I received an email today from a reader of this blog who has, over the past year, grown bitter and disillusioned by his "dreadful lack of any kind of success in magick". His plea for an answer he could accept moved me to share with him, and now with you all, a small portion of my forthcoming book which, as you'll see, is directly relevant to his question. With his permission, here is an excerpt from his message to me:
".....As much as I despise myself for feeling this way, when I read about others actually getting shit done magickally and getting results they want it has been making me angry or more jealous than angry. I know guys that achieve these spirit manifestations and get their wishes deserve it and I hate to feel harshly toward them but it just pisses me off. I've been doing my rituals for 2 years, daily. I mean I stick it out, even when I'm in a shitty mood or when I really dont feel like it I do my daily work anyway, even if I have to just get my rites in real quickly wherever I happen to be, like at work in the broom closets lol. It gets tedious, doing the same rites everyday, but I stick with it day after day hoping for success and wanting it but shit just doesnt happen for me......"
My response to him was this. You're fucking up. You're going about this wrong and you're being handicapped by your belief that you need to perform a set of rites every day, day in and day out. Look at your words to me. "Even when I'm in a shitty mood or really dont feel like it I do my daily work anyway....." Magick is not something you can fake, nor is the Will to succeed in it. If you are half-assing it, just going through the motions without any real "oomph" behind it because you're exhausted from daily life, stressed out or otherwise distracted by mundane life, you're not going to succeed. Period. You THINK you want to succeed, but you dont. At all.
From the Book of Abrasax:
...The student then approached the Magus, and earnestly said, "Brother, As much as I want to learn, and as much I want to succeed, as much as I study and practice, why can I not advance? Why has my ascension become stagnant?" To which the Magus replied, "When you truly want to succeed, you will. You do not yet want it." Befuddled, the aspirant replied, "But I do! I do want it, I do want to be like you!". The Magus considered the aspirant briefly and then said "if this is true, if your desire is real and your want of this magical art is genuine, follow me".
Leading his pupil to the banks of the Nile, the Magus instructed the student to enter therein and bathe, that he may be cleansed. Following his teacher's instruction, the aspirant did so, whereupon the Magus seized the back of his student's head and forced him underwater, holding him there and allowing him no room for escape. The student fought, kicking, his arms flying wildly about with the strength of a man in whom the instinct for survival has taken over, and though he was but a boy and physically diminutive, his efforts were rewarded when he succeeded, at the last moment before his lungs filled with water and took from him his life, in pushing the teacher from him, rising and taking a breath.
Now afloat, gasping to fill his aching lungs with the precious air he so fought for, the student attempts to stand, exhausted and utterly without energy, every muscle in his body protesting the intense exertion through which they had been put, his teacher comes to his side and lifts him to his feet. Bewildered at his teacher's having attempted to kill him only to thereafter help him, the aspirant nonetheless accepted his aid.
Upon reaching the shore, the Magus asks of the aspirant, "In that moment, underwater, helpless and certain of your impending death, Why did you fight me? Why did you resist?" To which the young man replied, "I was near to death! "Why do you imagine I fought you, madman! My only thought was of my need for air, my only desire was a single breath!, I wanted to breathe!"
The Magus then smiled, and replied, "When your desire to succeed in your magical art is equal to your desire for that breath, you will have your success."