4 Reasons Mages Don’t Win the Lottery

by Mike Sententia on April 28, 2012

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Don Lee asks:

Here’s a “dumb” question: Why can’t I use magick to win the lottery? After all, it’s a part of the natural world, so to speak. Should one be able to achieve that goal by numerous methods? And yet you rarely hear about wealthy occultists…

I’ll give each question its own section.

Why Don’t Mages Win the Lottery?

A few years ago, I would have found this question off-putting, even threatening. Now, it’s fun to think about. I see a few possibilities:

1. Magick may simply not work that way. For example, manifesting may be unable to influence chaotic events. (I’m thinking about the lottery balls that are being blown around, where a tiny change to the starting conditions can influence the outcome in unpredictable ways.) In my experience, manifesting works primarily by affecting peoples’ decisions, so I can see how predicting the lottery winner would be hard.

2. It may be a communication problem. Maybe the ethereal software handling the manifesting knows the winning number, but can’t guide you to pick it.

3. Maybe all the mages who are that good with manifesting decided to go with something less attention-getting, like winning on sports betting. (Which I think would be easier than winning the lottery, too, because it’s less chaotic, though that’s pure speculation.)

4. Some people say that magick makes the probability bigger, but only by so much. So, if you had a 1 in a billion chance, and you do great magick that makes it 100x as likely, you’re still at 1 in 10 million. This isn’t my model, but I’m not sure enough in my model to call that idea wrong.

Why Don’t You Hear About Wealthy Occultists?

Again, a few answers.

1. When we’re talking about wealth, we’re not talking about becoming a little lucky (like being successful in an apartment hunt.) We’re talking about dramatic, advanced magick. So realize that, of all the occultists out there, only a small fraction have the technical skill to get those kind of results.

2. The best way to become wealthy as an occultist is probably to use manifesting for business success, and then not tell anyone about it. In other words, there probably are a lot of wealthy occultists out there, you just don’t know they’re occultists. Realize, also, that doing this still requires a passion for business, and a lot of time and effort invested in the non-magickal side of it.

3. That leaves the occultists who have chosen to let you know we’re occultists. And frankly, since that move is at odds with gathering wealth, most of these folks probably aren’t wealth-driven. For me personally, I want to have enough money to live comfortably (which I have), then I want time to study and teach magick, plus other fun things. Which is basically where my life is at right now. And so, I focus on the magick that interests me — energy healing, consciousness integration, and some other things — even though that’s the longer path to financial wealth than learning manifesting and applying it to business.

Do you see other possibilities? Leave a comment.

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

f3n1x_hvn732 April 28, 2012 at 11:12 PM

I’m totally agree with you, in special on the second part. Most of us re not that wealth oriented and if we were would keep our secrets well hidden so we could have advantage over our rivals on the other company etc.

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Ananael Qaa April 29, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Regarding (1), that’s not a good explanation because magick does work that way. For example, weather is easy to influence precisely because it’s so chaotic. You only need a small push at the right spot. If anything, a lottery like Powerball is problematic because it’s not chaotic enough – the whole system is confined within the machine, even if it does use moving air.

If we’re assuming the ethereal software model is accurate, (2) is a possibility, though I would think that if ethereal software really has the to work out what the magician wants to happen (as you stated in the previous thread) the communication would be less of an issue.

Regarding (4), let’s look at the inverse. Are you proposing that with your model of magick, a magician should be able to create an arbitrarily large probability shift? If you can demonstrate that you’ll have students by the truckload, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I’ve done a lot of probability testing on magick, and there do seem to be limits. One of the things I find silly about Randi-style skeptics is that they tend to assume if you can do anything with psychic powers you must be able to do everything anyone can imagine with them. So of course if you can influence a coin toss so that more heads than tails come up you must also be able to control Powerball results. The scale of probability between those events is so vast – it’s like saying that since you can pick up a book you must also be able to lift a car.

As I see it, (3) is a good point because of (4) rather than (1). Succeeding in everything from casino and racetrack betting to business has a lot to do with luck and the probabilities that need to be influenced are way smaller. With a casino, the house only has about a 3% edge with its games, so a 50/50 bet comes out to 53/47 in favor of the house. That shouldn’t be too hard to shift your way. I’d also think that would be a great application for your direct magick methods, since they don’t require any visible rituals.

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Mike Sententia April 30, 2012 at 10:19 AM

I’m not ready to discard #1 as a hypothesis yet. I haven’t done much with weather magick, so I don’t have any data on it. (If you have, I’ll count your data, but I try to avoid counting anecdotes from friends-of-friends.) Beyond that, people have been interested in controlling the weather for millennia, but only recently became interested in controlling lottery pingpong balls, so there may be specially-programmed functions for weather.

