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If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on June 4, 2012 | Comments (10)

Two years ago I made a blog post about poverty thinking and how that can be a cause of impoverishment. I showed that on some level many people see the wealth of the world as being like a pie, and if you make your piece bigger, someone else will get a smaller piece. Not wanting to harm others, people with this mode of thinking settle for what they have. What I pointed out, however, is that when you make your piece bigger, the entire pie grows in size, increasing the wealth of everyone. Today, I think I would put it this way: As long as your means of obtaining wealth was ecological—by which I mean good for you, good for those around you, and good for your community and the world—your increased wealth helps everyone and should be encouraged.

I would quickly add to this that wealth comes in many forms and is not limited to money.

Recently I received an email from a young man who wanted to know how to use one technique from Modern Magick to win the lottery. My response to him brings up a lot of points, so if you’re interested in improving your wealth through magick, or just improving your magickal success, read on…

Sphere of Availability

Edward C. Peach was born in 1904. In 1961 he received a payment of $1000 as the result of an accident. Using a Hong Kong printer, he published his own book, The Art and Practice of Astral Projection. It remains one of the better books on the subject. Over the next two decades, using his pen name, “Ophiel,” Peach wrote seven more books ranging in quality from excellent to awful. He died in 1988.

One of Ophiel’s better books is The Art and Practice of Getting Material Things Through Creative Visualization. Yes, it’s a terrible name, but don’t let that keep you from reading the book.

In the book he discusses the concept of what he calls the “Sphere of Availability.” The concept behind it is simple: the universe will not provide you with something you cannot use. Even if you want a shiny new expensive car, if you are physically unable to drive and can’t afford to garage it, pay for fuel, insurance, and maintenance, your magick, by itself, is unlikely to help you get it. It’s outside of your sphere of availability.

Ophiel left it at that. If it’s outside of your Sphere of Availability, don’t try magick, such as creative visualization, to get it. Don’t waste your time.

Sometimes, people do, by chance, obtain something outside of their Sphere. For example, sometimes people win vast amounts of money in a lottery. Surprisingly frequently, people for whom that money is outside of the Sphere of Availability not only lose all that money, but it can destroy their family and other relationships. They end up in worse shape than before.

On the other hand, for some people poverty is outside the Sphere of Availability. One person like that is Donald Trump. He’s declared bankruptcy four times (costing his creditors billions of dollars). A year ago he was claiming to be worth $3.5 billion. It would seem like he can’t help making money.

The logical question, then, is simple: how do I move from having one Sphere of Availability to another?

Another Take on the Sphere of Availability

I like the concept of the Sphere of Availability, but I have a problem with it. It is simply one of the most un-magickal, anti-self-empowering concepts I can think of! It turns us into victims: You can’t get ahead because that’s outside of your Sphere of Availability. In my opinion, that’s utter garbage. There are many things we may be victims of, but we remain victims only if we choose to do so! I choose something else.

As I wrote, I like the idea of the Sphere of Availability, but I interpret it differently. I no longer think of it as a limitation. Rather, it’s a notification. If something is outside of my Sphere of Availability it’s not like a huge, limiting wall. Rather, it’s a notification that I have to change!

When I run into the Sphere it is a message that for some reason I’m not ready to obtain my goal. To do magick to obtain that goal, then, is a waste of time until I clear the issues that keep my goal out of my Sphere of Availability. So the Sphere doesn’t limit me, it guides me to discover what I need to do to obtain my magickal goals.

Sort of.

This is the real challenge with the Sphere. It tells you that there are issues you must resolve before obtaining your currently unavailable magickal goals, but it doesn’t tell you what those obstacles are. This is where such things as meditation and divination can really help. That’s one of the reasons I include both divination and meditation near the beginning of Modern Magick. Other possible causes may be things you need to learn about from earlier in this life or even from [the experience of] past lives.

The cause of a goal existing outside your Sphere of Availability
may be something you need to learn.

The cause of a goal existing outside your Sphere of Availability
may be something you need to un-learn.

When you eliminate the issues that put limitations on you—the cause of the current limits of your Sphere of Availability—the Sphere expands, allowing you to achieve more, learn more, and obtain more. This includes obtaining your magickal goals.

True Self-Empowerment

When you understand this concept, magick can really be a key to self-empowerment. If you do not achieve your magickal goal, and assuming you performed your magick correctly, the cause for the failure may be that the goal is outside your Sphere of Availability. Thus, lack of success in magick can lead you to discovering what in your past, in your mind, etc., is keeping you from getting ahead. This leads to the ancient precept, Gnothi Seauton, Greek for “Know Thyself.” The more you know about yourself and clear away unneeded beliefs and behaviors, the more empowered you become and the more you achieve your magickal goals.

And that is another secret for obtaining all kinds of true wealth. It also goes by another name:

The Great Work.


