Pagan Studies

Experiment with your magical practice by learning how to apply art, pop culture, neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines to your magical work, as well as exploring fundamental underlying principles of what makes magic work. You'll never look at magic in the same way!

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The feelings you put into magic

In my previous post I discussed how to emotions could be used in magic and made the point that an emotion such as anger is not inherently negative. What makes anger negative is we choose to express it. In thinking further about my own approach to magic and what I use to fuel my magical work, I recognize that it's not just emotions I draw upon, but experiences and the feeling of the experience. A feeling is not necessarily the same as an emotion. A feeling is the awareness of an experience and emotions are just one component of an experience and the expression of that experience. This is important because when we work magic to bring a possibility into reality part of what we are working with is the feeling associated with that possibility.

Think about love for a moment. What does love feel like? Don't think just in terms of the emotion, but also the physical sensations of you holding someone else's hand, or holding the person or kissing the person. What does that feel like? How does it make you feel emotionally? How does it make you feel intellectually, spiritually, and physically? All of those feelings and experiences are what love (romantic) is comprised of. So if you were to do a love magic working, you'd want to draw on those experiences as part of the fuel for the workings, because those experiences shape that feeling in your life.

But we can also apply this understanding to other circumstances. For example, if you work at a job, there will also be specific experiences and feelings you associate with the job, as well as emotions. If you decide to look for a new job or just need to find one, then any magic you work you want to infuse with the positive experiences you've had. Maybe you were praised by a manager or took pride in what you did or got a pay raise. Take all of those feelings and infuse them into your magical working.

The point I'm making is that our feelings, which include our emotions, are fuel for a magical working. Our feelings, our experiences, our thoughts, and emotions inspire us, so why not let them inspire our magical work as well? In fact, I think we do, whether we realize it or not. Any magical working has at least a seed of emotion and experience that the magician puts into it. Whether you are doing magic to solve a problem or commune with the divine some part of that working is based on emotions, experiences, and needs. Consciously acknowledging that you are putting something of your emotions into the working can help you be more focused in terms of what you put into your working. Instead of sabotaging your working, you can put in the right emotions and feelings, which will help you accomplish what you desire.

You have a lifetime of experiences to draw on. Don't overlook the value of those experiences as a tool for magical work. What really shapes people are the feelings they have, the memories they draw on, and the experiences that they use to navigate life. By applying your experiences and feelings to magic, as well as your emotions, you can craft a working that has a full buy-in from yourself because it is something you relate to, understand, and want. You can consciously control what you put into your magical working by recognizing that you are always drawing on some aspects of your experience, and thus make sure what you put into your magic is in agreement with what you want to manifest in your life.

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Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magick, Space/Time Magic, Magical Identity and a number of other occult books. He posts about his latest projects at Magical Experiments. He is also the managing non-fiction editor of Immanion Press. Taylor lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and two kids, as well as 7 cats.

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