Learning Magick: Freedom to Play

by Mike Sententia on April 16, 2010

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My past three posts were about deliberate practice.  Setting goals, measuring progress, and focusing on technique.  Working to learning magick.

I believe all that is important.  But I also believe this: Play beats work.

Play Beats Work

I started magick to play.  Because I was curious.  To understand the energy I felt.  To understand how reality and thought are connected.

Curiosity and exploration drive me.  Without them, magick isn’t worth learning.

Never lose the joy.  If you do, you’re done.

Play beats work.

Freedom to Play

American* society is so serious.  We dedicate ourselves to hobbies the same way we dedicate ourselves to jobs.  We’re not driven by curiosity and joy, but by competitiveness and insecurity.

*Apologies to my foreign readers.  Like most Americans, I’m poorly informed about other cultures.  Mea culpa.

Learning magick requires serious study.  But not seriousness.

Some days I set goals and practice deliberately.

But some days I just wonder around.  I find a new piece of my mind, or a new layer between energy production and physical reality.  I poke at it, try try understand it enough to work with it later on.

To me, exploration is play.  Sometimes I forget to do it.  Forget enough times, and I get burned out.

Finding Balance

All exploration and no practice, and you won’t develop the skills to understand and use what you’ve explored.

But all practice and no exploration, and you’ll wind up like the mages with 20 years “experience” who’ve repeated the 4th year 16 times.

All work and no play doesn’t just make Johnny a dull boy.  It robs him of new insights, new ways to grow, and new questions to answer.  All work and no play is for automatons, not mages.

Next time you play, find the part of your mind that feels guilty.  Listen to it.  Learn where it came from*.  And then ask it if exploring for one day, to find new things to learn, is really so bad.

*For details on this, read Havi Brooks.  Her blog taught me this technique.

Other posts in this series: If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

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