When I was first getting into magick, I was frustrated by how many books and teachers focussed on the spiritual at the expense of the material. I was young and I wanted money. So many magick books talked about fasting, cleansing, preparing the mind with years of mental effort, that it seemed like a lot of work for very little reward. Even worse, they suggested that material gain was unspiritual and that I should try to conquer my desires. I didn’t want anything to do with that kind of magick. The irony is that when I finally worked on inner magick, the outer results got better.
At first I was worried that working on my spirituality would lead me to lose interest in the material world. I saw myself becoming a hermit, locked away from the pleasures of reality, meditating on my soul, and I didn’t like that idea. The beautiful truth is that when I did the smallest amount of work on my self, the blockages that had stalled my magick were removed, and manifestation began.
To this day, I believe that for magick to be relevant, you want to make changes in your real world. If you’re short of money, you don’t want to do magick to become less materialistic. You want more money. When you are able to attract a new physical reality, you catch a glimpse of your ability to change the world, and that provides great spiritual growth.
The magick that I primarily used to clear the way was an early version of the workings that appear in The 72 Sigils of Power by Zanna Blaise. What I liked about the magick is that it didn’t label my needs as a form of weakness. It didn’t make me feel guilty for having desire. I was glad about that, because I felt on a very deep level that many of my desires and needs were a genuine part of who I was. I didn’t want to conquer them, so much as to revel in their satisfaction.
By working with more spiritual magick, and working on my self, I didn’t eradicate my desires, but removed fears and blockages that were keeping me in the same state. Even at a young age, I had developed habits of thought and patterns of belief that stifled magick. By opening up to inner change, I was able to make tiny mental and emotional shifts that allowed the physical world to become more malleable. When I performed magick, it now worked.
I believe that we need to exist in the material world, and that when we thrive physically and materially, we thrive mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This doesn’t mean we need to be greedy and heartless. But I do not believe we need to conquer or limit material desires, suppress the ego or minimize our dreams. It is better to use magick to attain what you want, and from that place of power and perspective you have immense spiritual strength. When people become wealthy in body, spirit and bank balance, they tend to become far more spiritual than when they were struggling with material success.
But I do enjoy knowing that a small amount of work on the spiritual self is often the fastest way to unlock magick. When you want something real, a bit of spiritual work can bring surprisingly good physical results.