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Culture and Magic

To: alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Culture and Magic (was The Copied Western Magick)
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2001 02:18:23 GMT

50010411 Vom
> I can't defend myself from an impression that Western magick
> seems to be a copy-version of Eastern magick.

I've heard of "Western magick", usually Crowleyan. but what is
"Eastern magick"? are there peculiar Japanese versions of 
Aleister's rituals somewhere?

> Every technique seems to have its origin in East! 

Solomonic magic? Indigenous magic from Europe and the
Americas? look around.

> And not only that, even modified, and I guess in many cases
> even in a  "dumbing down" direction as well. 	

could you lay this out for us, this theory? I am not foreign to
it. I've tried to make a case for it myself before studying both
a little (WET magic and Eastern religion/philosophy/magic). now
I don't think I could justify such a claim and am curious what
you know about the entirety of the subject. 

I can think of one issue which comes up between Neopagan and
African-American magicians: empowering as compared to dressing 
the magical tool. this seems to stem from the divide in opinion
as to whether the magical objects (herbs, wands, diagrams,
etc.) are what 'make it work' or if it is some characteristic
of the magician (will, power, intensity, class, grade, etc.),
or some combination.

>Except for Kabbalah perhaps, but that is perhaps more a
>mixture, that is: WeEastern magick:-D

don't forget the Middle-Eastern magicians, yes. what with
cultural flux and facilitation of migration, travel, all
of these categories will drop by the wayside. for now there
certainly does seem to be meaning to the phrases:

	Jewish magic
	Kabbalistic magic
	Solomonic magic
	Muslim magic
	Arabic magic
	Babylonian magic
	Greek magic
and more. these don't seem to fit neatly into your binary
(or humourous trinary) categories.
> Anyway, personally I will check every technique of magick of
> mine with Eastern magick, so I don't get fooled by imitating
> incompetents.

great, let us know how Chinese (particularly Taoist) compares.

> Take this with Golden Dawn for example, did they came up with
> _anything_  which didn't exist already in East for thousands
> of years?

are you saying it is valuable to originate something, or to have
practiced it for centuries, but takes less expertise to pass it on?

my impression is that WET magic incorporates both classically
"Western" and "Eastern" ideas. from Tarot to I Ching, from Karma
to Ascension. predominantly syncretic religio-magical systems are
prone to have almost anything, and sometimes they may incorporate
particular restrictions surrounding a teaching where the original 
culture had it differently emphasized (e.g. Lurianic Tree of Life
and its emphasis in Hermetic culture).

they have their rituals. are they original? I got that impression,
at least to their general geographical and temporal locality,
maybe the correspondence system and personal theory surrounding 
magical progress and mystical works (grades) is original too. 

referring to the first alt.magick GD REF (by S.Cranmer):

I find the following:

	Started in London in 1887 by three British Freemasons, 
	Dr. William Robert Woodman, Dr. William Wynn Westcott, 
	and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, the first Temple 
	of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, with the 
	title "Isis-Urania," began to admit Fratres and Sorores 
	in 1888.  For the next two decades, they generated a 
	body of esoteric knowledge unparalleled to this day.  
	Traditions as seemingly different as Chaos Magick and 
	Gardnerian Wicca have roots in the Golden Dawn, and it 
	has influenced scholars (e.g., A. E. Waite) and poets 
	(e.g., W. B. Yeats) alike.


	The next key development was in 1887 with the "discovery" 
	of the famous Cypher Manuscripts.  Whether found in a 
	Masonic library, bought from a used bookshop, or 
	fabricated whole-cloth by Westcott, these documents 
	contained summaries of the first five G.D. initiation 
	rituals (0=0 to 4=7).  They were written in a simple, 
	well-known alphabetic code based on the _Polygraphiae_
	of Johann Trithemius, and partial transcriptions have 
	been published in Zalewski's _Secret_Inner_Order_
	Rituals_of_the_G.D._.  Mathers took to them with a 
	passion, and fleshed them out into full-blown rituals 
	of ceremonial magic.

so evidentally you aren't basing your assertion on the newsgroup
references. ;>  it looks like at least they have provided
inspiration to some modern religiomagical traditions and are
known for their initiation rites and focus of study on magic
and mysticism (often "the mysteries").

blessed beast!

-- ; ; 
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