The title is a little strange, but I felt inspired by Janis Joplin and tried to pen a decent title for this post, alas. The idea of personal gain, magick for your own purposes and magick with a personal intent for other people has been a subject of interest this week. I’m writing a lot on this subject for my forthcoming book of magickal study and I thought I would try to grab some responses from you folks, so long as you don’t mind being quoted in it under a username or initials to protect the innocent. Personal gain comes up as a red flag in many cases, but I hope to debunk the idea of feeling guilty if you follow the rules carefully enough to try and dip your toe into the adult pool once in a while.
Now, there are many places or smaller fractions of the term ‘Personal Gain’ and I have thought about them and what they mean to me. I remember trying to place the meaning of personal gain in my early days, trying to figure out what constitutes as personal magick and what personal magick was. I thought I got the hang of it, and sadly I became confused in my mid teens due to the ever brilliant show Charmed, like so many of us (admit it) but it was confusing at times :P. In the show their take on personal gain was performing magick for the self, most especially for the heart, or for matters concerning revenge or revealing the truth about something. I understand, from that stance, that you shouldn’t be selfish with magick as its consequences can be harsh, and even for a TV show (non-reality) it not only entertained, but it informed viewers too; but it did get my information mixed up slightly and so personal gain has always been at the back of my mind.
What would you consider to be personal gain magick? Love spells come to mind, or any spells that involve going against free will of anyone or anything. If you try to push water uphill, it will only come crashing down around you, and like magick you have to think about the energy you use. I like to think of magickal energy as a liquid. If you sit in the bath with flower petals, herbs and roots floating around your body, letting off natural colours and scents and lift up one hand full of water, watch how the droplets try to escape their bond. Open your hands until they are flat and wide and again watch how the water just spills and escapes. That is similar to magickal energies when you direct it, or when you try to control it. If you notice, letting the water flow naturally toward the bath, it should only be the amount that one hand can hold. Try it with two separate hands, and then slowly work out how to gather a lot more water and watch it flow away from you (but don’t use your mouth, that is cheating). If you are a Wiccan, you’ll have to use your imagination a little and assume for every one handful of water, you lose three handfuls. If you are pagan or a witch then just one hand is fine, depending on your beliefs.
Whatever you send out, regardless of whether it’s something for the heart, like I mentioned before, or magick used innocently for healing, they are created and performed by you yes? Anything you do, as far as performing magick or prayer goes, it all comes down to you and your handful of water. You are the one dipping your hand into that magickal vat of liquid, and so you have started off a chain of events. If you only think about doing a spell without actually performing it, then that’s fine, as you are merely looking into the vat without immersing any part of your body. What you now need to think about is what personal gain may mean in a modern world. Personally I see the idea of personal gain as a guideline to any type of magickal working. In other words, don’t play with the water just because you know you can or you’ll end up being over powered by its force and drown.
I have been working with magick for some time now, and I still feel at the beginning or the middle of every road I have stumbled on and it feels great. I am open to the work and knowledge of the Gods if they see fit to bless me further with gifts they think I should have (although secretly I would like some sort of notice beforehand as they just bombard me with gifts and it’s so overwhelming!). I love performing spells if I feel the need, and I love performing rituals to the Gods like any other witch, but what I can’t stand is the ease of tapping into magick, even when you are bored. I have seen a few blogs and a few videos where pagans have stated they only done magick because they were bored. Do not mix boredom, jealousy or pride with magick. I have my fair share of lessons after performing magick with emotional intent that went against another’s free will and it wasn’t cool [click here for that post]. I’ve even performed a few love spells and each and every single time the Gods have kicked me hard.
Once, I even thought I was being clever by performing a healing spell for an individual hoping to get a lovely little gift from them, which never materialised because they not only moved house but the Gods made damn sure I knew they knew my intent long before I even revealed it to them. They are watching us all the time. If you are an atheist, put it this way: Don’t screw with the droplets and they always make their way to a large collection of liquid that won’t think twice about knocking you down. It is nature and we ought to be at one with it. All you need is common sense, a little dash of fun and try to understand you have to do things yourself before you consult the ethos. If there is something you want, especially where spells can be involved such as winning the lottery, getting a house or car, you cannot for a second assume that just performing a spell or asking the Gods to get involved will make all your dreams come true. If that were the case, then hell we’d all be doing spells all the time for selfish reasons. If you want the perfect house, then get a job, save money and then perform magick or ask the Gods to point you in the right direction. The material, physical and emotional stuff is down to you.
You have to be thoughtful and careful. It may seem that I haven’t fully explained what it is, or why it is important, but it just happens to be one of those subjects that end up in debate with us all agreeing on the same conclusion; common sense and responsibility.