July/August 2014 Issue
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Does Magic Always Have to Be Ritualistic?
This article was written on March 29, 2010 posted under Magic
Ritual magic is just one of the many branches of the
magical arts. For example, when a magician charges
a sigil or travels into a tattwa realm, it really does not
have much to do with ritual in the technical sense of
the word. The same applies to other magical workings, such as astral travel or healing with a magic mirror. However, with your expression dramatic fuss, I feel
inclined to raise a finger here in warning.
Just what is a ritual anyway? It is the dramaturgical interpretation of a magical act of will and the choreography of magical energy movements, as Frater U.·. D.·. always preaches. We should remember that the
subconscious mind is considered to be the main source
of magical power (magis), and that it likes to think in
imagery and sensory stimuli and does not care one bit
about a cultivated sense of aesthetic appeal. It is like
a small child demanding clear, bold colors, pompous
sentimentality, emotionalism, and eye-rolling exaggeration. The good ole ritual magician is aware of this and
will play the role of Caesar when Caesar is called for—
clear, bold colors, sappy sentimentality, and so on and
so forth. Then the subconscious mind will promptly
join in the fun and do everything in its power to bring about the object of desire. (By the way, this is exactly
the reason why rituals of thanks are important. They
act as a reward for the subconscious—like psychological PR work, in a sense.)
One cynic once said that no one has ever lost any
money by underestimating the taste of American audiences. And that does not just apply to American audiences, but also and especially to the subconscious
mind. So be careful with such judgments and have a
little more respect for the child inside of you. After all,
it showers you with an abundance of gifts day after
day. No one will ever force you to perform rituals, but
please take a minute to think about the principles that
they incorporate. Also keep in mind that rituals fulfill the need of religion that many people have, as well
as the need to perform holy acts—and both of these
needs are rooted very deeply. As far as the rest goes,
remember that not all rituals are the same; you can
certainly write more “aesthetic” scripts if that is what
you prefer. As long as these are not over-intellectualized, the universe that we call the subconscious mind
will like just about anything.
From Where Do Demons Live?, by Frater U∴D∴
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