So, today we start a new section here on AIWW – Personal Development for Wizards! This was originally going to be part of the Magick Primer series but there is so much to it that it deserves it’s own new section.
This blog has come a bit more into focus for me recently. I have a pretty definite direction I want to take it in.
While it will always be predominately based around Magick and the occult, I want to bring the self-development and self-help elements more to the forefront as I really think there isn’t anywhere near enough of that in Occult circles.
But enough preamble, let’s begin…
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR WIZARDS
If you are one of the many who are new to this blog then you may be unaware that for the longest time I struggled with getting Magick to actually work or when it worked it seemed that it was far too much effort for little reward. Then I went through a period where I seemed to get the opposite of what I was intending and then eventually it all just clicked.
There was a number of factors in why it “suddenly” just clicked for me, but they all fall under the same category – it was me! Or more correctly: Magick didn’t start working in any decent way until I got past a lot of my own personal bullshit.
This is when I discovered the absolute importance and necessity of personal development to a Magick practice.
People use Magick mostly, it seems to me, to get things rather than become better, stronger or more able people. Which is perfectly fine, I’m not judging – I want lots of the things too – I just feel that a balance must be sought between wanting the things and becoming the highest expression of yourself you can be.
Magick and Occultism, for me, is about personal spiritual evolution. That’s what attracted me to it in the first place. I was always more interested in the spiritual side of things than the Love or Money Spells. My main drive is that I want to know what is going on, what exactly humanity is moving towards, why I am here, what is my role in all this, and what can I do about it?
But I believe that along with spiritual advancement, and wanting all the things, there must also be a development of personal ability and character.
I strive to become a stronger and better person – to be more courageous, to overcome my limits, to become a better communicator, to learn how to master my emotions, to become more creative and a host of other things that fall under self-help and personal development rather than Occult or Magick proper.
A lot of the Occult seems to be about getting the gold rather than becoming the gold. I think there should be more of a balance – physical, spiritual, personal, emotional, Magickal, and financial should all be worked on and treated as equal.
TAKE 100% RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERYTHING
It all starts with us taking total and utter responsibility for everything in our lives. All of it.
Now, when I heard this first I didn’t like it. My first reaction was to say – “So it’s people’s own fault if really shitty things happen to them? Isn’t that just victim blaming?” Well that is victim blaming – but that’s not what I am talking about here.
When we hear a statement like “You are 100% responsible for everything in your life” what we hear is: “You are 100% to blame for everything in your life!” But the definition of responsibility I am talking about here is: “the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.” rather than “the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.”
You are responsible for how you deal with everything that happens or has happened to you. No one else is responsible for your happiness or well-being. You may have been dealt a shitty hand in life but it’s up to you, and you alone, to get through it and make the very best of it.
Taking 100% responsibility for your life means that you have to give up all your excuses on why your life isn’t the way you want it to be. It means giving up blaming other people for your lack of success or how you feel. It means giving up complaining.
Personal Development for Wizards nugget: Taking 100% responsibility for your life means stopping being the victim of life and instead become the creator.
THE VICTIM GAME
The playing the victim game was a big one for me. It was truly shocking when I realised and clearly seen the “poor me” or “look what you’ve done to me” games I was playing.
I falsely, but deeply, felt that I wasn’t getting what I wanted from life because people were holding me back, not giving me the chance, not doing enough to help me, and all that nonsense. I was just blaming others because I wanted an excuse for my failures that didn’t involve me being at fault in anyway. Basically I was blaming other people for not putting me on a pedestal.
However, as soon as I saw this embarrassing weak cowardly dance – there was no going back! That’s the great thing about seeing your flaws – once you recognise how embarrassing they are it’s very hard to continue to indulge them.
To find out if you are playing any similar games just keep an eye on your inner dialogue and motives. Ask yourself who you are blaming if something goes wrong. Try to work out who you think is at fault for the events or failures in you life and then ask are they really to blame? Sometimes they will be, but if you are anything like old me, most of the time they won’t be. And even if they were originally to blame are they still responsible for your feelings today? Or are you?
Sitting around blaming people doesn’t actually solve any of the issues. Even when it is totally someone else fault don’t stay stuck cursing them. Instead ask yourself what you can do to change the circumstance. Is any of it your making? Can you fix it? Can you make sure it doesn’t happen again? What can you do?
Personal Development for Wizards nugget: Blame is just wasting energy. Use the energy to fix the problem.
LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT
We have heard this a million times and yet we mostly ignore it. It could be much better expressed as Life is how you frame it!
The events that happen to us aren’t really what makes us sad, happy, or angry or whatever – it’s our reaction to these events that really create the outcomes. It’s how we frame, or view these events in our own minds that creates our world.
