Magical Junkies

Before I start work on ‘My Year of Posts’, designed to keep me busy and active while also away from projects that detract me from college work, I wanted to make a few passable comments on so-called, “magical junkies”. A magical junkie is a rather blasé term used to describe a person who seems to be perpetually practicing magic or spells.

Not everyone that comes to magic is bound to be a life long student and some people get badly burned by the experience. A whole plethora of reasons and assumptions why this is so have been developed over the years. From they dabbled and got in over their heads, or they had no clue what they were doing to they were flat out nuts and had “mental issues” to start with. I love the latter since it starts the commentary from the amateur clinicians who more than likely have assembled for the purpose of this diatribe.
Some of the issues I’ve witnessed in my short few years practicing magic are those individuals who never stop besieging the gods or the Goddess for all sorts of things from the minor to the most colossal of endeavours. A prime example is the Catholic practice of praying to St. Anthony when someone has lost an item and wants/needs it returned. Now I’ve done this myself so I’m not going to begrudge a person experimenting with energies, I’m speaking of constantly doing so when it would be more effective to look after your things better. There is one side of this action that is simply a person finding out how their energy flows and connects to things in ritual. Even our fictional example of Dark Willow eventually had to come to terms with the connection Giles entrusted upon her.
Magic connects. Its our Will (capitalised for those specifically working for spiritual ascension) meeting with the energy of a place or perhaps even a contact (spirit) of some sort (i.e. the aforementioned St. Anthony). I’m of the personal opinion that through this connection whether you’re someone that inherently believes in divinity or not is arbitrary. You’re connecting to a wider psychic field than yourself and like all science cliches there is bound to be a reflex. We don’t know much about the ‘science’ of magic if we did we’d probably call it something less interesting like force-Null-X1 or something. Its this lack of clarity that prompts (in part) practitioners to phrase the practice of magic as the Western Mystery Tradition – its a mystery. Pretending one knows is EGO and not the healthy variety. Willow thought she knew and toppled over the edge (if you’ve not seen Buffy I am simplifying the narrative down) seeing everything as less than her and futile.
This outlook brings me to the next point of Magical Junkies. Junkies are habitual users (and sometimes abusers) so reasons why can be arbitrary as they eventually just need the high of the ritual. If magic can be practiced outside of Traditions and Systems why bother following any of them at all? In short its a personal elective, I’m not blogging to change your mind only help you contemplate the issues more if I can at all. A Tradition grounds a person and offers a place to gain perspective. I think dabblers and junkies only really happen in the long term when they start out and magic does what it does best and throws the world into Technicolour.
Carl Jung commentated that dreams weren’t meant to be interpreted, that in doing so one ends the cycle of fantasy which offers a person growth. Society has this notion of being an adult at certain points for most Westerners its 18 years plus. This idea, besides being unrealistic in my opinion, is also void of the next step. Believing in magic and practicing it as form of catharsis and release can be a good thing for the creative side to find its flow. Whether you are creative in your persona is another matter we’re discussing that creative streak in all of us. Fairytales help us to come to terms with all sorts of sordid realities but also offer the promise to change things. If a magical junky or dabbler came to me now and asked what should they do I would ask how often do they read for sake of reading. Not what have they read in terms of magical philosophy because I’d be intrigued to see how they’ve come to relate to the idea of magical realism, most Witches and occultists I know tend to respond with two extremes one being, “I LOVED Doctor Who’s Macbeth storyline last night” and the other being, “Doctor Who depicted some awful ideas of witchcraft last night”.
Willow couldn’t laugh because she was grieving and some magical practitioners may well be grieving but for what? Are you having an existential crisis and lamenting it? Think of the creative flows that have come from such moments for people and get to doing something in mundane world. Like Willow come back to balance and see if what you learned in the ‘magical realms’ served you at all.

2 Replies to “Magical Junkies”

  1. 93An enevitable differentiation must be made between technical magick (i do A to get B) and rites of alignment and worship (rituals that have an ascentive/ culmulative effect on the entirity of the individual). Examples of such rituals include offerings, devotional work, cosmological alignment and centring like the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram of the Golden Dawn.I have met people who use magick for all kinds of frivolous purposes. One of my chela's keeps asking me 'could you…?' asking about some fantastical act of technical magick such as levitation or evocation to physical appearance. My answer is always – why would you want to? what is the purpose? There is an entire subculture of occult students more interested in peripheral phenomena than central questions of change, catharsis and development. This is a vulgarisation of sacred sciences at a whim for mundane (and often pointless) ends. There are those that would pray to St. Anthony to find the keys before they've even looked properly.The danger is not in practicing magick, but in practicing magick without a base in the world, and without seeing the magickal, developmental aspects of living in the world. Only picking up on one thread, but good post! 93/93

  2. Some excellent definitions to work from there Frater. I was trying to get a clearer picture of the 'technical magic' and the ceremonies of alignment i.e. Wheel of the Year. My main problem is whether many magical junkies or dabblers (I'm not wholly convinced they are one in the same either) would perform workings around alignment or if they do would they be aware of their actions? For instance, as an act of alignment the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram isn't solely a G:.D:. rite anymore and so meaning (purpose) changes.Junkies do magic, because they can do so and enjoy that peripheral phenomena that you speak of. Like any form of junky they are looking for the high and the next hit is the means to obtain this. Its this focus that prompts me to address motivation in magic.I think that technical magic can be performed to aid the rites of alignment but a person will only engage in rites of alignment if they have an over-arching goal/objective i.e. Ascension or Transcendence, etc. Thank you for the kind words and considered response!

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