The path of the magician is a lonely road. A road where the only companion is your own self and your own skills. It is a world in which the only things you can trust are the skills that you yourself have worked hard to acquire. This is the story that is preached to every aspiring magician, witch, or occultist. But is it true?
Everywhere you turn in the Pagan community, there are groups; covens are everywhere, couples work together to build a life together, and families teach their children the Craft. How is the path that we all walk such a lonely road then? The answer lies in how we do our magickal workings.
The way that things stand in modern times is that we work alone to accomplish our goals. We train our minds and bodies through meditation and yoga. We work magick to accomplish our own goals. We hope that our magick will protect our families, acquire the things that we need, and help our friends. These things are done on our own. Yes, I agree that many of the people out there are members of covens as well as members of magickal families, and work together to accomplish goals. So, how can I truly say that we do not work together?
I assure you, I agree that these are important processes in any type of group magick. The problem I see is that we still walk this lonely road, and no one can really help us because we do not understand each other magickally speaking. As a husband and father, I know that doing magick with my wife is more difficult than doing magick on my own. I rarely can achieve the same level of effects, and this is entirely avoidable.
There’s a reason why All-Star sports teams never reach the same level of quality that normal teams can reach. In theory, they should be the best of the best playing together and should be the best teams, but they never achieve this level. They don’t practice together, and so they can’t work together like they can with their normal team. This can be taken to the next level as well. If a person practiced basketball every day for 12 hours a day for their entire life by himself, they might be the best basketball player in the world…at the things that you can practice by yourself. They would never be good at passing, and they’d never learn to play with an opponent.
This has a direct correlation to group magick. The best magicians and witches of the world could come together and still be great, but they would never be greater than the sum of their abilities. If they worked together daily, they could achieve results even greater than this because they would know their partners and understand their partners’ energies better as well as how their companions work their magick. This is not even considering how much more they would learn by working with them.
That really only applies to the greats because, in truth, we are still constantly trying to improve and get the results we desire. Most of us are not completely confident in our abilities, and most of us have not experienced much of the magickal world. This is where we have to consider the lone basketball player. We need partners for many things in our magickal pursuits. We need someone to compete with on one hand. We need an opponent to spar with, just as martial artists must spar to truly understand and master their art. There is always the Great Rite to consider as well. How can you adequately perform the Great Rite if you do not know your partner both physically and magickally? In addition, if you wish to ever perform magick with a group or your partner, you must work with them regularly or your work is only as good as the sum of your abilities rather than something greater than the sum.
So, the question that must be asked is “How do you get to understand your partner or group?” Obviously the answer lies in practice. Just like in basketball, if you only play with your team during games, the time it would take to really play as a team would be extremely high. On the other hand (as all competitive teams do) practice is what really makes a team change from a group of kids playing basketball together into a real team. It’s the drills and conditioning together that really make this transition.
So how does that enter into the magickal realm? Obviously, you must condition on your own, just as an athlete must run and keep in shape on their own. On the other hand, you must practice your craft together. The simplest idea I have is that instead of simply doing energetic practice by pushing and pulling your own energy, you push and pull your partner’s energy and they do the same to you. You must know your partner’s feel, his or her own “song”. It would also make sense to actively spar with your partner. If you are trying to work on putting someone to sleep, try to make your partner sleepy, and they can do the same to you. It is your partner and your responsibility to constantly work with each other.
For many groups and partners, this already happens at celebrations and group meetings, but I contend that this is not enough for the serious practitioners. A person who is a student in martial arts does not attend martial arts practice once a month or even twice a month. They go at least once a week and more likely twice a week. But this is not just an art that we’re interested in, it is a spiritual path and a lifestyle. It is a part of our soul, and because of this we need to put it at the forefront of our life experiences.