There’s a common bit of advice floating around the Western esoteric community which goes like this…
You need to establish and maintain a daily magical practice.
The theory here is that if you don’t do magic every day, you’ll never get good at it. Most of the people offering this advice don’t come right out and say this, but it’s obviously implicit given the way they harp on the point.
As for me? The theory doesn’t match my experience.
I’ve gone weeks, or even months, without so much as lighting a candle or meditating, and when I eventually did get around to doing some magic, it worked the same as it always has.
If someone like me can slack off this much and not get rusty, I figure most everyone else can as well.
Once you’ve learned magic, it’s like riding a bike. You never really forget. At most, you’ll wobble for a few rotations of the pedals, then be on your way. Sure, daily discipline helps, especially when you’re first starting out, but is it a hard requirement for “getting good” and staying that way? Nah.
So, no, I don’t need to maintain a daily magical practice. But you know what? I am happier when I do.
My magical practice is very spirit-based, and it involves a lot of prayer, communication, and communion with what we might as well call “unseen forces.” On a typical day, this means I wake up, get some coffee in me, then I sit in prayer and reflection for a while.
What does “a while” mean, for me? Ten or fifteen minutes.
At night, I do much the same. I spend ten to fifteen minutes reflecting on the day’s events, saying a few prayers, then I turn out the lights and go to sleep.
I fit in other practices here and there, as needed or as I’m moved to do so, but mainly what I wrote above is what I do, day in and day out. It’s a simple, simple practice. In fact, I don’t even really think of it as a “practice” so much as it is connecting—either with the spirits, or with the “Otherworld” in a more general way.
When I’m making these daily connections, they absolutely, positively, wonderfully improve my mental and spiritual health.
There have been many, many times in my life where I’ve stepped away from any sort of magical practice—even abandoning this simple routine—and I quickly found myself feeling down. I lost energy, motivation, and focus. I felt unmoved, apathetic, and disconnected—not just from the spirits, but from everyone and everything.
On the flipside, those times where I’m keeping up with these connections, “touching base” with my spiritual path for even just a few minutes each day, I feel great! I’m happier, healthier, and energized. I’m more patient, friendly, and loving. The difference is really striking.
What’s the point of this post? Well, I’ve got two of them to make:
- Don’t set your watch by anyone else’s clock but your own. If you’ve only got time for a quick prayer before breakfast, or five-minutes of intentional breathing during your lunch break, let that be good enough. You don’t need to do three hours of ritual each day to be a good magician.
- You should try to do something every day to connect with your practice and your path, if for no other reason than you’ll probably feel better if you do.
As a final thought, I’ll share a bit of advice that I like to think about when my day looks like it’s about to run away from me, and I’m worried I won’t have time to make even a quick, simple connection with my magical practice.
In my opinion, every single thing you do, even the most mundane-seeming activity, can be seen as an act of magic. So, why not Do The Thing mindfully and with intention?
For instance, when you make your bed, try saying this…
Let these sheets and blankets clean
Keep me from unhappy dreams
Or, you know, words to that effect. I’m not a very good poet.
Have a blessed day!
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