There’s an old statement that, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Many peopleâ€”I believe mistakenlyâ€”think this means that if they work hard and do a lot of practice, some sort of Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi will come from nowhere to become their personal instructor.
Well, that may happen, but it is far more likely that the “teacher” will be something else. It may be a book or a movie. It may be one eye-opening statement from a relative or a vagrant you happen to walk by while going to school or work. It may be a sudden, inward realization.
It may be more appropriate to say that what you will receive is a teachingâ€”a concept that only takes a moment to share but changes everything you doâ€”rather than a teacher who takes you under his or her wing for months or years.
I had just such a teaching experience years ago. At the time I was working with a group that was studying the LBRP: the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (if you’re not familiar with it see my Modern Magick for thorough details). One person was giving a demonstration of a part of the ritual, quietly mumbling some of the words.
The leader of the group stopped the demonstration and described her own experience. She had been demonstrating part of a ritual in front of her teacher, the late Israel Regardie. She, too, had been quietly saying the words. Regardie had stopped her and asked a simple, two-word questions: “Who’s Listening?”
As chef Emeril Legasse would say, “Bam!” I was ready for the teacher and the teaching came to me.
There are a few different ideas as to the source of the power found in magick. Some say that when you call on spirits and deities you’re dealing with actual external entities. Others believe you’re dealing with aspects of yourself. Some believe you are merely anthropomorphizing forms of energy.
However, no matter what you believe, the way you speak the words of a ritual is going to influence your magick. If the sources of magick are external entities, calling on them with power and authority is appropriate. If the sources of magick are internal, speaking with power and authority is again appropriate to get those inner aspects to realize they’re being addressed. If the sources of magick are forms of energy, calling on them with power and authority, by the physical rules of resonance, results in altering them so they will vibrate in a way that will cause them to change and direct themselves so that they match your needs.
If you want to be seen, stand up. If you want to be heard, speak up.
I once had a student who continually contacted me to obtain personal training. Normally, I don’t take individual students, but she repeatedly begged and I finally relented. She flew from her home in Jamaica and took a room in a motel near where I lived in Venice Beach, California. She would come to my home and for the next nine days we worked up to twelve or more hours a day.
The woman was a petite and intelligent dynamo. She owned businesses in Jamaica and was used to people following her instructions, instructions that she always gave quietly and without any authority or passion in her voice. People did her bidding because of who she was, not what was in her voice.
For several days I couldn’t get her to “vibrate” the words of power Â (if you don’t know the meaning of this concept, please see Modern Magick). She repeatedly told me that she “couldn’t” vibrate the words with any more power or energy. It wasn’t in her nature. She didn’t have the ability. Excuse after excuse.Â I didn’t know what to do. Finally, I had an idea. I told her that I wanted to watch her from behind as she performed the LBRP. She started with her tiny voice, saying the first word, “Ah-tah.” Just as she was about to start the second syllable, I kicked herâ€”rather hardâ€”right in her butt! That first word ended up sounding like:
She stopped what she was doing, looked at me with shock, then laughed excitedly. She instantly realized that, in fact, she could loudly vibrate the Words of Power. The student was ready and the teachingâ€”a swift kick to the rearâ€”appeared. From that point on her ritual work improved greatly in quality and effectiveness.
The Third Line
This post has been about two things: the nature of teachings and the value of vibrating Words of Power. However, I think I would be remiss not to mention the third line of the advice I quoted above:
If you want to be seen, stand up.
If you want to be heard, speak up.
If you want to be appreciated, shut up.
As I described in Modern Magick, once you have the concept of vibrating the Words of Power, you don’t have to do it loudly. You can do it quietly or silently. This is known as using the “Great Voice.”
But the effect needs to be the same. When you vibrate the words, do so as if you are standing before your deities. The universe should tremble to you’re voice.
Make sure they’re listening.