“Know Thy Ego” didn’t go over as well as “Fair Weather Wicca” did. I didn’t get any negative responses, but I got significantly less hits on this article and far fewer responses to it. I’ve been wondering why, and I came up with a few possibilities:
1) The article wasn’t that well written, or I was unclear in expressing my
2) People were burnt out from my previous article, or were turned off by
my reference to it.
3) Magicians are reluctant to face the possibility that using magic might be
going to their heads. It’s the “Other People are Like That, But
I’m Not” syndrome.
4) My essay wasn’t that bad, but proved less attractive than the other
essays published on the Witches’ Voice the same week. Several of them
were quite excellent, addressing interesting topics and presenting novel
ideas and perspectives. Others were not quite as good, but addressed
topics that are quite hot in the neo-pagan community, mostly due to
political and cultural trends.
Any number of combinations of these possibilities may also be significant. I’d love to hear any input anyone has, or any criticisms of my essay.
i think perhaps even witches and magickal folk who regularly wield big
magick still must succumb to ordinary and even tragic hardships from
time to time. and yet we don’t think we’re foolish for flying without
first knowing how to land, or projectioning thoughts without first knowing
how to separate our mind from someone elses, or even playing with and
distorting time without first knowing how to keep it flowing nice and
steady. we just do it! like the first ape to grab a fiery branch and
carry it around… blind, foolhardy and risky as it is!
this is so very frustrating and counter intuitive!!!! the last thing
someone who can walk on water and conjure storms expects, is to be
brutally executed by mere mortals ;o)
but this is the case… we call it magick but it almost seems to have
varying separate personalities depending on what it’s doing and how it’s
working with/through us… but maybe it’s nothing great or divine after
all… but then it just seems that way when the usual laws of phsyics
or psychology are broken in such extreme ways. I have yet to develop a
rational and whole magickal world view… what do you think?
It’s really easy to get so caught up in the metaphysical that we forget how to deal with the mundane aspect of life. It is, as you said, counter-intuitive that someone can wield cosmic powers but be inept at everyday things. Then again, just because someone is an expert in aerospace engineering doesn’t mean they know how to unclog a kitchen sink. As Jack Kornfield said, “after the ecstacy, the laundry.”
As for my own world view and how it incorporates magic, as a Chaoist I subscribe to a model of magic that is dependent on quantumn physics and probability. Since we don’t fully understand how probability physics work, some magical effects seem to violate the laws of physics, when they may not necessarily do so. Of course, even a world view that posits the Universe as an interference pattern created by multiple probability functions is not wholly rational, as the underlying Chaos that drives and disrupts those probabilities behaves in a way that is too close to Spirit to be explained rationally, but hey, I get by.
Hail and well met Chirotus Infinitum!
Enjoyed your most recent article on the pitfalls of ego and felt while
reading it that you have the capabilities of becoming a real asset to
the Witch World. Keep up the excellent work and don’t be afraid to
challenge doctrine – just make sure it’s your butt out on that limb that you
are risking and not others. (he, he, heh)
Apparently the gods have been desirous of challenging me a lot as of late. I recently made a trip to Colorado which had its own strains upon my peace of mind, but I seem to be getting better at handling such things. I just need to remember that no matter how much better I think I’m getting, I’m still not that good.
I’ve been through enough bad situations that I have brouyght upon myself, either through ignorance or my own inflated sense of self. It’s been a big struggle to keep myself from succumbing to the evils of my own egotism and lust for power. I guess we write the things we know, eh?
Unfortunately it’s easier to handle my own tendacy toward egotism than it is to address the same problem in others. My friend mentioned in the article is on his way back into the throes of magus-itis, and this time we may not be able to salvbage him. Even worse is the fact that I am not above making fun of him for his arrogant and self-obsessed behavior — perhaps I should work on that next? Oh well — I never claimed to be a nice person.
Thanks for keeping track of me. I hope things are going well for you as well.
As always, the best of wishes,
I had to smile a little when I read your article about “magus-itis”. I
have long been a respectful admirer of Nemesis, and it reminds me that
hubris still has its retribution, even in our modern world.
Thank you for your interest in my article.
I’ve never thought that there was anything wrong in taking pride in one’s achievements. It is easy, however, to take this pride too far, and as you point out, Nemesis is more than happy to take us to task for it. One can only hope to learn her lessons before one is destroyed by them.