WHAT IS MAGICK? +quot;Religion is a daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

WHAT IS MAGICK? "Religion is a daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable." Ambrose Bierce *** 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 life" episodes. 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 Christian mythology. 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 magician. 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 capacity. 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 10th. 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 a blindfold. 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." Eliphas Levi *** 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 several Mysteries. 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 to Venus. 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