Magic in the 21st century

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posted on Nov, 4 2013 @ 08:51 PM
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I have often wondered why aspiring occultists cling to ancient rituals and dress codes. There is a belief that one must build a "temple"; wear some kind of cloak and have magical weapons at hand.The argument put forward is that these props facilitate a tuning-in. It is also stressed that old rituals and sigils have a lot of power because they have been practiced over centuries and represent well established portals in the astral.

Western occultism contains a lot of dogma. Everything is mapped out and classified - for example the zone girdling the earth and the legions of angels and demons who are all identifiable by name.

I believe that sticking too much to tradition can hinder progress .

What I have observed is that there are two breeds of magicians in the modern world; one group does magic without knowing it but have great achievements. The other group knowingly do magic but with only modest outcome. The first group consists of successful business people and politicians.

I believe that occult practice needs to be modernised, The modern world of IT presents us with new symbols to work with. Even the internet itself is like a universe and has the same properties. We can draw parallels between many different worlds and learn from them. New symbols can be substituted for old ones and they will be more potent due to their immediate relevance. Magical rituals can best be done in a track suit bottom and T-shirt rather than the Merlin look (cloak and hood).

The world needs potent magicians who are well balanced ; not one-trick ponies such as millionaire businessmen/politicians who just happened to have clicked on a winning formula but have nothing to give back to the community.

It would be interesting to hear other people views on this.




posted on Nov, 4 2013 @ 09:15 PM
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Chaos Magick has been around for over 20 years.
Where ya been?



posted on Nov, 4 2013 @ 09:42 PM
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reply to post by crowdedskies
 


I think you misunderstand the purpose of the tools and clothing of the magician/witch.

We wear a robe, not because it is a fashion statement, but because it is loose-fitting, and easy to work in. It allows our energy, and body, to move casually and without restriction. Something which is lost by wearing tight jeans, heavy overcoats, or restrictive Victorian fashion, ha ha. This is also why some adherents choose to practice sky-clad (as your Avatar hints at). It creates an uninhibited flow of energy to and from the body.

The tools are also not dogmatic, but metaphorical, serving as an allusion to aspects of magickal philosophy/theory.

The sword, dagger, or athame is a rending-tool, useful for piercing the Veil, and admitting us to the Otherworld, or wherever you believe that the "magick" is born. Just as these blades can sever skin, and reveal blood (the life-force of the human being) they can also sever the Veil and reveal energy / light / spirit, the life-force of gods, angels, demons, faery, and all other creatures.

The cup or chalice is symbolic of the fluid nature of knowledge, inspiration, and emotions, as well as a visual representation of your skull, where all of those things come from. By drinking from the cup you are partaking of one of the oldest, and most fundamental acts of living beings: drinking. Whether this is drinking from a river to keep yourself hydrated (and alive), or being given a ladle to use in the Well of Wyrd which reveals the secrets of the Universe, is unimportant: you are sustaining yourself, making yourself healthy and whole.

The wand should be a no-brainer, really. Unlike the fancy metal and gemstone staff of the modern practitioner, the ancient magician's wand was actually made of living wood. It was both a vessel, and a conduit, through which the energy and magick of living things could be channeled and utilized, both from the magician themselves, or from the universal forces they believed were assisting them.

And, finally, the pentacle/disc is really just a diagram. It is a metaphorical representation of what the magician believes the Universe and Otherworld look and feel like, what they are composed of, and how they are arranged. It is only as stifling and limiting as the magician's own personal philosophy. The more attuned the magician is to the magick, and the Otherworld, the more personal their pentacle/disc becomes.

If you view the tools as symbols of oppression and limitation, then that is all they will ever be. If, however, you see them as extensions of yourself, and tools meant to extend your awareness and experience, then they take on a whole new meaning, and serve to expand you, rather then restrain you.

The same goes for ritual and rite. They are meant to train you, to help you focus, concentrate, and teach your mind to make the connections on an archetypal level that are necessary to tap into the subconscious magick that supposedly exists within us all. If you're familiar with magickal schools, or have read just about any how-to volume concerning magick, you would know that every author, tradition, teacher, etc., encourages the student to branch out and develop their own rituals and rites that reflect themselves.

