What Are The Pitfalls Of The Law Of Attraction?

The Law Of Attraction is a contentious subject in the witchcraft community. Some people are all in on the Law Of Attraction, others rail against it, saying that it’s not really witchcraft, that it’s dangerous, or even that it’s abusive. Despite this, The Law Of Attraction is one of the prevailing dominant magical theories of modern witchcraft. It’s an incredibly popular magical modus operandi that has infiltrated almost every modern source of magical teaching.

So which is it? Dangerous cultish propaganda or a valid and useful magical theory? Today we’re going to be taking a look at the biggest arguments against the Law Of Attraction and how it impacts witchcraft so that you can decide for yourself if this magical theory is right for your craft.

Victim Blaming

The first thing that we have to talk about when it comes to the misuse and abuse of the law of attraction is victim-blaming. Victim blaming has become endemic because of the misinterpretation of this magical theory and I would love nothing more than to be able to eradicate it from our communities entirely. One of the first reactions that most people have to the deeper concepts of the law of attraction is, “oh, so I’m causing all the bad things in my life, it’s all my fault?!” Usually said with either a sense of panic or indignation. 

After all, if the world around us is acting as a mirror and we are attracting everything in our reality to us with our energetic and emotional state, it follows that all the bad shit in our lives is also something that we attracted. This is a downright infuriating thought when it comes to situations like car wrecks, bad relationships, illness, etc. if you are not viewing this magical theory and reality through the theistic idea that we are in a learning construct. Worse is when spiritual communities adopt a victim-blaming mentality and use this concept to blame others for their misfortune rather than finding ways to empathize and help each other. This is the exact opposite of what this theory is supposed to do!

This theory is based on the idea that we are in a learning construct reality, though. When taken within the context of our reality as a learning construct, this idea that we are attracting all the negative occurrences in our life stops being a means of self-blame and becomes an opportunity for self-exploration. Within the more theistic grounding of the law of attraction, the less than pleasant events in our lives are a reflection of something we are already experiencing internally. For example, if you are receiving rejection after rejection after rejection in your job search, that indicates some kind of self-rejection internally that you are being asked to address. By encountering the situation repeatedly in the external world, you are meant to address the internal, energetic root that is creating that mirrored external reality.

When considered from this standpoint, victim-blaming becomes impossible. Rather than looking at a person who is in pain or has had some misfortune befall them and seeing someone who created pain on their own and therefore does not deserve our empathy and care, we see a person who has learned through some form of social conditioning to mistreat and reject themselves. We see someone who has been taught that they are not acceptable or lovable unless they reject some part of who they are. This should breed not victim-blaming but radical empathy for one another. It should allow us to look at each other and see the raw wounding and vulnerability that we experience as individuals, and it should encourage us to approach one another with the love and care that such vulnerability deserves.

This theory of magic should always be a tool of self-discovery and a way of empathizing with one another. The reason it can be so beneficial to a magical practice is that it encourages us to examine our emotional state, our energetic state, and the way our subconscious mind works in order to improve our relationship with ourselves and, by extension, improve our lives as a whole. This is what is missing in the way the law of attraction is commonly taught.

Positive Vibes Only?

This leads us to another common pitfall in this magical theory. It’s very easy to look at the surface of the law of attraction, the concept of like attracts like, and conclude that this means you have to maintain a perfect, happy emotional state at all times to avoid attracting catastrophe into your life. After all, if you want a happy life, then you have to be maintaining happy energy, right? As a result, you end up with toxic “positive vibes only” culture that shuns and avoids any expression of negative emotion, pain, sorrow, anger, and so forth. This is really just another form of self-rejection and suppression and doesn’t achieve anything results-wise. The reason for this is quite simple. When we consider the emotional and energetic state of a being in relation to the law of attraction, we are not only looking at the conscious emotional and energetic state but also the subconscious energetic and emotional state.

