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Awani
12-06-2009, 03:47 PM
Magic, to paraphrase Éliphas Lévi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliphas_Levi), is the science of the ancient magi, and magical initiation represents true royalty and, like alchemy, magic is therefore a Royal Art, and is called so by all adepts. In short magic is the transcendental and absolute science of nature and her laws.

Éliphas Lévi explains, in his great tome The History of Magic, that...


“...magic, therefore, combines in a single science that which is most certain in philosophy, which is eternal and infallible in religion. It reconciles perfectly and incontestably those two terms, so opposed on the first view – faith and reason, science and belief, authority and liberty. It furnishes the human mind with an instrument of philosophical and religious certitudes as exact as mathematics, and even accounting for the infallibility of mathematics themselves… [and] if such be the case, how comes it that so exalted a science is still unrecognised? How is it possible to assume that so bright a sun is hidden in a sky so dark?

The transcendental science has been known always, but only to flowers of intelligence, who have understood the necessity of silence and patience. Should a skilful surgeon open at midnight the eyes of a man born blind, it would still be impossible to make him realise the nature or existence of daylight till morning came. Science has its nights and its mornings, because the life which it communicates to the world of mind is characterised by regular modes of motion and progressive phases. It is the same with truths as it is with radiations of light, nothing which is hidden is lost, but at the same time nothing that is found is absolutely new.”

When defining magic it’s common to erroneously use the terms white or black, or good and evil, as a way of understanding the purpose of the magician or witch. In Christian tradition it is Simon Magus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Magus) that embodies all the traits of the black, or evil, magician and he first appears in the Acts of the Apostles:


“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.”

Anton Szandor LaVey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_LaVey) points out in The Satanic Witch that...


“...in order to pursue the craft without harassment and prosecution, the spokesmen for witchcraft attempted to legitimize and justify what they were doing by proclaiming the existence of white witchcraft… simply a belief in the religion of the old wise ones, or wicca. The use of herbs, charms and healing spells was only employed for beneficial purposes. It was believed that the kind of witches that were dangerous to have around were black witches. These were supposedly evil in their pursuits and worshipped Satan.”

This is a valid point and one only has to draw a similarity with the term peace troops. When something that is considered evil, or bad, is in need of public acceptance, such as army or soldier, a change of name can make all the difference.

Keep in mind that millions of people were tortured and burned by church and public officials on the assumption that they were witches and this behaviour did not seize until the end of the 18th century, probably leading to a lot of secrecy as has been discussed in other threads.

It was also a very profitable business since both land and property befell accuser and church officials. Although it was mostly women that suffered charges of witchcraft men, children and even animals were also tortured and murdered.

But magic can be used for ill and although the terms black and white magic may have a lot to do with fear of retribution from the church and the Inquisition, it does also represent two distinct forms of magic. The medieval alchemist Albertus Magnus defined white magic as an art in concord with nature and black magic as an evil art that dealt with demonic forces employing incantations and spells.

In The Elixir and the Stone Michael Baigent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Baigent) and Richard Leigh (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Leigh_(author)) writes that...


"...the psychological and moral orientation with which one embarks on the process of shaping or transmuting reality will determine whether the magic one employs is, according to medieval and Renaissance definitions, white or black, clean or unclean, sacred or profane. At risk of oversimplification, it could almost be said that humanity, in effect, can be divided into three general categories – sacred magicians, profane magicians and victims. The magician, whether sacred or profane, assumes an active role in relation to the world he inhabits, and transforms it accordingly. The victim, in contrast, remains passive, a powerless slave to circumstance… these roles are not immutably fixed, nor are they very necessarily consistent… however most human beings, throughout most of their lives, are, in fact, victims.”

Instead of creating reality, the victim accepts the reality that it is given. Few question their lives, even fewer question the environment they are alive in.

So why look for answers, when it is questions you need?

WCH
12-06-2009, 06:49 PM
The sociologist Mary Douglas discussed the distinction between "harmful" and "beneficial" magic in her book, Purity and Danger, a sample of which is on Google Books.

