To Cause Internal Change

, S oubt is the antagonist of spellcraft. Not only does it distract from a mental image of success, it enforces an image of failure. This is where social and psychic attacks have taken their toll. If you have been told a thousand times that you cannot accomplish a particular goal, chances are, you won't be able to. Repetition is the key to learning. With each failure, failing will become easier and easier. Like attracts like.

We are not born with doubt. Ask every child in a preschool class who can sing. Hands will fly into the air. Ask them what they can sing, and they will tell you to name the song. It doesn't matter if they know the words, or even the tune, children are absolutely sure they can sing anything you would want. Why? Because nobody has told them they can't. Ask the same question of students in grade school, junior high, and then high school. With each passing year, fewer and fewer hands will go up. By college, the very few that volunteer will put distinct limits on what type of music they can sing.

By the time your intent reaches sufficient maturity, your ability to cause manifestation has fallen victim to fear, doubt, and countless other assaults from the world in which you live. Before you can hope to cause deliberate change outside of yourself, you must first correct the damage that has already been done to your confidence.

While writing this book, I had the great fortune of meeting a young lady who performs with a local theater group. I had never met a professional actor before and used the chance meeting to expand my knowledge. One of my questions was, "What did you want to be when you were 12?" She answered without hesitation, "An actor." I was surprised by her answer. Most people don't follow the profession they sought as a child. "What did your parents think of the idea?" I asked. She told me that when she was 12, they encouraged her dream. But by the time she entered high school, her parents' encouragement changed to, "you should prepare for a real job." Without training or practice, she was able to accomplish what counselors and psychologists often fail to do. She was able to break the cycle of victimization.

Because we cannot turn off our minds, our natural state is to be the victim of everything we observe. Anything that you see or otherwise sense has already entered your mind. Once there, the thought behind that observation will manifest in one way or the other. This is one of the reasons perpetrators of domestic violence are often victims of domestic violence. Those who commit sex crimes are often the victims of sex crimes.

As adults, we must face the cold reality that such assaults are not excuses. We are responsible for our own actions and inactions. If you grew up surrounded by domestic violence, I am sorry. But that does not excuse your acts of domestic violence. If you were molested as a child, I am also sorry. But that does not excuse your acts of molestation. If you grew up in a society that did not get involved, I am sorry. But that does not excuse your inactions.

Unintentional attacks are the most common. But even when the attack is not deliberate, our minds observe and then try to manifest what it has observed. The largest source is parents, friends, and peers. Someone prevented them from trying, so they attempt to prevent you. They probably have the best of intentions. Maybe they think they are saving you the pain of disappointment. What they are really doing is programming you to fail.

How many times has someone told you that your dreams are unrealistic? How many times have your parents or friends attempted to protect you from failure by convincing you not to try? An inaction is in and of itself an action, so if you do not try, you have already failed. When it comes to spellcraft, if you grew up surrounded by failure, I am sorry. But that absolutely does not excuse your failure!

There are also deliberate attacks. Advertising agencies are predominantly responsible for these. You can't turn on the television or read a magazine without being told you are not whole without one product or the next. The hair and diet industries just love to generate a poor self-image. That way they can sell you products to fix what might be an entirely contrived problem. If you listen long enough, you will start to believe everyone is as superficial as the advertisement implies.

"Does your wife really love you even though you are going bald? Buy our new Hair in a Can and get rid of those doubts once and for all."

"Ted here lost 500 pounds this summer by eating our sandwiches. Now he's a babe magnet. Maybe your life would be better if you ate what Ted eats."

Around every corner we hear that our head is too bald and our stomachs are too big. Spam (unsolicited commercial e-mail) is even worse. If you have an e-mail account, I am sure you have been told that your penis is too small. Of course there is a cure for each and every problem they say you have, but you will just have to purchase a product or visit a Web site. Have your credit card ready. The worst part about the commercial assaults is that they are very well targeted. They know that men are more concerned about mating habits, so that's where they focus their attention. Even though e-mail is free, America Online accounts that are listed as belonging to men will receive a much greater amount of spam from porn sites.

"Want more women? Try our new stud in a can. Finally, the pheromones she can't resist are just $39.95.

Guaranteed or your money back!"

Will they also return your self-esteem? The world has pounded us so long that it's no wonder we manifest self-doubt. It must be the way someone wants it to be. After all, just about the entire corporate world wants to keep the ball rolling right along. Even the companies who claim they are concerned with our sanity do everything they can to injure our mental health.

"Ask your doctor if the blue pill is right for you."

Just in case you have a tiny sense of self-reliance left, the pharmaceutical companies are at hand to rip it from your soul. Maybe you are not whole without the latest antidepressants. Why would anyone ask a doctor about a cure when he is not sick? Because the commercials will cause you to doubt that you are well.

Of course there are clear circumstances where antidepres-sants are helpful. If you are riddled with depression, antidepres-sants will make you feel a lot better. They won't stop the self-doubt, but after a week or two you won't care. If used properly, they can help you shift your focus away from the depression so your counselor can help you heal.

Other drugs are also useful to distract the mind from the problem long enough to make repairs. If you are bleeding to death, morphine will make you feel a lot better. It won't stop the bleeding, but after a shot or two you just won't care. If used properly, it can help you shift your focus away from the injury so medics can stop the bleeding.

Both antidepressants and morphine are useful to the healing process when they are used correctly. Both can be very dangerous to your health if they are used incorrectly. However, I have never seen a commercial advertising the latest designer morphine. Some people do have chemical imbalances that need to be addressed, but "mystery drug" commercials are not aimed at the sick; they are aimed at the healthy for the purpose of causing psychosomatic illness. Each is its own little magickal attack on your mind for the purpose of profit.

No matter what you do, you will continue to receive these assaults. You can turn off your television. You can move away from environments that are not conducive to your health. You can stop listening to people who bring you down, but you cannot prevent every potential attack, so you must establish walls to stave off those attacks.

"Throw the circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out"

—from the Poem of the Wiccan Rede

Wiccan rituals imitate life. Where the circle is cast, a boundary of sacred space is defined. Everything within the circle is separated from the rest of the world. The body has a very similar boundary of sacred space. This border between our internal and external world is seen by most children. When young folk draw living things, they often include a glow around the body. The most devout spiritual leaders are often painted with this boundary clearly defined as a radiant field around their bodies. Sometimes this brilliance is concentrated around the head, producing the halo that is seen in classic Western imagery of holy men. This boundary is typically called the aura.

Classic art can be used to establish aura lore. It has been called the nimbus, glory, mandorla, and other names. By each name, two very distinct guidelines can be established. The first is that the aura tends to concentrate itself around the head. The second is that the aura becomes more intense with greater levels of spirituality.

Remembering that religion and magick are not the separate things that the Western world has insisted, you can see the significance of the association between the aura and levels of magickal skill. The greater our mind becomes, the more intense our aura becomes.

The aura is very real. It can be photographed, measured, and quantified. But there is absolutely no evidence that it has the ability to protect the mind or body any better than a circle on the ground. Each is a tool for visualization; it is your intent that brings the protection of both the circle and your aura. In the case of the aura, the intensity is an indication of your spiritual/magickal development. The greater your mind becomes the more intense your aura becomes. Your aura is a method of measuring your ability to protect your mind and body.

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