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a question on anyone?

To: alt.lucky.w
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: a question on anyone?
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 20:38:14 GMT wrote:
> one of the key ingredients of spell work is the faith that what you
> are doing will manifest a result right? the question i have is this:
> how can one manifest faith who has in the past consistently been
> disappointed despite their faith? example:  a person who kept
> believing in miracles and got none, did the right thing in life only
> to get stomped on, etc....Take myself for example. I cling to this
> hope that things will get better despite the fact that at least on
> the surface they arent. Im doing a 7 day candle ritual, using money oil
> and green candle, and having charged the candle a little at a time for
> a week prior. (havent started the burning of the candle yet as the
> moon has been waning. but ive been meditating on the need with the
> candle ahead of time---need , not greed) If i go into the ritual with
> the notion that it "may not work but i hope it does" odds are i wont
> get the desired results, right?
> so back to the question: how does one push the "i believe" button?
> how can one get the faith to KNOW the ritual will work?
> thanks in advance
> stav-


There are many opinions about the role of faith in the performance of
magic (and religion), but without knowing how you perform spells -- or
what faith means to you in terms of affecting your will or emotional
state, i really cannot answer.

This question comes up quite often in the vairuos alt.magick.*
newsgroups, in one form or another. Right now a thread titled
"epistemology and magick" is ongoing in which folks are discussing how
one knows what one knows about magic -- and whether having preconceived
opinions about the outcomes of magical operations is a valid point of
view or mere self-delusion. 

In that thread, Tom Shuler, who is quite skeptical -- but not an
offensive "professional skeptic" -- recently had this to say about
testing magic for results. Firsrt he stated the opinion (a common enough
one) that htere is very little that separates magic from religion, and
that religion is, in essence, a form of magic. Then he said: 

>    Most folks draw a very big distinction between observing 
>    plays on a stage and the performance of religious rituals.  
>    Both are emotionally moving when done well.  Both may have 
>    attendees who are more conscious of trying to be
>    where they are supposed to be than they are aware of 
>    just what they're doing.  Yet, a distinction is drawn.  
>    One is entertainment and the other is a personal 
>    relationship with the wisest and most powerful force 
>    in the universe.  This is the difference belief makes 
>    in the performance of magick as opposed to the 
>    performance of a play.


>    [Magical] experimentation is done to observe outcomes.  
>    If you don't believe in some outcome, you won't do the 
>    experiment.  At the very least, someone has told
>    you there will be a result and you want to see what 
>    it will be.  

So, in his opinion, and it is a valuable one, albeit slightly
reductionist in the matter of faith, one should not merely undertake a
course of performing spoells for results, but rather, one should learn
about the dimensions of the reality of magic, by keeping an experimental
mind-set and firmly distinguishing participation in magic fro (or
religion) from participation in an entertainment such as a play or
role-playing game. 

I hope this helps. 

cat yronwode 

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice --

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