~ Wandering Scribe



posted on Nov, 4 2013 @ 10:38 PM
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I'm no expert on magick. I've read some books but never got really far as far as actually performing a magickal act was concerned. I personally believe, however, that the staginess of the ritual and the various implements are there to convince your subconscious that what you're doing is actually going to happen (as Wandering Scribe mentioned). Once you've convinced your subconscious that what you're doing can effect the world, then you can either stick to the staginess of it or not. It doesn't really matter at that point. But that's just what I've read in the various books that I mentioned, and that's what I've come to believe about magickal theory.



posted on Nov, 4 2013 @ 10:56 PM
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reply to post by Wandering Scribe
 


Nicely put...



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 06:41 AM
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reply to post by crowdedskies
 



Hey good post. I've definately experienced the phenomenon of magick, but its funny how language doesn't really provide us with tools to talk about it in modern times. Is it really "magick"? Are the people involved dealing with "conjurations of the ethers, spirits and ghofts?" or something? Or are they directly interacting with the universe in an orderly way. If its the latter, why not just call it science?

You can't quite do that yet. Magic tweaks the assumptions which lay behind science. The scientific method assumes a set of observers, who can observe phenonemon as they are, without altering them by observing them, or by the state of the observers at the time of the observation. Gravity works whether you're looking or not, whether you're in a good mood or not. It ignores things that depend on the observer.

But magic/occult science/observer-dependent-science assumes the state of the observer can be important. One of the clearest real world examples is the value of a stock, or currency. If people believe it has value, it does and they can trade it for valuable things. If people don't, than it doesn't. Even trying to observe the value of something can effect its value. If you go around town asking people what they'll give you for a commodity, word might get around the market that people are wanting to unload the commodity, lowering its value a little bit.

But you're right, a lot of these guys in top business positions and politicians couldn't integrate a polynomial to save their lives, but they clearly have an intelligence that's very effective, and its largely based in that second, "magical" realm. They get markets, they get public opinion. They get the link between their actions, queries, and statements, and the world they will observe tomorrow. They get the link between their inner state, and their outer actions/world they create. They cultivate certain inner states. (The business success literature I've read heavily emphasizes the importance of cultivating an incredibly positive attitude, for instance)

Anyway, my original question was whether science is big enough to be the new magic. I believe it is. I've played around with the idea at a more formal level, and what I've found is that you can tweak the scientific method to support magick. While the original method supposes an observer/phenomenon duality, you just need to suppose a third entity, which I call the Oracle, which can bind the thing observed to the observer, so that the two are correlated. Something like this is namelessly assumed in quantum mechanics. The reality isn't the probability wave or its collapse by observations, the reality is both, and the observer. This reality is defined by the Oracle. A simpler example might be markets. If seeking to find out how much your commodity is worth lowers its price, you can't know what it might of been worth if you didn't ask around. But the Oracle knew, and the oracle knew the relationship between your asking around and devaluation before it started. By definition we can't totally know they mind of the oracle, because even what we know shapes reality, and the Oracle defines how that process takes place. But by carefully observing, we can partially know the mind of the Oracle, so that our inner state/thoughts/actions can produce good things for us in the world.

Peace!



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 10:16 AM
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reply to post by crowdedskies
 


WanderingScribe gave you a very robust answer similar to what was on my mind but worded much better than what I would have typed.

I just wanted to add that, while there are legitimate reasons to have all of these tools, updating them is fine by many. For example, I know people who have steak knives or switchblades for their Athame, Hello Kitty cups for their chalices, and even some who use vibrators for their wands. It is the symbolism that counts with all of these.

The reason ritual works isn't out of dogma but because it is a well-worn path that our collective subconscious readily recognizes right out of the gates. You can make your own path and it may even take you to some vistas you prefer but it won't be the path that you can easily see that isn't customized to just you.

Just about everybody who practices witchcraft (and yes, even high magick) customizes their actions at least a little. As far as updating to the modern man and comparing successful people to natural unintentional witches, that isn't entirely crazy. Urban witches are becoming a norm as well as "techno" witches and those Chaos magick folks.

