I don’t know if you’re obsessed with the movie Labyrinth like I was as a kid, but (oh, who am I kidding? I’m still obsessed with that movie)…
…there’s something quite fascinating (and relevant to magic) in one of the opening scenes.
Sarah, the main character, must figure out her way into the labyrinth (the unconscious) that she’s been tasked with solving if she hopes to save her baby brother.
There’s a strange little figure, Hoggle, puttering around outside the wall, and Sarah hopes he can help her find the entrance.
Here, and elsewhere in her journey, Hoggle serves as a sort of guardian at the threshold and a psychopomp, helping Sarah pass from one realm to the next.
And like all liminal figures, securing his aid isn’t a straightforward matter:
“Excuse me, I have to get through this Labyrinth—can you help me?”
No response as Hoggle busies himself zapping the biting fairies.
“Do you know where the door to the labyrinth is?”
Her impatience growing, “Well, where is it?”
Again, Hoggles pointedly ignores her while carrying on with his work.
“I said, where is it?”
“Where is what?”
In a huff: “It’s hopeless asking you anything.”
“Not if you ask the right questions.”
Finally, in exasperation, “How do I get into the labyrinth?”
“Ahhhh, now that’s more like it. You get in,” he sweeps his finger toward the entrance, “there.”
Interestingly, the doors are huge, and you might wonder how Sarah ever could have missed them…
…but such is the nature of the unconscious (especially coupled with the limiting belief that we cannot possibly know a thing for ourselves and require an external authority).
But what I find so interesting is what seems, on the surface, like a lack of meaningful distinction between the questions that got her exactly nowhere and the one that finally unlocks the labyrinth.
Notice how, at first, her questions are all about finding the door.
Which makes sense, right?
Perhaps…but on another level, these questions aren’t quite what she’s really after, indicating that Sarah doesn’t fully know what she wants yet.
Because, after all, she’s not interested in knowing the location of the door simply for curiosity’s sake, right?
No, what she really wants to know is how to get into the labyrinth.
When she formulates a question that is a true reflection of her desire, the universe responds.
The same is true in our magic.
When we cast spells or set intentions that aren’t a reflection of our true will…
…there simply isn’t enough magnetic oomph to these magical expressions to elicit much of a response from the universe.
Thus, it’s so important to craft questions that lead us deeper into our authentic nature, otherwise we’ll remain scratching about on the surface, frustrated by the lackluster results.
How do we ask the questions that really matter, then?
In part two, we look at three ways to do just that.
P.S. This idea of crafting powerful questions has been on my mind more than usual lately, as I just finished writing the divination lesson of a new Jungian Magic course, which will be coming out later this year. 🙂