Sunday, June 13, 2010
One of the real problems we face in attempting to work with magic is our utter lack of personal experience and societal support and understanding with regard to the spiritual realm.
I get this constant drumbeat of unreasonable hope and unreasonable fear with regard to astrology and talismans. People are hoping that their whole life is going to be turned around instantly with one talisman or even one election. Or they are freaking out that they got the candle color wrong in their consecration ritual or that their new talisman HAS COMPLETELY RUINED THEIR LIFE!!!!
A real problem in this regard is accurately following casual links. This goes both ways, people unreasonably finding magic successful or being convinced that it was unsuccessful. With no personal experience with magic or social training in what it can or cannot do people get very superstitious. If someone said that "once I was almost run over by a redhead, so now I refuse to be in the same room with a redhead" you'd likely think they were not assessing the situation properly. Throw in magic and suddenly they are freaking out!
What's lacking is trust. I don't like the word "faith" because in the modern context that tends to mean believing in something despite the fact it has no "rational" read atheistic/materialist basis, in fact believing in something rather foolish like Santa Claus or God.
Trust, I like better as a basis. Trust can be reasonable, based on personal experience, on logic and philosophy and on the reasonable reports of others.
Moderns don't trust magic because they have been taught by science and the prevailing atheistic/materialism that it doesn't exist. And despite 300 years of atheistic/materialism there is still strong, though deeply buried social programming, stemming from the jealousy of the established religions to magic or any form of spirituality not under their control.
Personally, I have worked with astrological magic for over 10 years now. I have seen how that my life has improved both materially and spiritually over that period. Astrological magic is rooted in Hermetic and Neoplatonic philosophy which is rational, once you accept the existence of the spiritual, and can be part of a positive, right hand spiritual path. (Left hand path is also possible with it, just not really my thing!) I have a rational basis for trusting that astrological magic works and that it works positively if done properly. Minor mistakes don't, in my experience, blow up like a grenade in your face.
If I am going to say that I think astrological or other magic has worked in a particular circumstance, I am going to need reasonable casual links. For example, every month I do a consecration of my 3rd Mansion talisman, when the Moon is in the 3rd Mansion. The 3rd Mansion is for all good things. Invariably within 24 hours, either before or after, my business booms. It is not unusual for the 3rd Mansion day to be the biggest day of business for the whole month. And this has not just happened once, it is as regular as clockwork. In this case we have a reasonable casual link because we get an appropriate effect within a close time range and can say that it appears that the 3rd Mansion magic is working.
Our clues to casual links are connections in terms of time and in terms of effect. If I do the 3rd Mansion consecration and 15 days later I get a boost in business, the link is less clear. This is not saying that there is no link, but the connection is not as evident. If 3 months later I fall down the stairs or get fired from my job, there is very little linking this occurrence with the 3rd Mansion talisman, neither timing nor effect.
This confusion over casuality is an area where atheistic/materialists have a point. "Magical" thinking, ala "step on a crack, break your mother's back" is likely to confuse us and lead us astray. Now personally I am somewhat superstitious, I don't walk under ladders or use the number 13, if I can help it, for example, but I don't try to rationalize this. I regard it as simply my own foibles that I feel more comfortable not crossing. Absolutely nothing wrong with indulging personal preferences.
Spiritual causality is pretty tricky since we are dealing with subtle forces. It is easy to see connections out of hope or fear, since we really don't trust magic. It's easy when things we don't like happen to point to magic since magic is weird and dangerous. Still, by all means, if magic freaks you out or you feel that magic is responsible, don't do magic! You won't see me opening up and messing with my circuit box, I leave it to an electrician.