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How Does One Begin To Learn Magick

To: alt.magick
From: (Gnome d Plume)
Subject: Re: How Does One Begin To Learn Magick
Date: Sat, 04 May 2002 07:56:35 GMT

On 3 May 2002 18:43:46 -0700,
(Andralphus) wrote:

>"Luke B"  wrote in message news:<>...
>> So if a person was interested in learning magic, rituals and studying such
>> and didn't subscribe to the commercial books available that are $9.95 at the
>> bookstore and attest to all sorts of stuff, how would one begin?
>First of all, there is one magick book that you *need* and that is the
>Tarot.  I'd recommend Crowley's Thoth deck; the artwork is gorgeous;
>the theory behind it is profound; and the booklet that comes with it
>is good, being an abbreviated version of Crowley's own Tarot writings.

****** This is a radical view. Tarot is a very important system of
*divination* (only one aspect of the art magical) and an important
element of the Hermetic Qabalah. However it is not "the one magick
book that you need." To say that is like saying that learning to play
poker is the first step in military combat training (although as I
recall it may very well have been....)*****

>What most books about magick teach you is basically the following:
>1. Preliminary relaxation/mediation rituals and possibly the Tarot.
>2. The pentagram and hexagram rituals, and visualizations to go with
>3. Invocations like the Middle Pillar, where one feels a god-force
>flowing through one, and is better prepared to do a magickal working
>4. How to charge talismans.
>So basically, you get all that preparatory stuff (1-3) in order to
>charge a lousy talisman.  I'm talking about books like Modern Magick
>by D.M. Kraig et hoc genus omne.  Sometimes the authors of such books
>panick and put in something about actually contacting a spirit (which
>is why I got interested in magick in the first place).  Hence you get
>things like Kraig's chapter on Goetic evocation, at a point where the
>student is entirely unprepared to work with Goetic spirits.

*****Way off the mark on this one also. Kraig's Chapter 9 on Goetia is
an incomplete and poorly explained version of the system derived from
a book briefly describing the O.T.A. method by Nelson White. Unless
you have more information it is difficult to work the Goetia system
properly from Kraig's description. *****
>I would say that anything you can get in most of such books on magick
>can be gleaned from the internet.  For instance Ben Rowe has a very
>good essay on the LBRP that is online.  I can't find it right now, but
>I'll post it when I do.  His introduction to scrying is great too. 
>Work the pentagram for a while, then add the Middle Pillar, then add
>the Hexagram - then buy a book on magick.
>The only advantage of a book is that you get the stuff on a page
>instead of a screen or a printout.  And that does have advantages.

*****That is if you assume that Magick is something for jittery,
spaced-out  teenagers who don't want to or cannot study. This is not
the case. magick is a literate art for educated people. Books come
first. Here's the list:

(1.) The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish
(2.) The Golden Dawn (6th Edition) by Israel Regardie
(3.) Magick in Theory and Practice by Aleister Crowley
       (the new edition contains Book Four and is titled: "Magick")
(4.) The Theosophical Enlightenment by Joscelyn Godwin
(5.) Three Books of Occult Philosophy  by Henry Agrippa
(6.) Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon
(7.) Enochian Magick of Dr. John Dee by Geoffrey James
(8.) Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition by Frances Yates
(9.) The Lesser Key of Solomon (Lemegeton) (I recommend Joseph H.
Petersons' version.)
(10.) The Key of Solomon the King (Greater Key) Mathers. 
And *Magick and Hypnosis* which can be downloaded for free on our web
site at  ******

>What I do recommend if you are interested in ritual magick:
>1) Buy Crowley's Book 4 or some similar book on meditation.  Work it. 
>Meditative visualization is the central skill of magick.
>2) Read ritual.  Read lots of it.  Especially Catholic and Masonic
>rituals, which are the two root-sources of modern ceremonial magick. 
>This will be especially helpful when you get to magickal forms that
>have no well-defined ceremonies of their own, like Enochian, where you
>are given only the Names, and must construct your own rites to contact
>the spirits.
>One book I would advise getting though, is Hermetic Magick by Someone
>Flowers.  Not necessarily right now, but do get it.  The ritual part
>of the book is based on Greco-Egyptian magickal papyri.  You get a
>much fuller idea of what ritual can be like by reading this one than
>by reading all of the cheap GD-knockoffs you find everywhere.

*****Good as it is Flowers' book *Heremetic Magic* is actually a pony
for Dieter Betz's *Greek Demotic Magical Papyri* and far advanced for
the beginning Hermetic magical student. The reading list I have
provided above will give the perspective student a balanced,
progressive overview and detailed syllabus for a complete self-study
course. Your suggestions for studying Masonic and Catholic rituals
should come much later. Magick is a spiritual art form that must first
be understood and approached in the proper way.  Otherwise a downward,
or scattered course of development may result. *****

Good Magick!

Gnome d Plume

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