I've figured out something that not a whole lot of magic folks love to hear about. Well, the first part everyone does love to hear about. It's this: when you open your heart and mind and turn on your joy and gratitude, the universe will offer you beautiful synchronicities that fulfill your deepest desires for romance, beauty, and fun.
Yeah, except you follow the nudgings of those magical synchronicities, receive their boons, and you discover that you're not actually being lead onto Easy Peachy Street where everything is always gorgeous and your relationships are lovely and your sense of social respectability is fully unchallenged and you get a pile of diamond necklaces dumped on your doorstep ala The Secret.
(The diamond necklaces you as a magic person are not about to receive at your address on Easy Peachy Street)
Instead, it's been my experience and the experience of many of the magic people I know (and friends, through the wonders of the interwebs I know them of all ages, genders, and from all locales on the planet) that those synchronous sirens of wondrousness very often perplexingly lead you not to unending Peachiness but rather into the dissolution of all your good reputation, the ending of long-held friendships, the dismantlement of your personal property, and occasionally the mad house.
Magical synchronistic fulfillment of your desires isn't sounding so rad anymore, is it?
I didn't think so.
Except, here's the thing: it is still really, really super rad.
How magic is still rad
It's super rad because even though magic doesn't lead you to Peachiness, it does lead you to the experiential awareness of truth. And that's actually the only thing we really want. I know it doesn't seem like the experiential awareness of ultimate truth is all that you really want on days when you're walking around thinking "I really want to make out with so-and-so but he / she / it doesn't like me the way I like he / she / it and all I want is some hotness in my life that so much to ask?!" but... trust me it is.
What this experiential truth is - well, that's hard to put into words. It's all gooey and truth-y, and you really need to taste it for yourself to get the gist. We can call it "nondual awakening" for short, though, since that's the current fashionable term and it's pretty handy.
Basically, it's this: "you" exist only as a feature of an undulating oneness that constantly manifests as all phenomenon, and "you" are totally not in control of anything. Not even "your" own thoughts or actions. They never were "yours" - just the ceaseless play of emptiness dancing as form.
Hey hey hey hey wait wait wait now - isn't practicing magic all about being in control? Taking hold of the reigns of one's Destiny? Digging the speeding silver spurs into the Steed of Good Fortune and riding that bucking stallion off into the Sunset of Getting What I Goddamn Want? Doesn't the end-game of this put me on an all-expense paid Carnival Alaska Cruise Ship voyage with Esther Hicks and many other nice, clean, people with money?
Here's the thing: when you first start to practice magicking up synchronicity, it does feel like "you" are in more control. But that's pretty much just the universe's way of getting way massive LOLZ.
(This kitteh is an official representative of the universe and thinks you're cute)
The Tricksy Way Magic Works:
As far as I can presently tell, this is how magic works to wake us up:
1. When we (often by accident) find the astounding, synchronous, beautiful, magical fulfillment of our desires happening, we are confronted with the realization that there's an intimate relationship between our "internal" landscape of thought, imagination, and emotion and the "external" world. We start to intuit that this world is a lot more dream-like than solid.
2. As we are confronted with this wonderful and eerie realization, we usually start trying a lot harder to decide precisely what manifests in the dream. (If you're anything like me - this means primarily: Prince Charming.) We double-down on spells, Vision Boards, healings, visualizations, mantras, affirmations, and just about anything else we can think up that might give us a little bit more leverage over controlling what appears in the dream we're dreaming.
(Through all this Vision Board stuff I actually did succeed once in marrying a guy who - no joke - looked exactly like Prince Charming right down to the red cape, awesome blond head of hair and sexy, sexxxy tights. Our Rustic Country Wedding in October was like a dream that Pinterest wakes up from all hot, wet, and slippery. And... our relationship produced a vortex of pain that nearly killed me. All of that lead me to take bodhisattva vows. My Prince Charming ex is now one of my dear friends - turns out he's pretty great as a pal and listens with immense patience to my nondual ramblings - so it's all cool. And that's magic, folks!)
3. We succeed in manifesting precisely what we have asked for (whoah baby! epic winning!), and gradually discover that it creates a maddening Vortex of Pain (see above parenthetical lengthy caption regarding The Prince Charming Experiment executed by yours, truly).
4. Within this Vortex of Pain we become desperate for divine help and willing to contemplate the notion that perhaps we have absolutely no control, that maybe the universe is magicking us and not the other way around. Hmmmmmmmm.
5. Rinse, repeat - indefinitely.
6. Wake up to the reality of our nonvolitional, nondual existence. "Deeds are done but there is no do-er." - Buddha aka Dude Who Knew What Was UP.
7. Realize that you still (nonvolitionally) have a personality and want to write blog posts (throw punk shows, make video art, raise children, write songs, cook dinners, protest fascism, etc. fill in the blank). Do so. TA DA!
So, in short: yes, magic works.
Yes, conjuring your desires and following amazing synchronicities is a great idea and will ultimately lead you to just where you need to be.
And no, your ego probably will not like much of it. At all. Yay!