The Seven Principles of Magick

by Tara Miller (Masery) and M. R. Miller (Arkayne Magii)

Originally posted at The Witches’ Voice.

The Principle of Attraction

Everything we think, say, and do involves the exchange of magickal energy, and likewise, everything that we experience or observe has an affect on us on a magickal level – often completely unnoticed – and every exchange of energy is creative in that it always causes a change in some way, even if this is only on the level of magickal energy itself.

The principle of Attraction can be stated as “Like energy attracts like energy.” What we send out, we get back. If you focus our thoughts on success, the energies of “success” flow out from you and into the universe, and literally attract “success”.

The principle of attraction is not as simple to put into practice as it sounds however, because our negative thoughts, intents and choices are also returned. We get exactly what we choose. Much like the Djinni in the bottle that grants wishes exactly as spoken, usually to disastrous result.

If we have a poor self-image, or a negative attitude towards ourselves, the universe reflects that negativity right back at us. Murphey’s law, “Anything that can go wrong, will.” is a perfect example of this mindset.

If you focus on what can go wrong, something will go wrong. If you see yourself failing, you will most likely fail. If you have a victim attitude, you will become a victim, not necessarily because of psychology, but because you attract the scenarios you believe will happen. This principle is actually instinctively understood, but usually appears as subconscious superstition, as in the all-too-familiar saying, “Don’t say that, you might Jinx it!”

Saying “I will win” when playing the lottery is great, because as long as you are saying that, you won’t be saying “I’m not going to win.” but if you feel you will not, then that is still the intent you are sending, and so that is the result you will get.

Our thoughts are creative, yes, but only insofar as they define concepts and create within us a specific emotional state. The emotional state has a far greater effect on successful application of the principle of attraction than thought. Both are important however, and each serves a different function.

Emotion provides the need, but emotion without thought is chaos, and results with just emotion are completely unpredictable. This is where thought comes in. Focused thought shapes the energy and directs it to a specific result; much like the lens of a magnifying glass focuses light. The more focused and controlled the thought, the more certain will be the outcome, so long as the energy that is created from emotion matches the intent of the thought.

Spoken words allow that energy to become manifested. Like a switch being thrown somewhere inside, the act of manifesting the thought and emotion in speech releases the energy into the universe to manifest within our reality.

When it comes to the principle of attraction, at no time are we not using magick, and likewise, at no time does magick fail to produce results. When it fails, it fails because we honestly believe it will not succeed, and thus our faith is actually in our intended outcome not manifesting, the opposite of what we intend. After all, how often do we say one thing and think something else, or say and think one way, but act as if we believe the opposite?

This happens because our words and thoughts are not in harmony with our active choice. New Year’s resolutions are a perfect example. We say wholeheartedly that we are going to change some part of our lives, but we say this not because we actually want to, but because we think we should. The choice has to actually be our own, and not one we feel forced into making, regardless of our intent and beliefs.

Often, we are taught by the society in which we live to believe we are somehow less than or more than others, we use artificial terms like “good” and “bad”, and come to label ourselves and others with these terms. Over time, we become biased against ourselves because of what society has taught us is and is not acceptable. And in some ways this is perfectly acceptable, after all, societal rules exist so that we can all live in some form of harmony and with some degree of stability without everything turning into complete and utter anarchy and chaos. It allows for peaceful interaction and development of conscience, which is absolutely necessary for our survival.

Quite often, we are told we “can’t” do something simply because it’s not traditional, or we are impressed with a fear of retribution even for just having emotions or for believing a specific way, looking a specific way, dressing or talking a certain way, trying something difficult, etc. We are programmed by society to “know our place”, in that we are told to believe we will fail while we are at the same time told to strive for perfection.

The heart of magickal practice is to understand and acknowledge the great power that the principle of attraction provides, and use our wisdom to re-train ourselves to see the events and influences in our lives and world in an unbiased and objective manner, so that we alone are in control of our actions, acting out of conscious choice rather than simply reacting to subconscious societal and genetic programming. Only in this way can a practitioner of magick truly receive all the universe has to offer them, and only then can they truly call themselves powerful.

The Principle of Polarity

There are a great many reasons that polarity/duality is one of the foundational principles of magick. It tells us, and quite accurately, that every state of being has its opposite, and everything has its reflection or reverse. This can be seen in nature; Hot and cold, light and dark, calm and turbulent, night and day, life and death, love and hate, young and old, near and far, masculine and feminine.

All polar opposites are exactly equal. Gender is a great example of this. Neither male nor female, while being polar opposites, are any greater or less than one another. Neither is more or less important, more or less valuable, more or less worthy. Indeed, it is the nature of polar opposites that neither can exist without the other.

Opposing states or forces act to define one another. How would a person know the sea if there were no land? We also define ourselves by what we believe we are not, i.e. “I am not a child”, or “I am not the kind of person who would say that!”

Another concept brought forth by the principle of polarity is that of duality, or the simultaneous existence of opposite forces within all things. This is a balancing concept, meant to show that not only do opposites depend upon one another for their existence, but they also embody the essence of their opposites within themselves.

