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The Ripple Effect

A former mentor of mine once told me, "Someone is always watching you." We are all role models for one another and how we behave moment by moment sometimes powerfully influences the behavior of other people around us, especially other people who actively look to us for knowledge. "So as you go forward with your teaching” (he told me) "remember to also look back at how you're leading the people behind you." "I'm interested in the idea of how the dead linger on and make ripples in the world.

The problem is that our influence is so difficult to measure. Only rarely do we get feedback from others about how meaningfully we've influenced their lives for the better. And even less often how they then may have gone on, as a direct result of our influence, to influence the lives of others. But there's little doubt this effect is real.

Magick as a science depends on varying degrees upon the mage knowing exactly what will happen as a result of his actions. When a spell is cast, the mage’s will emits a wave (if you will) outward from himself, calibrated to seek the vibration of a specific target. Upon reaching the desired target, the wave delivers its payload (if you will), causing a certain amount of change in that target. While this result might be exactly what the mage was willing to have happened, the consequence of that result might not be so pleasant to him.

Each action should be carefully thought out, perhaps even using divination for "outside" speculation--"What would happen if I really DID this?" "Suppose it DID happen for me--what then?" What would it mean to have gotten my way, outside of the primary goal itself? Would having influenced my world to create a more pleasant whole or a worse one? The mage would be wise to speculate third and fourth generation effects of any magical action he desires to take, BEFORE taking it.

When working with targets in close proximity, the mage should choose carefully what sort of manipulation he wishes to perform in his immediate vicinity. Being in close proximity to the target is not always recommended if the result is something the mage does not wish to experience closely.

So, it's not a good idea to force someone to rescind their prior judgment, or perhaps cloud their judgment entirely through spell work. This is the same reason why it's not a good idea to cast love spells on anybody--do you really want the love of someone whose will and judgment have already been made insensible? Seduction spells are in no way subject to this sort of call since sex and love are two distinct objectives.

Furthermore, should a mage continuously emit a certain type of will, the more he will find that the exact same influence in his life. "All the world loves a lover", as they say. This holds true of any form of regular practice or even obsession. The mage who lives for magical combat will never find himself short of enemies. The mage who wills for riches will find himself besieged by opportunities of varying quality, and the mage who summons demons will never be alone.

In "open" systems, the mage is free to act as he wills since the target is far enough away from himself so as to be of little or no immediate threat to his personal stability. Most importantly, the mage should always remember that his world is, and will always be, literally what he makes of it.

ii-wy em Hotep - Patrick Gaffiero

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