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“Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.”
– Aleister Crowley
“Magick is the art of causing changes in consciousness in conformity with the Will.”
– Dion Fortune
“…We will confine ourselves to an extension of a well-known definition by Aleister Crowley and state that, “Magic is the Science and Art of causing Change, on a material as well as a spiritual level, to occur in conformity with Will by altered states of consciousness.”
– Frater U.: D.:, Secrets of Western Sex Magic
“A magical act may be defined as causing reality to conform to will.”
– Phil Hine, ‘Undoing Yourself with Chaos Magic’, Rebels and Devils
“Magick is just the art of changing the focus of consciousness at will.”
– Robert Anton Wilson, The Earth Will Shake
“Sorcery: the systematic cultivation of enhanced consciousness or non-ordinary awareness & its deployment in the world of deeds & objects to bring about desired results.”
– Hakim Bey, T.A.Z.
“Real magick is not merely an assortment of skills and techniques. It’s more like an open minded attitude, a blend of interest and dedication, which allows each honest mage to observe, to learn, to adapt, and to invent unique ways of changing idenity and reality from within.”
– Jan Fries, Visual Magick
“Magic is a set of techniques and approaches which can be used to extend the limits of Achievable Reality. Our sense of Achievable Reality is the limitations which we believe bind us into a narrow range of actions and successes – what we believe to be possible for us at any one time. In this context, the purpose of magic is to simultaneously explore those boundaries and attempt to push them back – to widen the ‘sphere’ of possible action.”
-Phil Hine, Condensed Chaos
“Magic is the Highest, most Absolute, and most Divine Knowledge of Natural Philosophy, advanced in its works and wonderful operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult virtue of things; so that true Agents being applied to proper Patients, strange and admirable effects will thereby be produced. Whence magicians are profound and diligent searchers into Nature; they, because of their skill, know how to anticipate an effect, the which to the vulgar shall seem to be a miracle.”
– The Goetia of the Lemegeton of King Solomon.
Courage is the criterion of belief. To back one horse and fancy another means willing one thing and believing another. Magic (faith) is simply a means of unifying Desire and Belief. The subconscious mind is employed to create your belief and unite it to a real desire.
– Austin Osman Spare, Two Tracts on Cartomancy
“Causing change by directing energy with one’s will.”
– Kerr Cuhulain, Full Contact Magick
“Everything works by magick; science represents a small domain of magick where coincidences have a relatively high probability of occurrence. Half of the skills in magick consist of identifying probabilities worth enhancing…Magick will not free itself from occultism until we have strangled the last astrologer with the guts of the last spiritual master.”
– Peter Carroll, PsyberMagick: Advanced Ideas in Chaos Magick
“Magic is not necromanteia – a raising of dead material substances endowed with an imagined life – but a psychological branch of science, dealing with the sympathetic effects of stones, drugs, herbs, and living substances upon the imaginative and reflective faculties – and leading to ever new glimpses of the world of wonders around us, ranking it in due order of phenomena and illustrating the beneficence of The Great Architect of the Universe.”
– Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie
“The change in situations or events in accordance with one’s will, which would, using normally accepted methods, be unchangeable.”
– Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible
“Magic is the socially unauthorized use of the will and imagination to partake in the powers of the universe.”
– S. Jason Black & Christopher S. Hyatt, Pacts With the Devil: A Chronicle of Sex, Blasphemy and Liberation
“The true practice of magic depends on the legitimacy of the individual human will. The magician wills something to occur which under ordinary circumstances would not occur, and thereby demonstrates the reality of his or her own individuality. Magicians make the world dance according to their tunes, religionists seek to find the tune of the world and have it teach them how to dance.”
– Crystal Dawn and Stephen Flowers, Carnal Alchemy
“Unless a man be born a magician, and God have destined him even from his birth to the work, so that spirits do willingly come of their own accord – which doth happen to few – a man must use only of those things herein set down, or written in our other books of occult philosophy, as means to fix the mind upon the work to be done; for it is in the power of the mind itself that spirits do come and go, and magical works are done, and all things in nature are but as uses to induce the will to rest upon the point desired.”
– Cornelius Agrippa
“Magick is the art of belief.”
– ludrikos muttleyos, on chaoskaos
“I honestly can’t conceive of why anyone would want to ‘make’ magick into ‘anything’ […] [d]on’t attempt to put it into static terms. Use it an mutate it. At least I see people debating it, which assures me that the idea itself isn’t losing all of it’s transient nature. Part of the divine mystique that shrouds the essence of magick is the fact that it is unexplainable and undefineable – magick transcends reason, duh. Reason and time […] magick transcends LOGIC. (Discordianism, anyone? Fnord.) Logic, is also a workable paradigm, but not a necessity to understanding or compreheding a concpet. There are plenty of things in life not worth explaining in words. There are plenty of ideas one can procure to realise through self-discovery and learning that no one can represent effectively with words – non-verbal uinderstanding. ‘Intuition’ and ‘gut’ comes to mind as being one of those things. Yes, apparently idiots -are- still trying to make magick into a science – but idiots are also trying to confine it as an ‘art’ as well.”
