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Mental Stability and The practice of Magick.

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.skeptic,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,sci.psychology
From: (nagasiva yronwode)
Subject: Re: Mental Stability and The practice of Magick.
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 09:01:10 GMT

50000217 IVom

LostSoul :
> What is your opinion on this? ....

I agree that those who are sufficiently willful and 
of a mind to construct spells or engage other types of
magic tend to be potentially unstable (either as a
result of or in association with the spellcrafting).
their ability to comprehend and/or work within the
paradigm necessary for magical activity will quite
naturally overlap with the edges of society and with
abrasive or challenging paradigms and personalities.

>  Should a person just be handed a spell eventhough we dont know how
>mentally stable that person is? 

in a forum such as this, yes. it isn't our place to try
to protect or coddle the newbie. we are better off just
talking about, archiving, analyzing and evaluating the
various types of spells (and theories surrounding its
function) that are available. more than this and we 
waste everyone's time in hand-wringing and parenting.

>Is it more self-destructive to practice magick under emotional 

this is an interesting question that I've rarely considered.
generally I don't think so, but emotional stress is likely 
to lead to self-destructive activities (accidentally if 
nothing else), so perhaps it can't be helped.

>What is the best mental and emotional preparation in doing 
>a magickal work to ensure proper working of both
>ritual and the magickal goal?

the question is somewhat ambiguous. the usual suggestions 
for magical preparation include things like "grounding and
centering", purification, initiation, dedicated study with a
reputable instructor, contextual coordination (temporal as
well as spatial and symbolic), deep introspection and, at 
times, psychoanalysis (to ferret out potentially hidden 
psychological complexes so as not to surprise us at the
exact wrong moment).

in the fabrication of a rudimentary magical system for the
Call of Cthulhu role-playing game (in reflection of real
magical systems, natch), I constructed a guide for the
interested magician with a concern about insanity in
association with hir magical study and practice. here is 
the URL of the essay, entitled "_Kathulu Majik: Luvkrafting 
the Roles of Modern Uccultizm":

in a nutshell the mage must avoid extremity of either egotism
or submission to the Herd. the ego-based studies and rites
are likely to lead to an explosion, where Order-based and
societally-submissive studies and rites are likely to
lead to a disintegration. in either case "insanity" is the
result (as a result of interactions with the beings or 
products of the Kreechurz or Kaoz or those of Ordur).

where "sanity" is defined inside a societal assessment of 
predictability and conventionality, it quickly becomes a
kind of assessment-based tool to control the individual.
where it pertains to integrity, harmony with one's
environment and world, and an ability to express genius,
it will more often be overlooked, has the capacity to
effect significant changes by virtue of remaining within
its radius, and ought in the last analysis be associated
with what is called "realization", "individuation" and

the best method to orient with respect to this latter
type of "sanity" is to start off by practicing as plain
a type of attention to one's present experience as one
is able. the practical disciplines of meditation in a
variety of mystical traditions are valuably used to
hone this skill and expand a capacity for patience and
open-mindedness simultaneously ("know thyself o mage").

complementing this is the exercise of expression 
which reflects internal experiences perhaps otherwise
invisible to the student. artistry, whether verbal 
and empirical such as in a Magical Record, or in the
construction of magical objects or ceremonials, can 
be an important outlet and mirror so as to inspire
integration and self-understanding (sure-fire defenses
against the disintegration of any magical exploits).

some magicians will take this type of sanity to be their
overall goal or objective (desiring an intensification
of spiritual maturity as the goal of their magical 
acts). in the pursuit of this aim my suggestion is the
identification and fruitful use, through whatever means 
possible, of the intuition. this may be relied upon as 
a kind of sail in stormy or stalled adventures.

blessed beast!

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