MAGICK : Techniques of the Art
Magick utilizes various techniques for the gaining of new knowledge
and the use of that knowledge to attain greater levels of mastery over
our circumstance. Primary methods include many practices found in
spiritual, religious, and magical systems throughout the world. These
devices are employed in magick in order to entice the mind into a state
of "open stillness" or clearness so that in those moments Truth might be
Many of the spiritual disciplines of the East are based on the
renunciation of the world. They teach that escape from our degraded
existence is achieved by a rejection of all sensual desires. The
physical realm is considered dirty, base, and evil, and purification
from its influence can only be attained through the most austere and
ascetic of practices, the purposes of which are to increasingly diminish
contact and involvement with the world. On the other hand, Magick holds
that man is a complex creature whose nature and faculties represent a
complete microcosm. It considers that man's faculties of thinking,
feeling, and sensing to have evolved slowly over many aeons and it is
man's obligation to make sure that his methods take into consideration
those faculties. The goal of Magick is to develop those faculties in
himself to a stage where they can participate to the fullest in the
experience of the workings of the Universe at every level.
I will define the primary methods and techniques used in the
Magickal Tradition in this paper but the reader is advised that these
definitions are based on my individual opinions. Also be advised the
magical practitioner, being outside any authority, should use any and
all practices he chooses to adapt into his own regimen no matter from
what system or tradition he might have picked it up. If it works and
proves useful, use it.
Divination is practiced throughout the world and may be one of the
oldest forms of magical practice. It has always been traditionally
viewed as a form of communication with spirits of one type or another.
Among the many forms of divination are astrology, tarot, geomancy, I
Ching, hydromancy, dowsing, feng shui, crystal gazing, and all manner of
oracle and mediumistic techniques.
Divination should only be employed when an answer to a particular
problem or outcome of a particular situation can not be ascertained
through the normal mentation process. It is only when the normal
faculties of thought and feelings have been exhausted on a particular
question without satisfactory answers that the divinatory method should
Its correct practice has as its objective the development of the
inner psychic faculties of intuition. When practiced over a long period
of time, it builds a bridge between the conscious mind and the hidden
parts of the unconscious. The individual practitioner thus opens
himself to a new sensitivity and deeper levels of awareness.
The word 'invocation' is from the Latin 'invocare' which means "to
call down" or "to call in" and implies a supplication to a higher power
to bestow grace or enter our personal sphere. We invoke to "bring in"
and "down" that which we need to fulfill and bring meaning to our lives.
Invocation is used primarily as prayer and devotion projected toward a
god, angel, power, or hero. (This includes all forms, such as Jesus,
Jehova, Buddha, Krishna, Voodoo Loas, avatars, gurus, saints, Elvis,
Gods and higher powers generally represent various cosmic or
archetypal levels of existence. They are personified beings of enormous
wisdom, power, and spirituality which occupy the levels between us and
the unnamed and unknowable supernal deity. Various magical practices
have their aim at receiving help and blessings from these entities
and/or the identification and union of the magicians consciousness with
the deity's essence.
Various practices are used in magick to contact the divine. The
most used practice is prayer, used at the start of every magical rite,
acknowledging the Will of the Grand Architect of the Universe as our
guide. The use of a shrine is sometimes used for devotion to a
particular deity in order to stimulate and educate the emotional
faculties. The taking on of a patron deity or hero serves a similar
function. The technique called 'the assumption of godforms' is a
practice which ceremonially invokes a deity to unify and join its
essence with that of the magician. It is a magically controlled samadhi
experience. Its goal is to acquaint the consciousness of the magician
with a particular mode of divine expression via personal experience of
the deity's power. All these practices aim at establishing contact and
rapport with higher levels of being.
In magical practices of the Western Trad. the magician will
invariably use the Qabalistic Tree of Life as a guide in determining an
array of divine entities based on a balanced traditional structure.
