There are a lot of answers to what stops our magic. For this discussion let’s look at the magic we find in any practice that makes changes in our worlds and in ourselves. I include shamanism, witchcraft, conjure, martial arts, energy healing, and all the rest of the practices of soul reality in my definition of magic. Making changes on ourselves or on other parts of reality can be very difficult at any time. When our abilities are limited, it’s even harder.
Writers on this topic usually divide the ways we limit ourselves into two categories: fear and separation. Let’s take a look at each.
Several authors, including Mary Shutan, have written about the fear we feel. Mary discusses the question from a shamanic perspective. She looks at two kinds of fear: fear of death and fear of life.
Both kinds of fear make us reluctant to journey to scary places in soul reality and meet powerful beings. We often see only reflections of ourselves. It’s safe, but we aren’t really learning anything new. You can read Mary’s description of getting past fear on her blog.
Fear is an obvious part of what keeps us from acting powerfully, but I think our lack of connection might be more important. I wrote earlier that we forget about soul reality when we are born. As you may recall, I think we do this on purpose to learn about separation. Unfortunately we have lost the rituals we need to relearn the connections here in the physical world.
That means we don’t have the connections we need for magic. This is similar to the ideas Mary discusses in her fear of life, but I think it makes the reasons why it limits our magic clearer.
The discussion comes from Orion Foxwood’s book, The Candle and the Crossroads, which looks at Orion’s practice of conjure. That’s one of the kinds of magic Orion does.
Orion talks about the energy to make magic as a blue flame. In his practice he has found four dampers on the blue flame: the illusion of isolation, the desire to possess, the resentment of change, and the desire for absolutes.
According to Orion, the illusion of isolation is the primary damper. We experience it as abandonment pain. I think this isolation is more than an illusion. We really are disconnected from everything else because that’s the basic human condition. When we are isolated, we battle life instead of accepting it. It feels like there is no one else who can help us. It makes us desperate for things we can hold onto.
It doesn’t have to be that way. We can find practices that restore our connectedness, so the feeling of isolation goes away. That’s part of the human condition, too. When we are part of life again, we can shape it with our magic.
The second damper is the desire to possess and control things. We want things to be predictable. Life involves change, but when we don’t know that we have the power to make positive changes, the best we can hope for is that things don’t get worse. So we hold tightly onto what we have, whether it’s situations or roles or people. Making magic is making changes. When all we want to do is keep things the same, no magic is possible.
The third damper is a resentment of change. In this case we get angry when something changes. If we can’t stop the change, the anger can turn into despair or fury. Making magic requires us to be in the flow of the world around us. Fury and despair leave us fighting with the flow of the world, and the world fights back. Working magic that makes you or the world better doesn’t happen in the middle of a fight.
The fourth damper is the desire for absolutes. In this state people want rules and they want things to be predictable. This can also be seen as a desire to always be right. The problem is that we are not all-knowing. If we limit ourselves to what we believe now, we will never discover anything new. And I promise you that there are things out there to discover. Learning to do magic of whatever kind you prefer is one of them.
So my answer for what stops our magic is that we don’t want to see that it is possible. We might be afraid of what we will find. We might be so isolated that we can’t connect to the worlds well enough to change them. Or we might want everything to stay the same as it always has been for us.
And the solution for regaining our magic is to remember once again that we are connected. We need to remember who we are in the web of soul reality and see how our connectedness lets us make changes in the worlds and beings around us.
We can’t get stuck, whether it’s from fear or isolation or from a desire for absolutes. The world changes and we need to deal with it without anger or cursing. As Orion’s mother said to him, “Whatever happens in your life, bless it and receive it, or bless it and send it on its way.”