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Learning About Magick and its Effects

From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Learning About Magick and its Effects (was Re: Spells)
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 19:58:24 -0800

nagasiva wrote:
> "BBougie"  writes:
> >What are the different kinds of magick?
> taxonomy has not standardized, and perhaps this is for the best.
> Bonewits and others have suggested color-orientations (probably
> in reflection of the 'black/white' model given out by the church).
> >Which ones are more powerful than others?
> power, in the sense of subjective experience, would vary depending
> on the person doing the learning.  otherwise I think there is no
> clear answer to this question.  the classification and judgement of
> what constitutes 'powerful' will necessarily constrain the answer.

I think that is axiomatic that the powerfulness in any species of magic
is in large part dependent upon the will or talent or knowledge of the
practitioner. Ceremoinial magicians of European style tend to rank their
forms the highest, but of course, their forms developed in a
Euro-centric culture. You see what i mean? 

> >What do the different spell ingredients do?
> this is a very complex question.  some of them contribute olfactory
> or visual components to the spell.  some have chemical properties,
> some (if the spell is home-made) will contribute associative or
> past-related connections.  some are pure sympathetic magic.  some
> are conventional folklore regarding the properties of the component.
> this list goes on.  many spells require no ingredients/components.

The doctrine of signatures (which specifies that the forms of natural
objects, including plants, rocks, and animals, have specific relation to
their use in magic. Thus, to cite one example out of literally tens of
thousands: violet leaves, which are shaped like hearts, are used in an
African-American spell for finding a new lover. This may be derived from
an earlier European-American spell, but the method of employment --
wearing a violet leaf in one's shoe for seven days -- is
African-American hoodoo in style. In any case, it is the heart-shape of
the leaf that recommends it for use in this spell (which also includes
anointing with oil, burning a candle, and so forth). 

> >I know someone will probably tell me to go buy a book... so
> >what are some good ones?
> see the alt.magick FAQ:
> its REF files have a few booklists.

There are several good online book stores that carry this sort of thing.
Also (cheap plug), if you are specifically interested in
African-American folk magic, you can buy a few good selected books from
The Lucky Mojo Curio Co. via the online catalogue at
> >I was at a local bookstore last week and all they had were books like
> >"Magick for Women" or "Using your Feminine Powers"...  what about us
> >guys?!?

In my own experience most buyers of the books on magic as well as the
occult supplies i sell are female. I could go into some
political/social/biological reasons for this, but suffice it to say that
the book dealer you visited probably was well aware of his or her
customer base. 

> try Hermetic flavor, Crowleyesque, Satanist, or Enochian.

I would also highly recommend that you study the folk magic of various
cultures, such as European, African, American Indian, African-American,
et cetera. Much of the later stuff that tyagi names above is based in
part on such earlier sources. 
> >Anyways... I guess I'd like to know everything I can about every kind
> >of magick.
> hehehe, might take you a while.  good luck.

It's basically a life-long study. 
catherine yronwode
The Lucky Mojo Curio Co.:

The Lucky W Amulet Archive:  
Hoodoo Catalogue:
Freemasonry for Women: 
The Sacred Landscape:
Karezza and Tantra:

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