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The Three Necessities of Grey Magick

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on March 31, 2010 | Comments (7)

In Modern Magick I describe three general types of magick and equate them to the concepts of white (spiritual), black (negative), and grey (practical). If you follow the system in the book, you’ll learn that these are only descriptions about the results of the magick. The techniques for all three are similar or the same.

When many or most people get into magick—influenced by the fictions found in fairy tales, novels, comic books and movies—they are most often focused on grey magick: making actual, observable changes in their lives and the lives of others. Some think that if they merely mumble some ritual in an arcane book that a pot of gold will suddenly appear, the family dog will get better, and enemies will be turned into rats. If that were true, every book on magick that is available in the U.S. would be collected and locked up under the Patriot Act! I’m sorry to disappoint, but it just doesn’t work that way.

There are three things that are necessary for practical magick to be effective. They are:

The Necessity of a Positive Attitude
This is the first of the three necessities. If you don’t think that your magick will work, it won’t. This should not imply, however, that magick is nothing more than mental techniques. There are many cases of the techniques of standard allopathic (Western) medicine being overpowered by a negative mental attitude. This is not because the medical treatment was nothing more than a placebo. Rather, it is because the mind and body are intimately connected and one cannot be cured if the other is not cured. Similarly, if the mind is not positive toward the magick you are doing, it can defeat your practical techniques. It is impossible to be successful as a magickian if you are not positive your magick will work.

The Necessity of Knowing How to Generate and Control Magickal Energy
Although the first necessity is challenging (it can be hard to control what you are thinking both consciously and unconsciously), many people struggle with this second necessity. Generating or raising magickal energy can be achieved through any of a variety of techniques, ranging from visualization and breathwork to physical actions including repeated patterns with magickal tools such as wands or moving around in certain ways within a magickal circle. Once you learn how to generate this energy (and I use that expression to describe raising it from within, from without, or from both sources), the next aspect of this two-part necessity is to develop the ability to control and direct that energy. With practice, a magickian should be able to send out anything from an enormously broad torrent of power to a laser-like pinpoint of directed energy.

The Necessity of Knowledge
The third necessity is the knowledge of what to do with the energy once it has been raised and can be controlled. Knowledge is not merely information. The information of what to do with the energy can be obtained through numerous books and on-line sources. The knowledge of what to do with the energy means that you need to know on a practical basis how to put it all together and then actually accomplish it.

In my opinion, any good course on how to do magick needs to include all three of these necessities (whether they’re described that way or not). Some spell books give information on what to do with the energy, but don’t share how to generate or control that energy. Some magickal books give exercises that can be used for raising and directing energy, but don’t tell you that you need to work on this and develop these skills. Other books ignore that you have to know—not just believe or hope, but know—that the magick will work. I contend that to be an expert and successful magickian you need to excel with these necessities.

If your attempts at magick have failed, which of these three necessities have you not mastered? Do you think something else is needed for successful magick?

Reader Comments

Written By sue mcbride
on March 31st, 2010 @ 10:25 am

What exactly is grey magic?

Written By TY
on March 31st, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

Don- great post. This reminds me of what I learned early on as the ‘witch’s triangle’ or ‘witch’s pyramid’- ‘to know, to will, to dare’. Some versions add ‘to keep silent’. Your version is much more elegant explanation of that simple statement. I think I need to start reading more of you than just your blog…

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on March 31st, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

Hi, Sue.
As described in the post, “grey magick: making actual, observable changes in their [own] lives and the lives of others.”

Written By Eric B.
on March 31st, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

Great blog Don. For me though, there is a forth necessity for working grey magick…. Lack of resistance to personal growth.
Last April when I began MM, I attacked all the white magick lessons with the greatest eagerness of mind! When I got to the Watchtower Ritual last August though, things changed. I felt GREAT resistance to the second half of MM. Memorizing the Watchtower Ritual was torture for me, not for lack of memorization skills mind you, but b/c I was drawing closer to Divinity there was cathartic upheaval for me, LOTS of it.
When I finally did memorize it word for word, my intuition moved me to practice it daily even though I was not adding any grey magick to it at the time. Sure enough, my Angel was strongly overshadowing me during it and for hours after. That’s when things got hellish. I felt like I didn’t want to do the ritual anymore, like it was too much work. I rationalized that b/c you didn’t say to do it daily per say, then I did not have to, etc. So I just stuck with the daily ritual work you outlined, LBRP, BRH, Middle Pillar, etc.
The morning I made my first talisman I felt angry, so much I was cursing over stupid things like the noise of traffic outside my window and whatnot.
And even though I have been assured of success with evocation for the last two months thru my divinations, (always the Universe card.) I have been dragging my feet. It is now at the point where I am being prompted thru the tarot contemplation ritual to “stick a fork in it already” and evoke.
Needless to say “Bael” and I have an appointment next month and I’m going to keep it!

I guess my point is that magick is a POTENT form of personal growth, and those of us who have a tendency to resist growth should be aware of this and not allow this to be a stumbling block. =)

Oh, and Don. I heard you had a B-day recently, I am sorry for being late with this but….
Happy B-day and I pray to God you have many, many more! =)

God bless and much love =)
Eric B.

Written By Kenn Lomascola
on March 31st, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

To answer your question, “do you think something else is needed for successful magick” I humbly think that there is. I am a novice at magick even after studying as much as possible. I believe that EMOTION, set apart from positive attitude, control, and knowledge acts as an opening port for the experience and sensation of the resolve of magi-ck. I had an experiance once when I first started practising magick. I had read a certain passage from Modern Magi-ck, I performed the ritual exactly as Don wrote it. My attitude was positive during this procedure, I finished and went to bed. In the morning I found lying in front of my computer 3 TAROT cards exactly fanned out in this order: The Devil on top, the sun(the tarot card with the children on the white horse, and the bottom card death. Free of any of the three aspects: attitude, control or knowledge I felt EMOTION. A feeling of goose-bumps! How did these 3 cards get from my bedroom, where they were sealed and put away, to my computer/music room laying fanned out in front of my comp? This is just my story, I am sure there are many other’s, however; this feeling was very emotional. Even during the ritual I was practising there was an EMOTION that played apart in all that happened. I sometimes feel that without EMOTION magi-ck just empty.

Written By Kenn Lomascola
on March 31st, 2010 @ 9:12 pm

Magickal EMOTIONS, in my humble opinion are best described as such: “If you really desire to learn about something, FALL IN LOVE WITH IT”. Many of life’s most dynamic, enriching and SATISFYING moments are born from a PASSION-driven pursuit of knowledge. There are those who would say that knowledge is power, but in my humble belief and experience’s EMOTION is what drive’s that quest. I like cat’s, but I LOVE dogs. I like magick, BUT I LOVE (THE CRAFT).


  1. I Second that Emotion  on April 5th, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

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