How does one tell if something is actually working or not? Sometimes it is obvious and sometimes it isn't. Who hasn't thought of someone only to have the phone ring and it be that person or them show up at the door? We've all had those little things happen.
These things really aren't that little actually, our magick works through the strength of our bonds. Whether it be the bonds we share with our friends, the Earth, our pets/familiars, or our community, these bonds allow us greater access to our personal magick and its efficacy. In magick the axiom, No Man Is An Island is an unspoken truth.
This in no way is an opinion against Solitaires (those on the magickal path that are not part of a coven or group). Solitaires have just as deep connections and bonds as any other magickal worker. Solitaires may use different techniques or focus on different skills than covens, but their work is just as important as any other's.
There has been lots of discussions on the blogsphere about "energy" and whether that is an accurate term or not. Call it what you will, there is definitely something occuring when a person works magick. I personally prefer to call it "the Force," but then, I'm geeky like that.
When I think of The Force, I think of the Three Pillars of the Qabala Tree of Life. The Pillar of Mercy/Force, the Pillar of Mildness/Balance, and the Pillar of Severity/Form.
The Tree of Life, for those not familiar with it, is composed of ten spheres upon three pillars that depict the map of creation. Each sphere represents certain aspects of the necessary ingredients needed for creation. There is layer upon layer of meaning in each sphere and pillar, but basically this a theological depiction of creation.
So, the number 3 represents the first form - a triangle. With 1, you have a point; two, you have a line. the number 3 is the first solid foundation on which to build.
So back to The Force, it flows freely until it is defined within Form. When that is stabilized, Balance is created. This the science behind magick. Everything that ever has been or will be is created through and contains The Force.
Through our connections and bonds, we can tap into The Force, redefine the Form, Stabilize it and bring to Manifestation our goal.
When I began on this path, it was hit or miss whether I could sense The Force. Sometimes, I could sense it, but it was not consistent enough, much less blatant enough to convince me. Cause, lets face it, we all want magick to be the fireworks, when in actuality, it is rarely that blatant -in your face obvious.
Now, after years of training and practice, the connection is deeper and it is much easier to sense The Force. I can feel it, see it, and hear it more often than not.
Monday night it was brought completely clear to me while learning a new casting called The Sword & Staff Casting that I am learning for a ritual later this year. I was nervous and unsure, not allowing my connections to flow and nothing happened.
Well, except maybe a little snort of "Oh Really?"
So, I read through the technique again, grounded, opened my connections and cast again. And wouldn't you know that it worked. I can still feel the residual effects from the casting and what I learned.
And it feels really good `;~)