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Imaginary Magic

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.occult.methods
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Re: Imaginary Magic (was where to start?)
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 08:11:32 GMT

50010815 VI! om Hail Satan! Hail Yes!

"Yowie" :
> ...If I went to Cat's store, bought some
> top quality basil, for example, and went home and emptied the contents into
> my jar marked "basil" that I use for cooking, is the stuff in my jar a
> magical herb, a cooking herb, or either, or both?

magical herb, because it has sri catyananda's label inside it!

> Clearly, if I use it in cooking, its a cooking herb - will it have magical
> properties too? 

great question, I don't know if freshness or solidity is necessary for the
spell in question. it largely depends on if you need it, for example, to
strap around your ankle (as in the case of Devil's Shoestrings) or if you
want your magical vegetation solid enough to put in the bottom of your shoe
(like a violet leaf), or under the mattress (not many of these would
probably be very good eating though); it would not be the same to put 
these in their places sopping wet from being cooked, but you could try it.
> And if I use it in magic working, will it still retain its
> nice flavour and aroma for cooking with?

I imagine so, yes. there are some who believe that some subtle essence or
energy has seeped from the plant, resin, whathaveyou, into the spell or
brew should it be a potion made (there is an intersection of cooking and
magic, after all :>).

nagasiva :
>> does it? isn't it important who gets results and who doesn't, 
>> whether these results are imagined or real?

> ...James Randi offers that challenge as well. 

I wasn't offering a challenge. I was trying to discuss what is required
for good results in magic: whether physical objects were necessary if
one desired physical results, spiritual elements if results you want are
spiritual, etc.   are certain elements necessary for magic to occur or
can magic work any way that you imagine it, sorta like what is said by
some Buddhists about the many varied forms Buddhism can take? without a
'formula of success' upon which to rely (even Crowley wrote of these),
of what would a magical tradition be comprised?

> If the practioner says "my spell worked", why should we doubt them? 

depends on whether you are attempting to learn their style or determine
their scrutiny of their own work. relationships can vary. a teacher may
find it valuable to examine hir. in public it can be valuable to doubt
extraordinary claims, especially until some further evidence is provided
that satisfies the major contributors to the discussion. my intent is to
ask what is needed for magic at the minutest, whether mental manipulation
suffices for all kinds of magic, or whether it may be suited more keenly
for certain kinds of magic, if indeed it works. those who claim they work
with tools or without that report magical activities would probably have
insight into this question, reflections on their experiences, etc. 

> Or do you want something more concrete like "I will now perform this 
> spell to for X purpose. If X does not come to pass, within Y time, 
> then this spell is a failure".

for a method of science, yes, though I don't require it be done before
my eyes. a magical record and some notice is great for those who wish 
exercise this kind of regimented discipline.

> And even if you put that condition on, and the "imaginary" practioner still
> says it worked? What then?

I like Crowley's example of a bookfinding talisman in "Moonchild". he
compares one incident of successful book-finding after the construction
of such an amulet to shooting a good shot in pool and says that the master
is able to repeat this feat as would someone who ran the table, sinking
each ball in succession, and they could do it every time they wanted to.

>>> A really top quality bejewelled and well crafted wand is of
>>> absolutley no use to a practioner if the practioner believes
>>> that it will not work, IMHO.
>> upon what is your opinion based? how powerful is the magic if just
>> the belief that it won't work causes the spell to fail?
> My opinion, based on my various travels. Clearly, other people have very
> different views about How magic Works.

How *does* magic Work, then? please explain. is it all just belief-based?
this appears to be a popular idea in alt.magick, has been for years.

>>> How could you tell the difference?
>> what a GREAT QUESTION!  one answer to it is that actual magic includes
>> spellwork or ritual, that it contains symbols associated with the
>> world one wishes to affect in some way, and that the intent and content
>> of the rite or spell be aligned with respect to the ritual elements so
>> arrayed.
>> comparably, imaginary magic takes place in the mind, involves the
>> imaginings of a single (or even more than one!) individual, and
>> the various elements are all mental. the question I had for you and
>> others that enjoy promoting the all-mind school of magical belief
>> (which you have omitted here) is: why aren't the results ALSO just
>> imaginary?
> I will answer you with your own question:


>> sure they'll say that. does it? 

