Continual shifts in my philosophy of magic

Posted on September 3, 2009
Filed Under identity, liminal space, Magic, Taylor Ellwood | 2 Comments

My philosophy and overall approach to magic has shifted  a lot in this last year in particular, but even in preceding years before this. It has become less about overt rituals and sigilization and other more visible techniques of magic and has moved into a quieter and more subtle practice, even as my studies and experiments have moved more toward a deeper end of the pool. The exploration of the concepts of identity and their relationship to magic has necessitated a very different approach, because its rooted much more in what I would consider the core of a person. It’s not about fixing a situation or getting a job, so much as its about making changes at a deeper level of being, which when realized, changes the surface layer very quickly, because the changes have been building up and moving through the various layers of identity and personality to imprint themselves on the embodiment of selves I manifest in this life.

I’m continuing to move further and further away from traditional concepts and definitions of magic. While to most, magic may be the art and science of causing change to manifest according to the will, that definition feels inadequate to me, and pretty much always has. But even the definitions of magic that I do have respect for…there’s something missing. The last few years, with the continued internal work has continually shown me that. The more I read outside of the occult books, the more I recognize perspectives that could contribute to much to magical experimentation and process that are mostly ignored because they don’t fit within the occult paradigm perse.

I don’t identify with the mutant occulture movement. I don’t identify with the chaos magician, the ceremonial magician, or any of the other labels. I don’t identify with the occult culture. My time spent studying and learning the various perspectives and approaches to magic provided me a useful process and way of examining my relationship with the universe, but it wasn’t until I actively started looking external to traditional occultism that I began to develop an appreciation for taking a more detailed look at the microcosm, and how I did or didn’t impact that microcosm, or how it effected me in turn. The original impulse for getting into magic was to claim some form of empowerment by getting involved in it. That impulse has changed to a more introspective approach. Empowerment can be found in a variety of outlets, but what then is empowerment? What does it really mean to “have” power? And do we really have any of that? And where does it really come from?

If Magic is a process for change where is it most effective to enable that change? And beside the overt change in the world as a result of practicing magic, what is the more subtle change, if any which occurs? I think about these questions more than I used to, especially as I continue to research and explore alternate perspectives and beliefs involving a person as a change agent. I’m questioning my spirituality, my beliefs, and my identity, because in the questioning I’m finding myself visiting places I never thought to go before…but where it’ll go, I’m not sure. And that seems to be a good thing…not knowing where it’ll go, what will develop as a result. That’s been the emptiness working for me…but its also the rest of my workings as well. It’s moved out of experimentation for experimentation’s sake and into experimentation for as a journey and evolution.

Comments

2 comments
Colleen
Colleen

I've found that a lot of people initially get into magic for it's practical purposes. But the longer that people stay in it, the more they begin to want to work on themselves in a similar fashion that we are doing. I think this is what divides people who want to stay and keep doing it and those who lose interest in it. The people who stay find the invaluable techniques and tasks which we have found: the ability to really heal and better oneself. It ends up taking a lot of hard and sometimes painful work. I like doing this work, though. It's a constant challenge.

Colleen
Colleen

I've found that a lot of people initially get into magic for it's practical purposes. But the longer that people stay in it, the more they begin to want to work on themselves in a similar fashion that we are doing. I think this is what divides people who want to stay and keep doing it and those who lose interest in it. The people who stay find the invaluable techniques and tasks which we have found: the ability to really heal and better oneself. It ends up taking a lot of hard and sometimes painful work. I like doing this work, though. It's a constant challenge.