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Question: Are there people who are unable to do magic -- not from lack of training or knowledge -- but from natural inability?
Yes, somre people are unable to do magic
No, everyone can do magic
Other [Please Explain]

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Author Topic: Do Muggles Really Exist?  (Read 12095 times)
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« Reply #30: May 01, 2009, 04:18:46 pm »

I don't put mediums/psychic's  in the same category as magic (just my opinion). To be honest, I'm not sure how much I believe in psychic powers, but I do believe that some people have almost another sense regarding the world around them.  I think there are people who honestly have this ability and some who are full of it.  But again, I separate that from the term magic.  Just my personal views of it. 

That being said, I went to an energy workshop and book signing for Michelle Ballenger this weekend and found her fascinating.  I'd never heard of her before and ended up going with some friends who follower her.  I picked up two of her books and look forward to finding the time to read them. 

Michelle Ballenger's energy work exercises are excellent.  I read the "Psychic Vampire" for just those.  the vampire section was a bit much for me to slog through, but it seems to work for her.
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« Reply #31: May 01, 2009, 05:17:57 pm »

I also believe (though I have no resources to back this up), that it is actually more common to be born with an ability, and actually lose it, than it is to be born without one.

Why do you believe this is so?
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« Reply #32: May 01, 2009, 05:21:17 pm »

A nitpick:  I wouldn't actually put ghost hunters in the same category as what we're talking about here, for the simple reason that they don't appear to be claiming to use any psychic powers or magic or anything in the first place. 

There are a number of psychic "ghost hunters" who seem more interested in making money chasing out/communicating with supposed spirits than they do in finding out whether there is anything there to begin with.
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« Reply #33: May 03, 2009, 12:55:35 am »

I believe that humans, in general, are born with some ability to access this "magic" in some manner. Each different, of course. But I also believe that, just like with the five senses (sight, smell, taste, touch, sound), you can be born without it, or lose it later if it is unused.

Very sensible. I find that I can't really disagree with this, though I sort of want to.

I did my first real spell tonight. I went in fully intending for it to work. I still really hope it works. But when I did it, I felt exactly what I've always felt in the ten years I've been attempting to learn to manipulate energy--nada. Sometimes, I get a passive intimation of energy. I think. Maybe. But no matter what meditations, visualizations, or energy exercises I attempt, with every hope of success, I still feel the same big nothing. Maybe I am a muggle. Maybe I'm okay with that.

This leads me to ask a closely related, very important question. Modern Paganism is so hopelessly entangled with the practice of magic, I've never been able to find anything about being an effective and fulfilled Pagan without it. Is it even possible? Does anyone else find joy in the Pagan worldview without feeling any particular calling to magic? If so, how do you structure your practice?
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« Reply #34: May 03, 2009, 08:23:59 am »

Very sensible. I find that I can't really disagree with this, though I sort of want to.

I did my first real spell tonight. I went in fully intending for it to work. I still really hope it works. But when I did it, I felt exactly what I've always felt in the ten years I've been attempting to learn to manipulate energy--nada. Sometimes, I get a passive intimation of energy. I think. Maybe. But no matter what meditations, visualizations, or energy exercises I attempt, with every hope of success, I still feel the same big nothing. Maybe I am a muggle. Maybe I'm okay with that.

This leads me to ask a closely related, very important question. Modern Paganism is so hopelessly entangled with the practice of magic, I've never been able to find anything about being an effective and fulfilled Pagan without it. Is it even possible? Does anyone else find joy in the Pagan worldview without feeling any particular calling to magic? If so, how do you structure your practice?
I think I see magic differently than some (maybe not). I see it as the energy of my spirit, I deeply want my friend with cancer to heal I focus my energy on her healing.  I deeply want my friend who's mother died to find peace on her journey through grief I focus my energy there.  But I also know that I'm not powerful enough to manipulate death or take away grief.  I can only bring comfort with my energy and surround the person with my energy.  To me, this means that the person is gaining more energy to use in their own personal fight or journey.  I hope that makes sense, it sounds odd as I type it.

So for me, magic is more mental than casting a spell.  I have tried a few actual spells, but I'm still feeling like I'm fumbling with it - maybe spell casing isn't for me and healing energy is more my thing?  My son however, really loves magic and he feels a deep connection when we do spells, but he feels no connection at all to deity.  I don't think you have to cast spells to be a Pagan.  Many Pagan religions don't use spell casting and being a Pagan means that you are in control of what you feel and do and the path you chose to walk.

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« Reply #35: May 04, 2009, 06:41:31 pm »

This leads me to ask a closely related, very important question. Modern Paganism is so hopelessly entangled with the practice of magic, I've never been able to find anything about being an effective and fulfilled Pagan without it. Is it even possible? Does anyone else find joy in the Pagan worldview without feeling any particular calling to magic? If so, how do you structure your practice?
Short answer:  Paganism isn't a religion, it's an umbrella term for a whole bunch of religions, which often have nothing more in common than the "pagan" label; there is no "the" pagan worldview.

