It’s been years since I began working publicly as a shamanic practitioner and transformational psychic. All throughout that time, the most typical questions brought to me − aside from “Izze gonna call me?” of course − involve issues of owning one’s power, solidly connecting with the realms of deeper meaning (of Spirit, as I would call it), and demonstrably healing the self, the community or planet.
These questions are equally prominent and equally urgent among Christians, Jews, Pagans, agnostics, and the occasional Muslim or Hindu clients who work with me. Even avowed atheists bring the same concerns. They just couch things more exclusively in the language of psychoneuroimmunology and of altered states of consciousness.
So in the time we spend together here, I’ll do my best to give you my understanding of what those questions can be about and how you can more consistently find the answers for yourself. The hard part, for most of us, is to actually attend to the answers once we’ve gotten them. I’ll try to talk about dealing with THAT issue, too, as we go along.
Let me begin with a kind of thumbnail description of what I think “being a Wizard” means.
If you have access to a Tarot deck – pretty much any one will do – please find The Magician card. (If you don’t have a deck, don’t worry about it.)
When I look at The Magician, no matter what deck I hold, I consistently see (and sometimes sense through intuitive awareness) some specific elements or aspects:
There’s the element of deep scholarship and functional learning, often represented by books, scrolls or papers.
There’s the element of magical tools, including wands, crystals, and icons from various traditions.
There’s an element of ceremony or ritual, often depicted in the motions of The Magician.
There’s a connection to the realms of Spirit, often represented through the presence of spiritual helpers like angels or totem animals participating, or at least being present.
And there’s an aspect of connection to Power – of focusing will, energy, mind and soul to bring positive things into being in the world.
Each of those elements and aspects seen in the card can be selected and tailored for the specific client, then included in the “homework” I suggest as a result of our session. Importantly, each of them is a thing that many of us have “been learned” to give extremely short shrift as we attend to our cultural paradigms for living a fulfilling life.
As one client ruefully said, “I have ritual in my life. I DO. Every day except Sunday, I get up at seven. I stop at the ’Buck’s at 7:45 for a grande cappuccino. At noon, I eat rabbit food from a black plastic bowl. I worship the Goddess of spinning at the gym ’most every evening, and I’m prostrate under goose down with TIVO by 10:00 at night. I might as well be a nun.”
Well, okay. But that’s not quite what I have in mind by ritual. Although, over the course of our work together, I think you’ll find that such events and actions, which most of us would consider meaningless from a perspective of personal ceremony, can in fact take on deeper meaning and become a connection to our higher aspects for our own magical good.
But back to The Magician.
There’s an additional aspect of the card that I came to understand one afternoon when I was reading for someone on the cusp of a beneficial but stressful personal (let’s call it) evolution.
I stressed that The Magician, or in our case, the Wizard, brings together learning, tools, ritual, spiritual connection/guidance and embracing of power for the benefit of self and others. BUT, I realized as I was speaking to this particular client, in order to be able to do so – to be ready to blend, focus and use each of those elements at the right moment, perhaps in an instant – the Wizard must attend to living a truly balanced and positive life, moment by moment. And that’s something our culture hasn’t really helped us with much over the last century or two (or fifty).
So, in our work together, we’ll determine how to redress some of the imbalance that causes us to become estranged from the Wizard each of us is. Because all a Wizard is, compared to most of the folks on the street, is a more fully realized human being, who lives in balance, connects with other levels of reality in functional ways, and honors all the life around. That’s something we all can do and be.
Introduction to Gandalf In Your Guccis: How to Become A Wizard in Your Spare Time (a book in process)
© 2008 Stephen Neal Szpatura
Mountain Lake Moonrise picture courtesy of Free Nature Pictures.