This really gets into #4, which I don’t think I explained well. It’s not that I think I can produce an arbitrary increase in probability (if I could, I’d be wealthy). It’s that I don’t think “increasing probability” is the right way to think about manifesting.

Probability is a mathematical way of discussing events. It isn’t a real object you can manipulate. For example, we might say that a coin in the air has probability 1/2 heads and 1/2 tails, but that’s a statement about our knowledge, not about the external world. The coin is governed by physics, and if we precisely knew the momentum of the coin (plus other things like air currents in the room), we could calculate exactly what will happen. Just because physical systems are impossible for us to predict doesn’t mean they are genuinely random.

What does that leave us with? Influencing decisions and physical objects. Those are the 2 ways manifesting can work — the 2 ways that you could implement the instruction to “shift the probability of an event.” I know that manifesting can influence decisions because I’ve had a friend do manifestings that involved me, and I’ve observed the software connect to my mind and put thoughts in my head that would lead me to do what they requested. (It was creepy and cool at the same time.) I believe manifesting can also influence physical objects, because the instructions for the software I use says it can. But, if it were to influence physical objects, it would need very precise programming, particularly for chaotic systems like lottery pingpong balls. So, I can imagine that there might be that special-purpose programming for weather, but not for lotteries, which are a fairly recent invention.

Now, once we look at it that way, there are definitely limits to how much the software can shift probabilities. It will only make people do things they would have considered doing already, for example. So, getting me hired over an equally-qualified candidate will work, getting me elected president won’t. But I much prefer to talk about it in terms of the actual steps that happen in the manifesting, rather than in terms of an abstract like probability, because once we’re talking about actual steps, it’s more likely that we’ll see a way around the limitation.

There’s actually another possibility that just occurred to me: Maybe the software doesn’t understand what collection of atoms corresponds to “I win the lottery,” in the same way that it didn’t understand that adding air to my tires was part of “maintaining my car.”

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Yvonne April 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM

The lottery question is very hard for me to understand. It’s like, “can magick help me become a winning poker player?” or “can magick help one to pick the winning stock?” Something, and I cannot say what, tells me no, because magick is one of the humanities and not a scientific discipline. Can magick help us to calculate or do mathematical equations? If the answer is yes, than I see no reason why the same can’t apply to precise probabilities and equations, like those damn chaotic balls. For that matter, I don’t know if they have software that can even predict those outcomes.

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Mike Sententia April 30, 2012 at 10:06 AM

I think this question is more about noticing a disconnect between what some mages claim — that they can influence events or make things happen — and what we observe in the world — that, if it were easy to influence events without limits, we’d see lots of mages winning the lottery. I think it’s more about noticing an internal inconsistency in the story of magick than it is about wanting to specifically win the lottery. At least, when I think about questions like this, that’s what’s going on for me.

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Kol Drake April 29, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I always thought — be it the Lottery or Roulette, it’s not so much pushing the balls around to specific numbers but to be open to receiving what numbers to pick *before* they happen. Guess that’s ‘precog’.

I use a post from an old site “Ritual Free Magick” (long gone) circa 2002 that was speaking on ‘Moving from Fluffy to Real Magick’ from immramainst.

“Mike also makes a good point in mentioning the practices of serious mages in comparison to fluffies, especially that of increasing the likelihood of specific events. That is one primary difference between fluffies and serious mages.

A fluffy believes the “spell” he or she performed is directly causing events to occur.
A serious mage recognizes the synchronicities in life and uses magic to work them in his or her favor.

Where the fluffy believes the spell is altering the course of events, the serious mage believes in altering one’s perception to a state of being that is more conducive to allowing those events to unfold as desired.

The serious mage works on himself or herself, while the fluffy attempts to work on everything around him / her without paying significant attention to the personal work that needs to be done in order for anything else he/she does to be effective.

To use a practical example, I do not believe any magic I work will directly affect the stock market. There are thousands, if not millions, of factors beyond the control of one human being, even the most skilled mage. Instead, I believe being a serious mage offers the higher level of intuition that tells me when to move in and out of a specific stock. I am not increasing the likelihood of external forces coming into play, I am increasing the likelihood that my own consciousness will direct me in the most beneficial way to take advantage of the external forces that are already in play.

It is a matter of taking advantage of the potential for synchronicity. A fluffy might believe it was he or she who had directly influenced the stock market through the lighting of candles and the chanting of verses, while serious mages know it is more a matter of tapping into their consciousness to better position themselves to be in the right place at the right time.”

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Mike Sententia April 30, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Thanks Kol. I remember that post from back in the day. Yes, that’s basically how I’d approach manifesting for investments.

