Then it occurs to me that maybe my friend is right. I do tell myself my little mantras, but I do it as a reminder. If I were to say something happy and cheery, well… I’ve seen some shit. I can say that much. I know me pretty well too. I don’t listen to that kind of talk. Thus, I tend to talk to myself in a more stern voice to cut myself off and perk up. Essentially, I guess.. in reflection… I talk to myself like my mom talked to me when I was a kid.
Note to Self: Duality Sometimes is Not Your Friend
“The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The willingness to learn is a choice.”Brian Herbert
Above is another little mantra that I tell myself on a somewhat regular occasion. It prompts me toward gratitude that I am able to learn and to continue seeking knowledge. I don’t know what age that I was when I realized that not everyone is interested in learning. Some people are truly only concerned with what they know. I have my own thoughts on how this works, but I don’t want to be that person. I enjoy being right. I like knowing things within certainty, for there are so few things that are certain. I, in turn, have a nasty habit of thinking the same for other people.
Is Truth Relative All of the Time?
If something is apparently untrue, and the evidence can be found to deny it, then I am going to look for that. When I learn a new fact, I generally challenge myself to verify the fact as an empirical based concept or is it something else. This kind of thinking leads me to have a tendency to jump to conclusions about things that people say, and at least at my age, I have learned how to quiet things down and not shout out dramatically, “LIES!”
The Complexity in the Simplicity of Humanity
Nevertheless, I tend to think that other people are the same way. I mean, that is pretty common right? We expect others to be like we are, or treat others how we want to be treated because we have an assumption that people are like us, and want something similar? Sometimes, there is a wholly alternative choice though. Seeing that alternative, or the many alternatives, requires me to stop and consider things in a different way.
A Shared Experience Does Not Guarantee a Shared Outcome
On one hand, we are all the same. We share a human experience. It is hard to remember sometimes that we all do this, same thing, differently. The shift in perspective from one to the next person, it is sometimes so slight that we don’t notice. Then, other times, it is drastic. When around like minded people, there is a sense of peace, harmony, and calm grace. At least, that is how it feels to me. Then, there are people that are abrasive to even share space with, without them saying a word or anything. I know this to be true. Yet, I always catch myself thinking my untrue assumptions.
Faith and Will are Not One in the Same
Realizing that my little self-talk from earlier is just what I was trained derailed me for a bit. Because, when I consider that I talk to myself a certain way because I was taught that a stern voice gets results, that there is no room in growth for weakness essentially, that is how I then became programmed to learn. Not everyone has this lesson.
I wouldn’t necessarily wish for everyone to have this lesson either…
I was raised by a very religious mom. I had a whole slew of parental figures, but the religious side of me, I would say I definitely get from her. She was happy being a Christian though, and don’t get me wrong… personally I am cool with Jesus. I am not a Christian though. That is a talk for a different time, but my point is that I learned, through my mother, that faith cannot be empirically proven. When a person believes is difficult to change, even with self-talk or mantras or anything else. To date, I have not figured a way to change faith. It is like, you can’t un-do seeing once your eyes have been opened.
Personal Truths About How Magick Works, or The World, Etc.
I see things as I do. Thus, I realize that my truths, the world as I know it. Some of the ways in which I am confident about my world include:
- An unshakable belief in the divine or a higher power.
- My understanding of how to control the energy my reach through will and intent.
- My understanding that how magick works has been understood, then forgotten too many times in history.
- The conceptualization of the world, both in the physical and astral realms.
- My supernatural and/or occult experiences including practicing magick and dying.
- Realizing and thus reminding myself that my perception is only one view point. (Gotta keep that ego in check!)
- The world is not as it seems and that is okay.
These things that I know to be true generally remain this way until proven otherwise. Yes, they are truths, for me personally. My experiences and how I have interacted with the world, how the world has interacted with me, and a whole host of other things have influenced me to get where I am today.
That isn’t bragging. That is just a declaration of gratitude for being alive. I have been elsewhere, not here. I would like to not go back at the moment! Take that, death and dying. That is one of those things, like trauma as well. I guess it is a kind of trauma, but that still works with my point.
Redefining Knowledge and Mental Processing
I can know something to be true and I can realize that it is only possibly so for me. I am learning as I get older to not be offended by knowing less than a fraction of the knowledge. How could I and why should I? Why should any of is. First and foremost, our knowledge of this world is and it makes sense that it would be, anecdotal. This leads there to be a wealth of information, but much of that data doesn’t apply to everyone.
For example, f I know that something works for me, I am not necessarily going to recommend it is a tip for other people. That was and still remains a hard lesson to learn. Somehow, it escaped me to think that this is one of those areas that are the same.
A Wise Man Once Said: “I Know Nothing.”
That wise man supposedly was Socrates. At least, as far as I know it was. Something about an oracle telling Socrates that he was the wisest, which perplexed him as he said that he knew nothing. Last season on the Mage Against the Machine podcast, I went into the philosophers of Ancient Greece some, and it gives more details. I linked to one of them, that one specifically talks about perception and what we all know to be true.
Socrates Fan Art- Rohanna Irene / RumDancer Art circa… 2018?
I mainly put it there for reference. I have been trying to be mindful of how thinking works, how my own brain functions and what I hold on to or retain versus what I end up ultimately forgetting. When I became more conscious of my process of thinking, of learning, and how I processed information, I began to notice trends and patterns.
