Written August 17th, 2016 | Edited: 8th March 2019
Magick, like all other fields pursued by humanity, requires dedication, practice, study and commitment. That is why dabblers usually end up quitting before they actually find anything. We’re all familiar with the former “occultists” who tried out the occult for something very simple like money or love, didn’t actually bother learning anything, and eventually quit because it didn’t work, either because they didn’t put any effort into it, or they did put effort into it but didn’t know what they were doing and screwed themselves. Then there’s the average atheist who did a ritual once, just so he could boast about how it did not work and shut out spirituality entirely.
But why then, does magick sometimes not work, especially when we’re new? The thing to remember is: Magick always works. It may not seem to work, but it always causes some kind of change in you or your surroundings. So perhaps the real question is, why does magick sometimes not work the way you want it too. Just by thinking, praying or even focusing your intent on something, you do magick. You use your intent to move your hand, and your brain sends electrical signals to the muscles of the hand to move according to your Will. This is magick, and everything is really just an extension of this principle, from casting a spell for money to Invoking the Gods of the Zodiac.
There’s plenty of little factors which determine the degree to which your magick will work. I think everyone knows that. However, people get confused and target the wrong factors; superficial things like the appearance of your tools, your circle, the time at which the magick was done, the incantations spoken etc. Sure these things affect, and greatly aid your magick, but they’re just extensions. The key to magick lies, not in the external, but in the internal: on your physical, mental and emotional states.
Now, i’m not going to go on a lecture regarding how magick works, but i’m going to give you a little list of things that may not be obvious, especially to a newcomer. Someone really ought to do so, so i’m doing it. Bear in mind though, that you will grow and become more capable with experience. I myself have a lot to learn.
However, mentioned here are things I wish someone would have told me when I first started out, so I would not have blamed lack of ritual tools and such when my Magick didn’t quite work out. That’s all for dabblers who feel there is only one way of doing magick, while the real mistakes are often subtle and simple. Guess what, it doesn’t actually matter if you levOsa or levioSA.
You Masturbate Too Much
Though this isn’t the biggest, or even the most important, i’m going to put this on number one, and make it a bit long, since it is this very topic that made me write this article. Because this is apparently a really important factor that for some reason no one wants to mention.
All the grimoires say things such as “you shouldn’t be defiled by a woman” before a ritual, whereas religion says to be celibate. Modern adepts say don’t be celibate but abstain, and science says sexual repression is unhealthy. Som traditions say sexuality is the literal key to magick, while others act like ejaculation is the greatest and most evil sin the magician can commit. The internet is full of polarised opinions about sex and masturbation, and they usually don’t focus on the magickal aspect. The ones that do, usually talk about sexual rites, not spirituality in genera;. I can talk about it, from personal experience, instead of tiptoeing around something that forms one of the central pillars of the human being.
So, first off, we know most religions condemn masturbation. No, this is not just false superstition, and like all religious tenets, it’s based on some reality. On the other hand, Science has shown us that sexual repression is unhealthy and leads to problems. Then there’s this thing called the NoFap community on the internet, which is basically a community of people who stopped masturbation, usually those who had become too addicted to it, and talk about the positive experiences they have had (keep in mind, they aren’t celibate). They’ve even got some broscience to back it up. I don’t know about it’s validity, but I do understand the spiritual side of things. And then you have guys like Crowley, who it feels didn’t do sex for magick, but rather did magick for sex (jk).
There’s a good discussion that could be had regarding the Sacral Chakra, Yesod and Gamaliel, but put simply, your body contains a reserve of creative force, and the crucible for this is Sephiroth of Yesod, or the Sacral Chakra. This energy is physically represented by the sexual fluids, just as the life force is represented by blood. This creative force is what is used to push you onto Tipareth and Kether, above Yesod, or manifest things on Malkuth, below Yesod. It is the raw energy reserve that is used for magick, like fuel. It is also used whenever you do things in daily life, and urges you to be creative and accomplish things.
Making sense yet? Naturally, this energy is constant and does not deplete, except in the most extreme circumstance, which is during sex, when humans perform their highest act of manifestation, that is creation of life. So when you masturbate, you’re wasting this energy on nothing more than pleasure, and giving it away. Why do you think they say “sex sells” and constantly surround us with sexual stimuli? Because they want people to continue wasting all their creative energy and being creatively exhausted. We wonder why so many people are unfulfilled in today’s world, and it is because today’s world glorifies sex and masturbation, and makes you think it is the path to success (Wolf of Wall Street). Yes, it relieves stress (so does meditation), but you need to work first to accumulate stress.
Things like this abound the internet. Though healthy, they make it seem like doing it a lot is good. Disagreeing get’s you branded a religious lunatic or a toxic male. I should make it clear, i’m NOT saying it is a bad or immoral thing or saying it makes you a “loser”. I’m not that stupid. A magician should also learn abstinence, even though it is considered taboo these days, much like masturbation was in the old days.
