Sometimes I am asked for advice on how to work with an intention candle, a stone or a spell to manifest a desired outcome. I’ve noticed that most people have workable book knowledge or at least an intuitive understanding of which materials and practices they want to use for manifesting and intention work. Often, however, there’s a gap of understanding about how to establish the “magickal link.” The magickal link is how we make a connection between ourselves and our desired outcome. It is an essential component of manifestation work and magick.
Magick defined is to cause change in accordance with one’s will. With this definition, it’s possible to view all acts, accomplishments, and attainments as acts of magick. With this understanding, we may see the importance of mindfulness, taking responsibility, and the power of small acts and patterns of thought to effect our lives. The same natural laws that govern the universe, the movement of the planets, and the weather are those governing our day to day lives. Some people do not see the connection. We may choose to ignore this natural law and live blissfully or painfully unaware. Or we may choose to come into alignment with it and live with a sense of meaning, purpose and peace.
The magickal link is first established with careful consideration of what we wish to manifest, and our commitment to it. An object of focus and power assists in the link, and can be something simple, like a paper with an intention statement written upon it, a candle, a symbolic piece of jewelry. Or it can be more involved, like an item belonging to someone we wish to effect, or a consecrated talisman. The choice of object is personal and specific to each intention or act of will. The magickal link is further established with the actions we take and the mindsets we hold after we meditate, perform the ritual, or otherwise commit to bring about the object of our desire. It keeps the momentum going until we accomplish our goal and manifest our desire and insures that we keep hold of it.
Uncle Al illustrates the process well with a fun metaphor:
Crowley, Aleister. Magick in Theory and Practice. Castle Books, 6th Edition. 1992. Print.
Let us take a very simple example of a Magical Act: that of a man blowing his nose. What are the conditions of the success of the Operation? Firstly, that the man’s Will should be to blow his nose; secondly, that he should have a nose capable of being blown; thirdly, that he should have at command an apparatus capable of expressing his spiritual Will in terms of material force, and applying that force to the object which he desires to affect. His Will may be as strong and concentrated as that of Jupiter, and his nose may be totally incapable of resistance; but unless the link is made by the use of his nerves and muscles in accordance with psychological, physiological, and physical law, the nose will remain unblown through all eternity.
Action! Many people hold the mistaken belief that ritual and meditation alone will accomplish the change, and it may in some minor way. But effective manifestation and magick is accomplished by the acts and intentions after the fact. If I wish to find a fulfilling new job, I have to first be honest with myself about my qualifications. I may have to take an online course or volunteer to brush up on my skills. I will need to work on my resume, research roles and apply, perhaps even widening the area of my search, or networking. I won’t help myself by simple believing it will be so, and then sitting on the couch watching “Little House on the Prairie,” eating brownies, waiting for someone to call me to offer me a job. Our will and intent needs the support of our action to bring it to tangible form. The responsibility lies wholly with us.
Many people like to talk about being “in the flow.” I also love to say this when I am having a great day, and I mean it! I really feel it! But what does it mean when I start to encounter challenges around the same things that felt joyful, inspired, and successful before?
Being challenged doesn’t always mean I’ve fallen out of the flow, or lost the magick. Sometimes it’s a signal, a beckoning to apply more effort, the right effort, or to pay attention to what’s going on around me. I ask myself: Have I honestly and consistently worked at my goal? Where am I feeling resistance? My ego/shadow might be struggling with the idea of success, and I might be projecting some fear and self-defeat on the situation. At times like this, I try to take it easy on myself, and not beat myself up. I may take a little mental health day. I’ll take some time to meditate and consider if what I’m being asked to do is rededicate myself to my goal, or adjust my thinking about it. My discomfort may be a signal that I need to get out of my own way.
When I decide to engage in the work of manifestation or magick, I am inviting the universe and my own nature to enter into a state of play (macrocosm/microcosm). All of my insecurities and fears will stir and try to defend themselves as I attempt to come into alignment with my higher self and true will. I might have to fight the urge to self-destruct. I might experience discomfort in order to grow, change, or make myself a better vehicle for the opportunities I am calling to myself. Discomfort and trouble are always a teachable moment. Who of us would change or know how to change without a little resistance?