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Religion and Magick

To: alt.magick.tyagi,talk.religion.misc,alt.pagan
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: Re: Religion and Magick
Date: 28 May 1997 13:28:00 -0700

49970528 AA1  Hail Satan!

Deid :
>I've got a question concerning religion and magick. When doing spells of
>a particular system, does one have also believe in the religion that
>it's associated with (Ex: Kabbalah with Judaism)? 

no hard and fast rules here.  some find it necessary to engage such a belief.
some do not.  some religions (say, Neopaganism) aren't belief-based, they
are value-based.  in this case it may be necessary to coordinate one's
lifestyle to the religion in order to be able to orient to the deities.
sometimes the religion ENGULFS the magician, imposing its lifestyle or
beliefs on the mage as one becomes involved with it.  this is the real
danger of religion.  the corresponding danger of magick is that it will
cause the individual to *lose* hir ethical foundation.

>I read somewhere once that magick and religion should go hand in hand 

people like to make rule systems.  they get to sound smart.

>but then in another book I read that religion and magick are two 
>totally different things. 

both perspectives are valuable to entertain.  the first, that they go
hand in hand, makes sense as far as the types of activities and goals
which are often associated with each.  there is often a mystical and
magical element to a religious social system.  examples include the
magick of the Sufis or the Tantrics, even the sex magick of the Zen

the second, that they are two totally different things has some sound
arguments behind it.  religion typically involves the group, the herd,
the society, whereas unless they are fused (as with the Rosicrucian
Office of the Magus), magick typically involves only an individual and
hir wants, needs, or progress.  group magick can be done, but usually
this evolves into religious aims and purposes (as Wicca has focussed
heavily on the Eucharist).

>Magick was said to be more of a practice and that something like 
>Witchcraft is more of a religion. Any thoughts?

there is substance to this argument as well.  seen as a type of noun,
religion is a sociological lattice, a structure of group-dynamic,
whereas magick is a technology for changing things, usually (but not
necessarily) on the initiation of a single will.

some speculate that magick is of the solitary or small group, where
religion is of the masses, both oriented toward similar goals.

blessed beast!
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