Short-Term vs. Long-Term Objectives in Magic

I started this as a thread on Studio Arcanis, but I’m going to include it here as a post because I think it may be of interest to the majority of people who visit this website.  If you want to talk about it, feel free to comment below. – Dr. M

I’ve been having an interesting conversation off-site with a novice magician who is having a hard time wrapping her head around the idea that you can use magic to change your entire life permanently and for the better. She’s talented, even though she’s a beginner, and she’s been able to pull in small amounts of money, romantic partners, call (a few) spirits, and protect herself. She’s got all the fundamentals. But her question to me was, in so many words, if I’ve got this magical gift, “How come I still live in a lame tiny apartment, I’m broke most of the time, and every love interest I bring into my life doesn’t last?”

It’s a good question. My first response was to ask what she values the most and where she is putting the largest amount of emotional energy and focus in her life. I talk about that at length here on my blog because it’s related and, as a public sorcerer, I get similar questions quite a bit:

But I think there’s more to it in terms of what she’s wondering. And I think it comes down to short-term and long-term objectives. A short-term objective might be to get $500 to pay off a credit card debt. That is excellent. So you make a sigil or buy a “Money Get Into My Pocket” candle, do the ritual, avoid lust of result, and eventually money comes to you. Maybe $250 comes from a rebate, $100 comes from a gambling win down at Big Horse Casino, and you get $150 on Ebay when your Franklin Mint “Elvis in the Parthenon” plates finally sell. Is that how money magic can work? Absolutely. You take that money and pay off your credit card. The whole thing takes a few months and it doesn’t feel like Harry Potter magic. It just feels like a few good breaks in a normal life. Magic. It works like that.

But you then still have to use your credit card because you are broke enough to be living on credit part of the time. Okay. So you haven’t changed much. You are still going to accrue debt. You still have to shop at discount stores part of the time and forgo the daily Starbucks if you don’t want a headache at the end of the month. You need long-term change. Here is how to create that.

The basic principle is that long-term change is built from a chain of significant short-term changes aimed at the goal. Back to our example. You paid off your credit card. Good. Now you do a short-term money working to bring an additional income stream into your life. It’s not just you making more debt and then scrambling around to pay it off. It’s you adding more income while you make that additional debt. Pretty soon, you divert a little of it into a savings account. You keep on with this until you have a personal back-up fund that is big enough to, say, invest in a Bitcoin (yes, I know, crypto currency is very magical but unstable and it is just an example, not even the best one to use here—just go with it for the moment) or eventually purchase a rental property.* Then you’re playing with a degree of magical affluence that can increase and that ensures you have a long-term change. And you keep doing this, expanding, making more base affluence for yourself (and acquiring the knowledge necessary to do it again from nothing if you lose all your money).

In the meantime, you have done many short-term workings: to reduce small debts that stand in the way; to gain insight and knowledge; to acquire helpers; for luck (in a gambling sense and also in a personal networking sense); for magical mentors to help you work your magical books more effectively; and for a host of other short-term things, which are not one-shot workings as much as they are steps in the longer process.

The long game takes time, planning, and you have to be quiet about it because it will disrupt and upset those around you who like keeping you in your frustrated broke place. The point is that you can use magic to change your life permanently, but you have to be willing to put the work in over time. It might take a few years. You might be a different person at the end because of all the changes and the way people will be pulled into and pushed out of your life. 

So it also comes down to my question to this person: what do you value the most? If you can live with being broke but in love, you value love. If you think love depends on being financially stable enough to pursue it, you value money. If you can sit alone in a library, broke and unloved, and be content with your books, you value knowledge. Like most of us, you probably value all these things to some degree. But the thing you value most should be the object of long-term commitment for you. The rest will fall into place in a lesser sense when you get started on that central focus-point.

* There are many, many other examples and ways to draw that base affluence. These are only two and, as I mention above, not even the best two.