||A Magickal Persona is a critical aspect of
the Magickal practitioner. It is what helps us transcend mundane reality
and slip into the magickal realms. It allows us to slip out of our mundane
focus, set our jobs, relationships, and problems aside for a while, and
focus on the things of the Spirit.
The movie, ‘The Mask’,
is a classic example of a Magickal Persona. In the movie, Jim Carey
plays the part of a very klutzy, nerdy bachelor leading a very mundane,
loveless life. But things quickly change when, quite by chance, he finds
an ancient mystical mask that turns his reality upside-down. Unknown
to Jim, the mask harbours the spirit of an ancient God of Mischief and
Merriment. When Jim holds the mask to his face, it instantly revives
this outlandish, animated character with hilarious super powers. From
then on, Jim becomes involved in one absurd situation after another,
until at last his personality becomes balanced; he wins the girl’s
heart, and has no more need of the mask. Unfortunately, he throws the
mask into the current of a local river, and we watch as his friend dives
in after it, so the drama can begin again.
||Although Jim Carey was still the same mundane
person, the division of the two realities allowed him the freedom to experience
in the magickal sense his inner psyche. By separating and enhancing the
magickal aspect of consciousness, Jim was able to bring balance and meaning
to his mundane aspect.
||In our everyday, mundane reality, we have
a very clear, precise image of who and what we are in the many roles that
we play. For men, this might include husband, father, employee, Little
League Coach, etc. For a woman, this might include wife, mother, employee,
Girl Scout leader, etc.
||We are only one person, but we play many
roles, depending on whom we are interacting with. For most of us, this
is all there is to our lives. Some people incorporate aspects of folk
magick and superstition in these other roles, but that is not the same
magick we are discussing here.
||Without the magickal aspect in our lives,
we end up as so many sheep, living out our lives unaware of other possibilities
or higher functions. The magickal practitioner knows that there is more
to reality than the physical realms. He/she understands the awesome power
of the intuitive. He/she knows beyond doubt that there are other realms
and beings just beyond our mundane consciousness. The magickal persona
is the doorway to these other realms.
||In establishing a magickal persona, it is
critical to understand that when we ‘shift’ into our magickal
persona, we become quite a different person from any other aspect or role
we may have. In order to emphasize and reinforce the different nature
of the persona and imprint its different function on the conscious mind,
the magickal persona is given a special, magickal name. The magickal name,
ideally, should have some magickal significance to you.
||Many practitioners choose names of Gods/Goddesses,
mythical beings or heroes, or a name of some special significance from
childhood. This name, when spoken in the appropriate times and places,
should become the trigger that calls that magickal persona forward. For
most, this name is considered extremely sacred, and spoken only in the
highest reverence. In fact, it is believed within some traditions that
should an enemy learn your spiritual name, he/she may actually use that
information to gain power over you. To this end, just remember to select
your name carefully, and handle all magickal persona names as a sacred
||In conjunction with the magickal persona,
we also have special attire and amenities. For some, this special attire
may be a robe or a dress. This usually includes your ‘cords’.
Your cords are lengths of different colored cord, depending on your tradition,
cut to a specific length and having a very specific meaning and function.
Again these cords are sacred and must be safeguarded. Additional amenities
might also include specific jewellery or headpieces for specific purposes.
For some traditions, the appropriate dress is ‘sky clad’,
meaning without any clothing at all. Before you cringe or pass judgment,
remember that all we do is in ‘perfect love and perfect trust’.
I can speak from personal experience when I say that some of the closest
and most powerful circles I have ever been privileged to attend were ‘sky
clad’. This type of ritual is not for everyone, but there is a love
and a trust within these circles almost without parallel in any clad circle.
||As an addendum to the dress for magickal practice,
there are other sacred objects that reinforce the magickal aspect. These
are your personal and alter items. The athame, the chalice, the sword,
the wand and so forth. As you go about selecting these items, remember
their purpose and status, and choose accordingly. Take the time and effort
to make a magickal connection and a bond between you and your tools. They
are not ordinary, regardless of their origin. Tools acquired from Goodwill
are just as sacred as those are from the finest metaphysical store if
it's what you have available. It is the magickal association, connection
and bond that you make with your tools that separates that which is sacred
from that which is mundane.
||That leads us to another aspect of the magickal
persona, the rituals. To understand ritual, you must understand metaphor
and the associative functions of the human mind. Our minds work by association.
We think in relative terms, we remember by association with other items
already stored in our memory.
||A metaphor is a pattern of thought in which
the meaning ordinarily associated with one thing is applied to another.
Have you ever heard someone say that they feel like they have been hit
by a train or that they feel good enough to walk on water? These are metaphoric
statements. We use metaphors constantly in our lives because the mind
has a powerful capacity to relate through association of thoughts and
concepts. In addition, rituals work with the archetypal images and beings
of the inner psyche.
||We now return to the Anatomy of A Magickal
Human and discuss the three selves and the act of getting all three to
agree and work together. This is the actual function of ritual. Ritual
is the physical enactment of a clearly understood metaphor that works
on all three levels of self to draw the selves into more perfect alignment,
each self participating in the ritual at the level of its own function.
The Younger Self, through the physical body, is drawn into the actual
physical enactment of the metaphor, Talking Self clearly understands the
associations of the metaphor and the logic of the ritual in relation to
the desired outcome, and Higher Self, connected to Younger Self and to
the Eternal, can associate with the metaphor and then transmit the power
of Younger Self generated in the ritual to propel the desire toward manifestation.
||The enactment of the metaphor on the physical
plane is designed to align the selves and create sufficient power within
the etheric substance of creation so as to alter physical reality according
to the desired outcome.
||To construct an effective ritual, you must
create an enactment of some behaviour that attaches the desired outcome
of the ritual to the actual aspect of reality you are going to affect.
