Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Good-Enough Tool and the Right Tool (for Magic)

Early in my training with my teacher, I was given an assignment: adopt a couple of certain forms of psychic cleansing and protection, drawn from folk magic sources primarily. This was something that I wrestled with constantly; I found something that somewhat appealed to me, and I tried to make it work, and indeed, it worked, kind of, sort of.

Some time later, I came back to this assignment with something like dread, as I feared being unable to find somethign that really worked, like all the tools - perfectly sufficient to the task - were an outfit that just didn't fit right, or which, while fitting, were just not attractive to wear. And I found an idea, chased a thought sideways, put a little twist on it, and found something perfect. And when I shared what I'd done with my teacher, she said that it was pretty awesome.

This is something that happens to me a lot - I have something that's good enough (usually something that works a good deal better than that particular assignment!), and I'm content with it, and don't think I need to go any further with it. I have an adequate tool, a perfectly good methodology and technique, or whatever.

And usually, I do - I mean, I have my ritual cup sitting on my nightstand right now. It's nothing hugely special, it holds water just fine in a good quantity for my needs, it has a pleasant shape and meets my quirks for wanting such a thing. But I don't have any illusion that it's anything beyond good enough for my purposes. It's possible there exists a cup out there that is mindblowingly amazing for me. (I suspect in the real world I'll make one when my studio works.) This ain't it. But it does what I need it to.

I'm not a very heavy tool user, at least not in my head. But I look around, and I see the collection of scarves I use for one set of protection magic, the perfume bottle I use for another bit of protection magic, I see my aforementioned cup, I note that the tools I put away so that the Celt's mother wouldn't see them haven't been put back where they belong... So I think my head is wrong on this. And some of my tools are good enough. And some of them are The Right Tool.

Does anyone else understand what I'm talking about here? How many of your tools are good enough, and how many of them are Right? How do you know when a tool is The Right Tool? How does it affect your magic to work with something that precisely attuned? Can you make a good enough tool into a Right Tool? How?

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