Modern Magick: What’s the Purpose of Magickal Rituals?

The Magic Circle - John William Waterhouse
The Magic Circle - John William Waterhouse
Usually when people start out, they’re very self conscious about doing rituals. They think it’s silly to wear a robe, have a magic wand, light colored candles, chant in Latin, etc. The truth is that all of these things are just tools. They aren’t required to perform magick successfully.

Look at it this way, when you perform a ritual – any ritual, which may include saying words aloud, writing out an intention, meditating on a thought or image, lighting candles, displaying certain colors, burning incense, going through elaborate ceremonial rituals, etc – what you are doing is telling your subconscious mind that this is what you want and to make it happen.

It’s a lot like method acting. If you’ve ever studied the methodologies of Uta Hagen, you’ll know that method acting focuses on using props and re-creating scenes and emotions as if you’re experiencing them in real life. If you need to eat a bowl of cereal on stage, you should have a bowl of cereal (or something similar) in front of you and eat it during your performance. If you need to emote a certain emotion, you should think back to a time when you felt that way in real life and use that experience to make your current scene real to you.

Your subconscious mind must believe in what ever you are asking for at that present moment in order for magick to work. That’s why newbies must go through the motions of performing the rituals. If you need proof, try the method acting approach. Ask your friend to eat a bowl of cereal WITHOUT actually having a bowl, spoon, cereal, or milk on hand. Watch them pretend. Then observe them eating a real bowl of cereal with a spoon. It looks more natural, doesn’t it?

That’s because when your friend has the tools (bowl, cereal, milk, spoon) present, they are more fully present in the moment, understand exactly what their goal is, and can take the appropriate action. Without the tools, they are just improvising. They’ve probably never thought through every motion that goes into eating a bowl of cereal even though them may do it every day. So when they perform the act without the tools, it will look fake.

Rituals help you create clarity in the present moment while telling your subconscious mind and the universe that this is what you want. Make it so.

Spring Rituals - Konstantin Korovin
Spring Rituals - Konstantin Korovin

I Did A Ritual But It Didn’t Work – Why?

Just reciting some words, lighting candles, or going through the motion of a ritual is not enough. You still need a strong focus and belief that you will get what you want. Most people do a ritual and when they don’t see results within a day or two, they start to doubt its effectiveness.

There are a couple of reasons why you may not be getting the results you want:

1. Your intention or focus wasn’t well-formed or clearly-articulated

Most people ask for things but what they are asking for is not what they actually want. When this happens, your subconscious mind doesn’t buy it. You start sending mixed signals and your intention gets lost. Before you do any ritual, ask yourself, what is it that I want? Why do I want it? How will this make me happy?

This isn’t like rubbing a lamp, asking a genie for three wishes and poof – your wishes are granted. Rituals involve conditioning yourself to actually do the required work/action steps to make whatever you want happen. Usually, that involves some type of change in yourself. (You can’t change others, but you can change yourself.)

2. Your intention or focus requires another person to change

Requiring someone to change means imposing your Will on others. Just like you have intentions, your target also has his/her own will and intentions. If the two are in conflict, you’re not going to get what you want. Let’s put it this way, if you really want to make someone love you, trying to put a spell on them (or exposing them to red kryptonite or a hypnotic stone or whatever else you see on tv or in books/comics/games) is a sick way of doing it. Trying to force someone to do something against their Will is manipulation.

3. You give up too soon

Some things take time and effort. If you’ve asked for a large sum of money, chances are, you’re not going to get it tomorrow. It will probably require serious work on your part to make it happen. As mentioned in a previous article, the purpose of doing rituals is to make your unconscious mind focus on your clearly articulated goal. It will then help you find ways to achieve your goals – maybe better paying job opportunity, another income stream, or some other source of money – but it’s still going to take you a long time and extremely good financial skills to make, invest, and save that much.

Magick isn’t a quick fix to solving your problems. Rather, most practitioners use it for spiritual awareness and to learn more about themselves. The more “in tune” they are with their needs and desires, the more they can construct their life path in accordance with them.