Many, many years ago, I started attending a metaphysics class taught by Walter (no, not his real name), who later became my Mentor. I was one of the few that stuck with his program and augmented it with material I found in other sources, so he took me under his wing, as it were.
Walter has a long string of projects, accomplishments, and fascinating stories from his life. If you can think of it, he has probably been involved in it in some form or another. He was an auctioneer, appraiser, housing contractor, submariner, radio talk show host, pool installer, real estate investor, professional psychic, rennie, actor, writer, and wizard (and that leaves a lot out).
When I met him, he had moved back home with his mother to help care for her in her old age. She was a hoarder, and he probably is as well. The basement of their house was completely filled with various items, ranging from canned foodstuffs (he took Y2K very seriously) to books, clothing, power tools, and ironing boards (his mother had a thing for them and loved to collect them.)
After some time, the venue for Walter’s class wasn’t working out, and he wanted to reclaim the basement and hold his class there. The basement was finished and actually had a nice great room, complete with a bar and a fireplace, and would have made a nice meeting spot. But there was literally so much clutter that you could not get from the stairs to the far end without considerable effort.
As I said, Walter had taken me under his wing, and was meeting with me to teach me magic. (He was also paying me to help him clear the basement.) As I helped him shuffle, organize, and carry upstairs items of value, I made a comment to him: “This feels like when Mr. Miyagi made the Karate Kid do all those chores for him.” He responded simply: “It’s just like that.”
He showed me the items of value he had, and explained how he knew they had value, and to whom they were valuable. We visited auctions, and I relearned what I knew about dollar value and demand. We repriced items bought at auction and sold them online for profit, and I learned about connecting demands to the people looking for them. I learned about clothing and image, and how to dress to impress, to stand out, and to acheive certain effects and impressions.
This was very, very powerful magic, and it is the kind rarely taught in books and grimoires.
So I understood when I read this blog post by Jason Miller.
I got this question from a friend the other day: “Dude, you are writing so much about processes and strategy and habit change that it feels like you are never gonna write about magic again? How about getting back to some straight up Sorcery?”
My answer is this: if you don’t understand how this relates to Sorcery, I am not doing my job.
I started the Strategic Sorcery Blog because I realized that people were, in general, not getting the kinds of results from their practical magic that I thought they should have. The problem was not in the magic that they were doing, it was how they were applying it to their lives. This was a problem that no-one I could see was addressing, and instead people kept chasing after new and shinier spirits and spells. “Saint Expedite didn’t make me rich, maybe Bune will.” “Bune, didn’t make me rich, maybe Tzadkiel will…”
Magic tends to be viewed as a quick fix. More astute practitioners remind people that they have to follow up through mundane means to get concrete results, allowing a means for magic to manifest.
But there’s more to it than that. You have to know what channels are available. You have to know how to adjust them. You have to know how to make and exploit connections. You have to know how to barter and exchange favors. You have to know how one thing in your life, which may not seem significant, can be the very thing that breaks a new opportunity in another area.
You have to know how to strategize and where to apply your efforts.
And that is one of the reasons I like Miller’s work; he understands and actually teaches these things.
I learned the old fashioned way; via a mentor that made it seem like he was teaching me something else. And it’s difficult to pass this kind of thinking on to people, which is why he demonstrated all of it through action and example.
But magic is more than spells and tables. It is about being able to bring things together at the right time, and being able to change the probability that something will succeed by giving it more available options to do so.
A lot of magic doesn’t look much like magic. It looks like stuff just happens.
Learn from the things around you.