I agree with your vision on the future of witchcraft somewhat but I think your current view on it is a bit off from my own. Cool thread.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Thanks for the compliment, Cuervo, and thanks for going deeper into the ritual and ceremonial aspects of magic. I was planning on doing another write-up today concerning those (as I was quite tired last night after finishing my first reply). I think you explain them very well though, and I no longer need to add anything.

~ Wandering Scribe



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 01:02 PM
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Excellent thread! Thanks for the OP, OP!



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by Wandering Scribe
 


Thank you Wandering Scribe. I really appreciate you setting out the purpose of magical tools. Very useful information.

Please note that I agree with you on clothing. I did stress "Track suit" and T-shirt for freedom of movement. It is just the Merlin look I have a problem with.

Still your post is very good as it gives a good background on magical Paraphernalia for those who are new to this.

edit on 5-11-2013 by crowdedskies because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 01:48 PM
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reply to post by Magister
 


Oh well. Perhaps you could enlighten us a bit. If possible could you briefly describe Chaos Magic. I am sure some of us will recognise aspects of it. I must admit that I am not well informed on that area of magic.
Thanks



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 01:57 PM
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tridentblue
reply to post by crowdedskies
 



But you're right, a lot of these guys in top business positions and politicians couldn't integrate a polynomial to save their lives, but they clearly have an intelligence that's very effective, and its largely based in that second, "magical" realm. They get markets, they get public opinion. They get the link between their actions, queries, and statements, and the world they will observe tomorrow. They get the link between their inner state, and their outer actions/world they create. They cultivate certain inner states. (The business success literature I've read heavily emphasizes the importance of cultivating an incredibly positive attitude, for instance)

Anyway, my original question was whether science is big enough to be the new magic. I believe it is. I've played around with the idea at a more formal level, and what I've found is that you can tweak the scientific method to support magick. While the original method supposes an observer/phenomenon duality, you just need to suppose a third entity, which I call the Oracle, which can bind the thing observed to the observer, so that the two are correlated. Something like this is namelessly assumed in quantum mechanics. The reality isn't the probability wave or its collapse by observations, the reality is both, and the observer. This reality is defined by the Oracle. A simpler example might be markets. If seeking to find out how much your commodity is worth lowers its price, you can't know what it might of been worth if you didn't ask around. But the Oracle knew, and the oracle knew the relationship between your asking around and devaluation before it started. By definition we can't totally know they mind of the oracle, because even what we know shapes reality, and the Oracle defines how that process takes place. But by carefully observing, we can partially know the mind of the Oracle, so that our inner state/thoughts/actions can produce good things for us in the world.

Peace!


That does resonate with what I am thinking of.

Please note however that I do not subscribe to Frazer's view (in Golden Bough) that magic does not work because when it works it is Science. It is not that I entirely disagree with him but it is just the language in his book, which too often referred to Savages and seem to be a bit anti-irish, that put me off.

Where I can agree with you is that Magic and Science go the opposite way and yet meet. It is like going the opposite way along a Circle.

Thank you


edit on 5-11-2013 by crowdedskies because: (no reason given)
edit on 5-11-2013 by crowdedskies because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 02:34 PM
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reply to post by crowdedskies
 


To my knowledge the "Merlin look" really originates among European traditions (witchcraft, Druidry, and ceremonial magic) as both a means of allowing magical energy to flow freely, and to protect the anonymity of the practitioner. There's also the possibility that, like the habits of monks, the robes of witches/magicians also developed as a sign of their spiritual nature, the same way that the hermit is believed to be adorned in a cloak.

If you want to get really mystical about it, I know that in some schools of Theosophy, and even among adherents of Kaballah/Qabala, the robe is believed to represent the Divine Feminine / Great Goddess enveloping the practitioner within herself (a return-to-the-womb of a sort). This obviously has all kinds of deeper psychological / philosophical / magickal implications that don't need to be gone over right now.