For instance, all things that have gender have both masculine and feminine qualities, and in many religions, the people who accept and embody both are seen as being balanced. In other words, a man who accepts his masculinity while at the same time denying any feminine qualities is seen as living in imbalance, because he is denying a part of himself, i.e. his polar opposite.

This imbalance can be dangerous if it goes to extremes, and leads to a separatist ideology that begins to assume the form of egotism, in which the polar state one claims to be is seen as “better” or “more” than it’s opposite. This leads to racism, sexism, etc. and generates a state of fear, which is unknown to a person who accepts the dualistic nature of the individual self.

Note that we don’t mean sexuality per se, but merely of balance of energies within the physical realm. Those who have practiced enough to be adept at sensing energy (including myself) have often noted that even mundane physical objects, like a coffee cup, pencil, or even rocks, have both masculine and feminine energy. Though one is generally more prominent than the other, both still exist within the object simultaneously. In this way, it is said, “All things have gender.”

It is also interesting to note that when concepts are observed from different perspectives, there are no extremes, but merely contrast of opposites. What we perceive to be extremes is merely the extent of our perception. This effect is well known to artists, who can control what you perceive as black and white based on the shades of gray used in the drawing. We will always define the two most contrasting shades of gray as white and black.

There is an interesting exhibit in the science museum in San Francisco that shows this principle very well. It is a small device with a bright light shining and several tiles. Each time you push the button on the device, a new tile comes up. The first tile appears to be white, then the next tile comes up, and it is lighter than the first, making the first one look dark. The third tile that comes up is even brighter “white” than the other two, and suddenly the first one looks even darker than it did before, and the second no longer appears white.

This is because as a new, lighter tone appears, our mind has to redefine “white” and “black” to adjust. Thus the principle of polarity and duality is not about extremes, because there are no extremes in nature, but rather simply in contrast and opposition.

The Principle of Return

All things return to where they initially began. Now while this can mean a physical place, it generally means a situation or state of being. For example, a living being is made up of the materials found within nature around them, i.e. the atoms and molecules that were in the food you eat and the air you breathe eventually come to make up the physical body you inhabit as your body uses the material to grow and repair. Eventually however, in physical death, all of that material is returned to the natural system from which it came to be used again by other life.

However, in a spiritual sense, the return is not a circle, but more of a spiral, in that the journey we take along our path in life changes us, and so when we return to our origin (which could be a situation or state of being) we are changed by our journey, and so that which was once familiar is, by our change in perspective, once again new to us, and we are given to react differently than we once did, because though the situation may be the same, we are no longer who we once were. We have returned to our origins, but we are not the same as the person who originally left.

The Principle of Unity

The principle of Unity is the idea that all things are interconnected in a pattern or web of events, thoughts, and actions, and that beyond this, all things coexist simultaneously, being without time or space, as probability and potentiality. The connections between things can be both subtle and obvious, but there is always a connection, and this interconnectedness allows all things to effect or be affected by all other things. This is manifested in many different ways, aside from attraction; the two major effects of unity are sympathy and contagion.

The idea of sympathy is that two things, which are related or imitative, will have an affect on one another. This is the foundation for what is known as Sympathetic Magick. The nature of sympathetic magick is that imitating a thing has an affect on that thing.

This is very closely related to the principle of attraction, and is based on attraction in that by creating an imitation of a thing either physically or as a symbolic image, as in the common imagery of a voodoo doll or poppet, the energies sent into the image result in a similar energy being sent into that which is being imitated.

Sympathetic magick is the basis of magickal healing, talismanic, and symbolic magick, as well as in the basic act of visualization. When we perform any of these types of magick, we are using a form of imitation to draw upon the power of attraction to produce a desired result.

In Healing, we might use stones, herbs, symbols, or other images to represent either the power of healing, the disease to be healed, or the person in need of healing, and so the use of the stones, herbs, etc, creates a sympathetic magickal bond through which the principle of attraction can create an effect, thus allowing the healing to occur.

Most magickal tools, such as wands, staves, rods, stones, etc. work on this principle, as an image of a conduit for a specific type of energy produces a sympathetic result, i.e. the improved flow of that type of energy through the conduit which the tool has thus become.

Talismanic and symbolic magick also work on this principle, creating a strong, usually abstract representation of the concept of a specific energy or effect, thus using the symbol or talisman creates a sympathetic bond in order to aid in the use of the principle of attraction to bring about the effect represented by the specific symbol or talisman.

Most magick that is not specifically meditative is based on the principle of sympathy, in that it relies heavily on mimicry of a specific effect or individual. This is seen in the use of totems, symbolic artwork, carvings and statuettes, and even elaborate costumes, all of which are used specifically for the purpose of creating or enhancing the sympathetic bond and invoking the principle of attraction to produce an effect.

The principle of contagion is that ‘Any two things which have come in contact continue to have an effect on one another regardless of the distance separating them.’ This means that by using something that was in contact with a person, the sympathetic bond between them is strengthened, and regardless of distance the principle of attraction will have a greater effect.

