I always pay attention when I see themes running around in my life. Themes in those I minister to and themes in those who are in my community usually point to a life lesson on magick and leadership and are well worth paying attention to.
Recently the theme has been around money, housing, and how to become a stable productive member of society.
What magickal practitioners often overlook in our magickal equations are the influences, the energetic influences, created by other members of faith in our society. Christianity being the most prolific in the United State and therefore, the most energetic significant.
Right now there is a huge trend in Christian teachings called “Prosperity Gospel.” And I am beginning to see the influence of Prosperity Gospel in the thinking of pagans and Wiccans. Nothing could annoy me more. Having lived as a religiously devout Christian, the Prosperity Gospel is an affront to everything I believed about Christianity. Its infection into paganism and Wicca is simply another great travesty.
Prosperity theology is defined by Wikipedia as:
Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a religious belief among some Christians that financial blessing is the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations (possibly to Christian ministries) will increase one’s material wealth. They are based on interpretations of the Bible traditional in Judaism (with respect to the Hebrew Bible), though less so in Christianity. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver his promises of security and prosperity. Confessing these promises to be true is perceived as an act of faith, which God will honor.(“Prosperity Theology” 2016)
As a magickal practitioner I am not going to miss the fact that this teaching is tied into the Laws of Magick, which leads me to another disturbing trend amongst Pagans and Wiccans. The lack of an understanding and study of the Laws of Magick.
The Laws of Magick
Just because you are a person who doesn’t identify as magickal practitioner or witch or Wiccan or whatever you want to label yourself as, doesn’t meant that you aren’t affected by the Laws of Magick. If you are a pagan and you perform any simple or elaborate spiritual practice. Or if you attend one or two gatherings a year and that is the extent of the time and energy you put into being pagan, the Laws of Magick are acting upon your life. In fact, most would argue, whether we know it or believe it or not, the Laws of Magick are acting upon all of our lives. The Laws of Magick can be compared to the Law of Gravity. Most of us do not understand the mathematical formula that proves Gravity; however, none of us can escape gravity’s affect upon us.
It is the same for The Laws of Magick. Understanding the Laws of Magick helps make us better people NOT just magicians.
For me Isaac Bonewits is the go to author around the Laws of Magick, although, I am sure there are others who have written on the subject with great effect. If we do a simple Google search, we are quickly directed to Bonewit’s website (“Authentic Thaumaturgy: The Laws of Magic” 2016) which has an excellent simple discussion about the Laws of Magick as he understands them.
The Prosperity Gospel intersects with the magickal laws of Similarity, Association, Contagion, Names, Words of Power and more than likely many, many more that I am not going to get into.
The foundation for the Prosperity Gospel is based upon The Law of Names. There are plenty of Bible verses about the Christian God’s people crying out to him and him delivering them from whatever ails them. It is a basic tenant in Christianity. Christianity says, “Do you have a problem?” If you do then the answer is to give it to God and God will find a solution, a miracle, like magick, if you will.
The next thing that magick needs are the actual workings of a spell. The Prosperity Gospel teaches the spell that giving to the Church brings prosperity. Giving “until it hurts” is a common belief in The Prosperity Gospel. Based upon the magickal laws of Similarity, Association, and Contagion, this spell is created to demonstrate your faith in the Christian God to give back to you what you willingly give to the Church. The more you give to the church, in the construct of the spell, the more that the Christian God will give back to you.
What the Prosperity Gospel misses in the construction of this spell is the fact that all magick works upon the physical laws of the Universe. The Universe doesn’t peddle in money, literally. There is no currency for God, the Christian God or any other God that I am aware of. When a congregation gives up money, it is unlikely that money is going to appear in your bank account or somehow your bills are going to just magickally be paid. This is tied to The Law of True Falsehoods which states “It’s possible for a concept or act to violate the truth patterns of a given universe (including an individual’s or group’s part of a consensus reality) and yet to still be “true,” provided that it “works” in a specific context (“Authentic Thaumaturgy: The Laws of Magic” 2016).”
This leads me to one of my favorite movies Leap of Faith (“Leap of Faith (Film)” 1992). In this movie Steve Martin plays a tent preacher who isn’t really a preacher at all. He peddles in miracles and magick and showmanship. During the course of the movie, Martin’s character peddles the idea of Prosperity Gospel asking people to donate to his tent rival. Then he has his ushers, who are all converted pick pockets, to slip money into the pockets and purses of those who donated, more money than they donated. This “miracle” sets up the small town to give money they don’t have to a preacher who doesn’t even believe in the God he is preaching about.
