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Sources and Moving Beyond Ceremonial Magic

To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan.magick,alt.occult
From: "Tom Schuler" 
Subject: Re: (O) Sources and Moving Beyond Ceremonial Magic
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999 22:18:16 -0700

Frankie  wrote in message
> Personally I am quite eclectic in my readings, but that is only after
> years of interest and then only using small parts of other systems as an
> adjunct to Western Magick.  I believe it was William Gray in "Western
> Inner Traditions (paraphrased perhaps)" who recommends following the
> "Way" one was born into.  Being of exclusively Celtic/Gaelic ancestry
> that puts me dead in the middle of the Western Way and, while I have
> read/studied everything from Sumerian to New Age, I do feel more
> comfortable with Western based practices.

You may be referring to Gray's "Inner Traditions of Magic".  In that book,
Gray expresses the belief that souls are born into certain races and
cultures for a reason and therefore it's a good idea to adopt a magical
system that is central to that culture.   According to him, if you're an
Asian, you are inherently unable to fully understand jolly old English magic
("Not with the -k, Mr. Crowley!" says Gray) just as the English are just
inherently unable to understand the inscrutible Yellow Peril magic.

I consider this to be a subtle form of racism, this time with a mystical
rationalization.  While it doesn't overtly favor one race over another, it
implies that certain races have certain tendencies that cannot be overcome,
making their mixture inadvisable.  One can only speculate as to what these
tendencies might be for any particular race.

To quote Gray:  "Principles behind the different Mysteries may be identical,
but it is very highly important to preserve their particular styles and
types in pure, or unmixed conditions."  He goes on to compare it with the
breeding of stock, a singularly appropriate metaphor, in my opinion.

However, the lore of magick is collected from many sources and the Romans
didn't care if the Greeks had influenced them, or, in their turn, the
Egyptians, Sumerians, and so on.  The mind is enriched and freed of certain
false assumptions by means of the mixture of cultures and traditions.  Many
voices from many times and places have contributed to the body of lore that
we call the "Western Tradition".  To think that any of it is "pure" is

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