For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.
—The Book of the Law, Chapter I, Verse 44
Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt or fear.
—Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior
Dr. Walsh: So, the Slayer.
Buffy: Yeah, that's me.
Dr. Walsh: We thought you were a myth.
Buffy: Well, you were myth-taken.
—Buffy the Vampire Slayer, episode entitled "A New Man"
An absolutely phenomenal number of books, bloggers, writers, speakers, and teachers tell us it is important to strengthen our wills. If there is something lacking in our
It wasn't until I was in college, taking a class in children's literature (OK, it was supposed to be easy, but it had tons of reading), that I read Ursula K. LeGuin's classic book, A Wizard of Earthsea. It's an incredible tale filled with Jungian overtones as well as a great version of Campbell's "Hero's Journey." It presents a concept that a lot of magickal people have taken to heart: if you know a person or thing's true name, you can use that name to have power over that person or thing. This, of course, became part of the background of the Harry Potter stories, as well as in other tales.
In certain aspects of real magick this is partially true. For example, in dealing with
Magick is more than making changes outside of you, it is also making changes to yourself. If there is something you don't like about yourself, you can change it.
Well, there's nothing new about that! There are numerous systems for personal growth, change, and empowerment, some more effective than others. To effectively use any of them, however, requires you to know more about who you really are. If you think you're cowardly when, in fact, you are actually brave, you might spend many days, months, or years trying to become brave when it's a quality you already have.* Surely this is one of the reasons the concept of "Know Thyself" is so important—you can't decide on your goals (where you
There is more than one mythic history of the Tarot. It's important to note that by mythic I don't simply mean that the stories were made up and imaginary. Rather, myths are information conveyed in a story to indicate the importance of something. Aesop's fables, for example, are myths explaining timeless truths in simple stories.
Although the Tarot has been used for hundreds of years, its active use as part of ceremonial magick really only dates back to the late 19th century. The key to this was the linking of the Tarot to the Kabalistic Tree of Life. This first appeared in print in an article by the Comte de Mellet in the 1781 book, Le Monde Primitif by Court de Gébelin, which noted