Saturday, May 16, 2009

What Do You Believe?

Merry Meet, Family, Friends, Followers and Lurkers!

There are some people who undoubtedly presume that for magick to work, you have to believe in it. All I can say is, let me know how that works for ya!

I recently read an excellent book called, Shaman, Healer, Sage by Alberto Villoldo, Ph.d. Dr. Villoldo is an anthropologist who visited Haiti on an expedition with a senior colleague. While there, his colleague introduced him to a Voodoo priest with whom he shared the opinion, that magick, witchcraft, Voodoo, etc, only works if there is a belief in it.

The priest and his colleague were highly amused by this and decided to put this theory to the test. Prior to his return to the States, Dr. Villoldo was told that an experiment would be conducted on a specific date and time. He was so certain that he would not be effected, that he placed a hundred dollar wager on the same. Well, the day came and went without incident, confirming what he suspected. A few days later, however, he became violently ill. He was struck with a blinding headache and excruciating abdominal pain that prompted a visit to the hospital. His symptoms were so severe that he feared he might die. After a battery of tests, the medical professionals were unable to determine the cause of his illness. A day or so later, he was on the mend.

During a subsequent conversation with his colleague, he cockily reported that nothing happened on the designated day or time, therefore confirming his beliefs about magick. His colleague took great pleasure in telling him that the experiment was unable to take place on the previously agreed upon date and time, but in fact, was performed one hour prior to his trip to the hospital. Coincidence? Perhaps. Dr. Villoldo has since dedicated his life to the healing arts.

So, could the focused intention behind lighting candles or reciting an incantation really produce a desired result? I will be honest, when I first began practicing, I had my doubts as well. Now...not so much.

Aleister Crowley said that, "Magick is the art and science of causing change to occur in conformity to will". Well, isn't that what prayer is? The simple act of focusing on a specific intention to produce a desired result? The only difference is, for some the Will is not there own, but that of whatever God or Gods they believe in.

There have since been many studies documenting the effects of the power of prayer on healing. And just as prayers aren't always answered, no matter how badly we want them to be, the same is true for magick.

And as far as spell casting is concerned, sometimes that's not even necessary to produce the results one desires. At times, simply having the focus and intention is more than enough. For example, say you're concerned about how a situation is going to play itself out. You ponder all the possibilities, trying to plan the best course of action and then, as if by, oh I don't know, magick, things work themselves out in the best possible way for the good of all. I don't know about the rest of you, but I friggin' love when that happens!

Sure, there are some that will say, "oh, well that was just luck" or a "coincidence". True, but coincidences happen randomly....not consistently.

So, for those who might be reading this and thinking you have to believe in magick for it to work, well perhaps you're right or perhaps it's just wishful thinking.

In Darkness, Light!



ARIE said...

Merry Meet Tracy,

Magick works but there are certain conditions.

There must be a clear image and intention.

The triple soul must be balanced. The Fetch must be attuned to the intention.

For me there must be passion in achieving the intention.

It depends also on one's Wyrd and community Orlog.

Magick does not have a fixed time table. The spell starts it's work but the results are not subject to a dead line.

For me they work better when done in Sacred Space.

There is something though that disturbs me with this story. The fact that there was a bet, thereby a lack of respect to the Sacred. Voodoo is a religion to be taken seriously and not played around.


Tracy said...

Hi Arie,

Thanks so much for your response.

I believe the bet was made between Dr. Villoldo and his colleague, not the Voodoo practitioner.

I do absolutely agree, there always must be passion, as well as a clear image of the desired intention. I also find, and let me know if this is true for you as well, that when there is too much emotion behind the intent, manifestation is difficult at best.

As far as Sacred Space is concerned, I find that my focus is better in a cast circle, but it doesn't seem to effect the desired outcome.

ARIE said...

Hi Tracy,

Regarding too much emotion:

Yes, too much emotion causes imbalance. This is why I try to make sure, as much as possible, to align my physical body, emotions and mind to the divine. In Feri/Reclaiming tradition this is called "triple soul alignment". This comes from the Hawaiian Huna.

The grounding itself can achieve that.

On the other hand, I have also experienced that in cases when I am put in a corner (life danger), due to ouside circunstances, strong emotions did work very effectively. I even received an message from the Goddess, through nature, to assure me that everything is OK.

