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Author Topic: What exactly is magick?  (Read 1888 times)

SpiralArm

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What exactly is magick?
« on: April 09, 2013, 05:27:19 pm »
I've heard a lot of different things from different people as to what magick actually is, from someone claiming to have melted the snow off their car in the winter time, to luck spells, to just be a symbolic meditation.
I find the latter to be the most attractive in the sense that I tend to shy away from the "woo-y" parts of paganism.

What are your thoughts? : )
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RandallS

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 05:41:32 pm »
Quote from: SpiralArm;104842
I've heard a lot of different things from different people as to what magick actually is, from someone claiming to have melted the snow off their car in the winter time, to luck spells, to just be a symbolic meditation.

Crowley defined Magick as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will" -- which included both mundane acts of will as well as magic ritual. As he's the one who coined the magic with a "k" spelling, his definition is probably the best for it.
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SpiralArm

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 05:52:56 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;104843
Crowley defined Magick as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will" -- which included both mundane acts of will as well as magic ritual. As he's the one who coined the magic with a "k" spelling, his definition is probably the best for it.

 
Mmhmmm I've heard that definition before. I've preformed a ritual to get me a job before, and I did get a job about a week after; a pretty awesome one too.
I infer, though, that how much of that was caused by the ritual itself is down to personal interpretation?
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Jack

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 07:24:38 pm »
Quote from: SpiralArm;104847
Mmhmmm I've heard that definition before. I've preformed a ritual to get me a job before, and I did get a job about a week after; a pretty awesome one too.
I infer, though, that how much of that was caused by the ritual itself is down to personal interpretation?

 
What do you infer that from?
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SpiralArm

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 07:49:36 pm »
Quote from: Jack;104854
What do you infer that from?

 
Well, it depends on what you think magic does. There are different people who believe that magic does different things, so I'd assume different people would say different things about how much magic helped me get that job. For example, someone might say the spell actually changed the outcome by way of a external tangible force. Or it was more of a meditative internal force that helped me calm my mind and such.

What do you, think though? I could be completely wrong on that account =p
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Jack

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 07:58:20 pm »
Quote from: SpiralArm;104858
Well, it depends on what you think magic does. There are different people who believe that magic does different things, so I'd assume different people would say different things about how much magic helped me get that job. For example, someone might say the spell actually changed the outcome by way of a external tangible force. Or it was more of a meditative internal force that helped me calm my mind and such.

What do you, think though? I could be completely wrong on that account =p

 
I think I was confused by the use of the word infer, sorry. I just wrapped up a rather sizable exercise in prosperity magic, and I do think it does more than just psychologically benefit the magician... though I suppose that depends on the kind of magic you do, doesn't it? Did you intend the spell to get the job for you, or did you intend it to help? How did you design it to work?
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What exactly is magick?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 07:59:25 pm »
Quote from: SpiralArm;104858
Well, it depends on what you think magic does. There are different people who believe that magic does different things, so I'd assume different people would say different things about how much magic helped me get that job. For example, someone might say the spell actually changed the outcome by way of a external tangible force. Or it was more of a meditative internal force that helped me calm my mind and such.

What do you, think though? I could be completely wrong on that account =p

I am with the quote Randall gave.

In practical terms - the thing it is *easiest* for me to affect with magic is myself. Because I live in my body, I think with my brain, I have lots of control (both conscious and subconscious) over what I do and how I do it.

So if I want to make changes in the world, changing how I act in the world in some way is probably the line of least resistance, as it were - the place where water flows downstream most easily.

(note that 'least resistance' doesn't mean 'no resistence' - just less than most other options.)

Occasionally that's not going to be true, but most of the time, I'm pretty sure that changing me (how I approach a situation, how I handle myself in - say, a cover letter, a job interview, a difficult conversation, etc) is going to be the most reliable route. Whether that's magically or very logically.

The other thing I am very certain magic does for me is make it easier for me to see other ways of looking at a situation - i.e. other ways to get the thing I'm working toward that I may not have considered, or other outcomes that turn out to be a 'success' that I might not have realised.

