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Between Spontaneousness and Deliberation in Magic

Posted on June 10, 2017 at 12:40 AM

Between Spontaneousness and Deliberation in Magic

By Feywer Folevado - 9th June, 2017


Magic spells and workings often bring up mental images of the magician in his robes, with elaborately-drawn circles, complex symbols, mysterious implements and strange conjurations. This picture of the High Magician stands in stark contrast from the sympathetic, emotional-based workings of the local common people. While the differences between "High" and "Low" magic have been already discussed about in length (ad infinitum) in other various places, there doesn't seem to be much talk about how those small, simple workings often hold the most bang for your buck!


In other words - those workings of magic which are rooted in almost spur-of-the-moment decisions have quite a kick. Why is this? The magician in his temple has to whip up an emotional state and direct it very specifically, after having done his preliminary and lengthy operations. Everything is very methodical, symbolic and complex. On the other hand, the common person might be in a fury or in love, and so decide to fashion a spell while in that state. Both generally would have the same outcomes; but the High Magician must exercise careful control over his Will, making sure his emotions brought up are specific and directed, while the angry or infatuated peasant might just be livid or burning with desire and simply does.


I can remember one time I was very angry at an individual and I did the Lemon and Pins spell with black pins, and the spell worked marvelously. Other times, when I've performed more or less the same sort of spell while in a more "rigid" setting - the emotions are just harder to bring back to the surface again. There is something to be said when an emotional state takes hold of a person, when contrasted to a more methodical approach to the same end.


Self control is something highly desired for many in the magical path. It is the central aim and focus for many, and the 'desire' to have self-mastery and control plays out with the ritual magician. The magician has to be very aware of what he is doing, how he is doing it, what his thoughts are and how they tend to train, what mental space he is in, to put his mind into a certain place, and more; but the sympathetic and passionately-fueled magics of the common people are rooted in a simple but sharply directive - and effective - rule, that of unbridled emotions.


But this can have its detriments. Both may be aware of what they are doing or wish to acquire in aim, but the former has careful diligence while the latter is blunt with force. The all too well-known phrase "backfire" in magic should be a bell ringer. In both cases it matters not the methods of their operations, but how much they are themselves able to, or not able to, direct that force to its aim.


To be swept up in an emotional state - is to be swept away from the grounds of stability and clear thinking. This strange and irrational force is powerful, but if no care is given and pure emotion is the launch-pad, there is more apt for failure. However on the other end if there is too much rigidity then one becomes too firmly put, and has more resistance when it's time to direct magical/emotional force.


And they are not water-tight. The magician is not a robot incapable of emotion and the common person is no idiot unable to learn complex things - but these two distinct ways of acting, in casting - show just how much magic is 'accessible', how spontaneousness can have more force that deliberate act - but also how acting in emotion with no thought is just as useless as a thoughtful methodical act, with no emotion.

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