A Brief History of the Craft and the Origin of Ancient Magic Practices

A Brief History of the Craft and the Origin of Ancient Magic Practices

Searching for real magic is a personal quest. Religions work hard to keep us from this journey. They reframe things as evil to demonize them. Many cultures view the terms craft and magic as off-limits, evil, and taboo. This branding is effective in keeping people from researching the origin of ancient magic practices.

Some terms, symbols, or names have a negative connotation. Often, this negative image or reputation is not an accident but intentional. It results from branding by those in charge of the culture. If you know your magic and the meaning of the terms, you open doors that the culture doesn’t want you to know.

Searching for Real Magic

A term can acquire a negative reputation for several reasons. These could include actions, people, or other things we associate with the word. For instance, the swastika has a negative worldwide image, but this symbol was used by Hinduism long before Germany adopted it in World War II.

Most people associate the term the Craft with a movie by the same name (1). This film takes some liberties to sensationalize the use of the Craft and magic. It is the story of a new coven of witches and their searching for real magic.

Everything depends on who is in charge of the cultural narrative. Whoever programs and controls the cultural narrative controls the culture. When a religion has control, it programs the culture with its values and beliefs, which often include bias and prejudice.

So, who is really in charge? Is it religion that programs the values and beliefs of the culture? Social media is just another one of its tools.

“Like Lavey, I had also discovered what happens when you say something powerful that makes people think. They become afraid of you, and they neutralize your message by giving you a label that is not open to interpretation—as a fascist, a devil worshipper, or an advocate of rape and violence.” ― Marilyn Manson, The Long Hard Road Out of Hell

A Brief History of the Craft and Ancient Magic Practices

a brief history of the craft searching for real magic

Craftwork is the practice of directing the creative force within us. It requires summoning and aligning internal and external energies. History tells us that this is the source of what many ancient authors call Hermetics.  According to folklore, Hermetics supposedly contains the knowledge of real magic.

The terms magic and “the craft” are often associated with Witches and Wicca. However, the elements of craftwork are universal principles. When you break it down, it’s merely the use of ritual combined with emotion, intent, and meaning. It’s a formula that weaves its way through the alchemy of ancient magic practices.

Meditation can open doors to higher consciousness states, and so isn’t this the search for the real magic? We find magical processes in cultures around the world. Everyone is searching for real magic, and this knowledge is available if we know where to look. There are several tools for spiritual exploration that alter awareness. The key is not just learning about them but practicing them.

“The craft and magic are tools of intention, emotion culminating in ritual. Our intention is a muscle which one develops by practicing meaningful Ceremonies.  Meaning, emotion and ritual are the force we call magic.” — Guru Tua

Some cultures draw symbols using ancient runes. They draw sigils to focus their energy. It’s the process that we find in Reiki. These systems are examples of a personal, systematic search for the origin of ancient magic and learning how it works. However, this type of investigation is frowned upon by Western organized religion.

Many people feel attracted to the unknown and want to seek answers. Unfortunately, many people think Western organized religion has the answers. Over 3 billion people meet weekly to study these religions. However, an equal number of people believe these religions are counterfeits for true spiritual exploration.

Searching for Real Magic in Western Religion

After the Roman army conquered the world, they needed a more cost-effective way to continue reaping the harvest. It is expensive to keep an army deployed. However, they saw how religious cults voluntarily paid their taxes. No army was necessary, so there were more profits with less effort.

western religion

They created a religion they could scale and transport throughout the world. The goal was to keep the current customer base while standardizing. This way, they could use one format across the region. The result is the Universal Religion, Catholicism. It is the first successful large-scale rebranding effort.

The Origin of Ancient Magic Practices

This rebranding effort absorbed the mythology of Babylonian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek, and Rome. They chose doctrine, rituals, and symbols to maintain the local cash flow. Then, they combined the most popular into their new creation.

They did not care about the meaning of the rituals. They were not searching for real magic; they were looking for a way to make cash. Instead, it was a business decision to assimilate all the mystery religions of the Mediterranean. This enabled the Romans to occupy and control the region without the expense of keeping an army in the field.

So, they traded the origin of ancient magic practices in favor of marketing concerns. They used superstition and mythology to build the most profitable state on Earth, The City State and the Vatican. After rebranding this new universal religion (Catholicism), they demonized the source. Thus, it isn’t something they wanted to make common knowledge. However, they document it for internal use.

 “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 genuflections and other acts of reverence, of lights and sweet-smelling incense, of flowers and white vestitures, of spiritual unctions 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”. ― The Catholic Encyclopedia and International Work, Vol. 14 (1907)

Demonizing the Competition

If you want to make something socially unacceptable, you associate it with something negative. Nothing is more objectionable than something evil. If you control the cultural narrative, you can make this happen.   The Abrahamic religions dictate much of this programming. These are the religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (2)

To demonize someone or something is to associate them with evil. The origins of this term go back to ancient history to the war with Assyria and India in 810 BCE (3). In the Hindu religion, the deities are the bright lights of the stars and planets in the Heavens, called the Devas. The Assyrians sought to dehumanize their foe.

So, the Hindu Devas became the Devils, evil Gods for the Assyrians. Slandering the Hindu Deity became part of Persian mythology, which became a cornerstone of Western theology. The concept of a devil would not be in Western theology if not for the Assyrians’ hatred of the Hindus.

The attempt to demonize is born out of religious prejudice. It’s a ploy to disparage the practice of anything that threatens the cash flow. So, Western organized religion associates it with Witchcraft, and it is as simple as that. Western religions demonize anything that doesn’t come from them, even if they use the same process under a different name. A brief history of the Craft shows the marks of this prejudice. Knowledge of this history helps you to know your magic and its potential.

