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Author Topic: Fundamental components of magic: what are they to you?  (Read 840 times)

Eastling

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Fundamental components of magic: what are they to you?
« on: April 16, 2016, 02:33:21 pm »
Pretty much what the title says.

I'm getting into magic and trying to learn how to construct and perform spells, but I'm a bit at sea. There are so many different schools of thought and methods. Rather than simply latch onto one of them, I'd rather start from somewhere more basic.

What do you consider the most crucial core concepts and tools of magic? This could be physical items and actions (e.g. casting a circle) or ideas (e.g. exercising your True Will). Alternately, what is your most basic working definition of magic?

I fully expect answers to vary; that's kind of the point of this post.
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MadZealot

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Re: Fundamental components of magic: what are they to you?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2016, 02:55:05 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;190170
Pretty much what the title says.

Ceremonial is neat but imo too formal and full of gobbledygook.  

I like the four-elements approach I learned in my Wiccish days.  Simple and straightforward enough but you can dress it up for extra oomph if needed.  Generally speaking though, for me the lower & more folk-ish it is, the better.  Just seems more intuitive, but also pragmatic.

But no matter what I'm doing magic-wise I bring my religion with me.  Because you gotta have faith, faith, faith uh.
(Although faith's not a requirement for all by any means.  Definitely a YMMV kind of thing.)
« Last Edit: April 16, 2016, 02:57:55 pm by MadZealot »
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RecycledBenedict

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Re: Fundamental components of magic: what are they to you?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2016, 04:07:25 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;190170
Pretty much what the title says.


The fundamental components of magic are, according to my view:

  • Matter
  • Subtle sensations, that are hard to prove empirically
  • Language
  • Altered states of consciousness
  • Discarnate entities

Eastling

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Re: Fundamental components of magic: what are they to you?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2016, 07:30:55 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;190171
Ceremonial is neat but imo too formal and full of gobbledygook.


I wouldn't phrase it that way myself, but I sort of have the same problem in a way: ceremonial magic requires a lot of visualization and memorization that I'm bad at. I worry, though, that the visualization and memorization are actually necessary to getting spells to work.

Quote from: FraterBenedict;190174
The fundamental components of magic are, according to my view:

  • Matter
  • Subtle sensations, that are hard to prove empirically
  • Language
  • Altered states of consciousness
  • Discarnate entities


Interesting! I can definitely see where you're coming from on some of these. Language is essentially the ultimate human magic, after all.
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RecycledBenedict

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Re: Fundamental components of magic: what are they to you?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 08:07:44 am »
Quote from: Eastling;190253
I wouldn't phrase it that way myself, but I sort of have the same problem in a way: ceremonial magic requires a lot of visualization and memorization that I'm bad at. I worry, though, that the visualization and memorization are actually necessary to getting spells to work.



Interesting! I can definitely see where you're coming from on some of these. Language is essentially the ultimate human magic, after all.


The proportions between these five components differ between different magical systems, but at least two or three of them seem to be simultaneously present in every particular system, regardless of cultural background, and I personally prefer to include all five in what I do. My definition of magic is broad. I include several forms of Buddhism, Charismatic Christianity, folk-Catholicism, Ruhaniyyat, Orthodox Jewish talismans, New World African syncretic religions, Heka, cunning craft, Traditional Witchcraft, grimoires, Martinism, GD-stuff, Ogdoadic Magic, Chaos Magic, New Thought,  Spiritism and some forms of alternative therapies (like Reiki) under the umbrella.

Just because I neither like to speak to vibrating telepathic Space Dolphins, nor find it meaningful to invoke Spice Girls in the four directions, myself, doesn't mean, that those who do are entirely without results.

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Re: Fundamental components of magic: what are they to you?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2016, 12:21:55 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;190170
What do you consider the most crucial core concepts and tools of magic?

Alternately, what is your most basic working definition of magic?


 
My personal path is pretty varied....I use quite a lot of methods and tools to get things done.  So on the surface there is not a lot of obvious similarities.  However I think that what I consider to be core concepts all lie underneath, they just manifest in other ways.

I think that magic starts with a clear goal.  You have to know what you are aiming for.  The more real my goal is to me the better.  The goal may be a concrete thing (such as "I want to heal my sore leg") or it could be more open ended (like "I want to explore why I struggle with decision making").  But ultimately this will be the target of my work, so I need to know what I am working towards.

