Magical Goals

Today is the Summer Solstice.

It marks the completion of a year-long elemental working I have been undertaking, having proceeded through the eight points of the octogram. And it marks a good point to start another major project. If I want to.

I had a few options. One is to continue with my elemental working, and take it to the next level: visionary work with the elemental masters. (This gets into some pretty complex stuff with the magical system I work with and have discussed briefly before.)I would essentially work build up to a major working every month and a half. Given that this would involve completely adjusting my internal elemental makeup, it could have a pretty profound impact upon me. And frankly, I’m not sure to what end I would pursue this. What do I do with that?

I’ve also considered biting the bullet and going for the whole Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel thing. It’s almost a sore spot that I haven’t contacted my HGA yet, and I may give it a shot. As part of this working, I would construct  new elemental weapons according to Golden Dawn specifications, create a lotus wand, and build up a daily practice that would culminate in the Liber Samekh working (or something close).

But to what end? What do I do with that?

I’ve been working on that life path thinger and integrating a more developed devotional practice, including Latin ritual. (It’s been brought up that I speak church Latin. Rosetta Stone can help, I suppose.) I could do some intensive ego magic and innerwork, assess and redevelop my skills, and set out bravely on a new path. Doing so could potentially involve some extensive personality restructuring, which in turn may have a major impact on all of my personal and professional relationships. All of my goals could change. Would I want that?

Frater Barrabbas posted a blog post that got me thinking.

Magicians often boast about their magical prowess, citing their accomplishments like some kind of credible list of awards or laudatory plaudits. Only other magicians can recognize those accomplishments as something to be held in awe or snickered at on the sly. Whether those accomplishments represent degrees achieved or won in some esoteric or magical order or that they represent some kind of personal achievement, like successfully invoking one’s Holy Guardian Angel, all of these accomplishments are subjective at best and potentially worthless regarding one’s actual spiritual level of being. There is something more to the effort of spiritual evolution than magical achievements or initiatory grades, but it is often overlooked in the hustle for apparent greatness.
As I have said previously, I have met individuals who have claimed lofty titles and presented burnished lists of achievements, only for them to be shown as being completely and utterly incompetent in all other areas of life. This is the difference between what Jason Miller has called stage or state and it represents the fact that all of us live at the lowest common denominator of our day-to-day spiritual foundation.
If we have achieved great things from a magical perspective, yet our material and/or social lives are needy and impoverished, then we have a long way to go before we will achieve any kind of enlightenment. Just because we spent six months living in our parent’s basement and in that hallowed domain performed the Abramelin working doesn’t mean that we are to be treated as some kind of walking Ipsissimus. Whatever we achieve in our magical workings certainly does have some impact on who we are and what our spiritual foundation is like. It is also possible that someone could undergo many powerful initiatory ordeals and still be quite inadequate as a fully developed human being; where the most needed and pressing issues kicking around in that one’s personality are ignored or just given lip-service.
Therefore, it should be obvious that there are two kinds of ordeals; one that is the greater ordeal (that everyone likes to talk about) and the lesser ordeal, which often gets ignored. The lesser ordeals represent the continuous process of self-examination, objective judgement, and putting into practice methods and techniques to bring the self to a higher level of being. The lesser ordeal represents the real work, set into motion by the visionary experiences of the greater ordeals. Without the lesser ordeals, the greater ordeals become, over time, meaningless and ineffective.
I’m not sure what to do with an  intensive elemental working. The work I have done has shown some improvement in my magic, I suppose. But it all depends upon what I do with it. KAC with the HGA would be a great experience, and would give me bragging rights as a magician, but to what end? How does that help me find a better job? In my experience, Divine Inspiration involves larger abstract goals, and skimps on the details for making such things happen. That’s why we have egos in the first place, isn’t it? To address short-term goals and more immediate needs? Perhaps that’s why connecting to the HGA is supposed to do: get the ego and the Higher Self to hash out the details between themselves?
I’m not sure. I haven’t heard much about the practical results of such a working. Just that it’s supposed to be grand, and that Good Magicians(TM) do it.
But the achievement itself doesn’t amount to much unless you can use it as an effective tool.
There comes a time where all of the grand ritual and mystical accomplishments mean about as much as the fact that I’ve beaten the Ocarina of Time with only three heart containers. If you’re part of a very specific and small group of people, it might impress you, but most people have no fucks to give about it, and it doesn’t really translate into a worthwhile skill. Magic is about becoming more effective in the world, not withdrawing from it. Real gains should have a measurable improvement in my social, professional, and financial lives.
A few months ago I listed some goals I was aspiring to.
1) Money. I’m still struggling financially, but I am making headway in getting my student loans consolidated and under control. This will actually relieve much of the pressure I am facing financially.
2) Write. I took about a week off from writing my blog. (Which may or may not have been influenced by the introduction of Minecraft into my life. I will deny any such accusation.) Other than that, I have been very consistent in at least daily blog posts. I have even managed to include some videos as well. My writing has become a bit more intense and personal that I thought it would be at times. I think this is a good thing. I still need to work on my fiction more, though.
3) Exercise. I fail. Mea Culpa. Maybe I’ll start some push-ups today. Don’t hold your breath.
4) Music. Still no lessons, in part because of financial and time constraints.
5) Networking. I have had some success networking with the local pagan community, but it has stalled out a bit.
6) Magic. My big ceremonialist push recently came to a screeching halt. My elemental work is finishing up. Some of my other projects are worked out or just in the planning phase. Little action is taking place.
I’m adding two new goals.
7) Socializing. This must include meeting with old friends at least once a week, and potentially going to places or events that will enable me to meet new people. This can be worked in to Networking.
8) School. I have an idea to go back to school. Getting the student loan situation under control is vital to make this happen. If I play it right, I can get back to the local community college by this fall. This will facilitate music lessons and gym activity. This is a good way to go.
And the magic goal is being amended. I will endeavor to develop a minimal daily practice, which will incorporate some visionary work and the elemental work I wish to continue. Larger projects will be undertaken as the mood hits me, but I won’t be planning long drawn out projects for now. All of my magical workings will be focused to the aims of 1) helping out other people (friends or clients), 2) devotional work, 3) Achieving the other 7 goals listed, or any related personal development.
I’m not big on enlightenment or the notion of spiritual evolution. But magic has become a mental exercise for me. I am not employing enough of the insights that I am getting through magical work, nor am I applying my magic properly toward my goals. The lesser ordeals that Frater Barrabbas speaks of seem more important to me, as they allow for the integration and expression of the greater ordeals. If you cross the abyss but cannot express what you have found to anyone in a meaningful way, or use that experience to benefit yourself and others, what was the point?

6 responses to “Magical Goals

  1. This is the battle I face everyday, wondering why I do what I do, and if it’s really affecting my life in a positive way. I struggle to find a daily practice that incorporates my mundane life and supports it. It seems like you’ve got some great goals to work towards, and I wish you the best in achieving them all 🙂

  2. I asked myself almost the same question several months ago and it threw me into a deep depression and off my practice – what is all this for? I ended up replacing all the daily practice with simple devotional rituals that I perform only – honestly – when I feel like it. I also used magic to help me achieve one or two small goals of mine, and it ended up completely changing my life in ways I didn’t know I needed. It sounds like you are headed on a similar adventure. 🙂

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