Finally, I leave you by stating that... yes, Magickians are real, they have been around since God, and that's a really long time. My generation grew up on Pokemon in which the main characters used a Pokedex to keep track of their engagements. Years later, I find myself in a society which uses Ipads and Facebooks to keep track of their affairs. My sister's children's generation grew up on Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga. Those are the great and powerful Magickians of the future, look no further. _\m/ Quoting: Captain Planet Alex
Man has been into magic since, well since man started to walk the spiritual path. "This generation" is not more into it than the previous ones. We did not wait for Harry Potter to start studying it. And maybe you started to be interested in Thelema and DMT like your role model, but really people did not wait for the new generations to study and develop magic :)
So get this. Magic(k) is real. Quoting:
The first thing you need to understand is that magic(k) isn't some Dungeons and Dragons poo poo. Ritual superstitions and sorcery as practiced by cultures around the world have nothing to do with common depictions of it popular entertainment.
In other words, fictional depictions of magic(k) have as much in common with real magic(k) as fictional depictions of science do with real science.
So if you're going into it expecting to start throwing around fireballs and casting Magic Missile once per day, you're going to have about as much success as if you tried to build an Iron Man suit in your basement or clone a dinosaur from a petrified mosquito.
Scholarly Approaches to Magic(k)
The most comprehensive text on magic(k) from a nonbeliever's or anthropological perspective is Sir James George Frazer's The Golden Bough. The book attempts to form a generalized approach to ritual and magic(k) from a variety of cultures and was considered scandalous when it was first printed because it included the story of Jesus amongst its analyses.
The Golden Bough gives us the two basic laws of magical thinking. Those are:
The Law of Contagion: Two objects which have had contact continue this contact in a spiritual sense until contact is broken through ritual means, i.e. exorcism
The Law of Similarity: An effect resembles its cause. A ritual repeated on a small scale will repeat on a large scale, etc. This is the idea behind voodoo dolls, basically.
"Scholarly" approaches also include the works of Aleister Crowley, whose journal of Magic(k), The Equinox, purported to have "The Aims of Religion" and the "Methods of Science". The "Methods of Science" apparently included being a huge dickhead and having lots of sex, so science must be a lot cooler than we all thought in high school, but I digress.
There's also a scholarly strain within Chaos Magick which mostly consists of "hurf durf quantum mechanics something something" which I'll get into later.
Types of Magic
There's two broad types of magic(k), according to Western scholars; traditional beliefs usually don't make this distinction. Those types are high magic and low magic.
High magic is spiritual practice- meditation, yoga, spiritual journeys into the astral plane, putting on funny costumes and then having gay sex, and Freemasonry. High magic does not include drugs neccessarily, but they sometimes help.
Low magic, or sorcery, is the applied form of magic, attempts to influence reality through ritual action. This is where voodoo dolls, curse jars, writing angry messages on tablets and throwing them in a well, and carving your enemy's name into a watermelon and loving it before lighting it on fire come in.
Again, this differentiation isn't much use outside of Western occultism. In most cultures, the line between magic(k) and religion is blurred and High Magic and Low Magic aims are accomplished at the same time.
Much like Western martial arts atrophied and many disciplines were lost after the advent of firearms and modern warfare, the Englightenment and science in general sort of caused magic(k) in Europe to not be much of a thing anymore. The trappings of magic(k) continued in secret societies like the Freemasons, but evolved into more of a hazing/initiation thing rather than a serious attempt to grow spiritually or effect change in the world.
Modern Western systems are either revivals, syncretic, or poo poo that Aleister Crowley made up. That is, they're attempts to revive alleged magic(k)al systems from before the Enlightenment, poo poo ripped off from other religions, or poo poo that's made up. Let's look at a few. This list is by no means inclusive, but these are the big ones you'll run into if considering the subject.
Thelema is the system of magic(k) or spirtual philosophy of Aleister Crowley. You may have heard his name before. He's mentioned a lot by people who want to pretend they know lots of cool secret stuff, and his picture was on the cover of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Thelema evolved from ceremonial magic of the Golden Dawn, a ritual system of doing... something. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, actually, since to really get the point of the rituals you have to actually do them and just reading the instruction book leaves a lot of stuff out.
Crowley brought magic(k) into popular consciousness through his flamboyant personality and infamous antics. He started an Abbey of Thelema, was sexually promiscuous, and generally did a bunch of things that shocked English sensibilities of his time, like running up behind girls and exposing their ankles for all to see.
The core element of Thelema is the idea of Will, which is differentiated from will. Will is like the Tao or something, in that it makes no loving sense. The idea is that you as a being have a spiritual purpose, and by attuning yourself to it through a ritual called the Knowledge and Conversation of the Guardian Angel, you can enact your True Will and convince people you know enough about Thelema for them to throw money at you.
Crowley left a bunch of bickering idiots in his wake, all of whom got tired of this Egyptian poo poo and started making up their own religions, some of which involve Cthulhu. Yes, that Cthulhu.
Incidentally, Crowley started adding the K to magic(k) to differentiate it from stage illusions. Many people now leave it off because it looks ridiculous. We're tampering with the fundamental forces of the universe, not a heavy metal band!
* Ceremonial Magic
Ceremonial Magic isn't a coherent system, but the broad umbrella term for a number of systems based in alchemy and ceremony. I'll talk about alchemy in a minute. Western Ceremonial Magic is tied to the binding and controlling of demons. Demonology is basically intrinsic to it and can't really be pulled out. Even if you bring up an old grimoire and pull out the bits on making a talisman or magical tool, you're loving with a demon somehow.
The foundational texts of Ceremonial Magic are grimoires- big books filled with instructions on how to gently caress around with demons. The best known examples include the Goetia, which is a catalog of demons and their attributes, The Lesser Key of Solomon the King, which alleges to reveal the secrets by which King Solomon bound demons to servitude, and The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. There's actually hundreds of these things and cranking them out was a regular cottage industry. Some of the ones you commonly run into nowadays are at least medieval in origin, most are products of the nineteenth century, and all claim to be incredibly ancient.
The systems vary wildly, but for the most part, they have in common that the magician must do something to gain the ability to bind and control demons. This usually consists of being really holy and wearing priestly garments and stuff, so you can summon and control a giant hovering ball of penises that will teach you how to bind women to your will and set your neighbor's cow on fire without getting caught. Usually, the process involves creating a magic circle, an inscribed ritual space which is used to protect the magician from the demon. Unlike common depictions of magic in pop culture, the idea is that the magician is inside the circle and the demon can't cross it. The actual summoning is into a triangle, mirror, column of smoke from a brazier, or something similar. The various grimoires differ on whether the demon will just stroll on up to you, appear in a cloud of smoke, manifest as a voice, or whatever.
They all agree on one thing: Doing this poo poo is dangerous, and you must follow the instructions exactly. It doesn't seem to matter which set you follow, only that it's done consistently, so choosing the right one is critical. The one recommended for beginners is the Heptameron of Peter D'Abano, which lets you do all the cool demonology poo poo without having to acquire a bunch of expensive and morally dubious ritual components. Using some of the other systems involves sacrificing specific animals or acquiring extremely rare and expensive materials. The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel from Abramelin actually requires a whole loving house, so we basement dwellers are pretty much out on that one.
The practicing of summoning a slavering hellmonster is known as Evocation to Physical Manifestation.
* Chaos Magic
Chaos Magic, or deliberately misunderstanding quantum mechanics for fun and profit, is a wholly modern system that can be characterized as "whatever works". Chaos Magicians pick and choose from other systems and make things up on their own, inspired by them without owing to them. Chaos Magicians practice evocation, for example, but will evoke anything from the weird hosed up fever dream monsters of the medieval grimoires to the Cenobites from Hellraiser to Mickey Mouse. The idea is essentially that (inser random equations that mean nothing here) human belief is intensely powerful and enough people spend their time concentrating on something, it sort of becomes real and you can tap into that current of "energy" to evoke, invoke, or manipulate it in some way.
Now you're thinking, wait, what? Here's the deal. Evocation, we've already discussed- you set up a away to protect yourself and call something so you can talk to it, make a pact with it, force it to do something, whatever. Invocation is the process of calling something into yourself to achieve a desired effect. One might invoke Thor before working out, or invoke James Bond to get all suave before a date.
The other thing Chaos Magicians regularly do is sigil magic, which was made up by a painter named Austin Osman Spare. When performing sigil magic, the magician creates a symbol, by condensing letters or just thinking about whatever and drawing, that has a subconscious meaning. Then, it's charged up somehow and deliberately forgotten. Charging it up can mean anything, such as running with it, or painting it on a lover's forehead. Since we all know goons never run nor have sex, the best and easiest way to charge up a sigil is masturbation.
It works like this. Take a desire and write it out, something like this:
I have a huge penis.
Don't write something like "I want to have a huge penis", since when your sigil manifests, it will do so as you wrote it, i.e. you will magically want to have a large penis and that's mostly a waste of time, and may or may not turn you gay. Once your desire is written out, strip out the repeating letters, so you get something like this:
I H A V E U G P N I S
Once that's done, start mashing them together and combining them into a witchy looking glyph. Get rid of the writing, put the glyph on a piece of paper, stare at it, and fondle your cheesy-coated genitals until emission or whatever it is that happens when girls orgasm (I seriously have no idea), making sure to stare at it the whole time, particularly at that magic moment when the intensity of your sensations forces all other thoughts from your mind. That's the part that makes the magic, not the jerking off, although you can think of nutting in your shorts as a sacrifice if you want to, I won't stop you.
