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 Wicca 101 Series - Seventh Installment: Magick

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Hexeengel

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Posts : 45
Join date : 2009-11-30
Age : 36
Location : Minneapolis, MN, USA

PostSubject: Wicca 101 Series - Seventh Installment: Magick   Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:04 am

Sorry folks, the holidays made this series get away from me. But here we go again!

Magick

I define Magick as occultist Alestair Crowley did, “the Art and Science of causing change in accordance with Will” (spelling it with a "k" is also Crowley's doing, and is meant to differentiate between Witchcraft and sleight of hand). Using that language, Magick becomes no more mysterious or “supernatural” than raising my hand. And, indeed, to any well-trained Witch, it shouldn’t be. Magick is similar to prayer, as it is an appeal to another source for intervention and assistance. However, I view Magick as more involved than prayers; to my mind, prayers are handing over the situation to that other power, saying, “You do it for me and I‘ll cross my fingers and hope it all works out.” Magick is instead saying, “I’m doing what I can on this plane, and now I need You to do what You can in the astral.” If involving some area of the mundane (finding a job, for example), any Magick done should be an extension of mundane efforts (filling out applications, submitting resumes, etc.).

Magick can be categorized as either Low (natural) or High (ritualized). A good rule of thumb to tell them apart is that High Magick will involve naming a specific Deity or other entity and asking for Their help, and will also usually include a prescribed set of actions and words. Low Magick, however, simply uses the forces of nature and personal power of the Witch* to achieve its ends. The two can also be combined, such as charging a pouch filled with herbs and stones associated with fertility, and also sending up a request to a fertility Deity. My belief system and way of worship allow for and incorporate both High and Low Magick, and also the described combination of the two.

Within the Low and High categorizations, many specific forms of Magick exist as well. Below is a partial list with brief explanations, and how they may or may not fit into Wiccan practice:

Candle: As simple as lighting a candle and stating its intent (Low), or as elaborate as anointing it with oils/herbs and calling an entity into it (High). In Wiccan ritual, candles are lit in ritual to invoke the Elements and Deity, but the other forms discussed can be utilized as well.

Chaos: No specific plans, do what works, different every time, usually done spur of the moment with little to no forethought, using whatever's available. Powerful, but highly unpredictable. Incompatible with Wiccan ethics, as it does not consider all possible outcomes and after effects (it‘s a means to an end and little else).

Creature: Working with dragons/spirits/angels/fae/etc.. This is a Low form of Magick, unless it involves a Fetch (direct contact with one specific creature instead of the species in general). The creatures do your work on the astral in combination with your efforts on the physical. Not common to Wicca, but can be done by Wiccans.

Elemental: Working with weather, warding, etc.. Weather Magick is fairly common in Wicca, as are warding and shielding (although there is some ethical debate surrounding them, and whether they interfere with another’s Will).

Knot/Cord: Weaving intent into a cord, whether by braiding, knotting, etc.. Most often done on the self, so there’s limited ethical concern.

Passive: Hoping for change, unspecified "for the best" outcome, "the Gods' Will be done." Usually done in terms of healing, or for those who are near death. Limited ethical concerns here, but asking first is a good idea.

Poppet/Fifa: Inflicting a doll or other representation of someone, believing that whatever befalls the doll also befalls the person. Very powerful and works even better if subject's DNA is available (hair, nail clippings, etc.). At odds with Wiccan ethics, because of the influence on others; presumably (and in most cases, in fact) this type of Magick is done without the subject’s prior consent, and is little more than a means to an end. Often associated with Voudun, however only “dark” practitioners, or “bokor,” seek to assert their Will over others; the Voudun religion is much more complex and spiritually/shamanically focused than just this one form of Magick.

Sex Magick: Energy is raised during the act, then released towards the goal at orgasm. Again, intent determines whether there’s an ethical breech, and of course the willingness of the participants is a factor as well.

Shamanic: Private/kinship/tribal/familial, outsiders are only brought so far into the knowledge of it, and there is an emphasis on the astral/Otherworld. Gardnerianism (and other forms of Traditional Wicca) can be called a tribal system (and often have a family feel/metaphor to those involved), connection to the Otherworld is a common and even encouraged occurrence in Wicca in general, and obviously those not initiated can only be brought so far along Gardnerian/Traditional lines.

Sympathetic: Mimicking/acting out what is to happen. In a Wiccan context, the dancing done at the Sabbats because the purpose of those rituals is to turn the Wheel.

Talismans/Amulets: Magick that involves creating power-infused symbols/sigils/words/objects. Talismans are usually written and burned in ritual while amulets are objects and can be done outside ritual with energy and other anointments. Generally no ethical qualms, depending on intent.

(*Note - It is also my belief, though, that since the same “God stuff” makes up everything, including the forces of nature and an individual’s power, it is still calling upon the Divine for assistance, albeit indirectly. In my view, the distinction between High and Low Magick is semi-false, a difference of form but not entirely of function.)
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