Some thoughts on linkage and connection in magic

Posted on March 3, 2011
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I’ve been rereading Nemesis and Other Essays by Stephen Mace and also reading the Octavo (Affiliate link) by Peter Carroll, which is his latest work.  Both discuss linking and connection, which are activities that are part of the magical process. You could even think of linkage and connection as the same activity, or perhaps the link as the noun and connecting as the verb…or whatever. They both maintain (and I agree) that for a magical working to be successful you need to somehow create a connection between you and the result you wish to obtain. This connection won’t be overtly causal in nature, but it is nonetheless a very important part of the process, because without a connection you can’t really have a magical process.

So what makes a connection? A connection is made partially through the meaning a person reads or imbues into the various elements that comprise the magical process and the situation the magical process is being used to resolve. A person’s interpretation, although subjective, is powerful because it is how s/he is making sense of the world and his/her place in it, as well as making sense of the situation, and the ideal resolution of the situation.

A connection is also partially made by the actions a person takes to realize the connection. In other words a person needs to perform some kind of activity that justifies and explains the connection. Thus a magical working is actually a justification and explanation of the connection that a person is working with.

Mace advocates also cutting the connection in order to erase all traces of your participation in the magical working. I can see the benefit from a banishment angle. By banishing the connection you are freeing yourself from becoming overly obsessed with the working. There’s also something to be said for trusting in the efficacy of your magical working and allowing it to run its course. By cutting your connection, you are allowing it to run its course without needing to put more of yourself into it.

Personally, I take an approach where I fuel my workings through the associations of the connection I make. So I can remove myself from the connection, but make sure the working is still getting something put toward it by the associations that were created in the magical process. That would be my recommendation for connections in magical work. Use the associations to fuel the work, beyond the initial creation process.

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