Experimental Magic: The Evolution of Magic

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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What do you do when your magic is in a slump?

The other day, in the Magical Experiments Facebook group, I asked the members of the group to share with me what challenges they are experiencing in their magical practice. One of the people shared that they were experiencing a slump in their magical practice. It just didn't feel exciting or shiny or magical like it had before. When I read what the person was experiencing, I really resonated with it because sometimes I've felt the same way about my magical practice. 

The first time I experienced a slump in my magical practice, I was really surprised at how hard it was to motivate myself to do the daily magical work I'd committed myself to doing. It wasn't just an off day. It stretched into days and then weeks. I was seriously worried that I'd lost touch with the magic.

What I didn't realize was that this experience was actually a growing pain in my spiritual relationship with magic.

There will be times, in your magical journey, where you have a similar experience. You won't feel motivated to do magic and what you do just won't seem very magical. And at that time you'll have a few choices:

  • You can stop practicing magic.
  • You can keep doing what you're doing and see if anything changes.
  • You can change your routine.

I've made two of those choices in my magical journey. I've never stopped practicing magic, because it seems to me that the way through a slump isn't to give up what you practice. Occasionally someone does stop practicing magic because of the slump. They may think its all in their head or not real, or whatever else, and so they walk away.

I've never made that choice because I've always known magic is real and what the slump has indicated isn't that the magic has gone away, but rather that I need to make change in my practice of magic. The slump is an indicator that your relationship with magic needs to change. The question is what change needs to occur?

Keep doing it and see if anything changes

If you take the option of continuing to do what you've already done, then I have a recommendation for you. Approach every exercise you are doing like you were doing it the very first time. Don't rush through the practices, because when you do, you are probably taking it fro granted and not fully committing yourself to the working. By doing the workings as if you were learning it for the first time, you will pay closer attention to what you are doing and commit yourself to it in a way that will help you appreciate the practice differently.

When you've done a practice over and over again, there can be a tendency to not fully engage it and the reason is because you've done it so many times that you start to put less effort into it. If you take my recommendation you'll discover what I'm talking about and it will help you get out of the slump because you'll realize you weren't fully giving yourself over to the work.

Change your Routine

Sometimes doing what you've always done isn't enough to get through the slump. In that case I recommend changing your routine by learning some new practices. Every so often I change my daily practices by learning something new. I may replace existing practices with what I'm learning or complement. Either way I'm not just doing what I've always done.

What's a practice you would like to learn but have put off? When you're feeling that slump, go ahead and do the new practice. Learning that new practice will inspire you and your magical work. Add some other exercises in and see what else happens. 

What if my slump still doesn't go away?

Sometimes even if you've changed your routine and approaching the practice you know by heart from a beginner's perspective you still feel in a slump. First I want you to know this is a natural part of the spiritual journey, but secondly I would suggest perhaps just taking a bit of time away from your practices. You might just need to recharge your batteries by doing something completely different. 

Alternately stick it out because eventually it will change and you'll learn a lot of valuable lessons in the meantime. Some of the most amazing experiences I've had with magic have occurred during a slump, and I appreciated them because of the slump I was experiencing, because in that slump I really had to look for magic, instead of just taking it for granted.

Taylor Ellwood is the mad scientist and magical experimenter of Magical Experiments. When he's not working on his latest magical experiment or writing his next book, Taylor is also helping eccentric entrepreneurs with their businesses and enjoying the Northwest in Portland, Oregon with his wife, 2 kids, and 6 cats.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

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Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magic Systems, Space/Time Magic, Magical Identity and a number of other occult books. He posts about his latest projects at Magical Experiments.


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