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Magic Definition Analysis

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.pagan.magick,alt.occult.methods,alt.lucky.w
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Re: Magic Definition Analysis (was Magick, ...)
Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2002 23:10:53 GMT

50020323 VI kaos day! 

continuing ....

(quoting Buckland)

	Witchcraft is a religion *[AUTHOR'S NOTE: see
	"Witchcraft From The Inside", by R. Buckland,
        Llewellyn, 1971.] while magick is a practice.
	In other words, *anyone* can do magick.
	Consequently they can do it for good or ill,
	depending on their own personal ethics.

	*Sympathetic* magic is based on the principle
	that like attracts like. Make a wax or clay
	model representing a person and, if you work
	to the prescribed formula, whatever you do to
	the figure will actually happen to the person.
	... By burning different types of candles and
	manipulating them in various ways they find
	they can influence people and things.
	 "Practical Candleburning Rituals",
	  Raymond Buckland, Llewellyn, 2001; 
	  pages xiii [intro 1982], 1-2.

ignoring the fact that Raymond Buckland appears to have
included unattributed (no source list) major portions of 
"The Master Book of Candle-Burning" by Henri Gamache, 
which sri catyananda lists as:

   Originally published in 1942; this is a revised 1998 reprint.           
   The classic text on hoodoo candle burning in the pre-Santeria           
   era; covers everything you need to know about colour symbolism,         
   figural candles, dressing candles, altar layouts, etc. The author       
   was beyond doubt the best early 20th century writer on hoodoo.          
   96 pages (plus ads), trade paperback. $6.00                        
within what he calls his compendium of 

	 simple, practical rituals  

	 collected from around the world. Some are relatively
	 new; some have been around for hundreds of years. 
	 They cover many aspects of life; many of the basic 
	 needs that 'the people' have felt at one time or 
	 another -- good or bad. 
	 Ibid., p. 1.
	Rituals are given for all the more frequently 
	dealt-with conditions, plus one or two which are
	a little more out of the ordinary. Two forms of
	ritual are usually given. One [Gamache in every
	case?] is the customary Christianized form --
	simplified versions of which are found in the
	few books currently available on candleburning
	-- the other is a more general traditional form.
	The latter have been collected by the author from
	various sources throughout Europe and seem to
	reflect the earl pre-Christian nature worship --
	the *Old Religion* as it is known.
	 Ibid., p. 10.

seems to be the same thing as what many have also called
'candle-burning spells'.

this book contains a description of what he calls "purely an act 
of Black Magic": 'voodooing' someone with a doll-baby, and a
elsewhere features quote from Gamache's "Master Key to Occult 
Secrets" regarding modern examples of the Hand of Glory, all in 
Buckland's his 'The Darker Side' Appendix, which also contains 
the following:

	 For this [Black] *sympathetic* magic to work the
	 Practitioner must be really worked up, really angry
	 -- must feel so incensed against his intended victim
	 that if he were present in person he, the Practioner,
	 would certainly attack him physically.
	 Ibid., p. 174.


	It is possible to purchase special figure candles
	-- usually a red-wax female and black-wax male [!]
	-- from certain suppliers. These are candles in
	crude human form, with a regular wick running through
	them. They can be used as in the above described
	Black ritual [the pinsticking doll-baby trick].
	Since such a candle is already formed then it *must*
	have some object belonging to the Victim attached
	to it, to personalize it. It must also, of course,
	be sprinkled, censed, and named.

	When the pins have been stuck into such a figure-
	candle and the curse is complete, the Practitioner
	may light the wick and let the candle burn completely
	down. In this way, the curse is absolutely irrevocable.
	 Ibid., p. 175.

interesting that he mentions red and black as if these are
usually gender-paired, black with male, red with female. 
isn't that the Alpha-male-centered perspective of the cosmos?
(women are lust objects and men are competitors for sex and love)
I'm sure it was unintentional. perhaps it is a particular
tradition of ritual-work he is describing here, I'm unsure that
I'm familiar with it.

my understanding is that red male or female is typically 
love-and-sex-getting, while black is used to coerce or harm,
again, whether male- or female-shapes (when you can even tell
the difference!). I'm sure colour-associations vary, though
why red-female and *blue-male* wasn't his choice may be on
account of having visited the stories and noticing the bins. :>
red females and black males are probably the hottest sellers.

aside from all this, however, the theory of magic Buckland is
espousing (as historical?) is one which requires emotional
intensity and (at least in the human-formed candle-magic, 
physical personal concerns (e.g. 'some object belonging to 
the victim'), as *well* as sprinkling, censing and naming.

he clearly, elsewhere in the book, distances what he calls
"Witchcraft" from the material in this text, quoting the
Wiccan Rede and explaining that only some of the magical 
material in his book will intersect with the different
category he describes as his religion, "Witchcraft".

he states that it is "possible" to burn candles in this way
without dressing them and provides associations with colours,
astrology, and days of the week. it is interesting that he 
uses language I have rarely found outside references to hoodoo 
(dressing, uncrossing, etc.) and what appear to be borrowings
from Gamache's work in his text, Buckland advising that one should 
not pinch out the flame of the candle with your fingers! this
is funny to me because I have heard both contentions espoused
by a number of people about how to extinguish candles in magic.

I would bet there is a similar diversity of belief in religion
about best ways to light and extinguish, for a variety of
reasons (explore them here!). he says they can be blown out in 
reverse order to lighting them or doused with a candle-snufter. 

I favour none of these methods (rarely using candles for magic),
yet do enjoy putting out the flame of a candle or stick of incense 
with the pass of my hand before it, decisively and with a flourish. 
with long-burning candles or those in containers this can become 
quite difficult, and I may blow the candle out if a handwave or 
two doesn't do the trick, sometimes with a flourish.

magic and its multitude of definitions and practical styles....

next book in the stack....


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