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Magical Powers -- Innate or Induced?

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.lucky.w,alt.magick,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Magical Powers -- Innate or Induced?
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 12:07:46 -0800

A querant in email asked for links to sites dealing with magic and the
occult and i supplied the url for the Mage's Guide to the Internet:

He then replied:
> Thank you for the infomation.
> Also do you have to have some magic powers in you to use magic?

This is a very good question and deserves a full discussuoin instead of
a brief answer, but here is a start:

Some people -- that is, people in some cultures -- believe that to
practice magic one needs certain inherited powers (e.g. to be born the
child of a witch) or to be born with a "gift" or a "sign" (such as being
born the 7th son of a 7th son, or being born with a veil or caul
(amniotic sac over the head at birth), or to receive a miraculous or
transformative "sign" in youth or young adulthood (such as experiencing
a near-death trauma that leaves one capable of psychicism or conveying
healings). In some cultures, the pre-destination to a magical path
implied by a favourable birth-sign or a transformative spiritual event
is so important to the legitimacy of one embarking on the practice of
magic, that in lieu of a birth-sign, the seeker will subject him- or
herself to numerous trials to gain a sign, including the use of
dangerous drugs and the endurance of self-inflicted physical torture.

In other cultures, however, it is assumed that one can gain magical
powers through applied study and practice, either via books, as with the
alchemical, Hermetic, neo-Platonic traditions of occultism, or at the
feet of a teacher or guru, as with an initiation into Gardnerian Wicca
or with the tantric saddhus who gain siddhis (magical powers) when
taught the practice of tapas (austerities) by their guru. 

In my experience, it seems that some people are highly interested in the
subject of magic, just as some are highly interested in sports or music
-- and those are the people who generally take up the study and practice
of magic, whether through the retroactive application of a birth sign,
the seeking of a personally transformative event, the study of books,
requesting initiation into a magical lineage or "order," or
apprenticeship to a recognized teacher. 


catherine yronwode ------------------------
Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Lucky W Amulet Archive ---------
The Sacred Landscape -------
Karezza and Sacred Sex ------
Freemasonry for Women -------
Comics Warehouse ------
news:alt.lucky.w --- discussions on folk magic, luck, amulets, charms

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