Aim higher than the Toys

"This universe is full of magickal things Patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper"

Less healthy people have always used the Pagan Path as:

  1. A way to get power without working to earn it.
  2. A way to rebel.
  3. A way to get attention.
  4. A way to play the victim.
  5. An excuse to own shiny things.
  6. An excuse to buy shiny things.
  7. A way to be accepted or trendy.
  8. Just another chance to play "dress up".
  9. Entry to a (perceived) sexual smorgasbord.
  10. A way to feel superior to others; especially people who may have hurt or rejected them in the past.
  11. A (perceived) justification for bad behavior.
  12. A way to avoid taking responsibility for their lives.

Their attitude is: "Give me a love spell, but don't ask me to be kinder or more lovable." or "Let's do a prosperity ritual, but don't ask me to acquire new skills or update that resume." This is what the psychologist's call "magical thinking". Magical thinking is an illogical mode of thinking based on fantasy, rather than reality. It is diametrically opposed to real magickal thinking which is what a healthy Pagan does.

To understand real magickal thinking we must consider the definition of magick. To quote Starhawk's famous phrase: "Magick is the art of changing consciousness at will." She goes on to state in her book Dreaming The Dark, "because every change we make is a change in a relationship in which we take part, we cannot cause change without changing ourselves." Wise Pagans know this mystery: If we change the world inside, the outside world will change, as well. (You'll notice that it dovetails rather nicely with the definition of recovery.)

Magickal thinking requires we live a life beyond the norm. Such a life involves commitment, self-examination, honesty, and what the Buddhist's call "right action". Have you ever wondered why so many people stay stuck at the first level of Pagan practice (the part with the toys and the clothes)? It's because levels 2, 3, and beyond challenge us to grow.

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