Archive for Magick

Magick by Trial and Error

Posted in Magick with tags on April 5, 2021 by Occult Detective

We in the occult community all have origin stories. Mine is no stranger than most, though I did get an early start thanks to a steady diet of comic books, horror movies, and ghost stories around countless campfires, both real and proverbial. My foray into magical practice came after a thirst for hunting monsters, boogeymen, spirits, and the fae. It was initiated by my belief that those things were real and that if I was going to interact with them, I needed the sort of protection that only magick could afford.

My first book on the magical world was Unseen Forces by Manly Palmer Hall. It had been my great-grandmother’s. Through it, I learned that magick was real, as were all manner of elemental creatures and spirits and the like. I was eight years old. I had never been beholden to my Christian upbringing, and it was shortly after reading this book that I began exploring the gods of Germanic Heathenry. It seemed natural to me that the gods of my ancestors were more salient to my ambitions, especially if I were to pursue the esoteric as a matter of course.

When you’re young, especially in the rural Indiana of the early 1970s, a magical education was not easy to come by. But I managed, thanks to the sparse collection of books in the Public Library, such as the works of Sybil Leek, Richard Cavendish, and Arthur Edward Waite, but it was Francis King’s Techniques of High Magic that really opened a few doors for me.

It was a struggle though, which brings me, finally, to the subject of today’s missive. One of my biggest struggles for years was the very nature of the magical workings I was able to get my hands on. Most of it, variations on ceremonial magic, was so rigid, never mind overwhelmingly influenced by Christianity. Though I did the work, it felt wrong, and if there is a lesson I might impart, after more than forty years of this it is that magick is real and it is personal.

All of those books. All of that study. The lesson that came the slowest to me was that magick was not the rituals in these tomes. Magick is not a set of formulas and equations to be memorized and recreated verbatim. Oh, it works quite well if you do so, but you don’t have to adhere to any of it. While it’s true that there are some laws and protocols required to interact with preternatural intelligences, the actual art of magick is just that — an art. Yes, it can be approached like science, and with incredible results, but magick can be so much more, through embracing your own creativity.

Do the work. Learn the etiquette. But, by all that’s holy and unholy alike, once you’ve got a handle on it, make your own rules. Make your own magick, by trial and error.

Happy Birthday, Alan Moore

Posted in Archive with tags , on November 18, 2011 by Occult Detective

“One word balloon in From Hell completely hijacked my life… A character says something like, ‘The one place gods inarguably exist is in the human mind’. After I wrote that, I realised I’d accidentally made a true statement, and now I’d have to rearrange my entire life around it. The only thing that seemed to really be appropriate was to become a magician.”

Happy 58th, Magus Moore.

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