10. Introspection – Having done the above work, provide detail of your understanding of why self-knowledge and introspection are critical for working with magic and how you intend to pursue your own course of self-understanding. (minimum 300 words)
Much of magical skills and workings require great focus, strong intention, and positive energy to make the changes you seek to see manifested. Self-knowledge is one of the most important aspects of any endeavor that we have to look at. According to Merriam-Webster self-knowledge is “knowledge or understanding of one’s own capabilities, character, feelings, or motivations” (Merriam-Webster, Inc). Self-knowledge gives us an insight into what we actually have working knowledge of allows us to know our strengths and our weaknesses. Particularly, we become aware of our limitations. Introspection is defined as “a reflective looking inward: an examination of one’s own thoughts and feelings” (Merriam-Webster). In my general psychology course in college, we defined introspection as the inward reflection upon the root driving forces that shape our intentions, thoughts, and feelings.
When one seeks to delve into magic, it is very important for us to know one’s capabilities. We need to know what our strengths are so we can use those to strengthen our work. We need to understand our weaknesses so we can either work around them or find ways of becoming stronger in those areas. And it is very important to know our limitations so what we do not setup unrealistic expectations for any working we perform. The disappointment of a failed goal which was well beyond our skills can affect the magician on a fundamental level making future endeavors likely to fail simply because of the self-doubt that is created. But more importantly, on a magico-religious level, it is very important to understand the root of our motivations and desires so that we are working with the best of intentions. When we, as priests, work magic we are representing the Kindred and our people. To not know our own reasoning behind our motivations is a complete disservice to those we serve. It also opens us up to corruption and failure. These things feed upon themselves infecting not only ourselves but those we serve as clergy.
As for how I intend to pursue my own personal course of self-understanding, I will continue what I have learned through years of therapy. I keep a general journal of my state of mind, thoughts on situations, and review entries regularly to help me see what my motivations for specific actions. Through trance-journey, I plan to continue to explore my internal landscape so I can always be aware of the state I am in emotionally as well as psychically. Before undertaking any magic working, I will reflect upon these states and the root motivation for the magical act. This will help me ensure that I have the upmost ethical reasoning supporting my actions well before I take them.