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The Llewellyn Journal
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After You Learn the Basics

This article was written by Donald Michael Kraig
posted under Magick

One of the questions I receive frequently via email and when I give workshops and lectures is “Where are the more advanced books?” The answer is a bit complex, because it deals with both economics and people’s understanding of magick.

First, many people think that what they see in novels, TV, and movies is an expression of the reality of magick. Fake magick in fiction is used to help advance the plot or elicit character development, but a lot of people believe it, not realizing that real magick requires study and practice. This leads to the problem of economics. You see, because of this misunderstanding, for a book on magick to sell decently, it must cover the basics. A book with complete basics and advanced information would be enormous and too expensive. The other unfortunate truth is that books called “Part Two” don’t sell as well as the first part.

Really good basic books aren’t those that tell you what to do. Rather, they explain the theory of how magick works and show you how to practice magickal techniques. That means that if you learn those theories and techniques, you can do magick for any purpose at all. In other words, real advanced magick is what you create from the basics you have learned.

There are, however, books that can help you in this. One of the keys to magick is knowing correspondences, such as that the magickal element of Earth is related to finances. The more specific associations you have to choose from, the more specific—and more powerful—your magick will be.

Aleister Crowley published an expanded version of the Golden Dawn’s list as 777 and Sepher Sephiroth. His work was the standard for magickians…but not any more.

Stephen Skinner has now published the ultimate, amazingly comprehensive list of correspondences as The Complete Magician’s Tables. If you do magick, you simply have to get this book to add to your knowledge and enhance your magick. It’s a key to advanced magick. In January of this year, I saw a used copy of this book on eBay selling for $150! You can get it new for less than 1/3 the price.

Sometimes, looking through a book like this when you just need some precise information can be time consuming. Therefore, I also recommend Godwin’s Cabalistic Encyclopedia. It still dwarfs Crowley’s work (which is included as an appendix) and has a lot of valuable information in an easy-to-use format.

Finally, Scott Cunningham’s two magnificent books, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic and Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs will add to any magickian’s knowledge.

Donald Michael KraigDonald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching...  Read more

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