Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Personal Magick



Whether you call it saying a prayer, casting a spell, setting an intention, or something else, gathering your will and sending it out into the universe is done in various ways, often accompanied by ritual.   Many paths acknowledge that the outward ritual is more of a "tool" to accomplish the inner work being done.  This doesn't minimize the value of anything ritualistic or external, but it does remind us that the end goal is not an amazing ritual but the inner work being accomplished.  My perspective is that ritual is a very personal matter and that we must have peace and confidence in our personal spirituality in order to be effective in corporate spirituality.

These are some thoughts I shared recently regarding personal ritual.

Theory (ideas you can apply to anything)


It's my personal belief that whatever method you have the most confidence in should be your preferred method. It's good to get ideas and learn from others but always be sure to let those ideas be a guide and not a mold. Pick ideas that resonate with you and your nature.

I like to learn from everyone, try things out and then apply the bits and pieces of what rings true to me. I'm very nature oriented so many traditional elements of ritual involving the elements work for me. I'm also very analytical and math oriented so I developed a sigil system that reflects some nerdy mathematics - and it works for me because it's all just an extension of who I am.

And I really believe that is key - pick methods that reflect who you are and not just because you feel they make you look all witchy or magickal (though you enjoying the look of it and it putting you in a happy place are important factors).

Application (an example of my personal practice)


I personally like to get in a meditative state (more thoughts on that below), cast my "circle" with sage to protect and to set aside the time as sacred, light my candles, heat some essential oil that's meaningful to me in a diffuser, welcome my higher self, my ancestors, the Divine, and any helpful spirit guides that want to join, then in the midst of ritual I have a focused time of intention.

Sometimes it's purely inner thoughts, usually I speak it out loud in some form (sometimes creatively, sometimes very plainly). If I have prepared ahead of time, I will have a few sigils that I will invoke with intention, performing the motion with a selenite wand (or just my finger), and then setting them on fire one by one. I watch them burn slowly with the intention in my mind and on my lips, and when the fire goes out and the smoke rises I join with it in visualizing my intention going up and out into the Universe.

Then I take some quiet reflective time with the intention still lingering and I finish it by releasing it as completely as I can. Releasing it is very important. After the focused intention you really need to let go of the results and the worry and let the Universe do its work in the higher plane while you continue to work that intention on the physical, mental, and emotional planes.

Finally, I wrap up, open my circle, blow out the candles, visualizing again the smoke being those spirit beings who joined me going out into the Universe. I intentionally let that peacefulness go with me into my day.

Tips


For me it's key to have time set aside where I can focus. And to truly take each step slowly, intentionally, and thoughtfully. Don't worry about "getting it right". You'll see more results having confidence that even if your outward ritual is clumsy, you are more than sufficient and what you offer is good and powerful.

You can also just take bits and pieces of what resonates with you and do them in a smaller way if you don't have opportunity for a full blown spiritual getaway: )

The important thing is to get that focus on your intention and then will to send it out. To me ritual is more a vessel for intention and will - a focal point. So it's important that whatever ritual you have works for you.

Then go do your part in the earthly realm to see your intention comes about - but do it with peace and the knowledge that the Universe is at work on the other planes to make it happen as well.

Meditation


I always struggled with meditation until my wife and I started practicing yoga nidra. It's a form of meditation where you're lying down. It actually got me to where I can "get meditative" during day-to-day tasks (if I remember to!) You can find lots of yoga nidra videos on YouTube. An important part is that you stay aware and in control of yourself. You do go through a hypnotic state so take appropriate precautions in a group setting.

Thoughts?


I'm always open to thoughts, healthy discussion, constructive criticism.  Don't be shy.  If you have a thought, fire away!