Getting started with magick.

A small primer for those interested in the occult.

Old school ritual magician in the vein of Crowley.

What is magick?

The definition of magick (also spelled "magic") can vary depending on the context in which it is being used and the belief system or tradition from which it is being understood. Some common definitions of magick include:

  • The use of supernatural or paranormal means to bring about desired outcomes or changes in the world.
  • The use of rituals, symbols, and other techniques to produce desired results or to alter consciousness.
  • The use of personal will or intention to bring about desired outcomes or changes in the world.
  • The manipulation of energy or information in order to bring about desired results.

It's worth noting that the concept of magick has been understood and practiced in many different ways throughout history, and there is no one "correct" definition that applies to all contexts or traditions. In some cases, magick may be seen as a purely psychological or personal process, while in other cases it may be understood as involving the manipulation of external forces or energies. In many contemporary spiritual traditions, magick is seen as a way of aligning oneself with the natural flow of the universe in order to bring about positive change.

What's the difference between 'magic' and 'magick'?

The terms "magic" and "magick" are often used to refer to similar concepts, but they can have slightly different connotations depending on the context in which they are used.

"Magic" is a term that is often used to refer to the use of supernatural or paranormal means to bring about desired outcomes or changes in the world. It is often associated with stage magic, which involves the use of illusions and sleight of hand to entertain audiences.

"Magick," on the other hand, is a term that is often used to refer to the use of spiritual or esoteric practices and techniques to bring about desired outcomes or changes in the world. It is often associated with spiritual or metaphysical traditions that involve the manipulation of energy or information in order to bring about specific results.

Some people use the spelling "magick" to distinguish this concept from stage magic or to emphasize its connection to spiritual or esoteric traditions. Others may use the spelling "magic" to refer to both stage magic and spiritual practices.

The terms "magic" and "magick" are often used interchangeably, and there is no one "correct" spelling that is used in all contexts. The specific spelling that is used may depend on the context or tradition in which the concept is being discussed.

How does one do magick?

There are many different approaches to magick, and the specific techniques and practices that are used to do magick can vary depending on the specific belief system or tradition from which they are drawn. Some common elements that are often present in magickal practices include:

  • Setting an intention: In many traditions, the first step in doing magick is to clearly define what it is that you want to achieve or bring about. This may involve setting a specific goal or stating your intention in a specific way.
  • Using visualization and meditation: Many magickal practices involve the use of visualization and meditation as a way of focusing the mind and creating a sense of inner calm and clarity. This can help to create the right state of mind for doing magick.
  • Using symbols and correspondences: Many magickal traditions involve the use of symbols and correspondences as a way of representing or focusing specific energies or intentions. For example, certain colors, herbs, or crystals may be associated with specific energies or goals, and these may be used in magickal practices.
  • Performing rituals: Many magickal traditions involve the use of rituals as a way of focusing the mind, creating a sense of sacred space, and working with specific energies or forces. Rituals may involve the use of specific tools or objects, the recitation of specific words or phrases, or other techniques.
  • Using personal will or intention: In many magickal traditions, the power of personal will or intention is seen as being an important factor in bringing about desired outcomes or changes. The use of personal will or intention may involve focusing the mind and directing energy in specific ways in order to bring about specific results.

It is also important to note that magick is not a substitute for taking action in the physical world and should not be used as a means of avoiding personal responsibility or making decisions.

Models of Magick

The spirit model of magick is an approach that involves the use of spiritual forces or entities in order to achieve specific goals or results. This model may involve the invocation or evocation of spirits, the use of spirit guides or angels, or the communication with deceased loved ones or other spirits.

In some traditions, the spirits that are worked with in magick may be understood as being part of the natural world, such as the spirits of plants or animals, or as being connected to specific locations or natural features. In other traditions, the spirits may be seen as more abstract entities, such as deities, angels, or demons.

The techniques and practices used in the spirit model of magick may vary depending on the specific tradition or context in which it is being practiced. Some common techniques that may be used in this model include meditation, visualization, trance work, ritual, and the use of tools such as altars, incense, or other ritual objects.

The energy model of magick is an approach that involves the manipulation or channeling of energy in order to achieve specific goals or results. In this model, it is believed that everything in the universe is made up of energy, and that this energy can be harnessed and directed in order to bring about desired outcomes.

There are many different ways in which the energy model of magick may be practiced. Some common techniques that may be used in this model include visualization, meditation, ritual, and the use of tools such as crystals, stones, or other objects that are believed to have energetic properties.

One aspect of the energy model of magick that is often emphasized is the idea of personal responsibility and the importance of understanding the consequences of one's actions. It is believed that the energy that is channeled and directed in magickal practices can have an impact on both the person working with the energy and the environment around them, and that it is important to be mindful of this when practicing magick.

