The Distinction Between Manifesting and Magic

Is there a difference between the principles behind casting magic spells and the Law of Attraction? Crystal Ball

I think the distinction between modern neo-pagan - Wiccan - spellcrafting and the recent New Age obsession with the concept of Manifesting is mostly an issue of vocabulary.

The popularity of documentary films like The Secret and What The Bleep Do We Know? has thrust quantum physics and creative consciousness into mainstream conversation - and the quasi-scientific cross-over between metaphysics, psychology, and spirituality required a more palatable upgrade of the Word.

Employing the wrong alternate word can close minds that aren't open wide enough...

Is the New Age still new?

The word New, in the context of current dogma, seems to be enjoying a kind of sloppy catch-all flexibility - the main ingredient in a melting-pot of eclectic religious traditions and individualist sensibilities. We are experiencing the growing pains and stretching strains of a global mash-up of culture combinations. New Age and New Christian and New Pagan are attempting to accomodate all the old possibilities and present them in a fresh buffet - a worthy evolution, if you ask me, but the politeness and political correctness of trying to be all things to all people can result in assumptions and confusion.

We Are All One?

Context always plays a critical role in definition, distinction, and difference.

We pay plenty of lip service to the sensitivity that dictates

  • We Are All One
  • We're all talking about The Same Thing

Are we really? I don't think one religious concept is exactly the same as another - I do feel all our little bows and arrows are pointing TOWARD One thing - but we're pointing with different tools from different places and the One Thing we're working toward is not homogenous.

We're not throwing around the same words - we're not using different religious vocabulary for the same Thing - The One is a Big Salad Bar - it's all Vegetables - but red bell peppers are not green bell peppers, and they don't morph into one another just because you toss them in the same bowl.

Okay, so this metaphor has gone beyond Mixed...

The Briefest History of Modern Magick

In the late 1970's, academic feminism and environmental politics and hippy culture got together for a spiritual pot luck - where I'm sure they had a lively discussion about Joseph Campbell, among other things - and awareness of Goddess-based religious traditions went home in the doggie-bags of more than one bright young Women's Studies major...

A gal named Miriam put the revival of shamamism and the concept of God-as-a-Girl into a magic of words published under the pen-name Starhawk - that book is called The Spiral Dance.

Define Magic(k)

Starhawk, along with others, popularized the modern definition of magic as "the practice of altering reality by changing consciousness through will."

In other words:

  • Intentions rule
  • You create your reality
  • You attract what you project
  • Everything you do comes back to you
  • Thoughts are things

Karma was re-mixed for the Western World - and Magick was given a "k" to reflect her contemporary upgrade.

If you are already familiar with the different brands and concepts of ritualized magick, casting spells, prayer, and creative manifesting, you might say their overlapping traits are obvious - they're 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 as a truly open-hearted, mindful eclectic.

Spiritual concepts - especially these sisters of Magic & Manifestation- are NOT necessarily all the Same Thing - but they're definitely all laid out on life's abundant smorgasboard - together - beside one another.

I don't personally grab heaping helpings of any ONE Thing - I go for a bite of EVERY Thing. I also savor the flavor of distinction - for me, Manifesting is related to Magic and Magick - I practice them together - separately...

Consciousness Programming

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.

  • Become the change you wish to see.
  • If you want to change the world, change your mind.

Computer Metaphor

I think of a spell or magick ritual as being an installation of a new program; and I think of manifesting - applying the Law of Attraction - as running that program over and over again.

Installing a new program - choosing to add a new behavior pattern to your consciousness - initiating change - often starts out with great fanfare, excitement, and enthusiasm. Consider the concept of New Year's Resolutions...

Actually USING that new power on an on-going basis - sticking to repetitive, productive behavior - making and taking ACTION - is not guaranteed by initiation.

For me, manifesting is the emotional and spiritual practice of behaving and repeatedly acting on, maintaining, and developing the willful power of the change BEGUN WITH a spell or ritual observance.

Manifesting without a ritual is kind of like going to the courthouse to get married... It works, for all practical purposes, but where's the party? Where's the magic?