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A Grand Experiment in the Evolution of Magick

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on September 22, 2009 | Comments (45)

The birth of this updated website, along with a forum to share ideas through blogging, presents the potential for a magickal experiment beyond what has ever been done before. However, to explore this requires a bit of information and history so we’re all on the same cyber-page.

Two Human Needs

Humans and other mammals are social creatures. We physically and mentally need the contact of others, especially those who are similar to us. When it comes to people involved with magick and occultism this has traditionally meant meeting in lodges, orders, covens, etc. For people who can’t meet regularly with groups such as these, or who choose not to, I have strongly urged occasionally meeting with people at meet-ups, festivals, celebrations, conventions and so on. I often attend such events myself.  Such meetings provide information, education, support for your beliefs and friendly smiles instead of uncomprehending stares. It can help renew and reinvigorate you. But again, not everyone can get to such meetings.

Besides a need for socialization, humans seem to be different from other mammals in that they have a deep inner need for something…more. For some, this need to seek “more” may be just a feeling of being amazed at the workings of the universe. Others, such as myself, see this as a need to seek the spiritual, the magickal, the divine; to seek God/dess. This was further proven to me in the book Core Transformation by Connirae and Tamara Andreas, which shows how people seeking to solve their personal problems most often, at their very cores, desire this link to the spiritual and intuitively recognize its absence.

Four Decades of Seeking

When I first became involved with occultism and magick as a youngster there were few communication modalities for non-traditional spiritual seekers. I wrote scads of letters to people around the world. Eventually, some people started to produce newsletters. These were usually non-professionally created pages reproduced via mimeographs (ahhhh, that smell!). More expensive ones were duplicated on photocopiers. A few went on to become magazines.

But the bigger they were the longer they took to produce. Some of us began to look elsewhere for more rapid communications. With the availability of relatively inexpensive personal computers, there began a rise in what were called electronic “Bulletin Board Systems” or BBSes. I remember using a computer running at 8 megahertz(!) and a 600 baud modem over telephone lines that took ages to transmit simple text. BBSes, often available only during certain hours or on certain days, were later replaced by “newsgroups” on the Usenet “part” of the internet. As those newsgroups became swamped with spam they were superseded by various forums and blogs, such as this one, found on the World Wide Web.

In a nutshell, that is a forty-year history of spiritually-minded people reaching out to other people with the same interests and who did not fit into what society considered the mainstream. Has this reaching accomplished anything for those who have done it? This requires knowledge of something called an egregore.

The Egregore

If you visit Llewellyn’s free, on-line encyclopedia you’ll find this definition of the term “egregore”: An energized astral form produced consciously or unconsciously by human agency. In particular, (a) a strongly characterized form, usually an archetypal image, produced by the imaginative and emotional energies of a religious or magical group collectively, or (b) an astral shape of any kind, deliberately formulated by a magician to carry a specific force.

The key to this is the idea that the egregore is produced collectively. This energy is unique and has a different “flavor” for each group. For example, every coven, every magickal group, has its own egregore. Among magicians, this is sometimes known as the source of the group’s “current” (as in a “current” of energy). Thus, you could have a Golden Dawn current, an Aurum Solis current, an Alexandrian current, etc. Working with a group naturally creates the egregore—it requires no special ritual or practice for its creation. Working within a group structure also allows an individual to tap into the current and use that energy. Magickally, working with a group satisfies mental needs (information and knowledge), physiological needs (human contact), psychological needs (seeking the divine) and enhances magickal energy (linking with the egregore).

The Llewellyn Experiment

In the past, to link to the egregore required personal contact and being part of a group. Increasingly however, people are connecting via the internet. They share “contact” and communications over a beam of electrons. There has been a phenomenal growth of “astral covens” and on-line magickal orders.

For over a century, Llewellyn has been providing information and technology for magickal practitioners. This has been an amazing experiment in the history of magick. Previously, magick was taught only to initiates. Now, as Llewellyn’s President and Publisher Carl Llewellyn Weschcke has stated, one of the purposes of Llewellyn is the “democratization of magick.” Books and products published by Llewellyn have made magickal knowledge available to more people over the past century than individual teachers have done during the entire previous history of humanity.

But that is only part of what is needed for magickal practitioners. We don’t provide a local group to work with. To survive and thrive, magick needs to evolve to meet the needs of people today. I don’t foresee the abandonment of participation in lodges and covens, but we’ve already seen massive growth in the numbers of people working by themselves. Many of them stay in contact over the internet. Is there a place for cyber-Orders? Can magickal groups successfully exist only in cyberspace? Can they develop and work with an egregore?

I have worked with some small internet groups. We have scheduled rituals for the same time at our separate locations. I believe they have established temporary egregores and that some of the work we’ve done individually and collectively has been effective. But is that due to my individual work or my linking with others, and our egregore, over the internet?

Have you experimented with on-line rituals and internet-oriented groups? What is your experience?