The psychological model of magick is an approach that views magick as a way of accessing and manipulating the unconscious mind in order to bring about desired outcomes or changes. This model is often associated with the work of Carl Jung and other depth psychologists, who believed that the unconscious mind holds a wealth of information and energy that can be accessed and harnessed in order to facilitate personal growth and transformation.

In the psychological model of magick, techniques such as visualization, meditation, and the use of symbols and archetypes are often used as a way of accessing the unconscious mind and working with the energies and information that it contains. It is believed that these techniques can help to bring about changes in the conscious mind and the external world by allowing the practitioner to tap into the deeper wisdom and power of the unconscious.

One aspect of the psychological model of magick that is often emphasized is the idea that the unconscious mind is a powerful force that can shape our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and that by working with it in a conscious and intentional way, we can bring about positive changes in our lives.

The information model of magick is an approach that views magick as a way of accessing and manipulating information in order to bring about desired outcomes or changes. This model is based on the idea that the universe is made up of patterns and systems of information, and that by working with this information in specific ways, we can bring about desired results.

In the information model of magick, techniques such as visualization, meditation, and the use of symbols and correspondences are often used as a way of accessing and manipulating the information that is believed to be present in the universe. It is believed that these techniques can help to bring about changes in the physical world by allowing the practitioner to tap into the underlying patterns and systems of information that shape reality.

One aspect of the information model of magick that is often emphasized is the idea that information is a powerful force that can shape our reality, and that by working with it in a conscious and intentional way, we can bring about positive changes in our lives.

The meta model of magick essentially combines two, several, or all of the above approaches. This is typically where most occultists find themselves whether they admit it or not.

What are the dangers of magick?

The potential dangers of magick can vary depending on the specific belief system or tradition in which it is being practiced, as well as the intentions and actions of the practitioner. Some common concerns or potential dangers that may be associated with magick include:

  • Ethical issues: Some people may have ethical concerns about using magick to manipulate or control others or to bring about outcomes that may not be in alignment with the greater good. It is important to consider the ethical implications of any magickal practices and to ensure that they are being used in a responsible and respectful way.
  • Psychological risks: Magickal practices can involve entering altered states of consciousness and working with intense energies, and this can sometimes have an impact on the psychological well-being of the practitioner. It is important to approach magickal practices with caution and to ensure that you are in a stable and healthy psychological state before engaging in them.
  • Physical risks: Some magickal practices may involve the use of tools or substances that could be harmful if used improperly, and it is important to ensure that you are using these tools and substances safely. It is also important to pay attention to your physical well-being and to take breaks or stop if you feel overwhelmed or unwell.
  • Spiritual risks: In some belief systems, it is believed that certain types of magickal practices can have an impact on the spiritual well-being of the practitioner. It is important to be mindful of this and to ensure that your practices are in alignment with your personal spiritual values and beliefs.

The potential risks and dangers associated with magick can vary widely depending on the specific context and belief system in which it is being practiced. It is important to approach magick with caution and to ensure that you are well-informed about the practices you are engaging in. If you have any concerns about the safety or appropriateness of a particular magickal practice, it is always a good idea to seek guidance or advice from a qualified teacher or mentor.

Why do magick at all?

There are many different reasons why people may choose to engage in magickal practices, and the specific motivations for doing magick will vary depending on the individual practitioner. Some common reasons that people may choose to do magick include:

  • Personal transformation: Many people use magick as a way of facilitating personal growth and transformation. Magickal practices can help to deepen self-awareness and provide a sense of connection to something greater than oneself.
  • Manifestation: Some people use magick as a way of manifesting their desires or goals in the physical world. Magickal practices can help to focus the mind and align energy in specific ways in order to bring about specific outcomes.
  • Healing: Some people use magick as a way of facilitating healing or transformation on a physical, emotional, or spiritual level. Magickal practices can help to focus the mind and align energy in specific ways in order to bring about positive change.
  • Exploration: Some people use magick as a way of exploring their own spirituality or deepening their connection to the divine. Magickal practices can provide a sense of mystery and wonder and can help to foster a sense of connection to something greater than oneself.
  • Creativity: Some people use magick as a way of tapping into their own creativity and accessing new levels of inspiration and insight. Magickal practices can help to open up the imagination and provide a sense of connection to the creative forces of the universe.

The specific motivations for doing magick will vary depending on the individual practitioner, and there is no one "correct" reason for engaging in magickal practices. Ultimately, the decision to do magick should be based on the individual's own personal interests, values, and goals.


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