Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mixing Up Magic with a Pinch of This and a Dab of That? Not Hardly!

I know magical practitioners who approach the craft with the attitude of, "All it takes is a pinch of this and a dab of that." And certainly if you watch movies like "Harry Potter" or TV shows like "Charmed" you might get the idea that magic works like your grandmother's cooking: no recipe needed, just follow your instincts. Not hardly!

Magic is a Precision Science
From experience I have discovered that magic is a precision science. Using the right words, ingredients, symbols, and tools is very important. For instance, we often teach our students to use invocations to address magical powers and beings. In one, we address "Sky Father" and "Earth Mother." I am always amazed at how many students casually switch the order of these words when doing the invocation, and end up addressing "Father Sky" and "Mother Earth," thinking that they are addressing the same beings as "Sky Father" and "Earth Mother."

Not so at all. Magic is a precision science, and "Sky Father" is an entirely different being than "Father Sky." If you think that the distinction is unimportant, consider your own name. Suppose your name is Adam Johnson. Would it make a difference to you whether I called you Adam or Johnson? Sure it would. In many cultures, addressing a person by their last name can be either a sign of respect or a sign of denigration. It can make a huge difference.

Do Magic as a Precision Science
My teacher and mentor in magic, Reverend George Dew, had a favorite saying about magic: "Take your time, think it through, do it right." That's a great motto to use anytime you want to practice magic. After all, in the case of invoking powers and beings to help you, you want to get the right being. Getting the wrong being can send you down a rabbit hole or through the looking glass!

People often wonder why our magic courses, like Basic Magic, take so long to complete. It's because magic is a precision science, and a person doing magic rituals or practices without understanding the reasons behind them is risking harm. If you want to learn more about practicing the art of magic as a precision science, here are some guidelines to help you.

1. Learn Rules of the Road, the universal laws that we have found true in governing magical practice.

2. If you don't know the reason behind a magical practice or ritual, do some research until you understand, or don't do the ritual at all.

3. Take your time and learn one magical item at a time. When you get in a hurry and want to win the lottery with a spell immediately, you might as well toss your wand in the trash. Fast magic loaded with anxiety won't produce results, ever!

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Photo credit: George Eastman House

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