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Kat May 3, 2012 at 7:38 AM

I see you quoted my post on the greyhound thread. :P

One of the reasons I don’t like to talk or mention any of this stuff is because people immediately want to point a ton of flashlights at me when I do. Truthfully, I prefer the shroud of anonymity.

Yes, I am wealthy. I don’t need to work; I have all the right things in life, and so on. But so what, really? I still continue to do free and paid healing sessions and other miscellaneous channeling & magick activities in real life.

I haven’t won the lottery; I don’t need to; but I will say that on an energetic/ethereal level, at least in my experience, it’s harder than race betting or predicting the stock market.

It takes quite a bit of skill though. Even back then when I was predicting race results every day(note that I don’t do it anymore), I was practicing and doing it everyday.

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Mike Sententia May 3, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Hi Kat, I’m glad to see you again. Thought you’d have an interesting take on this question.

And if you’d rather return to anonymity, let me know and I’ll modify the post and take down your greyhound comments.

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Yvonne May 4, 2012 at 6:06 AM

This response to the question of wealth and magick was intriguing to me, I think mainly because it is cagey. It speaks to the issue of the philosophy of magick, and why the Mage does what she does, and whether magick is a working that is done on behalf of self – as in self-healing or manifesting for self – or whether one believes that one can truly MAKE healing for someone else or create a ritual to make someone else win the lottery, rather than enabling or influence those outcomes, or have the person to do it for themselves.

I think it is worth exploring, but perhaps it is a question for each Mage to answer personally, hence the caginess.

Of course, no one NEEDS to win the lottery, and no one NEEDS to work. These ideas are based upon notions of value that are determined by an individual’s understanding of self-worth. This of course springs forth from one’s inner and outer journey and each person’s relationship to the Infinite Source, which, according to one perspective, indicates that we are all “wealthy.” This is why I suggested that this might be a philosophical issue rather than a methodological one. Perhaps Mages don’t win the lottery or bank the stock market because they don’t WANT to, or they don’t HAVE to. How’s that for cagey?

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Chirotus May 23, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Regarding #4, Pete Carroll has equations that predict the effect of magic on probability. In a very low probability event, it is very tricky to improve the probability enough to achieve success. You’d have to be really damn good to pull it off, to a level very few are.

Of course, that’s assuming our aim is to predict the winning numbers, which is really hard to do while the outcome is indeterminate. And frankly I think that approach is backwards. It would seem that picking a number set and doing a spell to have it as the result will have. A better probability of success than trying to predict a random outcome.

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Mike Sententia May 24, 2012 at 7:40 AM

OK. Why does it seem that way to you?

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warwick October 23, 2012 at 10:10 AM

You often hear of people winning the lottery thru “magical means” i.e. “I dreamed the numbers” or “I woke up with the numbers in my head” which may have come as a result of 1) desire 2) intent 3) being in a receptive state. The bigger problem may be psychological, America is founded on 2 diametrically opposed ideas…1) Puritanism (and the mortification of the flesh) and 2) Calvinism (If one is wealthy, God loves you) which gave rise to capitalism. This schism makes Americans schizophrenic about money at its very core. We all want to be rich but have a suspicion that wealthy people are dishonest.

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Mike Sententia October 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

When I hear about someone who “dreamed the lottery numbers,” I never think about desire, intent, or them being in a receptive state. I think of statistics, and of the millions of times someone has bought a losing lottery ticket based on numbers in a dream.

But interesting idea about puritanism vs calvinism. Thanks for writing.

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LadyBunneh July 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM

But see that’s not a mentality to have when trying to manifest the lottery or use magic. Thinking about losing brings about losing. I don’t believe in coincidence or random. Especially since I’m a occultist, that’s skeptic thinking in my opinion.

Skepticism is a hindrance to my work. I believe everything happens for a reason. But knowing there are possibilities is the correct thinking and knowing all is possible. There are infinite possibilities. The world is not based off of random events but infinite possibilities.

You’re not really competing with people since the vast majority of them don’t think they can win, and are just hopeful that they’ll win, instead of thinking that they will. Hopeful and skeptic energy is weak, and easy to bypass.

The statistics are there to make people hopeless. Think about it, we’re occultist we do things that most people see as miracles.

We heal, we communicate with spirits, we travel to astral planes, we manipulate nature. Sorry but a man-made machine that is existing within nature can be manipulated. Some people can even shape-shift.

If everything in nature was random, the sky would be a weird different color, some days oxygen would exist some days it would. One day I could white instead of black, then hispanic the next.

It’s almost like saying “Well I really want this house, but I can’t get it, because other people want this house too”

or

“Wow, I want this job, but man thousands of people want it too. I’m not gonna get it”

or

“Man I heard that team played well. We’re going to loose”

That’s another example. Think about sports fans. Both sides cheer equally hard for their teams. But one team has to win or tie. It’s not based off of millions people throwing the same energy. It’s based off the player and their will.

