Are you drawn to magick because you feel it’s always been a part of your life? Or because you believe there has to be a better way to get what you want, than pure effort? Or are you seeking to be more spiritual?
From what I hear, most people come to magick because they sense that there’s more to the world than meets the eye. And because they want something to change. Something that refuses to change using mundane methods. They’re seeking to turn a painful life into one that is happy, or at least bearable. And they suspect that some paranormal sleight-of-hand can make that change occur.
That is how I came to magick. I wanted to see my world change in ways that were otherwise impossible. I had zero interest in being spiritual. But I was in for a surprise.
Few people come to magick with any burning interest in being ‘more spiritual’, but when you perform magick, it’s very easy to end up having a more spiritual life. At least, that’s what I’ve witnessed. Magick doesn’t make people greedy or cruel. The power of magick is that it enables you to see beyond the veil of your desires, so that they actually have less hold over you. This doesn’t mean that you transcend your desire, but that in seeing how readily your needs can be met, you find a place of power. That brings peace and happiness. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it happens.
Life does not become effortless, perfect or without challenges, but when you work with magick you feel as though you are working with the powers of the universe, rather than struggling randomly through a chaos of wishes.
Before I go any further, I should acknowledge that the term ‘spiritual’ means wildly different things to different people. Some would say spiritual means connecting to the Divine. For others it’s about refining your soul. To some it’s about denying physical desire. And some believe that spirituality is about helping others. I’m basing these summaries on the messages I receive, when readers are troubled by the apparent lack of ‘spirituality’ in our books.
The books that we publish appear, at first glance, to have an overt focus on physical results – money, sex and success. But that’s only at first glance. All the best secrets are hidden in plain sight. Look a little deeper and you see the astonishing potential of the magick.
When you work with angels, do you remain untouched? When you invoke Divine power, do you remain as you were before? When you use magick to satisfy your needs, do you continue to be selfish? I believe the answer to all these is no.
I am asked many questions about magick, and one of the most frequent is, ‘How can I use this to help other people?’ When you touch the power of magick, it is quite easy to see beyond yourself. You don’t become selfless, but your care for others comes to the forefront of your mind.
When you become powerful through mundane means, it appears that the temptation of greed and cruelty is ever present. When you become powerful through magick, the opposite is true. Generosity flows from those who have the power of magick.
How we meet our needs defines who we are. Do you trample on others, or do you obtain what you want with dignity and kindness? I think that when you have the power of magick on your side, before too long you realize there is no need to trample others underfoot. In time, you become kinder, more generous. This is not your goal. It is a side effect.
It’s often suggested that if you take an interest in the material world, and the pleasures of existence, that you are somehow unspiritual. I have said many times that I believe that we need to thrive in the world – with all our emotions, desires and physical pleasures – in order to develop spiritually. To avoid desire is to miss the opportunity of attainment. I believe that magick can give you the courage to get what you really want. When you learn to receive through magick, your perspective on all reality shifts. That could be said to be spiritual development.
Many people suggest that the path to spirituality is to rise above the ego and to overcome all physical needs. But we live bodies that will eventually burn or rot. I think that when we avoid the material world it is from a fear of death, a fear that the body will decay. We have been gifted with physical bodies, and rather than seeing the body’s needs as base and unspiritual, I see those needs as a gift that we can revel in.
I’ve noticed that people who tell me they’ve most definitely conquered their ego, often have an ego the size of a planet. People who tell me they have no interest in money are often the ones who are terrified of spending money. Those who bark the most loudly about being spiritual are often the most materialistic people of all, because they are so afraid of experiencing the material world. When you are at peace with the material world – because you dance through your needs and desires with magick – you have gained far more spiritual insight than somebody who is desperately trying to deny the physical.
Magick is neutral. It can be used selfishly or selflessly. Whatever you use it for, I think your spiritual growth is inevitable. And by that I don’t mean you are somehow higher, more worthy or more special than others. I mean that you gain a perspective that makes it easier for you to live fully, both for yourself, and for others. You do not deny yourself, but nor do you remain alone.
If you want to pray and contemplate and help others before you help yourself, that remains your choice. Magick will not hinder your spiritual goals, and it can even help.
There’s nothing more annoying than somebody who is spiritually smug. So I’m not going to sit here and declare how spiritual I am. I have zero interest in trying to impress you with my spiritual credentials. It’s probably better if you think of me as an occultist who likes to get physical results.
I will confess that I use magick to rescue, to make situations fair, to right wrongs and bring peace, but I’m also happy to say that I use magick to fulfill many desires that could be labelled as base and selfish. I thrive on physical pleasure, whether that comes in the form of wealth, experience, creative output, beauty or lust. But I find that when my desires manifest, the inevitable result is that many people benefit. Every selfish act is an act of kindness, because it brings more peace, prosperity, insight and joy to the lives of those who are connected to me.
If magick makes a person happy rather than unhappy, that is a great win for the universe. Take a sad, lonely, poor person, and let magick take away the pain of emptiness and poverty. That’s what I like to see, because there’s nothing more spiritual than the alchemy of happiness.
– Damon Brand