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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Wisdom and the Three Percent

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C1325529963/E20090303071428

I answer my email indirectly

By request.

One of my not so secret vices is fantasy fiction, especially fantasy fiction set in a semi-modern or futuristic age. For example, I just finished reading Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs. Another series that I thought was great was the Diana Tregarde novels by Mercedes Lackey. I also read science fiction and Dilbert. For the most part, I use these books to let my brain wheels spin down from the non-fiction and news I read.

As much as I enjoy the fantasy books, I know that they are fiction. There aren't grand threats born of Ancient Magicks waiting to be defeated by an Anointed Hero.

But there are problems that crop up from time to time and somebody has to deal. I may not be fighting werewolves and assorted beasties every week, but sometimes I help. Part of this is because I still have ministers and priests as contacts that know I can deal with the oddball. Part of it is just because I listen. And part of it is the weave of fate and I just happen to meet someone who needs a little help.

Sympathy is not part of my nature. Fellow-feeling is a gift that I have to work at, so I do. I consider it as restitution for the person I once was.

So here are some hard-earned pieces of wisdom.

Way back in August of 2005, I mentioned some rules that are worth visiting again.

THE GOLDEN RULE - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

THE SILVER RULE - Do for yourself at least as much as you do for others.

THE IRON RULE - Don't do for others what they can do for themselves.
Again, these aren't original with me, I ran across them during my Corporate Clone days.

But that Iron Rule really plays a part in the magick that you do for others. If the other person can do it for themselves but they choose not to, then it's their choice. You doing it for them just excuses them from consequences. Very probably it just redirects those consequences to you.

Most of the time when people say they want to talk, they just really want someone to listen. When I talk to someone face to face, especially at first, I try to say only one thing for every three things they say. This doesn't mean I don't talk, it just means that I use active listening more than I tell them what I think.

If someone actually needs my help, this is what I do. The percentages are approximate.

75% of the time all I do is listen, depending on the person, I may use active listening again.

9% of the time I just give common sense answers.

13% of the time, no matter how much I may wish otherwise, there is nothing I or anyone else can do, it just has to happen.

That means that 97% of the time, there is no practical magickal solution.

3% of the time, well, three is a magick number and that is when I use magick.

Of course there are exceptions. If the person I am trying to help has any kind of active ritual experience themselves and really wants my help, that three percent is much higher, but I couldn't tell you how high. If there's a resonance, we tend to slip into ritual and work from there.

So why use magick at all? Because that is three percent that I wouldn't be able to help otherwise. It does add up, it's just not lightning and explosions.

And more times than not, going through a ritual helps them center and lets me kick it back to the 84% where magick isn't needed but I can still help.

The problems don't stop there.

About one third of the time when I do use magick to help someone else, the person hasn't told me everything I should know. Sometimes it's deliberate, sometimes it's not. Either way, that usually triggers a misfire. The magick works, it just doesn't do what it needed to do. Or more accurately, it doesn't do what I expected.

About one third of the time when I use magick to help someone else and usually when I get too impressed with myself, I completely misread what's needed. If I am very lucky, it doesn't backfire and make things worse.

About one third of the time, it works exactly as it's should.

Very rarely, I will encounter something and a full-blown plan will pop into my head without me having to think about it at all, along with the absolute certainty that it will work. These always work. I have no idea if these plans come from my higher selves, my gods, or any of my various allies. They just work without a hitch.

So here is what it looks like assuming that they actually need help (Iron Rule again).

There's a thirteen percent chance (on average) I can do absolutely nothing.

There's a seventy-five percent chance that I can best help by listening and being a sounding board.

Notice that is a full eighty-eight percent chance where the absolute best I can possibly do is listen. And even then, it won't always work.

There's a nine percent chance there is a simple common sense solution that they just need to hear.

And there is a three percent chance that magick can help.

Of that, on average, I'll only be absolutely successful about one time in three. If I am really careful, I can usually help with magick about two out of every three times I try. It may not be the exact solution, but it does work after a fashion.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it? It's certainly not romantic with special effects and a soundtrack.

But it's enough.


Posted: Tue - March 3, 2009 at 07:14 AM

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