“What is magic? Magic is a process whereby we coax the universe to act on our behalf.”
― Guru Tua
Magic is like Gravity
Gravity is an unseen force. We know it exists, but we can’t see it. But we live under its influence every day. We can theorize about this as a universal force that larger mass attracts smaller objects. And how it’s the force controlling solar systems and the orbit of planets. It even bends light and time. There is a lot of theory based on the experience of observation and data. So, it is similar to magic.
It’s hard not to believe in magic if you’ve ever been in love. Love is a magical experience, yes? If you are in love, it influences your decisions every day. Is not a sunrise or sunset so beautiful that is it magical? Many religions and built on magical thinking. Isn’t the Law of Attraction thinking in magical terms? Others see it as a transformation of consciousness. Let’s explore some major ideas around the concept of magic.
How do you feel about the concept of magic? In our research, we’ve found many who practice various types of magical beliefs. So, it is something that is accessible. It’s just that its operation is hiding behind the veil of normal reality. It’s a process we can use if we know-how.
What is Magic?
Magic is the power to influence using unseen forces. It is a mystical process for coaxing and invoking supernatural to act in our favor. So, the line between magic and intention is not clear. At what point does the intent become magic? What about hope and faith? Are these also ingredients in magical alchemy, or are they bi-products of it?
Magic is at the core of the rituals and ceremonies of many cultures. When we combine ritual with intent, we get what many call Craftwork. When people speak words of power, this is spellcasting. So, prayer is a form of spellcasting. You can find this process in use by many religions from Buddhism to Christianity. Words of power are used to evoke the favor of a higher power. Rituals can be as simple as lighting a ceremonial candle or speaking words into a mirror. These are all applications of spellcasting.
Often, the effectiveness of magic relies on the personal power of the user. So, the personal power of the individual is an important component in the formula of magic. Some believe it is the most important factor. This means you can use the right techniques, spells, and objects, but fail to achieve the desired result. This is where the office of the spiritual leader such as Priests, clergy, and shaman, originates.
Magic is a Process
Magic works like baking a cake. It takes the right ingredients in the right order in the right proportions. If you put it together properly and bake it at the right temperature, the result is something delicious.
Some form of magic is at the core of all belief systems, whether they admit it. You simply need to dig below the surface of their rhetoric to reveal the method of magic in use. If we can identify the process of magic, then we can understand how it operates. There are several varieties of magic with different names depending on the cultural setting. Magic with a “K”, Magik, The Craft, Ceremonial Magick, or High Magick.
Increasing your perception and enhancing your observational skills are key. You cannot use what you can not perceive.
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W. B. Yeats
Magic in Western Religion
There are over 3 billion people in the Abrahamic religions of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They meet weekly to express their belief in magic.
It is apparent that the esoteric knowledge of Hermetics was available when the designers were piecing together the system. You can find some of this esoteric knowledge in the beginning dissertation of the book of John. Here it talks about the power of words. This never made it into any practice since those in charge of designing the system were more concerned with creating a cash flow system rather processes for exploring reality.
However, if you ask the followers of these regions if they believe in magic, they will say no. Isn’t that curious? If you ask them, what is magic? They will tell you it’s evil, something Witches practice. They simply don’t understand that magic as a process is at the core of their beliefs. They disguise the magical process within their mythology. Let’s look and see.
Mystical, Magical Appropriation
The main process of magical operation is mystical, mental, magical appropriation. It is a common formula found in many religions. The Abrahamic religions all use this magical process, which they adopted from the mystery religions from Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian.
Here’s how mystical, magical appropriation works. You reach out magically with the power of the mind. This is a mystical esoteric practice accessed via a specific formula. Depending upon the sect, it could be “calling on the name.” Or, it might also include ceremonial cleansing “baptism” by water. So, this mystical and magical process enables you to get the desired object. Magic is a process whereby they get salvation or other things such as the favor of their imaginary friend. The main goal is an afterlife of heaven. Other products include healing and material prosperity.
“The Catholic Encyclopedia and International Work, Vol. 14 (1907). Symbolism in a greater or lesser degree is essential to every kind of external worship, and we need not shrink from the conclusion that in the matter of baptisms and washings, of genuflection’s and other acts of reverence, of lights and sweet smelling incense, of flowers and white vestures, of spiritual unction’s and the imposing of hands, of sacrifice and the rite of the Communion banquet, the Church has borrowed without hesitation from the common stock of significant actions known to all periods and to all nations. In such matters as these, Christianity claims no monopoly or originality.”
Why is Magic Demonized?
To demonize someone or something is to associate them with evil. The origins of this term go back to 810 BCE. Here, we find the Assyrians at war with India. The Hindu religion personifies its deities as the bright lights in the heavens, the stars and planets. They called all these bright lights the “Devas”. The Assyrians sought to dehumanize their foe. This is a tactic in warfare that motivates your warriors to kill their non-human adversaries.
So, the Hindu Devas became the Devils, the evil Gods for the Assyrians. Slandering the Hindu deity became part of Persian mythology. Later, Persian mythology became a cornerstone concept of Western theology. If it were not for the Assyrians hatred of the Hindus, the concept of a devil or demon might not be in Western theology at all.
The lineage of this mystical process is something that presents a direct competitor to the mythology of the Abrahamic paradigm. So, they demonize the term and all the sources for it outside of their system. This way, they can still use the process but demonize the source. So, what is magic in the Abrahamic traditions? Magic is a process that undergoes rebranding so they can use it.
Magic in Eastern Religion
Eastern religions traditions come from two main lines, India and Asia. The Indian line includes Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The Asian line includes Taoism, Shinto, Confucianism and Eastern Asian Buddhism. Each of these has its own particular variation.
Some religions like Hinduism are closer to animism than Western religions. Animism is the concept that a divine force exists in everything. It infers that some force is guiding or directing things. This religion also shows us examples of Anthropomorphic beings. These are creatures with both human and animal characteristics. They could be plants or trees. Some have rocks, crystals or other precious metals as spirit guides.
Magic in Paganism
Paganism is the belief and practice of all things that are not Christian. These systems are nature-based. This is where all forms of magic originate, including those used in the Abrahamic religions.
So, more and more people are finding their way back. That’s because religion and authentic faith don’t always go hand-in-hand. Not all religions provide a pathway to authentic faith. Many forms of Paganism have the fewest constraints over freethinking. With these systems, you are free to explore and develop your path. With these, you develop your authentic faith.
The Western-dominated cultural narrative labels people who use these practices, Witches, Seers, Soothsayers, Shaman, Atheists and Heretics. In the past, these labels condemned people to a range of punishments from ostracizing to public torture and execution. There are still some backward cultures that still allow these barbaric practices. But in large people are wearing these labels with pride.
The confusion over the operation of magic is intentional. It enables the Abrahamic religions to demonize their use while concealing the process in its mythology.
Some people hold that magical processes work in the same way as gravity. Gravity works whether you believe in it or not. Everyone has their opinion and gravity and magic. It all depends on the level and source of your cultural programming. What you believe matters.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s Book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
The Catholic Encyclopedia and International Work (1907)