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      CommentAuthorJaredRules
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
     (30.21)
    This is great. Magick is one of those things that I've always wondered about, but it's like "Where do I even start?"
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      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
     (30.22)
    I'd been kicking around joining the OGD for a while.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2007
     (30.23)
    A magickal Premise, cribbed from the White Dharma:

    There are two forms, two branches in the craft of magic.

    First, there is the external form. To grasp the world at it's root and shake it. To demand by means of words that the world cannot ignore, that which is desired in the secret heart.

    This path is perilous but easy.
    To beat the drum, to sing the song, to say the words, to inscribe the signs. These are all the simplest of exercises. The world responds to their inherent power. But the way is perilous. The maker of the ritual must be pure in heart, must be cleansed of intent other than his own. His mind must be focused. His power must be concentrated, and in many case there will be changes wrought that were not intended. This is why the path of external magic is fraught with danger. But there will never be few magi who tread it.

    Next, there is the internal path. The desire to create changes in oneself. To make the psyche into clay for molding, to make the soul into water for [untranslatable]. It is by this path alone, one may live in harmony with the world and oneself.

    This path is sure, but it is hard.
    To walk the path, To say only what is needed. To live within a plan, to carry the burdens of the world is the hardest of work. It can be laid aside at a moment's notice. It can thrown aside with great force as frustrations mount. But to find that strength within and change a lifetime of habit is the greatest form of magic, and i commend it to any sorceror or lama willing to study it's inherent nature.

    Questions? Comments?
  1.  (30.24)
    Wow, interesting thread! Please forgive any ignorance I show, because right now, on this subject I'm about 99.9% ignorant, and would love to become less so :D My only core beliefs are that I can never know enough, never challenge myself enough, and that knowledge and self-knowledge are useless without considered and positive application in everyday life.
    "Next, there is the internal path. The desire to create changes in oneself. To make the psyche into clay for moulding"
    To me, this sounds like the thing that lies at the root of many different philosophies, religions and meditations (The Tao being a good example)... is magick just another way towards it, or am I way off the mark?
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007 edited
     (30.25)
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
     (30.26)
    Paul, there is a lot of eastern philosophy in western magickal theory.

    Many people follow the path for different reasons. I follow it to find my True Will and maybe tap a part of my Self that is there but I don't get to use frequently. I have heard it called the Holy Guardian Angel, the Genius and other names. I imagine that the Tao is also a good name for it.
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      CommentAuthorwesunruh
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
     (30.27)
    speaking of chemical wedding, you familiar with The Red King? Takes alchemical ritual into music/theater in a very profound way.

    on topic though, I find that while generally "Avoid anything published by Llewellyn Press" is decent advice, don't overlook Aaron Leitch's book Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires. It's refreshing and well-written, incredibly comprehensive

    Think of it as similar to AJ Jacobs 'The Year of Living Biblically' but applied to various grimoires rather than the Torah, and I suspect it would make for a great swipe file for your research, Kinesys
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
     (30.28)
    (mental Note: Get Chemical Wedding ASAP. Also: check occult library for Llewellyn Press titles. Also Secrets of the Magickal grimoires. Get second job to pay for books. Sigh heavily...)

    One of the reasons that i think that Crowley is so important to the study of Magick, is that he sort of codified the Internal approach, a lot of folk suppose that if magick exists at all, it's primary purpose is for the user to bend the laws of causality over the coffee table and have their nasty way with it. Crowley came at it from the other side of the equation. "What's easier? changing the world to suit you? Ot changing yourself?" I'm betting that the premise existed beforehand, but it's the first time I ever saw it in western metaphysical literature.

    One of the things that i like about this board already is that the people on it have very protean minds. I suspect that a protean worldview and mindset is a function of evolution (on some level) and will usher us into a new age at some point. Perhaps an age where the line between science and magick becomes increasingly thin.
  2.  (30.29)
    I've only been screwing around with magick type stuff for a short time, but I think what's helped me the most is the work of Phil Hine. Chaos magick and all that. <em>Condensed Chaos</em> is an extremely fast and easy read which will help get you in the kind of mindset that you need to approach magickal work. There are excerpts on Phil Hine's website.

