Signs of Success

DMK, as usual, has an interesting post on his blog about the signs of success in ritual: not that you get what you want, but hints that you’ve done magic before anything manifests at all.  He describes two signs: a change in temperature, and a change in time perception.

I have never experienced either of those things in ritual.  No, not even the warping of time perception, which is common enough in day-to-day life.

What I have experienced that lets me know I’m on the right track is a subjective sensation of intense euphoria.  It’s similar, but not quite the same, as the euphoria I feel at having finished a creative project.  I think it might be related to the idea of Flow.  But again, I’ve experienced Flow while writing or hiking and this isn’t quite the same.

The other indicator is a striking coincidence.  Usually it’s not so direct as do a spell for money, find a crumpled up twenty on the sidewalk.  That’d make me think maybe I didn’t specify quantity clearly enough.  But say you do a spell for money, then immediately turn on the radio and hear this:

It’s not unusual for people related to the purpose of the spell to call out of the blue, or for objects somehow related to the goal in my house to fall or end up in odd places.  Once, a wand I was working on for a friend fell from a table during a ritual invocation; on another occasion, after a particularly intense invocation, I heard a person talking on their cell phone in such a way that everything they said was exactly relevant to what I had asked for.  Obviously, these things can be coincidences.  Vibrations from the nearby train may have jostled the wand from the table.  I might have noticed a conversation that seemed relevant, but not noticed the ones that weren’t.  Confirmation bias seems a likely cause.  And yet . . . in the midst of it, it’s hard not to see a link.

So — temperature changes?  Nope.  Time stretching or compression?  No.  Visual manifestations?  Almost never.  Not for me, anyway.  For me, it’s synchronicity and euphoria.  What is it for you?

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7 Responses to “Signs of Success”

  1. I experience synchronous events similar to what you describe, in addition to a feeling of timelessness, of certainty. Knocks in time to my incantations, flames dancing and dipping in seemingly windless rooms, the inner fire rushing up from my heart into my head…I’ve gotten the change in temperature, but never associated that with end “results” so much as a side-effect of whatever rite I’m working with. I get physically “visible” (I’m certain this is an overlay on my vision related to internal process, and not actually visible to persons outside my had) waves and spots of light, fluxing in and out in purple and gold. I’ve seen spirits overlaid on my vision as well, as if the lens of my eye had become the scrying mirror. That sort of thing.

  2. I’ve experienced temperature increase often when channeling or doing involved spirit work. However, whenever time perception changes, I tend to ignore it. I’ll have to amend that. :)

    Synchronicity is a big one for me. I see it as “retroactive magick” a lot when things that couldn’t possibly be a direct result nevertheless happen in a very timely way. Once, I did an impromptu “invocation” of the telephone repair man, because I wanted my Internet NOW, dammit. ;) (Obviously, this was years ago.) He literally pulled into the driveway about 20 second later.

    The euphoria you talk about has only happened to me once in or after ritual, and it was a big, big rite of major importance.

    Also, lol, I’ve actually experienced doing money magick the way you describe. I had my car towed back in 1988 when I was trying to pay for my wedding. I did a rite to get the $40 back, because I really needed it. That night I found, I shit you not, three $20 bills lying end to end on the sidewalk, as if placed there just for me.

    Money magick is a tough one for me. I only get results when I feel I really “deserve” the results. I am way too attached to the perception of deserving it, which is a common manifestation of Lust of Result that so far I have to be very careful of. Sure would like to shake that. Maybe you can do a post in overcoming this. ;)

    Also, random aside: I found my “Gypsy Witch” deck. I’m thinking of doing a blog post with the instructions. My deck is dated 1903, and I can’t find another date on the enclosure anywhere…. I know it’s old, but wow.

  3. I’ve found that I do get temperature changes sometimes, but it depends upon the type of magick I’m doing. My working group recently wrapped up a series of zodiacal workings and one of the things they had in common was a feeling of cold that manifested in the center of the altar. This is not something I generally notice when working with planets or elements, but with the signs it was quite pronounced.

    Synchronicity and flow, though? Yeah, I get those all the time regardless of the type of magick I’m working. The only real time distortions I’ve experienced are probably related to the flow phenomenon – when you’re experiencing it, time really can seem to pass more quickly. However, I suspect it’s more of a “time flies when you’re having fun” effect rather than a genuine temporal distortion.

  4. Synchronicity and flow/focus yes. I don’t get temperature stuff.

    I sometimes get the temporal compression/expansion, but I often get it in a way that I’m not conscious of. Several times I’ve gone into ritual having just eaten and/or gone to the bathroom and I’ll be in ritual for 30 minutes (for example) and that’s what I experience. Yet once I’m out of ritual I’m absolutely starving or have to use the bathroom as if my body went through a longer period of time than my mind did.

  5. [...] Dunn of Postmodern Magic discusses the signs of a successful ritual: He describes two signs: a change in temperature, and a change in time perception. I have never [...]

  6. Back in the day when I was doing Wiccan ritual, we pretty much always got the temperature increases; a handful of times we experience d what you might call temporal compression, although it may well have been us just losing track of time during meditation… :).

    I can’t really say that synchronicity played a big part in my experience, but then other than one protective binding ritual (which worked very well, we later learned), our circles were pretty much “praise and worship”/general energy work, rather than targeted workings for someone (the couple of times we did healing circles, the “patient” was brought into the circle with us).

    Flow, though – I get that regardless, when I have successfully aligned my actions (magical or otherwise) with the direction the Universe seems to want me to go. Doors just sort of pop open that lead to the result I’m supposed to be moving towards – and many others shut just as quickly… sometimes too quickly for my taste!

  7. I get the “flow”. Mostly, though, it is the euphoria. It is a great buzz, actually. During meditation once in a deep state I was able to change my body temperature (at least in my perception, not sure if there was any actual, measurable change). The occasional “coincidence”, too, but mostly the buzz, as I like to call it. And being an artist for my entire life, I can say there are a lot of similarities to magic and art. I am always in a trance-like, ultra focused state during both art and ritual, and the buzz is similar, for me.

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