The Law of True Falsehoods is why this miracle is accepted by the townspeople. There is no plausible explanation so it must mean that God had magically found money to put into their pockets because of their act of faith. The falsehood in the prosperity gospel is you can receive money from nothing. In Leap of Faith the circumstances created a true falsehood through he magick of pick pockets.
Something for Nothing
I am by no means some great magickal practitioner. I think I have learned over my years that what I am is the granddaughter of a pragmatic farmer and his wife. I grew up understanding you had to have a rooster to get eggs. If you wanted crops to grow you had to fertilize and tend and plant and tend and work hard from before sunup to after sundown. There is a price to be paid in order to be a farmer that makes a living – not even a farmer that is wealthy, there are not many of those. To be a farmer that can keep his land and continue to plant crops and sell crops, means lots of hard, hard, hard work.
After all the work, praying for rain was the least the Good Lord could answer because the farmer had done everything else. And if praying to the Good Lord didn’t cut it, sneaking out when the moon was high to beseech the Great Spirit, our ancestor’s God, that was alright if no one else knew.
This has left me scratching my head in perplexity that pagan magickal practitioners who should understand the basic Laws of Nature, the Laws of our Universe that govern and control all The Laws of Magick and they too seem to have a strange belief of a pagan prosperity gospel.
Having spent most of my youth on the farm, my assumption was that pagans were going to be hard working people because people close to the land understand inherently how much time and energy tending the land requires.
But The Prosperity Gospel’s most secular and prominent incarnation is The Secret (“The Secret (Book)” 2006). Based upon the magickal Law of Attraction, it focuses on living with a mindset that magickally creates money and wealth. I have watched the DVD of The Secret and read the book. Here is what most people miss about that book – work, actual real work, is still required.
The Prosperity Gospel and the Secret seem to push a belief that actual real work is not necessary. Like magick, it is an unseen thing that you can send into The Universe and then suddenly it will happen.
$20 Angel & Tables Without Food
In college, when I was still a Christian, my friends joked that I had a $20 angel. I would be out of money and start praying for $20. I would see myself picking up $20. I would walk around for days broke, going about my business, walking to school if I had to all while praying and visualizing $20. Just when things were about to be critical, invariably my $20 Angel would deliver enough money to feed myself. This example makes it seem like I am manifesting money out of thin air. I am not. I was living in my head a reality where my needs were taken care of. There was no room for me to be hungry or homeless again. There was only a consistent belief that all would be provided. And it was, every single time.
Once, my $20 Angel didn’t come through. I literally had no food. So I started setting an elaborate table setting as if some huge feast was going to be prepared in my barren kitchen. I went outside to the cow pasture and picked weeds that flowered and put them in a glass. I spent time cleaning the table and the house, all preparing for this big meal I was absolutely going to be eating. Just as I set a glass of water on my table, a knock came to my door. I thought to myself, “Oh look, dinner is here.” I opened the door to find my favorite professor carrying four bags in her tiny arms. I took what I could and let her in my little one room crap hole of an apartment which was immaculately clean.
We went straight to the kitchen and started putting up groceries and cooking a traditional Palestine meal that required her to teach me how to clean a whole fish. Sometime during the cooking she noticed my set table. She looked at me in horror, “Why did you set a table when you had no food?”
“I did have food,” I said, “It just hadn’t gotten here yet.”
“How did you know I was coming?” she asked.
“I didn’t,” I replied, “I believed.”
Both of these stories seem to demonstrate a person or God manifesting money or food out of absolutely nothing.
Nothing is further from the truth. I invested time and energy and prayer and visualization. I practiced living in a place where all my needs are met, period. End of story. I lived in a place in my mind and heart where everything I needed would always be provided for. And it always has been.
Time and Energetic Cost of Magick
The Kitten and the Lottery
I had a good friend who did two spells on the full moon. One was to get an animal guide, preferable a kitten. The other was to win the lottery. The next morning, my friend went to retrieve his paper and there was a kitten on his door step so young they had to buy formula and hand rear that kitten for the next four weeks. The kitten’s eyes weren’t even open. That cat follows him around to this day. He never won the lottery.
He was musing about why he didn’t also win the lottery, even after going to buy a ticket that next day, and his partner said, “Lots of kittens, little chances of winning the lottery.”
What his partner meant was there are a ton of homeless kittens who would love to be someone’s animal familiar. And the chances of winning the lottery is less than getting struck by lightning. Doing one spell on one night, no matter how powerful is not likely to be enough to create the kind of universal movement on the physical plane to manifest a lottery win. Still most pagans do a one-night spell and then assume that is all they need to do.
