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To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi
From: (tyaginator)
Subject: Re: FAQ's
Date: 17 Jul 1995 09:33:19 -0700

Kali Yuga 49950717

My Mystress ( posts the old AMFAQ:

>the FAQ was maintained by Shava Nerad Averett who hasn't been seen 
>for weeks and months. it is presently not being maintained by josh
>geller, whine in email to joshua@???, it'll probably be ignored.
>this self-same josh geller says that he may even update this piece
>of writing at some point, but he is a famous procrastinator, so don't
>count on it. shava wrote most of this.

Bah, just disbelieve in josh.

>In the absence of a declared ipsissemus, this lowly one presumes to provide
>another edition of the irregularly submitted alt.magick FAQ list...

There is no alt.magick FAQ.  We gave up on it.  This one was trashed and
lingers like a ghost.  If someone wants to work on a FAQ, contact me.  I've
got KFAQs for days and think that we're doing fine without a FAQ.  What
you people want may be REF files, with all sorts of ready-made answers to
your deep questions (wrong ones, usually).

>  What is this newsgroup about anyway?
>	This is a group which exists to discuss magickal theory, art, and 
>	technology.   (see definition of magick, below)

Discussion of magick is sufficient.  Trying to limit it to what you like
will not be very helpful.

>  What is this newsgroup *not* about?
>	This newsgroup is not about specific religions (pagan, satanist
>	christian, new age, whatever).  It is not about stage magic.  It
>	is not about the Necronomicon.

If the religions pertain in some way to magick (some do) then these topics
are fine.  If the discussion concerns the relationship between stage magic
and occult magick, then that's fine.  If the post is about the *magick* of 
_The Necronomicon_, then that's badly needed.

>        These topics have their own newsgroups, with the exception of
>	the necronomicon.

False.  Even josh created one.  alt.necromicon (the one josh made), and
alt.necronomicon (the real mccoy).

>	As an embodiment of mercy, we no longer list Colin as an authority
>	on the Necronomicon.  However, if you want to talk about
>	it, please go to alt.conspiracy, or a science fiction group.

This is from an earlier era.  Colin hasn't been listed as an authority on
anything except QBL for years.

>  What kind of inquiry is appropriate here?
>	Try to be a little clueful, and we will try to be a little kind.
>	It's not an easy topic to broach, and I hope both the newbies and
>	the (*ahem* *cough*) old hands can get along here.

This suggestion is rather unhelpful.  The kind of inquiry appropriate
(by 'appropriate' I mean 'likely to draw the most favorable response')
will be supported by thorough reading of this newsgroup for several
weeks, supplementary studies in magick or the occult generally, and
brief conciseness.

>  How do I even start to figure out what to say?

[response deleted -- the entire question is redundant, though the comment
 about humor being the prime prereq for the group is actually often true]

>  What is magick, and why do you use a 'k'?
>	Magick is any of a variety of life-practices which devote the 
>	practitioner to self- and (thereby) environment-transformation.
>	Methods and schools of magick vary.  This group discusses all
>	sorts of alchemy, kaballah, western ritual magick, renaissance
>	neoplatonism, eastern mysticism, neopagan magick, and occasionally
>	a bit of commentary on new age practice.  The general viewpoint
>	here is to try for a dogma-free approach to magick, which precludes
>	a lot of religious discussion, although we draw religious and 
>	mystical vocabulary in *all* the time, since we are too short 
>	lived to reinvent all the symbols in the world.  Personally,
>	I like to think of us as agnostic gnostics...

This response is one of many possibles, some contained within the
Kreeeping FAQ file:

>	We spell it with a 'k' to differentiate from the art of presti-
>	digitation, which has it's own group 'alt.magic'.  The closeness
>	in spelling has resulted in some amusing unintentional cross-
>	postings...

Some do this.  Some don't distinguish between the two that much.

>  Who is Aleister Crowley?  Why should I care?
>	It is frightening to this humble reader that Aleister Crowley
>	(Uncle Al, the Beast 666, and various other terms of endearment)
>	has written the most readable and concise magickal theory texts
>	produced in the past couple centuries.  This is frightening largely
>	because they are as obscure as hell, the style is usually atrocious,
>	and his assumptions about the background of his readership are vast.
>	Magic_Without_Tears is a good starting place for the neophyte.
>	Magic_in_Theory_and_Practice is a good starting place for someone
>	who thinks they might already have a little background.  The general
>	"school" of Crowley's style of magick is referred to as Thelema,
>	a word which means "Will" in Greek.  Those who study this canon 
>	are referred to properly as Thelemites, and improperly as Crowley-
>	ites (much as it is not proper to refer to Moslems as Mohammedans).

