WHAT IS MAGICK? +quot;Religion is a daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the
WHAT IS MAGICK?
"Religion is a daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance
the nature of the Unknowable."
Ask anybody what Magick is and the first answer you will get will
have to do with either the superstitious mumblings of the
Fanatical Fundamentalist or the ridiculing rhetoric of
the Senseless Skeptic. This Skeptic fellow has got one up on
our Fundamentalist friend in that he can still control some of
the activity in his brain. There is hope for this one.
Sir Aleister Crowley has written such a thorough essay on this
subject that I find myself incapable of adding anything which
does not echo his definition. Read the introduction of his opus
"MAGICK IN THEORY AND PRACTICE".
Aleister Crowley defines Magick as: "The Science and Art
of causing change to occur in conformity with Will".
Ambrose Bierce defines Magic as: "An art of converting
superstition into coin".
Notice the difference in the spelling.
To distinguish illusionary Magic from real Magick, Crowley chose
to use the Elizabethan variation of the word, adding the K at the
end of the name. This changes the numerical value of the word
and should be studied.
One must keep in mind that Magick demands repetitious study. It
is foolish to assume you have understood something unless you
have read it several times and have been able to achieve the same
results every time. Do your experiments as though you were a
scientist in a laboratory. KEEP A DIARY!
Magick is the method by which all things (be it conscious or not)
exist and live their lives. Magick will not transform you into
something which you are incapable of being. Magick will,
however, allow you to recognize who and what you are so that your
full potential may be realized.
So much beauty and mystery is found in the surviving literature
of those who practiced the Craft that many artists are
instinctively drawn to Magick by verse and song. Ceremonial
Magick is the physical expression of the great struggle of
evolution put into mystical dance, it is the essence of what we
have been, what we are now, and the attempt to assist Nature,
Our Great Mother, in what we are to become by self-discovery and
by assisting in our further development.
In order to understand how Magick works, a few things must be
said about the mind. Not only does the brain store memory, it is
also capable of behaving as a receiver. It registers memory and
then executes the appropriate response. Thought & information
are maintained within our cells. The DNA of which we are
composed carries within it not only genetic information, but
specific experiences, thoughts, and patterns of personality from
our parents. This is often what a person experiences in "past
Genetic information is picked up by the brain once Energy (memo-
ry), is released by the cells of which we are composed. The
brain does all this in its efforts to answer those haunting
questions: Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going?
Each cell is a separate, living, conscious, life form. Just as
we are. The problem is that we are not, as a rule, consciously
capable of releasing the data within the cell.
For the most part; we are created and shaped according to other
people's fancies. It starts very early in childhood when parents
(being ignorant of their own wills) impose certain things on the
child that may not have anything to do with the child's True
Self. As a result people live their lives to please those around
them instead of recognizing who they truly are. The longer we
are forced to do this, the deeper we hide ourselves, the harder
it is for us to find who we truly are.
There are three manuscripts which intermingled, have become the
source of knowledge for the modern-day Magician.
The first is called "The Book of Solomon". It is believed to
have been written between 100 and 400 A.D. It is based on the
myths found in the Old Testament, the Talmud, and the Koran
revolving around Solomon the King; the author of Proverbs,
Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs and Wisdom.
With the assistance of Demons subdued by a ring given to him by
the angel Raphael, Solomon built a Temple dedicated to the
evocation, prosecution, classification and identification of
malignant spirits. This manuscript included information as to
what names were used to call them and constrain them, as well as
an elaborate hierarchy based on their power and abilities. He
forced demon after demon to concede their name, power, and the
name of the angel who could be called to control them. This work
has been looked upon as the greatest contribution to Ceremonial
Magick by those who practice it, as it is a very complete
genealogical tree drawing from Persian, Greek, Jewish, and
The second is a series of elusive writings received during
several crystal gazing sessions by two Elizabethan magicians
named John Dee and Edward Kelley, from 1582 to 1587. Dr Dee
anticipated that one could better communicate with the angels of
God if they could speak in their tongue. He thus hired the
assistance of Edward Kelley, a medium, to communicate with the
angels who would eventually divulge their language: Enochian.
This strange speech was believed to be the language which Adam
used to communicate to the angels before the Great Fall.
With the help of several angels Dee and Kelley were able to
compose four elemental tablets containing a hierarchy of
specialized angels which could be summoned to the service of the
The names written on these tablets were thought to be so powerful
that they were given to Kelley in reverse, for it was believed
that the angels could be accidentally invoked by concentrating on
the strange characters which composed their names. Even today
experienced magicians heed to this warning, and dabblers are
discouraged from the use of Enochian Magick for their own safety.
The third book is "The Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage".
This manuscript was found at the "Bibliotheque de L'Arsenal" in
Paris and was interpreted from its Hebrew form to French around
the 17th or 18th century. Later, MacGregor-Mathers translated
the French copy into English.
The original work was written by Abraham the Jew and presented to
his son Lamech in 1458. It is very likely that Abra-Melin was to
Abraham what Aiwass was to Crowley; a discarnate being
who communicated specific principles to its human counterpart.
Perhaps the most significant contribution made by this book, is
that while it is emphasized that one become familiar with
Qabalistic principles, the author strongly recommends that the
student use and consecrate their on language by using it in these
rites. It is universal in its message in that any student;
whether Jewish, Christian, or Pagan command and exercise
authority over the demons mentioned in the book by using the
Names of Power associated with their faith.
