Hopes & prayers indeed

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Out of the Broomcloset photo by Leon Calafiore
Out of the Broomcloset photo by Leon Calafiore
Out of the Broomcloset

Another season of renewal is upon us. I have no doubt that by the time this column is in your hands, some event will appear in the news that will elicit hopes and prayers. While the most cynical among us will discount these as the merest token of concern, I would like to think that there is some (albeit small) percentage that might actually have some effect.

The simplest reason for my holding to this being true is that prayer is one of the tools in any good magickal practitioner’s repertoire. Like any tool, some are well, and some are ill suited to the task at hand. One would be hard-pressed to conceive of a spiritual discipline, which did not encompass this.

As some tools are fitted to more than one purpose, so too is what one might conceive of as prayer. For some, it is only offering that reverence due to Deity; for others, it might be a means by which to achieve a focused state of mind and intention, or to alter consciousness. In some ritual work, it is more a form of contract between to “prayee “and the recipient. What your attitude is on the subject, I am happy to support (except for those perfunctory prayers that seem to proliferate in the various media; careless prayer is no less egregious that careless whispers, or the like).

Now, I’m sure that most of you have noticed that there is a certain percentage of officialdom for which prayer seems just fine; they even have breakfasts for it. Seemingly, they just take those prayers out for a meal, and then leave them among the dirty linens, their job done; they certainly don’t seem to have imbibed of them, or taken some morsel of them home in a doggie bag for later contemplation. Seems a waste to me, but perhaps they are distracted by other things, such as donor contributions, those seem to never be forgotten.

“Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change in conformity to Will”

Aleister Crowley explained in Magick in Theory and Practice, in discussing the mechanics of ritual work, which of course included the use of prayer, to wit:

“Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change in conformity to Will… Any required change may be effected by the proper kind and degree of force in the proper manner, through the proper medium, to the proper object.”

Who wouldn’t endorse the proper application of a thing that so many, many elected folks so heartily endorse? And since prayer seems so important to them, they using it all the time, I humbly suggest that we offer them a free re-fill, to replace those discarded prayers left on the table; a to go cup, as it were.

It should come to no surprise that sections of what some might refer to as the “Old Testament” have been employed in prayerful, ritual workings for all sorts of intended outcomes, peace, calm, safe passage, health, and smiting one’s enemies, domestic or foreign. As we move into the season of Passover, Easter, Ostara and Ramadan, if offer a few choice selections for you to incorporate in you springtime rituals, as you might see fit. These passages have claimed the attention of, and have been employed in various ritual acts over the ages.

Our first reading this holiday season is from 1 Kings Chapter 14 “You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made yourself other gods, idols made of metal; you have aroused my anger, and turned your back on me”.

Our second reading is part of a Psalm; who doesn’t like a good Psalm? This is only a portion; in various Rootwork, Hoodoo and Folk magick traditions, the whole of the Psalm 109 is used; this is a section starting at verse 8: “Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg”.

I think you can figure out the best application for these. Peace be with you.

Leon Calafiore
Leon Calafiore

Leon Califiore can be reached via his blog at bigbookofmagic-outofthebroomcloset.blogspot.com.