Nice.  However, generally speaking, 'Thelemite' is an appellation, whereas
'Crowleyite' is usually an expletive concerning devotional activities.

>	Me, I'm not a fan, I just read the stuff...
>	In this group, there seem to be a preponderance of Thelema-literates
>	who submit to the group, therefore you will often find Thelemite
>	vocabulary used as the lingua franca.  

Often true within alt.magick, but not always.  The Chaotes are full-on in
alt.magick.chaos (with their Spare-ease) and the tantrics are in (with their Stockham-ease :>).

>        It is probably a prereq to about a quarter of the discussions in
>        this group to understand Crowley's technical meaning of the term
>        Will, and the terms Love, Law, and a general literacy couldn't hurt.

Yeah, right.  These concepts are overly confusing and difficult for most
who study Crowley, let alone a beginner.  I recommend that if you have
difficulties with someone's language, ask questions in EMAIL.

>  What's a good beginning reading list for a person interested in magick?
>	(warning -- none of these are necessarily "easy reading!")

Lists were ok.  There are longer, better ones available. has some.

>  Why is this group so pagan hostile?
>        This group was partially formed to foment discussion of magickal
>        theory and practice outside of the alt.pagan flamefest.  Therefore
>        you will find a lot of people who, when they see pagan terminology,
>        immediately try to kill it before it grows.  (They've gotten better
>        over the months, but still flare up sometimes.)  In addition, there
>        is a great debate over whether pagan practice is a modern invention,
>        or an ageless traditional religion WHICH DISCUSSION DOES NOT BELONG
>        IN THIS GROUP, which causes many Crowley fans to dismiss all pagans
>        as dupes of Gardener and Crowley.  If you want to comment on this,
>        send me email.  I am a very active pagan, and I'd rather read this
>	list than alt.pagan because of the higher signal-to-noise ratio
>	(despite our occasional lapses...).

Lots of this is outdated.  Much of the pagan/mage controversy has worked
itself out with turf-battles (+ new alt.magick.* groups) and attrition.

>  What about Satanism?
>	Some of the posters of this group are self-identified Satanists.
>	This group does not ascribe to any particular religious philosophy,
>	and we try not to make assumptions about other folk's.  Do not
>	assume that a Satanist is:  evil; has anything to do with christi-
>	an ideas of Satan; subject to flamage sheerly for his/her religious
>	beliefs.  This topic has been thrashed to death, and belongs else-
>	where.  If you can't be religiously tolerant, please go elsewhere.
>	If this is PC, the PC stands for Peaceful Coexistance.  For more 
>	info, consult alt.satanism.

Excellent advice.

>  What about archives?
>	No archives.  Other sites with miscellaneous items of interest
>	available by ftp include (short list so far -- tell me if I left
>	you out!):

> some occult oriented material on
>		anonymous ftp under /pub/magick/* (thanks, josh!)

Way old and wrong.  

File Archives
 (the slopoke archive was destroyed and the suffices for now)

Posting Archives

>  How can I put together a surefire aphrodisiac?

[Ain't magick.  Deleted, along with other irrelevance.]

>What about sex magick? gee, that sounds like fun. how do I do that?

>                  Basic Techniques of Sex Magick

Relegated to a different text and forum (currently being reviewed in

Overall very low information quality, though some important pointers
to other forums for those who have religious problems.  I will be
posting this as a followup to each repost of this file.


'Do you know what the Sigil of Darkness is, child?  What it does?'  And,
when she only looked blankly at him he went on, 'It is an utterly
abominable thing to wizards, utterly abominable.  It does more than
cripple our power.  It is the antithesis of power; it is anti-power,
and the greater one's strength, the greater the -- I suppose pain is
the closest word.'

Magister Magus
 (_The Silicon Mage_, by Barbara Hambly)
                       PLEASE CC ALL PUBLIC RESPONSES TO EMAIL.    |
telnet://            |           news:alt.magick.tyagi

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