What preoccupies me the most in my work with magical discourse and practice is timing.
Without timing, no precision.
All you need is a sense of timing. The more highly developed, the better.
How do we know when the time is right for something?
I often ask myself this question, particularly since all magical practice is tightly linked to habitual patterns of ritualizing. Ritual can be so ingrained in my head that I forget to consider what is timely in ritual.
I shuffle my cards in a specific way, I light my conjure dungeon in a specific way. I turn my crystals and my scrying mirrors in a specific way, and so on.
Nature teaches us a lot about timing already. Imagine ploughing your field in winter. What a disaster…
But what happens when habit runs counter to natural timing?
Just think. Most people get extremely busy in December. Everyone gets worked up, and almost everybody runs around, shopping for the holidays as a matter of routine.
‘It’s tradition,’ you often hear in people’s defence. But is this an argument? For what exactly? To honor some set idea about what ‘family’ is or the idea of what giving family ‘priority’ is? This is all culture, and it has zero to do with timing. As such it also has zero to do with magic. Ouch. So much for the idea of ‘honoring’.
In December it’s dark, if you’re in the Northern hemisphere. The year is winding down. You want to sit with a hot, mulled wine, stare into space, or contemplate on the meaning of life.
Engaging in this habit is the kind of activity that’s aligned with the course of nature, clocked also in accordance with what is precisely timely, to rest, which is the opposite of running around and getting stressed.
I asked the cards:
How do I create a ritual of habit and routine in identifying what is timely?
The Hanged Man, 10 Cups, 4 Cups
Perfect cards. The condition for identifying the fullness of what is timely is a classic. You wait.
You wait in suspension until all the impressions culminate. Then you say: ‘It’s settled. This is it. I got it all covered. I know it in my heart, plain and square.’
Enjoy your December, your mulled wine, or your cards and coffee. It’s not for nothing that they say, in vino veritas, truth in the wine. But you need to know when the wine is timely and when it isn’t.