What a lovely quote and thoughtful interpretation. What you're talking about resonates with me greatly as I'm teaching myself what magic means and finding the balance and boundary between magic and ritual. Your comments strike at the heart of what it means to be a part of a living tradition, whether it's an established and accepted religion, or a fringe occult tradition. The ability to be flexible within a tradition and to accept the taboo or non-canon idea is key to a traditions ability to remain vibrant. Dead ritual or 'tradition for tradition’s sake' as Stewart puts it, will die out certainly, but more importantly is starving the people who are clinging to it out of a sense of safety and familiarity while it does so.
@adamcblodgett You make a good point about finding the balance between ritual and magic. It can be easy to confuse the two, and I think when such confusion occurs, that's when tradition is done for tradition's sake. Magic challenges us to move beyond ritual to what will help us encounter what it is we really need to learn. Thanks for commenting!
@Magicexperiment Your comment totally reminds me of something that Ivo Dominguez Jr. said at Pantheacon a few years ago. He lined up the spectrum between fusty ritual magicians the far end of ritual and undisciplined spirituals who might be described as 'I've got a drum...' on the other. Magic without discipline (ie ritual) can be just as wasteful and distracting as ritual without magic. I think about things like concerts, raves and mosh pits where people are generating all this magical energy and may not know what to do with it. Finding that balance and the interplay between the two, both for ourselves and for our tradition is key to using those tools and traditions as a platform for our work, health and further discovery.
@adamcblodgett There definitely needs to be a balance between magic and ritual. Each can support the other, if used correctly. And as you point out it does help for so much more than the work itself.