When do I use magic? - The Witches Table
I am not going to get into the different ethical situations at this point.  Many people have done great work on this and whilst I might add to their thoughts later on, this is not the post for that.  This post is about when I believe the use of magic is at its most successful or has the biggest impact. Magic is just one of the many tools and skills at my disposal and there are things which magic is good at and things which it is not. 

So in my experience magic is a particularly well suited tool for the following things:

1. Magic To Change A Chance Encounter - Any situation where the success of a venture can be influenced by random chance.  Your manuscript makes it to the top of a publisher's slush pile, the right person stumbles across your blog post.  A ha! I hear you say - "so I can use this to win the lottery".  Or if you came here by accidents you might be thinking,  "Pah - superstitious clap trap. If that is true why don't people win the lottery all the time using magic".  Well maybe you could win the lottery like that and maybe some of the lottery winners are using magic, you never know.  But it seems to me that there are so many people out there putting huge amounts of emotional energy, prayers, wishes (all magic albeit not consciously so) into winning the lottery that trying to use magic to make your number come up is hardly the path of least resistance, it is probably harder than almost any other way of getting enough money to live on - which begs the question why bother. The more variables in a situation the better the chance that magic will have to tweak one of them and change the outcome and lotteries really don't have that many variables.

2. Magic To Augment What You Have - Those time where you need a little nudge to accomplish something which is already within your power.  If you are a pretty good artist, you already have skills, some knowledge of the craft - a little nudge from magic and you could be producing really amazing art, or getting rid of your writer's block or even controlling your nerves enough to give a great presentation at work. I definitely use magic to make myself even more awesome at the things I enjoy doing and want to be better at. This type of magic is almost certainly working on a subconscious level more than anything else.

3. Magic To Work With Other Magic - This covers any and all interactions with other magical, psychic or supernatural phenomena.  Want to visit the underworld, commune with the spirits, protect your aura then magic is your only tool at that point. Funnily enough it works incredibly well (like speaking French in France) and the more you do it the better your magical senses will get.

There are obviously other ways of using magic such as influencing other people...but these tend to fall into the unethical category so I'll leave those for another day.

Just a quick note about my throw away comment "path of least resistance" Many people have discussed and written about the idea that magic takes the path of least resistance. This is the concept that magic will make things travel in the right direction if you have already prepared the way -  so if you want to be a great artist, then buy some paint and actually paint things.     It also encapsulates the idea I mention in point 1 above that magic will work best if it is not competing against a lot of other obstacles and energies...including the mess of contradictions and beliefs in your/my own subconsciousness.
So do I use magic...absolutely. Do I pick and choose my situations so my magic has maximum effect...absolutely.

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