Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Coin of Paralysis

"Oh, my beautiful idiot.  You have what you've always had!  You've got me."
-- Idris, Doctor Who Episode The Doctor's Wife

In the course of working with my therapist on my issues with depression, at one point she observed that there seem to be things about me that I'm not incorporating into my sense of self.  This intrigued me greatly, because I can point to certain things that this applies to, but at the same time I suspect that there is more there that I'm not seeing.

The more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that I've repeated the same thing with other things in my life.  Most notably for this blog's purposes, that has extended to my magical practices.

In my last post I mentioned that there are issues in my life that I have not been addressing with magic, and have instead been focusing solely on mundane actions and personal work to deal with them.  For some time, I've been wondering why this is.

In one regard, it is fear.  Fear of all kinds of things.  Fear of failure, fear of success, the usual schtick.  But there is also fear of the effort, fear of self-embarassment after ease after fear of effort, paralysis from indecision, and it can go on and on.  Fears that hold us back can be so pernicious!  But then there is also limited thinking.  Due to a variety of reasons, mostly in reaction to opinions found on the net and other resources, I'm pretty sure I limited what magic can help with in my own mind.  Even that can tie into fear (fear of lack of implementability).

This side of the coin is Knowing What To Use Magic For.  The advice I gleaned from this is: Don't limit what you think magic can do.  Keep an open mind to the possibilities of things it can effect!

The other side of this little Coin of Paralysis is How To Do Magic.

See, I've been studying magic for a total of 15 years now.  In that time the amount of tech I know has grown pretty big, in my opinion.  Trying to decide how to work toward a particular goal using magic has, at times, been daunting.  The Paralysis of Choice comes in here again.  Yes, you have many valid choices to pick from.  Yes, it can be overwhelming.  But for starters, know what techniques work best in which situations.  Each thing has its place.  And for those things which all share the same place, there is a heuristic I like to use:  When faced with many valid choices, pick any one of them!

That's it!  Pick any one of them and go with it.  List them alphabetically and pick Technique A, then B, then C.  Assign them to numbers on a die and roll the damn thing,if you have to!

But the last thing you should do is put on blinders and not act!

The way we deal with the Coin of Magical Paralysis is through open-mindedness and decisiveness.  My conversation with Adam the other night helped me to come to this conclusion.  You already have what you need to do magic.  In the end, it's not outside of you and it is not beyond your ability to comprehend.


  1. Touche on the Doctor Who quote, love that episode. :D

  2. I've been struggling a little with the What Magic Can Do question... though ultimately it's been learned from trial and error, finding "Hey, spells to do X never seem to work!" whilst "Spells for Y work a lot of the time." For example, X could be love spells to make a specific celebrity who you never met fall in love with you and seek you out, whereas Y could be a love spell on the guy across the street meant to do the same.

    For example, I've never witnessed nor heard a reliable first hand account of a magic spell that could genuinely overtake a person's mind and turn them into a "zombie" (not in the traditional Haitian sense of a reanimated corpse, but of a mindless creature controlled by someone else) even though there are people who swear they "know someone" who did it or had it done. And really, if you could do this, you could sell such work for millions of dollars instead of doing it for poor farmers as seems to be most often the kind of person who claims to have "seen it." Are we to assume only those with no ambition have such ability?

    Anyway, it's a bigger question and one I'm sure the skeptics would love to pounce upon...

    All in all though, my philosophy these days has grown into "If magic is the ONLY way you could achieve it, then don't bother."