oberon zell-ravenheart

The Third Wish

By Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

When I was a kid, I discovered the legend of the “Three Magic Wishes.” In just about every culture, there are stories about a magick wish-bringer that grants three wishes. It may be the genie of the magic lamp, as in the tale of Aladdin. Or the magic fish in the Grimm Fairy tale. Often it is a ring—from Solomon’s to Tolkein’s. In W.W. Jacobs’ famous short story (1902), it’s a monkey’s paw. And in an upcoming movie (for which I just saw a preview last night) it's a magick wishing powder.

Sometimes the offer comes from the gods (as Hera, Athena and Aphrodite presented their respective bribes to Paris, resulting in the Trojan War). And in Christian mythology, the deal is invariably offered by the Devil—starting with the temptation of Jesus (Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2). The Medieval tale of Faust and Mephistopheles has given rise to modern literary and movie treatments of this theme, such as Terry Pratchett’s “Eric,” and “Bedazzled” with Brendan Frazer.

In the Bible, Satan offers Jesus first Wealth; then Power; and finally, Fame. J.C. rejects them all, saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” But these three objectives remain the primary obsessions of humanity, and the basis of most people’s wishes and pursuits (including those of many preachers and politicians claiming to follow Jesus!).

“Nine rings were given to the race of Men, who above all things desire Power.” In at least two film treatments that I’ve seen (“The Man Who Could Work Miracles” and “Bruce Almighty” with Jim Carey), Godlike powers are temporarily granted to a mortal man, with humorously devastating results.

Every version of this story is a “wisdom tale,” and the obvious lesson is always: “Be careful what you wish for; you may receive it!” Invariably, the protagonist totally fucks up the first two wishes (if not the entire set), by wishing for wealth, fame and power—and getting them; but with terrible consequences.

In some versions of the story, however, the second and deeper lesson is conveyed, as the protagonist considers more carefully the third and final wish, and finally gets it right: instead of wishing for himself, he wishes for others. And that turns the curse of the three wishes into a blessing.

The purpose of such stories, of course, is to get us all thinking about our own goals, aspirations, and the work of our lives by which we each attempt to manifest what we wish for. This is what magick is all about—manifesting our wishes.

So when I came upon these stories as a kid, I began thinking about that final wish, deciding that it should be my first rather than last. And what I eventually came up with was a wish of ultimate magickal empowerment: “I wish for the full awakening of the psychic potential of every person in the world”—not just for myself. I figgered that there were far more good people than bad people in the world, and this would give us the edge.

Now, every magick-user knows that you can’t just make a wish and then go off and forget about it. You have to conjure it into manifestation by focusing everything in your life and thoughts to that end; to “Make It So!” I came up with this wish about 50 years ago, and virtually everything I have done in my entire life over the past half-century has been wrapped around its manifestation.

Starting in high school, I began writing and publishing thought-provoking articles and editorials, honing my wordsmithing skills so as to be able to reach into the minds and hearts of my readers, and plant seeds of psychic Awakening. To stimulate the opening of the eyes, the shaking of the head, and the looking around that is portrayed so exquisitely in the movie “Pleasantville” (an astonishing parallel of my own hometown and personal history in that era).

Over the years I became a newsletter and magazine editor and publisher; a husband and father; a schoolteacher and school counselor; a youth and family counselor; a Priest of Gaea; an artist; and a Wizard. I founded a church, articulated a Gaean theology, and helped to launch an entire religious movement—to which I bequeathed the name “Pagan.” In our 30 years together, Morning Glory and I developed liturgy and rituals for small and large groups to awaken the divine within each participant, and we resurrected the ancient Mysteries of Eleusis. In the 1980s, we recreated authentic living Unicorns, and sent them out into the world as the stars of “The Greatest Show on Earth”—to touch the hearts of millions with a dream of hope made flesh.

All of this was in the service of the personal Mission Statement I conceived for myself and my life’s work when I started college in 1961: “To be a catalyst for the coalescence of consciousness.” I have been a meme gardener—cultivating soil, planting seeds, weeding, watering, pruning and nurturing a garden that has grown across the verdant face of Mother Earth.

In the early ‘70s, I expanded my original wish into a Vision of the awakening of planetary consciousness—of Gaea Herself. The Sacred Mission Statement of the Church of All Worlds (which I wrote) became “…to evolve a network of information, mythology and experience to awaken the Divine within and to provide a context and stimulus for reawakening Gaea and reuniting Her children through tribal community dedicated to responsible stewardship and the evolution of consciousness.”
And I have refined that original wish and a lifetime of work into a single word: “Awaken!”

Now I have composed a book to carry this lifelong mission into a new quantum phase: a Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard. It is due to be released in Feb. of 2004. To create it, I convened the Grey Council—elders, teachers, mages and sages of the worldwide magickal community. Several members are part of this Mystery Tribe. Over the past year-and-a-half we have poured into this work the best of our lessons, teachings, wisdom and expertise. One of our members—ceremonial magician Nelson White, a very old and dear personal friend—died just as the text phase was completed.

Combining the concept of the original Boy Scout Handbook with a seven-year junior high- through high school curriculum such as “Hogwarts” would provide, I wrote, wove, and edited all this material into a single 384-page volume of courses, classes, lessons, and exercises. It is profusely illustrated with my own drawings and those of others both ancient and contemporary. Charts, tables, diagrams, glossaries, and appendices make it an essential reference for a lifetime of magickal work and studies.

In short, this is the book I wish I’d gotten hold of when I began my journey as a youth, and had available all these years; and it’s the book I most want to have on my shelf right now. In my next incarnation, I expect to be given a copy upon my first Rite of Passage!

This is the first true Grimoire of the 3rd Millennium, and, like its Medieval predecessors, it is itself an act of magick. We are tailoring it specifically for the “Harry Potter generation,” where the soil has already been richly cultivated for the planting of these seeds. Through it, I (and the Grey Council) intend to release an entire new generation of Wizards into the world—not just a few, as in times past, but millions. And their impact on the world will be incalculable…

To succeed in this ambitious magickal working, we will need all the help we can get. Together, we can change the world; this Grimoire is a catalyst. Please tell others about it! Give it to all the magickids you know—especially for their Rites of Passage.

Spread the word—and spread the magick.
Wishes can come true.
So Mote It Be!

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