I could just leave it at that, but I have a gut feeling (no idea why) that this is a time when a longer answer will be useful:

Your problem here isn't that modern paganism as a whole is entangled with magical practice, it's that so much of the most readily-available information on paganism uses the term to refer to a specific, but otherwise-nameless, "religion of Paganism" - but treats it as if that religion wasn't specific, but is the belief-matrix of which all the "named" Pagan religions are variants.  That's not quite as asshatted as it looks; there were real (though not always sound) reasons why the shape of the neoPagan movement developed that way.

NeoPaganism as a movement formed within and around those neoPagan religions that were most cohesive/developed/populous at the time ("the time" here being the '60s and early '70s), so it's natural enough that the religious identity of those who weren't part of one of those specific religions was simply "Pagan" or "neoPagan".  There was a certain amount of commonality to those specific religions that made this collective identity work - unfortunately, a good deal of that commonality hinged on poorly-supported ideas about ancient paganisms, most notably (for this discussion) that they all came from a common root.  Most of the early "established" neoPagan religions considered their core materials to be a survival of that common root, and saw themselves as perpetuating/reconstructing their particular lineage of survival; they tended to emphasize their similarities, not just in passive comparison but in adopting from each other material that they perceived as having been lost by their own line but preserved by another.  The emphasis on magic comes in because most of these were some form of religious Witchcraft, most predominantly (traditional) Wicca.

That gave shape to a Wiccish generic "Pagan Religion" that was the belief-matrix for the mainstream of the modern neoPagan movement in its earlier forms.  As the movement developed, though, the underlying assumptions of commonality came increasingly into question - the academic foundations of the assumptions came into disrepute, and, more gradually, Pagandom became aware of that disrepute; individual pagans, many but not all involved in variants based on specific cultures, took an increasingly scholarly approach to examining the relevant cultural history.  And more and more, that generic "Pagan Religion" ceased to be a community default position, and became identifiable as just one of many pagan religions - though many people still speak of it as if it was viable as a default; folks who've been involved in the movement for a really long time may have trouble fully internalizing and comprehending the implications of these shifts (Isaac Bonewits, I'm looking at you), and the esoteric publishing industry's approaches are deeply intermeshed with the concept of a unified "paganism".

(I've left out lots of detail, including all the fractiousness - just figure that anything in the above account that looks like people might disagree heatedly about it, they probably did.  Also, it refers specifically to how the neoPagan movement developed in North America - other places, especially the UK, have somewhat different stuff involved.)

It sounds, Jenny, like that nameless, Wicca-influenced, generic/eclectic "Pagan religion" is what you're drawn to.  That's completely okay; it couldn't have grown the way it did if it didn't speak effectively to the mythic truths, the sense of the spiritual, in many souls.  And it can - many people do - practice it as a system of celebration/worship without including magic.  But I suspect you'd gain a lot by exploring paganism from the perspective of pagan-religion-as-you-currently-know-it being just one of many pagan religions - it might be that something else turns out to be a better fit for you, or it might just give you a better handle on how the different bits of the religion you know relate to each other and how those relations influence your personal practice.

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« Reply #36: May 04, 2009, 09:55:08 pm »

It sounds, Jenny, like that nameless, Wicca-influenced, generic/eclectic "Pagan religion" is what you're drawn to.  That's completely okay; it couldn't have grown the way it did if it didn't speak effectively to the mythic truths, the sense of the spiritual, in many souls.  And it can - many people do - practice it as a system of celebration/worship without including magic.  But I suspect you'd gain a lot by exploring paganism from the perspective of pagan-religion-as-you-currently-know-it being just one of many pagan religions - it might be that something else turns out to be a better fit for you, or it might just give you a better handle on how the different bits of the religion you know relate to each other and how those relations influence your personal practice.

The good news is, I did actually get what you said there--thanks for taking time for the long answer. ^_^ It made me realize that the academics have picked up on the reality of denominational Paganism, even if the mainstream hasn't; much of the academic work on Paganism in the last ten years refers to it consistently in the plural, as "Paganisms." It was helpful to me to see this explicated.

Although you're right that much of "generic" Paganism resonates with me, I seem to have come to a point in my journey where I require more focus in my spiritual practice. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, much of the visible information on Pagan practices is of the vanilla Wiccan magic-saturated variety, which doesn't seem to be working for me. Could anyone suggest useful avenues of further exploration for the magically disinclined duotheistic animist, or point me to a thread that contains possible information? (I realize that I am leading this thread somewhat astray, and don't wish to continue the indiscretion. ^_^;)
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« Reply #37: May 06, 2009, 06:49:12 pm »

I'm not a natural mage.  I am capable of limited things, either because I'm just starting out or because I'm just not that good.  I can feel energy -- I can concentrate on moving my own energy around, things like that.  I can visualize things to a degree.  When I meditate, I often see the same images (wolves in the snow for whatever reason), and the whole thing seems hazy like in a fog. 

