evocation table

evocation table

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In response to "Magic on the Small Scale "

 Magus Gilbert had an excellent post on his 'THE OCCULTIST' Blog: http://gilberttheoccultist.blogspot.com/2011/09/magic-on-small-scale.html#comment-form

I was unable to post my response on his page due to some technical difficulties, but he wished it posted so here it is:

This is a great topic to bring up. It’s definitely something most of us have gone through, and other magicians have at least pondered. RO can attest to huge changes he underwent with a previous physical location. Although I don’t remember him mentioning so, I imagine he must have lost some magical equipment as well. Regardless, he jumped right back in the game after a very difficult ‘transition.’
I dread having to go through such an experience myself as I’ve amassed such a collection of magical goodies that I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. My room is a haven and immediate removal (escape) from the mundane. Complete luxuries but not necessities….Unless I am doing traditional grimoric work that is.
If I had to start all over it would be a while before I’d be doing any Goetia, Alamdel (any Lemegeton work besides the Notary Arts), Solomonic or otherwise. I’ve no real interest in simplified, abridged, forms of these types of magic so it would be heartbreaking for me, I admit.

In this sort of ‘outer temple closing’, I would be forced to really change my magical focus for a time as I could not just start over right away. I wouldn’t have the heart, nor near the money to do so anyway. ::shivers:::

Many times, it’s not just the physical loss of a working space or equipment, but emotional or circumstantial issues which also arise. Situations which take priority for a time and disrupt routine practices are not rare. None of us are monks who have removed themselves from society and social obligations. We each have personal relationships, other employment to attend to, and family to keep in healthy working order. What matters is that we ‘keep going’ and eventually pick up where we left off. A magician is someone who continues to do magic even after a crisis, a dry spell (pun…sorta intended), a physical loss, or a personal upheaval. There’s a breaking down point, but eventually they rebuild. Why? Because magic is in the very nature of the individual. Just like a true athlete or martial artist, they will continue to train even after an injury or even when they felt like they weren’t improving…they keep going. A true practitioner is one who continues on after disaster or failure.

Another phenomena which Joseph L. describes in his book ‘Howlings’ is a period where intense magical practices eventually take a toll on the individual and there is a shut down period. During this time, a person cannot bring themselves to conduct even the simplest of magical exercises. I think I’ve hit that point before earlier in my life when I was doing the same rigorous practice day in and day out. Just like we need sleep, sometimes we need a resting point in our practices to let energies stabilize within, naturally. Apparently, sometimes we need upheaval as well to reset our priorities and manner of working. Life/God/ The universe seem to present situations where they are needed. Not always warranted but sometimes necessary.

During a fairly difficult point in my life, magically and otherwise, I had moved out of my first apartment, had all of my magical gear packed away in a storage unit, and lived at my dad’s cabin. I worked at a lumber yard for about a year while trying to get my life back in order. I had very few possessions which were mine at my Dad’s place. Life seemed rather bland and wearing at that time. I ceased all of my daily exercises and training.
I remember talking to my Sensei around that time, complaining how I didn’t feel like I was “fulfilling my purpose”. He told me to pay attention to where I was so that I didn’t miss the lesson I was currently supposed to be learning. “You won’t be at this job forever Bryan so don’t worry about it, learn what you’re here to learn, then, when you’re ready, you’ll move on.”

I didn’t do much of anything magical during that time, and didn’t experience much of anything either which really made me feel depressed. My whole involvement in the magical arts was inspired from the numerous experiences I had while growing up. All through my adolescence and teen years, things happened to me and my family which didn’t seem to happen to other people. It defined my role in the world early on and continued into my early twenties. Extended periods of not witnessing anything left me feeling ‘cut off’ and ….plain.
I’ve learned to be more patient in my current state as I rarely find myself alone in the deep forests, or examining disturbed houses for local folks like I use to. My wife lets me have my magical lab, make expensive magical implements, and conduct rituals which sometimes drives her nuts. I’m very spoiled in my freedom to explore grimoric arts at the moment.

Nothing ever stays the same though and I’ll have to adapt to whatever lies ahead. {Types this all the while knocking on wood and chanting anti-irony spells}

So to answer more simply to what happens when a true occultist is forced to pack up, and close the outer temple:
They grieve, struggle on, and eventually discover their new arena of working.
To fulfill the “many are called, but few are chosen” axiom, each will be presented with the new way in which their gifts can be utilized, the true occultist decides to act on this discovery. –A priest, still a priest even when his miter is knocked from his head-

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