(You may have heard this one about money magic: if what you *really* want is to stop stressing about money and be able to manage, there's a bunch of things that might help. One is having more money - a better job, a promotion, whatever. But another is 'learn to be okay with the money you've got' - which is often an internal shift, once you get over a certain basic standard of living. And yet another is 'figure out how to make the most of the money you have.")
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SpiralArm

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2013, 08:17:51 pm »
Quote from: Jack;104860
I think I was confused by the use of the word infer, sorry. I just wrapped up a rather sizable exercise in prosperity magic, and I do think it does more than just psychologically benefit the magician... though I suppose that depends on the kind of magic you do, doesn't it? Did you intend the spell to get the job for you, or did you intend it to help? How did you design it to work?

 
Hmm, yes come to think of it it DID focus on myself mostly. I wrote down negative aspects of my personality that might be hindering my job search, on strips of paper, and burned them; as well as visualizing me working somewhere. So I suppose I've not even tried to externally influence anything.

Quote from: Jenett
In practical terms - the thing it is *easiest* for me to affect with magic is myself. Because I live in my body, I think with my brain, I have lots of control (both conscious and subconscious) over what I do and how I do it.

So if I want to make changes in the world, changing how I act in the world in some way is probably the line of least resistance, as it were - the place where water flows downstream most easily.


Yeah that actually does make a lot of sense! Have you managed to physically affect the world around you? I honestly would love to live in a world where one can shoot fireballs out of your hand like Skyrim haha
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Emma Eldritch

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 02:55:55 am »
Quote from: SpiralArm;104842
I've heard a lot of different things from different people as to what magick actually is, from someone claiming to have melted the snow off their car in the winter time, to luck spells, to just be a symbolic meditation.
I find the latter to be the most attractive in the sense that I tend to shy away from the "woo-y" parts of paganism.

What are your thoughts? : )

 
I'm with Randall and Uncle Al.

I don't find magic 'woo-y' at all. It's certainly not a hard science, but it tends to boil down to cause and effect, and yields practical results. (Even the highest, loftiest-minded spells tend to have an effect on the day-to-day, and hopefully for the better.)  I personally am not overly fond of the 'symbolic meditation' mindset, but that's because it seems to be detrimental to my spellcasting - and if I'm going to to do something, I want it to work.

Jenett

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What exactly is magick?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 07:15:57 am »
Quote from: SpiralArm;104862
.
Yeah that actually does make a lot of sense! Have you managed to physically affect the world around you? I honestly would love to live in a world where one can shoot fireballs out of your hand like Skyrim haha

Quick note: you quoted me in your reply, but didn't cite it to me, which can be really confusing later. Usual practice around here is that we don't mind multiple posts of reply - we care a lot more about being able to find what you're replying to. (One of the staff can help clarify if you've got more questions.) In this case, it makes it harder for me to realise you're responding to me, which could mean you'd be less likely to get a reply back!

Anyway - what do you mean by 'physically affect'.

No fireballs, but what on earth would I do with a fireball, y'know? That's not a way I particularly *want* to affect the world, and I'm pretty sure wouldn't be good for the people involved.

But healing work (which is not a thing I do often but have done from time to time) is affecting the world. Circle casting or warding that changes the immediate environment (to the point that other people react to it, without knowing what was done) affects the world. And so on.

These things aren't flashy fantasy magic, but I'm reasonably convinced they're real.

Here's the thing, though: I do not do them terribly *often*, because it's a fair bit of work and effort, and there are often other easier ways to do similar things with less work. (If you want to protect your home in general, locking your door is useful. If you have a specific thing that goes beyond the physical, then warding is very helpful - but by definition, you probably aren't going to need to affect the physical as much.)

If you have a thing that allopathic medicine can treat sensibly, seeing a doctor is smart. It's the stuff that's less well defined or less responsive to medicine that you want magic for, generally. And so on.
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Jack

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What exactly is magick?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 12:46:20 pm »
Quote from: SpiralArm;104862
Hmm, yes come to think of it it DID focus on myself mostly. I wrote down negative aspects of my personality that might be hindering my job search, on strips of paper, and burned them; as well as visualizing me working somewhere. So I suppose I've not even tried to externally influence anything.


