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by Lesa Whyte
Originating perhaps with the dawn of civilization, magic is the manipulationof unseen forces to cause change in both the realm in which we live and the realm of the unknown. Considered alternately to be both a science andan art, it has been a word used down through the centuries to describe the occurrences of many natural phenomena that were not yet explained by science,such as certain herbs having a healing affect, magnetism, the turning seasons of the crop, and the elements.
Magic played an everyday part in the lives of people living close to the land, as their survival depended on the health of their crops, and livingin harmony with the earth is a basic tenet of many of the modern revivals of magic and witchcraft, such as Wicca and shamanism. During the Renaissance period in Europe the appearance of secret societiesand scholar-magicians brought a newer emphasis on the actual controlling of the forces of nature by harnessing the power of both spirits/demons andof the human mind, which gave rise to the popularity of cabala , an ancient, esoteric Jewish system, and alchemy. These scholars were perhaps the first scientists, attempting to discoverhow the realm of the spiritual interacted with the realm of the physical in order to cause drastic changes in tangible matter.
During this time, several secret societies flourished, such as The Knights Templar, the Rosecrucians, The Hermetic Order of The Golden Dawn, and many others, each surroundedby its own unique mysteries. The tradition of secret societies has survived into the modern day with the presence of organizations like The Freemasonsand The Shriners, although their beliefs are vastly different than those of the original alchemists. Shrouded in secrecy , these societies enlistedseveral men who went on to become great historical figures, like Leonardo da Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton. (see also: Newton and Flamel and Freemasonry)
Magic has experienced a vast reappearance in the 20th century with the popularity of Aleister Crowley, who, consulting many of the ancient systems,devised his own brand of ceremonial magic. He suggested the spelling of the word "magic" be made with a "k" at the end to signifythe difference between stageshow conjuring magic and serious occult magic, and that device is used almost exclusively now in reference to the occult.He is infamous for referring to himself as "The Great Beast", but left behind a great following of serious students of the occult.
Practitioners of magic down through the ages have done so in a wide varietyof ways. Most often, there is a great deal of sombre ritual and ceremonial performance, aimed at altering the magician's consciousness in order topromote a conducive state for magic to take place. In the earliest earth-based (pagan) religions, the seasons were celebrated, and rituals were in a serious,but celebratory tone. The cunning women of folk-medicine often had no elaborate ceremonies to follow, and only practised the knowledge passed down throughthe generations of their families. In more native religions, shamanistic magic is also very ritual oriented, including many sacred objects and mind-alteringexperiences to guide the shaman. Modern magic, too, depends heavily on ceremony and ritual.
Objects included in magical workings (ancient and modern) often include(d) knives (athames), swords, wooden wands, chalices, candles, salt, variouscontainers (for holding herbs, incense, water, wine and other necessary items), writing instruments for drawing various magical symbols, chalk formarking out the circle in which the ritual is performed, bells, and other sacred objects. The magician wears clothing that is designated for ritualpurpose only, and often bathes before the ritual in order to purify him/herself.In legend
In this section are described some of the beliefs, laws and practices employed within the mysterious realm of magic. These descriptions are presented to give the visitor some answers as to who still practices magic and for what reasons.
The following articles are presented:
Ain Soph Aur
Ancient Mystical Order of the Red Crucis (AMORC)
Argenteum Astrum (A:. A:.)
Ars Goetia, The
"As above, so below"
Dead Man's Curse--Dear Creek, Illinois
Four Quarters, The
Great Old Ones
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
History of the Goetia
Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT)
Laws of Magic
The Laws of Magic -- Summary
Law of https://www.themystica.com/mystica
Long Lost Friend, The
Magic circle, The
Magical Use of the Astral Temple
Mantras in Magic
Ordo Templi Orientis (O. T. O.)
Powder of Sympathy
Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage
Shroud of Concealment
Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses
Solomon's Magic in The Goetia
Star Chamber, The
Triangle of Manifestation
Typhonian Order of the Outer Ones
Views of Solomon's Magic