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Energized Enthusiasm

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on July 16, 2012 | Comments (8)

In the Spring of 1913, in Crowley’s Equinox journal (Volume 1 #9), Aleister Crowley published a short article (now available separately) entitled Energized Enthusiasm. While actually focused on sex magick, there are concepts included that extend to all forms of magick.

Being a musician myself, I like that Crowley relates music and magick. He writes,

Music has two parts; tone or pitch, and rhythm. The latter quality associates it with the dance, and that part of dancing which is not rhythm is sex. Now that part of sex which is not a form of the dance, animal movement, is intoxication of the soul, which connects it with wine. Further identities will suggest themselves to the student.

By the use of the three methods in one the whole being of man may thus be stimulated.

The “three methods” Crowley describes are wine, sexuality or movement, and music. The important thing I want to point out here is his concept about magick which, he believes, involves the “intoxication of the soul.” He described the concept earlier in the article as requiring passion, saying “…passion, as the name implies, is rather inspired by a force of divine strength and beauty without the will of the individual, often even against it.”

So he is not talking about being merely excited about your magick, but having a goal that reaches to your deepest level, so deep that if not tamed your energetic enthusiasm may take you in surprisingly different ways as your unconscious realizes that your needs may actually be different from superficial desires.

How do you work yourself up to this? He suggests using all of your sensations and abilities including music (he feels the best instrument is the “tom-tom” or drum), consciousness-altering substances such as wine, and working with sexual energy. He writes: “Imagine then a ball in which the music is the choir celestial, the wine the wine of the Graal, or that of the Sabbath of the Adepts, and one’s partner the Infinite and Eternal One, the True and Living God Most High!”

The point I wish to make with this is if your magick isn’t as successful as you desire, the cause may be that you are not putting every bit of your emotion and passion into it. The more your magickal goal is an extreme need, the more likely you’re going to be able to perform successful magick.

Does that mean that magick for something you merely “kinda sorta” want isn’t going to be successful? Absolutely not! What it means is that for greatest success you might consider that mild want as if it were your most drastic need. When you think about it and what it will mean when you obtain it, let those thoughts result in “intoxication of the soul.”

Don’t read your ritual as if you are a six-year-old trying to blend basic comprehension with elementary reading skills. Make the ritual your own and say the words with passion. Perform the actions as if your life depended upon it. Let visualizations fill your visually (What does it look like when you have your goal?), aurally (What does it sound like when you have your goal?) and kinesthetically (What does it feel like when you have your goal?).

In the latest edition of Modern Magick I wrote about the concept this way:

If you re-read some of the earlier material given in this course you will notice that in one place it is mentioned that the astral plane, also known as the Yetziratic World, is related to the emotions. The secret is this:

The more emotionally involved you can become with your goal,
the greater your chances for rapid success.

“Sort of” wanting something will not have the success of “gotta have” something. The more worked up emotionally you can get over your desire, especially when stating your desire and doing the visualization, the faster it will manifest. As it says in The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, “Inflame thyself with prayer.”

What about you?
Have you had less success with magick than you want?
Do you put all of your energy into your magickal work
or do you just act half-heartedly and do the rituals by rote?
What are your experiences with adding energized enthusiasm to your magickal work?


And a final note…

I hope you enjoyed my previous post on topics ranging from Mark Twain to concepts expressed by Aleister Crowley. The post’s focus is an all-too-common problem that happens among some occult students, frequently called ego inflation. It describes what Crowley called “Black Brothers.” Such brothers are not “black magicians” (people who use magic to do harm). I also described typical symptoms of this and how you can prevent it through various means, including meditation, psychotherapy, etc. You can read my post here: LINK.

Years ago, a person (I think this person was ego-inflated) failed in an attempt to take over a magickal group. This person, it seems, then ordered a follower to attack my writing. That person did so in a magazine I was regularly wrote for at the time. One of his main attacks was that I had totally invented an aspect of Hebrew in Modern Magick that was not based on any tradition at all.

While I’m in favor of originality and invention, I had not invented what he had falsely claimed. In fact, twice I had given the sources within the text.

I don’t mind if someone disagrees with me. I don’t mind if they strongly disagree with me. In fact, I hope that people with strong opinions and ideas will choose to disagree with me and present alternatives to readers.

