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Author Topic: Magic Within/Magic Without  (Read 10796 times)
Waldfrau
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« Reply #15: February 17, 2009, 10:43:04 am »

Did you mean "external"? If not, what makes you think the earth and sky are eternal?
Sorry, was a typo, I meant 'external'.
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« Reply #16: February 17, 2009, 10:52:05 am »

Sorry, was a typo, I meant 'external'.

Oh, ok.  Smiley
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Juniper
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« Reply #17: February 18, 2009, 07:10:15 pm »

The tea analogy:  You put the tea into the boiling water and it gives up some of its essence to the water, right?  But at the same time the water goes into the leaves, replacing what they've given to the water.  In fact, the leaves will proportionately gain more in the exchange, as the water will rehydrate them, while the water only gains a comparatively small amount in exchange. 

I love the teabag analogy Smiley

When we draw magic through us, we give up some of our personal energy to the flow, while it recharges us.  If we've had sufficient training in energy work, that is.  I well recall the early days of magical practice, before I learned to let energy flow this way.  I'd use my personal energy and try not to use anything from my surroundings, even when it was clearly offered.  I'd end up wiped out after.  Once I learned to let the energy flow through myself I found that after I felt recharged, with more energy than I'd had when I began the working.  

Yep, and yep! I progressed much the same way. Nowadays I always feel recharged after any magical activity, which is a great feeling in comparion to being absolutely drained.
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« Reply #18: February 18, 2009, 11:48:15 pm »

I love the teabag analogy Smiley

Yep, and yep! I progressed much the same way. Nowadays I always feel recharged after any magical activity, which is a great feeling in comparion to being absolutely drained.

Thanks.  It is one I use with my students and it really seems to help explain the phenomenon. 

It is a good feeling to be able to do the work without feeling like a steam roller ran you over, isn't it?
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« Reply #19: February 19, 2009, 04:52:58 pm »

It is a good feeling to be able to do the work without feeling like a steam roller ran you over, isn't it?

 Cheesy Definitely.

I knew a woman a few years ago who was a High Priestess of a (Neo-)Wiccan coven, and I remember talking to her about practicing magic. She said that if you didn't feel drained afterwards, then you weren't doing it right.

I was pretty young at the time and greatly looked up to her, and so it wasn't until I seriously started working with energy that I realized just how wrong she was.
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'How she longed for winter then!-
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« Reply #20: February 20, 2009, 12:51:32 am »


Well, I believe that my power comes from God but that He gives me gifts through His Spirit to do what I need to do. I do believe that I have to engage in that power on my part to attune myself with it... It's like giving myself a bit of a push to get up off my behind and do what I need to do.

I also believe that God has given power to all things that He created and thus using crystals, holy writ, plants, animals, etc. only enhances the power within me that God has given me. To me, these aren't even necessary but aid greatly in the workings that I do.
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« Reply #21: February 25, 2009, 07:19:41 pm »

If you feel as though it is from both, like I do, where do you predominatly draw your magical energy from? Internally, or externally?

I feel that my magick is both internal and external - though not from something physically external.  Crystals, herbs, etc. are good ways to assist us in reaching states of mind that allow us to tap into both internal and external sources.

In all honesty, I don't feel one is any more important than the other.  Where I pull the most from depends mostly on what I'm trying to accomplish, but if I pull from an external source I feel I need to honor the natural (or supernatural) sources I'm using by being willing to contribute at least as much if not more than what I pull.

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psykobolik
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« Reply #22: March 23, 2009, 12:00:00 pm »

Like pouring water over tea leaves.  An infusion of you in the magic. 

That's rather how I see it. 

I'm a magical teabag.   Tongue  That's a funny thought.

I always thought of it as riding a horse or driving a car. The horse/car is bigger and more powerful than I could ever hope to be, but I'm the one in charge. I prefer the horse metaphor more because sometimes the magical energies I raise seem to get their own ideas regardless of my input, and sometimes respond to events that I hadn't thought of in a manner that allows the spell to fullfil its function.
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Nyktipolos
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« Reply #23: March 23, 2009, 03:29:48 pm »

Cheesy Definitely.

I knew a woman a few years ago who was a High Priestess of a (Neo-)Wiccan coven, and I remember talking to her about practicing magic. She said that if you didn't feel drained afterwards, then you weren't doing it right.

I was pretty young at the time and greatly looked up to her, and so it wasn't until I seriously started working with energy that I realized just how wrong she was.

I wonder then if it just depends on the type of ritual. Although I will agree with you here that if you are drained after every ritual, something is going wrong. If I'm doing a Ritual of Adoration for Dionysos, I would expect to feel refreshed, not drained. However if I was going for something a lot more intensive (oracular/trance work, exstasis work) work I would expect to feel really worn out (not necessarily drained, but like if I was a wine glass normally filled with a small amount, and then filled to the top, then poured back down to a reasonable amount again) and really, really tired.
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« Reply #24: March 23, 2009, 06:25:19 pm »

I knew a woman a few years ago who was a High Priestess of a (Neo-)Wiccan coven, and I remember talking to her about practicing magic. She said that if you didn't feel drained afterwards, then you weren't doing it right.

The way I look at it is that we use the energy from other sources as part of our work - but this energy, while vast, shouldn't be treated like it's infinite and always present in large quantities. (Doing so goes against basic science in a lot of ways, after all.)

But I also think that we need to use our internal energy to shape and form and 'program' for lack of a better, the energy work that we do. (This is, in my theory of magic, part of what makes it witchcraft, rather than ceremonial magic, or a number of other options: we're directly investing part of our own selves in the work by running the energy through us.) And that *definitely* has personal consequences.

This doesn't mean we should feel drained and hungover and totally exhausted at the end of ritual - you and Rin are both right that that's a sign that something's off somewhere. But I usually aim for feeling like I've done something glorious but demanding (like a long brisk walk, or dancing for a while, or singing fabulous music for an evening, or something like that.) I'm tired, and I've used some of my own energy to do it, but I'm also emotionally recharged by the result. And my sleep that night should be the sleep of one who's worked hard, not one who has fallen over and can't get up.

There are exceptions - initiations, certain other intense rituals (Samhain, for us), things like that will take more out of me. But at least some of that is sheer stage managing and attention to detail and making sure that everything comes out where it's supposed to when you're working with a specific set of things to do in a specific order and multiple people, as much as it is anything inherently magical.
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Juniper
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« Reply #25: March 23, 2009, 09:07:22 pm »

I wonder then if it just depends on the type of ritual. Although I will agree with you here that if you are drained after every ritual, something is going wrong. If I'm doing a Ritual of Adoration for Dionysos, I would expect to feel refreshed, not drained. However if I was going for something a lot more intensive (oracular/trance work, exstasis work) work I would expect to feel really worn out (not necessarily drained, but like if I was a wine glass normally filled with a small amount, and then filled to the top, then poured back down to a reasonable amount again) and really, really tired.

Yep, there is a difference between feeling tired/worn out and feeling drained. Sometimes I feel worn out after a spell- especially if it involves a lot of sweeping, like some of my banishing spells do! But I don't feel drained.
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Juniper
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« Reply #26: March 23, 2009, 09:12:58 pm »

This doesn't mean we should feel drained and hungover and totally exhausted at the end of ritual - you and Rin are both right that that's a sign that something's off somewhere. But I usually aim for feeling like I've done something glorious but demanding (like a long brisk walk, or dancing for a while, or singing fabulous music for an evening, or something like that.) I'm tired, and I've used some of my own energy to do it, but I'm also emotionally recharged by the result. And my sleep that night should be the sleep of one who's worked hard, not one who has fallen over and can't get up.

Perhaps it has a lot to do with the type of magic you are practicing. I very rarely do rituals, and I never do rituals for magic. My magic is not formal at all, and I'm very much a kitchenwitch. Even though I have little knowledge about more formal styles of magic, I've always been under the impression that they are a lot more enery zapping than the type of magic that I do. And because my magic works, to all intents and purposes, then I'm happy with my way.

I think that this points to me being lazy  Cheesy
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Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
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And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake'
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« Reply #27: March 23, 2009, 09:35:20 pm »

Perhaps it has a lot to do with the type of magic you are practicing.

Yep. It's much more an issue for me in group work than it is in personal work, too.

