Lessons from Crow
“Wherever crows are, there is magic. They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength. They remind us to look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life. They are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive within our world everyday and available to us.” Ted Andrews – Animal Speak
In my quarter century plus of doing this thing called magic, I am constantly surprised by one tendency among practitioners, over and over again. To my mind it seems to be a need to over complicate things, to theirs it is simplifying things. I’m not sure why some believe this or when the tendency started but I do know it is pervasive; and I tend to think of it as a zero sum situation. The situation of which I speak is ignorance of the Magic of the Ordinary. Everyday freaking magic. It is literally the air you breathe.
Don’t think air is magical? Try going without it for ten minutes. Everything you do is dependent on air. Without air magic is meaningless, and thankfully, the overwhelming majority of the time we don’t even have to think about it. Neither do we have to consciously will our heart to pump blood nor ask the sun to bless us with it’s presence. This is all everyday, mundane, ordinary experience. In no way does this diminish the magic of it all. Even from a purely scientific point of view, everything has to exist so that you can exist, and that is damn near miraculous.
So the problem I see plaguing individuals is this; once one learns how to create shortcuts in the reality matrix with charms, spells, and spirit work, all of a sudden one wants to do everything with magic. I have been there, I understand, really I do, it is very exciting discovering this new aspect of ourselves. There is an exuberance to learn everything one can manipulate in this way. What? Does manipulation throw off the glamour? Make no mistake, all magic is manipulation. Relax, thankfully one does not need to do everything with magic. Most of it is on auto-pilot.
Lessons from the Garden
“In the early spring, many of us who follow earth-based spiritual paths begin planning our gardens for the coming season. The very act of planting, of beginning new life from seed, is a ritual and a magical act in itself.” – Patty Wigington – Magical Gardening Around the World
Read the quote above it has the quintessence of Ordinary Magic summed up in the second sentence. “The very act of planting, of beginning new life from seed, is a ritual and a magical act in itself.” One of the two things I tell people who are interested in learning magic is this, learn to grow something from seed. All magic is akin to gardening. You must think about your goal; are going to grow a sunflower or broccoli? You must acquire the supplies, i.e., the seed, dirt etc. You must prepare a space for the operation to take place. You must and I cannot stress this enough, do the work. Take the garden, you have to research the placement based on light, run off, soil type, and many other things. In addition to the aforementioned preparation, perhaps you need compost or a fence, maybe a trellis. Then you must dig in, literally, the seeds won’t plant themselves.
This I believe saves some from the trap of “enchanted seeds”. What I mean by this is that one cannot simply go out buy a packet of seeds and enchant them to grow. Go ahead try it, if you are successful please let me know. I can scribble sigils all over the packet, I can call upon Tammuz, Ceres, and even St. Francis of Assisi, but it will be of no avail if I do not do some very Ordinary Magic. Namely that of planting the seeds and providing sunshine and water for them. This is the fallacy, I see most often, some idea that magic allows us to ignore or circumvent the magic that Universe has already invested into our day to day existence. We are miracles, amazing products of genetics, evolution, and biology, tap into your power. You are magic participating in a magical process called life.
Why bother to do magic if everything is already magical? Think of Deliberate Magic as being like the garden. If we walk outside and just expect to find tomatoes or okra growing in the yard or on the patio, we will very likely be disappointed. Instead we could randomly throw seeds into the same space and wait to see what happens. The best results however are when we apply knowledge and skill to bringing about our desired outcome. Find the best soil and sunlight conditions. Plant the seeds that will yield the plants you want. Water and feed the plants that grow so that you reap the rewards of harvest. To do these things requires commitment, trust in the process, and work. This is no different than magic, in fact, it is Magic.
Lessons from the Saints
Most Holy Death
The favors that you have
to grant me:
Help me overcome all
difficulties so that for me
nothing is impossible,
no obstacles, barriers,
no enemies, that no one
does me any harm,
that everyone is my friend
and that I am victorious
in all my dealings and things I do;
May my house be filled with all the good
virtues of your protection
Common Prayer to Santisima Muerte, Day One of Nine Day Prayer
I work with Folk Saints, and every oracion or prayer usually begins the same way, “Help me.” Notice it does not say do for me, or make it happen without any effort on my part. Nope. Help me. That’s what spirits do, they help, goad, prod, push, and force us if need be, to pay attention. Honestly I wouldn’t want it any other way. The things I have earned, through hard work, perseverance, and sheer will power are the things I value most. My business, my family, my animal and spiritual companions, I know these things will not fail me because I have put in the work. All of my prayers to the Saints begin the same way, help me to accomplish my goal. This can happen either through dreams, a visitation by St. Serendipitous, or even a stranger saying just the right words at the right time. The methods of revelation are not what is most important here, what I do with them is what determines my success.
Let me illustrate with a story. I know a man who loves to play the lottery and do those little scratch off cards. He calls on St Expedite to help him win, and amazingly he wins often, but never too much. Now some may believe the Saint is letting him down, but this is not so. When he does win, he uses the money to buy more lottery tickets. The problem here is that he has tapped into power to increase his odds of winning, but instead of utilizing the Magic of the Ordinary, he squanders his winnings. subsequently he is constantly in debt. If he were to use his magic strategically, something Jason Miller has built a career teaching people to do, he would achieve much more. Instead of buying more tickets he could pay his electric bill, or invest in tools to ply his trade, perhaps even open a bank account. There are far too many stories of individuals who have won big in the lottery only to end up broke again because they did not understand the mundane magic of finance. A little knowledge goes a long way, and knowledge is a fundamental aspect of the Magic of the Ordinary. You cannot do the work without the knowledge of how to do the work. It is that simple.
When the Saints do help me, it is my responsibility to use what I am given to achieve my goals. This means utilizing the most mundane Magic of the Ordinary there is; WORK. Yes, as Ru Paul sings, you better work. Work is definitely magic, despite how dreary it may seem on the surface. Work is what turns logs into boards and boards into a structure. Work is what turns certain rocks into silver and silver into jewelry. Magic with out work is wishful thinking, which might make you more positive, but it rarely if ever produces results. If I have a broken leg, I am not going to use Magic alone to heal it. I am going to the doctor to get the bone set and get a cast to protect it during the healing process. I will put an image of Don Pedrito Jaramillo upon my cast to aid its recovery and to insure a beneficial outcome. I will also ask the Saints to help me, and perhaps someone will gift me with Boneset or Calcium Supplements. It is still up to me to do research and use these gifts appropriately, for instance if you are not familiar with boneset, you might use incorrectly based on it’s name alone and that would be a mistake. Saints protect us indeed. Whatever your endeavor you’re never too clever to further endeavor. Never discount the Magic of the Ordinary, your very life depends upon it.
PEACE LOVE LIGHT