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Tarot and the Tree

To: alt.magick.virtual-adepts,alt.magick
From: "SamÓra" 
Subject: Re: Tarot and the Tree
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 20:03:49 -0700

James Wheat wrote in message <6nhod0$>...

>I haven't gotten the book yet, but I have always had problems with the
>accept this.  it works" line.  I guess I have an actuall "prejudice" to
>through, I guess.  Thanks for the warning, Flare.

I forwarded this to DMK and asked him to comment, rather than trying to have
you just take my word for it.  His comments are appended below, with his
consent.  It's pretty much what I thought, but it will (hopefully) mean a
lot more coming from him.

In-Reply-To: <01bda644$24862540$18654ba8@tzimonvppp>
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~Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 08:51:55 -0700
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~Subject: Re: Fw: Tarot and the Tree
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Well, I have absolutely NO IDEA how anybody came to the conclusion that my
attitude is "Just accept this. It works."

I always begin lectures by saying TFYQA: Think for yourself, question
authority. Merely because I (or anybody else) says something doesn't mean
it is so. Take what I say (or write) and try it. If it works for you,
great. If it doesn't work for you then you've eliminated something that
doesn't work and learned new information about yourself.

In _Modern Magick_ I frequently gave alternatives. Look, for example, at
the LBRP. I gave alternatives for physical motions and for pronunciations.
I did not, of course, pause at every step and give alternatives. Rather, I
tried to place alternatives in one location. This was not to hide the
alternatives. Rather, it was to allow the flow of rituals and techniques to
be seen and become obvious.

The purpose of _Modern Magick_ is to help a person with little or no
experience (or a stratified history with experience in a few areas but not
in others) have a path to a magical life in the style practiced by tens of
thousands of people all over the world. However, let me make it clear that
eventually, all magick is personal magick.

Somebody wrote down what worked for him or her. A student copied that and
added what worked while deleting what didn't work. After a time, and after
many changes, somebody makes those writings public and it becomes The One
True Way of magick. Poppycock! Simply repeating what came before is hero
worship, not magick.

_Modern Magick_ is a GUIDE, not the law; a compass, not a forceforded it!
That said, the system presented in _Modern Magick_ is based on traditional
practices. It is the result of decades of theory and practice. To merely
change things because you THINK it might be so (without practice) is, IMHO,
foolish. Likewise, to change a tradition because a particular practice
didn't work for you (or something else did work) doesn't recognize that a
tradition works for many while a personal practice may not.

Example. I had a person tell me, "I don't need a mirror to do magical
evocations. I just stare at the spirit's sigil and then go through it to
meet the spirit." First of all, that's great for the person who was an
experienced magician. He might want to share the technique with others. But
merely because it worked for him does not mean that it will work for
others, and he realized that. Even so, he used the same basic structure as
in the section I presented on evocation.

In spite of what one poster to alt.magick frequently posts, these are
different methods to achieving the same goal. What is right is what works.
That makes these different methods just that: different. Not right. Not
wrong. Just different.

So, if somebody finds something different from what I have presented in any
of my writings or lectures -and it works!- then by all means share it. Let
others try it. Do controlled experiments. If it works better than what I
presented in _Modern Magick_ than it should replace the ideas I presented.
But if it only works for some, or perhaps not as well, then it is not a
replacement, just a different method for obtaining the same goal.

So I hope I have made my position very clear. In _Modern Magick_ I tried to
explain the way most things were done. Had I gone into real depth the book
would have been five times bigger and nobody could have afforded it! TFYQA
- Question Authority. That includes anything I write or say. It also
includes anything written or said by somebody who disagrees with me.

We should all come to our own conclusions as the result of knowledge and
understanding based on study and experience.


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