Less Privilege Can Also Mean Less Access to Magic
may 29th, 2018 ~ Demetra Nyx
Is it true, that what you think you become?
I want to preface this piece by defining the way I am using a couple terms.
Privilege: anything someone has, that makes someone else’s life harder if they don’t have it. So: whiteness, money, growing up with both parents, going to the doctor, having nice teeth, having a society-approved body, freely being able to have sex, going to school. Etc. etc. etc.
Magic: the ability to create your life as you want it, the ability to create and recognize synchronicities, the ability to be in resonance with the natural world.
A lot has been said about the way that privilege materially impacts our lives. All this is true. But I think a piece that is much less talked about is the way in which having less privilege can inhibit life in less-seen ways, too.
The key to doing magic is being able to integrate our shadows with our egos. Meaning, we need to recognize and love and accept all the beliefs and pieces of ourselves that we do not like.
We need to do this without the desire to get rid of them completely.
We need to be able to imagine ourselves being the person we want to become. We need to actually feel that this is already the case in order for this to happen.
I see this as a weird, mystical, yet-to-be-fully-understood way that the universe works. But it is also partially backed up by science, in the sense that our brains and our thoughts have immense power. Our thoughts can heal our bodies*. Whatever we focus on most, we are most likely to notice and pay attention to in the world around us. Once we change our thought patterns, we can change our entire lives. This part is not new-age woo-woo, it is basic psychology.
So there are two pieces making up the same thing:
The “woo” example: The week I make an offering to Jupiter and orgasm to my identity changing, my work goes viral.
The psychology example: I believe I am enough, I adore the parts of me that don’t feel good enough, and because of these healthier beliefs, I’m able to create a piece of work that resonates a lot more with people, and goes viral.
I believe both these things are true.
So, sort of like The Secret… but darker. More complex. And without all the bypassing.
What I don’t see talked about a lot is just how hard it is for someone who has grown up without privilege to be able to access this magic.
Say you’ve grown up with a lot of money. You still have some difficult beliefs about money that might be preventing you from making money, but overall, you grew up with the belief that money flows to you and is not hard to acquire. So you can do a bunch of meditations or rituals or offerings or mindset work – however you do magic – and maybe it takes a couple months or years, but eventually you are able to largely shift your thought patterns enough that then money isn’t difficult at all anymore.
But what if your entire life you’ve been told that money is scarce, that you must do A, B & C to get it, that it can go away at any time, and that you’ll never have enough?
If you have other privileges (maybe you regularly see examples of other people like you who have ended up being successful, maybe you can hire someone to help you work with these thoughts, etc), maybe it will take longer, but you can still shift that belief.
If someone doesn’t have any of these things, though, I think it tends to be underestimated how difficult it may be for that person to do magic well. It might, for most people, be impossible.
So our society is not *just* holding people back from things like food, healthcare, education, and whatever else – it is also training some people mentally to never be able to access these things in the future. It might be impossible for someone who has never had a lot of money to imagine themselves making money. This sense of impossibility will change the choices they make, it will change what they can imagine for themselves, and it prevents them from doing magic in order to change that.
If you’re reading this and thinking that magic is ridiculous, I’m going to define it more broadly here using another example.
I consider Kanye West a witch. He might not agree with this term, and he might even say he’s never done magic. But to me a witch is someone who does magic, the way I defined it earlier, and executes it well – good or bad. I listened to a podcast that analyzes one of Kanye’s albums, and in it, they tell the story of his life.
What I took from this podcast is that nobody thought Kanye was good when he first started making music. But *he* thought he was amazing. He persisted for so long in creating music, persisted for so long in thinking he was incredible and deserved success, that eventually he ended up with intense success and with millions of people recognizing his talent and agreeing with his opinions.
He literally imagined his way into succeeding. That’s how magic works.
(I think there are unintegrated shadow pieces here, and that’s why he’s also met with some disasters, but I’m not a Kanye expert so I’m going to stop my example here).
I also want to make it very clear that I am not claiming that all people need to do is imagine their way into what they want, and they can have it. This is untrue for two reasons:
The first is that real work is also involved. I can’t magically bring money to me without having a way to make money (eg, I can use magic to help my business do better than it otherwise would, but I can’t make money appear out of thin air (usually..)). Kanye didn’t become famous without doing a lot of work to create things that would make him famous. Someone who grows up without a lot of privilege might not have enough food to survive or might not have gotten an education – it’s going to be incredibly difficult to surpass that. (Malcolm X taught himself how to read books in prison in his 20s, as an example).
The second reason magic doesn’t solve everything is because there some things we can never have. For example, we can’t magic away climate change. Someone who is not white cannot make all of society treat them as if they were white. Women cannot make all men treat them with respect just from imagining that to be true. Some things are systemic and will take more than one person’s beliefs changing to change. I will say, though, that I encounter *less* experiences of sexism since recognizing my own power – and I handle these experiences better, too.
This also isn’t to say that everything is just in everyone’s heads. It is, in a sense, but that also doesn’t mean that it’s possible to bypass. I have experienced trauma, and from that trauma I am left with anxiety. Is the anxiety “all in my head”? Sort of, since it’s technically caused by my brain, but it’s also going to be very difficult – maybe even impossible - to completely eliminate. If you’re a refugee whose home and family has been destroyed, it’s going to be pretty impossible to do magic to help yourself get out of that situation. If you’ve grown up in poverty, it’s going to be almost unattainable to imagine that you deserve and already have tons of money. If you’ve lived your entire life being told you’re ugly and worthless, it’s going to be incredibly hard to learn to love yourself and have healthy relationships.
These paths in our brains and bodies run deep.
Magic doesn’t fix everything, but it is beneficial and real and helpful. And our society not only teaches people that magic isn’t real, but it *also* inundates people with beliefs that are so destructive that it becomes immensely difficult to be able to change them – or even to believe that they can be changed.
Some people are going to have to do way more work, and will need to have much higher levels of perseverance, in order to be able to benefit from magic.
Magic is accessible to everyone, but it is not equally accessible to everyone. And that difficulty needs to be acknowledged – and admitted – way more often.
*There is a fascinating podcast that explores this psychology more in depth - to listen to it go here.