Basically she first makes the distinction between "sorcery," which is the active, conscious, casting of spells or similar to create desired effect, and "witchcraft," which is the unconscious, passive act of magic to influence things according to the emotional state of the "witch." Then she suggests that, where power relations are explicit, to those in positions of power are accredited the conscious power of sorcery which they can use to maintain the social order. However, where power relations are more implicit, it tends to be that those who lie on the fringes of the social structure who are claimed to have the power of witchcraft and are viewed as a threat to the order of society because their hatred or jealousy will manifest negative things unconsciously.

I don't 100% agree with her analysis, but it's an interesting way to look at it, and if you're interested in such things I recommend you check out her book. I think one problem in a lot of sociology has been the failure to look at contemporary occult practices within Western nations... it seems to generally be treated as just something that "the primitives" do, which isn't true at all. I don't think Mary Douglas is that ignorant, but it does seem that there's a wealth of data she is failing to tap into, that being the beliefs and practices of magicians and occultists in North America and Europe, and her failure to do so means that her findings may not do a very good job of describing magic or the occult in those nations.

Awani
12-06-2009, 08:24 PM
The sociologist Mary Douglas discussed the distinction between "harmful" and "beneficial" magic in her book, Purity and Danger, a sample of which is on Google Books.

Thanks for the tip. I shall look into it.


I think one problem in a lot of sociology has been the failure to look at contemporary occult practices within Western nations...

Yes I agree. The biggest university here where I am has 0 % esoteric topics amongst its many thousands of courses. The one that comes closest is Philosophy... there is even a course about the social and political atmosphere in Greece (this is Scandinavia) and if they can serve such a small topic why not have one about the occult... at least a course that ridicule it... even that would at least be something to bite in to.

There is an obvious rise in Gnostic thinking, it would be unwise for any university not to have at least ONE gnostic course... the dead sea scrolls is after all a serious archaeological study - one would think anyway.

Sigh!

Can't wait for the older generation to die away...

Getting a bit off topic, but all this is annoying!

:cool:

Zephyr
12-06-2009, 09:19 PM
We've got lots of people doing esotericism here... Now it's a matter of weaving them together... www.mun.ca Religious studies dept is good. so is philosophy, and there's a Masters in Humanities and Phd in Interdisciplinary... All of which can be turned towards the esoteric by a focused enough will!
*Z*

horticult
12-06-2009, 11:24 PM
Keep in mind that millions of people were tortured and burned by church and public officials [/B]

No.
They were burnt, but no by millions. And all of them were burnt by officials, no by church. Check the true history material.

Btw, the statement that alchemy secrecy is based on church persecution is laughable.

solomon levi
12-07-2009, 02:03 AM
Speaking of Gnostics, Simon Magus is one of us; and it's pretty
certain the Church made up those stories about Paul kicking his
butt in a magical challenge. Then again, it's pretty certain that
anything coming out of the Church is a biased lie. :cool:

I wonder, are the Black arts considered Black magick?
Cuz alchemy has been considered a Black Art.

If Black means "for the self" and White means for some other,
or altruistic motive, I think Ayn Rand would have something
to say about that. :)

Awani
12-07-2009, 02:13 AM
We've got lots of people doing esotericism here...

Sounds cool... no Phd possibilities where I am for that.


Cuz alchemy has been considered a Black Art.

Yeah... I was thinking this too... I like Rand, but I have always enjoyed books with 1000+ pages.

:cool:

Awani
12-07-2009, 02:29 AM
They were burnt, but no by millions. And all of them were burnt by officials, no by church. Check the true history material.

So you are saying the Church had nothing to do with these people dying or being tortured? I think you should check historical material!

Just because the Pope himself don't light the fire doesn't mean he is innocent. He gave the order.


In the 12th century, in order to counter the spread of Catharism, prosecution of heretics became more frequent. The Church charged councils composed of bishops and archbishops with establishing inquisitions.

In the 13th century, Pope Gregory IX (reigned 1227–1241) assigned the duty of carrying out inquisitions to the Dominican Order. Inquisitors acted in the name of the Pope and with his full authority. They used inquisitorial procedures, a legal practice common at that time. They judged heresy alone, using the local authorities to establish a tribunal and to prosecute heretics. After the end of the twelfth century, a Grand Inquisitor headed each Inquisition. Inquisition in this way persisted until the 19th century.

Paul III (Pope from 1534 to 1549) established a system of tribunals, administered by the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition", and staffed by cardinals and other Church officials. This system would later become known as the Roman Inquisition.

In 1908 Saint Pope Pius X renamed the organisation: it became the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office". This in its turn became the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1965, which name continues to this day.

In practice, the Inquisition would not itself pronounce sentence, but handed over convicted heretics to secular authorities. - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisition#Inquisition_tribunals_and_institutions )


During the Early Middle Ages, the Church did not itself conduct witch trials. However, witch trials were the direct result of Church doctrine. - source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch-hunt#Middle_Ages)

I think above quotes speak for themselves regarding the issue of Church involvement.

Also I wrote millions of people were burned AND tortured. About 15-20 % of those on trial got executed, circa 200 000!


Btw, the statement that alchemy secrecy is based on church persecution is laughable.

The statement you talk about says clearly PROBABLY which implies that we can't be sure about it - and neither can you unless you have a time-machine.

:cool:

Donna Matrix
05-19-2010, 05:28 AM
This is a topic of considerable weight and not one to be fought over wuth intellectualized barbs.

The ascended master DK says that evil is the good humanity should have outgrown. I think this is related to things like human sacrifice, slavery, animal sacrifice, etc. At one point it was alright, but there comes a time in the maturing of the race where more is expected morally.

There are many types of black magic but in general white magic works with the soul of all things, according to the Divine Plan. Black magic works with the form and alwasy directs energiies deeper into the form, whereas white magic directs eneregies towards spirit. White magic generally works with evolutionary energies, noot involutionary ones. Schizophrenia is karmically tied to black magic. Sexual magiic is often blackk magic, according to DK.

Domald Kraig in Modern Magic explains that white magic is about conversing with our Holy Guardian Angel, black magic is about inflicting harm and grey magic is creating good.

If you want to be safe, always work for the greatest good for the greatest number.

LeoRetilus
05-19-2010, 06:19 AM
Modern Magick by Donald Kraig was my very first introduction into the Hermetic Arts and into the Golden Dawn disciplines it was where I learned the LBRP and Middle Pillar Ritual for the very first time...I was 18 at the time...there are way better books out there now though.

Donna Matrix
05-19-2010, 06:19 PM
Thank you, Leo. I am a newbie to magic, but have alot of experience with spirit and mataphysics, meditation. I was brought to alchemy by St Germain who suggested it as a course of study. I am utterly amazed and hooked.

DanceofRebirth
01-26-2012, 09:09 AM
I know that this thread is kinda old, in that the last post was made over 6 months ago, but it's something I feel like I've had a bit of experience in and wanted to share some thoughts.

A lot of authors consider the 'coloring' of magic to be a crock of bs, and that the only real coloring or shade of magic comes from one's intent. If your intent is to negatively affect/effect or hurt others, then it's considered 'black', but this is kind of a watered down consideration of what all magic really could be when we look at the broad range of options from energy healing and laying on of hands to the expanse of what is commonly considered 'black magic' like necromancy or hexes. In general, I find the association with shading to more or less involve the internal and the external. That which is more internal involves more of the Darkness, not a negative harmful sense, but turning inside, going underground, or handling that which is hidden (shadow work, shape shifting, etc). On the flip side, I find that external work tends to be more 'Lightened' including and never limited to healing towards a person's highest good, laying of hands, channeling for information/Divine Presence, re-balancing Chakras for filtering the energy that is coming out to be healthier for the surrounding area (though often troublesome for the worker), and more common habits like Reiki sessions or Esoteric Healing matters. I, personally, find it easier to understand the involvement of the elements both in a literal fashion and in an archetypal manner when looked at this shading of magics as an internal vs external processing and labeling them from that direction instead of the other conceptualization of 'good vs evil'. Neither the 'darker' nor the 'lighter' are any better nor any worse, they are simply all magic and all take concentration, practice, effort, and study to be done fully and completely. This study is what brought me into esoteric topics and ultimately into alchemy.

Because of all of this, I can't really agree with a conceptualization of 'Black Magic' or 'White Magic', as I don't really believe that magic can be inherently evil or good, it's only what you do with it and the intention that you hold while performing it that can identify it as one way or the other. In the same manner, the 'darker' or 'lighter' is neither black nor white, but simply related versions of gray.

annabelle_lee
01-26-2012, 02:44 PM
I agree with what DanceofRebirth says here.

Magic is neither black or white, it takes the form and purpose needed to accomplish the ultimate end.

Andro
01-26-2012, 04:02 PM
I agree with what DanceofRebirth says here.

Magic is neither black or white, it takes the form and purpose needed to accomplish the ultimate end.

I am so very happy to see that a few of our newest (and MOST WELCOME) Forum Members are able to actually SEE beyond the polarity traps laid out by this dualistically 'balanced' physical reality, and by our own fragmented perception.

Thank you two very much, for sharing your 'outside the box' perspectives.

It Is What It Is

Ankhhape
01-26-2012, 04:51 PM
Today's understanding of magick in the occult community is the art and science of causing change through conformity of the Will. There is neither good or evil magick, for that is the product of Intent.

The Temple of Set furthered this definition with Greater and Lesser Black Magick. Greater being the definition above and Lesser being what appears to people as magick through deception and manipulation, think neuro linguistic programming (NLP), advertising, politics, etc.

annabelle_lee
01-26-2012, 05:58 PM
Do as thou Wilt shall be the whole of the LAW

zoas23
01-26-2012, 08:16 PM
They were burnt, but no by millions. And all of them were burnt by officials, no by church. Check the true history material.
Btw, the statement that alchemy secrecy is based on church persecution is laughable.

The Church killed thousands of mystics (the case of the Cathars or the Templars would be an obvious example)... yes,, it's possible to say that "the Church" never killed a person if "the Church" is considered an intitution, of course that the ones killing persons were always persons.

I do agree with the idea that Alchemy Secrecy is not based on Church persecution... and there's no need to have a time machine to check that. The mystery traditions are by far older than the Church, esoteric practices (using the word "esoteric" as secret, which is what it actually means) are by far older than Christianism itself (Pythagoras, the Orphic tradition, the Greek Mystery rites, etc). It would be hard to say that they were esoteric because of any kind of persecution... even though it's also true that Socrates was killed.

annabelle_lee
01-27-2012, 10:57 AM
I am so very happy to see that a few of our newest (and MOST WELCOME) Forum Members are able to actually SEE beyond the polarity traps laid out by this dualistically 'balanced' physical reality, and by our own fragmented perception.

Thank you two very much, for sharing your 'outside the box' perspectives.

It Is What It Is

*blush* Thank you for the compliment. I realize that this is my own perception of magic, and that I don't have the ability or right to foist my views on other people. I go with what I believe, and am content to let others believe what they feel is right to and for them.

DanceofRebirth
01-28-2012, 02:04 AM
Today's understanding of magick in the occult community is the art and science of causing change through conformity of the Will. There is neither good or evil magick, for that is the product of Intent.

Yes, in the occult community, but not in the magic/witchcraft community, which are not the same thing. The occult community commonly refers to that which has branched off of the teachings/beliefs spawned from Crowley, but the witchcraft community takes all things in and processes them based on the bulk of users who discuss it. It's an evolving process of people who do ritual and spells for their own purposes, needs, and feelings of intention, so while I agree with you EtuMalku, that's not the entirety of the people who could be considering this. The change of authors I could list who've developed into 'there is no such thing as colored magic' is actually quite new and 'modern' especially in the field of witchcraft, as the generation that followed G. Gardner and others that were not considered a full fledged part of the occult community, for whatever reason, actually ended up in the witchcraft community. There's a large blending of 'teachers' or 'masters' in the subjects at large, and the process of really filtering things down takes time that most people won't spend to find the 'good authors' and 'founders' in the fields. This is why people like Silver Ravenwolf can make profit by simply repeating what others have been saying for centuries in a way that makes sense and without having to 'hide' anything they are doing among illustrations and in depth discussions that talk around subjects instead of directly about them. The 'new' authors are doing away with both the archaic discussion habits of literary illustration of a theme and the old and bad habits of wrongful categorization. They are making an effort to label things exactly as they are without clouding reader's judgement. Energy is energy, no longer blood of the world, even though the process of learning this energy does not change. If it takes 20 times to do a meditation perfectly, they are beginning to say so instead of avoiding it and just advising the reader to continue with it no matter what. The 'mystery' lid is coming off of magic with more modern writers, as they expect the work to cast the mystery for it instead of all the 'theater and drama' of previous generations. This is not so in the occult texts, and that's why as much as I agree with that statement and I feel it to be true and sound on it's own, not everyone is going to.

tl;dr, That 'rule' or statement on the 'law' of magic only applies if you follow the 'laws' as they stand in the occult field.Not everyone does. So while I agree with you, I've attempted to discuss this in ways that open the labels a bit and prevents the limitation of the field because there is so much more involved than the single minded truth that, while indeed true, is not how the entirety of the world will see this subject.



