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Theurgy v. Thaumaturgy

To: alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,tx.religion.pagan,alt.christnet,alt.magick.moderated,alt.religion.wicca
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: Theurgy v. Thaumaturgy (was Re: RCath Magick is an Oxymoron)
Date: 20 Aug 1996 13:43:06 -0700

49960820 AA1

nagasiva (
#> comparisons don't make the grade.  without intentionality and the force
#> of the will from the mage in doing the change themselves, there is no
#> magick happening.
#> compare theurgy with thaumaturgy.

Barbara :
# Paraprasing  Webster - 
# Thaumaturgy - The magickal practitioner achieves magickal results 
# through their own talents (through focus of their own will?)

# Theurgy - The magickal practioner persuades some diety to perform 
# the magickal act for them

that is the point of my assertion, yes.

# But how can we know how a work of magick is accomplished?  

we cannot except by intention and by experience.  if we are to attempt to
categorize all magical acts according to one scheme (rather than as the
means by which the act is *intended by the mage*), then what shall we
select?  the RCatholic might say that it is "the Devil" which provides
the power in the case of nonRCaths, and so by this categorization it
seems neither participates in 'thaumaturgy' as defined above.

# 6 months ago I posted questions to alt.magick asking questions asking 
# "How does magick work?  What are the mechanisms?"

# The many eloquent answers led me to conclude most people who practice 
# magick agree that we can not actually know the answer to the questions 
# in the above paragraph.

knowledge is a tricky thing to isolate.  there is of course the 'knowledge'
which comes from certainty (a flimsy sort of knowledge).  there is also
a 'knowledge' which is an experiential reservoir that is much more 
difficult to put into words (and thus support the assertions we're 
discussing).  people can 'know' in both senses, without being able to
express absolute or universal Answers to the questions you raise.

# If this is the case, how can we ever know how some magickal act is
# accomplished?  

in any absolute sense?  I don't think we can, and my intent was not so
much to support an absolute knowledge that "RCath magick is an oxy-moron"
so much as that this is what RCath authorities (who are supposed by good
RCaths to know their stuff) say about their religion and "magick", placing
a strong emphasis on the FACT that its organization (quite powerful, btw)
OPPOSES magical acts as it defines them.  

it may be quite convincing to speculate on our presumed ideologies, but 
this doesn't make them true.  it may *also* be quaint to associate the
role of the powerful (mage) with the oppressor (in this case the RCath
Church and its lackeys), but this doesn't make it any less controversial
a claim, nor does it faithfully represent the mage's relationship to the
attempted magical licensing-bureau of the RCath power-pyramid).

# Even if there is intentionality on the part of a magician, how can we 
# know that the magickal act was not accomplished by some intervening 
# god/dess :>

we cannot, though I'm sure someone will arrive who has a 'gnosis
revelation' to prove me otherwise.

# What about subconscious will?  

typically this is related as a 'true will', inasmuchas one would wish to
separate it from a conscious 'whim'.  there are those of us who feel that
the 'will' is a power within us which may be directed (of which 'whims'
are but meek reflections), and that the 'true will' is merely a projection
based upon scientific examination of the context of our action, discerning
our most productive and pleasurable orientation and movement over time.

# Do magickal results arrising from motives not yet brought up to the 
# subconscious level count as thaumaturical events?

you are asking, as I understand it, whether 'significant coincidences'
"count" as magick.  I think without intention that they are best
classed 'the workings of the gods' and that even with intention we are
less self-deceived if we follow Crowley's _Moonchild_ recommendations
to verify this ability and current of ourselves through a multitude
of repetitions (when we can choose it and it works consistently then
we are more reasonably identified as a 'thaumaturge' and 'mage'),
indeed, a thoroughly scientific endeavor.
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