While we can’t always shape the events that surround our lives we can totally control our reactions to them. Stuff that occurs in the”out there” world may be sometimes unfortunate, yet we always have the ability to decide how we feel about them in our “in here” world – and that world is the most important world!
There is nothing that has ever happened to you or me that has been experienced anywhere else but in our own “in here” world. Everything we experience is within ourselves to the point that it is really next to impossible to prove that an “out there” world really exists. This is a huge topic, and one I will come back to so I won’t get too side tracked here.
Life events can be problems or they can be challenges depending on how you want to look at them. This is what is meant by framing – putting a different spin on how you look at something. Try to look at your life from a different perspective than you would normally to see if that changes anything. It usually does.
Personal Development for Wizards nugget: Our response to an event is what creates our sense of reality not the event itself.
THE BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME MENTALITY
As a culture I feel we suffer badly from the “Build it and they will come” mentality, particularly in creative fields -I know I certainly did!
An example of this from my own life would be when I completed my graphic novel THEM (now available on Amazon!) and then published it to no fanfare whatsoever. No one really cared about it. No one bought it. I didn’t get the response I felt I was due. I kept saying to myself “But I did everything right? Why aren’t people buying it? I did my bit – why aren’t people doing their bit?”
All of this stemmed from the fact that I believed that all I had to do was just show up with my book and then all the rest of the work would be handled by The Universe or whoever. I did my little bit – now go! And it didn’t go. It didn’t go at all.
This is basically just self-entitlement. I felt I deserved all the success just for showing up with my shiny thing in my hand.
By far the biggest lesson I have learned to date in this current life is that just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. That isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t even bother to build it – you should – it simply means that just because you do something, or care about something, or want something, doesn’t mean anyone else will or should give a shit.
SO, I suggest we drop the “Build it and they will come” stuff and act from a place that doesn’t rely on any help from the Universe at all. You may get some, in fact you probably will, but the problem is when you are relying on it to achieve your great success or plan. The Gods help those who help themselves and all that, so If you business plan depends on the fact that the “Universe will provide…” then I suggest you may need a better plan.
When setting a goal firstly act as if Magick doesn’t exist and then attack your goals from the perspective that you will have to do all the work without any supernatural help. When you have worked out what you need to do, then you use your Magick to improve your luck in getting it all achieved.
Personal Development for Wizards nugget: Don’t expect to just turn up and have the Universe grant you all you desire. You’ll only end up frustrated and sad. Trust me.
ASKING FOR HELP or doing it yourself?
One thing about certain self-described “Left Hand Path” people* that truly boggles my mind is that while they seem to talk about self-reliance and personal sovereignty their actual practice doesn’t appear to agree with them.
From an outsiders point of view all they seem to have done is switch the names of the beings they ask to sort their lives out from them. So instead of a prayer to Jesus there is a pact with Lucifer. Instead of petitioning the Catholic Saints they call on the hierarchy of Demons.
Is relying on other beings – angels or demons or whomever – really a path to sovereignty? Ultimately it seems to me that it is still about asking someone or something else to do stuff for you that you can’t do yourself – usually because you don’t have the power.
Now, I am in no way against intercessional Magick. I use it a lot myself and find it extremely powerful. My concern is that this probably shouldn’t be the end goal or totality of our Magick practice. Shouldn’t the goal be that we become powerful enough that we are able to do all these things ourselves?
Invoking Dionysus to be confident at parties is a great idea, as long as you are also working on the goal to become the person who doesn’t need invocations of party Gods to fell confident.
Even using an amazing fine system like The Forty Servants (I hear the creator is very handsome) should never replace working on your life problems in a real and concrete way. Asking The Fortunate for help with money is GOOD Magick – working on budgeting and improving your finances and maybe starting a new business is GREAT Magick!
Personal Development for Wizards nugget: Don’t let intercessional Magick become a crutch.
BRINGING IT ALTOGETHER
Taking 100% responsibility for your life doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is your fault. Sometimes shitty things happen to good people for no perceivable reason. What we must do is take responsibility for our reactions and responses to these events and move forward without letting blame or complaint cloud our vision.
No one can help you more than you can help yourself.
Taking responsibility also means that you will do what needs to be done to get where you want to be. Just turning up probably isn’t enough.
Asking for help is absolutely fine, but demanding it or relying on it probably isn’t the best long term solution. Work towards becoming the person who doesn’t need help.
So let’s start to take full responsibility for our experiences of the world. Events may or may not be your fault (more of them probably are than we care to admit) but it is our responsibility to deal with them.
We are the most powerful beings in our universe and we should probably start acting like it.
Until next time…
* Not all LHP people, in particular I am not talking about you.
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