a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Magick and Maturity )

To: alt.satanism,alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi
From: (mordred)
Subject: Magick and Maturity (Was Re: Mr Scratch's humble opinions ;))
Date: 4 Mar 1995 11:33:40 -0800

Kali Yuga 49950304

"Mr. Scratch"  and Kevin Filan discuss:

[Mr. Scratch begins, I think, though I'm unsure as they weren't identified]

|>|Since most members held down rather mundane jobs and generally lived 
|>|ordinary lives outside their ritual chambers, there was something 
|>|pathetic about this collective delusion of grandeur.

The notion that magick is not mundane or is unordinary is rather limited.
I think that some people take what are considered 'magical tools' into
the entirety of their lives while others keep them within the ritual
space for emphasis.  Some apparently need to differentiate between the
tools/symbols/rite-space and the rest of their lives.  So it goes.  I
don't prefer this, personally, which may be why I keep my robes on and
occasionally carry Yggdrasil-stafff (good hiking tool!) or the ritual 
knife-unnamed (lovely for cutting meat!).


|>...many people within the occult community in general ...  have low 
|>self-esteem and seek to prop it up by seeking "magickal powers."  

It may be rather callous to characterize it merely as 'seeking to prop
it up' as compared to 'seeking to bolster and reinforce it'.  The
difference is that with the latter one may reach a transformative
experience which actually supports the self-esteem with substance
rather than merely pretense.

[Mr. Scratch:]

|...I would extend this kind of impulse far beyond the occult community, 
|possibly to the entire world of religion and politics.  

Yes, so would I.

|...People reach for elaborate constructs, things that will give them a 
|place, things that will give them a sense of control.  Things that will 
|tie all the essentially random and meaningless occurences we encounter 
|together into one great pattern. 

I agree, though perhaps don't always spin it this way. ;>

|>...most of the problems I found existed outside the ToS just as clearly 
|>as within it, and ...they had to be dealt with no matter where you go.  

I find this to be very common: we see a problem within a group and think
that it is specific to the group instead of noticing that it is prevalent
in the society surrounding that group or from which that group draws its

|...I was also among those who relied on my identity as a magician to prop 
|up my ego.  

Again the bias of 'propping up'.  While I agree that identifying as a mage
can be a very deep and dangerous self-delusion, I also think that it can be
an important magical working all its own.

|This tendancy fell by the wayside as I came to understand what magic 
|really is.  

Is it only one thing?

|I too bought into the popular-culture myth that magic = sheer egoic power; 
|that with a wave of the hand, some spectacular display of supernatural 
|fireworks would burst out and change the world in an obvious way.  

Clever words here.  Would you say that it is possible that these 'fireworks'
might *actually* be taking place in the 'astral realm' (I tend to mean by
'astral' the realm of (shared) imagination/symbol)?

|As long as I struggled to maintain this magic, it eluded me, and I 
|remained somewhat stunted emotionally.  

This is a very important reflection, I think, one which describes quite a
bit that goes on in the magical community.  It is one of the reasons that
I have encountered and portrayed the Abyss as a miasm of repressed emotional
energy, since I find that I was/am emotionally stunted in part through the
mechanisms inherent to my society and that this is common among mages.

|...magic has less to do with shredding the fabric of the universe, and 
|more to do with the thrill of recognizing magic in it's subtle and 
|hidden/obvious forms.  

Oh?  Is this like saying 'magick is more natural than supernatural'?
In some ways I think that 'shredding the microcosm' (or at least the
perceived and largely socially-derived microcosm) is a great deal of
what magick is about (cf sufism or any other mystical discipline).

|I am a "super magician", not because I can summon frightful demons in 
|a puff of noxious fumes, 

If one were to see this as an astral activity (i.e. infusing the world
of the mind into the world of matter), then do you see that some mages
may well be *able* to summon frightful demons in noxiousness?

|or because I can make money mysteriously appear in my wallet.  

I think Crowley writes about this in _Moonchild_ somewhat and how such
things are indeed part of the practice of magick, though it need come
from sincere desire to manifest the object(s).

|...I am such because I can see the patterns and techniques developed to 
|set our Wills in motion.  

What I see you doing here is placing emphasis upon knowledge (the science
of magick) rather than on works (the art of magick).  That's great, but
you seem to be claiming that yours is the 'correct path' whereas the
alternative (perhaps because it has not worked for you) is 'false' or
somehow 'deluded'.  This may be an error on your part.

|PERCEPTION is the key to seeing magic and making it work for you, not 
|chalking out circles on the floor, or studying dusty grimores, or 
|swaggering around in archaic black clothes reminding yourself and 
|others that you are a magician.  

Isn't this One Right Wayism?   I get the impression that different people
need different things in order for them to be able to work their craft.
Don't you think that *understanding* something is different, in essence,
from *being able to do it*?   Or are you saying that magick is entirely
a subjective thing, that if we can intentionally see things certain ways
then 'for us they'll become real'?  That would sort of take the power out
of the entirety, don't you think?  What about Crowley's 'Magical Link'
and the mechanics of *doing something*?

|Do you want to experience  real magical power?  Say the right words to 
|the right people in the right atmosphere, and they will fall under your 
|spell: give you their money, minds, souls and undying loyalty, be it 
|in church, the Republican convention, an advertizing audience or a 
|rock-and-roll concert. 

