Friday, October 11, 2013

What IS Magick?

What IS Magick?

And why is my spelling so atrocious?

I can assure you, neither are accidents. First, let me explain the "k" to those outside the secret circle loop. Over time, the word magic has come to mean anything from stage performances by black-eyeliner-wearing charlatans to what happens when Harry Potter farts while holding his wand. In other words, in most people's minds, it's become synonymous with pure fantasy and fiction, or worse, with tricks and sleights of hand. While for most purposes that's fine, for those of us who employ magic"k" as a sacred and spiritual path, it's kind of demeaning. Like everything else among pagans, the purpose of the adoption of the "k" in magick is debatable. But for me personally, it distinguishes between stage shows and fantasy novels, and the actual living, breathing practice that is at the heart of my spiritual expression.

Now, on to the good stuff.

What is this practice that I speak of? How can magick be real and what is it exactly, if it's not simply the fluff of street performers and middle grade novels? Once upon a time, among most if not all indigenous cultures, magick and Spirit were inseparable terms. Shamans were the purveyors of miracle and ritual was the elaborate prayer that connected people to the Divine. Creation was a symphony, a million different notes that could be plucked and played, drawn together as chords that could be combined into infinite melodies. Shamans were the maestros of this symphony. The conductors who knew the harmonies, for better or for worse.

And then thousands of years passed and now we're grinding up old growth forest for luxury toilet paper and nobody remembers the note of their own soul let alone how to cooperate with creation to play a tune. Anyway, the point is, magick is energy. It's Spirit. It's consciousness. And it's more. It's what happens when those things come together. It's everything.

Here's how I personally define magick. Magick is the art of manifesting intent. This succinct little definition has always worked for me. But, if you don't like that one, here's another that I've appreciated much over the years. As Aleister Crowley so eloquently said, "Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will." Or even better than that one: "Magic(k) is the art of changing consciousness at will." Thank you, Dion Fortune.

In other words, working magick is simply creating change. (And where our subconscious is involved, one of the most effective ways to create change.) Hopefully, and in the case of most, positive change. But not always. Like many things, I find magick to be neutral in regards to our ideas of morality and ethics. You can use electricity (energy) to light a room or kill a man. It's kind of like the poppy. It's just a plant. It's not inherently evil or good. It simply is. What we do with it is a different debate. And is the poppy to blame for our actions? And should we fear and loathe it simply because it can be harmful under certain circumstances? Well, you decide.

For me, magick is a synergistic dance of co-creation, harmonized with my personal relationship to the Divine. My intuition guides me to the whats and hows. I bring Spirit into the craft, or maybe vice versa. Maybe the craft is bringing Spirit to me. In any case, they bleed together in my practice. And that's the thing with magick, it's kind of impossible to completely nail down. Just when you think you have it pegged, it defies your frail human attempts at left-brained compartmentalization. It's part of that vague ether of terms, like spirit, and god, and love. Experientially so concrete, yet so abstract besides.

So, how do you define magick?

No comments:

Post a Comment