The sky is the limit with Chaos Magick- it's kind of like that martial art that Bruce Lee did, in the sense that you'll have more fun with it if you gently caress around with the other systems, or at least read up on them, first. You can then design your own rituals to creatively drive yourself batshit insane. At worst, you'll just be jerking off to a weird symbol scrawled on notebook paper instead of furry porn or something.
Wicca is not real, and was made up by some guy to get English chicks who don't shave their armpits to have sex with him. It's actually a mishmash of pre-Christian European religions and pretending that witches were a real thing and not just Catholic priests finding an excuse to get saggy village girls naked and sexually torture them. If you ever hear someone refer to "The Burning Times" it means "I am crazy, literally crazy, do not have sex with me though you may be tempted".
All of these require decades of intense study before you discover they don't work either. Among them are:
* Tibetan Musticism: Not actually Buddhism, but pre-Buddhist beliefs and other spritual practices that have carried forward into modern times. If you've seen people on the Internet talking about creating a Tulpa, a thought-form manifestation, of a fictional character so they can have sex with it, this is where it comes from.
* Voodoo/Voudon/Hoodoo/African syncretic magic: The magical traditions of Africa mashed together (seriously, not all Africans do the same poo poo, it's like, different countries and stuff) and then mashed together again with Christianity. Highly ceremonial, with a focus on invoking spiritual entities called loa. Voodoo is legitimately dangerous, don't gently caress around with it. If you're not of this culture, the loa do not like you.
* Folk magic/Shamanism: The term "Shaman" actually comes from Siberia. Shamanism is totally distinct from almost every other system, in that it focuses intently only leaving the body and entering the astral plane to gently caress with things, sometimes literally. Shamanism generally involves being torn apart and put back together again with magic added. Notice the torn apart part, it's important.
* Native American religion: Out of respect for the wishes of the first peoples of North America, I refuse to participate in, discuss, or even learn about Native American spirituality or incorporate it into practice or help others do the same. It belongs to them, and they have a right to demand that it not be corrupted and co-opted like so much else about their heritage has. Also, dicking around with spirits whose primarily believers may not like you contacting them is generally a bad idea.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I cast fireball?
No, it doesn't work that way. You are, however, free to set yourself on fire through more conventional means.
2. I've heard you can summon Cthulhu, is that true?
Yes. Does is it mean if you shout Ia Ia enough, a four hundred foot tall tentacle monster will rampage out of your basement and know the flesh of your enemies? I suppose it's possible, but unlikely. More likely, you'll tap into a very alien and disturbing aspect of the human psyche and drive yourself nuts and/or get really wierded out. Short answer, yes, but why would you want to?
3. Can I make myself win the lottery?
Not without buying a ticket.
4. Is it true that a conspiracy of mages rules the world?
Let's say yes, why not?
5. I've heard that Wicca chicks are really freaky and like to be naked a lot. Is this true?
I have no idea, I'm too busy doing magic to talk to girls or go outside.
6. You mentioned invocation, evocation, and sigil magic. What are some other forms of chaos magic?
It can be literally anything, if done with magical intent. It's surprisingly easy to generalize magical rituals into something else, so you can perform magic by writing a prayer on the inside of a bicycle wheel and going for a ride, playing cards, gambling, writing, or basically doing anything you concentrate on. It's wide open and free, man.
7. So can you, like, put curses on people and stuff?
Yes. What will happen varies. Wiccans believe whatever you do will come back to you threefold, Thelemites believe you should follow your True Will, and Chaos Magicians believe whatever they believe.
8. You know a lot about this. Do you really believe this stuff, which in turn makes you inferior to me because I masturbate to Neil DeGrasse Tyson?
Believe is a strong word. Chaos Magicians will tell you that the creation and manipulation of belief is the key to doing magic and being able to deliberately disbelieve something is a powerful tool. I would tell you that one thing all magical systems have in common is that to an outsider, they appear to be system of meditation and mental discipline that have no visible, tangible, or verifiable effects and everything they cause in the real world can be easily explained by confirmation bias.
I believe that worrying about what other people think of you is, generally, a waste of time.
9. I'm interested in this, as I am always searching for new and creative ways to masturbate. What resources can I look into?
There's a vast reserve of grimoires on the Internet, including much copyrighted material; you can get all of Crowley's writings for free, for example. Just search for Grimoire on Google and some of the major archives will come up. Beware that a constant among people tho take an interest in this stuff is that they cannot design a website to save their loving lives.