Then I need to build energy and send it towards my target.  I put these two steps together because sometimes they are intertwined and not distinct steps on their own.  I might use a deep meditation, or chant, or dance to build energy and then after it is built, direct it to where I feel it needs to go.  Or I might do art, using the focus on my attention to build and direct the energy.  Or I may take physical actions that are aligned with my goal and work around them (so for finding a new job, I might fill out the application and then bless it, or cleanse and charge myself before the interview).

Finally, I withdraw from my work.  For me this is an important 'tying up loose ends' type of step.  The actual spell work may be extended over a longer time period, but at some point I will recognize the end of my work.  This step often includes grounding out any extra energy that might remain, releasing any expectations of outcome, or simply pulling back my attention so that I am not constantly trying to fidget with my spell after it is done (much like baking, there comes a point where you put it in the oven and stop poking it or you will mess up what you have created).  I definitely have a sort of 'work and release' approach to magic.

Within that basic framework, I might actually work with any number of techniques or tools.  But there are really no other things that always occur when I do magic.  For me, I consider magic an application of my will and energy to create change.
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Re: Fundamental components of magic: what are they to you?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2016, 06:22:25 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;190170
Pretty much what the title says.

I'm getting into magic and trying to learn how to construct and perform spells, but I'm a bit at sea. There are so many different schools of thought and methods. Rather than simply latch onto one of them, I'd rather start from somewhere more basic.

What do you consider the most crucial core concepts and tools of magic? This could be physical items and actions (e.g. casting a circle) or ideas (e.g. exercising your True Will). Alternately, what is your most basic working definition of magic?

I fully expect answers to vary; that's kind of the point of this post.

 
I think the most crucial parts of magic are focus and energy. Regardless of what methods or traditions you prefer, I really think that without those two super basic skills magic is damn near impossible.

Now, how you train your brain to focus, and how you raise energy... like you said, there are so many methods. I think people should experiment a lot and see what feels natural/powerful to them.

I also agree with Kylara about not poking at the spells you've cast once they're done. In my experience all it does is muck everything up.

Jenett

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Re: Fundamental components of magic: what are they to you?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2016, 07:39:37 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;190170

What do you consider the most crucial core concepts and tools of magic? This could be physical items and actions (e.g. casting a circle) or ideas (e.g. exercising your True Will). Alternately, what is your most basic working definition of magic?

 
I consider the core definition of magic to be the idea of creating change in accordance with Will (where the capital W indicates that it's a considered and informed decision that I'm making, not a passing fancy.)

I am the easiest thing in any equation to change, so I think that magic that focuses on me is going to have a better chance of working than magic about other people, places, things, objects, nouns, or concepts.

I know I have the greatest amount of access to myself (as opposed to other people or influences around me). I also have the greatest amount of information about myself, as opposed to other things in the equation.

The rest of it is - tools. I cast circle because I have learned through my own experiences that doing so gives me more consistent results for a number of magical workings, and because it gives me tools that help a lot.

Same things with using magical tools as opposed to not using them: since the hypothyroid issues, I've found I can do a lot more with a well-chosen tool than doing it all by sheer willpower, and that saves my energy for other things, whether that's more magic or the practical 'need to make food' and 'need to be able to get myself safely to and from work' energy things.

I've found that a lot of my best magic comes when I spend time thinking about it in advance for a week or two, refining what I want over and over again, until I am very clear about what outcome I want, and then able to give myself over to that outcome. It's had some stunning successes, especially around job hunting.

(A lot of those methods involve giving up control about exactly what happens, and trusting that the right thing will work out, and being willing to keep trying - apply for different kinds of opportunities, take a few risks of a reasonable kind, go into interviews with an open mind - while doing the magic to help me find and get the positions that will be what I need and want, including a lot of intangibles, like workplace culture that you can only guess at from the outside.)

But it's also come with costs (see also two long distance moves in four years, and the fact that those two came with major health issues just ahead of the moves, plus a year of unemployment in the mix.) It's complicated.

I think it's that 'have a clear idea what my goal is, but be unattached to how I get there' that is sort of core to my magic, really. I can dump energy into making things keep moving, and opening up possibilities - but if I'm not willing to do that, then, well. Okay, not much is going to change.
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