For me, part of my witchcraft practice involves cultivating an an exacting, razor sharp will; intention met with ability to do. Being a warrior tradition, what we struggle with is our own freedom. We live in an oppressive society, clearly, and we must struggle every day to free ourselves from the habituation of our own delusions about ourselves, our lives, and the world through which we move. We have been conditioned by culture, our parents and teachers, environment, circumstance, and the way in which we can perceive the world has been made convenient. Yet when we are free, we are able to see more choices stretching out from the moment we find ourselves in, and are able to act more creatively, more spontaneously from our center. These choices are extensions of our deepening self-knowledge and our movement through the world.
It's a pity that self-knowledge is not readily or automatically accessible in a culture such as this; a culture that teaches us to cut ourselves up into parts and denigrate our animal bodies for capitalist production while addicting our minds to endless consumption. It is my experience that access to our Daimonic Self requires that we develop keen attention to all of our parts (and the uncovering of personality parts yet hidden to us). In many ways, without the Great Work of Self-Gnosis, we are blind even to vast stretches of our inner landscape. What does this tell us about the outer landscape through which we move and what we can see of that? Why do we think there is a separation between inner and outer?
When we are engaged in the work of self-refinement, of growing more fully into ourselves, we cultivate the attention to see ourselves with more clarity. It is our hope that all our parts might come into fuller communication, that we might come into deeper communion with the world around us (including other beings), and achieve more resonance with our Fate. This is it -- when we are engaged in the Work, we struggle, every day, against our unhealthy impulses: our inner demons, our habitual mis-perceptions about ourselves, the world, our connections--against habits of action that though these things may have stemmed from a place of self-preservation during times of stress and trauma, they now work against our journey to Wholeness and our deep desires. We must win back those precious things, these (for lack of a better term) "soul parts" we hid in the deepest darkest places, that they might not be put in jeopardy -- though, if we do not engage these bad habits, they remain disconnected from our aligned self and remain lost. Our impulses drive us away from our purpose, into hiding from our Wholeness, towards that which is easy.
Yet, when we cultivate a keen and exacting attention to the self (which tends towards gentleness and compassion, as we need not be stern) we enter into the flow of our Wholeness, and our drastic impulses tend die down. We become more centered, we can respond from a place of deeper connection. Our bodies tell us this. Our physical bodies are the prima materia -- they are not just the container for the energy bodies that make up the soul -- the body is the authentic self, the manifest triune soul. The mind is just one of the energy bodies, and is mostly good for solving puzzles.
We must move forward from merely asking "what do I want," and letting impulse decide. The Work urges us to sit still to find the answers. Deep desire is where want and need meet. When we step from this into action, into working for--"manifesting"--our desire, we can only do so if we have a commitment to our intention and a responsibility with how it moves through us. It is not enough to merely speak our desires or to talk about our intention. We must move with it and hold the responsibility for what our action does in the world. We do not exist in a vacuum, so intention alone can create havoc, with self and world always changing in its process. When we let loose our own inner authority and make our work come to pass, when we use our Will, it changes the world, those around us, and even the self.
So it seems, to manifest our desire we must move from a place of spontaneity; connected to that which surrounds us, centered in that which is within us. We must be able to adjust in the moment, as the universe is always in process, as a friend of mine says. We cannot just blunder along with our supposed intention. We must move with attention. In Tai Chi, one learns the movements of the martial art slowly at first, with keen attention, and then the movements can be "sped up" after precision is attained. This is like the manifestation of our Will. To me, this is a method necessary to prepare the self to work magic successfully over time.
Please, move with Love.