Basic Magick Fundamental Theory and Practice
Magick is a system of philosophy and a way of life which, as a common denominator of all cultures, is universal to mankind, science, religion, medicine, philosophy, and art have their origin in, and are ultimately transcended by, magick. Magick has sung the cradle song of every race, nurtures its great dreams, insures it furthest flights, and received it again in its return to the dark home of the stars.
Magick is not created by man, it is a part of man, having its basis in the structure of his brain, his body and his nervous system in their relations to his conceptual universe, the matrix of thought, and of speech, the mother of thought. Magick is also the source of the great myths which are the common heritage of the race, moving alike in the creative and initiatory sagas of the great cultures, and in the destructive and abortive nightmares of the terminal stage called modern civilization.
Since magick is a part of man, it moves not only in in every aspect of each race and culture, but in each individual as well; being the source of the deepest dreams and motivation of his unconscious, and by far the largest part of his true self. The study of magick therefor embraces the study of man in his deepest and mist ultimate aspects, and of nature in all her parts.
The experimental animistic basis of magick is a general field theory which regards the individual as network (field) of forces interacting in and directly related to a similar cosmic network (field) which includes the total universe. (From certain viewpoints these two fields are regarded as identical). It is therefore a postulate of magick that ever man and every woman is a star. In magical terminology certain aggregate categories or clusters of forces in a field are termed gods, angels, elementals, or demons. Such terminology may be reasonably applied to a practicality of consciousness (point of view or state of mind), a city, a culture, and era, a star cluster or nebular, providing that proper definition follows.
From this field view naturally follows the law of similarity (homeopathy or sympathy) from which are derived images, talismanic and mantra magick, and the law of bipolarity, which has its physical counterpart in the second law of Newtonian mechanics.
Since each individual is regarded as a potential total universe it is therefore essential that each achieve total consciousness in experience by the expression of his will in all the ways of love. This leads to the second postulate of magick which is “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,” “Love is the Law, love under will”. It is therefore the function of magick to lead each individual to the realization and expression of his total self on all the planes of being and experience.
These considerations imply subtleties which probably carry us beyond the scope of this section. They are included here in order to indicate to the student something of the enormous scope and reach of the subject and some of the reasons why it is called The Art.
Definitions of Magick
In its absolute basis magick is a passion and a discipline which relates to the mystery of love, and through which man is capable of attaining to any ultimate knowledge and love of himself, his fellow man, and the universe in all its aspects.
In its relative and applied beliefs, which is the root of all secret traditions of mankind, magick relates to the sacrament of sex and to the mastery of the creative will.
Magick has been defined as the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will. This is true if it is postulated that the ultimate object of this change is the attainment of harmony and balance in understanding and love.
Magick has also been defined as the technique of advancement of the individual in light, life, love, and liberty. However, the function of magick is also highly socialized. It is concerned with training exceptional individuals for tribal leadership, of protecting and constructively initiating individuals and groups through the critical periods of infancy, puberty, adolescence and adulthood, and in coping with the various emotional and environmental crises of the individual and the tribe. Magick may therefore be further defined as:
1. A method of stimulating and maintaining creative and life positive forces in the individual and the tribe.
2. A method for dealing with areas of nature and of the human mind which are not amendable to the ordinary logical or mechanistic approach.
3. A concept of nature in all its parts as a living field in direct contact and interaction with each individual.
4. A concept of the individual as a potential field embracing the whole of nature in total consciousness.
5. A way of love that includes all ways of love.
Purpose and Object of Magick
Nothing could be more mistaken than the view that magick is based upon a misapprehension of the nature of the physical world in its relation to the human intellect. As a social equilibrator it is essential that the magician have a comprehensive knowledge of the various planes whose interaction results in comprehensive reality. The primary function of the magician is the understanding and control of the basic forces of life and death as they manifest and change. This it is necessary that the magician be free of the limitation of any particular point of view. He will this understand and utilize the scientific method, but he will also comprehend this as one force in the network of forces which constitute his field of culture.
