Magick rituals using skulls

Find your higher self: What is Magick?

Magick is about a path to transformation and venturing into the universal flow. Many ask ‘What is Magick?’ but find that there are no easy answers.

Magic can help us to explore our physical and ethical connections to the world in a time of profound crisis.

Chris Gosden, The History of Magic

Magick involves the application of your mind and spirit, to tap into many consciousnesses, and to bring about a desired end.

It’s a practice that involves harnessing natural energies and forces to bring about change. It’s rooted in the belief that there’s a deeper spiritual reality that you can access through intention and ritual.

What is magick? Using rituals such as candle magic or honoring change in seasons

So what is Magick?

You’ll likely recognise traditional magic tricks and illusions performed by celebrities like David Blaine, Dynamo, David Copperfield, and even Paul Daniels (although not a lot). 

We might refer to these practices as ‘conjuring’ or ‘entertaining illusions’.

Man performing magic card tricks

Whereas use of magick is about ritual, mystery, and drawing upon a connected and infinite universe of energies and wonder. 

Suzannah Lipscomb wrote that through time, people have turned to magic regularly, and have wanted to gain power over anything that is not under their control. Humans have sought to exert their will on weather to save crops, or to predict future events in times of great volatility and rapid change. 

Alesteir Crowley was a famous British Occultist born in 1875. He founded the philosophy or religion known as Thelema, and was credited by many with conjuring the term ‘Magick’. He defined it as:

“Magick is the Science of understanding one’s self and one’s own situation. It is the art of applying this knowledge in action.”

Science, Religion and Magick

Chris Gosden, author of ‘The History of Magic: From Alchemy to Withcraft, from the Ice Age to the Present‘  defines magick as part of key trio with science and religion. 

Animal skulls used in ritual

Magical practice requires applying emotions and spirit in interaction with the universe and its broad offerings of energy.  Human will and actions are seen as part of the wider universe along a continuum. This way of thinking recognises how human participation is deeply intertwined with the universe.

With religion, we are concerned with gods and their control over the circumstances and consequences in our shared lives. 

In contrast, science seeks to take a step back. It draws lines and division between observable labels such as defined forces and atoms. In this model, humans are separate from the wider universe.

Types of Magick

Meditation and contemplation can be forms of magick

Mystical and magickal practices have intrigued and mystified people for centuries.

Each of the following types (which is by no means exhaustive) represents a unique form of magick, an art that blends the ethereal with the tangible, the divine with the mundane.

Magick is the Science of understanding one’s self and one’s own situation. It is the art of applying this knowledge in action

Alesteir Crowley cited at Faena Aleph

Divination: The Art of Foresight

Divination is the ancient practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means.

Divinators are oracles, who bridge the gap between now and what’s yet to come, offering guidance through uncertainty.

Divination was used in Ancient Greece, and is referred to in Homer’s ‘Iliad’. The famous mathematician Pythagoras also believed that the secret to the universe was hidden in numbers, and that they could help us predict and understand future events.

The most famous of Divinatoes is Nostradmus (Born 1503 – Died 1566). He was an astrologer who wrote The Prophecies after reportedly meditating in front of bowls of water and herbs, to bring on trance and visions. These predictions about the future have been regularly touted as predicting major events in the modern world, such as 9/11. 

Astrology: The Cosmic Dance

Astrology is the celestial language of the stars, where each constellation tells a story. Astrologers map the positions of planets and stars to understand and define their influence on human affairs.

John Dee the Queen's Conjuror was a known alchemist, astrologer, and divinator who engaged in magick.

Interestingly, Nostradamus was alive at the same time as John Dee, who was known as British Queen Elizabeth I’s conjuror. He was a scientist, philosopher, inventor, and known magician who interpreted ancient texts and sought to connect with the spirit world. Dee was also known as a keen astrologer, scorned on suspicion of witchcraft after he wrote horoscopes for Queen Mary. 

Incantations: The power of the spoken word

The vocal expression of intent, weaving energy into the tapestry of the universe. 

Incantations can summon, banish, protect, or heal, demonstrating the profound belief that the universe listens and responds to the spoken word.

The “Lesser Key of Solomon,” also known as “Lemegeton,” is a famous grimoire (a book of magical knowledge) that is believed to have been originally compiled in the mid-17th century, although some of its material dates back to earlier periods. This book was also re-published by Alesteir Crowley in 1908, and contains the means to use voice and incantation to summon demons.

Alchemy: The quest for transformation

Alchemy is one of the forms of magick

Alchemy is the medieval forerunner of chemistry, rooted in the transformation of matter.

It is most famously known for the pursuit of turning base metals like lead into gold. Alchemists are the pioneers of transmutation, seeking not just the secrets of the material world but also the evolution of the soul, blending science, magick, and spirituality in their quest for enlightenment.

The golden age of alchemy was the Renaissance, when many sought to engage in chemistry or research. Generally, it involved the attempts to turn lead (a relatively cheap metal) into gold, but also turned into more fantastic aims, with the desire to create the Philosopher’s Stone. 

The Philosopher’s Stone was said to be a key to transmutation. A powder that could turn metal to gold, but also the dead to the living. The pursuit of the Philosopher’s Stone therefore became central to magick at this point, as it was a quest for immortality. 

