Magical Determinism – Gavin and Yvonne’s Archive –

a blog titled Magical Determinism drafted 03 14 12, posted ___________

Determinism – the philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision, is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs.

In the past few years determinism has manifested itself in various disciplines. The most recent of such disciplines may be subatomic physics. Determinism postulates that the thing you are today and the things you do today have already been determined by past actions and events. In physics this serves to define the expected results of any experiment: “What can we validly expect? What would it be rational to expect, given past actions and their effects?” It can be seen that in most cases it works at the macro level–but the question of whether it works at the micro level is really open. We get into abstract ideas such as chaos theory and probability.
In the magical field the question is whether determinism works to affect the results / outcome of a magical action. If you have done, let us say, a money magic and it has worked perfectly, will it work again? Most magicians will tell you that there is no sure way of guaranteeing that the same results will accrue from the same actions. This seems to indicate, then, that in the magical field determinism does not apply.
We hate to think that their attitude is sloppy or lazy …
The opposing view is that on the second occasion of trying the “same” magic, something very slightly different was done: a minute change was made in the procedure, and the variation resulted in a different outcome. That is why many traditions require that rituals be followed to the last detail. Even pausing as for a period instead of for a comma in an affirmation can make all the difference between success and “failure”, they say. When you have a procedure that works, you must record that procedure in the minutest detail. Example: What was the phase of the moon? What was the ambient air pressure as read by meteorologists at the very hour of the Working? How long had it been since the worker(s) had gotten laid? Did you blink in the middle of it?
Then try it again.
In the early days of the Church and School of Wicca, a large number of our neophyte students had never read outside books on ritual procedure, let alone tried such procedures themselves. That student body was international in scope. Today, in vivid contrast, we see people writing rituals and doing all sorts of unusual procedures in attempts to influence the future. Most of their efforts seem foredoomed to failure.
We encourage you therefore to think about determinism. If determinism is to be taken as a Law, you should obey that law. (That is called rational behavior.) If determinism is just claptrap, go right ahead and wing it. Do what you will–though still harming none, of course. The Church and School of Wicca believes that determinism is real and is valid, since it has been applied to so many disciplines and proven true.


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