A Proposed Experiment in Magick

But more to the point, it may be time for an experiment to prove, once and for all, the validity and practicality of cyber-magick. Right now, it is quite early in the existence of these Llewellyn Blogs, so if this doesn’t work at this time, I may come back to it later. Specifically:

Would you, the reader, be willing to form the world’s largest cyber-Order?

There would no dues.

There would be no requirements other than your participation.

There would be no vows.

The Grand Experiment

All we would do is plan to each perform a ritual for the same purpose while logged on to the Llewellyn website. We’ll determine the specifics later. If you don’t agree with everything you don’t have to participate. If you want, you could just observe.

But let’s start  this grand magickal internet experiment by finding people willing to participate. If you’re willing, just reply to this blog entry by saying, “Count me in.” Again, because these blogs are so new, if we don’t get enough people to join in at this time, we’ll try again in a few months.

Are you willing to participate in a worldwide magickal internet ritual?

You can count me in!

To see how this progresses, come over to my magick blog on this website.

Reader Comments

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#1 
Written By Holly
on September 22nd, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

Count me in!

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#2 
Written By Barbara Moore
on September 24th, 2009 @ 8:00 am

Count me in, too.

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#3 
Written By Roberta
on September 24th, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

Count me in

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#4 
Written By Bobbye
on September 25th, 2009 @ 6:24 am

Cant wait!

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#5 
Written By lada
on September 25th, 2009 @ 11:02 am

what a neat idea

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#6 
Written By black wolfe
on September 28th, 2009 @ 9:48 am

Sounds interesting, I would give it a shot.

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#7 
Written By Mariah Maloy
on September 28th, 2009 @ 7:20 pm

Count me in, also. It will be nice to be part of a group. I can’t seem to find one in Durham for when I’m free. Something to keep in mind is that many of us work odd hours; for example I work second shift. Thank you for the invitation!

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#8 
Written By Crystal
on September 29th, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

I’m in.

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#9 
Written By eliane
on September 30th, 2009 @ 9:49 am

count me in.

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#10 
Written By illyria
on September 30th, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

Count me in! What a wonderful experiment this should be.

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#11 
Written By lynn
on October 2nd, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

Let’s do it! count me in.

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#12 
Written By MimosaDawn
on October 4th, 2009 @ 9:52 am

Definitely count me in!

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#13 
Written By Pat Wilcox
on October 4th, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

Can’t wait-i’m definately in!

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#14 
Written By Lzinna
on October 4th, 2009 @ 9:34 pm

Count me in!

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#15 
Written By Rose Quartz
on October 7th, 2009 @ 8:00 am

count me in

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#16 
Written By hollywoodbilly
on October 9th, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

Definitely and Totally count me in. This year 2009 I am celebrating my fortieth (40!) consecutive year of being witchy! It all started in the year of Woodstock-1969 and still going strong and improving with age like a Napa Valley Wine! This sounds like the next step and I’m ready to do it. Blessed and Merry Be!

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#17 
Written By paloma
on October 11th, 2009 @ 5:29 am

You can count me in! will be great, and i need it!!!!

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#18 
Written By Evvie Moore
on October 13th, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

Count me in! Sounds great.

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#19 
Written By KATHLEEN PEDEN
on October 16th, 2009 @ 11:22 am

LET’S JUST SAY THAT I AM UNSURE OF MY POTENTIAL’S BUT SAY THAT ANY KIND OF GOOD KARMA CAN ALWAYS BE A GREAT USE OF THIS. I AM NOT AWARE OF MY GREATNESS, BUT WILLING TO SHARE MY KNOWLEDGE ON ADVANCED EVENTS FOR ANYONE.

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#20 
Written By Dominique
on October 19th, 2009 @ 1:33 am

Count me in!

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#21 
Written By Miles
on October 20th, 2009 @ 11:17 pm

I’d love to, but my dad is anti-magick, so I can’t get supplies cause I’m still 15. But know you have my support and I’ll happily observe.

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#22 
Written By Melanie Marquis
on October 21st, 2009 @ 1:22 am

Count me in! I’ll post it at my global cyber-coven website, too!

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#23 
Written By Teri
on October 25th, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

Count me in.

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#24 
Written By KAZ
on October 25th, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

Count me in!

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#25 
Written By Renee
on October 26th, 2009 @ 1:01 am

Count me in!

