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
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Existentialism and Magick

This article was written by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke on February 01, 2011
posted under Existentialism

"There is more to the affinity between magic and existentialism than the celebration of a common hero (Satan). The very picture of self-discovery which is painted for us in books on Hermetic Philosophy and the Cabalah can also be found in the writings of Heidegger and Sartre. The magus, like the existentialist, embarks upon a search for authenticity to a confused and troubled worry. The obstacles which confront him on his journey are chiefly the temptations to participate in partial and, therefore, inauthentic existence. In the end, he arrives at an awareness of the absolute nature of his freedom. The journey is the same; only the landmarks differ."

"The will is the link between man and the world. Only through the will can man actualize his freedom. Will is not a quality which can be understood apart from action; it is, in effect, freedom realized in action. Of course, the will can lie dormant or be realized in inauthentic activity. In such instances, it is again expressive of one’s state of being. Existentialism, obviously, encourages active willing because it encourages the authentic realization of one’s freedom, something which cannot be accomplished without the participation of the will...

"The importance of the will in magic is equally profound. For the magus, will is the means by which he successfully achieves his magical project. All failures in magic are attributed to the failure of the will. The will is both the means by which the magus opens himself to the future magical possibilities and the necessary magical ingredient for the attainment of short-range goals. 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,' was Crowley’s magical motto. 'What is a magical operation?' wrote Crowley. 'It may be defined as any event in Nature which is brought to pass by Will. We must not exclude potato-growing or banking from our definition.'"

Both quotations are from an unpublished mss, The Spectre in the Lake: Magic past and future by Dan Wick. 


I am often asked how I catch some of the most incredible evidence ever captured on a battlefield. It is relatively simple, but many people are not willing to do what is necessary to capture a paranormal event. If, however, you are one of those rare individuals who not only want to experience the paranormal, but capture it—read on! As a means of... read this article
Gettysburg: Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt
Celtic Tree Magic: 6 Ways to Work with Sacred Trees
Ritual: Thelemic Refuge
The Dark Side of Your Moon
3 Ways (Yoga Included!) To Shift Your Body Image

Most recent posts:
Lost Souls
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Patrick Burke, co-author of the new Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg. As an expert on battlefield and...

Samhain Thoughts...
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sonja Sadovsky, author of the new Priestess and the Pen. The wheel turns, and another Samhain is...

Empowering Readings, part 1
When someone asks “what if” they are usually worried about the outcome of something they are considering doing. They may be looking for assurances...




Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $15.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN