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


Magick, Religion and Beginnings

From: (nagasiva)
Subject: (O) Magick, Religion and Beginnings (was Magic vs. Religion)
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 13:40:35 -0700 (PDT)

49980413 aa2 Hail Satan!  originating within seekers elist

of religion, magick, and beginnings

re the difference between my experience of magical workings both
 inside and outside of religion:
most of my magical rites have been within the context of religion
as summonings, invocations, empowerings of magical tools (for some
odd reason I feel these are religious, hmmm), and the occasional
pilgrimmage and/or pact.

the one which comes to mind which was not was a healing that I
did for a friend a long time ago.  I danced up some energy to a
tape I made for the occasion, and sent it her way to see to her
recovery from some illness.  there was something missing from
the rite, I felt, it was like trying to sail without wind, or
pushing a bike from behind instead of riding it.

re Wicca and my personal history:
I've studied Wicca (Gardnerian) and been exposed to a variety
of rites inclusive of Feri, Thelemic and Asatru things.  my
own style is far less organized and more intuitive, urban
shamanic, and I'm extremely eclectic, incorporating symbols and
ideas from a number of religious and magical sources to which
I've been exposed (from Western Hermetic and conventional
religious to Eastern paths like Buddhism and Taoism).  

for several years I was focussed largely on my own development,
though this gradually shifted as I took guidance from my
goddess to a more ecological and political intent, extending
beyond the sphere of my life.  as I've broadened by nonritual
activities I've done ritual less and less often, more like
punctuations or sealings on material-world projects and
turning points in life.

re the recommendation of Kraig's _Modern Magick_ for beginners:
I can see why people recommend this book, especially if one
is predisposed to this type of rite.  I am not, and when I
came across the text I felt it was a kind of inadequate
substitute for Golden Dawn or Crowleyan materials.  perhaps
it does function as a kind of stepped-down Hermetic source,
though I feel it lacks the depth of those above whose works
I found inspirational to my ritual and life in a way I can
not easily describe, broader of vision and application.

for *certain* beginners this book would be great.  for others
I think that books like Ashcroft-Nowicki's _First Steps in
Ritual_ or even Barton's _Church of Satan_ accompanied with
_The Satanic Rituals_ would be better.  Weinstein's _Positive
Magic_ would be the other end of the spectrum, I suppose,
and some of Regardie's books _The Middle Pillar_ or _A Garden
of Pomegranates_ strike me as more approachable first praxis
for the dedicated Hermetic.

then again, most of these can be considered the 'no religion
necessary or included' books.  Neopagans might find Llewellyn
a better beginning publisher and writers like Cunningham's
_A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner_ or even a batch of
compiled spells as a good intro.  Mountainwater, Valiente and
of course _Spiral Dance_ of Starhawk have successfully been
used as beginning magical workbooks.

I don't think that we're just talking about learning a very
specific, rote, impersonal activity, and that is part of the
reason that a number of sources (geared toward the tastes
of the reader/worker) may be valuable from which to choose.

my impression is that people sometimes take what is given in
these beginning books and *craft their own style of material*.
for this reason even books like the _Necronomicon_, however
facetiously intended, can become important basics from which 
to branch and grow our own.

re how well written Kraig's text was as a reference source:
I didn't find it so well written, but I probably have unusual
tastes.  I felt the author was somewhat overgeneralized, at
times pompous, and too stuck in his way of doing things.  I'd
also heard his tapes on 'proper pronunciation of the magical
words' (or whatever he called it).  it was great to hear what
*he* thought they should sound like.  as I like variety I have
a difficult time taking his instructions as 'gospel', however. ;>
plus I prefer to work in my own vernacular or that of my own
("elven") glossolalia than Hebrew or some other Judeochristian

re Kraig's intentionally included errors to trip up the unwary:
I don't personally find such 'tests' valuable, and think it is
somewhat irresponsible (or deceptive if the errors were discovered
after the fact :>) for him to do that.  I suppose it could be
treated like a puzzle or something, or even a test for those who
like this kind of thing, but for those of my taste I think we'd
find his whole approach to be too didactic, restricting, and
over-hyped.  some beginners may need that but I have never liked
such approaches.

when I first began reading books on magick I wasn't all that
interested in ritual, finding the esoteric philosophy and the
arcane notion of having 'books of power' around intriguing.  I
started in this way with Crowley (one of his silly QBListic
exploits about which I still have little understanding: titled
_Konx Om Pax_ -- I put it in my magic box next to the magic
candles and a variety of other power objects).

later I really started to read the texts with an eye to gleaning
their depth and did this with _Magic in Theory and Practice_ by
Crowley and published by Dover (there are entire copies of Book
Four, or _Liber ABA_ as it is now called, available from my Order).
Crowley's writing was similar to the philosophy I was reading in
association to this (Buddhism, Western and Eastern philosophers
of consciousness).  many of the ideas I found in Crowley's text
(and later in Bonewits' _Real Magic_) broadened my perspective
on what magic *could* be about, how I might find application
for it in my life, and what subtle and concrete actualities it
might have (through astral/imaginal and later material workings)
in the course I had set myself upon (becoming a wizard in a
world where such things where considered fanciful or insane).
blessed beast!
nagasiva --;
 caution: I don't read all posts, filtering out those of < a # of bytes.  
 I select text by key authors.  cc me if you'd like a response.
To unsubscribe send "unsubscribe" to
To unsubscribe send "unsubscribe"

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