A Mythically Brief History of Modern Magic (not really) One Sunday afternoon in the late 1960s, Academic Feminism threw a spiritual potluck and invited some of her best frenemies -- Anthropology, Environmentalism, History, and Political Science -- and they each brought either a hippy or an English major as their +1.
There was a lively discussion that day which meandered past a number of topics starting with Joseph Campbell's The Masks of God and ending up in the reemergence of Goddess-based religious traditions.
Several attendees went on to head Women's Studies departments at institutions of higher learning all across the Land....
Ten years later, a feminist psychologist named Miriam Simos, under the pen name Starhawk, published The Spiral Dance -- to this day, one of the most deservedly beloved books about the concepts of God-as-a-Girl that underpin the revival of neo-pagan shamanism.
The Definition of Magic(k) Starhawk, admittedly echoing many others, succinctly popularized the modern definition of magic as:
"the practice of altering reality by changing consciousness through will."
In other words:
- Intentions rule
- Thoughts are things
- You (co)create your reality
- You attract the vibes that you project
- Everything you do comes back to you, threefold
Karma was re-mixed for the Western World and some authors gave magic a "k" to reflect this contemporary upgrade.
Somewhere along the way, mainstream New Agers -- probably to ease the discomfort of their liberal Christian compatriots -- airbrushed out the witchy woo woo bits by effectively merging them with (yet another) re-introduction of the 1915 "Law of Attraction" vocabulary and blathering on about some ill-kept "Secret" that humanity has actually known about for millenia. Oprah helped.
This is essentially how the Sacred Elements ended up in my manifesting practice.
If you are already familiar with the different brands and concepts of ritualized co-creation with the Divine -- prayer, creative visualization, spell-casting, vision-boarding, manifesting -- you might say their overlapping traits are obvious, that they are all basically the same thing. You may be predisposed to prefer one dogma over another, having explored the options and made a conscious decision about the path you prefer, or you may waft from one way to another, going with the flow and an open heart as a truly mindful eclectic.
Spiritual concepts like Prayer, Magic, and Manifestation are not necessarily "All the Same Thing," but they're definitely laid out beside one another on Life's Sideboard of Abundance.
You don't have to grab heaping helpings of any one thing -- go for a bite of every thing.
Program Your Consciousness Training yourself and your reality to obey your intentions is all about reprogramming your consciousness -- creating the experience you desire with mindfulness, care, and will -- and altering your behavior over time to resonate with the change you wish to find in your environment.
You know the bumper stickers / pop song lyrics:
- "Become the change you wish to see in the world."
- "If you want to change the world, change your mind."
Think of a spell or a magick ritual as the installation of a new program; think of manifesting -- applying the Law of Attraction -- as running that program over and over again.
Installing a new program -- initiating change by choosing to add a new behavior pattern to your consciousness -- often starts out with great fanfare and enthusiasm. Consider the concept of (failed) New Year's Resolutions....
Actually using that new power on an on-going basis -- sticking to the repetitive, productive actions that create results -- is certainly not guaranteed by an initiation ceremony.
Manifesting is the practice of acting on, maintaining, and developing the willful power of the change that began with the ritual observance.
Manifesting without a ritual is kind of like going to the courthouse to get married -- it works, for all practical purposes, but there's not a lot of magic in it. And no party.
Manifest Anything is not a "secret" -- it's a system you can use to simplify and practically organize your efforts to manifest.
Click the thumbnail cover art or go to this link -- https://sladeroberson.com/classes/manifest-anything
Image credit Simon Pais via Creative Commons on Flickr