So, put simply, stop masturbating often. I’m not saying practice celibacy (just as bad), but abstinence. Today people have become slaves to lust. Learn to control that. Advanced magicians say it like it’s very easy, but they’re middle aged and don’t feel it so strongly. They already have a degree of sexual control. I know first hand how difficult it is, especially at early adulthood, to let go of it, but work towards it. Once you learn to control your lust, you’ll gain an incredible amount of control over your life. And you’ll suddenly realise just how powerful magick is. It will also benefit you in life, you’ll be stronger and motivated. That does not mean kill your sexual passions, or repress them. That will lead you down a much, much worse path into hell (it is no unknown fact that celibate priests turn into pedophiles. To stop this, some monks become eunuchs, but that is extreme asceticism)
One thing that confused me at first was the concept of sex magick. After all, if masturbation could be used for manifestation, it can’t be bad right. I’ll say this: in a ritual setting, none of the above matter. I don’t know why, but in a ritual masturbation is an effective tool.
I can’t say exactly how to go about it, for it is different for each. But remember this, every time you spill this energy, it takes time to replenish. Know thyself. It is up to you what you want to do about it. Don’t go into the circle spent, unless the ritual demands it.
Trust me, eventually lust will become just another feeling you can choose to feel when you want. It shall no longer rule you.
UPDATE (2019): I’d like to add a bit to this, since I’ve learned some new things over the past few years. Sexuality is one of the hardest things that a magician has to deal with. First off, the context does matter. Masturbating to pornography will leech your energy like hell. That is something most people can agree on, stop masturbating to porn. Casual sex is fairly tricky too. I’d be careful with getting too promiscuous.
The release of sexual energy is a potent tool for magick, so never waste it. Ideally, when you release, the aim is to let the energy nourish your own energy body, or to direct it at magick, or at your partner (who will direct theirs at you). Masturbating to porn releases the energy into other sources, usually perverted fantasies, or at things other people want you to focus on (why do you think all the porn companies will put their logo on the corner of the screen. It acts like a sigil that you direct your energy at, which then helps them get richer).
Another thing is that it is different for men and women. I’m not going into how or why, but men loose a lot more from orgasm than women, and are capable of doing it a lot less to. So, it is more important for the male magician to control his lust. Men also more easily fall victim to it.
There’s a difference between lust and free sexual expression. Use your own intuition to know that. Usually, you’ll know innately what is right and wrong.
Yet another thing is that abstinence is not the same as repression. What we want to do is control and tame our own sexuality, not clamp down on it. This leads to a stagnation of sexual energy, and a break in connection with spiritual forces. It leads to that sexuality emerging as a negative force, and tormenting you since you refuse to face it.
Finally, know that total abstinence leads to an “ungrounding” of the magician. Usually, you need SOME rajasic energy to remain interested in the world, or you very quickly drift away and become monastic. That’s good if you want to be a monk, but not so good otherwise. Most people who abstain totally, either become monastic or make up for it with other practices, like eating meat. If you are vegetarian like me, you will have to engage in some degree of sexuality. Besides, most magicians usually do not want to become monks. Another thing I have noticed is that for artistic or creative people, total abstinence leads to a decline in creative insight and ability. There’s a reason most creative people are also sexually eccentric. There’s a connection somehow, since Netszach, the Sephiroth of pleasure, is also the Sephiroth of creativity.
You Don’t Have A Clear Intent
Magick will bring you exactly what you want. Though it sounds less poetic, the Universe does not give you what you need or deserve, but what you want. (Well, it shows you what you need, but ultimately you have to agree to it. It’s your life. Free Will, not even the Gods can take that from you.)
Your magickal practice should include understanding yourself and knowing exactly what you want.
Yes, it is not wise to be greedy or become infatuated with the result, but when you cast magick, you need to focus on your goal completely: spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically. If you want something, focus on that, and not on the money to get it. If you want sex, don’t cast for love. If you want manifestation of a spirit, don’t be afraid and expect to see it visibly. This will take practice and focus.
Whatever magick you do, be it ceremonial magick and sending out the intent, crafting it into a sigil, or asking a deity to help you in something, be very clear what you want. It shows you have a clarity of thought. And like I said, don’t just think about it and speak it, but feel it as well. Don’t fret about seemingly impossible things that you don’t think can happen. All things are possible with Magick. Leave the little details to the Universe, just know what you want. Lack of this clarity will undermine your magick. Same goes for hesitation or unwillingness. Don’t want something? Afraid of something? Don’t cast for it. Magick is like a bullet, once you pull the trigger, it will go exactly where you pointed it initially, and can’t be stopped. If you stand in front of it, you’ll only get hurt.
I should mention, that very often you may not know what you want. You may think you want something, but you really don’t. Sometimes you may want something because you think it is the right thing to have, but deep down you know it isn’t for you. The reason I’m adding this here is because I have, at one point, had the entire heavenly and infernal host deny me something I really wanted. “Want” is a bad place to be. I just use the word for convenience, but it’s really about the feeling that you already have what you need. The feeling of abundance is important, because it will put you in a place where you can get whatever you need. When you begin to “want”, you enter a state of poverty and the magick stops working. Sometimes, very rarely, in matters of great importance, the Universe will purposefully deny you from going down the wrong path. Usually there is learning to be done before what you want can actually be given.
