Specialness, Vulnerability, and Magic

Posted on February 17, 2009
Filed Under Culture, occult culture, Taylor Ellwood | 6 Comments

Yesterday I had a conversation about the need to feel special and how that plays out in occult/pagan culture and also the feeling/role of vulnerability in magic. I don’t really perceive myself or what I do as special perse. I think my practice of magic is an expression of my spirituality and curiosity. It’s a methodology and process for asking questions and finding questions. Even the books and articles I write are an extension of that process, a desire to share information with like minded people. Granted, I enjoy presenting workshops and also writing books, but even that enjoyment is another expression of myself…it’s not so much about feeling special as its about being true to my calling. And once I’m done presenting that workshop, I like just hanging out and talking for a while with people, like anyone else.

Of course specialness can refer to otherness with magic, i.e. the otherworld…even that specialness is really not reserved for anyone…different faces, different archetypes, different beliefs can all lead to the otherworld. And the relationships we cultivate with that otherworld are like any other relationships, cultivated with care, effort, communication, love, etc.

As for vulnerability, a comment made was that there’s a lot of fronting in magical culture, and not a lot of sharing of the process and mistakes and situations where someone does make a mistake…and I’m inclined to agree that for the most part this is the case. If I tell someone I’m working on a project, I don’t want to just hear that they worked on something similar two years ago. I want to open up a dialogue between us, so I can learn what their process was and show them what my process is…and yes, be vulnerable, be willing to share the mistakes as well as the triumphs. I don’t think this aspect of magical practice is shared as often as it could be, because too much focus is emphasized on showing how magically buff one is. But no matter how successful a person is at anything, that success is truly gained by making mistakes and learning from them. And if we can see that in action, then we can also appreciate magic as a holistic process, which shows us how to communicate with ourselves, each other, and the otherworld.

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