By now, as we are well into January, it should be readily apparent to those of us who commit themselves to a resolution, that commitment in and of itself is insufficient to follow through with the intent. We must also engage in action, and it is here – in the realm of action/inaction – that our intention often fragments and our commitment to the work fails. In short, unless we consistently engage in matching the commitment to a task with the appropriate level of honorable action that the task requires, our intention becomes folly.
- all things cost, and magick costs the most of all -
The above statement is intended as a warning in equal parts to its offering as a guiding principle. The effort required within The Great Work, by even the most adept of practitioners, is no slight thing. The work is the work, is the work – and although it is possible to stop and start within one’s own system, the culmination of an inauthentic approach is akin to asking favors of a leviathan while intermittently failing to honor the essential payment within the deal itself.
We find comparison and insight through the natural world - the Sumerian primordial conduit of chaos, the great and glistening dragon Tiamat, is synonymous with the ocean – and as with the treacherous nature of the ocean one would be wise to consider the gravity of the undertaking if one is to attempt to put such an energy to use. One cannot simply start a process and then attempt to abandon it without paying some price. Such is the nature of all things. The price will be paid, by self or other – but payment shall be collected.
When considering how to align intention and commitment with an aim in magick, it is useful to imagine the grand weight of the ‘asking’ - this is the foundation of the principle of conjuration. The early attachments and associations of gods and spirits to the material world by humans were both a reflection of reverence and a value based system of understanding quite what one was involving oneself with.
In modern times we have come to only understand the principles of conservation and respect with regards to the natural world in a mechanical sense – we promote an attempt to conserve and respect the forest and the ocean because we are aware of the fragility of the ecosystems within. We consider the ocean to be a living system much in the way that our ancestors considered the ocean to be a living thing – under the rule and control of an entity. We have replaced superstition with scientific principle, and as such we speculate the outcome of our action rather than fall back to faith or belief.
However, the treacherous nature of the ocean is not treachery at all – the unpleasant end we might find upon the sea is a consequence of disrespect and a lack of understanding. Whether from the displeasure of a god, or the complexities of the tidal system, the end is the same and forces greater than ourselves humble us.
To be successful in our aim our intention we require a sufficient understanding of the cost of the commitment; without that understanding we are floundering. We can ascribe these principles to all things in life – from working life, to our love life – we must follow through and remain true if we are to reap the benefits.
Where magick differs to more mundane tasks is in its relationship with the concept of power. Power is a passive force in magick – it is not apparent or immediate when one undertakes an aim. The manifestation is slow, it is along a spectrum of actualization, and it is never truly over. It reveals itself to us. The intention is the starting point of an undertaking, the commitment is the application of will, and the outcome is unfolding.
The scientist and magician understand the power of the ocean is not contained within the ocean itself – it is the application of a force that conjures its power.
Early adopters of magickal practice are often mistaken in thinking that a thing commonly known as a spell is some kind of delivering principle that one need only invoke to witness reward. In actuality the opposite is true, and here we find a true separation between the concepts of modern magical thinking, and those who practice magick as a force.
Words, objects, sigils, spells, and crystals in and of themselves have a power to themselves – but that power remains passive unless one is able to unlock and direct it through the force of will. The resonating frequency of a crystal is not in the business of imposing itself on the surrounding world – it has its own sphere of influence (as do all things) and that is that.
- in all things old, and all things cold, a secret song is sung –
Such is the nature of a crystal. Some essence is hidden, some is apparent, and some is bound within the stone itself. We are able to understand some of the quality of a crystal by touching or looking at it – but we are unable to experience it fully without experimenting with it. There is a value in science of random experimentation – the concept that by happenstance we might uncover or discover some principle, but applied science informs us that intention and commitment should follow an aim. Chance outcomes may be useful, but they may also be the undoing of the work.
In wearing or putting to use a crystal as a form of majick one should be cognizant of the intention – the overarching aim that underlines the conjuration itself. Honor informs us that we must commit ourselves to the work, if we wish to hold the reward – and the notion of respect is there to remind us that even with all of our focus we should still remain humble that it is the nature of a thing that guides its power.
We should no more set ourselves upon a journey by sea in an ill-equipped boat than we should ask a grand working of a talisman if we are not prepared to weather the storm in order to see the aim through.