Just before Christmas I had a discussion with my Sister and Mother about why magick seems to work for some people and not others. Or even, why it seems to only work some of the time. The same theme came up again in an online chat I was having this morning and I found myself offering the same answer. A-ha, I thought, I have a topic for my first blog post of the year!
We could just start with the idea that magick works some of the time, for some people, because the Gods love them more. But to be honest, this presupposes an awful lot of things that I just don’t buy into. I’m just going to move things along swiftly by proposing we imagine, just for a minute, that if your magick, prayer, positive thinking or even mundane life goal hasn’t worked or being answered then let’s assume it’s your fault. Fault is probably too strong of a word to use, so let’s correct it by saying that if it didn’t work, then you are the reason.
There is a story about Aleister Crowley which I told my Sister and Mother and re-told this morning in a Facebook Chat window. Whether it is true or not is incidental, the Chaos Wizard in me sides with Alan Moore when he proclaims that ALL stories are true.
He was going through one of his lack of money stages and was nearing the date when his rent was due. He had only a few pounds to his name and there was no way he could afford to pay up. So, being Aleister Crowley, he decided to do some magick to get the money to materialise. After the ritual, he was so confident that his magick would work that he went out and spent his remaining money on an Ice-cream. Obviously enough, the rent money arrived in time and disaster was averted.
Leap of Faith
The image of a smug Crowley eating ice-cream and chuckling to himself about his magick makes me very happy. I genuinely smile when I think about The Great Beast enjoying some frozen, sugary milk and laughing at the world, knowing all was well. The point is of course at the moment of him eating the ice-cream, things weren’t good. The rent still had to be paid and he had just spent all his money on a desert.
Now, faith is a funny word for some people, myself included. Mainly because I’m not really sure what people mean when they use it. It sometimes seems to mean that you have to believe something that you know probably isn’t true. Or it is used to explain away something that there isn’t a good argument for. In the case of the Ice-cream I see it more as a need for trust. Faith is trust that things are going to go as you plan. The Ice-cream, for Crowley, is a leap of faith that shows him, the world, the Gods, whoever, that he is confident in his magick. He knows that his outcome is certain. It’s like looking at a horse race and just knowing which horse will win. You just know.
And that, I believe, is the reason why sometimes magick doesn’t work for some people. They do their mantra, say their prayer and then go back to acting and doing the way they always have. When things have really worked out for me it was because I added this Leap-of-faith section to the ritual. It’s more than just “stepping out boldly” or “faking it until you make it”, it’s performing an action that you would only do if your outcome was assured.
So, next time you do some magick or say a prayer to the Gods of your choice, make sure you eat the ice-cream.
It has been said to me that it was actually champagne and oysters that Crowley ordered, which is a less fun image for me, but makes the point just as well.
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