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Mike Sententia July 19, 2014 at 2:21 PM

I disagree. To build magick into a science, we need to sort out the true effects from the placebo, luck, psychology, and other phenomena: https://magickofthought.com/2014/01/why-im-happy-no-one-believes-in-magic/

Also, I think magick needs more skeptics: https://magickofthought.com/2012/11/open-letter-to-a-curious-non-mage/

And you seem to suggest what whatever someone thinks about, that thing will happen. I dunno, if that were how the world worked, I’d expect quite a few things to be different: https://magickofthought.com/2014/07/daydreams-and-science/

Anyway, welcome to my blog, I hope you find some interesting ideas here.

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Dina January 26, 2013 at 8:02 AM

I know this is an old post but I wanted to add my two-penneth.

1) Firstly, anyone with any common sense, occultist or not, would not go public with a lottery win.

2) An occultist primarily interested in magick to make themselves rich would probably have little interest in the subject once their objective had been achieved.

3) Big winners like Elwood Bartlett have publicly claimed that their win was due to magick/occult forces (in his case Pagan gods) and many winners have claimed they saw the numbers in a dream etc (which could mean that they did dream work etc).

4) Winners who do come forward are not necessarily going to admit that they use magick or arcane methods for fear that they will be ridiculed (as Bartlett has been).

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Mike Sententia January 26, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Thanks. I wasn’t aware of #3. That’s interesting. And I can’t say I’m surprised by #4. You make good points, I’ll have to add them to the discussion when I present this, or if I ever publish this post somewhere else. Thanks!

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Ruatha January 31, 2013 at 1:37 PM

A few ideas:

What if luck doesn’t exist? We perceive luck, but does it really exist as a fundamental part of our universe? It might only be a shadow of something else. All those people who are trying to influence fate might be like the cat trying to catch the red dot created by a laser pointer. Maybe lots of people are going about the ‘mechanics’ of it the wrong way.

What if some ‘things’ are harder to affect because they go ‘against’ the perception of others. I’ve used this concept in fiction. Influencing the mind of an average Joe is not that hard, but if that guy gets elected president of the US, he has all sorts of people who want to influence him, all sorts of reasons he doesn’t want to get influenced, etc. The same goes for ‘random’ events. If no one cares about the outcome of an event, then there is no contention making the difficulty of changing the result simply based on personal skill. However, it the event is something that millions of people focus on, even a tiny percent of which can influence, then it isn’t just about skill anymore, it is competition. Even worse, one guy is foretelling a number that will drop, another is manifesting his own particular number and that other guy is determined to win a set dollar amount. Some techniques might work better than others, and some people might be able to circumvent another person’s influence by hacking the system or through superior circumstance.

In other news, there is a Huge movement for manifesting wealth. Lots of wealthy people out there selling books, movies, training programs and more about manifesting wealth, not to mention parking spots. They are public about it and maybe their stuff works. Their lack of ritual doesn’t make them any less potent mages than an occultist.

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Hayden March 21, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Bingo. Since you posed everything as a ‘what if’ question I’ll just go ahead and let everyone know that this is how it works. Also all the people who aren’t using formal magic, but merely desire an event, have an influence on the outcome too.
I would love to read some of that fiction that you mentioned, if you were peceptive enough to let as much as you already shared in I’m sure the rest is gold.

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Mike Sententia April 13, 2013 at 9:21 AM

@Ruatha That’s an interesting idea. I don’t think it’s the primary reason it’s hard to affect things like the lottery, but it certainly could be a factor for very large, obvious targets like that. Thanks, I wasn’t thinking about this before.

@Hayden I’m glad to see you’re excited by this idea. But keep in mind that we need substantial evidence before we say that a certain mechanism is “how it works.” So, let’s do a thought experiment: If this really were the case — if other peoples’ desires were the primary thing making it hard to manifest a lottery win, say — what would we expect to see? Personally, I’d expect to see a great deal of clear and obvious manifesting of things like coin flips when done in private, but not when done in public, and healing that works amazingly well on myself but not on skeptics. And that’s not my experience of magick. In my experience, it’s simply hard to affect the physical world, not that someone else is competing with me.

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LadyBunneh July 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Hmm. You make reasonable points there. But man here where I live a guy won 300 million simply because the numbers just popped in his head. But I heard his mother practices either hoodoo or Santeria. Never heard from the guy again. I believes it depends on the practitioner. Some people are talented in certain areas then others.

And A LOT of people have won big bucks, but you know? Due to being harassed about using magic to win, they don’t say anything.

idk man, I guess it just depends. I wouldn’t under estimate the unseen world or universe. To me, nothing is too small or big for it.

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