Part of it, for group work, is that you're not only managing your own energy, but if you have a role in the ritual, you're also helping to pull together everyone else's energy toward the goal. (Which is .. erm, every group ritual I've been at in the last four years, minus two at a festival, I've had some sort of role related to that) The energy of the ritual is fantastic, but you're still spending attention and your own energy in that direction - much like an orchestra or choral conductor is spending energy on keeping everything together.

I expend a lot less of it in the current (very small) coven, because my covenmate is extremely capable and we work smoothly together, and know what to expect - but even there, it's somewhat more than me doing stuff on my own, because I still have to spend attention communicating stuff to someone else clearly.
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #28: March 24, 2009, 02:46:00 am »

But I also think that we need to use our internal energy to shape and form and 'program' for lack of a better, the energy work that we do. (This is, in my theory of magic, part of what makes it witchcraft, rather than ceremonial magic, or a number of other options: we're directly investing part of our own selves in the work by running the energy through us.) And that *definitely* has personal consequences.
Nice way to put this. I've wondered lately about which energies come from deity and which come from me. Could you elaborate more on it? So in ceremonial magic the magician is more a channel recieving the energy of deity? And in witchcraft you're more of a co-creator? You recieve energy from deity, but shape it your way with help of your own energy?

I think I can open myself up to recieve energies of deities, but I haven't learned yet how to controll and shape it, so I'm a bit reluctant to do it at all.
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« Reply #29: March 24, 2009, 10:04:23 am »

Nice way to put this. I've wondered lately about which energies come from deity and which come from me. Could you elaborate more on it? So in ceremonial magic the magician is more a channel recieving the energy of deity? And in witchcraft you're more of a co-creator? You recieve energy from deity, but shape it your way with help of your own energy?

Here's my take (based on talking to one of my teachers who also had a strong ceremonial background, plus my own reading, plus various other conversation - but bear in mind, ceremonial magic is *not* my primary background.

1) Ceremonial magic doesn't always involve deities. Other entities, yes (guardians, angels, created entities, etc. yes. Deities, not alway so much. Depends on the CM path.)

2) A lot of CM work is designed to handle the energies involved at arm's length - the magician is working with the energies, but it's sort of equivalent to someone in a high-tech lab using tools and gloves and masks and so on to avoid any kind of unwanted external influence. This is why you see a lot of techniques for holding something within a particular magical space (smaller than a ritual circle - symbols of manifestation, for example). It's very effective, done correctly, but it has some very specific techniques to follow, and because of those layers of tools, the individual is not directly touching what's going on.

3) In contrast, witchcraft (and folk magic techniques in general) tend to be a lot more about getting your hands dirty - and specifically, about running the energy *through* your body to make the changes happen. It's very intimate and personal because you're directly involving your own body and holding the consequences in your own body, before releasing them to do the work you intend.

4) Neither of these is 'better' than the other - both are perfectly functional in their own way. It's sort of like cooking dinner in a professional kitchen rather than in a tiny studio apartment kitchen (either way, you get food), but some dishes will probably be easier to do in one than the other.  But they are different, and they use different tools/mechanisms to do it.

Another example might be treating an illness. If you go and see a doctor, you will get medicine to take, and it likely will work, but it's going to be a bit at arm's reach - you'll probably get a pill to take that you couldn't make yourself. If you go see an herbalist, you will have to do a bit more work to prepare what you take, probably (like making a tea, or whatever). One suits some people more than others - some people really like the reproducibility of the doctor (same results every time, which is how CM practice is designed), some people really like the idea of having more personal input into the process (which is witchcraft - but if you don't know what you're doing, you can also limit how effective it is.)

5) Traditional Wicca includes varying amounts of CM practice - it varies a lot by tradition, and by groups within the tradition, sometimes. Alexandrian practice is often considered to have more CM influence than some other trads - but the conversations I've had with people suggest it varies a lot. In my own trad, various prior people brought in bits and pieces of CM practice that I've made a decision about *not* using in our own coven work (and replacing with other ways to do those specific tasks) because I've felt they don't really fit with the other ways we do things. But a lot of that is my own personal preferences about what tools I'd rather use: the same basic work gets done.
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