February 15, 2008
11:16 PM

Magic Musings


This is entry #200! Yay!

Before I share this next bit, let's turn the clocks back to Halloween 2007. Ever since 1989, I have done some type of ceremony every year on the night of October 31st. The details would change form year to year, depending on what my beliefs were at the time and what else was going on in my life. But there'd always be candles lit and a moment to withdraw from the mundane world and do some reflections or projections of my will.

Last time, I was really looking for a change. I felt my life was becoming stagnant, and that there was a lot more I could be doing. I just wasn't sure how to go about it. I composed a ceremony where, in a nutshell, I reaffirmed my own personal strengths and abilities.

Does magic work? I have no problem being an atheist and a skeptic who says "yes" to that. It all begs the question of what exactly you define "magic" to be, and what exactly you mean when you say it "works". It's not as simple as the movies, where chanting in some ancient language suddenly changes the laws of physics, with results that can be objectively viewed and repeated. But nor do you have to throw the whole thing away in light of that.

Although we Satanists do not believe in deities nor "spiritual" realms, I can say that when it comes to magic, I've had enough positive results to the point where I really can't dismiss the whole practice as being pure coincidence. It's still an art with many subjective parameters that simply doesn't lend itself to controlled experiements. It's like trying to describe your favorite band and why they're your favorite, to somebody who doesn't listen to the same music.

In Satanism, we define magic as (to quote The Satanic Bible) "The change in situations or events in accordance with one's will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable." This leaves a lot of room for interpreation. Some of it can just come down to applied psychology. But to rationalize the experience like this is to kind of miss the point. "Magic" is based on certain subjective experiences, not things that can be objectively shown and agreed upon by different observers. LaVey once said that truth be told, magic is just noticing a path that links events which otherwise would have gone unnoticed.

Well one of these days I'll try to sum it up in my own words as best as I can.

So last November I started to keep some detailed day-by-day notes of what I was up to. Later on, I'll post some of what I wrote.

In short though, within a week I found myself 1) having an indulgent threesome, and 2) getting laid off at work. #2 was a huge relief though, and I got a fat severance package out of the deal. So again, more on that later.

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