What is Magick?
Yin and Yang aspects
What is magick? There is paradox in the answer, since on one level we can say that the entirety of life is the experience of magick. There is nothing else. Yet very few people know this and, of those who do know, very few of them act with consciousness of what they know. The paradox is resolved if we say that “you are living your life magically when and only when you know that you are living your life magically”.
The yin aspect gives us the sensitivity and awareness of here and now, across the multiple planes of existence. It enables us to employ atmosphere as a way to resonate with subtle realities within ourselves and others, and have access to non-physical worlds. The yang aspect is studied as we focus our intentional choice through the operation of imagination, expectation and faith.
Mystics and Scientists
Mystics for millennia, and scientists for decades, have described reality in quantum terms. What this means is that any specific version of reality depends upon the observer’s perception. This is not to say that we all see the only reality differently - it is that reality itself is different for us all. However counterintuitive that may seem to be, we can learn that it is so. Knowing this opens up the mind to function as an instrument of magick.
The open mind is more creative and powerful than a blinkered one, yet it is also more susceptible to hoax and other unhelpful influences. We must understand that magical practices are not to be treated casually. A weak mind influenced by drugs, alcohol, depression or confusion is pounced upon by unhelpful forces of the nether regions when it plays about irresponsibly with tools of power. Any intention to exert power over another person against their will is unsupported by the forces of love, and carries penalties.
A capable practitioner of magick is self-confident, strong-willed and stout-hearted, has unusual sensitivity and awareness and is abundantly creative. In essence, it is one who understands and demonstrates that magick provides the means whereby we create the complete narrative of our life story ourselves.
Astrology - the Outer Planets
Astrology is a very good foundation upon which to build our conception of magick. Its study not only expands the mind to embrace horizons of potential interpretations, it also uses magical symbols that both awaken intuition and offer succinct shorthand formulae for complex ideas. For example, let is consider four of the main attributes of magick:
Perhaps astrologers will readily agree that Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto succinctly capture the mystery of these four attributes of magick – even without their names but by using the glyphs alone. Magick is an expression of power and power has different ways of operating; it is very empowering to name them.
Power Points in Time
Magick depends upon the support of unseen energies, some of which are time-dependent. Being aware of such energy, and knowing its qualities, is a requirement for a competent magician.
In particular, Celts, and so Druidry, have embraced the knowledge that there is a repeating cyclical energetic wave whose period is annual. The Sun's most obvious features include the times when it shines the most or the least, or indeed is exactly divided between night and day.
Hence we get:
The half-way points between these 4 quarters are called cross-quarters:
Lammas, 1st August
Samhain, 1st November
Imbolc, 1st February
Beltane, 1st May
Each of these days can vary as to the exact date, according to variations in the Earth's cycles, and local conditions of Nature. It is obvious to say that different times of the year feel different, but less well understood that these feelings are aspects of magick, in fact spells of a sort. Certain activities are better supported by the certain energies that arise at these festival times.
It is also rather trite to point put that some things are better done in the morning, some at night-time and so on. Dawn and dusk are powerful times of day for example; it is when to look for mystical energy.
The phases of the Moon support different activities. The most obvious polarity to be aware of is whether the Moon is waxing, especially approaching Full Moon, or waning, particularly as it approaches the New Moon.
Gardeners also suggest that the Moons placement in a Zodiac sign is worth studying in terms of which activities are supported by which Moons.
Some people are more sensitivity than others to these changes, even to the point of being able to feel when the Moon changes sign. To find out what your own relationship is with the Moon, you can keep a Moon diary, and plot its position against your feelings and situations over a period of time until the pattern is made known to you.
Other Planetary Cycles
Astrology studies planetary cycles in great depth and with exact precision. An astrologer knows for a fact that people are subject to these cycles - although how a particular person responds to a particular planetary movement is never known exactly. However, by studying these cycles, the intuitive understanding comes to the individual. Certain activities are better supported by, for example, a Mars conjunct Pluto, others by a Moon opposition Neptune, and so on.
Other Special Times
Some days are special because society and culture make them so, such as Easter when a very large number of people pray, and Christmas when a larger number drink and eat to excess. The funeral of Princess Diana created a mood of grief and shock around the world when a billion people watched the event on television, which mood supported various subsequent initiatives. Friday nights, and Saturday perhaps more so, are very special celebrations for many people, even though they are frequent, whereas Sunday is quiet time, family time too. Birthdays are of personal importance, when we may legitimately claim a position as centre of attention, and on 1st January a collective decision to reclaim lost willpower is made.
Even though we can gain much by alignment with a general knowledge of how to get the support of prevailing energies, the deeper intuitive sensitivity that we have, to the undercurrents of what is going on, is more important. In the end it is always imperative to trust your own intuition above all else. If it feels right, do it; if it feels wrong, then don't.
Power Points in Space
Beauty, Magnetism and Personal Associations
Where we are in a particular location has great impact upon what we do, and what we can do. Places have their own magnetism - one special form of which is beauty, especially awe. The power of any spell we make depends upon the passion we bring to the matter at hand, so it is important to know where to be in order to stoke up such passion as exists within awe, wonder, sacredness and joy, for example.
Some Examples of Powerful Places
Mountains | Beautiful Landscapes | Rivers and streams | Islands | Lakes | Moors | Forests | Leafy lanes | Caves | Frosted trees | Snowscapes | Springs | Waterfalls | Capes | Deserts |
Holy wells | Altars | Prayer Trees | Yew Forest | Churches | Temples | Mosques | Gardens | Stone Circles | Quoites | Fogues | Stone Lines | Stonehenge | Avebury | Newgrange | Callanish | Pyramids | Cemeteries |
Sacred Geometry and Leylines
Structures created with awareness of sacred geometry feel powerful. Often we find this with cathedrals, for example at Chartres in France, and so many others.
Places on the Earth where ley lines run, and especially intersect, have great power, and the ancient tribes could feel this much better than most people can today.