Sunday, August 9, 2009

What I Learned Early On

How I learned magical working as a young teen ager was to locate energy sources--preferably Earthy ones. My first teacher may have intended to create a strong sense of the Earth and extraordinary Earth energies in us, her students. And she may have intended for us to realize that a strong sense of connection to the Earth and participation in Earthy processes would be enduringly beneficial for us. In any case, she did emphasize through shared practices that useful sources of magical energy--ones that we should draw on--existed within and across the Earth.

Yes, other sources of magical energy do exist, and she made us aware of them. But we weren't encouraged to draw on them. Not on solar sources, sources among the stars. Not on sources related to entities or offered by them. We did not learn to seek energy from angels, demons, occult entities like fairies or ghosts, demi-deities, or greater deities. We were not instructed in supplication, prayer, haggling, or ritual manipulation of entities in order to gain access to magical energies managed or provided by entities.

We did, however, get thorough teachings on how and why to keep ourselves safe and secure from entities when engaged in magical activity. (As a young and too often clueless practitioner, I got into trouble with entities of the unscrupulous and parasitic kind only when I paid no attention to these crucial lessons.)

She discouraged us from drawing upon bodily sources of energy, although she explained that it was possible and that earlier generations of practitioners probably did it more often than us. Practitioners had learned to shift their attention toward non-bodily sources, which, among other considerations, did not deplete individuals so much.

Primarily, we learned an approach to magic that centered on finding blockages, obstacles, or etheric ailments--and reducing or removing them. Techniques involved relaxation, connection, intention, and energy management. Group or private ritual magic was, at best, secondary to workings that relied on practices guided by our intention. The typical aim involved healing or the expansion of co-participatory--not selfish--awareness. Blockages and associated energy were offered to more expansive sources for recycling, underscoring the interrelated character of Earth-rooted magic.

The endeavor was personal, or limited to folks in my immediate circle. Small scale, immediate, and direct working.

Habits of practice learned early one often stick with us, so my own practice has always been small scale, immediate, direct, and simple as to means and techniques. Change goals have strong links to me, those close to me, to my environment.

What has changed more than my way of going about magical activities is my own realization of just how widely and intricately I--as every other living being--am related and interconnected. Little workings can reverberate in contribution to wider changes on a global scale. My own well-being and the well-being of those close to me, the well-being of the small commonwealth in which I live do create a vector of change across entire regions and the whole Earth.