My Beloved and I were having a conversation over coffee this morning. The topic turned to one I have been rolling around in my thoughts. How to work with metal magically.
It seems like it should be a simple concept. Fairly straight forward. ‘Get X metal, do Y to it and tada! You get Z.’ The fly in the ointment is that everyone is coming from a different direction, background, thought process, history, etc. You get the idea. And one thing I have noticed of late, it seems few people are interested in putting in ‘Work’ to get what they want. Hardly any. At all. And by ‘Work’ I mean doing some research. Study a bit. Sit with it. Think about it. Listen. I know I learn a lot more from listening than talking. Give it a day or two. Wait, what? Maybe a good place to start is by stating what I mean when I say ‘Work’. I am using it as both a verb and a noun. MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY has verb - 1C: to exert oneself physically or mentally, especially in sustained effort for a purpose or under compulsion or necessity and noun - 1C: sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result. Some of you will already be at the tl:dr (too long: didn’t read) point by now.
This may very well be an over judgement on my part. I see many people asking in groups ‘a bird/turtle/cat/animal did such-and-such. What does this mean?’ or ‘I need a spell for this’ and even ‘is ABC deity trying to get my attention?’. I am all for asking questions when one doesn’t know. It is a good way to learn. In my point of view, I think it would be better if someone said, ‘I have tried “EFG” and got “LMN” result. Can someone give me feedback?’ Or ‘Who are excellent resources for this subject?’ I know personally I have learned much more from figuring out how not to do something than from doing it. I think it would be difficult for someone to give you an answer to your situation. Them not being you and all.
Where am I going with this? How does one help others understand that ‘Work’ is not the same as a quick fix, a google search or picking up a doodad from the store or online shop? I also realize that I am much different now than I was 30 years ago when I started down this path. And how different things are. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it could be for those starting out now. I can search for anything online and get an answer. Is it the answer? The answer I need? How does one know? Answer: Relationship.
Relationship 3a: a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings (back to good ole MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY) Here is a big clue - if you are challenged to have a meaningful relationship in the mundane world, you are going to be pushing up hill in the magical. Why do I say this? Personal experience. Anyone who knows me, knows I am so not the king of relationships. Sure, I have a wonderful one of 18 years and counting with my Beloved.
The 35+/- years before then? Disaster. Of epic proportions. So I am going to give her some most of the credit. And it doesn't have to be as narrow as a significant other type of relationship. Look at your relationships with family, friends, work etc. (See you’re doing some Work).
Let’s steer the conversation back to metal magic and relationships. I don’t think this can apply to just this case. I think this can apply in many areas of magic and life. For me, to really understand and feel comfortable working with something, I have to know it. Dare I say, have a relationship with it. Get to know it. Try to understand it. Yeah, I may be a bit of an animist. It’s just where I am. I am “comfy” working around things that are known to me.
How do you build a relationship? This is the $1,000,000.00 question. I will address this in another post. I think it deserves its own space. Don’t you?
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