Tag Archives: intent

Magick and Intent versus Politics – Batter Up

Every once in a while on Facebook or some other social media platform, I see something about working a hex or some other bit of magick against Donnie. I smile to myself, gently shake my head, and pass the post by. Not because I am against finding some manner of getting Donnie to shut up. That would be most ideal, in my mind. For me, magick working is not something I toss around lightly, in fact, it is usually an instance of last resort in trying to do anything. And to be perfectly honest, I see politics as being a waste of precious energy, time and intent – especially in trying to change the perspective of firmly entrenched politicians and political zealots. And I certainly do consider Donnie to be a political zealot.

For me, politics is an area that I rarely cross my Spiritual life into. But make no mistake about it; political stuff does bleed over into all aspects of my life, whether I like it or not. I firmly believe that people love who they love. Some political leaders would have us all believe that in some instances, that is against some “natural law” that is laid out in a particular religious tome. Here is politics, tinged in religious zealotry, bleeding into the lives of people that I care deeply about. Still, magick working would be the very last option for me in trying to combat this type of political and religious motivated thinking. Participating in rallies, marches, writing campaigns, talking to my elected representatives, working to actively replace elected government representatives with those that believe differently – these would be the areas that I would (and have) work with to ensure the rights of people to love who they love. Magick might be a “go-to” for others; for me, its usage comes when all other measures have not produced results.

Politics is not a defining factor for me. I have heard many folks say that everyone should be into politics. I disagree. Everyone should be informed enough to cast a vote with knowledge behind “why” – but that does not mean you have to be into politics. You just need to know enough about an issue to vote your conscience. You just need to know how a candidate stands on the issues that concern you most in order to determine your support (or lack thereof) for them at the ballot box. And honestly, if you vote because an individual is part of a particular party…and solely for that reason…well, it is not how I would go about determining how to cast my vote – but each person needs to do what works for them, not what works for someone else. I get to define me, not you – and I do my best to live by that.

Now, it can be said that I have a bit of an aversion to magick working. I do. I will not mince words when it comes to that. First, I do not believe that I am particularly good at working concepts like spells and the such. Like a pitcher that throws a good fastball, but has not managed to grasp the mechanics of a slider; I would tend to throw my best pitch and not rely on a weaker pitch. Second, I believe there is some aspect of spellwork in just rolling up your sleeves and pant legs and wading knee deep into the stream. I am not sure if it really qualifies under the various meanings of magick working, but I know it tends to get results. Just not always the results I intended at times.

However, while I have an aversion to magick working, I certainly do not turn my nose up or scoff at those who turn to spells, hexes, curses, and prayer as their primary starting point in dealing with issues. I actually respect them for the strength and value they place in those abilities. Obviously, they have managed to get results from those actions, and therefore they are going with their best pitch. All I can hope is that their intent is similar to my own…because I don’t want to be in the batter’s box against that pitch.

Advertisements

Bending Intent…Just Not Like Beckham

The past few weeks, I have heard from a few people that my attitude is a little different. Of course it is. And its not that difficult to imagine why. Every single day begins the start of a new adventure for me. In the words of Jerry Doyle, better known as Michael Garibaldi on Babylon 5, “As long as you’ve got today, and you’ve got a choice…why would you choose to make it a bad day?”

Don’t get me wrong. I have bad moments in my days. Sometimes, I get chewed on for no reason at all by other folks. Sometimes, things happen that I didn’t expect, or don’t feel too great about. But those moments will pass. And then there will be the rest of the day: waiting to be colored in by my mind’s crayons and color pencils. Ho I fill in the rest of those colors, is up to me.

I do not work magick that often, but as I think about this process of going through my day – maybe I do, and I just don’t call it magick. Typically, its defined under the Crowley perspective of “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” So far the sake of discussion, let’s utilize this definition.

My typical day starts with greeting the Sun as we both rise. Me, from my slumber. The Sun, from just around the eastern horizon, as the Earth spins. The point, for me, in greeting the Sun is to provide a basis for the rest of the day. Clear skies, cloudy, overcast, rainy – the Sun will rise. Using that moment of tranquil beauty, with a coffee cup in one hand, and sometimes birdseed in the other, my greeting is a reminder that each day is a new start. No sunrise is exactly like the other. No start to my daily adventure is exactly like another. There are similarities, but no exact duplication.

From that moment, my day unfolds step-by-step. From getting ready for work (on work days) to driving to the college campus I work on, each day unfolds differently. Sometimes, the pastures on either side of the Farm-to-Market road are packed with cows. Sometimes, the only life I see is the occasional hawk circling above the fields. Each work day provides a new data puzzle to solve, a new story that the data gets to tell, and new conversations with people that I work with, and students who attend classes there. Each new experience builds on the ones from the day before. Sometimes, the towers of experience come crashing down because of a bad moment during that day. And here, I have that choice. The choice to color my day by this one experience, or to set it to the side and resolve it in the future, while continuing to experience the better parts of the adventure.

