Somewhere along the line, we all had an experience(s) that lead us to begin the practice of magic. Personally, I was a late bloomer as far as a regular practice and public declaration is concerned although, I did experiment heavily with ritualized psychedelic and entheogen use starting at the age of 14.
Being raised as a quasi-conservative protestant Christian however, I did not actually declare myself and begin the path until I was 27. I am now 32. The fear of an eternity in hell kept my initial interest in leaving the faith at the age of 12 on the back burner until sometime in my early twenties.
I began studying world religions in high school particularly Buddhism. By the time I was 21 I began rigorously studying the occult with a long standing interest in Hermeticism.
I began my practice while still a Christian but left the faith after the death of one of my best friends at the hands of a car accident about 2.5 years ago. Talking with this friend after he died in a dream that was by far as real if not more real than our waking life, was the final nail in the coffin of my Christianity.
I now define my spirituality as “progressive, semi-hermetic with agnostic tendencies”. This is of course subject to change as I have found time and experience can lead one to constant redefinition…
As for my becoming a practicing magician, I subconsciously decided that I would only do so if the tools of the craft presented themselves to me. The particular tools I am speaking of are the wand, the cup and the crystal.
I had internalized these as the foundation of beginning of a practice and over the course of about a year, each of these tools found me.
The cup I use for magical work presented itself to me in the dunes of head of the meadow beach in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. It was early spring at the time and my wife and I were beginning a week long vacation in the town mentioned prior. Wellfleet and the outer cape has been favorite place in the world since before I can remember, I come back every year at least once if possible.
On this particular day we had gotten to Wellfleet early, our beach cottage was not going to be ready for another few hours so we went to the beach and wrapped up in blankets as it was rather chilly on this early spring day. We sat and drank a few beers, relaxing and listening to the wind and watching the waves roll in from the Atlantic.
Eventually, nature called and I hiked into the dunes to find a place to relieve myself. Finding a spot that I thought had sufficient privacy, I looked down.
Sitting on the soft beach sand, surrounded by tall grass and twisted, stunted pitch pines, sat a beautiful ceramic mug filled with beach sand and salt water… I knew instantly, that this cup was to become part of my magical practice.
Not far from where I live there is a beautiful network of trails that are taken care of by volunteers that stretch for miles through the woods. The trails were initially refurbished from an old children s camp that had long since been reclaimed by the forest, the only building left being a dilapidated barn and stall that once held livestock.
This network of trails winds through the woods passing several ponds, a dam, several bridges and the ruins of cabins.
Some of the trails tread deeply into the woods and once far enough down their path, there is only you and the forest.
One afternoon my wife and I walked one of these paths. As usual, I would look around at the trees, rocks and wildlife on each side of the trail. On this particular day, I noticed a rotten tree stump. Something in the stump caught my eye as a beam of sunlight, streaming through the trees, reflected off of it.
Walking off the trail over to the stump, I leaned down to inspect the stump and found a beautiful large crystal of citrine, half sunken into the rotting stump. It was so very beautiful and I thought of taking it immediately.
I thought for a moment and decided that I would wait and come back tomorrow. I told the universe that if it was still there when I returned, I would assume it was confirmation that the crystal was meant to be mine. The following day I returned and took the crystal, it has always been my favorite magical item since and I use it primarily for scrying.
I do not use wands much anymore as I have become rather comfortable with idea that they are simply an extension of the magician and the magician if being comfortable with their practice, generally does not require them unless using a system which does. IE: Trithemius: The art of drawing spirits into crystals
That being said, one of my most cherished gifts, is a hickory wand that my wife had bought me as a gift from a small independent wand maker in Stafford Springs, Connecticut called Orchard Works. This vendor started the business after making a replica of one of the Harry Potter wands for his children and before long, locals started showing great interest in getting one as well.
It turns out that the owner is not a magician or believer in magic, but in addition to making wands for children, due to the quality of his craft and his finding and use of various appropriate woods, he has a good collection of practicing magicians who buy from him as well.
I use my wand exclusively for banishing rituals.
While I had been practicing already at this point and had made my own wand from items that presented themselves to me, this was the point at which I decide the decision had been made and I had become a magician to extent that I should declare myself.
Shortly thereafter I publicly declared myself a practitioner and have not looked back since.
Magic has brought great joy and inspiration into my life and I am very grateful for the experiences which came with each of the items above.
I suppose the point of this post is that the universe is magical, all life is and if you hear the call and wish to proceed, ask and you shall receive…
So mote it be.