Thinking specifically about job magic, what would you consider external influence? It's pretty easy to say "I got the job so it worked" or "I filled out the application so I got the job" - there's a wide field for interpretation because you're not vaporizing your predecessor with a fireball to get the job. ;)

Quote
Yeah that actually does make a lot of sense! Have you managed to physically affect the world around you? I honestly would love to live in a world where one can shoot fireballs out of your hand like Skyrim haha

Would you consider getting a job after you do a job spell to be affecting the physical world? Or are you just thinking of fantasy novel magic?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 12:50:46 pm by Jack »
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SpiralArm

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2013, 01:29:16 am »
Quote from: Jenett;104898
Quick note: you quoted me in your reply, but didn't cite it to me, which can be really confusing later. Usual practice around here is that we don't mind multiple posts of reply - we care a lot more about being able to find what you're replying to. (One of the staff can help clarify if you've got more questions.) In this case, it makes it harder for me to realise you're responding to me, which could mean you'd be less likely to get a reply back!

Yeah, I'm sorry about that. I've been on several forums, and they're all a buttload less structured than here. Still getting used to it all, so thanks for the tips! Please lemme know if I break forum etiquette again.

Quote
Anyway - what do you mean by 'physically affect'.

No fireballs, but what on earth would I do with a fireball, y'know? That's not a way I particularly *want* to affect the world, and I'm pretty sure wouldn't be good for the people involved.

Yeah, I was kidding. :o) if magic acted that way, it'd undeniably be like a hard science like physics or chemistry. Which would be awesome, but I digress.

Quote
But healing work (which is not a thing I do often but have done from time to time) is affecting the world. Circle casting or warding that changes the immediate environment (to the point that other people react to it, without knowing what was done) affects the world. And so on.

These things aren't flashy fantasy magic, but I'm reasonably convinced they're real.

Mmhmm. I've not tried that yet. Especially healing magic, which seems interesting.

Quote
Here's the thing, though: I do not do them terribly *often*, because it's a fair bit of work and effort, and there are often other easier ways to do similar things with less work. (If you want to protect your home in general, locking your door is useful. If you have a specific thing that goes beyond the physical, then warding is very helpful - but by definition, you probably aren't going to need to affect the physical as much.)

If you have a thing that allopathic medicine can treat sensibly, seeing a doctor is smart. It's the stuff that's less well defined or less responsive to medicine that you want magic for, generally. And so on.

I've heard that too. I don't really take magic too lightly, so I don't think I'll try to make my dishes wash themselves or something silly like that. :o)
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SpiralArm

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 01:39:10 am »
Quote from: Jack;104929
Thinking specifically about job magic, what would you consider external influence? It's pretty easy to say "I got the job so it worked" or "I filled out the application so I got the job" - there's a wide field for interpretation because you're not vaporizing your predecessor with a fireball to get the job. ;)

Hehe =p
Well! externally, I think would be more like trying to influence events surrounding it, like trying to influence the mind of the interviewer so I can get bored easier.
But fireballs work too. ;-)



Quote
Would you consider getting a job after you do a job spell to be affecting the physical world? Or are you just thinking of fantasy novel magic?

I'm not sure! I'd have to try to think about it; a lot more than usual, probably because like it was mentioned before, it's easier to do.
I will be honest, though, and admit that I'm more skeptical of this kind of magic.
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SpiralArm

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2013, 01:44:18 pm »
Quote from: SpiralArm;105014

I'm not sure! I'd have to try to think about it; a lot more than usual, probably because like it was mentioned before, it's easier to do.
I will be honest, though, and admit that I'm more skeptical of this kind of magic.

 
I could not for the life of me figure out how to edit this, so let me just fix my second sentence because it made sense to me last night:
To me, I think, I'm not really sure at all. It seems to make more sense to me that magic is more internal than external, because I tend to think that externally influencing events is impossible. That's why I think magic might be more meditative, symbolic and focusing that a real external force.
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Olie

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Re: What exactly is magick?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2013, 03:54:13 pm »
Quote from: SpiralArm;104842
I've heard a lot of different things from different people as to what magick actually is, from someone claiming to have melted the snow off their car in the winter time, to luck spells, to just be a symbolic meditation.
I find the latter to be the most attractive in the sense that I tend to shy away from the "woo-y" parts of paganism.

What are your thoughts? : )

 
i usually think of magic as havin different polarities. so theres lots of different things it can be used
like neutral polarity is more like meditation and stuff that doesnt really use magic or energy
then positive polarity adds or changes things
dual polarity is like balance, transfer, and probability
and negative polarity restores or undoes stuff

but i dont think there just one definition to it. its a whole shmorgashborg of opinions and whatnot

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