I’m listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear right now (as an audiobook), and his theory on how identity impacts habit-creation intrigued me. He claims that if you identify as a person who performs a healthy habit–such as saying “I’m a healthy eater” rather than “I’m trying to eat healthy”–you are more likely to fulfill that habit. Our self-identity motivates our actions, which in turn gives us evidence to reinforce our identity. When we write, we’re writers. We are writers because we have written works. The action and identity must support each other. I’m thinking that this can apply to magical paths, especially for those just starting out.
One of the most common questions I receive is where an aspiring magician can start. Many have a vague goal in mind, such as “I want to work with the ocean”. That’s a start. But what if you narrow it to what kind of person you want to become? Or more specifically, what kind of magician you want to become? A good way to determine this is to fill in this sentence: “I want to be a ______ who ______________.”
I’ll use the ‘working with the ocean’ example. “I want to be a sea witch.” A sea witch who what? “I want to be a sea witch who heals using water magic.” This narrows down what kind of person you’re aiming to become: an ocean magician, and a healer. It also gives you a starting point in your studies. To achieve this goal, you’ll want to focus on healing folklore that involves the sea or water.
In order for this to really work, you’ll need to keep the subordinate clause action-based. In other words, stay away from the phrase “who is”. “I want to be a ceremonial magician who is knowledgeable and powerful” doesn’t give you a good starting point. It’s too vague. Instead, make it action-based: “I want to be a ceremonial magician who gains prosperity through planetory magic.” That gives you a direction.
Some more useful examples of this:
The more specific you can get, the better idea you’ll have of your current goal. These goals can also change over time as well, so it may benefit you to fill out this sentence every couple of months.
I feel the need to clarify that this exercise is only a starting point. I know tumblr is big on the whole “call yourself a witch and you are one” thing, but I think it’s common sense that just saying you’re effective cursemage doesn’t automatically make you good at cursing.
You do have to put in the study and effort consistently. This exercise is designed to give you the motivation and direction required to begin your work.
This is just a brainstorming idea. Feel free to discard or use as you will. Hope this helps, and see you lovelies soon!