So nothing is written on stone, and there is only the right thing to do, at every specific situation.

Regarding direspect for the Sacred:
I once did a ritual with a newcomer, who I thought was serious in learning.
This person showed disrespect to the God we where working with.
About one hour later, when she got home, her 5 year old son angrily slapped her in the face, making her glasses fall and break. She said it was an unusual behavior. She never linked it to the disrespect. ButI knew.
This was also a lesson for me not to teach anyone unless I am 100% sure this person is really serious.


Tracy said...

Again Arie, thanks so much for your interesting insight.

I have worked with the kind of people you described. It is very difficult, if not impossible to raise energy and yes, you are quite right, disrespectful to the deities one is working with.

While I can't say I've ever experienced the kind of repercussions you have, I will say that, in working with the Goddess Hecate, I am always mindful to honor her, even in small ways, just to stay on her good side! ;)

ARIE said...

Hi Tracy,

Hecate is one of the main Goddesses I work with, and I always leave an offering at the crossroads whenever I work with Her.

For me offerings are a very important part whenever I connect with the Divine, whether in ritual, in Trance or while just being in the Wild.

I also compost and try to live in harmony with Nature.


Interesting to note that we are having this converstion solo. Nobody else joined. ????? :-)

Lily Wyte said...

I think the practitioner has to at least have an open mind that what they are doing may work, then they are letting the power prove itself to them. As for the person affected... their disbelief seems more denial to me.

Tracy said...

Lily Wyte said...
I think the practitioner has to at least have an open mind that what they are doing may work, then they are letting the power prove itself to them. As for the person affected... their disbelief seems more denial to me.

May 21, 2009 5:14 PM

I always believe that something I've done may work. If I think too much about it though, I feel like my hoping or wondering if it will or not actually interferes with outcome. I usually do what I need to do and with most things, hope for best result for the good of all, harming none.

ARIE said...

Yes, I agree. Once the spell is released I don't think about it any more. It does it's work.
I'm fully confident in the Divine.
Let us not forget that we are Divine.
I find that there is no specific time table. It may work immediately or it may take months or years. The end result is always for your own good. If the purpose is not to harm.

Oh, and I don't talk about it to anyone. To Will, To Dare, To Know and to keep SILENT.

Tracy said...

Today I had the perfect example of what I mentioned about not necessarily needing to actually cast a spell for magick to take place.

I was in the nail salon and I desperately wanted coffee. When I went to pour myself some it was cold. Everyone was very busy and I didn't want to bother anyone to make more. I mean, it's what if my life depends on it.

At that point I began putting my focus into having someone, anyone, make some coffee. Then I let it go. I then heard the owner ask another client if she would like some coffee...a moment or two later, a fresh pot was brewing!

ARIE said...

Yes I am familiar with this.

Sometimes I don't even need to focus.

And when I focus I use rune magick, which is very effective if one is attuned to this kind of work.

Lily Wyte said...

That's what I call a bare bones spell. All that is really essential is that focus... after all, isn't that what a more filled out spell does, hold your attention still and on topic long enough for it to be empowered?

wylde otse said...

Intention and focus and attention and concentration have manifesting power from what I've been led to understand. If, as I believe, that ultimately we are one...however magically connected...then all our wills may play a part in the amazing drama of existence and life. Hopefully, those with greater powers use them wisely, for good :o)

Tracy said...

Yes, hopefully they do and if so, think about what collective focus and intention could accomplish!

bettyl said...

'Coincidence' is when God works but remains anonymous.

Tracy said...

bettyl said...
'Coincidence' is when God works but remains anonymous.

Hence the adage, "God/s work in mysterious ways"

bettyl said...

Actually,it was Shakespeare that said that, but it's still what I believe!

Tracy said...

bettyl said...
Actually,it was Shakespeare that said that, but it's still what I believe!

May 28, 2009 7:45 AM

And those beliefs come from your faith.

As a Wiccan, my faith comes from the belief that it is my own true Will and that of the Gods, that manifest those things that some attribute to mere coincidence.

Spiral Dancer said...

I agree about the power of intent even more so now ! :) can be used both ways.

voodoo child said...

thanks so much for sharing your review and thoughts!