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Success in Magical Operations

To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick.goetia,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Success in Magical Operations
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 12:39:32 GMT

50030729 viii om

"sned the bold"  asks a third party:
#> what exactly do you mean by "success?" 

usually it means perception of evidence of the intended 
result. this may have been internally fabricated or faked 
in order to shore up an effectless or failed rite or 
operation. it may also be unscrutinized as regards the
likelihood of the result having occurred without the
magic having been employed (what I call 'Stoplight Magic'
-- enjoyable as entertainment or deception in a kind of
stage magic way, but not demonstrating anything unusual
other than an ability to predict the immediate future
and mimic causing the events which ensue).

#> by definition a neophyte has not built up the experience 
#> and "deep structures" necessary to make completion of an
#> "advanced" ritual "meaningful." 

establishing who is a Neophyte is sometimes problematic
except in the most obvious societal ceremonial systems.
please explain what you think a Neophyte is and how you
can tell one from someone who is more advanced within
the system you are describing. 

'by definition' here would appear to be from a rather
restricted paradigmatic set. there are many contextual
evaluations of what is possible to those relatively new
to spellcasting or ritual magic, including amazing or
miraculous results because of natural predisposition.

#> imagine trying to make sense out of the GD adept 
#> minor ritual without first having read the knowledge 
#> lectures.

is intellectualizing the same as magical work? making
sense out of something does not seem to be the same thing 
as achieving a result on a plane removed from our direct
observation and thence again to the apparent world.

"Tom" :
# Success is rarely defined well enough to declare any 
# ritual was not a "success" in some way or another.  

this is quite true, though some mages are realistic about
their skill level and set realistic parameters of result
by which they measure it in extent and time. 

	extent -- small things like 'get a job' or
                  'achieve financial stability' are
                  fairly easy to ascertain

        time -- typically some period is set for
                the success to be attained, such
                as within 3 weeks, or signs of
                movement within 3 days

mystical and extra-physical success is more difficult to
measure, may have some element of societal influence as
its intended result, and may also attempt as part of its
overall goal an internal change to the magician. arguably
some ceremonial operations have this as their entire aim
and their success/failure probably only discernable to
the magician and hir companions over time.
# Even more rare is the ritual that is not "meaningful" 
# to the one performing it.

sometimes that is all that the magician seeks to obtain
-- meaning. one might describe this as a religious rite.

#> of course, there is certainly something to be learned 
#> from making a fool out of yourself. humility for example.

it isn't always established when the fool is made except
in certain cultural responses (as when a group knows that
a given method or result ought to be apparent and the
'fool' is doing something else). the relative assessment
may just indicate the prejudices of the assessing group.

# Only if you can admit that you made a fool of yourself.

ascertaining it is preliminary. admitting it thereafter
the real work of humility, agreed.


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