In the 1800s, many researchers, like Kersey Graves (4), published books exposing Western religion. He believed bringing this knowledge to the public would end Western Organized Religion. But he underestimated the power of religious indoctrination. Facts don’t matter.

Perhaps knowledge of Hermetics was not available to those designing the Abrahamic religions. Or did they get this knowledge but keep it secret for top leadership positions? Either way, they want to discourage others from searching for real magic.

So, they demonized anyone else from using it. They targeted people with knowledge of plants and medicine, which were the domain of the Shamans and Witches. So, they branded people with knowledge of healing as unacceptable and evil. Then, they could appropriate their rituals and symbols without competition.

The Connection Between Ritual and Intention

There is an important connection between ritual and intention. Rituals that are infused with your honest emotions and intent are more effective. Your own experience will prove that your ceremonies are better than those you copy. Intent and emotion fuel your search for magic that has a tangible result.

The rites and rituals you design will be more powerful and effective than those created by others. When you develop them, you are infusing them with the power of your intention and meaning.   No one else can do this for you.

Create your own rituals. Rituals created by others are ineffective and sometimes dangerous. Unless you create the ritual, you don’t know the true meaning and intentions behind it.  You can be told what someone else’s ritual means, but you don’t really know. — Guru Tua

Developing Personal Rituals

A brief history of the Craft tells us ancient magic practices involve developing one’s own rituals. We all have goals and aspirations. Reaching these goals takes hard work. The path to these goals requires several effective personal habits. Habits are rituals that have reached enough critical mass to manifest.

develop your own rituals get to know your magic

The systematic practice of ritual and intention creates a positive mindset, which is essential for reaching any goal. Here are four crucial points about developing your ceremonies and rites.

For example, visualization is a powerful tool to focus on intent. Create and use a vision board. It’s a simple but effective tool. You place pictures of the ultimate goals you want to achieve on a bulletin board. If you hang this board somewhere, you will see it, like your office or hallway. Some people set a reminder to move it to a new place every month. This way, you see it often and reinforce your goal.

Creating your rituals is the key. Search real magic on your own terms. You will learn your strengths and weaknesses.

1. Personalize

Don’t be afraid to be creative; develop rites, rituals, and traditions. Learn the basic patterns others use, but then move beyond and make your own. Don’t stay with a predetermined pattern. Craft and magic operate using your vibration, mindset, and intention. Personal rituals are a pathway to cultivating the positive things you want in your life. Remember, there is power in the structure of the old ways. Start with basic patterns and then personalize them.

2. Partner with Like-Minded People

Unlike institutionalized rituals, personal rituals can change with your growth. However, there is power in collaboration. You need not create a coven or secret society. Searching for real magic will lead you to like-minded people. Just meet and share ideas. You’ll learn a lot from others, even though you do your own thing.

3. Try New Things and Experiment

You are the designer with ultimate control. What works today may not work tomorrow. Similarly, what works for someone else may not work for you. Don’t be afraid to change and experiment with your ceremonies.

Experiment with sound and the use of objects to facilitate focus. The time the ritual takes is not as important as your focus. Experiment with different drums and music. Allow your practice to grow. For instance, learn how to create and use circles in your rituals.

4. Practice with Enthusiasm

The emotional context and velocity you impart into your ritual are the fuel to power your intention. Inject your practice with the positive, life-affirming power of love and compassion. Record your rituals in a spiritual journal or book of shadows.

Institutional Rituals

Practicing any ritual without the intrinsic knowledge of its meaning can be dangerous. If someone else creates the ceremony, you don’t know the original intent and purpose. Therefore, we do not recommend practicing institutionalized patterns. You’ll find they hinder the effectiveness of your own.

Here’s the problem. All Western religions use rituals and symbolism developed by other cultures. They infuse them with superficial meaning but don’t understand the real essence. That’s why it’s prudent to avoid situations where these are in use.

Stand up to the cultural narrative. Don’t accept the dying-God cultural mythology. Otherwise, you substitute compliance and community for independence and personal success.

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that associates itself with The Craft. It uses a formalized ritual to emphasize memorizing long passages of text.   The primary purpose is to create a patriarchal community (5). They use membership as a means of cultural favoritism. Does it hold the ancient knowledge of Heremtics? Some believe this is so because its members include the most influential. Others see it as a pyramid scheme.

Final Thoughts

A brief history of the Craft should provide food for thought. If you still think this term is evil, don’t feel bad. It’s not your fault. It’s a part of self-hypnosis and group hypnosis programming. However, with the proper tools, you can change your programming.

Now that you know the facts, you can do your part to bridge the gap. Educate others on the difference between a personal ritual and those of institutions. You can start by doing independent research. Use sources outside the paradigm. Break the cycle of bias and prejudice. Speak up for those who don’t ascribe your paradigm.

Develop your own rituals and call on the power of your ancestors. Ask the ancient elemental forces of Earth, wind, water, and air to guide you. Let your intuition find your ritual implements, altars for things, and places to focus on your emotions and intentions.

Create a vision board with pictures that symbolize your goals. Find teachers to provide you with tools for expanding your awareness and opening the doors to higher states of consciousness. We can help you with this last one.

A brief history of the Craft and magic helps put things in perspective. It shows how all rituals and ceremonial magic operate on the same principles.

We see that the historical roots of the magical word, phrase, ritual, or working come from the originator.   Overlaying meaning and intent on top of the original symbolism does not change the original meaning. In fact, attempting to change the meaning of symbols and rituals only dilutes the effectiveness of your practice.


(1) The Film, The Craft: Wikipedia 
(2) Abrahamic Religions: Wikipedia 
(3) Forgotten Battle between Assyria and India: Encounters with the Indian War Elephants: historum.com 
(4) Kersey Graves: Wikipedia 
(5) Patriarchal Community: Wikipedia