Sorcery: The wielders of power

Sorcery is a broad term that encompasses the practice of using supernatural forces to manipulate the world.

Sorcerers are the master manipulators of energy, employing spells, charms, and rituals to bend the fabric of reality to their will. This form of magic is often seen as more pragmatic and direct, engaging with the forces of nature and the universe to achieve tangible results.

Spirit mediation: The intercessors

Spirit mediation involves the communication and negotiation with spirits or entities from other realms. Practitioners of this art act as intermediaries between the worlds, channeling messages, guidance, and energy from the non-physical entities to the physical realm.

This practice emphasizes the interconnectedness of all realms and the potential for harmony and understanding through communication.

Necromancy: The veil between life and death

Necromancy is the controversial and often misunderstood practice of communicating with the dead. It involves summoning the spirits of the deceased to gain knowledge about the future, discover hidden knowledge, or even manipulate the dead for various purposes. This dark art blurs the lines between life and death, challenging the very essence of existence and the afterlife.

Sex magick: The union of energies

Sex Magick is the practice of using sexual energy as a potent force for magical purposes. 

It is where the act of union becomes a sacred ritual, channeling the primal forces of creation to manifest intentions. Practitioners believe in the transformative power of sexual energy, particularly orgasm, using it as a dynamic tool for spiritual growth and the fulfillment of desires.

Each of these magical practices offers a unique window into the human desire to understand, control, and transcend the limitations of the physical world. They remind us of the enduring allure of the unseen, the mystery of the cosmos, and the infinite possibilities that lie within and beyond the veil of reality

How do I learn magick?

Magick and theoretical understanding

1. Historical and cultural studies:

Learning about magic often begins with a deep dive into its historical and cultural roots. 

Various traditions around the world have their own forms of magic, from the shamanic practices of indigenous tribes to the ceremonial magick of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Understanding these traditions provides a foundation for your own practice.

2. Philosophical and ethical considerations in understanding ‘what is magick?’

Magic is intertwined with specific philosophical viewpoints and ethical considerations. 

Many traditions emphasize the importance of intention, the Law of Threefold Return, and the ethical implications of one’s actions. The Law states that every magical act sent out into the Universe—whether positive or negative—will be returned to the caster or witch three times

It’s crucial to understand these principles before embarking on practical work.

Magick and personal development

1. Intuition and psychic development:

Developing one’s intuition and psychic abilities is often a key aspect of learning magic. 

Practices like energy work, aura reading, and clairvoyance are explored to enhance one’s sensitivity to subtle energies.

2. Connection with nature:

Many magical traditions emphasize a deep connection with the natural world. 

Learning to attune oneself to the cycles of the earth, moon, and seasons is often part of the magical journey. There is a wealth of content, books, and channels to learn about how the physical cycles of the Earth impact how we feel. Check out our articles on the spiritual significance of different seasons.

3. Self-reflection and transformation:

At its core, magic is often about personal transformation. 

It involves introspection, shadow work, and confronting personal limitations or fears to foster growth and change.

Practical application of magick

1. Meditation and visualization:

Many magical practices begin with the development of inner skills like meditation and visualization. 

These techniques are essential for focusing intention, raising energy, and creating a psychic connection to the desired outcome.

Meditation forms part of the answer to the question 'What is Magick'

2. Ritual and ceremonial magick

Learning magic often involves understanding and participating in various rituals. 

These can range from simple candle magic and spell-casting to elaborate ceremonial rituals that involve specific symbols, tools, and invocations. As an overview article, we can’t cover all of this here, but there are simple things you can do to banish negative energy from a physical space, or you can look into deep hypnotherapy sessions and astral projection.

3. Divination

Many practitioners learn divination techniques such as tarot reading, runes, or scrying.

Divination serves as a means of gaining insight, making decisions, and connecting with the subconscious or the divine.

Caution and respect in using magick

Approaching magic requires respect for the forces at work and an understanding of the potential consequences of one’s actions. It’s important to approach these practices with a sense of humility, responsibility, and a desire for personal growth and the betterment of the world around you.

Whether one believes in the literal effects of magic or views it as a psychological tool for personal transformation, learning about magic can be a profound and enriching experience. It encourages a deeper connection with the self, the universe, and the unseen forces that shape our existence

Zen word on ‘What is Magick?’

We’ve lost our connection to the magical. 

I can’t believe how hard wired I was to only think using reason, evidence, and logic. These are central tenets to our modern civilisation and have richly enhanced many parts of our being. The advances of the twentieth century have brought us next levels of comfort and the ability to chase our true dreams. They weren’t possible without science. 

But we’ve become too numb to other ways of thinking. The deep connection to what we can’t always see and hold in hour hands is real. 

So what is magick? It’s the belief in powers and forces that we do not currently understand using science and religion. It’s the feeling you get when the change of seasons comes, and you sense a metaphysical shift in energy. There is a re-balancing needed away from the mechanistic, and an advancement of how we think into something more educated and sophisticated, but also based in deep feeling and spiritual connection. 

So delve into the world of magick, and stay zen, folks.  


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