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
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!).
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
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!