Let’s Talk About Success & Magick
I wrote this post back in December and seriously debated posting it. However, I think it’s time.
There’s been a lot of talk recently, via various magicians, about success. The main gist of it being, it’s great to declare how powerful a magus you are or how “emotionally rich” you are, but if you can’t manifest good relationships, wealth and/or good health, how good a magician are you?
I think these are very valid questions.
There’s also a valid reason I didn’t end up married to someone who was also a magician. Mostly because I learned most male magicians (in my general vicinity) didn’t have their shit together. I’m really big about the people I surround myself with having their shit together. Mostly because I have my shit together.
A few years back, a reader told me that as an author of books about magick, I should disclose all details about my life to prove to my readers that magick actually manifests for me. Critics have assumed that I’m some down-trodden girl jumping from relationship to relationship, working at McDonalds for $8.00 per hour and living in a roach-infested apartment somewhere, estranged from my family. Sour grapes anyone?
Growing up I was taught never to brag. I was taught that humility was very important. So while I’m certainly not going to let everyone into my personal life/finances without any discretion (as that would be both dangerous and stupid) I do want to clarify a few points.
1. I really do believe that if you are a magus and you aren’t successful to some degree, you’re not doing it right.
2. No, I don’t believe everyone aspires to be wealthy (which is why so many success spells fail), but that’s because our society teaches that wealth can be measured in relationships or contentment. That’s how we keep those who live paycheck to paycheck from feeling crappy about their lives. Yes, while I agree that happiness trumps money each and every time, if you’ve never had to worry about money, you’ll understand why I, personally, would much rather be wealthy. Having money makes it a lot easier to be happy more of the time. It’s nice to not have to worry about money. (I know this from experience.)
Now to the part of this post that makes me feel egotistical. Addressing the critics. This is mainly for the critics who poo-poo my way of working. My way of working may be different from more traditional methods, but the results speak for themselves.
Listing what I have that so many self-proclaimed grand and powerful magi who criticize me and my work usually don’t have in their own lives:
1. I am happily married and we’ve been together since 1999. I don’t have relationship problems. That’s not to say we don’t argue on occasion, but for the most part, we don’t.
2. I have stable and mutually beneficial friendships and a life that is relatively drama free. Again, not to say my life never has drama, but it mostly doesn’t.
3. I have strong, stable family relationships.
4. I have worked in accounting for many years, and in that particular career, I make a salary at the top end of my field.
5. However, since I am a writer (and a rather successful one at that), I do generally make relatively good money each year.
6. My husband was able to take a sabbatical from work to go back to school because I make enough to pay the bills (including a mortgage) with what I make. When both of us are working, we often find ourselves in that upper 10% everyone hates so much. Sorry haters.
7. These days I can accomplish my income only working part-time in an office. Which means my time is pretty much my own and I’ve been doing the accounting thing long enough that I don’t have to punch a clock.
8. My husband and I own our home. It’s not fancy or grand, but it is over 2,000 square feet in a nice suburb. I wouldn’t want anything bigger because I don’t like domestic chores. I’d have to hire a maid and I’m too untrusting for that.
9. I am rather healthy. I do have a few extra pounds right now (job hazard), but I am actively succeeding in trimming down.
10. I do have retirement accounts and stock portfolios in preparation for my golden years and I contribute to them regularly. With any luck, they’ll be fat and sassy by the time I’m ready to retire. I am also secure in knowing that our cremations are already paid for, we have sufficient life insurance, and we have a healthy savings account that will help us get by up to 2 years if anything bad were to happen. So we are relatively secure, and working toward additional security that will hopefully outlast us.
Yes, I attribute my success to my magickal work with the Daemonic (Divine Intelligence) and my Divine Self.
Now, this doesn’t mean my life is perfect. It has its own challenges. I still have to deal with unexpected bills, or nasty colds, or the occasional drama. That’s life. I can confirm that having enough financially (and having some financial security for the future) makes it so much easier to weather challenges.
Finally – I do lead the kind of life many aspire to, and perhaps it’s time I stop being humble about it.
So there – I’ve publicly put my money where my mouth is. I wonder how many others could do the same.
