The Character of Magick
I have a friend, her husband is morbidly obese through indulgent overeating. Whole roasts at night! She feels betrayed. My husband is unconscious in the hospital bed, as I sit here I feel incredibly alone and abandoned. I miss him, yet he is right there. A friend is divorcing. Her husband says she should trust him, even though his last two years are filled with an adulterous affair, a current romantic interest and games she cannot possibly unravel. The young magician says he wants love, but lurks around the house peering out windows after the love spell is complete. He becomes bitter because magic doesn't work either.
In Stephen Covey's book Seven Habits of Highly Successful People he provides a tool. Envision yourself at your own funeral. People come to speak of you. Your mate, your co-workers, your friends, your children. What would you want each of these people to say about you? Now, he says, look at your life. Are you living your life, are you interacting with these people in such a way that they can say that about you? If you want your wife or husband to say that you were supportive, creative, generous and understanding - have you been supportive? Creative? Generous? Understanding?
We are the sum of our behaviors and experience. Our actions throughout our lives define who we are and what our beliefs are. It matters not what we say, if our actions express another belief and personality. My friend's husband refuses to understand why his wife cannot, will not trust him. In the past year he has given his wife a sexually transmitted diseases, had an affair without protection, risking his life, her life and the future of their children. He may see himself as a good man, an honorable man - but there is no validity.
Robin lies in a hospital bed. I have my hand on his leg, yet I was alone. Why? Robin is my supporter, my counselor, my cohort in humor, my lover. This body is not my love. My love is the sum of all the actions he brings, all the support, his every word. I am alone, so alone, until he recovers and again offers me these things.
My girlfriend's partner isn't the man she signed on with either. He lost weight, became active to catch a woman, then went back to his old ways. When they met, he was active, average weight, involved in her pursuits. Now he is sedentary, loath to take a walk, protests his infirmity. She is right. He has abandoned her.
All of these people would be completely appalled by these portraits of betrayal. There is no question about good or bad persons. We are that which we have become, that which we have accrued, based on the sum of our express actions. The man who lies and has sex, is a liar and an adulterer. He has no rights to acceptance in our world. Yet, already, he is busy twisting things in his head so he can be self-righteous about abandoning his little girl and their newborn son. But there is no issue here with his honor, he has none.
The magician who has lit a candle and said the right words, never followed up with actions consistent with that stated goal. His actions say not, "Hey, I want love and am willing to be a partner." These actions state, "Hey, you come to me. I'm not going to change. If this isn't easy, I'm not going waste my time."
Recently a young girl wrote us and said her father was and elder in a Lutheran church, but she was pledged to the Goddess. Her question? She was scheduled for confirmation, should she go through with it?
I passed this question amongst the Wiccan community. I was astonished to discover that almost every Pagan said, "Sure, why not?" It would save strife and avoid embarrassing her father. Folks thought I was so harsh to have told this child that if she lied, she would be a liar and that lie would shape her life. Now her actions are expedient, later it will become easy.
When you screw it up, lie, don't follow through commitments, it shapes your life, sets up the pattern for the future and defines you. There is a cultural myth that beliefs are important - not acts. Other sects insist, "Through your acts shall you be known." People have not been trained to examine their thoughts and actions for consistency with their values, commitments, and stated belief system. Those who follow the Old Gods and their magick must.
I tell those beginning in magic that they must look at the overall picture. If you cast your spell, but do not follow up with action consistent in the accomplishment of your goal, the magick is weakened and ineffective. If you cast your spell, using proper words, but have any conflict or doubt about those goals or words, the magick is weak and ineffective. When people tell me that so-and-so bad person is casting spells for harm, I rarely worry. Weak character will provide for poor follow-through and inconsistent internal messaging, and thus their magick is weak and ineffective.
For magick to truly work, for our world to be magickal, we must decide what we want it to look like, what we want us to look like, and then live the appropriate actions, and thoughts, to bring it into being. We must become who we are. If Wiccans are not people of honorable and consistent character, then this magick we love so much is just a fantasy of illusion, a pretty game.
Live the Magick!
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