Suppressing and rejecting negative emotions does not get rid of those negative emotions, it just hides them from view so that we can no longer perceive them. It is a textbook example of bottling up your emotions rather than dealing with them. This misunderstanding of the law of attraction leads to a kind of fear of our own unpleasant emotions and causes people to bottle up every uncomfortable feeling in an attempt to avoid manifesting a reality that harmonizes with that feeling. Bottling everything up doesn’t get rid of it though, it simply makes it a subconscious emotional state. This means that even though you’re not addressing the emotion, it is still a part of your energetic reality and therefore capable of attracting an external reality to match.

Essentially, by avoiding the negative emotion and attempting to maintain a positive state of feeling at all times, you are avoiding dealing with the unpleasant emotion and guaranteeing that you will be attracting more of the same. This can cause a sense of powerlessness in those who feel like control over their reality is reliant on their control over their emotions. If controlling your emotions is no guarantee of attracting a more positive reality, then how the heck are you supposed to use the law of attraction to your benefit at all?

This, again, takes us back to the more theistic roots of the law of attraction. Within this theory, we are meant to think of our reality as a learning construct and everything that we experience from external situations to our internal emotional state as a kind of guide toward our own growth and expansion. When we approach the law of attraction from this angle, it becomes clear that the unpleasant and more negative emotions that we experience are a sort of warning bell. Rather than being the cause of an unpleasant experience in our reality, negative emotion is like a flashing check engine light that tells us that something in our beliefs, our thoughts about ourselves, and our subconscious mind is not working in our best interests.

From this perspective, it becomes obvious that ignoring or suppressing emotion is insanity. In the same way that you wouldn’t ignore a flashing check engine light, ignoring the emotion is not going to fix the underlying problem. In order to avoid attracting a reality that we do not want through these negative emotions, we have to dig into the causes of those emotions, find the root wounding that is causing the pain, and find healing and resolution for that wound. In this way, we can transmute our unpleasant emotions and energies into something far more enjoyable and positive and avoid the trap of suppressing them and ignoring our own pain.

The Truth Of The Law Of Attraction

This is the true core of the law of attraction. Any person who truly dedicates themselves to this theory of magic will find themselves on a path of deep shadow work and self-actualization. This theory of magic asks us to view the world through the lens of our own personal growth and to use what we see in the world to heal ourselves and become powerful, empathetic wielders of magic. It offers us incredible power through our practice as long as we are willing to go deep in our journey of self-exploration.

This theory of magic is one that I have spent a huge amount of time engaging with and thinking about. Unlike other magical theories that are more concerned with the how of magic, the law of attraction is very much grounded in the question of why. It asks why we are here, what we are meant to be doing, why our world acts the way it does, and why our magic works the way it does. Because of this, this subject necessitates far more discussion and exploration than do the other common magical theories

While not religious per se, this theory of magic does engage far more heavily with the concept of deity or God or source than other theories do. Despite this, this theory of magic is actually quite compatible with many more religious magical paths. If you have been struggling to reconcile your experiences working with law of attraction style magic and your own religious experiences with a god, goddess, or multiple gods, it’s okay. The law of attraction does not actually contradict paganism or polytheism as a whole. Rather, within the scope of this theory, the polytheistic gods that many pagans interact with are, in essence, fragments of divine consciousness. If all things are god or source, then it follows that the gods that many of us interact with in the course of our magical practice are also part of this greater whole of divinity.

For those of you who are wondering, this is a kind of soft polytheism. Hard polytheism is the belief that there are multiple gods, and they are distinct and separate beings with no overlap between them. Soft polytheism views the concept of God as far more malleable. Rather than being a set of individuals, the gods become more of a set of personas, each with their own consciousness but all interconnected with the greater consciousness of everything in existence. In this particular version of soft polytheism, humans are also essentially personas of a greater consciousness that is interconnected with everything in existence.

Obviously, this theory is well suited to anyone who really enjoys a good existential question. It is less prescriptive than the other magical theories and far more interested in leading us through a practice of questioning and self-exploration in relation to the big questions in life. It’s certainly not the only magical theory available to us as witches but the law of attraction does hold the potential for unlocking incredible power in your craft when you avoid these pitfalls.


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What Are The Pitfalls Of The Law Of Attraction? by The Traveling Witch

1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for this. I definitely hate the victim-blaming aspect of the law of attraction, as well as get annoyed by toxic positivity, and this helped!

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