    Being a product of a Catholic education, I was reluctant to embrace something like Thelema, which from what I understand is fairly dogmatic and heavy on ritual, whereas Chaos magick is very pragmatic and practical. Central is the idea that beliefs are tools which are interchangeable. (I suppose this is the protean mindset spoken of above.)

    The best part is when it essentially becomes a creative endeavor, designing your own rituals and attaching your own symbolism to them. That's what I really enjoy about magick. The hard part is finding people to dress in funny clothes with you.

    (Also worthwhile is Grant Morrison's simple instructions on sigils and evocation from the Disinfo book on the occult. I'm not sure if this is available online for free.)
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
     (30.30)
    I have a sneaking suspicion that symbols themselves are only useful insofar as they help to focus the will.That the symbols themselves aren't particularly potent in and of themselves. I find that on the rare occasions that i work magick, that it is all about the focus and emotional content.


    Which has got me wondering.
    I was watching a documentary on the occult roots of the nazi party. It turns out that Theosophy spurred on the Aryan volkische movement. That after WW1, Occult groups flourished in germany and the original national socialist party started out as a workers auxilliary part of the Thule Brudeshcaft. (Read=Private Army)
    The SS was in effect an Inner Circle within the Reichstag, It was also organized along occult lines. As a sort of mystickal teutonic knighthood. Based in Wewelsburg Castle, they stretched tendrils wide across the nazi empire.

    It is interesting to speculate as to the ultimate occult purpose of all this work. One can posit that the concentration camps were a means to harvest the death agonies and the day to day miseries of those who were interned there. Large magnitudes of focused emotional energy stored and directed by Reich Adepts.

    Too bad nobody told them about the three-fold law.
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
     (30.31)
    Matt, actually Thelema doesnt have a lot of Dogma, at least not like the Christian world has. (Using the following definition of dogma:
    noun
    1. a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof
    2. a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative; "he believed all the Marxist dogma" )

    You are encouraged to question and experiment, and Myself i use pretty pragmatic tools for the most part but can get the Ritual stuff going when I need to drag others into the same current for a working.

    Eseentially: whatever works for you.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (30.32)
    Thelema: The Jeet Kune Do of Metaphysics.
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      CommentAuthorcjh
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (30.33)
    As intro books I try to recommend the following three (not in order of importance):

    Real Magic by Isaac Bonewits. Yeah, he's a bit of a nutter and one of those polarizing folks in magic/paganism/occult whatevering but I do think that he has some good, solid ideas in this book. Like with anything of this "field," you pick and choose what works best for you.

    Starhawk's Drawing Down The Moon isn't some occult primer, but instead it's an overview of the people in this "world," sort of like a real world Books of Magic (but with less Phantom Stranger unfortunately). It gives a fairly good idea of who's who and what they think, along with the communities that gather around them. Obviously a bit out of date these days, but still some good information in it.

    Finally (and last but not least) is Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger. I know, it's a bit cliched these days but I think that it is really under appreciated for the important stuff in it, rather than those who read it or just put it on their bookshelf because it has Wilson's name on it

    After that, I just suggest looking for a tradition that appeals to your inner self. Because I prefer a more eclectic approach to things, I season with the usual Crowley, Maya Deren's Divine Horsemen, Budge's works on Egypt and a little bit of Regardie. Find what works best for you is what I say.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (30.34)
    I was watching a documentary on the occult roots of the nazi party. It turns out that Theosophy spurred on the Aryan volkische movement. That after WW1, Occult groups flourished in germany...

    ... Large magnitudes of focused emotional energy stored and directed by Reich Adepts.

    Too bad nobody told them about the three-fold law.


    Not wanting to get personal, but there's so much wrong with this, I'm gonna have to wade in.

    Documentaries about the occult roots of the Nazi party are bollocks. The Theosophy link was pretty much down to Himmler linking it the pure Aryan master race thing with Himalayan tribes, and thinking there might be some remnants of them around the world. Possible in a hole in the Arctic.

