Law 1 (The Magician/Destiny/All Elements but mostly Earth/Ether): Know thy self; Believe in yourself and discover your own inner magic.
To know thy self is easier said than done and may take a lifetime.
You can expedite this process if you don’t just look in the mirror and focus on your appearance and actions but view your life, with all its people and events as a philosophical mirror. This mirror acknowledges that everything has meaning and it is all relevant to individual existence, as in the hermetic tradition captured in the well-known adage, “As above, so below. ” When you look into this divine mirror, you can witness all that you are becoming. Now that may be too much to swallow and quite overwhelming for some, but if you take closer notice and recognize that what you see actually reflects different aspects of yourself however unpalatable or divine, then you understand more fully who you are. Sometimes what you see is an exaggeration of qualities you possess and other times what you witness is a mere echo of who you were or who you are becoming. In reflecting upon what you observe, you can enhance what you like and change what you do not within yourself.
When using the Mirror at first, the negatives you see stand out more blatantly (like a pimple on your face) than all that you may value in yourself. All that we criticize and judge in another is really just parts of ourselves that we don’t want to see, and that we will eventually become if we don’t recognize and own them from the start. If however you strongly feel that someone is projecting their own “stuff” onto you more than you deserve, just recognize that you are their mirror more than the other way around. You can even visualize a mirror facing out from your centre towards them to deflect any of their negative projections back to them.
I’ve had to go through this experience of becoming or bringing on what I criticize several times before I realized I had to own my weaknesses and shadow side. Several perfectionists have been prominent figures in my life. They have harshly come down on me for everything from not dotting my “i”s to not folding my bath towels in exact squares. I in turn would silently criticize them for being too AR and obsessively hard on me, but then later when not so tidy people have come into my life, I have found myself coming down hard on them for not cleaning up their crumbs or putting the cap back on the toothpaste. Once I was appalled at my roommate’s visiting father who came into the house reeking of cigarettes and now I’m lovingly married to a wonderful man who happens to be terribly addicted. I clearly have had to own my criticisms and to accept the distasteful qualities in my life so that I can give more energy to the qualities I love.
Equally as much I can look around me and see all the qualities of creativity and intelligent initiative that I admire in my friends and family. Instead of envying those who have become business owners, professors, doctors, directors, artists, musicians, and professional dancers, I can be proud that these talented people are part of my reality. All that I’ve ever wished to become has been achieved by those immediately around me and therefore if I own these qualities in myself, I too can allow myself to magically become what I witness.
Life is as magical as you allow it to be. The Magician has one hand reaching to Heaven and the other reaching towards Earth which shows that magic is simply the ability to apply a spiritual vision to an earthly reality. The basic elemental tools (Pentacle/Earth, Wand/Fire, Cup/Water, and Sword/Air) that are set out before the Magician are all that you need to practice magic. You need the practicality of Earth, the creativity of Fire, the emotional intelligence of Water, and the mental awareness of Air to put your higher visions into reality.
Those of you who delight in the genre of magical realism literature and films intuitively know that such magic is possible. Your quirks and creative impulses can lead you to uncanny and serendipitous meetings in a film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (i.e. Amelie). Living a magical reality, however, is not all rosy and perfect. Fears must be faced in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. In Isabelle Allende’sHouse of Spirits, we meet ancestral ghosts who bring powerful emotional truths to human lives. Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis shows us that you never know what new and fantastic form your life will take when you wake up in the morning. Some of you may have stories of your own of true life events that have made you realize how magical life itself can be and I’d love you to share those with me.
My next posting will be on The High Priestess.