Random thoughts on energy, healing, astrology, and proof of magick

Energy is a big theme in neopagan and New Age talk. For example, I have read a common definition of magick that says,”Magick is the manipulation of energy.”

Well, what kind of energy? And what are you doing with it, exactly?

Energy is such a vague word. Everything is made up of energy. To say that magick is the manipulation of energy implies you can manipulate anything and anyone; this explanation makes people look powerhungry or even fluffy and does not take into account the practitioner, which leads skeptics and the interested alike to not take them seriously. Reiki can also be defined as “the manipulation of energy” but it is considered more of a healing practice than a magickal one. So such a definition does not give a meaning that is unique to magick.

It also implies that magick can bend the laws of nature. While miracles of theurgy can appear to bend the laws of nature, physics, whatever, science is also behind as long as authorities in the field refuse to entertain the hypotheses of magick; today’s magick is tomorrow’s science.

Be more specific and realistic, please.

Another theme is healing herbs. Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs lists tons of herbs with the attribute of “healing.” However, almost any herb has some healing or health value, or you wouldn’t be using it in the first place. Especially the same herbs used in cooking, or are otherwise safe to consume. So this is vague as well. It would be better if it were more specific, because lavender and ginger (for example) serve two different purposes: the former is watery and Venusian and relaxes, the latter is fiery and excites.

Healing on behalf of someone else: It is my experience that people do not like to be prayed for. Personally I detest it when Christians say,”I’ll pray for you,” since I did not give their permission nor ask them to. Generally people don’t mind “sending good vibes” but when it comes to religion they will mind an imposition of a religion they do not follow (especially for the purposes of conversion which is a form of black magick) and the intervention by deities or spirits they do not believe in or worship. If people want you to pray or do a ritual for them, they will come to you. Or you can just ask them.

Skeptics have asked me whether magick is real, whether I believe in it or how can you know if magick works. And what I think is that if you are doing spells for finding a job (for example) as motivation or inspiration and also put in the effort to find one and you do, then it doesn’t matter which could be said to have “really done it.” But you do need to believe that you will find a job or you’ll have a self-fulfilling prophecy.

On the other hand if you do something specific like a skrying or other ritual for insight it is possible to test it in a scientific manner; for example, some magicians after a scrying session or astral projection will look up correspondences in Liber 777 to see if they match. Magick does not require faith here any more than a scientist needs faith to test hypotheses, only willingness. And the literal vs. psychological model discussion is relevant even regarding spirits encountered during astral projection (“the landscape of the mind”) but either way there is insight gained and transformation to be had and that is undeniably powerful.

What’s ironic in all this is that the same skeptics talk about how they don’t need faith or belief in their lives and conveniently desire hard evidence from other people but shy away from topics like love and other emotions or other subjects in which there is no hard data or objective existence that can literally be proven. We live our lives mostly based on our desires as well as reasonable expectations from information and prior experiences. Emotions are subjective but they are valid and should not be derided as somehow inferior to logic. Even intellectual or intelligent people can have delusions and cognitive dissonance.

Some skeptics also ask what can one do with magick. I know they are talking about miracles and special powers and not just practical useful everyday things. Levitation, mesmerism and stuff like that. But if I were to study magick simply to be able to do those things it would be self-defeating. There is so much self-work that needs to happen before that point and such things are not parlor tricks or done for show.

In all my reading of politics (particularly radical feminism) and how we are affected by our environment and the institutions that be, it is not a stretch to say that astrology affects us as well; if we did not have sunlight we would become depressed (along with other health conditions from a lack of vitamin D) and our circadian rhythms would be out of whack. After all, the planets and stars are part of our greater environment (sotospeak) just on a cosmic level. But the stars impel, they don’t compel us. The “mundane” parallel would be that we don’t have to be a victim of our circumstances.


About Cammy

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3 Responses to Random thoughts on energy, healing, astrology, and proof of magick

  1. Lots of things bend the laws of nature, to be honest. Nature has metal ore, well, AS metal ore – so miners and smiths bend nature’s law. Rain is meant to get things wet, so umbrellas bend the laws of nature in a small sense, too.

    I do think a good deal of spell craft works psychologically upon the one doing the spell — as you say, for jobs and such. And I don’t really think it matters why something like that works, if it works and doesn’t screw up a dozen things along the way.

    As for “energy” work; well, yes that is a vague term. Nonetheless, I think magic of that sort can actually work and change things, but precisely how is a pretty iffy proposition. I think there is a sort of natural ‘current’ in the world’s flow of energy, matter, intention and so forth — the more one aligns WITH that flow to gently ‘push’ something along? Generally, the better result. But that is only one take on magical practice.

    The other ideal is the much vaunted ‘way of power’ where the practitioner says, “Well, fuck THAT, we are going THIS way.” And I’ve seen that work as well….like getting in that flow and dropping a boulder of sorts that DIVERTS the flow, so to speak.

    • Heretic says:

      “Rain is meant to get things wet, so umbrellas bend the laws of nature in a small sense, too.” Yeah, I don’t know about that, it’s kind of reductionist to me. Umbrellas are just man-made and are there to get wet instead of the people; men have fooled themselves into thinking they can conquer and bend nature, and we’re seeing the consequences of that in the destruction of finite resources and animal species; there’s no greater sense of community with the world or nature. But if they do, then by the same logic water flows everywhere with the least resistance, yet beavers bend nature by building dams, when in reality they’re building homes. Now do humans go against nature? Sure. And they shoot themselves in the foot by doing so. I think every intentional act is an act of magick, and it’s no coincidence that the more humans obsess over technology and science they move away from nature and the masses get dumbed-down into consumerism.

    • Heretic says:

      “The other ideal is the much vaunted ‘way of power’ where the practitioner says, “Well, fuck THAT, we are going THIS way.” And I’ve seen that work as well….like getting in that flow and dropping a boulder of sorts that DIVERTS the flow, so to speak.” Certainly there can be alternatives to the way something is going; without getting into the problems of “free will” and “choice” I think we go by the information and self-awareness we have at the time so there’s only so much one can do. Yet I’ve also seen the Zen dictum,”Go with the flow” used politically to keep up the status quo. Say what?

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