You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.
I don’t know whether i’m a ‘serious mage’ as i’m not that experienced but I guess the ‘serious’ intent is there!
I’ve been throwing around the term “serious mage,” but what does it mean? I don’t even have a clear definition in my head. I know it when I see it, but that doesn’t help you much, does it? So, this post is me figuring out what I really mean by that term.
First, a few things it’s not:
- Serious doesn’t mean experienced. Sure, an experienced mage who’s learned many styles properly and generates good magickal results is a serious mage, but it’s not required.
- Serious doesn’t mean traditional. Sure, if you know all the correspondences and sigils and so on for Enochian, you’re probably a serious mage. But, again, not required.
- Serious doesn’t mean “produces results.” Again, if you’re producing easily-noticeable results with magick, and making sure it’s not placebo or coincidence (twice), you’re probably serious, but you don’t have to be that accomplished yet to be serious.
I think Simon’s take on a “serious intent” is on the right track. A serious mage wants to learn effective magick, and is willing to put the work in to do it. They understand that magick doesn’t “work like magic,” and that it requires daily (or at least weekly) effort and lots of failures before you get it working. So, the first part of serious is effort.
I’d also say that a serious mage can isn’t overly credulous. They don’t believe something just because it’s in a book, and if something sounds too good to be true, they’ll be more dubious, rather than more eager. Really, that’s what got me wondering, “What are all the steps between doing a ritual and seeing a change in the world?” — doing a ritual and directly causing a change in the world seemed too good to be true, like there had to be intermediate steps involved.
Along the same lines, a serious mage understands placebo, and works to make sure the changes they see aren’t placebo or coincidence. They’d rather get real data and debug their techniques than falsely believe they’re a great mage when really, they’re just lucky. And, as a result, a serious mage isn’t threatened when people ask how they know that a result isn’t just placebo or luck. This is a really good way to identify a serious mage, actually: Ask non-pejoratively how they know their results aren’t placebo. A serious mage will have a rational, interesting response. A non-serious mage will be dismissive or defensive.
And, eventually, a serious mage will notice when the model they’re working with has holes. They’ll keep asking why for each step, and see where they don’t have a good answer. And, possibly most importantly, this hole will make them uncomfortable enough to push their model forward, until they understand just a little bit more. So, I’d say, that’s how to spot an experienced, serious mage.If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.