Why I’m Resistant to Selling Magick

by Mike Sententia on June 5, 2012

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How do you deal with magick that might harm others? I asked Ona this question recently, and she turned around and asked it back to me.

There are a lot of things I could talk about. I could discuss intentionally harmful (curses) vs incidentally harmful (I got the job, someone else didn’t) vs accidentally harmful (I got the job, but in the end, the job didn’t suit me). I could show you how I phrase requests to avoid accidents (see this post for some tips). I could even discuss ethics of curses, and why I treat curses like physical violence — if I’d punch someone, I’ll curse them, but if it’s too petty for blows, it’s too petty for curses.

I discuss those topics in this comment, posted today (June 5 2012).

But there’s something on my mind lately: Magick for hire. Someone hires you to do magick to help them get a job, and that incidentally harms the other job-seekers. And since I do some magick for hire, it’s been on my mind.

Note: This post is exploring my own personal ethics. I’m not trying to tell other pro-mages how to live, just trying to decide what I’d like to do for myself. I’m going to explore feelings and turn up contradictions in my own thinking, which is the first step to resolving them. I don’t have an answer in mind yet.

Magick Should Be Earned

I have a feeling that magick should be earned. That it’s OK for a mage to do whatever magick they want (within reason — don’t be malicious, but incidental harm, on the same level as writing a great resume or wearing good clothes, is fine). That if your luck translates into someone else’s unluck, well, that’s their fault for not learning magick, just like it’s their fault for not hiring a professional resume editor. But I feel uneasy doing magick for a stranger for money.

Part of it is that I know the spirits who made the ethereal software I use. I train with them. And they made that software to teach people to do magick. That’s the deal: You learn enough to do X, and you can do X. That’s part of the incentive to learn. And it feels disrespectful to then sell those skills to people who won’t ever learn any magick.

I wonder what happens if there’s too much manifesting. Like, maybe a few thousand people doing manifesting is OK, but a few million people makes it all less effective, or messes something up in some way. I don’t know the algorithms behind the software, but I bet I could ask my trainers and find out if there’s a thing as “too much manifesting.”

Those two feel like the meat of it. I say “feel like” because this is the first time I’ve expressed any of this consciously, and it’s hard to tell if there are other aspects that make me uncomfortable, too. But let’s address them, then see if there’s other resistance.

Talking with My Trainers

I called the spirits that teach me — the ones that made the ethereal software. And I asked them about those concerns. The salient points:

  • We trust you to only do non-harmful things. Doing any basic manifesting, or really any energy healing, would be non-harmful.
  • If you’re really worried, key the manifesting to just guide the person to make good decisions. I can’t see any harm in that.
  • Don’t worry about the idea that the person receiving energy healing should be learning magick. You’ll be learning magick. And if we can help you meet your human needs for money and food and whatnot, we’re glad to do it.

Seems I was worried over nothing. And I wonder how common this is: That you’re unconsciously uncomfortable about something, but once you make the concern conscious and do some digging, it turns out to be nothing to worry about. If you have experiences like this, please share.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Yoseqlo June 6, 2012 at 5:18 AM

So, the manifesting in your ethereal software is best-decision based… With other software you could actually change (in some sense) the reality more than know the future?


Mike Sententia June 6, 2012 at 7:44 AM

Hi Yosqlo, in my model, all manifesting is decision-based. Now, it’s very hard to say that something never happens — you only need one instance to prove you wrong. But I’ve seen a lot of manifesting based around decisions, and zero manifesting based around directly altering the physical world (outside of altering decisions).

Could it theoretically happen? I guess. But realize that, if your model of manifesting is “it directly alters the (inanimate) physical world,” then you should be able to use the same techniques to directly alter the physical world in a more-verifiable, non-manifesting sort of way. I haven’t seen any magick that does this, so it’s a low-probability hypothesis.

The one outlier is weather magick. I haven’t investigated it much, but it’s on my list. Maybe my model will change once I do.


Dark Arckana June 6, 2012 at 2:26 PM

“Magick for hire. Someone hires you to do magick to help them get a job, and that incidentally harms the other job-seekers.” Is that really “harming”? Someone has to get the job, may as well be a paying client. One way or another, someone will get hired and others will not. That’s the nature of job seeking.

Do you necessarily have to do a spell for them to get a job? Can you sell them a talismanic amulet that increases their chances or is associated with wealth as well as instructions for using it?

