In the last article we looked at the mental and emotional levels of magick and how each complimented and enhanced the other. For many people combining these two levels can produce significantly improved results in spellcraft and ritual. But, by incorporating emotions and Divinity – however you perceive the latter – into your practice you stand an even greater chance of obtaining your desired outcome.
The Powerhouse of Emotion
Many of the traditional Ritual Magick systems advise their exponents to ‘inflame themselves with prayer’ ie become very emotional about what you are working for. For some people this can prove a problem because they find it difficult to get excited about the target of the spell. This is especially true of many spiritually inclined Pagans who find it extremely difficult to work for money or prosperity. This may mean going back to the psychological level and examining attitudes to money and wealth in general. In extreme cases it may even involve seeking psychological help to break through the block.
The stronger and more focussed the emotion the faster it can aid in manifesting the aim of the spell. Feeling as though you already have a successful outcome to the spell is one of the best ways of bringing it to successful fruition quickly and efficiently. It is very important to have good emotional control as any ‘leak’ outside the spell can increase the chances of odd side effects or extending the time it takes to the results to manifest.
Deity inclusion can be considered part of the use of emotions in magick. If you work with a particular Pantheon then appealing to a particular God or Goddess or involving them in ritual would come under the heading of using emotion as well as involving the Spiritual realm. Some people are happier using this route, as they feel more comfortable expressing emotion to a sympathetic Being. To return to the prosperity example: a Pagan working for wealth and appealing to Jupiter or Aphrodite might be able to circumvent any block they may have when working for riches.
Involving the Divine
Calling upon any of the many Pantheons used by Pagans, or upon Spirit and the Universe is the beginning of working with the Divine. In some styles of Paganism this is considered ‘High Magick’ or ‘Ritual Magic’ even though it may only be in the context of casting a circle. Engaging this energy tends to ‘lock in’ spells and make them long lasting and is ideal for major projects or life-changing decisions. In addition to establishing a bond with your chosen Deity and petitioning them you can also use a variety of other techniques you can use. Perhaps the most popular of them is “Assuming the God or Godess form”
The technique is similar to the one outlined in the article on “Working With Fictional Archetypes” only this time you are working with a far higher power source with greater risks. In essence you focus the power of the selected Deity much like the lens of a magnifying glass can focus the sun to start a fire. In the past when I have done this I have researched my chosen God (and occasionally Goddess) thoroughly, met with them in circle and on the astral, and asked their permission to do this.
Provided they agree I may set up a few ‘props’ on the physical plane, such as a picture of the Deity, some articles associated with them, such as a lump hammer if working with Thor or a pipe if working with Manannon, with incense and possibly an appropriate coloured/shaped candle.. However I prefer to carry out most of the work on the mental plane using the techniques outlined in the article on developing and enhancing your visualization skills.
This is the point that I contact the Deity I wish to work with and cross check that it is still permissible to channel them for the purpose of the spell or ritual. If they say yes then you set a length of time for this to happen – “For the duration of this ritual” is the usual one. Then comes the blending; Some Deities will encompass you like a suit, others will place their hands either side of your head or on your shoulders, still others will just stand behind you and project their energies through you. The way is unique not only to each Deity, but each ritual too.
However the assumption is done the results are dramatic. In essence you become the God or Goddess, there is a part of you that still remains you, but it is as out of consciousness until you think of it. Much like until the end of this sentence you were unaware of the sensations of your left foot. Now you are aware of it, it seems odd that you ‘lost’ it somewhere until you were reminded of it. This of course is the biggest risk in this technique if you have a weak sense of self or other similar psychological problems you can lose yourself and end up needing psychiatric care! So check you have the necessary stability before attempting this technique.
My own experiences have been similar to a ‘peak experience’ or ‘being in the zone’ to use a sporting term. Colours became more vivid, my field of vision was enhanced with pronounced depth of field, reflexes were faster and I was much more aware of everything around me. Bilocation – being personally conscious of being two places separated by distance at the same time - is also a common occurrence.
At the end of the ritual separate from the Deity as agreed during the first meetings in circle, thank them, and return to normal consciousness. After that it is best to have something to eat and do a mundane task such as gardening or the washing up. This helps to ground you back in shared reality. Some Pagans like to meditate on the energies and powers they have been working with and integrate the experience into their personality, but this is usually done as part of advanced personal and magickal development rather than for achieving tangible results on the physical plane.