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Rite, Christianity and Magick

To: (Christian Magick Elist)
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Rite, Christianity and Magick
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 1996 02:15:05 -0800 (PST)


[discussing ceremonial and decorative service implements]

|> hats?

| outfits in bright colors.
|...lots of pictures and nice typefaces
|...neat music, especially chanting.
| well after the service.

Aren't all these things warned against by some conservative Christian
factions?  I'd think that for those who cleave to the most rigorous
path as the manifest will of God in their lives that sensuality (the
trek with ostensibly ensnaring worldly garments, decorations,
entertainments and comestibles) would be a danger.  Cf. the various
Christian churches which do not permit dancing (sometimes, as in the
case of the Shakers, excepting religious rite), gaming, ostentatious
clothing, and perhaps even grandiose banquets.  

Are the Shakers' religious rites (which some Christians might say was
orgiastic) 'magical' in some way?  From descriptions they remind me of
shamanic rites of many folk cultures, though perhaps more structured
and less focussed upon stationary lectures or complex visual (rather
than conceptual as in dance) patterns.  

Glossolalia (the gift of tongues) strikes me as an obvious candidate 
also, as it is mentioned in _Snow Crash_, which I read recently (very
interesting Christian materials --> Biblical History, ties to Babylonian
culture, Jewish culture, magick, communication, cyberspace.  Beauteous.

I doubt that this would work well for the Amish mages though, or some 
Quakers.  But then again I may be in the minority in considering them 
Christian (many don't) or involved with magick (and I think they may 
be shrewd mages, many without knowing it, but have not met that many
Friends (sat in worship with them occasionally over the last 10 years) 
only read some about them, Fox, Lee, etc., ).

|...use an ancient language in prayers.

I think this is fascinating.  It does tie in with the common Christian
value for connection to the traditional sources in scriptural language
as compared to the common parlance of the day.  There is some
controversy on this point, even within the wider magical community,
since while the prophets and scribes used languages we might not
fully understand without greater and greater scholarship (as common
communication styles vary more and more greatly from previous days)
it is often questioned whether older is in fact better when it
comes to speaking with the Lord (seeing the way English, as an example,
absorbs so many different old terms into its gaping maw.  

It depends on whether you think magick is a power like from a battery 
or a process such as initiating the formula of the Martyr (ceremonial
or directly), etc., or a gift from the deities and other entities

I gather that some Christian mages presume the magical potency of the
letters (and even numbers) themselves, especially those appearing in
Scripture, perhaps in arcane configurations generally intensifies as 
the syntax becomes more ambiguous and aged  (deciphered by qabalists
no doubt, perhaps in parallel to Jewish proponents of such things such
as Stan Tenen and the Meru Foundation).
Some claim that the further a language is from one's ordinary
communicative verbiage, the more closely it begins resembling a sub-
conscious symbol-system on par with dreams or mandalas.  This can 
lead to magical results, even if unascribed to the will of God.

The most fanatic describe adepts who possess mastery of both the
language of their society and of the religious texts, and who are 
able, if sufficiently tempered and chosen, to manifest the will of 
the Lord, as He did in the Gospels and as did Mosheh/Moses.

These Christian mages would wield spells of mighty psychospiritual 
force, able to control nature and trespass its ordinary limitations 
(allowing such things as teleportation, telepathy, transmutation 
of substances, essentially the full creative powers of God, according 
to Hir will, we must presume).

|...burn stuff (incense, sandalwood, etc.)

Agni igni sacrifices, no?  I can see a serious objection to this,
from some Christian perspectives.  Yes, I agree that the Roman
Catholic rites I have witnessed were beautiful, and even the
Gnostic Masses (unassociated with my Order) that I have attended,
during which they also burned quite a bit of wonderful incense,
were potent.

Yet I can see the argument that there have been countless
sacrifices made to gods over the centuries and that Jesus Christ
is supposed to be the final sacrifice, the one that ends all
destruction of our resources/friends/environment/whathaveyou.

I like this attitude and think it fits in (albeit on different
premises) with Neopagan ecological thinking (and lots of Neopagans 
burn incense too, don't get me wrong), and the argument might be
advanced from those of strictest standards of Christian faith.

I notice that this type of magick (ecological) is taken less
seriously by many working mages, sometimes as 'low magick', 
while perhaps forgetting the beauteous work of various Quakers 
and other Christians.  Some mystics and saints are directly
related to nature like St. Francis (associated with animals)
or John Muir and Peace Pilgrim.  These more modern figures 
might constitute counter-examples to those such as the popular 
tales of St. Patrick or St. George) and their relationship
with nature and community (love) is a direct reflection on
the power of their source and inspiration.



I'm not sure I've ever experienced speaking in tongues in person (perhaps 
writing in tongues a few times, but never even seen another do it).  One
of my local Christian sisters (whom I'm about to call) said she'd take me 
to her church.

If there are others who live in or near the glorious city of Saint Joseph
(or will be visiting in the near future) who would like to go as a group,
perhaps we can make a field trip of Saint Joseph's Downtown, one or more 
of the other local churches, and maybe a Pentecostal tonguing.

Contact me via email if interested.  

Perhaps this will inspire conspiracy amongst the Body of Christ (the 
mystical and hidden Church).  :>


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