Thirty years ago, I watched a group of men in suits standing in a circle and chanting on top of Glastonbury Tor, one of Earths great sacred sites. Afterwards I asked what they were doing and one replied that they were chanting for business and financial success. I was shocked. I shouldn’t have been so nave.

The following year I decided to leave my career and take spiritual retreat. I lived for two years in southern Morocco, in the High Atlas Mountains thirty miles south of Marrakech. Towards the centre of this walled ancient city there is a square of shops and stalls dedicated purely to magical paraphernalia and sorcery – bats wings, toads eyes, spiders webs and stuff that would shock you if I named them. One day I was shopping for some incense and a stall-holder asked me the most basic of questions: Is it for God or for the Devil? For him the question was as straightforward as a wine merchant asking whether you wanted red or white wine. He was not asking a moral question. He simply needed to know what frequency the incense should vibrate. This is the most fundamental and practical of questions when working with energies or, in another language, magic.

Like attracts like

All magic and sorcery is based on the principle that similar vibrations are attracted to each other. This is the fundamental Law of Attraction or what was identified as sympathetic magic, a phrase used by the Victorian anthropologist J.G. Frazer in his famous book The Golden Bough.

So, for example, if you have a negative attitude and radiate negative energy, you will put yourself in resonance with other peoples negative energy and attract it to you. Equally if you vibrate with positive energy, you will be harmonically resonant with positive energy and it too will be magnetically connected and attracted to you.

Let me give two more examples. If someone wants an attractive and intelligent partner, then that person needs to be attractive and intelligent in the first place, so as to be magnetically similar. Someone vibrating with neediness will only attract someone else with the same vibe. The second example is from talismanic magic. If you want to make a talisman to help you be more courageous, then you attract courageous energy through appropriate objects that resonate with courage such as images of Mars and heroism, the metal iron, the colour red and so on. Using these objects as tuning sticks or receptors, you then attract in the frequency of courage.

All of this is sympathetic magic following the law of attraction. It has been taught, usually in secret, for thousands of years. There are also add-ons and techniques which cam amplify its power. When I first began to study this field of energy work in my early twenties, my teachers reminded me to make a clear decision. Was I engaged in white or black magic? The High Art or the Low Art? Selfish or generous? Love or Greed? God or the Devil?

Energy work and the law of attraction can be used to feather your personal nest of materialism or it can be used as a spiritual path.

As a spiritual strategy, the law of attraction is used for positive good, for example, in healing, in communing with the natural world and in opening up to the benevolent flow of the universe. This is true personal development.

Material wealth and financial success do not bring personal fulfilment. (Let me be clear though. I like money and I want everyone on this planet to be clothed, fed, educated, safe, comfortable and happy.) I have known many rich people, but I have never seen money reaching deep into their emotional healing. Many people who have lots of money behave like selfish, anxious criminals. I do not recall any great spiritual teachers suggesting material wealth as a path to enlightenment and love. Buddha renounced the material world and was explicit about desire being the source of human suffering. Christ suggested that the love of money is the source of all evil and that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

True Abundance

So what is real prosperity and abundance? It is surely the experience of being connected to the profound richness of cosmic existence infinite creativity and abundance. How does all the gold on earth compare to the fire of the Sun or the power that produced our galaxy? To fully experience spirit, the Tao, God whatever you call it is this wonderful sensation and awareness of being connected with and part of the oceanic flow of a never-ending creative cosmic event. Prosperity is not to do with material riches. It is a cosmic spiritual experience.

Unfortunately, some people who teach about the laws of attraction and cosmic order have either forgotten or ignore the cosmic dimension. Sometimes they even show off about their material success and have the cheek to claim they are being spiritual or are sharing a great secret.

Worse than that, to promise material success as a solution to life’s problems is morally wrong and psychologically stupid. It is a false promise. How does it support anyones true soul calling? It may confuse people who are already disorientated by the harmful glamour of social glitter. It is black magic. Money is not a substitute for love and healing.

Moreover this kind of materialist approach is ignorant about how sympathetic magic actually works with spiritual development. For example, financial success might be positively harmful for some peoples growth their personal lesson may be to find joy in poverty. In a case like this, the law of attraction when applied to money is bound to fail.

But, as we all know, the real failure here is falling for the spell of materialism. And the real success is in expanded consciousness and increased love.