    This article is where you need to start. Hitler barely tolerated HImmler's slightly odder ideas, and had virtually no interest in the Occult himself. Really. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Hellboy, Wolfenstein games etc etc are great fun, but there's nothing in reality to base them on.

    Now, Britain, however, really did have lots of magical and occult stuff being put towards the war effort. Even possibly to the extent of willing human sacrifice. Seriously.

    The threefold law is a load of bollocks too. Sorry, but its origins are traceable to a conversation in a pub between Gerald Gardner and Austin Osman Spare. Loads of Wiccan high priestesses were falling out with each other and there were inter-coven arguments aplenty, resulting in curses being chucked about all over the place. A 'what the hell can we do about this' discussion, probably in the Plough on Museum Street in London, led to Ye Ancient Three-fold Law as a solution:

    "Oi, ladies! We've just found a hitherto unrevealed piece of ancient lore! Stop cursing each other, or the curse will come back to you three times. Got that? Right. Now get yer kit off and let's whip each other. Sorted."
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (30.35)
    Starhawk's Drawing Down The Moon


    Margot Adler, shurley?
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      CommentAuthorHellstorm
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (30.36)
    I started out reading as much Isreal Regardie, Aleister Crowley and Golden Dawn as I could find. Then I discovered Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig, which is an excellent primer for anyone interested in Magick. It covers history, theory and practice in "High Magick" (Golden Dawn/Qabalah/Crowley) and "Low Magick" (Wicca/Paganism/Shamanism), Tantra, Grimoires, various methods of divination, addresses many modern criticisms of "classic" occult writers, and has a recommended reading section with comprehensive explanations why you should read those books.

    Just as I was moving away from "High Magick" and developing an interest in Shamanism, I was introduced to Chaos Magick in Grant Morrison's Invisibles letter column. Little did I know that the path I was intuitively heading down already had a variety of maps (thanks Grant). I started with Liber Kaos and Liber Null & Psychonaut by Peter J. Carroll, followed by some free e-books (PDFs) from Phil Hine's website at http://www.philhine.org.uk/writings/index_e-books.html

    The Chicken Qabalah is a great book. It's as if Douglas Adams wrote a Qabalistic text, though it's probably less funny if you're not reasonably familiar with the Qabalah already.
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      CommentAuthorcjh
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (30.37)
    Margot Adler, shurley?


    I'm sorry, that is indeed correct. Unfortunately my copy is on loan right now and I was "drawing" the author's name from memory.

    Not to belittle Starhawk's writing.
    • CommentAuthorKinesys
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (30.38)
    Documentaries about the occult roots of the Nazi party are bollocks. The Theosophy link was pretty much down to Himmler linking it the pure Aryan master race thing with Himalayan tribes, and thinking there might be some remnants of them around the world. Possible in a hole in the Arctic.


    Beg to differ. The Thule Society was the result of a merger of two cults made up of wealthy germans, many of whom were involved in the publishing business.(The magazine Ostara was a volkische propaganda outlet of this group and it's work heavily influenced hitler. These are the people who funded the Nazi party and got it up and running.

    Granted, Hitler did cool on some of the more outre elements of the occult towards the end. Especially when an astrologer (who was working as a spy for britain) convinced rudolf hess that he could singlehandedly negotiate a treaty with scotland. Which is where he got caught by allied forces.

    As far as the Threefold law goes, it may be bollocks, but it's still a damn good guideline.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (30.39)
    The only problem with that is that, pop culture aside, the Thule society was influenced by mythology, but that's as far as it went. It had been disbanded by the mid 30s, anyway. No arcane rituals. No demonicaly powered assassins. Just a bunch of racists using mythology to justify themselves.

    British Intelligence certainly did run occult-based psyops, and there was a big British magical effort to support the war, but the idea that the Nazis were occultists is pretty much just down to Dennis Wheatley in his book 'They Used Dark Forces' - the premises for which he mostly just pulled out of his arse.
    • CommentAuthorhank
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (30.40)
    At one point Crowley avidly offered his services to the Crown.