I don’t always choose the better part of the adventure. Sometimes the bad experience does wind up coloring my day. That’s where sunset comes in. Sunset is where the day comes to a close. Where the Sun dips beyond the horizon, promising to return the next day with a new adventure. This is also where I put to rest whatever bad experience has been coloring my day. Because tomorrow is the start of a new day, which brings a new adventure. And I certainly don’t want to have a shitty one.

In essence, I am taking moments of my day, and allowing the change that I want according to my Will. I would prefer a nice cheerful workday, where I get tasks done, but manage to find the fun side of the adventure as well. I am bending the day to meet what I am wanting to get from it. But like magick, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes the results are not quite what I wanted. Sometimes, its a disaster. I chalk that up to experience and try again the next morning. In between, I rest. I relax. I meditate. I calm myself. I ground and center. I let go of the experience that wasn’t so great. I prepare myself to try again, knowing that circumstances for the next day can vary a little or perhaps even greatly in comparison to the previous day.

I keep working at it, Altering small parts here and there to see if small changes will work better. hich I have done quite a bit. And I now have a routine that I vary only slightly from on a daily basis. Through continual hard work, I managed to puzzle out what works for me. The same can be said of working magick. When the results turn out not to be what you were expecting, do the hard work and research what you did versus what the magickal working called for. Find the differences. Look for small things you can change without changing the intent of what you were doing. Let’s say that the working called for the use of salt – and you used iodized Morton’s salt. In preparing for another try, perhaps using sea salt might be better. Be prepared to do the hard work. And yes, be prepared to follow the instructions, the framework, the wording….at least the first time. Try not to alter things without trying the original methodology first.

Like I said earlier….I am not a huge worker of magick. For me, magick is the last alternative to reach for. For me, the first methodology is typically the most mundane one. Elbow grease. Words. Communication. Actions. For me, this is where the first steps of any intentional act, magickal or not, starts. Just a thought (or five)….

–T /|\

ECG Leftovers …But What Should I Wear? Further Thoughts on Ritual…

I am not your typical Pagan. I would say that is a fairly safe bet to make at any time, any place. My approach to a concept such as ritual is one area that is most noticeable to any individual. Most of my rituals are done impromptu, and solo. Location, time of day, time of year – all mean little to nothing to me. More important is intent and frame of mind. For me, it is literally about the nature of connecting with my environment. Finding my place, being my place in that panorama. Not apart from everything, but becoming a pare of everything. For me, ritual is a song of being, not just belonging. In a brutish way of speaking, its a party of sorts…but what should I wear?

If you asked me a few weeks ago about my ritual clothing – I would have ran my hand from my shoulder to my ankles to emphasize whatever I was wearing at that moment. For me, that is typically a t-shirt of some sort, jeans, and a pari of tennis shoes. I come from a point of view that one is able to achieve a state of connectedness when one is comfortable. T-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes are comfortable attire for me – so it makes sense. However, that has changed to some degree for me, particularly after the Alban Elfed ritual at East Coast Gathering.

Me at the 2015 ADF Texas Imbolc Retreat (photo by John Beckett)

Me at the 2015 ADF Texas Imbolc Retreat (photo by John Beckett)

I was approached for a conversation about my idea of ritual clothing shortly after I had returned to the camp — and quite some time after the ritual. (I am not going to out this individual by name, but if they want to come out of those shadows – they certainly will if they choose to do so). The question was raised if I had ever thought of having a ritual robe or cloak made for myself. I confessed that I had not — although the idea of a robe made me a little uncomfortable. I had seen what several folks had been wearing, and none of it looked very comfortable to my eyes. But a cloak was certainly an appealing thought. After talking a bit more, I had to confess that I had brought something I had thought of using as ritual clothing – a white hooded, long-sleeved shirt. I had bought this shirt a long time previous – along with a purple one – for the idea of implementing this as ritual clothing. In the end, I had opted to not wear it to the ritual – and instead utilized it as my shirt for going home on the plane. In retrospect, I wish I had worn it to the ritual instead.

Our conversation soon turned to the “why” of keeping ritual clothing. I understood the aspect of having something that was worn specifically for ritual – bringing the act of ritual to a level above the everyday. The clothing helps to heighten one’s awareness of the particular act of ritual – elevating it slightly from the everyday toil of life. And while the everyday toil of life is a ritual in its own respect, providing actions that are tied in with our beliefs – making the moment of living just as sacred as any moment in ritual – the act of ritual is a celebratory moment, where we connect with our environment, with our Gods and Goddesses, and rejoice in the moment…

So, I have once again set my hooded white shirt to the side – only to be worn for rituals. Granted, I will still be wearing jeans and tennis shoes, but the shirt will have a different significance – a different purpose. Yeah, I will still look a lot different than the people wearing white robes — but my clothing will have a similar purpose and intent. There’s that intent word again…there’s meaning behind that too….