Half of this is perceiving the 'right conditions/actions' and the other
half is *being able to effect them*.  The first is the Knowledge, the
second is the Conversation.  Comprehending the science of an art is not 
the same as mastering that art.  Both are important.

|...I hardly ever waste my time reading occult esoterica: my magic tomes 
|come in the form of literature, history, sociology, physics and 
|psychology books.  

It is said that those studies you mention here are the *foundation* of
the magician's education.  Once one has absorbed sufficient data on those
fronts, then, it is said, the 'occult esoterica' become more clear in
their purpose: as technical manuals pertaining to the specifics of the
craft.  Perhaps you are sufficiently studied to be developing your
own technique and find little value in reviewing those of others.

Compare the activity of reviewing occult esoterica with the cellist who
reads discussions by great masters of the cello through the history of
the instrument, or with the scientists who review new theories and data
within modern scientific journals.  These resources are forums for quite
technical exchange.

In that magick is the study of and ability to cause change, it is not
surprising that as precursor to its comprehension we ought learn the
philosophies and forms of Science and Art.  This is comparable to
examining specimens in the field prior to learning environmental biology.
Once we have studied sufficiently to know the rudimentary elements of
both general and specific, then we can seek out what we need most (i.e.
stick to the specific and developed arts and sciences or study the Art
and Science which underlies them).

|(I once surprised a would be spell-caster who asked to see my favorite 
|books on magic.  Expecting to see _the Book of the Law_ or something on 
|the Kabbala, I instead presented him with _Webster's Dictionary_, 
|Orwell's _1984_ and a copy of _The Cartoon History of the Universe_!  

He was apparently asking for a general work on the subject rather than
works pertaining to specific elements of the craft.

|He was non-plussed.  

So would I have been, though I would have asked you why you selected
those books, what about them you associated with magick, etc.

|Next time I'll throw in a Calvin and Hobbes book for good measure!)

Wonderful source material.  I do not think, however, that such examples
are very good references for technical information on the subject of
magick.  Compare _Book Four_ or some more philosophical treatises put
forward by Greek, Chinese and Indian writers.

|More magic is to be found in the midst of the Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola wars 
|than is to be found in some pagan's collection of mojo bags and crystals.  

I'd like to know whether you think you might be conflating competing
notions of 'magic' here.  You are after all comparing a relationship/event
with various objects.  My suspicion is that you may be downplaying these
popular tools for effect rather than with some coherent assertion in mind.

|REMEMBER this when you speak of magic.   So long as you can maintain this 
|understanding and put it into practice (as I think you are capable of) then 
|you would indeed be a "super magician".  

I suggest to you that you erred most greatly by presuming yourself to *be*
a 'super magician', and then instead of rescinding this error, you merely
redefined what a 'super magician' is so as to include *knowing* rather than
*doing*.  Now, stuck in your certainty about what magick is and is not,
you make grandiose claims and belittle people and traditions with a sort
of pomposity once cherished surrounding 'fireworks'.  The error continues
but only in a different realm of assertion.  

I don't know you.  I'm reacting to your post.  See if anything here fits.

|>...this tendency to "ego inflation" is something that every honest member 
|>of the Temple of Set should address on a personal level.  Until you get 
|>past it, you'll never be able to Xeper past a very limited point.

'Getting past' ego inflation makes it sound like it is a kind of immature
activity.  I agree that it is often engaged *by* the immature (and would
not exclude myself from this group), but I do think it wise to acknowledge
that it may also be a very important TECHNIQUE, a mechanism of transfor-

|I have made this my personal project within the Temple, both to understand 
|such impulses in myself... 

A wonderful focus!  Ego and the self are, I think, the very heart of the
occult path, usually covered over by layers and layers of delusions
(fabricated by society and self).  What these are, whether they are 
different, how they interact if they are different, etc., are fundamental
questions within mysticism.  How we answer these (if we do) may set the
stage for the entire atmosphere of our lives.

|and to develop a means by which other members can work on their own issues.  

I think that this is the major focus within the occult community, sometimes
in reflection of one's own process, but usually so that other people can
'get with the program', kind of like making more tools so that other people 
will be able plow the field, sometimes so that we can avoid plowing ourselves.

|I've gotten a good running start on it.   

Is this an ego-trip?  :>

    |                                                      WILL
  \ | /                                                    LOVE
  \\|//    !!          !! 
__\\|//__    \{}}}{{{}/
____|___________|@@|      "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
  _ _           |  |                                   - Albert Einstein
tyagi          /    \ 
nagasiva      |(*)(*)|
              \^^^^^^/            House of KAoS
               -^^^^-             871 Ironwood Dr.
                 ~~               San Jose, CA 95125-2815
'Hsi.Wang.Mu' on Divination Web
                Telnet to: 9393

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races