It may be stated that magick is the method of training individuals towards total consciousness by the stimulation of various centers of the mind and by the cultivation of field thinking. The object of this training is the manifestation of initiated leadership towards a more conscious, better integrated, and more interesting and significant social culture. In short the object of magick is the unfoldment of the individual in all the ways of love; and the enlightenment of society to accept all the commitments of this unfoldment as the necessary conditions of progress.
The Relation of Magick to Man
As the function which equilibrates between the worlds of external perception and internal apprehension, magick stimulates the awareness which brings balance and significance to life, and courage and zest to the ways of love.
Where this function is allowed its fullest scope, civilization as we know it is to a large extent, superfluous. Indeed, in this case, the only function of civilization is to bring variety and refinement to the passionate drama of life. This was to a great degree characteristic of the age of Isis, the enormous sweep of prehistory which characterized the state of mankind for almost a million years, in which the solar-phallic priest-king was considered the harmonious and equilibrated consort of the woman goddess.
The catastrophes which, some 6000 years ago, precipitated the age of Osiris can here only be conjectured. Perhaps they were of an individual and personal nature, resembling the pwers acting on the genius of the Schaka, that unique and terrible warrior king of the Zulus. In any event the rising of patriarchy displaced the rule of the mother goddess to a greater or lesser degree and laid the Oedipean basis of the intellectual and power complexes on which civilization is established. This status remained meta-stable so long as the truly initiated schools of magick, which understood and applied the knowledge of the fundamentally bisexual nature of the forces of life, maintained a guiding, initiatory and advisory capacity in their cultures.
But it is the inherent nature of the unbalanced intellectual and power complexes to demand absolute autonomy, to regard the woman as an enemy, sex as diabolical, and by all and every means to still the capricious, bewildering, bipolar and manifold voices from the centers of life. Thus there was manifested an ever increasing instability in civilization, which could in no wise be restored by any exercise of power or reach of intellect. Thus the early church and state in Europe were infused with magical tradition, which, as it withdrew to the underground regions of popular reaction, left these bodies to the excesses of senility and homicidal mania.
The impact of the virulent patriarchy as expressed in the Judeo-Christian religious-moral system, has impinged on western culture in a wave of triple destruction. First, by expanding the father image into a God monster it has denied each son the possibility of his manhood. Second, by debasing the mother image into a demon-virgin-angel, it has denied each daughter the possibility of her fulfillment. Third, by imputing the concepts of nastiness, dirt, shamefulness, guilt, indecency, and obscenity to the entire sexual process, it has poisoned the life force at its source.
Relation of Magick to the Present
The present age represents the beginning of the age of Horus, the child which contains the elements of both the mother and father, but which is also different in some respects from either.
Modern man, in half conscious reaction against the patriarch and the Judeo-Christian religion, seeks an escape to the mother in materialism and science, but these cannot really help him, since he is unable to face or understand their origins. On the other hand, the fear and hatred of the demon mother results in increasing components of homosexuality and its repressive corollary, the paranoid psychosis. The partialities in man fear nothing more than a move towards totality. Consequently, in secondary reaction we observe fanatic militarism, pseudo morality and dogmatic politics in their most violent aspects.
Feeling himself unloved and unknowing of the ways of love, Western man moves in a sterile waste land of the mind, lacking the knowledge, understanding and will to save himself by and act of love, unbalanced, frustrated, denied the expression of his nature, he reacts in frenzied fear and hatred which tend to be ever more suicidal. To this terrible impasse no real individual or social solution has been found, nor will be found until the magical equilibrium is rediscovered and reformulated by the culture heroes who will found a new magical religion of love, and this initiate the new age into maturity.
Object of the Course and Relation of Magick to the Student
It is an object of this course to develop an understanding of magick which will be individually and socially useful, instructive, and entertaining, and which will lead the student to the ultimate self-initiation of which he is capable. It is a further object to assist in the development of a number of self-aware magical personalities of a passion and intensity sufficient for the role of initiators of the new age.
It is thus our hope that this course will assist the student in attaining the knowledge, permission, and power of his total self, and in particular that power of love whereby he may become a master of the illusion of opposites, and a star and a light in this the great darkness of our age.