First the magician invokes the lower gods and angels in order to mingle
his being with their greater life energies. In time, the magician's
consciousness becoming more accustomed to the influx of divine forces,
he begins to invoke the gods of the sephiroth of the Tree of Life in
turn. Eventually the magician's connection with these gods become
greater and more unified until he partakes of an experience of
This practice is sometimes referred to as 'skrying'. Magically the
practice uses techniques of visualization and active imagination
controlled by certain groups of symbols. The interpretation of the
'vision' plays an important role in the acquisition of self-knowledge
while the practice opens the clairvoyant faculties. It also provides
away of keeping an accurate understanding of changes occurring on an
unconscious level. It can essentially be broken down into three forms
which are closely related. They are:
1. Srying - A form of clairvoyance in which one sees into the astral
light, sometimes called seeing in the 'spirit vision'. In magical
practice skrying is not merely becoming a seer but attaining the ability
to descry what one seeks. Skrying can be done into symbols, letters, or
just about anything in order to reach a deeper level of understanding
concerning that symbol or object.
2. Astral Projection - The experience of consciously leaving the
physical body and travelling the astral plane in another finer body with
almost full awareness. This body is termed the 'body of light' and the
experience is termed 'travelling in the spirit vision'. In magical
practice this body is literally built and worked with until it is of
sufficient substance and definiteness. Then the consciousness of the
magician is transferred to it for specific lengths of time in order to
accomplish work on the inner planes.
3. Rising on the Planes - A Golden Dawn technique to attain mystical
and spiritual experiences. It involves the 'body of light' ascending
the symbol of the Tree of Life in order to have contact with some
essence of the supernal sephiroth.
The word evocation is from the Latin 'evocare' which means "to call
up" or "to call out". This implies that you are calling some aspect out
of your personal sphere so that you can have a look at it. Evocation is
the calling up of personifications of forces generally called spirits or
demons. These personifications are generally considered 'inferior' yet
more powerful than human consciousness. 'Inferior' in a sense by being
more one dimensional and limited to a specific sphere but more powerful
in being basic and representing innate instinctual force.
In psychological language, we can consider these forces complexes
of an autonomous or semi-autonomous nature. A complex is an aggregation
of ideas contained in the subconscious mind with a strong emotional
charge capable of influencing conscious thought and behavior. As a
result of repression, a complex expresses itself as insecurity,
obsession, morbid fears or persistent anxiety. Some can become so
powerful that they totally split off from the mainstream of personality.
This explanation very closely approximates what the ancients termed a
spirit or demon. By objectifying a complex and detaching from it a
critical examination can be made. Understanding of its nature leads to
the knowledge whereby it came into being enabling the magician to
gradually control its influence on his being.
Spirits are powers or forces which have previously been hidden. Their
influence is very real as can be seen in observing our daily life. In
magical practice the spirit is evoked into the triangle of art and
controlled by transcendental symbols. As a result of the process of
evocation, they take on an autonomous life in which there individual
reality is enhanced. The more a spirit is evoked and manipulated the
more autonomous and "real" it becomes. Beyond the surface results of
this communication, even when we examine the traditional 'Goetic'
reports of historic magicians (beyond the ability to steal horses, find
treasure, kill enemies, etc...), we see that there is an enlargement and
enhancement of consciousness in the operator. In practice the spirit is
bound within the dominion of the stimulated 'Will' of the magician and
can be brought back into the magician's sphere as a useful citizen of
the psyche instead of an outlaw. The subtle effect of evocation works
to open and reintegrate the disparate parts into a balanced unity.
There are those who will say "Why deal with infernal forces at all,
aren't these spirits demonic?". In my opinion, as has been said by
others, unless you come to agreement with, make a pact so to speak, and
use the devil, you have no chance to really grow spiritually. We can
point out that in orthodox Judeo-Christian belief all creatures, even
those of the infernal realms, will eventually be saved. How? Through
and by the agency of human consciousness, for we are at the median where
celestial and infernal worlds connect. We are the battle ground and it
is our work to join disparate forces which will create something totally
new from their union. Once understood we are to ever pursue higher and
MISC. PRACTICES :
Miscellaneous practices used in magick are too numerous to go into
any great detail and most are quite common. I will list a few however.
They are :
Relaxation. Concentration. Meditation. Visualization. Breath
Control. Basic Body Control. Thought Control. Emotional Control.
Circulation of Internal Energy. Ritual work. Work with Various