Over the past week I received three emails from different people asking whether or not the Zagan Rite was for them. Now, normally I’m pretty honest. I will tell a person my thoughts on their use of magick for personal issues and hold nothing back. After all, they need to know up front the potential pitfalls of every operation they perform. Sometimes Zagan is a great idea — sometimes – not so much.
Zagan can make certain difficult situations more difficult. For example – I wouldn’t work with Zagan for emotional issues between two people. Not unless you want an extreme reaction. There’s really no “gentleness” there. So people hoping to be eased into a new life or a big change would find themselves shell-shocked – and likely blame me for their misfortune.
But every so often, even when I know someone shouldn’t perform a particular ritual, I tell them to go for it.
To soothe my guilty conscience, I often tell myself that I told them to do it because I didn’t want to crush their spirit. I didn’t want to tell them that if they weren’t motivated to do something that chances are it wasn’t their calling, and they should let it go. I could be wrong, after all.
But the reality often is that I know exactly why the person wants what they want, and that reason usually amounts to greed, a quick fix, or fulfillment of a fantasy without the hard work. I tell them to do the ritual because I know it will likely kick their ass into next year and teach them a valuable lesson in discernment. Because in cases like that, you can’t talk reason into a person or give them sage advice without it hurting their feelings or triggering their defenses (denial is a strong trait among humans).
Sometimes saying, “Go for it” is the kindest thing you can do, even when you know it will fail miserably and the person will likely be cussing your name for a year afterward (if they are aware enough to make the connection – some of them aren’t). Sometimes tough love is the kindest thing of all.
I can only hope the lessons are well received and that years from now those who receive them will look back and be thankful for that experience.
Doing a ritual for the wrong reason vs. doing it for the right reason is one of those discernment lessons every magician learns whether (s)he wants to or not. Analyzing your true motivation for anything you think you “want” is something that should be done before performing any magickal work. After all – if you’re going to apply energy, time, and work into something, it should be directly aligned with your True Will. If your magick toward a goal isn’t working or manifesting results, even in small baby steps, you could be lying to yourself about what your True Will is.
You can lie to others, but you can’t lie to yourself – or the Daemonic.