Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project
collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together
we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our seventh topic is
focused on «Magic». Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and
Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts
have inspired you!
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest
secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will
never find it.” ~Roald Dahl
What is magic? We’ve all heard the word magic used in various contexts and different
perceptions of the word have promulgated throughout the world.
The word ‘magic’ evokes a vast array of associations; from the solemn, white-bearded sage,
endowed with mystical power in fairy tales and fantasy films, to sinister witches and sorcerers
surrounded by grimoires, occult sigils, potions, and astrological charts; from ‘cunning folk’
healers, combining incantations and herbal remedies, to stage magicians asking us to let our
senses be deceived. Yet explaining clearly what the many tropes associated with the concept of
magic have in common is easier said than done. The concept has been used in association with
divergent practices such as folk medicine, divination, palmistry, necromancy (communication
with the dead), astrology, alchemy, spiritualism, occultism (the study of hidden or paranormal
things), illusionism, neo-paganism (the worship of natural forces, often modelled after ancient
religions), and New Age spirituality. To complicate things, the field of magic as the term is
commonly understood – including amongst many of its practitioners – has come to incorporate
elements that elsewhere would fall under the category of ‘religion’, such as Kabbalah (a Jewish
mystical tradition) or Yoga (a set of spiritual doctrines emerged from within Indic Dharmic faiths).
A plausible working definition of magic, loose enough to accommodate at least most of the
nuances associated with it, may describe it as a set of activities and technologies intended to
manipulate invisible or immaterial agencies and energies, not recognised by science, to an
advantageous and beneficial end. Magic for many in the spiritual community is everything,
absolutely everything. Attempts to define and describe magic must reckon with the concept’s
slipperiness, as magic is often understood against what supposedly it is not: typically, ‘proper’
religion and ‘rational’ science, even though both religion and science are objects just as elusive.
Despite its ambiguous status and the prejudices attached to it, or maybe precisely for these
reasons, magic has long enthralled scholars in the human sciences, especially anthropology.
When I say “magic,” I don’t mean the stage show of disappearances, card tricks, and other
illusions. I mean the practice of magic and magical thinking: the ability to shape our lives and
the world around us through belief, ritual, and the invocation of forces bigger than ourselves;
forces we may not fully understand, and which “work in mysterious ways,” as is often said about
one supernatural entity in particular.
Despite his reputation as the most renowned and controversial occultist of the 20th century, Aleister Crowley had a very practical definition of magic.
In an often quoted passage from one of his great works, Magick in Theory and Practice: Liber ABA, Crowley writes: “Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.”
There are just a few points which I think are key to an understanding of magic:
– The power of will is a recurrent theme in Crowley’s work, but manifesting your Will doesn’t mean achieving anything you can imagine — it’s about understanding in the deepest capacity what you truly want to achieve.
-This means the goal of the magician is just as much to cultivate a connection to her true will as to enact it; and in fact, the latter can only flow from the former.
-In light of this, many magical techniques aim to unify the desires of the conscious and subconscious mind, which is why forms of meditation, trance, intuition, symbolism, and belief shifting feature so heavily.
-Intentionally experimenting with different beliefs, whether magical or more commonplace, is a crucial part of discovering a mindset that will help you create the world you want to inhabit.
A belief in the inherent magic of this cosmic dream creates a positive reinforcement cycle: considering that the world could be magical makes it seem more magical immediately. For me, that’s as good a reason as any to entertain a thought and if I’ve inspired you to feel even a little differently about it, well, perhaps that’s magic too.
Let us know below what you believe the concept of magic means to you and we’ll leave you with this profound message below…
“Believe something and the Universe is on its way to being changed. Because you’ve changed, by believing. Once you’ve changed, other things start to follow. Isn’t that the way it works?” ~ Diane Duane