But I don’t think people should need to make things up and lie about what I’ve written just to attack me, do you?

Several years later, another person started claiming I had stolen from him and did not include my sources in a section of Modern Magick. Regrettably, I’ve seen others parrot this false claim. In fact, the exact sources were listed within both the section itself and again at the end of the section. It could easily be seen by simply reading the material in question.

So it may be, at times, that some people will choose to misrepresent what I have posted, going so far as to falsely interpret my words in ways that are not supported by what I actually wrote, have included statements that are not there, or even write that I believe things I not only do not believe, but have never discussed with anyone or put into print. I wonder why they feel a need to do so?

Falsehood is invariably the child of fear in one form or another.

—Aleister Crowley: The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Chapter 49 (1929)

Well, in any event, if you scour the internet you may at some time in the future find a post with someone making claims about something I’ve posted that make you scratch your head and think “Really? He wrote that?” If so, and if you’ve enjoyed or made use of any of my writing, I’d like to ask you to do me a small favor:

Please be so kind as to read my actual post and decide for yourself.

By the same token, if you ever see something I’ve written that gets you scratching your head, check out the original source(s) it refers to. Don’t take my word for it. Don’t take their word for it. Check it out yourself. That’s it.

Thank you.

Reader Comments

Written By Joseph Max
on July 17th, 2012 @ 9:41 am

“It is therefore not quite certain in what the efficacy of conjurations really lies. The peculiar mental excitement required may be aroused by the perception of the absurdity of the process, and the persistence in it, as when once Frater Perdurabo (at the end of his magical resources) recited “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains” and obtained his result.

“It may be conceded in any case the long strings of formidable words which roar and moan through so many conjurations have a real effect in exalting the consciousness of the magician to the proper pitch — that they should do so is no more extraordinary than music of any kind should do so.” – Aleister Crowley, ‘Magick In Theory And Practice’, Chapter IX

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on July 17th, 2012 @ 9:55 am

Thanks for this addition, Joseph!

Written By Joseph Max
on July 17th, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

Kudos for the article, Donald.

Music is essential in magical work for me. We introduced music into our Golden Dawn lodge rituals and it took everything to a higher level. The music is like a “soundtrack” to the ritual. It’s prerecorded music, but with modern audio equipment it sounds great! (The songs we use most are by Gerald Markoe and David Hykes. If anyone’s interested, I can list the tracks.)

I was surprised that I couldn’t find anyone who knew of the older GD lodges having music. (You’ve been around that community longer than I, so you may know of examples I haven’t heard of.) Now we can’t imagine doing without it.

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on July 17th, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

To the Golden Dawners—and GD historians—do you know of music being used in GD lodges?

Certainly I’ve seen music used in AMORC lodges, in A.A. rituals, and for the Gnostic Mass. Once, I heard some incredible music for a Gnostic Mass that just seemed to work. I asked what it was. It was the soundtrack to the first “Hellraiser” movie.

Written By Austin
on July 18th, 2012 @ 10:43 am

The original music for Hellraiser was done by the band Coil, a duo of magicians who recorded a lot of ritual music, but it was replaced at the last minute with an orchestral score (although the Coil version was eventually released). I wonder which they played at the gnostic mass….

Written By Donald Michael Kraig
on July 18th, 2012 @ 11:08 am

It was the orchestral version by composer Christopher Young, who also did music for numerous other movies including: “Flowers in the Attic, Species, Murder at 1600, Invaders From Mars [the remake], Wonderboys, Swordfish, The Shipping News, The Grudge,” and “Spiderman 3.” Young was originally a jazz drummer, but when he heard music by Bernard Herrmann (one of my personal favorite composers for film and TV), he decided to become a film composer.

Written By Jayne Gibson
on August 1st, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

We have always used background ambient music in our GD group. It enhances the experience of the rite, blocks out extraneous noise and helps alter the consciousness to be in sync with the nature of the working. We have also used simple sound effect CDs, i.e., rain, fire, wind, etc. that are in line with what is being worked. I cannot imagine doing ritual without some sort of music or sound effect playing in the background.

Written By Brandy Williams
on January 19th, 2014 @ 1:03 am

Thank you Don – I was just looking at this essay tonight, your analysis has deepened my appreciation for it.

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