When you are trained, some things go into your head and you accept them without thinking. You live them because they provide you with a temporary answer. Sometimes though the universe moves to challenge your views. The issue of “earthing your magic” has come to the forefront lately and I have discovered that I have changed my view completely.
When I was trained, I was told that it was vitally important to “earth” both yourself and your magic. I was taught to be suspicious of teachers who relied on training for their income and look only to those who participated properly in the material universe. It was claimed that it was impossible to be a full time magician or occultist, because that was unbalanced and your magical life needed to be fully integrated within your material world. There is only problem with that.
It does not work.
Make a list of occultists who were good at what they did. You will find that most of did not have proper jobs, some did not have parental responsibilities; others were really crap at the material world. Many were independently wealthy which means they were living off their parents’ efforts. If people had jobs, they were not regular incomes and few people remember what they were.
Far from being material successes, they were not earthed at all. In fact, they were often in some way dependant on other people so that they could continue to write, teach or work magic.
Going through history, the same thing applies. Once being a magician was a career option and it was often lucrative. Groups of magicians were supported through a temple structure until the Christian period and even then there was talk of some monasteries practicing occultism on the Church’s dime.
While doctors, scientists and lawyers which were all similar careers became lucrative, the magician became a volunteer. It is telling that in English you can practice law, or medicine, but you can only dabble in the occult.
Those who took magic seriously and made it their life in the late 20th century had two choices – they wrote books or ran workshops. Although a workshop might appear expensive, a teacher would not do that many of them. The rest of their time was spent actually doing the magical work which makes up a lion’s share of the time and training other people.
However, they had to run up against students who felt that the teacher should be doing this for free.
I have been trying to find where this idea came from, it does not come from the East where gurus are financially subsidised and it was not part of western ethics which always suggested payment for work done.
What it appears to have come from is a misappropriation of a Christian idea that money is evil and therefore there was something wrong with charging for spiritual training. Instead the teacher should be working at a regular job.
Ironically, all this attitude is the opposite of being earthed.
The demand is that an occult teacher should stop doing something that they are good at to work at a job that they are not because the material world is evil and a good teacher has no truck with it. Yet these anti-materialistic students do not suggest how their teacher eats. Instead, they piously claim that they should be properly earthed in careers which should express their magical lives.
I have a job (in fact I have three) because I am pretty good at writing, however I would be able to write a lot more, train a lot more people if I did not have to spend nine hours a day writing about technology or translating. No one is spiritually moved by my anti-Apple rants or looks at the latest AMD hardware. I might be ok at it, but that is not what I get the most out of writing. Magic cannot be part of my career and neither can it be earthed in anyone’s life.
To make a life magical it means a commitment to do everything in a magical way, based on a magical philosophy. It is not putting a sticker with “Hekate Rocks” or “witches do it with broom sticks” on your computer. Once you decide to live a magical life then a lot of the sorts of material decisions which are so important for ordinary people become less of a priority. Chosing between the latest television, and finding some weird ebony to build a Thoth wand would not be an issue for 21st century couples. In a magical couple, the wand wins. Books that improve your magical practice become far more important than a shelf full of DVDs. A house selection is not based on children’s schools, but whether there is room to install a temple or a vault.
This sort of thinking is not earthed… nor can it be. In fact, if I was thinking about those things I would not be doing the magical side of things properly.
The same applies to relationships. You will often find non-magical couples saying about their partner, “oh they are really good they keep me earthed.” To be fair I have said the same thing twice. But in practice the magical path is hard enough without a partner who understands magical decisions may not be earthed. Both sides often end up pissed off that the other does not understand them. Magical couples have other problems but if they have that in common, it is a big plus.
Instead of being earthed, the question should be can I be who I am, live life in the way I like, and do what I do best.
“Everybody’s born to do a certain thing
and if you’re dead jammy you’ve found it.
And if you’re good at something,
just keep doing it
until you’re fed up…then do something else.”
What I find faintly hypocritical about the “flat earthers” is that they do not make the same demands of themselves or other careers. We will see people extolled to develop their artistic gifts for example and if someone makes money on it there is no problem. No one asks a doctor, or a lawyer, or any other career choice that requires training or skill to do something else while making their services available for free, so why should a magician?