The Temple of Set furthered this definition with Greater and Lesser Black Magick. Greater being the definition above and Lesser being what appears to people as magick through deception and manipulation, think neuro linguistic programming (NLP), advertising, politics, etc.

I didn't know this. That actually makes a lot of sense and I'm rather glad you mentioned it. Thank you for sharing. Does the Temple of Set actually host classes in the separate topics, or rather have materials in it so that their priests(?)/followers(?)/people can learn it within their definitions? Is 'Lesser Black Magick' considered a waste of time because it's too base and damaging to those it's used upon, or is it accepted as a necessary evil, or even something to be embraced? How is this considered or defined for the Temple?

solomon levi
01-31-2012, 08:07 AM
In my observations, magic from a polarity or color or good vs bad - white vs black consciousness/
perspective is not so magical. What's so extraordinary about duality? For me, this doesn't begin to describe magic.
The duality thing often confuses an intentional outcome - we often get the opposite of what we want because
wanting is the intent or will or magic of affirming lack. If we understand magic, even according to Crowley,
will should not be confused with the will of the separate ego. Of course, appearing as a separate ego is quite
a magical thing, if only we understood how this was accomplished, i.e. did it intentionally instead of unconsciously.
Other than that, everything that happens inside of this separate ego is a closed loop - there is no creativity and no
magic. At most we can learn to place ourselves in favorable circumstances, to choose this influence over that influence.
But the ego is not the influencer, but the influenced. We can call that elemental magic or whatever, but compared to
an omnipresent quintessence, it's hardly remarkable. Imagine magic without conformity! :)

From The Matrix: "There is no spoon."

"If [man] thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate,
but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and
without a border then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole."

David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, p. xi

Ankhhape
01-31-2012, 06:45 PM
Does the Temple of Set actually host classes in the separate topics, or rather have materials in it so that their priests(?)/followers(?)/people can learn it within their definitions?When affilitaed in the ToS, there is mentoring and tons of info made available.


Is 'Lesser Black Magick' considered a waste of time because it's too base and damaging to those it's used upon, or is it accepted as a necessary evil, or even something to be embraced? How is this considered or defined for the Temple?It definately is not the focus of the magician, but can be useful.
For example: during my 2nd interview where I am presently employed, knowing the person hiring was a huge fan of Gov't Mule, I wore a tour shirt given to me and signed by Warren Hayes knowing perfectly well it would direct the conversation towards things about me that would impress my interviewer, it did, he went with me instead of others as, if not more qualified than myself.

71xt2xb3xr7
03-19-2012, 04:04 PM
In my observations, magic from a polarity or color or good vs bad - white vs black consciousness/
perspective is not so magical. What's so extraordinary about duality? For me, this doesn't begin to describe magic.
The duality thing often confuses an intentional outcome - we often get the opposite of what we want because
wanting is the intent or will or magic of affirming lack. If we understand magic, even according to Crowley,
will should not be confused with the will of the separate ego. Of course, appearing as a separate ego is quite
a magical thing, if only we understood how this was accomplished, i.e. did it intentionally instead of unconsciously.
Other than that, everything that happens inside of this separate ego is a closed loop - there is no creativity and no
magic. At most we can learn to place ourselves in favorable circumstances, to choose this influence over that influence.
But the ego is not the influencer, but the influenced. We can call that elemental magic or whatever, but compared to
an omnipresent quintessence, it's hardly remarkable. Imagine magic without conformity! :)

From The Matrix: "There is no spoon."

"If [man] thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate,
but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and
without a border then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole."

David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, p. xi

James F. Twyman in his book "The Moses Code" spoke of the same things you just spoke of, just without any occult coloring (pun not intended).