March 9, 2011

On Addictive Personalities

Oh my, it's been awhile. Which is sort of the inspiration for this post, I suppose.

As magicians, we often spend an inordinate amount of time pondering cause-and-effect relationships. How will the stars effect my work? How did my work effect my life? Why didn't my work, well, work? It's sort of comes with the territory.

One of the things I rarely see, however, is people questioning why they're attracted to certain areas or types of work. If one takes a sudden interest in Voodoo, for instance, odds are you'll be so wrapped up in studying the subject that you won't stop to think about why you're suddenly energized and nearly completely focused on this one subject, perhaps only to lose interest a few days/weeks/months later. Or perhaps we find a new terribly interesting subject, and simply bound off to study it, without considering what we're leaving behind.

I could easily say that the reason I haven't posted for so long (in the meantime completely neglecting my occult studies and practices) is because my long-term relationship recently ended, or because I've been busy preparing for graduation, or because I've spent a lot of time (re)applying to pharmacy schools. But to be perfectly honest with you, and with myself, the real answer is that a lot of new shiny objects (in the way of friends, booze, video games, a new job, and school opportunities) got dangled in front of me all at once, and for all my boundless interest, the things I considered important got left behind.

So why did this happen? The fuck if I know, but at least I'm thinking about it. And if it's on my mind, there's hope that when it happens again (and it will, I'm sure), I'll recognize it, and perhaps handle things with a bit more balance and grace the second time around.

For now, though, the champagne's popped (literally), and it's time to leave a few hundred blog comments. Let's do this.


  1. I know what you are talking about all to well, i was deeply deeply into the occult practicing everyday and studying and reading every chance i got for 2 years. Then one day i got side tracked and found myself drinking more, hanging out with friends, watching tv more and in general forgetting all about my interest and work ( i created the occult blog Arcane Archives, click my name for the link) and eventually i got back on track and started to do more with it. I am there with you, and i dont know why it happened but it did!

  2. I think it's perfectly natural for your intensity in any activity/interest to increase and decrease in waves. I also think we have to be careful about getting obsessive, because you can end up burning out and developing a bad attitude toward something you formerly loved. Moderation in all things (including moderation!). The occult is best in regular measured doses.

  3. I think distraction is a means of self-preservation at times. You can't be going hot & heavy with magic at all times, lest you burn out your batteries. Seriously. Anecdotal, but if I do too many workings in a short space of time, I get very ill with some respiratory crud.
    But sometimes, when a constellation of events happens seemingly all at once, it is very hard to glean just what is up. You're lucky to be able to step back and ponder on it.

  4. Perhaps stepping away (or getting sidetracked) is necessary to give you a better perspective on which direction you want to take when continuing your studies.

  5. @Brett: The moment where you look back and see the stark difference between "life then" and "life now" is a little surreal, for sure. I'm not saying change is a bad thing, but mindfulness is definitely a good thing.

    @Scrib: I have to agree with you here, I'm definitely prone to burnouts when I turn an interest into another job. Still, I'd like the transition not to surprise me as much as it sometimes does.

    @Sara: Looking back on this months later, I can actually see where a bunch of my "failed" spells knitted together to create one beautiful clusterfuck of a result. Perspective is definitely a good thing.

    @nitebyrd: For sure. At any rate, it's better than getting hella invested in a practice before realizing it's not for you.