My dear lovelies,
Time and again I find a recurring tendency to either be asked directly or to come across the discussion about people who seem to be more ‘successful’ in their spiritual lives/magical practices than others. There’s always a bit of ‘how come you can do that and I keep trying but no results?’ or ‘I wish I could do this, like you do’ or ‘I wish I could accomplish that, like you have’.
First off, let’s examine ‘successful’. What would you define it as? Obtaining the desired results from a spell? Meditate easily? Astral project instantly? Have oracular dreams every night?
How does this ‘success’ come about? Is it gathering a few ingredients (or just substituting because you couldn’t find it/it’s too expensive, etc.), making a few gestures, saying some words then obsessing every few minutes on how it’s going to work, if it’s going to work?
Secondly, how do you think the other person reached that point of ‘success’?
It’s a lot of work. A lot of hard work. In some cases years of work.
It is also true that some find it easier than others to do or accomplish certain things. But it still takes work. A lot of trial and error. A lot of mistakes and kicks in the butt, most likely even tears of anger and frustration. A lot of discovering ways how not to do something before getting to the point of knowing how to do something. And doing it well.
And even at that point there’s still a lot of work. It’s always chop wood and carry water. And there’s always more to discover and more things to do.
There grows no wheat where there is no grain.*
And wheat also needs water, sunshine and a caring hand. It needs harvesting and using the grain, and storing some for a new harvest.
I think many focus a little bit too much on the BIG things. A big impressive ritual, a complex spell. That’s not all of it. It can be a part of it, but not the whole picture. The little things tend to add up. Doing small things in a spiritual awareness makes a huge difference. And learning doesn’t have to be all with a pencil and paper (although I will say this again, research is vital). For example when you cook a meal and add your herbs and spices, run through it in your mind like ‘salt is good for this’ or ‘thyme is also good for that’. This sort of awareness doesn’t just help your memory, it helps keeping you connected, it helps you change the way you see things.
Little things like splashing some Florida Water on yourself after a shower, or offering a bit of the meal you cooked to your Spirits, a libation, blessings you give to others, mending some clothes, whatever crafty activities you engage in can make a world of a difference. Do them in awareness and with love. It’s empowering. It may not give you the fireworks you’re after when you work a spell, but it sure helps getting you on the way there.
I’m not telling you ‘this is what you have to do’. I’m telling you ‘these are things you could try’.
When you work a ritual or a spell, don’t just go through the motions. It’s something I tend to keep to have repeating. Understand what you’re using, understand why you’re using it. Understand the words you have to speak or why you have to speak them. Same goes for the gestures and everything else that goes in it. Be truly aware.
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Well, I personally don’t think there’s a way of not doing any work but getting the results you wish for.
Not to mention, if you get to the point where you’re always connected to your Spirits but then you stop the work and the relationship cools down sort to speak, don’t be surprised. What happens when you don’t actively seek your friends’ companionship? They will keep calling or writing to you to see how you’re doing. And if you don’t reply or do anything to see them or speak to them? People drift apart. It happens. And it’s pretty much the same with the spirit world. When you stop paying attention and doing the work, you drift apart.
There’s also the possibility that maybe, despite your best intentions and hard work, some things just don’t glue together. Perhaps it’s just that it’s not the thing for you. The best example I can think of right now is the difference in divination techniques. I’ve known people who always wanted to be really good at reading Tarot cards. And they worked at it earnestly. For months and months. And they’re still not any closer. But then they just tried a different technique – like runes or tea leaf readings. And it worked for them. Others just went ahead and developed their own reading techniques. I for one am not great at Tarot readings. I make a lot of mistakes and sometimes miss crucial details. But I do a pretty good job with lamp divinations and dream work. Also I’m currently trying to develop my own technique. And guess what? It’s a lot of trial and error. A lot of work and a lot of frustration. But I know I’ll get there because it’s more comfortable than Tarot and just feels right.
Chop wood, carry water.
*Ancient Egyptian proverb
Interesting (and relevant!) reads: Spiritual Hygiene Part 1 and Part 2 by Carolina Gonzalez.