Reader Comments

Written By Anna Greenflame
on June 4th, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

This is absolutely true in my experience. I had a pretty good track record for spellwork, but there came a time when spells for certain things did not work at all. It took a long time for me to figure out that the problem was within me. Part of me deep within did not really want the results. When it comes to money magick, I find people (including myself) often have a lot of limiting beliefs, taboos, and negative emotions regarding money and unless those are worked through, consistent gain and prosperity will be not be won. As I have cleared my own unconscious beliefs and expanded my “sphere of availability,” my husband and I are more prosperous than ever.

Written By James Lindenschmidt
on June 4th, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

This kind of thinking is really irresponsible. You can abstract the nature of wealth acquisition all you want, but at the end of the day one must realize that the resources of this planet are NOT infinite. The “pie” is only so large, no amount of creative visualization or wishful thinking will change that.

As it is, 98% of native forests, and 97% of native grasslands are GONE. How big is your slice of pie?

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on June 4th, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

Thank you for your response, Anna. I understand and appreciate your passion.

However I you seem to have either missed or ignored the part where I wrote, ” As long as your means of obtaining wealth was ecological—by which I mean good for you, good for those around you, and good for your community and the world—your increased wealth helps everyone and should be encouraged.”

Certainly destroying native forests and grasslands rather than supporting them is absolutely NOT ecological and the opposite of anything I would support.

Written By Brother MOLOCH 969
on June 5th, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

Nice post, Don. Every now the subject of ‘If your magic is so powerful, why aren’t you rich?’ pops up and I like to respond that wealth itself is subjective to the level of comfort you personally desire. With great wealth comes great responsibilities and a lot of time out of your day.

Ophiel’s ‘Sphere of Availability’ is a useful tool to consider and I’ve found that using it as you suggest, a guide, along with the rest of his formula for creative visualization and then coupling that with a Treasure Map, and investing the time, money & effort to pay for the desire, results are amazing.

We truly do live in a McMagicK society where people want to pop their wishes into a Metaphysical Microwave & in 20 seconds *beep* out comes a new life replete with new wealth, new house, new S/O, and so on – WITHOUT the necessary investment of time, money & energy.

Written By Aaron Leitch
on June 12th, 2012 @ 12:16 am

Hey Don!

I’ve talked about this very same thing – though I have used more old-world terminology. The Book of Abramelin says that you are allowed to ask your Guardian Angel for enough money to last your entire life “according to your estate and condition.” That last part is the sticky point for most people – it is hard for them to comprehend what that means in today’s age of (supposed) casteless society. When Abramelin was written, a person knew his caste, his place in society, and knew he could never leave that place. To ask your Guardian Angel for money “according to your estate and condition” was to ask for what was allowable to you according to your caste.

In your (and Ophiel’s) terms, it means “within your sphere of availability.”

I like your take on it, because it doesn’t adhere to the old-world idea that you are *stuck* in your sphere of availability. On my blog, I have written previously about the necessity of FIRST doing work to change your “estate and condition” before asking for things that would normally fall outside of it.

I once asked one of my patrons – Iophiel – to change my life for the better. Not to give me a specific amount of money for a given situation, but to really get me out of my rut. Before I knew it, a series of events happened in my life that elevated my status and condition within the greater community. I expanded my sphere of availability. I think this is a key point to magick that so many miss entirely.

Written By Horst Ludwig
on June 18th, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

define wealth, understand wealth, step out of your glass or you may not be capable to leave the endless spiral of error. this is occident driving itself into darkness and than keep talking about the darkness for about 5 mileniums.

Written By Jaime
on September 22nd, 2013 @ 7:08 pm


Great article. I just found Ophiel’s book on Astral Projection and was doing some research on the author to see who he was. That’s how I came across this post. While you touch on another book of his, which I will now have to seek out, the whole theme resonates with me. There are no limits that we can’t overcome, but they must definitely be worked on. Nothing comes free of effort, not even, or most especially not, magick itself!

Written By Bojan Mittul
on June 8th, 2014 @ 7:00 pm

Ophiel, in his book, never states that the sphere of availability is a fixed barrier that can’t be breached.
In fact its not so much an actual barrier of any sort, but it basically describes what the magus can realistically expect based on his current state of affairs.

He clearly states, that the sphere defines ones current realistic limitations, not that its permanent and solid. In fact he devotes a good amount of time to explaining how one can gradually increase the size of the soa.

In effect, the simpler interpretation of this passage would be very simple. One needs to gradually acquire wealth (whatever kind), set realistic goals and take things ONE STEP AT A TIME. That is the true meaning of the soa.

Written By Steven
on August 12th, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

I am glad to see that Ophiel hasn’t been forgotten, I was fortunate enough to speak with him in the 70s.
Sadly I don’t think he ever got the recognition that he so dearly desired.

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