a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.



[from ]

Subject: THE MAGUS
by Peter Carroll
   As a master of magic the Adept has some abilty to change himself
and the reality which surrounds him at will.  The mark ofa Magus
however is that he is able to show other people how to change themselves
into whatever they desire through the discipline of magic.  There are
two main types of genuine Magus, the Apotheosis Magus and the Nemesis
Magus.  Additionally there is the Hierophant or pseudo-magus.  Each is
recognizable by the debris left in his wake.
  The Apotheosis Magus, sometimes known as the Harlequin, is typically
a master of internal disguise and often external disguise also.
Frequently a person of fallstaffian tastes and grand gestures, he often
distinguishes himself in a variety of human endeavors precisely because
he has attained the freedom to be anything at all.  Such freedom is often
won only after a tremendous personal struggle to repair the effects of a
difficult start in life.  The Apotheosis Magus teaches by encouraging
emulation and then often finally capping it with outrage.  His play, which
is often never consciously formulated, is to provide a role model for
emulation by his accoltes and perhaps later to drive them away and throw
them back on their own resources, the horizons of which have been expended
by the encounter.  The essential trick of the Apotheosis Magus is to
present magic as a source of boundless self confidence.  If he can convinc
his accolytes that they are magicians capable of anything such beliefs wil
tend to become self fullfilling.  The Apotheosis Magus implies this throug
the triumph of the will.
  The Nemesis Magus implies it by showing that nothing is true.  Both aim
to set the imagination free.  Both are exponents of a short and dangerous
path which is inevitably strewn with casualities and misunderstandings.
Yet this is considered to be a small price to pay if a few do win through
to a more effective self definition.
  The continual setbacks, reverses and dry periods to which the magical
tradition is habitually prone are due to the frequent appearance of the
Hierophant or pseudo-magus figure.  The Hierophant always presents himself
as an exponent representative of something greater than himself.  Out of
the multiple of roles, identities and behaviors that a person might adopt,
the Hierophant presents a single model as an ideal.  This is particularly
convenient for the Hierophant as he need not be a perfect example of his
own ideal although he must at least make a show of trying in public.
Additionally, as it is he who defines the ideal, it is comparatively easy
for him always to appear one step closer to it than his accolytes.
Of course most Hierophants are merely religious teachers who rarely
venture into esoterics because of the potentially immense costs of public
failure.   Yet there remains a depressingly long roll call of dishonor
for occult Hierophants or psuedo-magi.
  The Hierophant inevitably teaches a system of magic that he has either
assembled from pieces or inherited.  The most enduring systems are those
which are highly complicated, and of low magical effectiveness.  They
should furthermore be surrounded with hosts of petty exhortations.
  Aleister Crowley dabbled in the Hierophant mode but was a supreme
exponent of the Apotheosis Magus role.  Nobody of any potential adhered
to him for long but many were ejected to find their own path.
Crowley's writings are liberally salted with deliberate invitations to
emulation and hero worship and as equally peppered with devices designed
to repel.  However their effect has never been quite as reliable as the
presence of the magus himself was.
  The Apotheosis path is lonely, difficult and dangerous.  Such a magus
must be all things to all men and women.  As a matter of policy he may be
continually engaged in challenging the limits of what is socially acceptab
He may have to resort to trickery to make himself seem large enough to
accomodate the totality of his followers' expectations of him.
Any true friendship prevents him exercising his life's function towards
any person with whom it is shared and there will be few of his peers with
whom he can be completely open.  He will get few thanks from society in
general for his efforts and perhaps only a grudging respect from those who
he touches.  The tangible rewards of this role are limited to those he can
extract form his temporary followers.  The Apotheosis Magus must be
continually alert to avoid the backlash from his own lifestyle and those
who have associated with him.  He must always be one step ahead of the
police raid.  He often comes to a bad end.  Notable magi operating in
this mode include Cagliostro, Giordano Bruno, Paracelsus, and Gudjieff.
  The Nemesis Magus is a rare figure in the generally positive esoteric
climate of the west.  In the east the role is more common.  The historical
Buddha with his rules and restrictions to provide accolytes with a slightl
new identity to adhere to.  Rules concerning clothing, sex, and diet are
particularly effective.  Such systems are indispensible to the Hierophant
in his ceaseless quest for followers.  The complexities of his systems
guarantees protracted tuition and its comparative magical ineffectiveness
ensures that few will be tempted to go freelance.  Such systems are design
to create dependency.  New accolytes are always welcome in such systems no
matter how long their potential; for, in the absence of measurable progres
mere numbers at least provide some positive confirmation.  Heresy and
Schism always threaten the Hierophant's position and system.  Unrealistic
ideals and ineffectual means of attaining them will always attract critici
and attempts at revisionism.  Yet if these can be avoided the Hierophant c
look forward to extensive rewards from his followers, the lucritive
commercialisation of his system, and maybe postumous deification for what
it's worth.
  Hierophantic magi frequently inherit the systems of the predecessors.
The Apotheosis Magus and the Nemesis Magus rarely have direct successors,
although Hierophants frequently appear on the scene afterwards and reduce
their works to a system. Pseudo magi outnumber the real thing by a large
margin.  It would be unseemly to mention any living examples for whilst
there is life there is hope of change; however, Blatavsky, MacGregor Mathe
Dion Fortune, and Franz Bardon provide examples of past occult Hierophants
  A single test serves to separate the true Magus from the Hierophant. The
false magus is never able to give a simple meaningful explanation of what
his teachings are supposed to do.  His justifications are invariably
verbose and tautological concatenations of indefinable terms.
  A host of petty Hierophants feast upon the debris of Crowley's work
without managing to enlarge themselves or their followers.  Austin Spare's
works however have been largely resistant to sytematisation and slavish
adherence for he left little that could be made into dogma.  Yet Crowley
and Spare between them exemplify the paradox facing the genuine magus.
Speak and be misunderstood or keep silent and be ignored.  Most, it
appears, have chosen to speak knowing that the tricks of the Hierophant
are an indispensible medium but that these tricks ultimately obscure the
message itself.  The hope is to blow some minds in the meantime.

The Apotheosis of the Self
The Nemisis of the Self
Will set the Kia soaring
But promulgation begets systematisation
And the Apotheosis
Of Somebody Elses Self
Is for suckers.

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races