For example, from a real situation, a young woman desired to enhance the
physical relationship between her and her boyfriend. She approached a
well-known magickal practitioner for advice.
||She was given careful instructions and a list
of required supplies. She was to go home, take a luxurious bath. Then
she was to complete her preparations with whatever made her feel sexual
and desirable. When she was ready, she was to retire into seclusion and
prepare the next phase. This required a candle specially prepared for
this ritual with a picture of her boyfriend carefully tied to the candle
with red ribbon, of course. Rose petals were spread about the floor. When
she was ready, she was to light the candle and turn on the music and begin
visualizing what she wanted from her boyfriend as she erotically danced
naked around the candle. She called the next day to ask if the candle
was supposed to explode during the ritual! Since a candle is a male phallic
symbol, I ask you, did she do it right or what? That is a very simple
example of ritual, with all its metaphoric associations.
||The very success of our magickal abilities
is dependent on just how different our ‘magickal illusion’
really is. This magickal persona is the heart and soul of the magickal
||Eventually, many practitioners integrate
the magickal persona into a more close association with their mundane
aspects, but to every magickal practitioner I have ever known, regardless
of tradition, the magickal persona was a key aspect.
||When we were children, one of our favourite
past times was called ‘dress-up’. Whatever we were doing was
always more fun, more cool, if we could actually find the things that
made the experience more real. The more real the items we could scavenge,
the better the experience.
||If we were playing soldier, uniforms, guns
and forts were the order of the day. If we were playing Indians, feather
headdresses, a bow and arrow and a tepee were the older of the day. If
we were playing hospital, well, you get the point. The mind works by association,
and we can program it just like a computer. If you teach it that a certain
robe, a certain knife and a certain place are magickal, and you do it
consistently and with certainty, the mind will learn the association and
respond accordingly. The mind does not question your input, unless it
is inconsistent with its previous programming.
||We teach the mind by constantly reinforcing
the responses that we expect from it. We are back to the power of thought
and emotion in making imprints in how we perceive, interpret and respond
to certain stimulus. The more powerfully charged we can make the experiences
that we imprint on our psyche, the more quickly and powerfully it will
make the desired associations and produce the desired results.
||Remember, you cannot experience anything that
you do not personally believe possible. The mind will rationalize and
justify an alternative possibility every time. The power of the magickal
persona lies in its ability to help the mind transcend normal patterns,
and allow for the extraordinary.
||Today, as a rule, I am long past the time
of requiring ‘dress-up’ to activate the magickal persona.
Now, it is as much a feel and a state of mind, as anything physical. But
the magickal persona is still a critical part of who I am and the work
that I do. I literally become, invoke if you will, my magickal persona
at the initiation of any magickal act, however insignificant that act
||In my mundane reality, my magickal persona
is always present, though usually passive. With my magickal persona so
poised, I am prepared to shift quickly into whatever mode may be required.
This last aspect is not consistent with my understanding of generally
accepted Wiccan beliefs, in that I perform many magickal acts and rituals
with going through the prerequisite steps of casting and cleansing a circle.
As a Witch and a Shaman, my practices often overlap. Be very careful making
exceptions to these generally accepted rules. They have existed for centuries
for very good reason, your safety.
||I was once told by my mentor that any magickal
system that I could not access instantaneously in a crisis situation was
not worthy of my time or effort. I consider this to be the truest test
of one’s magickal system and ability.
||Once again, we are going to define Magick
as the ability to alter the fabric of reality in conformity and proportion
to your imagination and will. What greater reason could there possibly
be to use your knowledge and skills, if not in a crisis situation, whatever
that crisis might be?
||Life seldom offers most of us the luxury
of advance warning when disaster is about to strike. Without time, many
magickal traditions would be unable to respond. By the time you make the
ritual preparations, cast a circle, raise a cone of power, perform the
ritual (assuming you have one prepared), and close the circle, and wait
for the etheric tide, a substantial amount of time has passed. In some
cases, too much time. So what do you do?
||Please understand, I will never advocate breaking
the rules of someone else’s tradition. but I do believe that we
have far greater ability that we believe or accept. Furthermore, as magickal
practitioners, we have a responsibility. You have a magickal persona.
That magickal persona is only a thought away. In crisis situations, you
may have no better ally that your own magickal persona. The ability to
call upon and empower that persona instantaneously may be the difference
between life and death. It has been for my wife and I on several occasions.
||My recommendation is this. Once you have
developed your magickal persona, practice calling it forth at will. This
should be a relative easy exercise. Practice calling up your magickal
persona until you are absolutely proficient at it. Remember, in calling
forth your magickal persona, you have called up your magical knowledge
||Now you must empower your work. Next practice
calling up your magickal persona and raising your power levels. Use the
power of your emotion. Feel the power surge through your body. Raise the
power level as high as you can, don't worry about sustaining it. Keep
practicing raising that power. Try different methods, but experiment till
you find you own individual connection to that power.
||Now begin randomly calling up your magickal
persona, raise your cone of power and give it a simple, verifiable task.
Play with the cloud formations, the wind direction and speed, whatever
you find that helps you to practice. This is a disaster preparedness course.
Treat it like one. Be serious and practice till you can see the results.
When you can do this, your magickal persona is your constant, passive
ally. You will never need worry about your magickal abilities again.