A magical motto? What effect does it have? A rose by any other name? Does the magical motto shape your aspirations, or does it simply verify the path the magician is already on?
Si Vales, Valeo
In short, a magical motto is a word or phrase chosen to serve as a statement of ones will. Magical mottos are difficult for those that approach the subject with some seriousness. Try to enjoy the difficulty, and realize that the struggle has a purpose. Your magical motto is important to your initiation, although most people seem to worry that it wont sound cool.
I come up with something in English first or Castilian, since that is my first language. Translate it into a sacred language (Hebrew, Latin, Greek, whatever) and seek to figure out its numerical value. Then, I look for other words in that language containing the same numerical values and see if they match my aspirations. Next, I mess around a lot with New Aeon English Qabalah, I throw that into the mix since I am trying to make the Roman Alphabet sacred.
When I was a member of Fraternitas LVX Occulta, back in the day, in another life, there was a golden crown on the altar filled with all sorts of lofty names. When the time came for me to have a motto, the Hierophant handed me the crown and I reached in for my motto. Scudo Fidei – “Faith is My Shield.”
I hated it.
“What a ridiculous way to come up with a motto,” I thought to myself, thinking I could come up with a much cooler sounding one on my own. Then things immediately began to manifest in my life which led me to the conclusion that when embraced, a magical motto carries within it the seeds of development and has many other spiritual properties. For that time of my life, that was the best motto I could have had.
My objection was to the word “faith.” So I had to ask myself, what is “faith”? Well, faith is a kind of knowing that does not require physical proof. Not so much because one doesn’t want to prove it like so many faith-based religions, but because there are no instruments (yet) to measure something that may or may not exist. Or because the attempt to prove or disprove it would interfere with the magicians magick. In this case, a magical motto acts as a paradigm to accomplish ones task.
Gnosis is a kind of Faith. I also feel that Faith is the absence of Lust of Result, and without faith, the work of the ceremonial magician is symbolic at best. All theater. Faith also is a form of trust. If a person says to you: “If you do these things, these changes will occur in your life” and you test them and their methods to see if they are right, that first step is called Faith.
I used to have a real aversion to that word, as I am sure you do or have had at some time. I think it is a big word which has been abused by those seeking to control us. We would be fools to disregard such a powerful tool. By ignoring its magical value, we fall victim to those who use the term to enslave rather than liberate.
There is a spiritual battle taking place before us right now. Words and symbols are the weapons. Therefore your magical motto is your armor, so understanding or redefining terms becomes very important. I’m in it to win it. Are you?