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#26 
Written By Theresa Stafford
on October 27th, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

I think this may turn out to be a bit irresponsible. The reasons for lodges and vows are that the practitioners “police” themselves by looking out for each other. How will this be done over the internet? I have been a solitary and then have studied with a master as an apprentice class witch. I am proud of my witch-hood. But I would think for a lot longer than a cyber-second before I would lend myself to the creation of such a powerful deva, or Egrogore as you term it, just do do it. A devic body is created when you call a circle. That is a given. Then that body facilitates the magic you cast. Most of the people casting magic are doing it on a solitary, untrained basis. All well and good if they are asiduous about their higher purpose. But let us face it, this is not so of most people. They are in it for the power trip. This is old stuff, but until it changes, the desire to do powerful things just because you CAN is still the same.
I think your attitude is the somewhat innocent one that studious practicers face when dealing with the general public: you think they are the same as you.
Please remember that what you are proposing is on the same scale as the first atomic bomb test. NO one knew what would really happen. They were floored by what DID happen. But they went ahead, not because they were driven by nobility to end a war, but because they COULD. If you are a witch you have a responsiblilty to those around you to do no harm. I share my teacher’s belief and concern: there is great potential for harm here.
I fully expect to be ignored as you go ahead with this first ray scheme. This is a second ray world idea used by a first ray mind. What is this Deva to be used for? What is its intent? None of this has been clarified. Most of these folks think this is great cyberfun, another game.
IT IS NOT A GAME.

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#27 
Written By Dawn
on October 27th, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

Sounds great, but depends on the details of the ritual. Some of us don’t get much privacy.

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#28 
Written By Mary
on October 27th, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

I’m in – newbie witchling, unsure of my ability, eager to join if i can

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#29 
Written By Elkiyah
on October 28th, 2009 @ 9:21 am

Count me in…..I have a group on line that has been holding Sabbat, Esbat and Healing Circles in our chatroom and we find that the computer is a powerful tool to connect us to each other. We can feel the energies and are very happy with the outcome of our gatherings.

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#30 
Written By Elkiyah
on October 28th, 2009 @ 10:29 am

Have you experimented with on-line rituals and internet-oriented groups? What is your experience?

Before my group gathered for ceremony we created an Astral Temple by doing a progressive meditation where everyone took turns {One at a time, going around the circle} adding to the Temple and the grounds around it until no-one had anything else to add. We visualize being at our Astral Temple during our gatherings. We also posted our picture in the group so we can visualize each other sitting or standing in circle.

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#31 
Written By Sean Salsman
on November 16th, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

Count me in!

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#32 
Written By lada
on December 3rd, 2009 @ 10:47 am

so…where are we with this?

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#33 
Written By lizz
on January 7th, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

count me in

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#34 
Written By Tonya
on March 18th, 2010 @ 1:11 pm

I’m a bit weary on the whole internet group meeting but I’d be interested in attending a group off line in the TN area. I don’t profess being a witch as people still don’t know how to take you when it does come to surface in conversation or whatever. I’ve met a few people to look at me odd and then boldly ask..how long I have been or been studying? This still amazes me to some degree. I look and act like everyone else.

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#35 
Written By Stefan
on March 20th, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

Count me in

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#36 
Written By Astara
on May 3rd, 2010 @ 12:16 am

I think this is a great idea for an experiment. I am in!Donald, I hope you post an experiment soon. I have not yet taken part in one, but Laurie Cabot posts regularly on facebook about a monthly meditation and asks others to post names of people who could benefit from the intention, and invites all to attend and join in spirit.

The age of aquarius is upon us, I think it’s time for us to collectively experiment with magickal uses for this incredibly powerful social networking ability! Even recently, in the past few months, I’ve expanded my magickal network and ‘met’ people I never thought I would have, including magickal elders and teachers whose books have influenced and guided me for years (yourself and this blog included). I can’t imagine where I would be, spiritually, if I’d had this kind of resource when I first started learning.

Let’s do it!

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#37 
Written By MaryAnne Bartlett
on May 4th, 2010 @ 11:21 am

Yes, I will participate.

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#38 
Written By eirrie
on May 23rd, 2010 @ 10:27 am

Count me in too!

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#39 
Written By Christopher DeGraffenreid
on June 6th, 2010 @ 6:05 am

Count me in.

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#40 
Written By Anita Perez
on December 24th, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

How did I not see this post for so long?
Maybe it was for the best- my energy was directed toward other concerns.
In any case, late is better than never. If this offer is still open, by all means, count me in!

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#41 
Written By Debbie
on March 21st, 2012 @ 9:40 am

Count me in!

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#42 
Written By Oasis
on March 28th, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

Count me in. I do not agree that a person needs a ‘lodge and it’s vows’ in order to ‘police’ anyone. You do not need the assistance of others in a lodge to ascend spiritually. The prescribed ritual should be one that benefits all our fellow brothers and sisters of the grand art, positive, beneficial and for the greater good. If someone does not want to participate, there is no one twisting your arm to do so, unlike a lodge. No politics, no ego, what a fantastic idea!

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#43 
Written By Christine
on April 9th, 2012 @ 11:24 am

Count me in!

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#44 
Written By Jim Hagler
on December 27th, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

count me in! we could do great things!

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#45 
Written By Ommar Ramirez
on March 26th, 2013 @ 7:02 am

Is there still a place? Count me in!

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