The Dilemma of Using Magic

Those of you who know me in the real world – or those of you who’ve been coming to this blog and reading the posts that aren’t there – know that I’ve had a very heavy load of work-related stress for the past eight months in general and the past eight weeks in particular. I’m not to my breaking point, but I can see it from here.

In the material world, I tend to favor material action, but this situation seems to call for using every tool in the toolbox – including magic.

The skeptical say the danger of using magic is that you’re relying on something that isn’t real – magic doesn’t work. On the contrary, perhaps the biggest danger of using magic is that it works too well. But magic doesn’t give you what you want – it gives you what you ask for, and what you work for. Parse your spells as carefully and precisely as a corporate lawyer writing a contract, or you’ll find Coyote or Loki or some other Trickster laughing while you slip on a cosmic banana peel.

So I set out to carefully and precisely define what I want and need. I spent several hours going over what’s wrong, how I got there, and what needs to happen to make things well. When I finished, I read it over carefully… and it sounded an awful lot like “put things back the way they were before work went to hell.”

As I’ve said before, I’d make a lousy Buddhist, but the Buddhists are right about one thing: suffering is caused by attachment (the Buddhists are right about a lot of things, most of which I have trouble accepting). And while suffering is by definition unpleasant, it’s also a good motivator. If a factory hadn’t closed in 1995 I never would have left Chattanooga and all the baggage of living in my home town. If another factory hadn’t downsized in 2001 I never would have left Atlanta and formed the connections and relationships that are so helpful and so pleasant in my life now.

If I put things back the way they were, what opportunities for growth may I be turning down?

When I came back from the Druid Gorsedd in August I said I had seen what was possible: Pagans living successful lives in the mundane world and then working and practicing on off time. I was building a network of connections in the Pagan and UU worlds. I was prepared to spend the next 20 years becoming a wise Druid and using my professional career to finance it all.

Is this stress and suffering calling me to something else? And if so, what?

If I work magic to reset my life, I will inevitably work toward a vision that’s based on what I know – incremental changes from what I am/have now. On the other hand, if I say “Goddess, put me where you want me” then I open myself up to things I’m not thinking of now, but I also fail to take responsibility for where my life goes… which is also likely to be incremental changes from what I am/have now.

It seems the magic I most need to work now isn’t to fix my job, it’s to open my eyes and ears to what I’m truly called to do and be.

Whatever that is.

Beltane – A Solitary Ritual
A Druid With a Camera
Responding to the Religiously Obnoxious
The Candle of Earth Day
About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06208142626285495635 Robin Edgar

    "Parse your spells as carefully and precisely as a corporate lawyer writing a contract, or you’ll find Coyote or Loki or some other Trickster laughing while
    you slip on a cosmic banana peel."

    Couldn't have said it better myself JohnFranc. . . :-)

    Still ROTFLMU*UO over *resigned* CUC Executive Director Mary Bennett's dU*Ubious mis*"spelling" of U*U!

    Maybe Mary Bennett and other "less than lucky" U*Us need to take your carefully thought through advice and put things back the way they were before they went to hell. . . ;-)


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