Signs one is a Magician

Normally I straddle the lines between being a magician* and a witch* and today will be no different because a discussion online emanating from Nick Farrell’s blog entry, “Signs that you might not be a real magician” has given me something to wonder. Like many people I had some knee-jerk responses to Nick’s blog-post and really felt he had overstepped the mark and just what was he trying to accomplish here anyway! Upon reflection I’m sort of wondering about his points myself…

  1. You always wear black, have a pentagram, or an esoteric tattoo which can be seen.
  2. Each day you do not do at least half an hour’s PRACTICAL magical work.
  3. Your life is the same.
  4. You have not lost at least one relationship because of magic.
  5. You own a ton of magical gear which you use in all your rituals.
  6. You talk about occultism more than you do it.
  7. You have lots of hobbies.
  8. You have an active social life.
  9. You think that something else is important.
  10. You do what you are told.
  11. You think that things in magic are literal and physical.
  12. You think magic is about what you can get.

My take on things…

  1. Nick makes the statement that a magician is someone you’d assume is an ordinary person and immediately my retort is “pfft, what IS ordinary anyway?” but let us remember that witches and magicians may be marked out as liminal figures in mythology or modern fiction but the work we do is amongst the community and people. So really what we’re looking at here is being marked out as liminal in what we do but very much a part of the world. Dress, in terms of costuming, means that we can learn to develop other attributes that help us relate to others.
  2. Each day you do not do at least half an hour’s PRACTICAL magical work.
  3. Commitment to working magic on a PRACTICAL level can be seen as a self-serving venture designed to ‘condition’ oneself to learn to focus. In my view magic is like a muscle one needs to flex in order to be able to be a strong conductor for the magical operation. Many of the Training Days I’ve been blogging about talk about working on one’s core muscles as a means to develop one’s magical core.
  4. This follows on from Point #2 as practical magic causes change and if one is doing it right ideally in conformity with one’s will. Daily magical work aims to work with and integrate the particular energy in one’s life so naturally what you’d like to see is that being a reflection of the larger world around us we can be more effective in expressing those aspects of ourselves.
  5. Okay, so I found this one quite a strong position for Nick to take, that being said I know of one person who having gotten married left her magical life behind because her husband wasn’t a Witch too. Now admittedly this was a Wiccan High Priestess and Traditional Wicca can be sexual and so one needs complete trust between couples and covens when bringing in sexual energy. So why then is Nick making such a claim when he’s a Golden Dawn magician? Well, knowing how much I’ve changed mentally, emotionally and even physically and I wonder if I were dating someone who isn’t interested in magic could they understand? If I date a Wiccan would they get the Golden Dawn or if I date a Golden Dawner will they get my involvement in modern Paganism? These are all mystery traditions but different ones.
  6. I sort of feel vilified with Nick’s take on this one because I have lots of tools from my witchcraft and more from my Golden Dawn work I can draw upon and different rituals require different items but space is an issue. So being pragmatic about it I’ll use what is needed.
  7. Hmm 1 hour of ritual = 1 hour of conversation? What sort of conversations is Nick having? Sorry I’m a jabber-er by nature and I do learn to air out ideas with others. But heres the thing we’ve all met those *ahem* people who talk before doing and refuse to learn.
  8. I don’t agree with this one as I think it countermands Point #1 in some respects. Hobbies can open up conversations and I’m weary of people who talk so much on magic because even if they are *somehow* doing magic somewhat regularly I wonder how they chart it’s effects in their lives? Given that hobbies are also good for mental and in some cases physical health I personally like to see people exploring hobbies. I suppose comes back to commitment again, how committed a person is to magic and what they’re aiming to get from their magical path.
  9. This one is awkward to explain to those that don’t do magic, especially those who see it as only serving themselves. Personally, I’ve found that magic for me means my social life invariably is taken over by magical and spiritual needs in others. Its not about me doing magic for them but that I am more capable of being present for people under the strain of personal difficulties.
  10. *Snigger* – Nick sort of has a cheeky point here. Occultism is a way of codifying one’s outlook on life and environment so yes it does become all pervasive in a certain sense of the word. He goes on to say, “A magician helps the world but through different methods.  That does not mean that they will not get their hands dirty helping people directly. But the “idea” thing is dealt with a magical level, they do not sell their time to causes”, and well hasn’t that been what I’ve been saying all along?
  11. I tried not to agree with Nick on oh-so-many points throughout this post but having the respect I do for the guy I find the best I can muster is an expansion of my own thoughts on the matter. I have been guilty of sitting and mulling over certain ideas in occultism for ridiculously long periods of time but this is tempered by the understanding that there’s skype, mobile text, Facebook and oh so many ways for me to reach my teachers when something stands out but to be honest aside from certain situations I’ve found myself agreeing with my teachers more than disagreeing… I’M AN INDIVIDUAL JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE I SWEAR!
  12. Oh boy… see what Nick said! I’m a study of literature so I often forget that others don’t see things from my perspective but storytelling is a potent force in magical life of a magician. We all have mythologies, folklore and such in our background and I don’t know a single magician or witch who isn’t a natural story-teller.
  13. Again what Nick said.
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