Tuesday, September 15, 2009

When to Use Magic: Should I Use Magic or Fight on the World Plane?

When a nasty situation crops up in your life, do you fight it or do you use magic? That's a question that many magicians face on a regular basis. On the world plane, taking action to resolve an "unfair" or "bad" situation seems like the right thing to do, but does getting entangled in a negative situation drag the rest of your life downhill?

On the other hand, if you use magic to attempt to resolve a situation without taking physical action, what kind of result will you get? Will the magic be strong enough to stop or change a negative situation that has already manifested physically? What's a magician to do?

When to Use Magic
Well, as a Native American elder once told me when I asked him the same question, "Do all the magic that you can ... and buy insurance." I got a laugh out of that, and I hope you do, too! And the message is clear:

1. Do all the magic that is appropriate to the situation
2. Take any and all physical steps to remedy the situation that do not cause you to feel negative or interfere with your magical work

That's pretty simple, right?

A Few Examples to Illustrate the Use of Magic
Of course, most magical principles sound pretty simple until you actually have to apply them to everyday situations. Reality is never as tidy as we would like it to be. So here are a few parallel examples that might illustrate what I mean.

We live in a farming community in Colorado, and out here in the high desert water is of immense importance: no water, no crops, no farming. People have been killed in Colorado over water issues and water rights. It's a big deal. Here are three examples centered around water rights and the use (or non-use) of magic to illustrate my point.

John's Case
John doesn't practice magic at all because he doesn't know anything about it. He got into a tussle with other members of his homeowner's association over how water was being distributed. Not having any magical means at his disposal, he (along with half of the homeowners) went to court against the other half of the homeowners. Ten thousand dollars and a year later, when the judge finally passed its decision, John wasn't satisfied with the result, and neither were ANY of the other homeowners on either side. Plus, he had a seriously bad taste in his mouth about the whole situation.

Harriet's Case
Harriet is a magical practitioner. Faced with a neighbor on the same ditch who kept taking her water, Harriet first response was to tell off the neighbor. She confronted him three times, to no avail. In fact, on the third go-round, the neighbor pointed out that Harriet's fence line was actually on his property, and that he could force her to move her fence if she kept harassing him about the water. That left Harriet, who has no love of pounding fence posts into the ground, in a bit of a quandary.

But she did have options--magical options. So she did some basic spell work to bring water to her pasture, which was drying up fast. She also did some weather work. The results were fairly neat, if not totally karmic. It rained and it rained. Harriet simply puts her horses on her pasture and doesn't cut hay from it, so the rain was perfect. Her field got watered and the grass grew. The neighbor, on the other hand, had just cut hay so his hay got rained on, which is never a good thing. It was all fairly karmic. The rain also delayed the neighbor's hay-cutting schedule, so there was plenty of water in the ditch for Harriet to use during the ensuing weeks. Pretty neat magical trick.

Our Case
Then there's our case. This year we have three new people on our ditch who are water hogs. We've tried talking to them, but they told us to take a long walk off a short cliff. Having figured out from past experience that no amount of "talking" would create much effect (and any talking immediately made us negative), we turned immediately to magic. In a very nifty turn of events, unexpected money and people showed up. The money came in the form of a check in the mail, literally. The people came in the form of electricians who could and would wire a pump on the back of our property so we could water our fields without bothering the people up the ditch from us. Perfection!

I hope these examples make clear the two principles I outlined above about when to use magic. In our case, we are taking physical action in the form of having a new pump installed ... but only after we had done our magic. In addition, these actions make us feel very positive rather than negative, which means that we won't get in our own way karmically or magically about the water situation. Make sense? Good, then go make some magic!

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