Magicians. We're all seeking the powers of the universe, changing ourselves into something greater than we started out as, or at least more pure so we can participate with God in the CREATION of the UNIVERSE. Okay, well, maybe just managing and maintaining the manifestation as it occurs, but being consciously aware of the fact during the planning and processing stages of the project at hand.
But here I am reading John Dee this week, and come to find out, one of the "greater" magicians of recorded history was fumbling in just as much dark as me. He spent all that time with Kelley developing (or receiving, if you will) what amounts to a system of planetary magic. He conjured and cajoled, enticed and entreated God to send him these spirits that revealed a system of magic that he never even used.
Heading back to Agrippa, the man was a brilliant librarian, researcher, and reporter. But for all his knowledge, he was just like us too. A man who had to keep his public and private beliefs strictly regimented. The only evidence we have that Agrippa actually performed magic is his obvious "insider's" understanding of the material he recorded. That inference can't even be made objectively. We have to experience the results of the operations he describes to realize what he is recording between the lines. Based on that experience, we can begin to understand the deeper implications of his writing.
Leap ahead a couple years to Crowley. A great magician, an eager and prolific promoter of occult philosophy, Crowley stands out in history for his intelligence, wit, and most offensively to some, his self-confidence. Yet read through Soror Achitha's Vision of the Amalantrah Working, and you see that Crowley in his magickal practice was a sulky, petulant, ignorant man. Not ignorant in terms of knowledge, learning, or experience, but ignorant of what is to come. He worries about money, and worries about plans to go to Cairo. He is revealed to be a whiner to the spirits, much like Dee and Kelley both. He shows a deep concern for his safety and well-being that speaks volumes, at least to me, of his lack of faith that "existence is pure joy."
Across history to the present day, magicians are fumbling in the dark, trying to figure out what the HELL is going on, and trying to influence things to work out in their favor. Their private diaries reveal them to be very small and very dependent upon the forces they work with for their mental well-being. Their greatest contributions to their fellow occultists are little more than sign posts and travel commentaries about the realms they visit.
From my own limited experience in the occult, in conjuring the spirits, in speaking with the intelligences of the spheres, in traversing the heavens that lie between us and God Almighty, I have seen things that make my toes curl in wonder and awe. I have done things that are miraculous in every sense of the word. In my conversations with the spirits of the realms, I'm no whining supplicant, begging for scraps of answers or a pittance to get to Egypt in the spring. I'm not demanding answers about God or the heavens, or secrets of the cosmos. I'm a traveler in the macrocosmic realms, a co-worker with the spirits in the microcosmic realms. There is no thing or state of existence beyond my ability to access and manifest through ritual activities. There are no limits beyond the practical.
So just what the HELL is going on here? Am I the only magician that uses magic to rise above the problems of mundane existence? By no means is my life, or my skill in the Art of magic perfect and complete. My recent escapades with Bune seem to be unprecedented among my fellow magicians for example, although they have confirmed in one way or another through their own magical works that the source of the problem was related to the way I had approached the idea of being a Hierophant.
The point is, when I found out what was going on, the first thing I did was fix it. Using magic. That's my general approach to everything. It works really well. I use Magic to get ideas about what I should be doing in my mundane life. I use it to get ideas about what spiritual activities I should be pursuing. I use it for food, health, safety, and travel. With the knowledge I get reading and meditating, I create and perform rituals that bring about what I want to happen in my life and my world.
I know I'm not the only one that does this. I talk to many magicians on the internet across the world who are doing the same thing. What I don't understand is why it's so relatively rare. The number of magicians in control of their lives is staggeringly low. Most people interested in the occult are interested in the power to control their worlds, but compared to the number of people interested, the number of people doing the Work, doing the magic that transforms their existence is less than half of one percent.
Magic. It's what a magician does. It's not a last resort, it's a first resort. The lungs breathe, the liver filters, the brain processes. The magician does magic. The magician is in control of their world, not isolated from other influences, but in a position of authority in determining which of the opportunities life will present, and how those opportunities will come about.
There's too much slap-dash going on. People slap together a quick one-time rite, and dash off to the next thing, which is usually something they are reacting to. There's little or no actual proactive planning and implementation of their lives. They're content to sit back and follow the script they've been given for the most part, with a little dabbling here and there.
I'm not advocating any "Left Hand Path" philosophy here, but I do want to point out that YOU are not a passive part of existence. You have choices to make that affect many others. If you choose not to choose, you still have made a choice, to quote Rush. You're an active part of existence, and magic gives you the keys to the Kingdom. You've got at your beck and call the very spirits that make up the world. Why on earth would you not choose to use them?
Why didn't Dee use the Angelic system of magic he received? Why didn't Agrippa put his skills in the occult arts to use to keep from having to recant his writings? Why didn't Crowley just manifest the cash to go to Cairo if he was that worried about it?
Was it a lack of faith in their magic? Was it that they, like so many magicians today, believed that magic is interesting and neat, but when the rubber meets the road, you have to deal with life from the mundane? I don't know. It doesn't make sense to me.
I understand that things won't always work out the way you expect, and that's fine, but one thing I've learned in this Great Work is that I am in control of what I experience in life. There is nothing beyond my ability to research, conjure, and influence. Sometimes the influence will be on my own expectations, changing what I want as I learn why things are the way they are. But there's nothing my Daimon and I can't handle, manipulate, and shape into what ought to be.
So let's all kick it up a notch or two. No whining, no fear. Let honest curiosity and righteous indignation fuel our endeavors. If money is a problem, conjure cash and multiple streams of income. If health is a problem, conjure healing and aid. If something is broken, fix it. If you don't know how to fix it, find out how to fix it. You're one meditation away from the brightest intelligences in the universe, literally.
And trust the things you're studying and learning in the occult. It really is real. And there's nothing to be afraid of. You'll be just fine.