So, there is a historical, spiritual, philosophic, and symbolic association for the robe. Doesn't mean it has to be there though. Like so much else in magick, the exterior is purely superficial, a series of mnemonic devices meant to help the practitioner ground themselves and connect to their subconscious / archetypal nature, where the real magick is supposed to happen.

I, myself, tend to only really pull out the full robe-and-regalia during ceremonies and acts that I feel are holy beyond my own initiative: anniversaries, solstices, equinoxes, and so on. For my everyday activities, the more comfortable I am, the more relaxed my body is, and the more freely I operate, the more I assume I am connecting to the energy and nature of the Otherworld.

~ Wandering Scribe



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by Wandering Scribe
 


I think it is also possible that the robe is simply a relic of what people would normally wear at that time? Would I be wrong in assuming that? As far as the athame, that of course would be a part of the ritual no matter what time period. Those first two questions are to Wandering Scribe.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:06 PM
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brazenalderpadrescorpio
reply to post by Wandering Scribe
 


I think it is also possible that the robe is simply a relic of what people would normally wear at that time? Would I be wrong in assuming that? As far as the athame, that of course would be a part of the ritual no matter what time period. Those first two questions are to Wandering Scribe.



I would tend to agree with the robe being close to normal wear in those ancient times, in the same way that little people are often depicted wearing clothes from the middle ages because that is what people wore in the days when Little People were often seen.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:10 PM
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One could say that all the hoopla and ritual around magic isn't very much different than organized religion. The Pope still wears robes and his hat, they still use incense at Catholic mass.

I think it has something to do with "getting in the mood".



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:24 PM
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Wandering Scribe
reply to post by crowdedskies
 




So, there is a historical, spiritual, philosophic, and symbolic association for the robe. Doesn't mean it has to be there though. Like so much else in magick, the exterior is purely superficial, a series of mnemonic devices meant to help the practitioner ground themselves and connect to their subconscious / archetypal nature, where the real magick is supposed to happen.


~ Wandering Scribe


I definitely agree with that. However, just like you went on to say, I would also wear simple clothing for daily rituals (for me - a track suit bottom and T-shirt).

If there had to be a reunion or group ritual, then the tracksuit would not be appropriate as the meeting would look more like a martial art class and disconnect the participants from the objective. In such a group meeting what would be paramount is a "uniform" style of clothing for the obvious reason that it will connect every one to each other effectively. Therefore same colour for everyone but not necessarily a robe. A different colour for the leader or different colours for men and women may be appropriate depending on the ritual. Uniformity would be the general key.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by crowdedskies
 


I think successful people just eventually get lucky. But it's like anything. You get your lucky break and it can keep you going for a long while, maybe even set you up for life.



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:40 PM
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MystikMushroom
One could say that all the hoopla and ritual around magic isn't very much different than organized religion. The Pope still wears robes and his hat, they still use incense at Catholic mass.

I think it has something to do with "getting in the mood".


Very much so. All rituals have the same purpose of getting us in the desired state of mind. The Catholics certainly made full use of it with the colourful robes, incence and wonderful imagery inside the church.

As for magical rituals, I used to compare a daily banishing ritual with having a morning cup of coffee. Both are rituals. The latter gets me in the frame of mind for my workplace and the former reminds me that I have a higher purpose and lifts me up a level.

Some may think that I am contradicting myself . In my OP I seem to wish to depart from tradition - now I am talking about Banishing Rituals. Well it is not a contradiction. It is possible to modify the banishing ritual; replace the language. However , out of respect for those who have devoted their life to enlightenment , I choose not to change this.
edit on 5-11-2013 by crowdedskies because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by spartacus699
 


I read a book about magick that spoke extensively about luck. It went into detail about how luck was a form of magick. The idea was that luckier people were in a way more magickal. It also said that when you're trying to effect something you're trying to get enough luck attached to you so that what you wanted to do would eventually happen. Another thing was that most people's luck falls somewhere in the middle.

I kind of remember that the hamingja, the Teutonic concept was a type of luck, conceptually. But I can't remember if it's the opposite and that hamingja was mistakenly believed to be a type of luck. I do know that hamingja is a storehouse of magickal energy, though. I wonder if anyone can add to what I'm saying.





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