Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search

Common Sense Magic

This post was written by Anna
on May 12, 2014 | Comments (3)

Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero, Chief Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as re-established by Israel Regardie and authors of a vast number of books, including The Essential Golden Dawn, Self-Initiation into the Golden Dawn Tradition, and Tarot Talismans.


Chic & Sandra Tabatha CiceroThe phrase “common sense magic” probably seems like an oxymoron to non-esoteric folk. But anyone who is sincere in their ritual practice eventually comes to the realization that magic requires a sensible approach and discrimination. Although magic is meant to stimulate one’s psychic abilities and cause change in one’s environment, it can also stimulate less desirable things such as ego-inflation and ungroundedness in relation to the physical plane. Real-world magicians don’t have the luxury of Hollywood special effects and flights of fantasy—­they must use common sense and good judgment in any magical working. Using common sense and intelligence will help the practitioner avoid the pitfalls and make the success of any ritual working more likely.

Have you ever known anyone who accidentally got too close to a candle in a ceremony and set something on fire? Sure. Most magicians know someone who has done this. Nothing will get you out of a godform faster than having to beat flames out on the hem of your ritual robe. Some of the old grimoires tell the magician to have a series of lit candles on the floor around the magic circle. This is obviously one place where the magician can use common sense and either forgo the floor candles entirely or use realistic-looking LED candles.

We know of several examples of magic performed without common sense.

One person wanted to perform a Solomonic evocation, complete with a magic circle and triangle of art. He wasn’t confident about his own ritual abilities, but still wanted to perform the ceremony. So he did what he thought was the common sense thing to do—he brought a phone into the circle of protection in case things got out of hand so he could call a more experienced magician for assistance. (This was before the age of the cell phone.) Of course, things DID get out of hand and he was faced with a very nasty spirit who would not leave the triangle when he tried to banish it. So, the phone within the circle apparently came in handy­—and a frantic call for help went out to the more experienced magician. The moral of the story: if you think your magic is going to fail, it probably will!

Another person had no money and was anxious to improve his financial situation. He crafted, painted, and consecrated a Jupiter talisman and meditated on it nightly. However, the talisman did not seem to work. His financial situation never improved. He became convinced that magic did not work. However, he neglected to look in the newspaper for possible work or fill out any job applications. He apparently thought that by doing a magical ceremony a bag of money would magically appear on his doorstep, just like in the movies.

Another person wanted to rev up the power in his practice of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. His performance was fairly standard, except for the fact that his chosen magical implement was a .38 special. He did the Qabalistic Cross and traced his pentagrams in the air, vibrated the divine names … and charged the pentagram by firing the gun through the center of the figure. He did this in all four quarters of his temple space and ended up with bullet holes in all four walls. We’re not sure if he attained his magical objective, but his banishing was effective. (He banished his roommates, his family, and his landlord!)

In cases such as these, the culprit is often the magician’s “lust for results,” which means being focused on the results of a ritual instead of on the ritual performed to attain the results. It throws the magician off balance, drives him or her to make poor choices, and diminishes the success of the ceremony. The way to make sure your ritual work is safe and effective is to use your common sense. You will be a better magician for it.

Our thanks to Chic & Tabatha for their guest post! Chic and Tabatha are Chief Adepts of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn as re-established by Israel Regardie (www.hermeticgoldendawn.org). The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, of which Chic is the Imperator and Tabatha is the Cancellaria, is an international Order with temples in several countries. Tabatha is also the Imperatrix of the Societas Rosicruciana in America (www.sria.org).

Chic and Tabatha share an enthusiasm for Ceremonial Magic and the Hermetic arts. Their books, which are published by Llewellyn, include The Golden Dawn Magical Tarot kit, Secrets of a Golden Dawn Temple, The Essential Golden Dawn, Tarot Talismans, The Babylonian Tarot, and Self-Initiation into the Golden Dawn Tradition. They have also edited and annotated new editions of Israel Regardie’s classics The Middle Pillar, The Tree of Life, A Garden of Pomegranates, and The Philosopher’s Stone.

Visit their author page for more information, including articles and books.

Reader Comments

Written By Joseph Max
on May 14th, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

Me! Me! I know some! Lemme see here…

A Golden Dawn mage, as Daduchos, lifted her Censer on high, closed her eyes while circumnabulating – and tripped on the carpet, flinging fire and hot coals all over herself.

A Thelemic mage swinging his sword around dramatically, dropping it, and impaling his foot.

And a Chaos mage, being initiated into the AutonomatriX, was tasked with drawing blood from another person in the ritual group (a volunteer) – this was because she had a fear of the sight of blood and wanted to get beyond it. (Let it be known she devised the ritual herself.) Well, her cut with the VERY sharp dagger on the other person’s palm went a bit too deep – and resulted in a lot of blood, a trip to the ER, and ten stitches.

There’s a reason our Lodge keeps a fire extinguisher next to the Daduchos station… common sense!

Written By mist42nz
on May 14th, 2014 @ 11:09 pm

Lets not get too woo woo about it.
These types of things are caused by “focus on results” magic issues they’re just plain mundane “stupidity”.

One does not fire a wepaon without consideration for what is beyond the target. ever.

One does not do a Solomonic ritual without full focus.
One learns to place candles outside robe & cloak zone, just as one learns not to dry clothing over a bar heater.

Learn to negotiate the mundane before venturing forth into the esoteric.

Written By Lolan Ah Sine
on August 17th, 2016 @ 12:45 pm

Nice article – very Golden Dawnish and actually fun to read. Witch is kind of rare for occult/esoteric articles in general. Anyway, I didn’t even Know Llewellyn had a Blog Site. I’ll have to start tuning in on occasion. And if you start bringing in your top authors in their fields to your Blogs, you certainly are going to give patheos.com and their Familiars – meaning the other big-name online magazine blog sites:”a run for their money” so to speak. Bless be.

Add a Comment

required, use real name
required, will not be published
optional, your blog address

Verification Code:
Please enter the words that you see, below, into the box provided.

Previous Post: