"I only use spells as a last resort"
"I use magick only when mundane methods aren’t working"
"Magick if only for desperate times when you have exhausted all other options"
"I don’t use practical magick very much because of the possibility of karmic retribution"
"Spells can backfire if they aren’t done exactly right, so I only use them in emergencies"
Have you ever heard any of the above quotes? I know I have. Since I am about to give a talk at a Pagan festival where I am sure to hear at least one variant of the above quotes, I thought I might take a moment here to dispatch some of these old platitudes.
As you might have guessed, I have very liitle patience for the attitude expressed above. All four statements above smack of laziness and fear - two demons that must be exorcised by all would be Sorcerers.
Practice really does make perfect. While it is true that people sometimes get amazing results with their first couple spells because of the sheer energy generated by the forbidden mysteriousness of doing magick for the first time, if you want to actually become a Master Sorcerer, Witch, Magician, or whatever, you will need to practice your craft.
No matter how innately talented a musician is, they practice their art. Magicians need to do the same. Seems obvious enough, yet to many this is a shocking idea. Mostly because it entails actually doing something rather than just talking about how things would be done if we could actually fit it in between planning the newsletter, filing order paperwork, and watching the DVD boxed set of Charmed.
If you only use magick in an emergency, how well do you think it’s going to work? If you never have driven a car, how well do you think you will be able to drive when you are bleeding out your ass and need to drive to the hospital? Seems obvious, yet I have gotten god knows how many letters from people that expected a miracle out of their first candle magick spell or lame visualized protective light because it was an emergency and they “really needed it to work”. As if the gravity of the situation was somehow going to make it easier. Sometimes dire consequences can actually give you the boost you need, but not often. If you don’t want to practice magick as part of your “witchcraft” that’s fine. But don’t expect to be able to perform a craft that you have never practiced in an emergency.
So much for the “emergency magick” crowd, now onto the karmaphobes and backlashers.
Karma is cause and effect. It’s a natural law, not a tit for tat game overseen by a god or goddess keeping track of your every move the cosmic ethical abacus. Simple rule: Magick is natural. So if you would use other natural means to influence a person or event, than why not magick? If you would dress in your finest-finest and lie on the resume to get someone to hire you, than is it really an ethical stretch to use magick? Worried about the ethics of “dominating their will”? Don’t worry about. When you can fascinate supermodels into giving you blow jobs and make your boss at work take a dive from the 30th floor at your command, THAN you can worry about it. Until you can do that you are just another factor amongst millions of factors weighing on the decision.
Worried that the money spell is going to kill your aunt? Do a divination before hand, but it probably isn’t. In fact I have never met anyone that has actually had this happen. I have met people that have allegedly met people that have had it happen, but never met anyone myself. Yet I recently read an article on witchvox that insisted that most money spells worked this way, and thus are evil. Money spells can be evil, but the danger isn’t in killing someone. The danger is in enchanting yourself into the status quo. Instead of letting your life crumble so you can re-build from the ground up, the mediocre mage will conjure just enough money to pay the rent on the crappy apartment and just enough influence to keep the shitty job that he hates. That’s the danger.
Am I promising you that you won’t get your money from an Aunt that dies? No. But she was probably old anyway. Can’t make an omlet without breaking a few eggs can you? Which brings me to backlash.
Facing the wrong direction, breaking concentration for a moment or mispronouncing an incantation is not going to make the temple room burst into flames! Nobody really knows how ancient Greek and Hebrew were exactly pronounced anyway. Make a good effort at study, and than take a stab at it. Enochian for instance has a pronunciation that Dee and Kelley used and a very different pronunciation that came from the GD. They both seem to work. Why? Because as the late Chris Hyatt once said, the angels are just surprised you are speaking the language at all. Its like a mouse asking you for cheese in English. No matter how bad the pronunciation the mouse has, you are going to take notice.
As a side note: I know TRUE pronunciation that the Enochian angels use. If you don’t have twelve vocal chords, than don’t worry about it.
To the people that say the types of things that I quote above, I say "Stop being Lazy. Stop being a Pussy. Put on your fucking Nikes and JUST DO IT".
Another side note: Do It=93 Just Do It-418
You do have to be smart. Don’t just react to emergencies, actually develop a strategy to accomplish your will. Seek guidance from elders and from divine beings. Divine things as best you can. Accept responsibility for your work whether it goes as planned or not.
Be smart, but do get your hands dirty. In fact, get your hands burnt a little. Its life, not fantasy.