I’ve rarely met any person who has found magick by suddenly leaping into effective evocations and rituals. Some have tried. Most have failed.
The ones who succeed for the longest most often did not jump directly into magick. Rather they started looking for some way to enhance their spiritual development.
I think the reason for the failure of most who want to leap into magick is an unrealistic goal resulting from taking myths, movies and other fictions literally. That goal it to have power over others. With lack of success, most move on to other methods they imagine will give them power over others. Some, however, discover that the real secret of magick is that it allows you to develop power over yourself.
Those who approach magick from spiritual development or power-over-self attitude can achieve surprising wonders in their lives. What they have to do, however, is take chances and go outside what most people believe to be possible. They take one small step beyond fitting in what everyone tells them about spirituality. They take one small step beyond seeking power over others in order to achieve power over themselves.
Unfortunately, that first step is the most difficult of any possible step.
Photo by Chris Eason
In fact, for many people, it’s terrifying. Most are unwilling to do it. Most are too scared to do it. Some are willing to take one or two tiny steps, but are then unwilling to walk further.
One Giant Leap…
Ah, but for those willing to overcome their fears, the results of that small step can be a giant leap. For those who were seeking spirituality and development, the achievement of spiritual mastery at the level of an advanced monk or yogi can take months instead of decades. For those seeking power over themselves, they can not only obtain such power, but see it manifest in successful practical magick including contact with entities on other planes.
But don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself!
That one small step for a human can lead to a giant leap for yourself and even for humanity.
…But in Which Direction?
There is a surprising phenomenon that occurs if you give up your desire for power over others and seek power over yourself. As you become more and more confident and successful, people will see that and want to be near it. As a result, they are willing to do almost anything—including giving up their own power to you—just to be near you. And that is the strange contradiction of magickal power:
The less you seek power, the more will be offered.
People will seek you to train them, to start a magickal group, to lead them.
There’s nothing wrong with that. If you are a step ahead of another on the path it’s good to share that path with others and bring them along.
Unfortunately, there’s a big difference between merely being a step ahead and thinking oneself to be superior. If you still have the longing for power over others, the willingness of others to simply give you their support, admiration, adulation, and love may be too strong to resist. For some, taking on the title of “Grand Poobah, First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Chief Justice, Commander-in-Chief, Lord High Admiral, Lord Mayor and Lord High Everything Else” is not only a role in a comic opera, it becomes the essence of who and what they are. This leads to their inevitable downfall. The attempt to accumulate power eventually leads to its loss.
One measure of power is money. The more you have, the more power you can exert. But as Thornton Wilder wrote, “Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.” The people who are most successful with money don’t accumulate it, they spread it out. As they spread it out even more is returned to them. The same is true with pure power. Keep it to yourself and others will eventually drag you down. Spread it around and encourage others and even more people will share their power with you. This is a (ahem) secret of the so-called Law of Attraction.
It’s weird. The more power you attempt to hoard the more you have to exert and lose just in your attempt to keep your power. The more you spread your energy around, the more will be given to you.
Taking a leadership role in a coven, magickal Order, or just among a group of friends is not a license to do anything you want. Rather, it is a token of great responsibility. In your hands is the guidance of others. Even in your time away from the group your actions will be observed. Do you willingly share with others, or do you wait for payment? Do you get others to do your work for you instead of helping them with their work? Are you more interested in tearing others (whom you consider threats to your fiefdom) down than building your followers up?
People will see. Followers will imitate.
Your legacy is often not what you want or even what you do. Rather, it is what your direct or indirect followers do. “Orthodox Christianity” of today bears little resemblance to the supposed teachings of Jesus. The vast number of Wiccan traditions that exist today owe a great debt to Gerald Gardner but often have little in common with his idea of Wicca.
As a leader of a group, make sure your actions are ecological:
- Good for you.
- Good for the group
- Good for others.
- Good for the world.
How did you come to a magickal path?
Were you seeking spiritual advancement or power?
What allowed you to take that one small step past fear?
How have you changed?