Living Life Magically

January 1st, 2011

Staying Resolved:  Keeping the Magic of Resolutions Fresh and Effective

One year winds down as we look backward and reflect on all we’ve been through and all we’ve learned.  It has been a year of successes and joys and it has been a year of sorrows and failures.  Such is a life, richly and fully lived.  And then we turn towards the New Year and make plans and resolutions.  It’s all about change at this turning point of the calendar.  What can we do better and how can we be better?  All seems possible at the birth of the New Year!  At the same time, we are saddened that through the years, our lives have become littered with resolutions unresolved and plans partially completed.

As magical people, we know that change and the ability to make change is part of our essential being.  The most often quoted definition from Aleister Crowley, “Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will,” tells us that change is fundamental to being a magical, mystical person.  With all that power within the scope of our will, how can we make sure that our resolutions are effective and potent throughout the year so we attain our often lofty goals?  We can make our resolutions successful and magical by looking at the process as a magical one.

The key elements of effective magic coupled with good planning and common sense can bring us a year of accomplishment and change; actually good magic is good planning and commons sense.  The key elements of successful magic are:  desire and need; emotional involvement; knowledge and realistic expectations; belief; ability to keep your counsel; willingness to do what is necessary in the physical world; and gratitude.  When you make a resolution, it needs to be something that comes from your heart, and your gut.  If you are not actively engaged in this on an emotional and gut level, you will not be able to sustain the energy to change.

In magic and in resolutions, you will need to “get real.”  One time a student asked me if she should take beginning swimming or lifesaving because she really wanted to be a lifeguard.  When I asked her how well she swam, she told me she was very afraid of the water.  In our conversation, the desire to be a lifeguard was really a glamorized view of lifeguards; and what she really wanted was to date a lifeguard, and a particular one at that!  She was not willing to put in the work to overcome her fear of water, to learn to be a strong and competent swimmer, let along develop the strength and sense of purpose needed to be a lifeguard.  She wasn’t willing to honestly express her desires and at the first challenge, she faltered.

So it is with magic and resolutions.  You need the strength of will and desire to withstand the challenges, to regroup and come back again with alternative options.  You need to be realistic and passionate about your goal.

And in being realistic, you need to let go of the outcomes.  This might seem like a contradictory statement to being passionate about the goal, but you need to adopt a stance that allows Spirit the opportunity to work.  Sometimes Spirit sees a bigger, more dazzling picture for us than we really dare imagine.  If we stay mindlessly attached to particulars, we don’t allow all the possibilities of greater magic to happen.  Stay true to your vision, but let go of the particular definitions of success.

Knowledge about your goal is important.   The ability to learn as much as you can about your goal is learning about yourself.  Together the knowledge, facts, and information you gather couples with your emotion and desire to create a dynamic and effective energy.  You can direct that energy towards your goal.  It helps you believe in the reality of your goal.  In order to sustain belief in your goal you can visualize yourself as that changed person and hold that vision firm and true.  If you can visualize it, you can make it happen.

To keep your counsel is to keep silent.  I tend to think that means no bragging.  If you need help with something, ask the right person.  Don’t second guess, don’t brag, and don’t constantly worry it in some kind of esoteric “are we there yet” litany. For the most part, just keep it a private matter until the work is done.  It is between you and the gods and it becomes a magical contract honored on both sides.  Once a spell or ritual is completed and the magic is set into motion, you need to be willing to show the gods you really meant it.  Some call this “behaving as if” the magic is already complete.  It means that you are willing to back up your magical work in the physical world.  The magical work you did on the astral plane will resonate strongly when echoed and mirrored on the physical one.  Magic is a work of co-creation, what happens below, happens above; and what happens above, happens below.

Finally, be grateful along the way not just at the end.  Thank Spirit and your companions on the journey.  Find a way to practice gratitude daily.  Thanking Spirit, your gods, your spirit guides for the moon, the stars, and the skies.  Being grateful for everything even the small everyday things like your car starting in the morning is an excellent practice in actively acknowledging that our lives and everything in it is sacred, magical, and special.  Gratitude makes you smile and activates joy!

A Year Long Spell for Invigorated and Successful Resolutions

At the New Year, make two lists:  the first is all the unsuccessful resolutions of the past and anything else you’d like to let go of; and the second is a list of your resolutions for the coming year.  Burn the first with words of gratitude and blessing and then bury the ashes in a pot of soil or in the earth.  You will need the second list all year long.

Each Month at the New Moon

You will need your resolution list, pen and paper, an envelope with your name and address on it.

Make an appointment with yourself to refresh your resolutions.  Choose a place of comfort and relaxation, surrounded by objects that remind you of your sacredness.  Read your resolution list and make a note of accomplishments from the last time you read it and make changes to keep your goal in keeping with your changing vibrant self.  Take a deep breath and meditate on your desire to accomplish your goal.  Go to your sacred place on the astral plane and create a vision of what you will accomplish in the next month.  Ask your spirit guides for wisdom.  Then leave with thanks and blessings.  Come back to your space in the present time.

Now write yourself a note and in that note include the following elements:  praise yourself for what you’ve done so far; set a goal or two for the month; and what you are grateful for.  Put the note in the envelope and seal it.  Place the note on your altar.

Each month at the Full Moon

Visualize yourself as having accomplished your goals set at the New Moon.  Stand before your altar; do an altar devotion, presenting yourself to the elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.   Cleanse and consecrate yourself in their energies and ask for their aid in creating your visualized change.  Call upon the gods who help you to witness your journey, to help you, and to protect you as you go forward.

Make an offering of food and drink for the spirits of the land.  It can be some bread crumbs, bird seed, corn meal, or sacred tobacco.  Say thank you for the world you live in.  If you have difficulty accepting where you live, choose one thing you appreciate and focus your thanks there.

Returning to the New Moon Again..and again

At the next full moon, open the envelope addressed to yourself and read it with an open mind and full heart.  Focus on your successes.  Repeat the process again, taking into consideration any changes you need to make.  Was there a new message from spirit or your life that has caused you to revise your resolution?  Write yourself another note repeat the ritual process each month.

At the End of the Year

Fifty two weeks, twelve months, and 365 days is a long time to sustain an intention.   Sustaining an intention happens when you adhere to the spirit of the intention and not the letter of it.  What did you accomplish?  How is it different from your original resolution?  What did you learn and how did you change?  Each month provided you with evidence of your change.  Praise yourself, celebrate who you are.  Let go of who you are not, and then step forward again into another year of magic and change!

Many blessings for a happy new year each and every day!

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