True Will

I mentioned a week or so ago that I’ve been listening to Thorn Coyle’s Elemental Castings. In one of them I came across a discussion of true will in its spiritual sense. Coyle, working out of the Feri tradition, described true will as “your big magic” and as “the work of this god.”

I like that definition, and I think it’s better than what I wrote about “so mote it be” last year. I still think we all have a tendency to confuse the “will of God/dess” with “what I want here and now,” and at some point I still think we have to stand up and say “this is what I want and this is how I will live” – we need to accept responsibility for the direction of our lives.

But I think what I wrote last November was incomplete. The danger of “so mote it be” is that if we’re not careful, we can lock ourselves onto a path that is ultimately not in our best interests. True will is not about what we think we want at this particular moment: something that can be heavily influenced by short-term circumstances and manipulated by advertising and peer pressure. And it’s not about the intellect overpowering the body and the spirit, what we frequently hear called “will power.”

True will is about why we’re ultimately here – our primary mission in this life. If something serves that mission – if it advances us toward the goals we set for ourselves before this incarnation or that have been revealed to us or that have become evident to us – then it supports our true will. And if it doesn’t, then why are we doing it?

Rather than using magic to bring us the things that strike our fancy, we can use magic to align our conscious will with our unconscious will and with the will of the Divine. What is the will of the Divine? For a working definition I like the one proposed by Huston Smith: “always toward the best that we can conceive.”

When those three elements of will are aligned then everything is pulling together, instead of part of us pulling North and another part pulling East and a third part pulling South. We stop working against ourselves and we become powerful.

And we accomplish the work we were put here to do.

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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.