I found a blog on Patheos the religious bloging site that amused me no end. It was written by a Presbyterian minister and was about Penn Jillette’s new book that says basically that doing magic made him an atheist. And of course the minister had to reference the conversion of Simon the Magus.
I have several problems with this. I suppose the biggest one in the interest of fairness is that I happen to have changed this particular minister’s diapers and was his sister’s camp counselor at church camp. Not a lot of respect going here when you’ve changed a dirty diaper. Plus even then it was obvious this kid had very little sense of humour. Something I find most lacking in human beings but is particularly irksome in a child.
The second is that it’s not about magic, real magic. Penn is talking about magic as in illusion which I suppose when you know how a lot is faked may affect your belief system.
The third is that Simon the Magus probably wasn’t a magic user either because the term Magus at that point meant an astrologer who would not have called himself a magician at all. He would have been as close to a scientist as that time and place could have supported.
So what is “real magic”?
Real magic attempts to make a real change. It attempts it by somehow invoking a perceived higher power to help us do something we want. Prayer is magic no matter how you slice it. If you pray to God or gods or a goddess for anything at all you are making magic.
This magic can include asking for healing for someone including oneself. It can include asking to win the ball game or anything else that’s selfish. It can be asking to win a war because you think your side of the conflict is right. And all too often if your side does win you assume your deity answered your prayer. I don’t think it does. Doing things like dropping a bigger bomb on some one to make them surrender has more to do with winning a war than a deity, or being better prepared before the ball game. I don’t think God really cares whether USC or UCLA wins the game no matter how many times the players call to Jesus to thank him afterwards.
But intent IS everything when it comes to magic or prayer. If you intend good to happen good will often come back to you and if you intend to harm that often comes back to you to and in many fold ways.
This is one reason pagans were so upset by the Christian movement to curse the US Capital and pagans. They wanted to make it the District of Christ and not the District of Columbia who happens to be the goddess standing on the top of the Capitol building. Praying to harm anything is evil. No matter how you slice it and right now a lot of Republican candidates would think there was nothing wrong with that at all.
I will never ever vote in any way for anyone who supports negative magic and it frightens me that so many Americans see no problem working malefic, and black magic. What does that say about the people that want to run this country?
We need to be very careful what we put out in the universe. Thought forms are very powerful partly because they shape our actions. You think and you often follow that with do. In fact the best of spells are followed with doing something but that doing should be positive. You want to pray for healing and do something to help that healing like eat better or take a vitamin or get treatment. Nothing in the Craft says not to take action to help it along as long as you keep a positive attitude.
If you pray to harm and follow it with a harmful act don’t be surprised if it comes around to bite you in the butt even if you don’t think you were being harmful. If your intent was negative it was harmful, period