If you want to manifest something that has to have lots of things come together to make it happen, it requires more energy than a one-night spell. I walked around when I got down to my last $5 in college, starting to pray for wherever my next money was going to come from. If I wasn’t studying I was actively putting energy into my $20 Angel. I actively avoided any thoughts or feelings of self-pity or doubt. When I got down to rock bottom, I set my table anyway. I was fully prepared to sit at the table and eat an imaginary meal if I had to. I was going to prove to the Universe that I believed the Universe, God, was going to provide for me, even if I died of hunger. I was willing to go all the way in my mind and heart and body to manifest my magick.
Recently my co-priestess, Disa, moved into a beautiful half million-dollar home. The community walked around in awe during her house blessing, clearly shocked at her seemingly magickal good fortune. Since that house blessing, I find myself having conversations that reveal the two years of magickal working Disa did to secure her dream home. I tell them that her home is available to her now because of a devastating and permanent injury she suffered in a car accident. She is literally paying a price in PAIN to live in the house she magickally manifested. The accident afforded her funding that she would have never had to be able to afford the house she wanted. I talk about her working weekends and nights at a crap job to make ends meet while her husband started their business. I talk about the hours she works in the early morning and late evening and the out of town trips her husband takes regularly to continue to have the income necessary to afford the payments on their dream home. I talk about the continued magick she does to keep her “prosperity” secure.
As Above, So Below; As WITHIN, So WITHOUT
Not only is energy applied across a period of time required for something big, like a half million-dollar home, there must be a tenacity and stubborn refusal to believe that any other outcome is an acceptable outcome based upon the magick you have done. You have to live the magick you have done.
What others do not realize about Disa, and I was honored to have witness, was her consistent statements when it seemed like she would never manifest her house.
“I don’t understand,” she would say, “I know that the house is out there and it is mine. I know I am going to have it and NAME OBSTACLE HERE is in my goddamn way. The HOUSE IS MINE!”
Sometimes she would call me angry at her husband because he was talking negatively about the possibility of them getting their dream home. She would tell me how she had to talk him out of that energy and get him back into the head space of absolute belief that the house would manifest.
Then I would listen as she and her husband worked around the obstacle or over the obstacle or through the obstacle. She would make phone calls and she would talk to banks and she would talk to lawyers and go to doctors. The whole time with a tenacious hold upon the reality that she was going to have the house of her dreams. Her WITHIN was always, every day, every second of every day, reflecting the WITHOUT even when the WITHOUT seemed to being saying, “HELL NO!”
Magick isn’t something you do.
Magick is something YOU ARE. How you think. How you live. How you love. How you behave all affect any magickal working you perform.
Do the Fucking Work
Long, long ago in gathering place called Dragon Hills, I can remember a priestess running around screaming, “Do the fucking work! Do the fucking work!”
At the time I was baffled by this declaration and now I understand.
If you want a better job, do the spell and then do the fucking work. Write a new resume. Send a resume a day to open positions. Do research on the Internet. Live a life in your head that supports the reality of a new job. Fight all feelings and thoughts that are contrary to what it is you want to manifest.
Do the fucking work.
If you want a book published, do the spell and then WRITE THE BOOK. Then send out letters to publishers and get rejected. Send out more. Get rejected some more. Re-write the book. Send more letters out. Meditate with your gods or goddesses about what you should be writing and re-write the book again. Live in a reality where you are a published author and fight all thoughts and feelings that are contrary to what it is you want to manifest.
Do the fucking work.
If you do not have a job, do the spell and then FIX YOUR RESUME. Send it out. Apply every day for a different job. Live in your head seeing yourself working the type of job you desire and living the life you desire. Fight off all thoughts and feelings that are contrary to what it is you want to manifest. If you want a very specific job, then spend more than one spell on the effort. Do a spell overtime or do a series of spells based upon the jobs’ manifestation.
Do the fucking work.
If you look at your life and it is in chaos, do the spell and then work on how you think about yourself. How you react to your emotions. Seek counseling. Meditate every day. Say mantras every day.
Do the fucking work.
If you think you need some guidance from spirit or someone else. STOP LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO DO YOUR WORK. Meditate every day. Adopt mantras. Visualize the reality you want to live in. Make a plan to manifest that reality. Work the plan.
DO THE FUCKING WORK.
If you need prosperity in your life, then by all means do everything in your power to manifest that prosperity, including spell work, then get out from behind the TV or the phone or the computer or the gaming console and help the universe manifest the prosperity you need in your life.
Anything else is bullshit.