To live intentionally is to practice magick! One doesn't have to mutter incantations or cast spells, although many do; one simply has to purpose, in their heart of hearts, their innermost Being, that they're going to live a certain way, do certain things, no matter what & voila, they're practicing magick, whether they know it or not! Magick, like most 'things', is not in & of itself, 'evil'! Some people DO have wicked intentions, though I would dare to say there are more people with good intentions. 'It is what it is'; if one's purpose is to live well, harming no other ( ? ), then it could well be said that they're practicing what is most often called 'white magic', but one who lives carelessly, only concerned with their own profit ( ? ), no matter if others are harmed, could well be said to practice what is called 'black magic'. Aside from the fact that it is wrongly called 'magic', magick is what it is, neither good nor bad, but dependent on the spirit of the individual practitioner.
In this Life, it's sadly surprising the amount of people that simply strive to survive! From surviving the teenage years to surviving till the weekend ( 'work' is a four-letter word', etc. ), there are many who seem to have blindly accepted the notion, whether they believe in an 'after-life' or not, that no one makes it out of this life alive, that all we can do is hope to survive long enough to see our grandkids & maybe great-grandkids. If we can provide them a better life along the way, that's great too!
But what if there's More?! Maybe there's more to Life than simply surviving! If we could only change our perceptions of who we really are & what Life's really all about, maybe we would learn to aim for More than just survival: maybe we would thrive to such an extent that we & those around us never thought possible! Really, there's no doubt about it; we would thrive; we just have to take that first daring step. Knowing yourself is a dauntingly frightening proposition, but if we are to do More than survive, we must know ourselves. This may look different to different people, depending on their chosen religion, because, depending on what one believes about themselves, the aforementioned task may be more or less daunting, more or less frightening. There is a difference, however subtle it may seem, between knowledge & belief!
To truly know oneself, one must discard every notion that one has about themselves! Maybe that sounds crazy, but it's true; we have been so conditioned, as human beings, to believe that we are simply biological machines, bred for survival ( some call it 'evolution' ), that it will take a 'miracle' for us to 'get back to the Garden', so to speak. While we ARE in this biology, an integral part of it, one might note, WE are More than this biology! ( I know, this is 'old hat' for most of my readers ) Rather than human beings, bred to survive, with a spirit, WE are spirit-beings in a human body, who will thrive, if only we can see Beyond our Humanity!
How then, DOES one see Beyond their Humanity? CAN one see Beyond their Humanity; is there TRULY More?! 'As above, so below'; once we realize, through whatever means, that WE are More, once we start the ball rolling, so to speak, it's all downhill from there, though it is really an up-hill battle! Some use their chosen religion to strive for this knowledge, though that most often stagnates in belief, while others employ a more holistic way, through meditation & yoga. More than just an exercise regimen practiced for relaxation, 'Yoga' is a Sanskrit word meaning 'Union'. Called anything from 'chi' to 'orgone', it is the striving ( without striving ) to unite body & soul, to realize that it must be 'both/and' rather than 'either/or'. It is in the innermost being, our individual spirit, that the decision-making process begins. It goes without saying ( but I'll say it anyway ) that without the spirit, the body can do nothing!
Once one accepts, then, that there is More to Life than mere survival, she or he has made that first crucial step towards true knowledge! Some will take longer in this process than others, depending on their level of stagnation, while some, in their current Lifetime, will NEVER see this, but when it's all said & done ( ? ), ALL will come to this startling, but glorious realization!
Intentional Living, humanly speaking, is the first step. We must go about our lives, whether we call it 'magick' or not, purposefully taking each step, every action we imagine, beginning with the individual spirit. We must choose to harm no other rather than carelessly going about our 'day-to-day', irregardless of the harm we may be doing to others. As we've seen, this is easier said than done, but once we have made that first step, it becomes, not easier, but more 'natural', if that makes sense. The River of the Water of Life, which itself flows from the Tree of Life, will begin to run more freely through this biology, enabling us to thrive, not just survive!
The River of the Water of Life flows through this biology nonetheless, for it is Life itself, but humanly speaking, until we learn that WE are the Tree of Life & that every aspect of Life is miraculous & magickal, it will not flow as freely as it could! It's not as simple as the ( relatively ) old adage, 'if a tree falls in the forest & no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?', but our 'reality' ( again, 'humanly speaking' ) hinges on our perception. If we do not perceive the River of the Water of Life flowing through our veins, much less ourselves as the Tree of Life, we still ARE, but WE will not have the impact in this Life we otherwise would have.
Just like any religion, in reality, witchcraft is simply a way of Life, one that is intended to help us along the Way, toward becoming better versions of ourselves. There is always the tendency, it is true, to allow our Ego to get the better of us & to use our Craft in a way that is harmful to both ourselves & others, but when we purpose Within ourselves not to cause harm to others ( this includes More than one might think ), whatever religion we ascribe to ( if we ascribe to any certain religion ) will help us along the Way toward, not just becoming a better person, but realizing that we ARE More; More than just a Person; we are Life itself!
Charles Haddon Shank