– triskele, on the zee-list
“Magic is the most useful too for bending the odds to our favour in an given circumstance, but does not go beyond the scope of being a tool concurrently aiding your mundane efforts.”
– Joshua Wetzel, The Paradigmal Pirate: Liber Lll And Liber Ventum
“Magick is the practice of imposing one’s will upon reality in order to create change. The changes created by magick can take place in the outside world, but the most potent changes occur inside the self – changing attitudes, expanding abilities, pushing accepted limits – all through the exercise of willpower.”
– Michelle Belanger, Psychic Dreamwalking: Explorations at the Edge of Self
“Magick…may be defined as the process of projecting psychic energy into physical reality where it can then take shape as a spirit. The higher spirits, such as angels, derive from superconsciousness, the oversoul in which the mind exists as a part, whereas the lower spirits, such as demons, derive from subconsciousness, the repressed fears and traumatic experiences of the practitioner.”
– Frater W.I.T., Enochian Initiation: A Thelemite’s Magical Journey into the Ultimate Transcendence
“Magic is a psychological art form not a belief system (unless, of course you consider the concept of ’cause and effect’ to be a belief system).”
– Lon Milo DuQuette, The Key to Solomon’s Key
“…[R]eal magic is attuning your spirit and intention with the holon of the universe by gaining a deeper awareness of its parts.”
– Clea Danaan, Sacred Land
“Magic is a set of techniques (skills which you can develop) which allow you to create a change in the world around you and yourself by means that are not understood by scientists, religionists, or psychologists.”
– Nicholas Graham, The Four Powers
“Magick may be described as a system of communication, a language used exclusively between the conscious (the logical mind) and the subconscious (the thinking mind). During the dialogue, the magician’s objective is to use his logical mind to convince the thinking mind to reveal a method by which to directly access the superconsciousness, the higher mind…the Holy Guardian Angel.”
– Gerald del Campo, The Heretic’s Guide to Thelema
“Magick provides the tools to accomplish two things: First is to “know thyself” – to use techniques like journaling, meditation, ritual, and invocation to identify your personal strengths and successes – and thereby discover your true Will. The second is to use the same tools to accomplish your Will.
– Richard Kaczynski, The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley
Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior, by Kerr Cuhulain
Llewellyn, 0738702544, 2002
Kerr Cuhulain is a Wiccan police officer, based in Vancouver; he’s been in the field for the past 24 years, and a Wiccan for more than thirty. I’ve not read his first work, The Wiccan Warrior, so I can’t compare the two, but from what I’ve read in this book, I like his easy style, and the general applicability of what he writes.
It’s written as a guide to beginning your own Book of Shadows, to be worked through as you go along. It’s broken up into five parts, one for each element (Spirit, Earth, Water, Fire, Air – the reasoning behind the order explained near the end of the book). Cuhulain gives comprehensive explanations behind each point he brings up, which is a refreshing change, whether I agree with them or not. It shows that he has thought carefully about what he believes and I respect that.
Cuhulain states that one cannot be Wiccan if they do not adhere to the Wiccan Rede – I’m sure this will generate mixed reactions among readers. His explanation of karma isn’t terrible, and he does acknowledge the destructive tendencies apparently inherent in human nature and it’s purpose, noting the adage ‘In order to heal you have to be able to hex’.
He makes apt parallels between disciplines such as martial arts and magick, manipulating ki and ritual mindset, etc. bringing his style of Wicca and neo-pagan magick in line with an inspiring warrior tradition.
There are a couple minor things that are an annoyance more than serious problems. The first, incorrectly stating that Litha occurs on the autumnal equinox (page 176). The correct date is noted as being the summer solstice in the glossary, but those new to Wicca could easily become confused by this misrepresentation. As well, the anti-drug stance he takes toward magick and ritual is disappointing, but then again, he is a cop, so it’s somewhat expected.
There were a few little things that impressed well upon me, such as Cuhulain’s use of CE/BCE to refer to dates rather than the Christian date system, which is often paradoxically found in some Wiccan and neo-pagan texts. As well as his uses he or she throughout the book. I love that it has footnotes, and attributes quotes and information correctly. Small things, but they make a difference.
Though this is written as a guidebook for the ‘Wiccan Warrior’, many concepts and ideas presented within are applicable to magickians of any style. Overall, it’s an excellent start for any novice.
Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior, by Kerr Cuhulain
Llewellyn, 0738702544, 2002
To start with, I like Kerr Cuhulain’s writing style. His approach is very easy to read and understand. He doesn’t attempt to veil things in mystical mumbo-jumbo. Having said that, I have a major objection with this book. I’m sure most readers will not share this objection, however. And it is only fair to say that the only reason I even noticed it is because I had just finished his previous book, Wiccan Warrior, a few days before I started this one. There are entire paragraphs that have been lifted from that book and recycled into the current work. (At least Mr. Cuhulain can’t be accused of plagiarism, since he has lifted the material from his own work.)
Once again Mr. Cuhulain devotes far more time than most authors to using examples from outside of the “mystical” realm. He uses quotes from sources as varied as Bruce Lee and Albert Einstein’ from Longfellow to Robert Plant. He also devotes far more time and space to reminding the reader to make the information and techniques contained in this Book of Shadows a personal part of their life.
He shows the reader how to create and keep an effective Book of Shadows, without restricting the information to that which he presents. He is constantly reminding the reader to record his/her own impressions and the results of rituals constructed, dreams remembered, and meditations undertaken.
Perhaps the largest, and most important, portion of this work is dedicated to facilitating energy work. Let us make not bones about it this is probably the most neglected aspect of our religion. It is about time that an author takes the time and effort to explain it from beginning (which many authors do) through the mid-range (which far fewer do) all the way through to the higher levels (sadly neglected by most authors) in terms which anyone can understand.
On a “technical” level my only complaint about this book is that there are several typographical errors which are a little jarring when encountered, although they do not detract from the overall excellence of this work. They stand out to me only because Llewellyn has been in this field for so long, I expect more of their editors.
The Glossary contained in this book (comprising 28 pages) is one of the most in-depth examples I have seen in years. Containing a mere 55 words, it is none-the-less an invaluable addition to the book, and to a library.
I have a recommendation for those of you who are choosing between Kerr’s earlier work, Wiccan Warrior, and this one. Choose this one, since it is essentially an expansion of the earlier work. Without comparing it too closely, I feel that the vast majority of the earlier work is reproduced in this book. This book supersedes Kerr’s earlier work, in my opinion. It would make an excellent addition to the library of any aspiring Witch.
Wiccan Warrior: Walking a Spiritual Path in a Sometimes Hostile World, by Kerr Cuhulain
Llewellyn Publications, 1567182526, 2002
Kerr Cuhulain makes a very important distinction between being a fighter anda warrior. If you are looking to learn how to use magick to win battles with others – keep on looking. If you’re looking to harness the power of magick to make yourself a better person – you have found a source to draw from.
He challenges many cherished Wiccan beliefs (at least, cherished by traditionalists) and, like all good teachers, challenges the student (reader) to make what he offers a part of day-to-day life.
He is not afraid to use examples of things that have worked from outside Wicca and show how they can be adapted to our unique circumstances. Adaptability is a characteristic that is constantly stressed in this work. Rigidity is connected with inability to survive. Examples are constantly drawn from the field of martial arts, as there are numerous parallels between the two fields of endeavour.
Mr. Cuhulain stresses frequently that each individual is unique, as are their experiences, and thus their growth and reality are also unique. It is not for anyone to act as judge for any but themselves.
He touches briefly on the early 2oth century history of the Craft in broad outline, and then refers the reader to sources which treat the subject in much greater depth
Mr. Cuhulain also includes a couple of rituals, one of which is radically different from the so-called “standard” ritual. It is a real pleasure to see rituals cited which are non-traditional. People normally cite the “standards” and then say something like, “Make whatever changes you need to personalize the ritual.” What Mr. Cuhulain does is to quote a non-standard ritual, then explain how it differs from the standard, but does not reproduce the standard ritual. He stresses spontaneity and creativity throughout the work.
One major difference between “The Witches’ Pyramid” as quoted by Mr. Cuhulain is that most versions have a base and three sides, while his has a base and four sides. He has added the very necessary ingredient of “Imagination” to the pyramid.
This book is, in my opinion, a vital addition to any Witch’s library. It doesn’t matter if the Witch is male or female, Witch or Wiccan. In fact it belongs in the library of anyone who wishes to learn to manipulate the forces of the universe, whether as a magickian (to use Mr. Cuhulain’s spelling), or simply as an individual who wishes to take control of his own life.
I would recommend that Mr. Cuhulain’s books be purchased and read by students everywhere. Teachers would also benefit from the advice that Mr. Cuhulain offers on the basis of his thirty years of experience as a Witch and twenty years as a law enforcement officer.