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new year's resolutions
Traditionally, January is the month for making resolutions. Did you make any, if so, how are they going?

At New Year we are encouraged to give something up or to take up a new lifestyle. Whether attempting to free ourselves from a habit or seeking a positive change in our diet/exercise regime, the fact is most resolutions fail in this first month. Perhaps this is because our personal incentive is not engaged, (you are pressured into taking quick decisions), the value of such change often lies with our peers or the current values of society and not with ourselves. As magicians, witches, priests/priestesses & others in the esoteric community, we have the advantage of applying our magical skills, thus making our resolutions a magickal act of will. But do we?

In this post we endeavour to look at the ‘Magickal Act’ in its wider aspects, particularly in its relationship to resolutions.

It seems to us that learning your magickal craft in all its aspects has become less fashionable. The emphasis seemingly to be on the inner transpersonal, observance of seasonal cycles & cosmic consciousness. We believe this to be at the expense of ‘Practical Magick’, with its basic concept of ‘causing change in accordance with will’.
If we are to re-engage with our craft, we need to apply the knowledge & experience gained from inner work, realising our magickal aims by giving them actual material expression. Experience & confidence is built by ‘doing’ (action), in this way a firm foundation is laid.

There is a growing elitism among certain types of ‘New Age Mystic’, who look down on those who engage in Magick for personal advancement & gain. How far has this attitude permeated the magickal community? Has magickal confidence in ‘Enchantment’ been undermined? Working on a sorcery/folk magick level (Carol P.) seems to be passe, with some occultists seeing this as superstitious ritual or hoodoo, whereas they are in fact highly effective methods of everyday Magick. As someone once said to us at a gathering: “Hedgewitches are so quaint, but they don’t do proper Enochian or Quantum Magick do they?”
This ethos of anti-hedonism is critical of ‘Practical Magick’, when it is seen as serving the ego. We question this view & strongly affirm that the ego, far from being something that needs to be obliterated or brought under the control of our higher spiritual nature, should instead be integrated with the WHOLE person(ality). We think it is dangerous to assume that anyone who works Magick for purposes other than devotion, celebration or raising the vibration of the planet, is either on a left hand path or a selfish individual.
For us Magick is about the 3 pillars where an equilibrium is sought.  In the early days of our training we were encouraged to embrace all aspects of the great work, to devote time to meditation & inner exploration, to study both mystical & magickal texts, and importantly to work Magick for tangible results. If the desired result was not forthcoming, we were encouraged to look at why/where/how it didn’t work in the way we intended. In this way we gained knowledge, experience & responsibility, rather than indulging in an ethos of misplaced acceptance. i.e. ‘it was due to circumstances beyond my control’. When working with deity through means of petition & prayer, there is a fall back if things do not work out. Namely, it didn’t work because your deity deemed it wasn’t meant to. In reality the failure may have resulted from lack of clarity and/or intent.

How real is your Magick? Is it making a difference in your life? Do you actually believe it will work? As for motive, your Magick should meet your inner values & desires, not be dictated by whatever school of thought is currently in vogue.
Reflective magickal practice is all very well, however there are important questions you may wish to ask yourself. Where and when do you use your magick? How do you manifest your priesthood within your community? If you do not like what you see around you, what do you do about it magickally? Be the change you want to see!
There is much to be said for revisiting the basics of ‘Practical Magick’, making totems, amulets, talismans, sigils, tools, robes & constructing spells are all physical tasks….all ways of getting your hands dirty so to speak.

Approaching our resolutions with the above in mind, we see that there are steps to be taken for them to be effective as ‘Magical Acts’. Before we can reap a harvest, we need to select, plant and then nurture our seed/seedling. When we try to manifest a new lifestyle or change an ingrained habit overnight, we often set ourselves up for failure. Instead of a clear intention, our goals & motives are not aligned with a true desire to succeed.
Added to misdirected inner intention there may also be an outside investment in your failure, psychological pressure & often a humorous collusion when your intentions come to nothing. The latter coming from friends, family & the media, “well no one keeps to their resolutions do they?” This often instigates a magickal act in itself, the one where you successfully fail.

To have the best chance of success & to assist us in our endeavours, we can use both current & influencing energies that we have knowledge of. i.e. Tattvic tide, moon phases, astrological information, wheel of the year, etc.

We were taught the Magickal axiom To Know, To Will, To Dare, & To Keep Silent.
What does this actually mean and how can it be applied to our resolution Magick?

Know – knowledge of esoteric science AND of yourself. Continually learning, questioning and expanding.

Will – It is the channel by which you bring about the outcome you desire. Action. It is willing change through a disciplined approach but is not will power.

Dare – Having the courage & confidence to take the necessary steps.

Keep Silent – Walk your talk, don’t over talk about what you are doing. It is also about keeping quiet in your own mind, if you continually go over it with yourself, you do not release the magick and it fails to reach its target.

With regard to your resolutions, identify what you want, be realistic, make a plan, have the courage to do it, act upon your plans & don’t talk/think about it too much.
In a future post we will return to this topic, taking a more in depth look at the actual nuts and bolts of the magickal act itself.

SRTB wish you luck in your endeavours, may your resolutions be realised.

Blessed Be