Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search

Magick: Empowering or Disempowering?

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on October 26, 2010 | Comments (5)

This morning, I received an email question:

I have read your book on to the place where you help [one] of your student[s] with his or her exam by describing the kind of meditation or talisman they can make to help with their exam. Please tell me specifically the exact talisman you prescribe for them.

Here is what I responded:

The goal of Modern Magick has always been to empower the student. By that I mean I want it to help students of the book learn how to move from being a victim—of chance, of fate, of the will of others, or of bad luck—to being in power and control of his or her life. It’s a change from being a victim to being a victor, from acting in response to things that happen around you to being the cause of things that happen around you.

If you work through the book—not simply read it, but do the actual practices—you will learn exactly how to design any talisman you need. More importantly, you’ll also learn how to effectively charge it, so that rather than just being some paper with writing on it, the device becomes a powerful magickal tool to help you achieve your goals.

Were I to give you the information you request, you’d be dependent upon me for talisman design rather than upon yourself. Plus, all you’d have is a design—I have no information showing you’d know how to effectively charge it. In short, you’d be empowering me and giving me your power (disempowering yourself), and all you’d have is a paper with writing on it rather than a charged talisman. When it did not help you achieve the goal you wanted, you’d be inclined to think that magick doesn’t work (although it does) and consider yourself a failure (although you aren’t).

Therefore, rather than give you the design for the talisman you request, I would respectfully suggest that you start at the beginning of the book and do the work. By the time you finish the lesson on talismans and how to charge them, you’ll have no problem making an effective talisman for your purpose or for any purpose.

That being said, I did not go into depth on meditation for a purpose in Modern Magick. For your purpose I would suggest  the following:

1st: Prior to each study session, perform the Relaxation Ritual. This will help you eliminate all thoughts, beliefs and cares that might get in the way and block you from understanding and remembering what you are studying.

2nd: After performing that ritual, spend five minutes before each study session in meditation. Use the technique described in Modern Magick. After you achieve a meditative state, imagine or visualize yourself easily absorbing, remembering, and able to recall all of the information you are studying.

3rd: Before going to bed each night, again do a brief meditation. In this one first imagine or visualize yourself going to take a test and feeling wonderful about it, totally relaxed and knowing that you will do well. Then visualize yourself going into the test room and easily taking the test. See yourself with the knowledge for each question coming to you easily and successfully. Finally, imagine or visualize yourself leaving the test, knowing you did fantastically well.

Do this each and every night. It will “program” your subconscious to do everything necessary to learn what you need to and to be able to put it in writing when you actually take the test. It will also help prevent “test anxiety,” a type of nervousness that prevents many people from getting good grades.

Finally, magick is not about cheating, it’s about assisting. You still won’t get good grades unless you study. There are many tricks that can make your study more effective, and you can get advice on this from your school counselor or from books at the library such as How to Study by Fry and What Smart Students Know by Robinson.

Should Magick be DIY?

I presented my philosophy and the purpose of my writings in my response to the person who had emailed me. I want to help educate and train people so they can use magick to improve their lives. I don’t want to do magick for people, I want everyone to become empowered—by the knowledge they they can be a magician, by the experience of successfully performing magick. In short, I think magick should be DIY: Do It Yourself.


I can fully understand how if someone is in dire straits—especially a close friend or family member—it would be appropriate to help them. If a family member came to me saying they were desperate for $500 so they wouldn’t be out on the street, of course I’d give it to them. The same thing is true for a close friend. So yes, in some situations I’d do magick for others.

Although this would get them through a tough time, I would be their temporary and temporal savior. They give me what little power in their lives they have. Even though I am helping them I am also disempowering them, taking the power they give to me.

When a person learns magick, however, and does magick themselves, they become empowered, knowing they can help themselves to achieve their goals.

I realize that there are a lot of people who will do magick for others. They have small buildings out on the interstate, gaudy offices in the suburbs, and advertise eBay how they can harness a genii for you. There are also people in occult shops who will do this for you. Some are successful in doing magick for others. Some are successful only in separating a victim from his or her money.

When people are in need, I think they should be given help. If they stay in need, dependent upon a magick worker and disempowered, they stay victims to fate. I think it is better to give assistance and then give training.

In most cases, however, people who come asking someone to do magick for them are not in real need, they just have a desire that will be forgotten in a few weeks or months. To these people I offer training in the form of my workshops, classes, and books. I let them choose to learn and practice magick, becoming empowered in the process.

What do you think?
Should I have simply designed a talisman for this person?
Should I have charged it for them, too?
Should I have charged this person for this? How much?
Or was my response, encouraging him to study, practice, and become empowered, the correct one?

Reader Comments

Written By Marie White
on October 26th, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

I think it’s pretty darn nice that you gave as detailed and helpful an answer as you did.
You answered his question, do this to know how to make your talisman.
Very good.


Written By Kyle
on October 27th, 2010 @ 10:26 am

GREAT post! One of your best.
Magick is not just about getting a job, a love, some money, etc. Those are all great and necessary, but there is something more important in life. As many authors have said, the conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel is of paramount importance. Focusing on job, love, money *solely* can work to the detriment of this task. If the questioner here learns how to make a talisman for studying for an exam on his own, he will not only perform well on his test, but he will improve his magickal abilities, allowing him to get to the really good stuff in magick.

Written By Samantha
on October 27th, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

What do you think?
I think you are correct.

Should I have simply designed a talisman for this person?
No. I agree with what you say about doing magick for others. One should strive to be dependent only on one’s own self.

Should I have charged it for them, too?
Wouldn’t matter because you should not design a talisman for them, therefore, no need to charge it.

Should I have charged this person for this? Although some people do not feel they are getting something good if they don’t pay for it, I do not agree with charging for magickal assistance. It breeds dependence on the part of the seeker, and arrogance on the provider.

Or was my response, encouraging him to study, practice, and become empowered, the correct one?
Absolutely. I believe in life you keep learning. Sometimes, the first or second time you read something, you are not ready to process it. Down the road (maybe years), you read it again and it becomes clear. Having someone give you all the answers does not help you. It can even stunt your spiritual growth. I felt your answer was caring, explanatory, clear, and helpful.

Written By Aaron Leitch
on November 1st, 2010 @ 11:51 pm

Greetings, Don!

While I don’t think it would have hurt to direct the person to an existing Talisman, every word of your response to him/her was spot-on, nonetheless. It was quite apparent the person knew little about magick. They obvisouly would not have known what to do with a Talisman if you provided the design. Even asking for a Talisman when the book is *about* how to make them shows they weren’t really reading the material. So kudos for telling them to do the work!

As for doing magick for others – that is kind of a grey area with me. I think sometimes people who are not magicians need magickal help- such as when they feel they are under magickal attack, or are being haunted by an entity or bad fortune, etc. If we are the shamans of our culture, it is our job to help when we can.

However, while I have gotten involved in those kinds of cases a time or three, I can’t say I’ve ever gotten into granting wishes like money and sex. lol I know some folks who do this and even have regular clients, and as long as they are not engaging in fraud I think that is perfectly acceptable. But it’s not something I want to get inovlved with – it comes with way too much drama.


Written By AarTiana
on November 2nd, 2010 @ 12:22 am

Brilliant post Donald Michael! 🙂 You have addressed just about everything here, with balanced emphasis where it needs to be, including but not limited to morals/ethics as well as compassion and balance – bravo!!

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address

Verification Code:
Please enter the words that you see, below, into the box provided.