I recently finished watching the first season of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Its a fun show to watch, but as I watched it I also found that there were a few key themes in the show that provided useful lessons to consider on one’s magical journey.
Be careful what you connect with and what promises are made
Sabrina is asked several times to make a commitment and initially she balks at making that commitment and when she finally does make it, it happens because of circumstances where she’s set up to believe its the only way forward to resolve the situation she’s in. The fact that she initially questions whether she should make the commitment is important because as with anything else the commitments you make define the relationship you are in.
When you choose to work with a spirit, its important that you define the relationship and the nature of the commitment you’re making as well as what you expect in return. And if you aren’t comfortable with the commitment, its important to recognize that upfront and not make it. When I work with a spirit I find out what it wants from me and use that to decide if what it wants is comparable to what I want in return and if its something I can fully commit to doing. If there’s any doubt, I walk away because I know that if I’m not living up to my end of the agreement, I shouldn’t expect the spirit to either.
You can’t solve every problem with magic and some problems aren’t meant to be solved
This is a hard lesson for some people to learn, and Sabrina proves to be no exception. When her boyfriend Harvey loses his brother she can’t stand the fact that he’s sad and decides to try and bring his brother back to life. Yet as she soon discovers her magical solution is no solution and only creates more problems for her and more grief for Harvey. In the end, the solution is that Harvey simply must grieve and accept the loss of his brother, hard as it may be to do that.
It’s easy to believe that magic is the solution for everything, but sometimes magic isn’t the solution. Sometimes it just creates more complications and sometimes you just have to deal with the hand that you’ve been dealt. Some people might wonder then why they should practice magic at all, but there are times and problems that magical is applicable to. Its just we also need to recognize when magic isn’t applicable, when the solution isn’t about trying to solve a problem, but instead choosing to do the hard and necessary work of being present in the moment and coming to grips with whatever needs to be dealt with, instead of trying to wish it away.
Failing and learning from failure is an inevitable part of your magical journey
The most important lesson Sabrina learns is that failure is an inevitable part of life and for that matter magical work. Not all of her magical workings are successes and neither will all of yours be. It’s through our failures that we learn the most, learn the hardest, because our failures throw our presumptions in our faces and force us to recognize where we’ve fallen short and where we can do better.
In so much of magical theory and practice successful results are glorified to the point that you would never think any magician failed or had doubts about magic, but while achieving a result is a significant activity in magic, it shouldn’t be the sole defining factor. Thus its important to get comfortable with the fact that sometimes what you enchant for won’t succeed. When you can learn from your failure, reflect on why you didn’t get the result you wanted and make changes accordingly then you’ve taken a significant step on your magical journey: You learn from your failures by accepting that you can fail and then treat the failure as an opportunity to grow and discover where you can improve as a magician.