Addendum: Conversation With Hekate About Magic.

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Hekate: What is it that you want to accomplish?

Thenea: I want my community to be strong. I want us to have money.

Hekate: Do you mean that you want money?

Thenea: No. I mean that I am looking out into a sea of people who are broke, like, had sleep for dinner kinda broke, like, getting sicker because they can’t afford a doctor broke, like one mishaps away from homelessness broke. I’m looking into a world where most jobs don’t cover basic survival requirements.

Hekate: No.

Thenea: What do you mean, no?

Hekate: What’s your stake in the game?

Thenea: Is it so hard to believe that I actually care about other people?

Hekate: No, but you’ll never work propper magic by thinking about how success impacts someone other than you. What is your stake in the game? Why does it matter to you?

Thenea: Because it’s what’s right. It’s what’s right for you, even.

Hekate: Thinking about it that way is no help, if you want to make change. You have your own five senses and no one else’s. What is your personal reason for wanting this?

Thenea: I’m an empath and-

Hekate: NO.

[Omitted: about fifteen minutes of Thenea screaming, swearing, and crying]

Thenea: I HATE MY JOB SO MUCH AND I AM SO LONELY. 80% of my friends are either working around the clock or so tired that they can hardly think! I am tired of watching them suffer from problems no one should ever have to suffer through in an industrialized nation. I am tired of people I want to spend time with being unable to spend time with me because they are isolated by their struggle to live a basic life. Is that the selfish, unreasonable reason you wanted? You should care! You should do something!

Hekate: That. I can work with that. Dearest, this isn’t about persuading me. It never has been. It’s about persuading your id. It’s about persuading your ego. If you try to work magic from a place of pure light and selflessness, you will accomplish nothing. You want to help your friends? Noble. But unless you are capable of working yourself up into a shaking, screaming, blubbering, tantruming mess over how much you want it, you won’t have the power to do a damn thing. Shoving down what is selfish within you has a place. That place is not the circle wherein you work my sort of magic. All of you needs to be there, with me, if we’re going to work together on something. Learn to be childish again, and learn to control those emotions not by supressing them or dimming your awareness of them, but by channeling your passion and fury –passion and fury under will– directly into reality itself. 


  1. Lol that’s pretty basic. You have to feel very strongly in order to do effective spells. You have to have personal skin in the game. Being complacent, being satisfied, being in a good place personally just doesn’t get the juice flowing like deep anger, need, or desire does. I’m sorry you’re lonely. I understand how your friends feel. They’re in a tough situation. Now if you could get THEM to work a spell, all of their angst would be powerful indeed. Coming to it second hand it’s weaker. No matter how much I want good things for my friends, it’s just not the same energy as they would put into it.

    1. You say it’s basic, but a lot of us are coming from backgrounds where we have been taught that self-dis-empowerment is right and good. I know many people, including myself, who turned away from magic(k) and witchcraft specifically because they felt uncomfortable at “selfish” personal power. And that’s just speaking of relatively “secular” magick — when spirit beings are involved, especially Gods, a lot of people subconsciously expect the requirement of trampling down their own egos in deference. Unfortunately I think it’s not something that can simply be gotten over with mere awareness, it’s very ingrained.

      1. I understand that. I’ve struggled with it all my life. I refused to believe I had any power at all, and then I refused to believe that the power I had was, well, powerful. Lol. We’re told over and over to not be selfish, when we need to be selfish in order to gain anything in this world. I really do see where you’re coming from. Maybe they tell us that because they’re afraid of our accessing our power and becoming strong enough to stand on our own!

      2. Same boat. I’ve seen lately a whole bunch of us quite suddenly going, “wait….but maybe????” specifically in terms of personal power. So I definitely think They are pushing us to get off our collective butts,

        I myself had a real change of heart when I spent a period grieving (another thing we’re not supposed to do in our culture) at the things/pets/people I’ve lost in life due to the fact that I was unable to protect them. I was struck very hard in meditation — the reason you can protect something is due to weakness, and what is the opposite of personal weakness? I realized all this spiritual difficulty I have (and which I see others of us having) boils down to our aversion to personal power. I really do think the Gods are pulling their metaphorical hair out a bit, watching us try to re-build our power. We certainly can’t protect our community, our history, our folklore, our religion (let alone protect our individual lives) if we are weak — Heathens most notably are seeing what that reaps, but it is everywhere.

    2. It depends.

      I’ve gotten some pretty baller manifestations without any kind of passionate entanglement at all. *shrug* I’m a Ceremonial Magician. I rely on formulae. They’re repeatable. My emotions are not. This is the, shall we say, “Hermetic” or Hermesian approach. The energy comes from thought, mental and physical effort, creativity, and inspiration.

      Hekate’s magic is different. It is the path I did not take. If what she’s telling me seems basic, it’s because what she calls magic is something I have only barely touched. I can’t say that her way is better or worse for my aims than Hermes’. I will know if one is better for my purposes than the other when I’ve tried both. But I’m clear on the fact that masters of this path are not more powerful than masters of the other one.

      1. Sometimes we surprise ourselves – but not everything requires a huge investment of emotional energy to manifest. Which is good. Or we’d be wrung-out wisps of ourselves.

  2. I think this is an excellent example of how we modern-day folks misinterpret ancient people “making demands” of their Gods. We tend to parrot “the Gods aren’t vending machines”, but I see very few people follow up with a good explanation of what, exactly, the long historical tradition of petitioning exists for then? It is very much to me the same as between human beings: “I am here working hard, I demand that you who loves me work beside me also by right of that love.”

  3. Well, damn. That’s for something for me to remember!

    I’m primarily Odin’s, and He’s been pushing me a lot in the direction of personal power lately. I can’t lie and say it doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable in that I keep worrying it will make me arrogant and selfish, but I know that has a lot to do with how our society views women too. Odin sees the power in women, and Himself, so I think that’s why He’s been encouraging me to – *GASP* – embrace my inherent power and the need to be a little selfish for adequate survival. Like you, I’m very empathetic, and recently I’ve gotten to be so damaged because of giving myself away to other people in efforts to try and heal their wounds and to assuage my chronic guilt complex. It, of course, didn’t work. Now I’m reaping the rewards of that toxicity, and alternate between feeling enraged at said others to feeling like a dry, bitter husk. The Gods have little use for the latter; the former can be a useful tool.

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