Now that the amazing 2010 winter solstice, the 24-hour period with the least amount of sunlight, has passed (here at the Sea of Trees in So. Cal. we had rain and clouds and couldn’t see the lunar eclipse), the Sun begins to make its triumphant return. For those of you who have already had late year holidays and festivals (Diwali, Hanukkah, Yule,Â and , uh, Festivus) and those about to have such festivals (Christmas, Kwanzaa), I hope you have had, or will have, the best celebration ever.
And as the Sun returns, we begin to think of a better coming year with improved (or at least not deteriorating!) finances, happiness, and health. This often means changing our lives in a minor or major way. The name for the magick used to help make these changes: New Years Resolutions.
That’s right. Don’t tell your non-occult oriented friends, but New Years Resolutions (NYRs) are a simple form of magick. Some people write them down (a type of talisman). Some people stand up and state them out loud (a more direct form of magick). They combine intention and energy to get results. It’s pure and simple magick.
To get them to work, however, you have to understand the nature of magick either through study or through intuition. And one of the most important things to know is something I share in Modern Magick: magick takes place 24/7. It goes on all the time. That means if you do anything mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, to go against your magickal ritual of NYR empowerment, you are actually doing magick to oppose and overcome the NYR rite.
Here’s an example. You make a NYR to go to the gym three times a week. But within a few weeks, work or school or health or family obligations come up and you only go to the gym twice in a week. That’s literally doing magick that says you aren’t going to go to the gym three times a week.
From there you know what happens: “Well, I failed at my resolution. I may as well not go to the gym at all.”
But Wait! There’s More!
One thing many magicians don’t take into consideration is the power of the mind. That’s one of the reasons in the new edition of Modern Magick I discuss NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and similar concepts so that readers can better understand the mind. Here is a key thought:
Success builds success. Failure builds failure.
This means that success or failure in any single area of your life affects everything in every area of your life. Become a success in one thing and that builds up your self-esteem and empowers you. Fail at one thing and your mind (especially your unconscious mind) treats you as a failure in all aspects of life. Obviously, you would want to increase your successes and decrease the instances of failures.
When it comes to NYRs, if your resolutions fail, your mind tells you that you are a failure. Your good intentions have the opposite result.
A key aspect of magick is being realistic. Doing magick to push the Earth out of orbit and slam it into the sun isn’t going to have much of a result. Doing magick to go to the gym more can have an incredibly positive result. It can improve your health, your attitude, and if you do your NYRs in a way that can be successful, adds to your success in all areas of life.
The key is to make your resolutions realistic. This may mean lowering your (false) expectations as to what is possible. Let’s say that you want to go to the gym three times a week. For your NYR, say that you resolve to go just two times a week. You can still go three times a week, but if something happens and you only go twice, you’re still a success. If your NYR was to go to the gym three times a week, and you only go twice, your mind will interpret this as failure and the new magick (only going twice a week) will overcome the NYR ritual.
I have jokingly referred to this as “Better living through lowered expectations.” Perhaps a more accurate description would be greater success through more accurate goal setting. So don’t let being resolute on a specific number ruin your resolutions, your magick, and possibly your year. Drop the false expectations and achieve success!
What are your NYRs going to be?