If there is one thing I've learned in the spring season of both this and last year is that for all I can do to grow spiritually and magickally while walking the Winding Path, is that there are some very effective ways to kill that magick, too. If you find yourself less effective than normal when it comes to magick, and you're wondering just what the heck is going on, perhaps you've let these get in the way.


The first sure-fire way to kill your magickal abilities is to listen to the critics. I'm not talking about a mentor or teacher who is training you or offering advice or even constructive criticism on technique, form, of substance. I'm talking about those people who flat out tell you that you're wasting your time, it isn't real, or what you're trying to do won't ever work. These are the folks who are never supportive, and always negative toward your goals and aims with magick and its study. They'll always have a good reason why it won't work, why you should give up and conform to what they're doing, and they'll always volunteer to tell you what's wrong with what/how you're doing, even when you don't ask. If you do happen to ask, the critics will list absolutely everything wrong, in great detail, and maybe, as an afterthought, mention something "correct" with it.

When you do accomplish the task, make the grade/degree, start your own tradition, or a successful Pagan gathering, media venture, etc., they'll offer every reason under the sun as to why what you've done was important, even though they told you it was impossible before. They may even claim you "cheated" meaning your accomplishment isn't valid.

Don't completely discount what's being said, you may actually be doing something completely wrong, that could end up being dangerous, but you can usually tell quickly when its sound advice being given or one of the always-negative critics just blathering on because they're to afraid to do what you're attempting.

Another thing you can do to kill your magick is worrying about everything other than what you're doing at that moment. Letting your mind drift to the past to mull over things you can't change or looking ahead and fretting over which outcome will arrive and cause your grief are just sources of stress which will trash your concentration and zap you of your magickal potential in a hurry! Get in the habit of releasing the past and future when you're going to work magick. Depending on the task, I have a pre-working ritual that helps me get in the zone, but which isn't part of the actual working for one reason or another. Think about Olympic athletes going through the motions of what they're about to do before they actually do it, or getting prepared for the event. They have rituals to align their mindset with the task they've trained to accomplish.

Finally, one of the big ones, in my opinion; trusting the gatekeepers. No matter where you go, or what you're trying to do, you'll run into gatekeepers, and it's there job to somehow control what you're doing through any number of techniques. They keep the outsiders out, and the information in. It's a touchy issue for Pagans because there are traditions which have secrets, initiations, and prerequisites, which throttle the flow of wisdom/knowledge. You aren't accepted into their ranks without the right credentials, approved experience, or proper progression through the ranks (no skipping ahead!), and you must be willing to accept the rules of the system without question or deviation, they don't want people "going rogue".

In my opinion, there is no need or place for most, if not all of that kind of gatekeeper system within Paganism, and I know that many people vehemently disagree. Hierarchy is a very comfortable thing to many people, but only within contexts which suit their needs or at least don't cause them too much unpleasantness. Unconventional systems like a democratized or cherry-picked spiritual path are scary or even baffling concepts. At the very least, the old-guard will rapidly slip into the role of the critic.