“Part of it is that I know the spirits who made the ethereal software I use. I train with them. And they made that software to teach people to do magick. That’s the deal: You learn enough to do X, and you can do X. That’s part of the incentive to learn. And it feels disrespectful to then sell those skills to people who won’t ever learn any magick.” Why don’t you make money teaching people how to do Magik, then? Run your own classes and workshops.


Mike Sententia June 7, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Thanks Dark. That logic makes a lot of sense.


Ananael Qaa June 8, 2012 at 6:36 AM

So Mike, you’ve never seen a spell produce a hard probability shift – that is, a shift in some element of the external world that is not based on some sort of mind-to-mind influence? I’m a little surprised to hear that because I thought you mentioned in a post awhile back that you had, but maybe I’m misremembering it or thinking of something else.

Mind-to-mind magick is in most cases the easiest to do because it’s essentially operating on a consciousness-to-consciousness basis. There’s no modal shift involved like there is for magick that influences the physical world. Dealing with that modal shift is why I worked out the operant field in the first place – it seems that if you blend microcosm and macrocosm together into a single field like those combinations of the GD rituals seem to do, there’s a lot less resistance to creating physical changes.

One thing that I’ve tested this on a lot is Powerball numbers. Don’t laugh – while the probability shift required to actually win the jackpot is enormous and beyond the strength of any magician that I’ve come across, it makes a great testing platform.

(1) The numbers are provably completely random. My wife used to work for the state lottery many years ago running their computers, and they do a full analysis after each run to verify that no patterns have crept into the system.

(2) There’s a real significance to winning, so it’s something in which you can easily become emotionally invested.

(3) The statistical analysis on your results is easy to do, since all the probabilities are known and spelled out.

What I’ve found is that with a spell I’ll get one number out of the set every time, which should be around 10-1 against. Much of the time I can get 2 numbers (100-1 against) and my best is 4 (13,768-1 against). I’ve done that twice over the course of about 200 drawings. Those look like external-world shifts to me.

In fact, years ago I was considering submitting this for the Randi challenge. I figured I could post each number set on my blog before the drawings so there would be no way for either of us to cheat, and also thought that taking on the skeptics could generate some pageviews. I’ve since learned that Randi’s folks look for something like a million-to-one shift to actually win the prize, which I’ve never been able to reach, so it would have been a big waste of my time. As it worked out, while I was still deliberating they decided that they were only going to test “media psychics” which ruled me out, so the decision got made for me.


Mike Sententia June 8, 2012 at 8:58 AM

That’s very interesting. Just the sort of evidence that would change my mind, especially since getting a 10:1 nine times in a row is a million to 1 odds.

I’d like to look into this more. Was this with Golden Dawn and your operant field? Also, were you picking a number and making it come up, or asking for an intuition about which number would come up?



Mike Sententia June 8, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Great discussion guys. I just put up a post in reply to these comments:



Ananael Qaa June 8, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Powerball trials is how I worked out that the operant field was more effective in the first place – originally I tried a number of variations with my magical forms, but the banishing pentagram/invoking hexagram combination was by far the best. My operant field model proceeded from there.

When I was starting out I also experimented with both divinitory (“tell me what the numbers will be”) and evocatory (“make these numbers come up”) methods. I found the resulting probability shifts to be comparable, so most of the trials after that have been done evocatory style – I buy one quick-pick ticket and then conjure to make those numbers come up. I alternate experimental and control trials (spell versus no spell) and compare the two. The control trials work out pretty much to chance – that is, I get one number about one time in 10.

The takeaway that I see from this in reference to your latest post is that direct manifestation works, however (A) it is probabilistic rather than deterministic and (B) there are definite limits to how one should expect it to be. Even a simple fantasy-novel spell like moving a small object around involves probability shifts at the quantum level well beyond what I’ve measured, since the kinetic energy has to come from somewhere.

Even though they are of a limited magnitude, probability shifts can be maintained over time as a continual “push” that nudges the odds in your direction. Within chaotic systems like weather they can propogate widely especially if given some time to work, which is one of the reasons that I think weather magick is easier to do than one might at first think.


Mike Sententia June 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Very cool. Thanks for explaining your experiments. This is pretty convincing data. I’m going to explore more on physical-based manifesting and do some more posts later in the year.


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