beginners wicca

Proving Grounds

March, 2012

How to Move from Everyday Into Magical Consciousness

This is lesson four of a twelve-lesson series comprising a year-and-a-day of magical instruction.

These lessons are not meant to make you a witch; the Goddess has probably already done that.  It’s meant only to give you a little information to be going on with.

Let’s suppose.

Let’s suppose that you have need of something.  You sit down in front of your altar, and begin to make magic.

But something’s wrong.  You know what to do, you know how to do it, but you can’t get into the head space that lets you wave a wand and point a finger at the incense without laughing at yourself.

You meditate a little bit.  Then suddenly, you feel your worldview shift.  Knowing that the time is now, you make your magic.

I am somewhat hampered in writing this lesson in that I know what it feels like to do this, and I know what it feels like when others do it, but describe the puppy?  Not a clue.

Fortunately, I can give you ways to get there.  Your part of the job will be to notice the change, and then find ways to duplicate it at will.

This skill is not difficult to learn, but to do so you must engage Younger Self.  Younger Self, like all young children, likes drama, nice smells, and cool stuff.

Set aside a half-hour.

If you have some frankincense and myrrh incense, lighting it is a good place to start.  Kyphi, Night Queen, and nag champa are also good meditation incenses.  Feel free to light a favorite if none of these appeal to you.

If you have ritual wear, don it if you wish; if you have other practices that make you “feel witchy,” perform them.

Turn off the phone, and the computer, and the cell phone.  Turn off any electric lights.  (You may wish to light a candle for illumination.)

If you have an altar, sit or kneel in front of it.  I don’t recommend lying down, unless you want to wake up stiff and cold three hours later.

If you have no altar, simply set the candle, if used, and the incense in front of you.  Get comfortable.

If you wish to, you may certainly erect a magic circle around yourself.

Think about the things in your life that you are grateful for.  If you can’t think of any … try harder.  Maybe you don’t work for an abusive boss any more. Maybe you do, but you have an interview next week, and landing that interview made you realize that, contrary to what your boss says, you are not a piece of [expletive deleted].  Maybe you found $20, or even $1, blowing down the sidewalk when you really needed it.  Maybe the sun warmed your face. Maybe your cat loves you.  There’s something.  Find it.

Then thank the Goddess for it (if your primary patron divinity is a God, please adjust throughout).  Sincerely, out loud if possible.  Thank Her for the gift of Life Itself, for the interview, for the dollar, for being who you are.  Thank Her until you run out of things to thank Her for; try for a minimum of nine.  If you’ve got fewer than nine things to be grateful for, repeat each one three or nine times. (Yes, you could end up thanking Her seventy-two times if you have eight kinds of gratitude and OCD.  Really: seventy-two repetitions of “thank you” ain’t gonna kill ya.)

The format’s simple: “Goddess, I thank You for _____________.”  Don’t string them together in a list; each item gets its own “Goddess, I thank You for.”  Remember Younger Self?  Younger Self likes this kind of rhythmic repetition.

At some point you will become aware that you are, in fact, a part of a whole.  The world will seem to thicken around you; you will become a nucleus in the world-cell.

This is the mental space from which magic is made, and expressing gratitude will almost always get you there.  The wise among us have a daily practice of gratitude.  I always begin any altar work by listing all of the things I can think of to be grateful for.

Whether they got there the first time or not, I recommend to my students that they make this a devotional practice every day for a month.  If, at the end of the month, you still don’t feel you’ve gotten there … keep trying.  All I can tell you is that those of my students who had the most difficulty in acquiring this skill got the best grasp of it, eventually.

How will you be able to tell that you’re successful?  For one thing, you will be aware of things others can’t possibly know.  You might know who’s calling before you pick up the phone.  You might be told, loudly and clearly, “Don’t park there!” and return to your car (after parking it somewhere else) an hour later to find the “Don’t park” space the landing zone for an airborne piano.  I was once told, “Don’t go to the store now” when a heavy snow, unusual for my area, had fallen.  Had I disregarded that warning and followed my usual schedule, I would have been in the store’s vestibule when it collapsed.

Do you need to be in front of your altar to make this transition?  You do not.  I would not recommend undertaking this practice while driving, or operating heavy machinery, though.  You may have suddenly “wakened” to realize that you’d driven several miles since the last time you were conscious; that’s okay – it’s a different “zone,” though. You would have snapped out of it if trouble arose. That zone leaves you aware of your environment, if subliminally; the Goddess-zone requires that you remove your attention from the mundane world.  This is not wise when the mundane world has asked you to drive.

You may well find that if you are the caregiver to small children, they will interrupt this process whenever they think it is going on.  That’s a sign that it’s working; think how dependent on the caregiver’s attention to the environment toddlers are.  Wait till the kids are napping or asleep for the night, or you can hand off responsibility, before making the attempt.

It is also not wise to do this in dangerous environments.  Prisons, Black Friday, emergency rooms, middle-school classrooms, a birthday party you must attend for a relative you dislike. You know.

If you have to get a creative project completed, being able to “go there” at will is a wonderful resource.  Slip in, Ask the Mother for help, and go back to what you were doing after thanking Her politely for whatever assistance She was willing to give you.  If you give Her energy, She will always give back to you much more than you Asked for.

Simple and silly as it seems, being grateful, and saying so, is the cornerstone to contacting the Divine at will.

And that is the cornerstone to making magic.

Next month, we’ll talk about purifying tools, self, and clothing.  Until then, blessed be.