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Practical Aspects of Ceremonial Magick

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,talk.religion.newage,alt.religion,wicca
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: Practical Aspects of Ceremonial Magick
Date: 23 Jul 1999 23:32:43 -0700

49990620 IVom

# 93! :)


a correspondent writes:
# What are the practical aspects of ceremonial magick?


			ritual (ceremonial or other method)

the practical aspects beyond this vary with each tradition
and culture. in what I've seen of the 'Thelemic' community
there is a fondness for beginning ceremonial magick with a
banishing rite of some kind. preparation often allows that
urban domiciles and synthetic substances are components of
the event (as compared with some neopagans, for instance),
and mystical or religious objectives are usually preferred
over materialistic and sociopolitical goals. the styles of
ceremony appear to vary based on the subgroup and interest
in traditional frameworks (Golden Dawn and Enochian styles
being somewhat more popular at conservative venues, whilst
innovative and spontaneous or intuitive styles are popular
in experimental and/or solitary workings). symbolism tends
to revolve around sexuality for hard-core Crowleyites, but
this can range from iconography and representation to more
direct and shocking actualities invoking entities or using
sex for a variety of purposes. some ritualists will prefer
again to use banishing to terminate their working, perhaps
with traditional or experimental variations. others always
ground and protect against collateral damage using a stock 
formula derived from their favorite religious perspective.
sealing appears to be accomplished within the community to
which I have been most often exposed by scribed geometrics
in the air (like crosses, pentagrams, hexagrams, only very 
rarely septagrams).

# What is ceremonial magick used for?

name it. the attainment of power, knowledge, wealth, fame,
glory, love, sex, wisdom, spirituality, immortality, evil,
good, anything your heart desires.

# To attain what?

it is common to hear ceremonial magick described as a
predominantly mystical enterprise, especially amongst
those who have been reared by a certain group or
tradition. often this enterprise has certain phases or
stages which are described mythically using a model or
map such as a diagram of a 'Tree of Life', the sequence
of cards in a tarot deck (sometimes integrated to or
within the forementioned Tree), a series of experiences
described by scripture or the reputed history of a
saint or magician, or the stipulated dictation of a
mystic. whether it actually causes this to occur is
something that few can answer with any surity by virtue
of their limited experience with ceremonialists and a
sociological study of any depth. I think that volition
is underestimated as the cause of change in conformity
Will without regard to the form through which this Will
is made manifest.

# I know that Magick is the art of causing change in 
# accordance with one's will.

according to whom? it is possible that some 'Thelemites'
would quibble with this on account that it is instead
'the Art and Science of causing Change to occur in
conformity with Will' and that your phrasing tends to
reduce magick to both an art and a direction of the 
personal will.

# But, what kind of change?

any you can imagine. willed change of profound significance.
willed change of little significance.

# I've read tons of rituals, and ceremonies, but they don't 
# seem to have a clear cut purpose.

the rituals of the old times are black.

# what is the purpose of more ceremonial rituals?

depends on the individual. for some they apparently
satisfy, suffice, sate, and stir. for others ceremony
per se is like walking through peanut butter.

blessed beast!
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