For Me, Personal Challenges Make a Better Magickal Practice
If we are going to do something in this world, it should be done well and to the fullest extent of our capability. I firmly believe that life is too short to half-ass things. As you might imagine, this kind of mindset leads me to be somewhat of a perfectionist at times,. At the very least, it lends way to being too hard on myself. So, for me, and only for me, I have made my own sort of sets of rules. They work for me and at the same time I wouldn’t say they are all 100% health. But… they work.
Observations About Magick and Witchcraft Since January 2021
In the last 6 months, as I have been studying more and more about magick:
- How to Be a Witch
- The History of Famous Pagan Authors
- The Correlation of Witchcraft and Other Traditions
Just take these for example. I was taught many of these things, the concepts, precepts, and general foundations… when I was just beginning it was before I was 20 years old. I have explained to some extent on here, that the world was different. There wasn’t an easy resource to just go and cite your work. I was taught also, early on, learning is a choice, but also a responsibility. To learn, first you must be willing. Then, you must apply yourself.
Skepticism About Being a Skeptic
So, generally when I used to go into learning, I went to a teacher of some sort. Be it for school or later college and pagan, metaphysical, and ceremonial magick training as well. Then, when I went to learn about community leadership and application of practices, I had the same mindset. I thought that they were the teacher, they had something to teach. Learn, first. Question later.
A lot more than I am willing or able to write here went into my agility to get out of myself enough to learn magick. It wasn’t my natural forte I can say that much. The learning curve was massive. I had to really dig down and fight hard not to question things. Not the right things, not like I was wanting to ask for proof back then. No, I was a good student. I knew to not waste a teachers time and ask pertinent questions.
Masters and High Magicians May Not Always Be Right… But they are Never Wrong!
I used to get really great grades in school. Mostly… This is because I didn’t question teachers. I wrote notes and kissed ass. I developed a belief, which I guess is still pretty ingrained in me to this day… Don’t break the rules until you know the rules well enough to make them.
I stand by this for sure. However the overall learning process kind of worked like… well, let me just make an image. That is easier.
This Sums Up My Learning Strategy
Confronting school was easy, so long as I just accepted that the teacher was right and I was there to learn.
Ultimately, I realize as an adult that this whole process is good for one thing… testing. I don’t feel bad about it, but I do realize that my own challenge is with critical thinking.
Why Can’t We All Know Things?
At the end of the day, I don’t think that being a black and white thinker is the end of the world. It isn’t for me, so why would it be for anyone.
And… with that I stop myself.
Being aware at the individual thoughts is a challenge, and one that I personally struggle with, especially since I owe it to myself to be honest, or at least as honest as I can with a few strangers on the internet that might read this. I promised a transparent process and I am trying to do this. One day, I will tell you about how I basically recorded myself for a year and then geeked out on my own mannerisms. Good times were had by all. That is, if all was none because all things also contain their opposites.
For now, the best I can say is that I learned something here. Maybe you already knew this lesson. That is okay too. In that case, thank you for letting me share.
Long Term Goal for Self Mastery – Moving Forward
This is the rub, that thing I have learned to force myself to do. When I realize something, I try to take it and do something with it. I try to test it, to see what can be stretched and worked. For, within any moment of actualization, realization or epiphone, I believe lies something greater. I noticed previously that the body will react, and go into motion. The brain, not so much. It will try, but I suppose that it is handling realization, rationalization, and then the processes of emotion that go along with being wrong and possibly that expectation that one should have known better.
In any case, to get out of the reactionary retract mode, that knee-jerk resistance for a lack of a better term, I instead think what can I learn from this moment right now. I try to set a goal to do something with it, almost right away. It makes life chaotic, changing direction more often that I am used to, but it also keeps me on my toes.
Considering the Take Away From Today
A goal, without a plan, is just a wish.Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I know that I have been in a place where I said things had to be done a certain way when what I should have said was, “I am not comfortable doing it the way you are suggesting.” Of course, there is a slight difference if I am the one that is going into the situation as a learner myself… well a dedicated learner. All teachers should learn something from their student and vice versa. It’s a two-way street, yes…
I Will Apply to My Learning Practice, Until Samhain 10/31/2021
Now, before ending this here… I want to clarify the beginning. I hope the meaning of my post rang through. I tend to do these as free writes and make art as I go. It’s a process. (Thank you for coming along with me, all of you reading <3)
I will continue to try to keep my mindset that whenever I am learning something that the person doesn’t know anything. I am going to write my intention down a bit better when I get to the 29th day in the moon cycle and write my intention then. I will do my best to share that ritual if I can.
Intention Outline Coming Soon
The bare bones of what I am going to add to my regular routine is going to be outlined. I usually do outlines of my intentions. Right now, I would like to have it done by the full moon. Since the moon is waning, it should be a good time to be swirling down into myself.
References for Further Reading
What to Do, Scientifically, When Everyone is Wrong – A surprisingly good read from Forbes.com of all places. That was unexpected! However, the author goes through the findings of the heliocentric world, which at the time was difficult to prove. It details the information that was needed to force the acceptance of the heliocentric model, and essentially the process of how the geocentric model of the world was challenged. A good read for anyone contemplating flat earth stuff or just scientific reasoning and the like!
Socrates, I Know That I Know Nothing – 2019
This gives a good break down of Socratic thinking, and even includes cute drawn comics. I won’t lie, I am kind of jealous!