From the mouth of babes comes wisdom. I will paraphrase a text message conversation with my lover. He is the babe in this case, because while he may believe in magick he is not (yet) a practitioner or even armchair magickian. Also for background information, Behrat is a spirit who I employed to help drum up some finances for my vacation. He gave me the finances I needed, to the dollar, and I thought he was done then suddenly another unusual influx so that I could take the time off in comfort.
“What the Hell? Behrat just did it again. This is unreal.”
“I don’t see what the big issue is. If you believe in magick, why should this surprise you?”
I paused in shock and a touch of humility. My non-magickal lover just caught me in one of the common traps of the modern magickian; lack of faith in what we believe in and/or what we do. Thankfully the next week when Behrat delivered over thirty times what he had the week prior, I remembered that shock was counter-intuitive to my beliefs, so I thanked Behrat and continued on without getting caught up in the “surprise” that my magick worked.
When I got home the night of the previous conversation I fished around for my copy of SSOTBME by Ramsey Dukes, a rather good book on Chaos Magick, to find a quote for my lover.
Magic, in turn, inherits unconscious skepticism from Science. Just as the ‘open-minded’ Scientist is deep down a total believer in material reality, so also the ‘gullible’ Magician deep down does not really believe in anything. … Ritual magicians can be heard saying “we did this healing rite and – it’s absolutely incredible – next time he went to the doctor there was no sign of the tumour.” Can you imagine a group of chemists getting together and saying “I put this litmus paper into the acid and – it’s absolutely incredible – it changed colour”? (45)
It seems so silly when put in a reasonable analogy. I have spent years practicing magick, refining my workings, and refining myself, building up experience and knowledge for what works and what doesn’t, yet there I was, something worked and I was surprised, I had trouble believing it. The next time I bake bread and it rises, I would seem such a fool to be surprised that the yeast, sugar and flour reacted that way. It would be ridiculous if the next time I went jogging, if I was surprised when I made it home. Yet in magick, it didn’t seem that odd and it rarely does to other magickians who have the same experience.
Is this a problem in our belief, in our self, or is this the way it should be?