I've had mixed results with actual magic. one of the failures I had
involved Psychic Vision Oil. I was attempting to affect my dreams
through the use of oil. it was one of my early experiments with
hoodoo formula oils. I was trying to dream more of my wife, but this
did not occur. it has been pretty unusual for me to dream of those
around me in my life (such then when I do dream about them I pay
more attention). I'd noticed that sri catyananda had several dreams
about me and I didn't do anything comparable. I constructed a mojo
bag (mostly with sweet smelling herbs that were a mixture of love-
inspiring and vision-inducing or dream-strengthening purposes) and
dressed myself and the bag before bed for several nights in a row
and then occasionally thereafter. once or twice I slept with it
around or near to my face, to see if the aroma would do anything.

I did a number of things to enhance the spell, including putting
a picture of her shadow in the mojo bag, and then I finally gave
up completely. months down the way I started occasionally having
dreams of catya, but this was not a frequency out of the ordinary
in comparison to my other partners in life. I consider that to
have been a poor attempt and a pretty obvious failure, with some
degree of effort.

I've also done actual magic of a ritual type, and I felt that it
was very successful (I regarded the experience as valuable to my
spirituality or discipline. I used my tools, at times played 
recorded music or natural sounds, occasionally drummed, and was 
quite pleased with the results, whether contacting demons, spirits, 
elementals, the dead, or dancing with my goddess in delight and 

>> isn't it important who gets results and who doesn't, 

I do think it is, yes.

>> whether these results are imagined or real?

absolutely. how to distinguish? I think I've made it clear how I
would go about discerning real from imagined mystical achievements,
and I have also pointed out I enjoy Crowley's analysis of this
issue in "Moonchild", though it is admittedly a rudimentary

> So who gets results? Who is to sit and judge which school of 
> magic works and which one doesn't?

awww, it has to be one way or the other? eternally at odds? 
can't we have a more fun war than that? :>

> James Randi (and science in general) says neither works.

well said! let him challenge each as he sees fit! someone should.

> Anecdotal evidence suggests that both work to some degree or another.

I'm not so sure. I've been perhaps unfortunately trained in the Halls
of Materialism, so I have a kind of built-in method of approach,
though I can suspend this when I wish to.

> Surely each method should not be judged by its mechanisms, but its results.

why judge it at all? how about if we just compare what we see of its
result with what we hear of its claims and share this with others
who have similar interests? you know, like talk about the stuff! ;>

> How do we measure these results in an objective manner? 

depends on the results desired. if you're talking about court cases or
horse races, then I think consistent use and the particular formula
involved make a difference, as well as familiarity with the relative
occurence of the results generally. if you're talking about spiritual
advancement, then familiarity with spirituality would seem important.
> Or is magic by definition *not* something that can be measured? 

those who think magic is only a private or taboo thing might take this
position, yes.

> I would be very interested in the experiment designed to measure the 
> effectiveness of magic, "real" or "imagined".

reflection on previous and post-spell conditions seems the most important
event to achieve, with some attention to the dispassion of evaluation and
repeatability of results. many things can be tested on our own quite easily 
if we have an interest. others would be more time-consuming because of
the factor of familiarity development. e.g. I would have to undertake some 
new project if I was going to try to use a spell to assist new projects to 
test it :>. not only that, I'd have to try several new projects and this 
may become time- and effort-consuming. 

but look, tonight I'm going to look online for books for my love and me. 
I'll demonstrate how one might begin a succession of magical spells, say, 
one per night, either with the same formulae or changing it each night 
(of less value to the purist scientist, natch ;>):

	I went to the lab and obtained a dram of King Solomon Wisdom
	Oil and, returning to the computer, applied some to my forehead
	running it up into my hair with my three fingers, repeating the 
	words "may all my works be crowned with success, and may I find 
	the book which I am seeking". I then went to the browser and 
	searched at some of the sites for used and antiquarian text. was first, I tested out (Barnes and Noble), 
	looked at, found "Soul!" by Randolph and "Magickal 
	Formulary Book 1" by Slater, but no English language copy of 
	"Magia Sexualis" (many French versions, tho), through 
	and I was looking for the sex magic text and a book 
	on Xi Wang Mu (Chinese immortal/goddess). I found the latter but 
	not the former. I made no unusual effort to seek further. 

I'd say this was of only limited success. if I was employed for the
purposes of research or part of a company which procured books I
could easily make a study of rates of success with and without use
of a formula oil, or a talisman I constructed, or whatever. mine was
merely an example. it is easy to test these things. making it a
routine would help, as would using the same formulae or pattern of
magical preparation.

blessed beast!

emailed replies may be posted  -----   "sa avidya ya vimuktaye"   ----- 
"that which liberates is ignorance"
    hoodoo catalogue: send postal address to

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