“Magick is for all.”
Aleister Crowley wrote this at the beginning of his text, Magick in Theory and Practice. He went on to say that magick is for bankers, boxers, biologists, poets, grocers, women working in factories, mathematicians, stenographers, golfers, wives, “and all the rest.” In short, Crowley was trying to make very clear that magick, indeed, is something that should be practiced by everyone.
Most people, when they think of magick (the “k” is added to indicate the difference between real magic and sleight-of-hand conjurors), imagine something from I Dream of Jeanie, Charmed, or the Harry Potter books. But is that what magick is really about? Crowley continues, writing that the purpose of magick is to allow everyone to “fulfill themselves perfectly, each in his or her own proper function.” This is certainly different from comic books and movies.
So what exactly is magick? Crowley defines it, in the same book, as “the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” In my book, Modern Magick, I extend this by saying that for this change to be magick as most people understand it, that change must be created by means not commonly understood to Western science.
Some of you reading this may be interested in astrology or palmistry, spirituality or the Tarot, and don’t want to have anything to do with magick. “Ewww. That’s all that stuff with wands and robes and pacts with demons.” Or perhaps you have mental images of naked Witches in their rites.
So how does this balance out with the idea of magick being for all? For me, images of dockworkers in robes or dancing around fires seem rather incongruous, not to mention humorous. Imagining some people who are quite conservative in all their views, including religious ones, having an underground grotto for rituals is not only bizarre, but virtually unthinkable.
So how can magick be for all?
The key to this, I think, is to look again at the definition of magick.
All the definition talks about is making desired changes. Crowley gives an example. He says that it is his Will to share certain information with the world. So he takes his “magical weapons” (the pen and paper) and writes “incantations” (the words of his message). He even calls on “spirits” to help him—the printers, the publishers, the booksellers, etc. The end result is that he is able to share his information. He has done magick. (Now you see why I added the additional clause to Crowley’s definition. Most people wouldn’t consider this magick, although seeing everything as magical may be a wonderful way to view the universe.)
- There is nothing about wearing robes or being naked
- There is nothing about purchasing expensive “magical weapons” or tools such as wands and cups and daggers or other paraphernalia
- There is nothing about making deals with demons or anyone (or anything!) else
Again, nothing here about wearing robes, waving wands, or performing strange rites. If these things aren’t necessary, perhaps magick is for all.
Controlling Our Lives
There are some people who are very stagnant in their lives. For them, holding onto the status quo leads to lives of sad desperation. Frequently they spend their energy fighting change and trying to keep things “the way they were” twenty, fifty, or more years ago. But nothing can stop the changes that the world and the people in it go through. That is why their fight to live in the past seems so sad to me.
Since the world is changing, does it not make sense that in our lives we should attempt to make those changes fit our needs and wants? In other words, shouldn’t we want to determine the way our personal world should be? How can we get that control? Magick, of course!
This means that any method by which we can control our world-and especially those that are not understandable by current Western science-are, by definition, magick. This greatly expands our notion of what magick is. If we do that, we can see magick as a technology, or rather a set of technologies, which can help us achieve our goals. Let me give some examples.
Do you want success in your life? Do you want to be happy? How do you get these? One method or technology for doing this is through the use of the ancient art of feng shui. By making some simple physical changes in your home and place of work, you can turn your life around. This is explained in the book, Feng Shui for Success & Happiness by Richard Webster. Simple things such as moving the furniture or adding a small water fountain can make an amazing difference in the flow of energy or chi in your life and can result in greater success and happiness. No robes. No wands. But you can make a desired change.
Today, more and more doctors are learning that the body is not an automobile. If the fuel pump on your car fails, you can simply replace it. But what can you do if your endocrine system begins to fail? How can you repair a disorder of the mind?
Western allopathic medicine is one of the greatest things that has happened to the world. If a person comes down with a major (or minor) disease, or if a bone is broken, going to a doctor is very advantageous. Even so, allopathic medicine primarily does three things: cuts out the offending parts, burns off the offending parts, or poisons the offending parts. Western medicine’s ability to predict ill health is embarrassingly mediocre at best. And wouldn’t it be great to be able to treat an ailment before it manifested?
There are ways to help prevent disease and keep a person healthy. Most of these involve working with the scientifically undocumented (or poorly documented) natural energies of the body. Ted Andrews describes this in his book, The Healer’s Manual: A Beginner’s Guide to Energy Therapies. It covers such things as vibrational healing through the chakras, color breathing, gem elixirs, etc.
Using “unusual” methods to create a desired change-better and continued health-is magick, too.
The Tarot Is Magick
Many people who work with the Tarot try to isolate the cards from anything “weird” or “spooky.” When it comes to doing a divination, everyone has a theory as to how the cards work. No one has proved that any of the theories is the accurate one. I’m not going to debate any of the theories here.
But the fact is, a good Tarot reader can look into your past, help you understand the present, and give you ways to create your desired future. Again, that’s magick! So if magick is for everyone, shouldn’t everyone be able to learn to read and interpret the Tarot cards? Absolutely! Remember, magick is a science, and all sciences can be learned. For example, you could get a book such as How to Read the Tarot by Sylvia Abraham. The basis of this book is a keyword system. All you need to do is memorize twenty-six keywords and you will be able to give powerful interpretations for all seventy-eight cards of the Tarot. You should be able to do this within a week.
Of course, this won’t make you an expert at Tarot reading. That takes intuition, much of which comes from practice. This is the “art” part of magick. For more experience in this, look at the wonderful book Tarot for the Healing Heart by Christine Jette. In this book you learn how to work with reading and interpreting the Tarot in order to provide healing for the body, mind, and spirit. As you practice with the cards, your intuition will improve and you can carry over the techniques into divinations for other purposes.