Intention In Magic

I’d been meaning to write about the role of intention in magic for some time, and it seems that two blog posts on the subject by well-respected magical authors has provided the fodder and motivation I needed.

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Christopher Penczak writes that while there is more to magic than intention, intention is important and necessary to successful magic. His approach is that intention must be augmented with technique in order to achieve results.

I do believe in the power of intention, of aligning your will with the will of the universe to manifest your magick. Without intention, you magick doesn’t seem to work, either in terms of tangible results or the more nebulous, but arguably more important, self development that can come from it. On any of the magickal paths, will is a requirement. In fact, when teaching about the basics of a spell, I teach that you must have three things: Clear Intention, Strength of Will, and a Method to Direct the Energy of the Spell. Will without clarity usually ends up backfiring, intention with no desire behind it is lackluster at best, and you can have both, but if you cannot direct the energy into the proper channels, through ritual technique and/or real world action, you will still lack results. You can even cause harm.

I disagree with Penczak’s three components of magic, but I’ll get into that more later. I am going to take the time to pick at Penczak’s use of terms here. Continue reading