I'd say muggledom exists in the same way blindness exists -- either by accident or by birth someone is born with no ability to "see" the otherworld.  But at the same time, it's a skill.  If you never go to the otherworld, then you'll never learn how.   
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« Reply #38: May 17, 2009, 07:15:55 am »

Most of the modern books on magic I've read claim that magic is something anyone can do -- some claim even without any training, knowledge, or practice. But is this true? I can't carry a tune in a bucket. Other people can't see certain colors. Why couldn't there be people who simply cannot do magic? Do you think such people exist? Why or why not?
I voted that it is not something anybody can do.
Sure I believe in souls, and some sort of reincarnation, and that each soul is capable of magics, but if the soul is weak, and/or has a body that is weak, then it just isn't capable of doing magics.  It lacks the resources.

I spent some years sick, and that's when I first got interested in witchcraft.  But if I tried even a simple visualization then I would be tiered(er) and really moody for two days after.  I didn't have the energy to spare, it was all trying to hold my body together.

This might not be quite what you are talking about. 
I am sure some peoples arguments will center around If I was healthy I could have therefore I am capable, but you can't control all the IFs.  Stuff does go wrong.
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« Reply #39: May 17, 2009, 08:07:18 am »

I voted that it is not something anybody can do.
Sure I believe in souls, and some sort of reincarnation, and that each soul is capable of magics, but if the soul is weak, and/or has a body that is weak, then it just isn't capable of doing magics.  It lacks the resources.

What does it mean to have a weak soul? What would make a soul weak?
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« Reply #40: May 17, 2009, 10:29:59 am »

What does it mean to have a weak soul? What would make a soul weak?
keep in mind that I am still new to this, so my opinions on a lot of stuff will probably change in a couple of months.

But things like abuse I think would weaken you in some ways, as will a lack of love and nurture and physical illnesses and injuries.

A common thing would be like how if you leave a truly great lover, you feel as if a chunk of you has been ripped away and you are nothing but horrible exposed edges.
That kind of thing we are good at healing ourselves with time, but some people don't quite and they blame every person they date from then on for their first partners mistakes, constantly thinking each one is about to cheat on you.
Or the person who grew up in a violent home either constantly meeting everything with anger or apologizing for not being good enough.
Chronic illness sufferers like those with ME or fibromyalgia sufferers often end up feeling like the driving force behind them is as weak as their body is.

I guess it is also my christian upbringing. 
I was taught that if somebody went through a trauma then it damaged the soul and it could be healed through prayer and the holy trinity.

And if past lives are true, then damage incurred in the past life will stick with you to the new, unless you can take care of it in between.

Some people just don't seem as strong as others.  That little spark that makes them who they are is dull.

That doesn't really answer the question of what could make a soul inherently weak, or even IF it happens.
And I am wondering if that means that I haven't really answered your question as you asked it.
But I have met people who I honestly believe will never be able to direct a the tiniest bit of magic through conscious effort.
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« Reply #41: May 24, 2009, 01:45:40 pm »

I put 'no, everyone can do magic', as I don't think that it's something only a few people are born being able to do, I think it's something you learn. Just some people are naturally better at it than others.

Good point. I think a lot of pagans see magic as more natural than supernatural. From this perspective, it is not a blessing given to a select few; it is a capacity that all people have in varying degrees.
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« Reply #42: May 25, 2009, 06:19:59 am »

Good point. I think a lot of pagans see magic as more natural than supernatural. From this perspective, it is not a blessing given to a select few; it is a capacity that all people have in varying degrees.

Yes!  Cheesy That´s exactly my opinion.
What do you do with that capacity and how you use it, is your own decision and your own responsibility (and in my opinion, nobody is allowed to adjudicate upon it)

Also, "Magic" is only a word.
It has all colours you can imagine.
And everybody thinks diffrent about it: what magic especially is and how magic works and how to practise magic and so on.... 
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« Reply #43: May 25, 2009, 10:21:20 am »

Also, "Magic" is only a word.
It has all colours you can imagine.
And everybody thinks diffrent about it: what magic especially is and how magic works and how to practise magic and so on.... 

I absolutely agree with you. I think that's part of the beauty of it. "Magic" cannot be summed up in a single idea, practice, or tradition. Instead, it encompasses vast diversities. Some see it as formal and ritualistic; others, as informal and meditative. The key is that you must do it to find what resonates most with you at each stage of your life.
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