Unity can also be seen in the realm of science as well, in that, as all things are simply clouds of probability, without definition or existence until observed, all things are one and the same. It is similar to a hologram. When one looks at a holographic plate, one sees a series of concentric rings in a wave pattern. There is no obvious image there until one shines a laser through the plate at a specific angle and the image is created above the plate. However, many different images can be put into the same holographic plate, and by simply changing the angle of the laser, we can go from one image to the next.

The potential that underlies all physical things can be seen as being like the holographic plate, and the laser is our own awareness and perception. Depending on how we choose to look at a thing, and in what context we look at it, and how we connect it to the scene around it, its manifestation into perceived reality will take on a form unique to our own perspective. However, all of those images on that holographic plate all exist in the same space and time, i.e. the pattern of the holographic plate.

So you can see now that in sympathetic magick, what we are actually doing is using an imitation of a thing in order to use the law of attraction (and create a change in our specific perception) so that our spiritual essence will radiate with a specific intent reflecting the outcome we are choosing, and thus bring forth from the cloud of potentiality a result which is in harmony with that intent and desired outcome, thereby raising the probability of that outcome within the potentiality of all possible events and states of being, so that our desired outcome will be manifested into either our individual or our shared reality. Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, in his book “Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard” refers to this as “Probability Enhancement.”

The Principle of Manifestation

The principle of manifestation is that “Anything can be manifest by the manipulation of spiritual essence (magickal energy) and the application of intent, faith, knowledge, and focused will.” Since everything is made up of spiritual essence, and spiritual essence can take on any form (because form is simply a perception anyway,) then it can be influenced into taking any form. The methods of manifestation vary, and manifestation doesn’t always mean “appearing out of thin air.” in a miraculous fashion. In fact, the results of attraction are also a manifestation.

A manifestation is the bringing into reality of the desired result. So if you focus on getting money, and find five dollars, that is how the results were manifested.

Manipulating spiritual essence and focusing on the appearance and manifestation of a thing can heighten the results of attraction as well, and the more spiritual essence that is put into the mental construct of the result, the more apparent and obvious will be its manifestation.

Manifestation is performed by increasing the probability of a specific result through focused will. Eventually, so long as one’s perceptions of reality are such that the mind can comprehend the manifestation, the desired result will indeed be created. This is limited however, by our ability to believe the results.

For example, if you were to focus on the moving of a mountain over three feet to the left, but at the same time, you believe that it is absurd and impossible, it will never happen, because you have already decided that it cannot be done.

There is another problem with manifestation that involves perception (which is the basis of our personal individual reality.) Let’s use the mountain example above. Say you had managed to perceptively move a mountain three feet to the left because you had the ability to overcome my own doubt and accept the possibility of such an event. If you were to tell someone that you had moved the mountain three feet to the left, even if they watched it happen, if they could not conceive of such a thing as being possible, they will be of the belief that its new position is where it had always been.

Indeed, they would remember it having always been where it now stands, even if it had not!

This is the problem with any unbelievable miraculous act. If others are not able to accept it as possible, they most likely will not see it at all, no matter how obvious it is.

Behavioral psychologists have reported this effect as well. When confronted with an unexpected and perceptively impossible event or one that is simply ‘out of place’ the observer has a tendency to block out the event and remember something else entirely. This is also known as Cognitive Dissonance.

The Principle of Harmony

Harmony is a sense of belonging or synchronicity. Synchronicity is a friend’s call when you are thinking about them. Feeling sad and then seeing your favorite color everywhere. It is the Watcher within. A state of being the observer, removed from situations, yet not emotionless. Harmony can also be when your spiritual essence resonates with your surroundings and intent, or the energies of others, to create a sense of belonging.

Harmony is the contentment created when you find a daily routine that has purpose and gives you joy. Dion Fortune, a twentieth century esoteric author, wrote that if we treat our homes as a temple, then even the most common activities become magical.

The Principle of Power

This is the ability to draw upon and use spiritual essence.

At a Pagan Pride Day event, we sat in a circle on the grass near a pavilion with about twenty-five people. Since they didn’t know each other very well, we decided to lead them in a meditation where they moved their own energy through their bodies. Suddenly the wind picked up. A transformer on an electric poll zapped, popped. Sparks flew onto the ground igniting the grass. Several people quickly dumped a huge glass pitcher of tea onto the fire. The group had raised a lot of power.

This principle comes naturally. However, focusing this power takes practice.

Each of us constantly shares the power of life with the Universe. We receive from it and we send to it. This power keeps us alive and it manifests our world.

By understanding the seven principles of magick, you can consciously create and live within the pattern of reality.

About Tara "Masery" Miller

Tara "Masery" Miller is a Neo-Pagan panentheist Gaian mage living in the Ozarks with her husband and pets. She's also a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church. She is the editor of Rooted in the Body, Seeking the Soul which you can find at Immanion press. www.immanion-press.com/info/books.asp She has a minor is religion from Southeast Missouri State Missouri State University with an emphasis in mysticism. Masery has lead various groups over the years and organized Pagan Pride Day events. Her magic and author page is at www.taramaserymiller.com


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