Will is the driver of magical operations. While not the only consideration, it’s almost guaranteed a waste of time if this element is not intact. If the Will is not properly and powerfully placed and results are still obtained, it means magic wasn’t needed in the first place.
In the present age, and perhaps especially in the West, we hold a diluted idea of what willpower is about. More often than not I think the word reflects some pitiful substance that fails to carry a person through a weight loss goal or similar. There’s almost no real power sealed into this term in its common usage.
SO PLEASE ABOLISH THE NOTION OF WHAT YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT OF AS THE POWER OF WILL AND LET’S BEGIN ANEW. Instead of some desire that requires disciplining and monitoring to keep it on track (not a very strong desire then, is it?) consider instead that will is a state of being, such as what will be.
Many authors capitalize Will to distinguish magical from mundane will. I may do this sometimes, but I really don’t promote a distinction between two separate attributes of will. As magicians I believe we should have one capacity for willing a thing to be that permeates our activities, whether ritual work or fitness goals or whatever. In fact (perhaps as a carry-over from a longtime pursuit of martial arts and related philosophy) I believe a magical way of life should rightly blur and eliminate the boundary between mundane and magical over time.
Please return focus to the idea of not what you want, or would like, but what will be…
A stone is hard and solid. Thats the will of the thing, it doesn’t need to convince itself. It isn’t wishing and hoping, it is being.
Returning to a human realm, think about the Will an individual leaves for their post-mortem. This is no mere suggestion or kindly reminder to the surviving clan. It’s a final declaration on the management of their estate, however large or small, and it is backed by law and legal system. Clearly this is uncompromising and definitive, a non-negotiable instruction.
This irresistible and immovable must your Will become if your magic is to matter at all in your life.
This tells us a couple of things right up front.
- You should cast magic only for what you have in your heart as truth, as otherwise you’ll be falling short on the Will.
- Some training is in order, for we aren’t generally brought up from childhood viewing any of this correctly.
- Obviously there will be times when a magical thing needs doing and you are not wholly convinced of the possibility. Here will be conflict, but that akin of the martial artist and striking pad, weightlifter and barbell. In other words, developmental conflict through which you develop a will that supersedes belief, and eventually even the apparent facts of a matter.
The last of the latter is worth reiterating. Your will can (will) be developed, if you pursue it, to such an extent that neither your personal belief in the possibility nor what seem to be the associated and real facts around an issue will get in your way.
This will be (pun intended? maybe) a career-long pursuit, and one that’s your responsibility. I do try to be a helpful soul, however, so here are a few basic exercises to get you started right.
Exercises to Develop Your Magical Will
In any order, these or variations hereof are useful in the construction and maintenance of a strong Will.
- Behavioral changes, modifications – Take some habit or tendency that’s worth obliterating, i.e. a conduct you’d be improved without and determine that it will change in a specified manner. An example would be texting while driving. Never mind the current overreach of Federal law, the fact is texting while operating an automobile is nor the brightest or best idea. If this is a thing you do, you could resolve to stop immediately. Write down the goal and note an adjustment to channel the energy into. In other words, a habit that exists bears inertia, or momentum, which needs to be managed for good results. When the compulsion to text occurs, you Will snap fingers or clap hands (a little energy clearing to boot) and claim: “THIS CAN AND WILL WAIT!” To up the stakes resolve that, as consequence to failure, you will turn your phone off – treating yourself as a child deserves – plus confess the weakness to a friend or ally. Whatever conduct chosen, remember to start right away, set a channel to redirect inertia, and define then stick to consequential action.
- Remember a thing – This one will be difficult for some and less so for others, but it’s an easy chance to touch the truth of magic in an impressive way, not that there’s an unimpressive way to touch the truth of magic. During the day identify a point, whether idea or shopping list item or something you often let slip your mind, and resolve from your gut, and from the earth beneath your feet “I WILL remember x!”. Say this a time or two and really project the command deep into your subconscious. When this works, and it will with practice and with proper posture of intent (help below) it’s a very cool and slightly stunning realization which might be your first taste of magical success. A little unpacking for this exercise below:
- Try to feel and carry out my emphasis on “from the gut” and “beneath your feet”. Tense those abdominal muscles as you muster up some will and power. Feel the charge of Mother Earth, always supportive, and draw force from the anchor that binds you to her. An examination of the chakra system is useful here if you have not already done so. Read anything by Anodea Judith on the topic.
- Visualizing a butterfly carrying a message into a cave or other representation of the unconscious may be useful here. Butterflies are an old symbol for movement between the conscious and unconscious minds.
- I Can and I Will – Really “just” an affirmation and not an exercise like the first two, this is nonetheless effective at building up your relationship to Will over time. Of a specific scenario with objective, or just as a general maxim you must tell yourself boldly, I can do this thing, and so I will do it! After a couple of repetitions shorten to simply I can. I will. Make this a mantra and combine it with any positive reinforcement you like.