PMPM - Change Agent

One of the most persuasive arguments for the practice of magic is that magic is about change -- making change, directing change, adjusting the odds, etc. This makes sense because change is a continuous and constant state. So since change is happening in your life anyway, you may as well do everything you can to get it to go your way.

But that supposes you want change in your life.

What if you don't? 

This is something that I've been pondering the last few years. I'm in a position right now where I do not want a lot of change in my life. My family situation is stable, I love my job, and my primary goals are to get the budding psychonaut through high school with a minimum of both drama and harm and to support the spouse in rebooting post injury. My personal and family goals are, frankly, boring. Getting more exercise. Eating locally. Yawn. Seriously.

I hope you can see how dangerous this is. Particularly since (and I appreciate that this is not apparent from the content here) my personal praxis is extremely intuitive, ecstatic, messy, and physical. The whole reason I'm interested in the intersection of personal planning and goal achievement with magic is because the organization successes this engenders frees me up to do to the kind of ritual work and spellcraft I'm drawn to.

Snakes baby, it's all snakes...

Still, enchanting against change is both futile and risky. The former because change happens no matter what. The latter because enchanting for stasis it is like fucking for virginity. An inherent contradiction that can cause the very thing you are trying to work against.

I've seen this come up over the years under the guise of "is magic dangerous to your life?" or "can you do magic when you have kids?" The latest example was a very thoughtful exchange on Gordon's TARL cable, but I've seen the discussion pop up over and over. It's a debate that doesn't seem to want to land, and I think it's because the common answer (don't do magic) can be extremely problematic.

How do I not do magic? Certainly, there are things I would not (and did not) do while pregnant and things that I would not (and could not) do with a small, needy child around. However not doing anything is not really an option for me. First because, as I keep pointing out, change happens anyway and just ignoring the available options to manage and direct it seems foolish. Second because weird shit will continue to happen to me with or without my participation, so better to step up and be proactive about it.

OK, so stopping isn't an option for me. Maybe it is for other people. Yet, there's still an issue with not really wanting a lot of change in my life right now.

For the past few years I've been trying to reconcile this and here's what I've come up with:

Step one: focus on working with those aligned to your purpose. You know who cares about stability in my life? My grandmother (and aunts and uncles -- Liebe Grossmutter, Ich habe nicht vergessen!). These are the ones I go to for the security and stability requests. They understand human family concerns (unlike the Gods) and have a vested interested in our success and happiness.

Step two: the magic triumvirate: health, prosperity, family. You don't have to have stability to have these things, but having them makes fostering stability and dealing with change when necessary much easier. So I can keep a hand in practical enchantment by focusing on these three.

Step three: misdirection. The stage magician keeps you from seeing the trick by focusing your eyes elsewhere. It's effective and it works. Your life is going to have a certain amount of change. Your magic may increase the odds of that. How do you keep the universe's eyes off the things you want to keep stable? Give it a shiny piece of bait to go after instead.

Wait! Look over there!

Pick up an elaborate hobby, learn a complex new skill, start an intense course of study, start a blog (ahem). Deliberately make a change in your life and focus the change energy there. Do magic for it. Open it up to the chaos that you don't want hitting your family or your day job. Like the stage magician you wave the shiny target in the mark's face and distract them from the ace up your sleeve.

Of course change still happens. Whether you want it to or not. But if your current goals include stability, security, or prosperity a little creative magic might help direct the flow a bit.

Finally, appreciate the stability when you have it. Don't squander it. Enjoy it yes, but also use it prepare for the change to come. Because change still happens.

Whether you want it to or not.


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