Recall the story of Hercules or Promethues or Moses. Sometimes, getting what you think you want prematurely can do more harm than good. Heck, take the classic story of Midas.
Personally, I’ve had times where I cast for something, but was not clear about my intent, and got caught up on little ways, confusing the Universe and having my magick manifest in way I did not intend, or expect, or even want.
You can’t expect to be given loads of money if you yourself are greedy or stingy. You can’t expect everyone to love you, yet hate yourself or others. Don’t confuse the Universe and your own subconscious with having mismatched magick and actions.
It’s as Aleister Crowley wrote, you need to become a receptacle for the force you are trying to attract. In other words, you must act according to what you want. If you act against it, it is almost like actively seeking to nullify any magick you have done. And this applies to life in general, not just magick.
You have to match your actions to your Will, and your desires, and most importantly, to your Will. Not just actions, but even thoughts and emotions. In fact, as it says in the Bhagvat Gita, it’s better to be true to your thoughts and act accordingly, than do false actions which match your intent but contradict your thoughts and emotions, or you’re just a hypocrite. (Be true to your nature, and seek to change it to be your ideal self, than pretend and force that ideal on yourself)
So, for example, if I want to become knowledgeable about something, and do magick for it, I will need to lower my defenses, ditch my beliefs and opinions and allow myself to become a blank slate, in order for knowledge and wisdom to come, even if it makes me uncomfortable. A simpler example is if you want to have money coming in, you have to be generous and open with money, rather than being greedy, or constantly worrying about having more money. Maybe you want that perfect job, but spend large amounts of time on unrelated tasks, and don’t actually take the opportunities you’ve been give.
It’s that story of the man who asked God to save him from a flood, but refused to get on all the boats that were sent to help him.
Lack of Belief
You know what they say, you gotta have faith! Put simply, if you don’t believe in the magick that you do, it won’t work. That’s why non believers who try magick with the purpose of proving it doesn’t work usually end up doing so. Of course, there’s more to it than just that, such as practice: you can’t pick up a guitar for the first time in your life, and expect to play the solo for Master of Puppets, and then proclaim that heavy metal is bad music, just because you can’t play it, but lack of belief is still the basic issue. I mean, you also gotta believe that Master of Puppets is one of the greatest metal songs of all time, or how will you ever make yourself learn that tough fucking solo?
Magick is deeply rooted in your faith. That is why people of various religions who believe in a form of divinity, usually experience that divinity, and then feel that their religion must be the right one, since it worked wonders, not realising everyone else felt the same, including the skeptic who strongly wanted to disprove what they felt.
Proponents of purely atheistic occult (aka dabblers, i’m not referring to Luciferians and Gnostics) use this to say that magick is all in the mind, and has no external influence whatsoever, since mere lack of belief nullifies it. But you see, the magick isn’t really nullified, and it’s the disbelief, and desire for it to not work, rather than lack of belief that causes this.
As we’ve already established, when you do a magickal operation, your intent and emotions mean a lot. When you do an operation, you need to add to it the belief that it will succeed. After all, you want it to work, right? It’s like hitting the “send” button when you type a message to someone. But when you believe it will not work, or even strongly desire it to not work, that will be the magick you cast. In other words, your magick will manifest, in the form of not manifesting, since you basically cast magick for you to not get results.
Funny isn’t it. Your magick needs to work only once, and then you will know for sure that it works, but you always have to make that leap of faith, and just have complete trust that it works, especially in the face of new experiences. In fact, one reason why magick works so well the first time for many people, is because they go into it having no clue what to expect. Sometimes, they just do it out of curiosity, and are shocked by the result.
In a way, not believing in magick is better than believing there is not magick. With lack of faith, you are still open. But once you have faith in the invalidity of faith, then you’ve sealed your self. Belief is more powerful than skepticism. And a bit of skepticism is always good to have anyway.
All those quotes about faith, in all religious doctrines, were there for a reason. You must believe in “God” to know “him”. You get what you want, including not getting what you want if that’s what you really want. People who believe they will never be happy will never be happy. Belief is at the root.
“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”
– John Lenon
This goes without saying, but even if your magick isn’t working quite how you want it, it will grow over time. Practice makes man perfect (I know, I’m an artist. I can compare two art works just a few years apart and see the enormous difference in them). The more you do, the more you’ll learn, and the better you will become. just just stick to it, and focus on doing your true Will, and eventually you will be well on your way.
So there you have it. There’s many more things I could say on this topic, but these basic points are things I feel it is always important to keep in mind. Besides, the masturbation thing was the important thing i wanted to discuss, because I feel no one covers it and it’s fairly important. But don’t worry too much, it’s okay to make mistakes. If you don’t make mistakes, you’ll never learn anything new!
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So then, until next time..