When you perform magick, you are making a pact with reality. You are asking reality to promise you a result, and you are promising to live with that result.
If you are serious about getting a result, you should do everything you can to make the result come about. The more effort you put into a situation in the real world, the more the magick works. The beautiful thing about this is that if you double your efforts, magick works ten times harder for you. If you triple your efforts, magick works a hundred times harder. These aren’t exact numbers, but you get the idea.
I should say that sometimes, extra effort isn’t required, for certain types of working. If you’re doing a ritual from Magickal Cashbook then you’re trying to make money appear out of the blue. There’s not much you can do in the real world other than let go of your lust for result and allow the manifestation to occur in whatever way it wants.
On the other hand, if you’re doing a working to increase sales in your shop, for example, there’s plenty you could do to help. When you’re doing magick to increase sales, this is the time to start making changes to your advertising, to your shop’s layout, to the products you stock or whatever else occurs to you. If you work for an employer, and you want a promotion or a better job, there are hundreds of ways to increase your abilities and potential, rather than sitting back and hoping. By stirring up the potential for change, you give magick many more ways to manifest.
This doesn’t just mean working harder, but breaking a goal down into several stages. If you want to become a painter, then you should do magick to improve your skills, do magick to get people to like your work, do magick to get your first exhibition and sales, and then do magick to improve your popularity. This is better than just doing one ritual to make you a famous artist.
I knew a would-be writer, some years ago, who wanted to become a popular horror novelist. He came to me for magickal advice, willing to pay me to launch his career. I asked him what he’d written, but he hadn’t written anything. He’d made some notes and had some ideas. He thought these might interest a publisher, and he wanted the magick to kick start his career. But he hadn’t actually written anything.
I pointed out that every successful writer I knew had spent thousands of hours practicing their craft. They worked hard to sell short stories to magazines, for tiny amounts of cash, just to get their names out there. Every one of them that became successful did so by putting themselves out there, gradually, and ensuring that they wrote and wrote and wrote. To be a writer you have to write. You can’t just make notes. I knew a few ‘overnight successes’, but even they had spent years crafting their skills before being discovered. Every overnight success has put in years of work that most people never hear about. You can’t be discovered unless you have something to offer, and if you don’t actually like writing, why are you trying to be a writer?
This sounds like common sense, but because magick offers such exciting opportunities, it’s easy to aim for a huge end result, rather than building things carefully and gradually, in line with your true will.
In The 72 Angels of Magick, there is an angel called Poiel who is said to make any desire manifest. The angel works best when you have been questing after a goal for some time, when you need a final breakthrough to achieve your result. It also works when you have a desire that seems to suit your life, but the goal seems out of reach. In other words, Poiel should be the last angel you use, rather than the first. When you’ve put everything else in place and done all you can, that’s when you call on Poiel.
Unfortunately, because Poiel is described as an angel who brings wealth and obtains any desire, many people are tempted to use this angel first. It would be far wiser to break down a goal into smaller stages, and use a small host of angels to gradually build up to your final goal. Although this may take more time, it is more likely to work and more likely to give you long-lasting results. When approached in this way, Poiel can perform the final miracle you need to obtain fame or wealth.
When I wrote The Greater Magickal Angels, which is now incorporated into The 72 Angels of Magick, I gave advice on breaking down goals into stages, with a new method for choosing the correct angel for your desired result. But I think that whatever magick you are working on, it makes sense to study your goal, and break it down – see what needs to occur for you to get what you want. Sometimes people see that all they need is one small change, such as a new job, relocation or improved sales. Other times, people see that their goal is going to require lots of changes, both internal and external.
At the same time, you do not want to limit your magick by insisting it should manifest in a particular way. So if you’re a novelist, be willing for any of your novels to sell, rather than just your favorite. Be willing to sell the film rights! But if you want to be a novelist, know that you need to learn your craft, write more books than will ever be published, make connections with agents and publishers, meet other writers and live the writing life – knowing all this is your way of showing you want the result. This is how you make a pact with reality, and connect to the current of your magick.