The ultimate goal of ritual magic is fulfillment.
As is true with most ultimates, it is seldom, if ever, reached. The degree to
which it is approached signifies the success or failure of the practice of
magic in the life of an individual. When ritual is sincerely and regularly
practiced, in most cases there will be a benefit. Sometimes the improvement,
from both an objective and subjective perspective, is remarkable. Magic can
improve health and appearance, increase confidence and a sense of self-worth,
remove obstacles hindering the progress of a life, and bring about a spiritual
All lesser improvements tend toward the creation
of a total, fulfilled, self-actualized life. They are pieces of a puzzle that
make up a single perfect image. In order to impress this fact upon the mind of
the newcomer into magic groups, both ancient and modern, it is very common for
an initiation ceremony to be conducted. The initiation represents in brief the
highest goal of magic. It is a magic ritual designed to realize that purpose in
the months and years that follow.
Usually the initiate undergoes, in one form or
another, a symbolic death and rebirth. The death emphasizes that the old world
of confusion, ignorance and helplessness is being left behind. The rebirth
stands for the new life as a totally realized human soul, able to act with
complete freedom in any circumstance. This transformation is further driven
home by assigning the initiate a new name.
The initiation ceremony is only a representation
of what the members of the circle, and the initiate, wish to have happen. It is
up to the Magus to make this transformation occur in his or her life through
hard work and dedication. Although success is never complete, change can be
profound. The result is simply a better human being from every angle.
One technique used in the West to bring about this
soul transformation is a ritual communication with what, for want of a better
name, has been called the Holy Guardian Angel. This is simply the higher
spiritual awareness that concerns itself in the affairs of a single human
being. It might as easily be called the Higher Self, or the personal God. It is
the consciousness that cares enough about the happiness of a person to take the
trouble to help.
Every person sees his or her Guardian Angel in a
The prophets of the major religions often don the
mask of Guardian Angel, and are conceived differently by each worshiper, and so
become personal to each, guiding and sustaining the individual through
difficulties. The difference is that in magic, this communication is sought and
established in a deliberate way, not merely to gain support in times of pain
and doubt, but to transform the soul of the Magus on a permanent basis.
Magic is often worked for more humble and
pragmatic reasons, and there is nothing wrong with this. But it should be
understood that all improvements in a life, if they really are improvements and
not mere illusions, tend toward the perfection of that life.