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Getting started in Magick

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: Re: Getting started in Magick
Date: 16 May 1997 00:39:46 -0700

49970515 AA1  Hail Satan!

my Mystress, (MARGARET MARY-THERESA BROWN) writes:
>I always recommend to beginners:
>1.) Magick Without Tears  - Crowley
>2.) Magick in Theory and Practice  - Crowley
>3.) ...and most important of all....  8 Lectures on Yoga  - Crowley

I agree that these books are very helpful introductions.

>Beginner books written since then are mainly derivative of Crowley.  

such a Kraig's _Modern Magick_?  I've never looked at it but I gather if 
this is what you are talking about you are correct.  Bonewits doesn't
seem to pattern after Crowley in _Real Magic_.  there are others, many
of which merely duplicate text on the market by Crowley already.

>They generally lack sufficient mention/explanation of Thelemic ideas such as
>DWTW.  Exploring Thelema is IMO very good for a beginner because it helps
>to vaccinate against being influenced by Orders and grand poo-bas.

this is not necessarily true.  very many "Thelemites" are involved with
quite a few Orders (OTO and all its children/cousins, TOT, TGD, AA, etc.).   
there appear to be almost as many 'Thelemic Orders' as there are 'Thelemites'.

>Also, it starts the process of exploring/finding your inner-self.

this is true of many books on neuvoreligion (Thelema, Satanism, Chaos,
Wicca, etc.).

>Item #3 has an excellent set of exercises that help you to master the
>basic mental/psychological techniques necessary to doing magick.  I did
>them regularly for a year or so and still find myself going back to this
>book time and time again.

this basic yoga one could learn in a hatha yoga class?  I don't think I've
ever given the 8 Lectures on Yoga a good read, though I've been in several
hatha yoga classes.

>After you are done with these, buy Donald Michael Kraig's book
>_Modern Magick_ (something like that) and start doing the rituals in
>there or start doing your own.  (I did my own exclusively for 6 years
>before learning a few of the commonly used rituals, for the purpose of
>doing groupwork.)

I've heard mixed reviews on this book.  it may depend largely on taste.
given what you recommend additionally I don't think we are at all of the

same taste (your posts on 'Catholic Magick' or whatever were certainly
not to my taste either, but that's another matter :>).

>Now you're read to  start with the Qabalah, 

with this much I'm agreed, with the qualifications below.

>in this order:
>  o  _The Mystical Qabalah_      Dion Fortune

I do not recommend Fortune's books unless they taste good.  I am of a
discernably non-Judeochristian slant and Fortune's books were icky to me.
I should say that I have not yet tried to get past my repulsion and
see if I could stomach the book mentioned above after a few gags.

>  o  _A Garden of Pomegranates_  Israel Regardie

I agree this is a valuable intro, as is his _Middle Pillar_.  I would
say that I do not recommend the rites he suggests (LBRP, Qabalistic
Cross) unless this type of symbolism appeals to you -- I found them
quite repulsive.

>  o  _Qabalistic Symbolism_      Gareth Knight

I've never read it.  Knight has a good reputation as being somewhat 
atraditional and 'fringe' (I like that kind of reputation).  he may 
not be very *thick*, however, from other texts of his I've perused 
somewhat carefully.

>  o  _Meditation and Kaballah_   Areyeh Kaplan

my understanding is that Kaplan and Halevi are excellent introductory
texts on Kabbalah.  Achad and Scholem are also sometimes recommended,
though the latter can be fairly dense.  it may also be important to
get to the roots of modern qabalah tradition by reading somebody's
(whose?) overview of Luria and/or doing a good transl. of the Zohar.

but you didn't say why you thought that Qabalah studies were valuable
for the curriculum of magick.  I agree that they are, I just don't think
they are absolutely essential except from a traditional standpoint

ANY mystical discipline/system is valuable background/basis for magical
studies or practice (Vedanta/Tantra -- yoga; Zen -- zazen; Vajrayana
-- yidam; Sufism -- zikr; Taoism, Kaballah, Gnosticism, etc.).  from
there it largely depends on the true will, whether this Event which
Crowley calls 'the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian
Angel' is of any importance, and how to go about manifesting one's
will in the world.  this last ought be the central focus of all
magical disciplines and theoretics.  in Crowley's texts above this
does appear to be the case (esp. note the 'magical link'), and there
are some who have attempted to build atop these monumental works
whose text appears within the Hollyfeld Usenet Archives:


om mani padme hum

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