Why Starting a Magick Career is Terrifying

by Mike Sententia on April 29, 2012

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Self-help types sometimes ask, “What would you do if you knew you’d be successful?” I’m not big on self-help, but sometimes they do have good questions.

Once we toss out things like, “Learn to manifest stock trades,” which is like picking “Play for the NBA” or “Get elected president,” I wind up with:

Stop the computer consulting and build an energy healing / teaching practice.

And, between moving to San Francisco, developing some good healing techniques, and getting a handle on how to teach direct magick, now seems like a good time.

And when I focus on just the next steps, it feels good. I’ll do healing sessions for friends for free to build the experience and referrals I’ll need for paid clients. I’ll teach event organizers in the pagan and magick communities 1-on-1, with the understanding that they’ll help me organize classes if they like what I’m doing. Those feel doable. And I ran some numbers, and I can pay my bills with about 3 clients per day every day, charging reasonable rates. (Including taxes and room rental.) It all feels pretty feasible and concrete.

But then I dial into the big picture: Leaving an established career with a good hourly rate for a woo-woo field. Trying to create genuinely amazing healing results, on the level of modern sciences, when so many others have tried and failed and been ridiculed out of their jobs. Actually taking steps to turn magick into a mature, respected field, instead of just saying I want to do that on my blog. Really, it’s all pretty terrifying.

I’ve already thought about the effects of failing. There’s a great exercise in [L amazon] The 4-Hour Workweek: Imagine what would happen if you fail, and how you’d recover. For me, I’d teach myself Ruby (a programming language), make some open-source projects, blog as I do it, and get a job as a programmer. It would probably take 3 months. So failing and having to go back to a normal job isn’t hard.

The terrifying part, I realize, is about being different. Being weird. Going against my tribe, where you’re supposed to get a degree, a sensible job and a house in the suburbs. It just feels like what I’m doing is Wrong, or only done by Dumb People, or in some other way thoroughly taboo. And I notice, this is the same feeling I had when I left my full-time consulting job in 2010.

Incidentally, leaving that full-time consulting job was a great decision. I became way happier, got tons more free time to blog and practice magick, and still earned more than I needed. Which is probably a good data point to keep in mind when considering how much to listen to this terrified feeling.

Now that I know what I’m dealing with, time to resolve it. Yes, just like that. Five years ago, I would have meditated, let my unconscious speak and tried to work through my feelings over a week. These days, I use consciousness integration* for about three minutes, and I feel so much better.

*Quick version of the consciousness integration technique I use: Activate thought paths between my conscious mind and the semi-conscious parts of my psyche that were worried; have them talk; and apply a calm, relaxed energy to those semi-conscious parts. There are simpler versions of the technique, too. I’ll be writing about this more as I write my book later this year.

So, what’s the point? Maybe it’s that you can be terrified for no good reason. Or that feeling terrified has very little to do with what will actually make you happy. Or that the first step to resolving it is admitting you’re scared and figuring out why.

Or maybe it’s whatever you take away from the story. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kol Drake April 29, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Why does it have to be either/or at first? I mean, ‘keep the day job’ and perhaps pick one day a week in the evenings for consults — or magick healing on weekends and mundane ‘work’ during the week? Just to see how it works or IF it can work out that way. Why this or that only?

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Mike Sententia April 30, 2012 at 10:27 AM

There is a certain critical mass where you become successful with a healing business. (Or so I believe.) It has to do with having enough clients to refer friends, and with having clients who know other clients so they know you’re reliable for other people. It also has to do with networking, where you need to show up at enough events and write enough blog posts and articles and books to become established and trusted. And with being flexible in scheduling, so you can see clients quickly, rather than needing to wait until you’re back from a consulting gig and losing the client. In short, you could theoretically build a magick business while also doing other part-time work, but it’s a lot harder and slower.

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Yvonne April 30, 2012 at 3:29 PM

I don’t know what to say about this, and I usually do say a lot. Perhaps it is because you might be talking about fear, which to me is the lowest and most dense of the energetic vibrations. In other words, it can really set you back from what you have to do/are doing.

On the other hand, maybe you are scared of success, that you will be the first to come up with something truly cutting edge and worthwhile for healers and self-healers, and that you will live out your life rich, famous and happy! If that is the case, bring on the Weird, I say!

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Mike Sententia May 1, 2012 at 2:38 AM

Thanks Yvonne. I think it’s too early to be scared of success, but that might happen as I get closer to my goals.

At the moment, though, I’m not scared anymore. The consciousness integration fixed it. It’s kind of a footnote in the post, because I’d written most of the post before realizing I could fix it, but once I did, problem solved.

This is one of my challenges in sharing my experiences: The way I deal with these things just isn’t part of a normal toolbox, and I feel like it winds up being hard to follow. Certainly, me from 5 years ago would have found this anti-climactic. I would have been on board with being terrified, and with using introspection to figure out that the fear was about being weird instead of anything rational, but then fixing it in 3 minutes with some magick? And the technique itself is too intricate to discuss in the post? Me-from-5-years-ago would probably find that kind of a letdown, or at least, found it hard to connect with.

Like most things in my magick study, though, I think the way out is through: Once I get halfway into the book, I’ll be able to teach basic consciousness integration, you’ll be able to experience it, and we can be weird together.

So, a bit of a ramble, inspired by your comment. Thanks for your support.

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