First off, I started out extremely poor–my father lost everything when he went bankrupt, and the family never recovered. My father had a heart attack at age 31. He was unhappily married to a woman who has abused every kid she had (by the way, eight kids). And he died in a truck accident at age 42. As for my mom, well, let’s just say that there is a lot of health problems in that tree (both physical and mental). Both of my parents lacked a high school education.
If you judge me solely on my ability to generate income and wealth, well, I am a loser. I have worked burger-flipping minimum wage jobs for the first twenty years of my adult life, and have spent the last nine and a half years, being mainly an unemployed college student and struggling writer. Yes, I am a high school dropout…who has finished earning two Bachelor degrees a year and a half ago (one in literary studies, the other in history).
I have been in my current relationship for sixteen years. We may or may not be married on any given day, depending upon on what the current paperwork we are filing out says. Are we happy? Maybe, maybe not–there is a lot of stress floating around about money issues…so, we are pretty much in the same boat as the majority of the population.
We have never missed a payment on our house. Our cats are fed. We have never skipped a meal (I am a touch underweight; she is a touch overweight). I have no major health issues, outside of the built-in family insanity (we like to argue because that is how we were raised) and some bad teeth and eyes. I have outlived my father.
So am I a success or failure? Well, it probably depends upon whether you want to call me a failure or not. Personally, I think that I am doing rather well considering where I started.
Now see – I don’t see you as a loser or an ineffective magician. I think you’ve been rather successful. You’ve changed your situation and you’re obviously content where you are. I’m simply poking at bears who question my effectiveness as a magician and try to use what they imagine my life is like to prove them wrong. LOL! However, I do firmly believe that willing magicians CAN do as well as I’ve done for myself and I imagine at some point, if it is your will, you’ll be in a position where money will no longer be a concern for you. 😉
Oh, I wasn’t saying that it was you. 😉 I am fairly sure that you have a good idea where I am at in the curve and market in my chosen profession, and know exactly where I should be in five years if I continue doing what I am doing. But my biggest critics judge me solely on money, and ignore where I started out from and where I am going. Of course, their opinions may simply be because they would love to see me go back to burger flipping, so that they can continue to be “better off” than I am.
Good Lord, Morgan. I cannot believe you would ever consider yourself a failure. You are doing what you want to do. There is nothing better than that, IMO.
Lots of people make money without ever even thinking of magic much less doing any. It was not my motivation for learning magic and still is not, even though I am quite poor nowadays. When I was ghostwriting, I made good money for very little work. I could have made a lot more by taking on more projects, but I preferred to work four days a month instead. That taught me that I valued my time more than I valued more money. .And I acted on that knowledge. I started a business where even in the best of times I have never made as much as I did ghostwriting. But I sure have enjoyed it! Thing is that I want what I want not by buying it to enjoy in my off time but by getting it through my daily lived life. If people think that makes me a loser, well, I hope they are remember that the next time they are taking too long in the bathroom and have to hurry back to their cube because their boss is watching them.
A friend of mine who makes a lot of money relative to most people in the US has said to me numerous times that he cannot understand why I am so happy. Like wtf is the matter with me? I don’t have this or that thing you buy with money. Finally he said that he wanted to be as happy as me. How did I do it? By doing what I want, that’s how. And in our world, doing what you want means you probably aren’t going to make much money. You might well be poor. But you sure will get a boatload of enjoyment and satisfaction out of it. That is success, as far as I’m concerned.
Anna Anima Mundi
I hope this opens up a much-needed conversation about what success is, and how relative it is to each person.
I know some people who are very happy to work hourly jobs because it also enables them to go to the job, do it without a lot of thought, pay their bills, and spend the rest of their time doing what they want to do. They’re not “on call,” they don’t have to work 50 or 60+ hours a week – it meets their needs. They’re happy. I would call that success. Some individuals would rather do internal work in this lifetime, and they may make spiritual breakthroughs that are not reflected in their bank balance, and that’s fine, too.
If a magician is stressed, unhappy, anxious, and problem-ridden all the time, then I’d say they need to sit down and have a good “come-to-Jesus” meeting with themselves (*joke*). I had to have that conversation with myself several years ago. Tough, but productive.