The manuscript was divided into three books. The first one being
personal advice from Abraham to his son and an account of how he
came to this Knowledge. The second book is perhaps the most
important from a Seeker's point of view; being a complete
treatise on the methods by which to access Magical Powers. The
third deals with the implementation and management of this
Like the Book of Solomon and the Enochian Works of Dee and Kelly,
the Book of Abra-Melin the Mage is outdated in that it subscribes
to the doctrine that one must isolate themselves from society in
order to accomplish The Great Work. Despite of this apparent old
aeon dogma, the importance of this book cannot be underestimated;
for it was through the practices laid out in this manuscript that
Aleister Crowley accomplished Knowledge and Conversation with his
Holy Guardian Angel.
There appears to be a tradition of burning one's works at the
time of one's death. Both Solomon and Dee are rumored to have
burnt their memoirs. If this is in fact true, then one would
think that what we possess of these great men and women is very
little in comparison with what must have perished by fire. For
one reason or another; on April 10 1586, Dee burnt all of his
works. However, concurrent to the chronicles left behind; on
April 30th, while strolling through a garden in the castle of
Trebona, Dee found the books he had deliberately burnt on the
Among other things, Magick is ancient psychoanalysis. It is
often used as a means to free the Real Self from the self which
has been created by others. The Magician takes a hidden and
sometimes hideous part of consciousness (as in Goetic work, the
evocation of Demons) and externalizes it to better deal with it.
Through Magick we make the necessary adjustments to achieve a
healthier and better balanced individual.
Magick is the way by which one can come to consciousness of the
activity and Infinite Wisdom within us all. And by doing so
Magick will have helped us to see ourselves as we truly are so
that we may plot our course accordingly.
As soon as one recognizes the Deity within; they will find that
they've been in control the whole time but have not responded
well due to their lack of Understanding. It is like driving with
The strength of your Will is measured by your ability to respond
(rather than react) to your environment. When you embrace Life,
and when you can willingly experience it as it is, then you will
have embraced with Our Lady of The Stars.
THE GREAT WORK
"Without faith, Science leads to doubt; without Science, faith
leads to superstition. Uniting them brings certainty, but in so
doing they must never be confused with each other. The object of
faith is hypothesis, and this becomes certitude when the
hypothesis is necessitated by evidence or by the demonstration of
science. The acknowledgment of this link-up between the two
basic elements of man's life results in tranquility of mind and
peace of heart."
The Great Work consists in the sublime Unity of Man and Spirit.
In the Mysteries, Man is symbolized by the Pentagram. The Spirit
of God is symbolized by the Hexagram. The Union of Man and
Spirit could be symbolized by the 11 pointed star (5+6=11).
Eleven is therefore the number of Magick. This indicates that
the aim of Magick is Union with God. In the Order of The Silver
Star the grade which symbolizes this Union is called 5=6, Man
embodies God; the marriage has been accomplished.
There is a Word that symbolizes this Union: ABRAHADABRA. It has
11 letters, it contains 5 vowels, all A's (the pentalpha, or
pentagram, 5 points). It also contains 6 consonants (the
hexagram, 6 points). By the Holy Art of Gematria this Word
enumerates to 418. Careful study of this number will reveal
The Great Work means different things to different people, but
on one level it is the method by which we become one with God.
The methods by which we attain to these heights are to be found
in the Middle Pillar on the Tree of Life.
MALKUTH = Know Thyself
YESOD = Discover your True Will
TIPHARETH = Knowledge & Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel
KETHER = Union with God
The Great Work is the path of return towards God. The task is
not an easy one. Self-discipline is the key in the beginning.
Once you can quiet the mind and concentrate your thoughts on any
given subject or object the Work becomes almost second nature.
The next step then becomes disciplining the body. Here you must
learn to find specific positions in which your body can be both
comfortable and rigid. This is referred to as "ASANA". As a
rule, humans (with the exception of a few athletes) do not know
how to breathe properly. The full potential of the lungs is not
realized. This is important in the Work because oxygen is
carried from the lungs into the blood stream and is then carried
to the brain to vitalize brain activity. In essence, one who
knows how to breathe properly has a healthy mind. Too much
oxygen is as unfavorable as not enough. The practice of breath
control is called "PRANAYAMA".
As previously stated, the brain needs a specific amount of oxygen
in order to operate properly. The Hindu Alchemist discovered a
connection between the amount of energy residing in the spinal
column called: "Kundalini" and breathing patterns.
The Kundalini is understood as a current of raw energy which
dwells at the base of the spine and is capable of springing
straight up the spinal column to the third eye region. When this
occurs great magically related phenomenon is assumed to take
place. Sex is said to stimulate this coiled serpent. The other
method is controlled breathing.
Breathing through the left nostril is said to stimulate a
negative magnetic current called: "IDA". The properties of Ida
are characteristic to Luna; some believe it to be more congenial
Breathing through the right nostril is understood to arouse a
positive magnetic current called: "PINGALA". The elements of
Pingala are parallel to Sol, although some would argue that it is
more closely related to Mars.
When one alternates breathing through each nostril, these subtle
energies ignite the coiled snake and entice it to rise up a
hollow tube that runs the length of the spine called: "SUSHUMNA".
Therefore, the purpose of PRANAYAMA, or breath control; is to
awaken the latent energies inhabiting our bodies. For more on
PRANAYAMA see PRACTICAL EXERCISES.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank