Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just Do It

My philosophy with regard to practicing magick is pretty simple - just do it. In my experience people spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not they should try this method or that method or trying to figure out whether or not magick is dangerous before they do anything because they "just want to be sure." As I mentioned in my previous post on "Enochian Meltdowns," I don't believe that magick is dangerous at all when practiced properly. In fact I don't think it's all that dangerous even if you do something that's ostensively "wrong." It is a far worse thing in my opinion to use such concerns as excuses to keep you from actually doing the work. Studying isn't the same thing as practicing, and the fact that there are so many "armchair magicians" out there who know all sorts of obscure facts about esotericism but couldn't perform an effective ritual to save their lives is one of the saddest things about the magical community.

Frater RO put up a recent post on Grimoire Assumptions in which he contends that in order to work with Goetic spirits you need to have experienced the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel or Baptism of the Holy Spirit or something similar. Read the whole thing - he makes some very good points, even though I don't agree with all of his conclusions.

I posted a picture a while back of a dude parachuting into a pool in a jungle surrounded by crocodiles and labeled it a magician without K&CHGA working Goetia. It was somewhat tongue in cheek. However, there is a spiritual transformation that has to take place in a person before they are ready to be playing with the spirits of the Goetia and getting the kinds of results I and many others receive.

I can say from my own experience that K&C makes grimoire magick and just about any sort of practical magical work much easier to do and far more effective, but where I disagree is that I don't think the best response to this particular fact is to put off the kind of magical work you really want to do until you reach some sort of milestone. If doing Goetic magick is what motivates you to do the work, I say strap on your parachute and jump.

I look at it this way: the preliminary invocations found in most of the grimoires serve to invoke the "bornless spirit" or identify the magician in some way with the divine, so even practical magical work with a grimoire like the Goetia has a theurgic component that will eventually lead you to K&C. RO is right that if you are a beginning magician you should not expect immediate and breathtaking results, but even before you obtain K&C the more you do the better you get. I don't take a lot of the warnings about "stirring up crap" by doing magick that you aren't ready to try very seriously since never in my life have I seen a failed magical operation that did much of anything, horror stories from popular culture notwithstanding. Furthermore, the kind of person who is going to decide that magick is nonsense when his or her first couple of rituals fail is never going to be a serious student anyway, no matter how long they wait.

While it wasn't the Goetia that really called to me when I was starting out, I did encounter similar attitudes about Enochian magick - it was dangerous, I shouldn't do it until I attained K&C, and so forth. As a Taurus I'm stubborn, so I didn't listen and blundered through it, first with Schueler's crummy introductory books and later on with my own ritual forms derived from the Dee diaries. And honestly, I'm glad that I did. Even before K&C I was able to get pretty good magical results and those rituals prepared me well for the HGA invocation when I finally did it. For me K&C proved to be far easier than most of the writings on the subject implied, and I attribute that at least in part to the extensive experience I had already amassed as a practical magician. Rituals change you for the better, whether you are working toward apprehension of mystical realization or conjuring up an extra fifty bucks.

So what are you waiting for? Hop into that circle and conjure something up! You'll be glad that you just did it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Still No Atlantis

Over the years many people in the esoteric community have cited the story of Atlantis as evidence of some sort of ancient golden age of civilization. Some claim that the mythical Atlanteans possessed technology well in advance of our own, which is refuted by the absence of ancient plastic, printed circuit boards, and nuclear waste, all of which should endure for thousands of years under the sea. Others simply claim that the Atlantean civilization was more adept at magical practices, or that magick worked better during the time period in which it rose to prominance. While this is more difficult to refute, it is equally difficult to prove or demonstrate.

I have often commented that if there is a golden age of magick we surely are living in it, since the rise of information technology has made it easier than ever before to share magical techniques and pool information related to specific practices. As with the physical sciences, this emerging knowledge base can only lead to the more effective application of magical principles and better education for beginning practitioners. Furthermore, living in a modern society makes it a lot easier to practice magick without risking the persecutions that awaited Renaissance magicians who ran afoul of the Church.

In fact, our information technology has now reached the point where it could help us us uncover ancient mysteries such as the location of Atlantis. Some observers recently claimed that they had done just that, using the Google Earth network of satellite images to reveal what appeared to be human-constructed lines on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Sadly, the lines were indeed made by people, just not Atlanteans.

Keen observers had spotted what appeared to be the outline of a vast city - the size of Wales - on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

But the criss-crossing lines, located 600 miles west of the Canary Islands, were today explained by Google as sonar data collected as boats mapped the ocean floor.

A spokeswoman for Google Earth further explained that the lines follow the straight paths made by boats as they take sonar images of the ocean floor. They are neither roads nor walls, but artifacts of oceanic data collection.

So Atlantis still remains lost to history if it ever existed at all. At this point, with satellites encircling the globe, one has to wonder if it will ever be discovered. It may have never existed or perhaps was so thoroughly destroyed that nothing of it remains. Either that, or it is hiding in plain sight like the island of Thera, which I still believe to be one of the most likely inspirations for Plato's famous account.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thwarting the Tiger Curse

From India comes yet another example of cutting-edge magical technology, if by cutting edge one means magical technology that confuses even the most advanced spiritual practitioners. In order to protect their 18-month-old son from being killed by a tiger, his family had him married to a dog. Seriously.

They were worried that a tooth growing from his upper gum was an omen he would be killed by a tiger.

The weird wedding ceremony was seen as the best symbolic way to avoid such a fate, according to tribal elders in the Jajpur district village.

These tribal elders apparently failed to explain how this remedy was actually supposed to work, and one wonders if these might be the same elders who diagnosed the "tiger curse" in the first place and whether or not they were paid for their role in the canine wedding.

Normally I would try to analyze this procedure magically and come up with some sort of rationale, but this one has me stumped. It's not clear to me why a tiger would be drawn to a child with a tooth growing from an odd place, and it's even less clear to me why being married to a dog would prevent that. Is the dog supposed to defend its "husband" against tiger attacks? Last I checked a tiger was a lot bigger and tougher than a dog. Or is there some kind of relationship in Hindu mysticism that I don't know about that classifies dogs and tigers as opposites or something?

If anyone can enlighten me on this one, it would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Illuminati Respond!

It has now been 33 days since I posted my financial demands to the Illuminati Order. I expected no response, but as I walked out the door this morning I came upon a parchment envelope bearing only my name in italic calligraphy. I opened the envelope and found the following brief letter inside. What I read was profoundly surprising, and now I'm left to wonder if the statements made in the letter are accurate or part of an even more elaborate conspiracy designed to allow them to weasel out of paying me what they rightfully owe. You be the judge.

Dear Mr. Stenwick,

It has come to our attention that you have posted a public demand for payment in exchange for services rendered to our organization over the course of the last twenty years. While we applaud your diligent efforts in support of our objectives, we are unable fulfill your request at this time. Our order has been in serious financial straits for some time and in the wake of the current economic crisis it is unclear whether or not we will survive for more than a few more years as a coherent organization.

In the middle 1990's we invested much of our working capital in WorldCom and Enron in efforts to exert total control over the energy and communications infrastructure of the United States. Such control would have provided a solid framework upon which to unveil the Son of Lucifer at the great turning of the Mayan calendar set to occur a few years from now in 2012. Unfortunately, the ensuing scandals that forced both companies into bankruptcy also depleted most of our speculative capital by the end of 2002.

Much of the rest of our portfolio was invested with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, and as of December 2008 we learned that our investments in Madoff's fund were worthless due to the largest investor fraud ever perpetrated by a single individual in the history of the United States. Madoff is now under magical attack by our operatives but so far his defenses appear to be holding. Whether this is because of his own natural magical ability or due to him hiring an outside contractor to cast counter-curses remains to be determined.

We have received a small amount of money over the last few years from the Enron Creditors Recovery Corporation but all of this has been consumed by day to day expenses. Our holdings now include little more than a few shell companies, the trailer park where we have the Son of Lucifer holed up, and four lodge buildings located in undisclosed locations around the country. Indeed, the conspiracy may be on its last legs, ending a tradition that has endured since our founding in 1776 by our eminent Grand Master Adam Weishaupt.

Our last chance is the unveiling of the Son of Lucifer set for 2012, and as you can understand we need all of the resources we can muster over the next few years in order to mount an effective advertising campaign. He is indeed a powerful magical being, but he unfortunately has been forced to work as a plumber to make ends meet since the collapse of Enron and our subsequent loss of income. We fear that few in the United States will accept anyone who will at that point in time have spent the last ten years of his life installing faucets and fixing toilets as their supreme leader.

Understand that although we have no money to give you and no employment to offer you, your efforts will not go unrewarded should we manage to successfully sweep into power. Until then, keep up the good work and know that it is appreciated.


[Name Redacted]
Primus Illuminatus and Most Eminent Grand Master
Ancient and Illuminated Seers of Bavaria

So I suppose an appointment to the trailer park plumber-in-chief's cabinet, should he ever manage to take power despite what sound like insurmountable odds, is supposed to make me feel better? That's like giving out a tiny brass plaque instead of a raise to an employee who works sixty hour weeks for six months to get a project off the ground! Sorry Illuminati Overlords, I don't play that game and you're still On Notice!

Oh, I'll keep on writing and blogging about magick because I love doing it - but not for you!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Enochian Meltdown Stories?

My magical working group has recently started a new series of Enochian rituals evoking the Kings from the Heptarchia Mystica. A couple of years ago we did a similar series with mixed results - we got some good information, but also a lot of stuff that didn't turn out to be very useful. So this time around I've tweaked the ritual structure some more and based on the first couple of workings the series seems to be going well.

One of the members of our group blogged about the series online and got a response from a reader repeating the old "Enochian Meltdown" story - you know, that Enochian magick wrecks your health, finances, relationships and so forth. I've been using the Enochian system for years and I know that this isn't true for me, but I am curious if anyone reading this blog has had bad experiences with the Enochian entities. Frater BH and MY GAL recently did a series of Enochian work and aside from an urge to clean house they appear to be doing just fine.

In addition, in Enochian Vision Magick Lon DuQuette claims that he has never come across a documented case of the "Enochian Meltdown" phenomenon. I find that kind of interesting because he's been an OTO initiate since the mid-seventies in California, and Thelema seems to attract a disproportionate number of Enochian magicians due to Aleister Crowley's interest in the system and the significance of The Vision and the Voice in the Thelemic canon. If Lon really has never come across a case, I'm tempted to dismiss the whole thing as spurious. If the system was really all that dangerous, you would think he would know at least a couple of folks who had trouble with it.

My current working hypothesis is this: Enochian is totally safe as long as you use the proper temple equipment. Frater BH and MY GAL did; their setup is nicer than mine and the pictures are worth a look. I have always worked with the ring, lamen, Holy Table, Sigillum Dei Aemeth, and Ensigns of Creation and am convinced that this is the right way to approach the system. Lon DuQuette uses simpler materials like tagboard and so forth, but he still uses the equipment. All of us are just fine, thank you very much, with no meltdowns to report.

However, there are some authors out there who contend that you don't need any of the furniture and implements for various reasons. The Golden Dawn and Crowley didn't emphasize them and The Vision and the Voice was produced using only a circle in the desert and Crowley's scrying stone. Benjamin Rowe used to argue that the furniture is only for use with the Heptarchial entities. And the list goes on. Somebody did once start to tell me the story of a friend of a friend who supposedly had some problems, but not only did it sound like an urban legend, when I asked if this supposed individual used any of the equipment I was told "of course not."

So here are my questions for anyone out there. Do you know of someone who worked with the Enochian system and had problems that seemed to be related to their Enochian work? If so, what sort of problems did they encounter and did they use any temple furniture or implements? If they used some but not all of the implements, which ones did they use?

Your contributions to the science of magick are much appreciated.

UPDATE (2/16/2009): I've left this post at the top of the page for longer than usual in the hopes that more people will see it. So far boleskine93 has posted a story that he heard about one practitioner that I'm pretty sure I hadn't heard before, but there certainly is not the influx of stories that I would expect if the rumors about the dangers of Enochian magick were true. I'll leave this as the top posting for another day or two and I encourage anyone with a story to add it to the comments, but so far the "Enochian Meltdown" phenomenon remains elusive.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bulletproof Sheep?

This case happened last year around this time, but it's either too profound or too amusing to pass up, depending upon whether or not the magical technology involved actually works.

A street vendor in Dubai was arrested for fraud in connection with trying to sell an onyx stone that he claimed would make the wearer immune to bullets. At his trial he insisted that he was innocent, claiming that he had hung the stone around the neck of a sheep and shot it four times without causing the animal any injury. He furthermore volunteered to be shot at while wearing the stone himself. The vendor was convicted nonetheless, but would he really offer to wear the stone and be shot himself if he knew that it was a fake?

The simplest explanation, of course, is that the vendor is such a bad shot that he missed the sheep four times in a row, but could a talisman like this really work? There are three different ways to go about making a talisman that will protect you against being shot, at least some of the time. That's the trouble with magick, though - even with the odds shifted in your favor it is still possible for any spell to fail and with something like this the consequences of failure are disastrous for the wearer.

The first method works by jamming the gun, and don't laugh - I've known magically gifted people who were able to jam a gun that was being fired at them. The probability shift that this method creates will make any weapon more likely to jam based on the natural probability of this occuring, so for example a gun that jams often will be practically unable to fire whereas one that jams very seldom will most likely still get the shot off. This dependence on the type of weapon used is what makes this method unreliable in real-world circumstances.

The second method is to make the subject difficult to hit by altering the likelihood of the bullet's trajectory. The best way to do this is by affecting the shooter and messing up his or her aim rather than moving the bullet in flight because the bullet carries so much kinetic energy with it in such a short period of time. This method will work on even hard-to-jam guns, but it becomes less effective as the skill level of the shooter increases. Combining this design with the first method will probably give you the best practical results. It wouldn't protect you from a professional sniper with a high-end rifle but it might work surprisingly well against street criminals with little skill and cheap weapons.

Finally, you could try to make a talisman that would make you resistant to bullets so that they just bounce off of you, but if you really think that's a good idea you'll probably wind up in the emergency room. Magick doesn't work well against kinetic energy deployed in such a short period of time. The real-world effect of this design might help to keep a bullet from hitting a major organ, but even then you still are shot. With a gunshot, it's often the shock of being hit that kills you.

In this particular case, since the gun fired the talisman is probably not of the first variety. It most likely is of the second if it does anything. It seems pretty unlikely that even a poor shot could miss a sheep at close range four times in a row, but it becomes more likely if the talisman distorts the shooter's aim. This is perhaps supported by the fact that the vendor appeared to be totally convinced by his demonstration. He clearly thought that his aim was true, though perhaps he simply is incredibly stupid. That can never be ruled out.

All that we really know about the stone is that it is made of onyx, but the attribution there is basically correct. Onyx is associated with the path of Saturn on the Tree of Life which is related to "works of malediction and death," but what needs to be kept in mind is that Saturn rules over these types of operations and as a result can also be used to keep them from succeeding. "Prevent me from being injured or killed by a gun" would be a reasonable statement of intent when crafting an onyx protective talisman attributed to the path of Saturn.

So does the stone work or is the vendor an idiot? Seeing as idiots are more common than magicians skilled enough to make an effective talisman of this sort, I think the odds are probably on the latter. But you never know.

Friday, February 6, 2009

"Blinds" and Innovation

One of the ideas that still gets discussed in the magical community is the idea of "blinds." According to advocates of this concept, supposedly some accounts of magical practices were published in a deliberately incorrect form in order to mislead anyone who wanted to study the tradition based on those particular texts. The way that this usually gets brought up is that some individual will claim to have identified the blind and will then publish what they claim to be the correct information. I'm of the opinion that these sorts of blinds are rare in the magical tradition if they exist at all. Usually when someone publishes a set of corrected material and claims to have discovered it, what they really mean is that they invented it.

This is not to say that magical practitioners have always been forthcoming in their writings. Alchemists famously wrote about their practical techniques in allegorical forms that academics have spent years deciphering and also may have veiled their spiritual practices in the language of primitive chemistry. Much of this was due to ongoing persecution by the Church and this is not the sort of blind that I'm talking about. A blind in an alchemical procedure would be something like writing out an explicit procedure but giving the instruction to heat a mixture over a flame when what you're really supposed to do is freeze it. That way anyone who tried to follow the procedure would fail to produce the desired result.

Unlike veiling one's work in allegory, there is little point in promulgating such a blind. If you publish an explicit procedure there is no utility in deliberately getting it wrong. If you don't want people to know how you do your work you either shouldn't publish it or you should write about it symbolically and omit practical details. Magick was generally kept secret for much of human history rather than being published at all and the grimoires we have are likely texts that were copied from master to student for centuries. There likely were additional oral teachings that accompanied those texts, but it seems to me that this would most likely be additional material not mentioned in the text rather than something like "you need to remember that the attributions on pages 22, 34, and 57 are reversed."

The appeal of the "blind" model is that it lends a sense of historical legitimacy to original work. A lot of people still have this idea that magick was once more "pure" and worked better for the ancients, kind of like New Agers who talk about a historical Atlantis with interstellar space travel and medical technology far in advance of our own. In fact, there are various archaeological sites that may have been the inspiration for Atlantis, and while what we know about those sites tells us that they had very advanced technology for the time period in which they were inhabited, we have yet to find any ancient space cruisers, ancient circuit boards, or even a piece of ancient plastic. Any historical Atlantis was almost certainly not even an industrial age civilization, let alone the information or space age one that some imagine.

In magick innovation is often seen as suspect by people with such beliefs, but calling a new discovery the unveiling of a deliberate blind implies that the new technique is not a product of invention or original work but the rediscovery of an ancient truth. The problem here is with people who expect ancient magick to work better, not with the new techniques. If a new technique is accompanied by empirical research demonstrating its effectiveness it should be accepted and adopted as an effective new piece of technology just like any other scientific advance. But as in scientific research, the burden does fall on the experimenter to show that the new technique works better than the technique it is intended to replace. Claiming that a new technique is the correction of a blind muddles this process, and hopefully any such claim is the result of a genuine misunderstanding rather than a simple desire to avoid doing any empirical work.

So the next time you see someone talk about a marvelous ancient magical technique revealed by his or her research make sure you find out what empirical results the new technique has produced. Just because a revised model or schema sounds logical or corrects an apparent inconsistency in the existing material doesn't mean it's better. In fact, the inconsistency might have been added to the original material precisely because some magician centuries ago found that their results turned out better that way despite it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jonathon the Impaler Arrested

Remember Jonathon the Impaler? Maybe you don't, but years ago when my blog was still running on a dedicated Scoop server I covered his 2004 independent run for the Presidency and his 2006 run for Governor here in Minnesota. He also ran for President in 2008. A documentary film entitled Impaler was made about his political activities and released in October of last year.

Practically the definition of a longshot political candidate, Jonathon Sharkey is the head of the Vampires, Witches, and Pagans Party founded in 2005 and recognized by the United States Federal Election Commission. He is also a self-proclaimed Satanist, a "sanguinarian vampire" who actually drinks human blood, and an advocate for impaling terrorists and other violent criminals. Generally speaking, none of those are big vote-getters. On the other hand, if he were ever nominated for a cabinet position there would be a lot more to talk about besides unpaid taxes.

Well, Jonathon is back in the news, but not under pleasant or amusing circumstances. He was recently arrested and charged with harrassing a teenage girl with whom he had an online relationship.

The criminal complaint says he was running for president in 2007 when the 16-year-old Rochester girl wrote a message of support on his MySpace page. She told police they began dating online, and the threats began when she tried to break off the relationship.

She told police that "in a desperate attempt" to get him to leave her alone, she had e-mailed him that she was a member of an elite vampire hunter society and that continuing their relationship would put him in danger. Her father told police he talked to Sharkey, but Sharkey continued to call the girl and write letters to her parents.

Because anybody would be willing to believe that elite vampire hunting societies recruit high school girls, right? Oh wait, that's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, not real life. Nonetheless, even in real life I'm guessing that satanic vampires don't make the best boyfriend material and it's too bad that this girl had to find out the hard way.

For his side of the story, Sharkey claims that the charges are unjustified and has threatened to sue the county attorney's office for "wrongful and vindictive prosecution." That's not impossible, seeing as I think it's safe to say that satanic vampires face a lot more prejudice than regular folks. I'll be following the case and hopefully the courts can make some sense of it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More Fun with Quantum Entanglement - Teleportation!

This has been a pretty good year so far for research on quantum entanglement, the phenomenon by which two particles can become invisibly linked to each other even when separated by great distances. As I've mentioned before, entanglement is a key component of contagion links in magick, and furthermore I'm convinced that by studying how entanglement works and the virtual space through which the particles remain connected we can make some real breakthroughs in terms of understanding how practical magical operations work.

The original Enochian magical system as taught to John Dee and Edward Kelley contains various classes of spirits including a group referred to as the Angels of Transportation. I have had a number of discussions over the years with other magicians speculating on whether or not it might be possible to teleport objects using these Angels. I have never gotten it to work myself, but imagine if you could actually do it. Better still, what if you could teleport yourself? With all the gas you would save going to and from your job it would pay for itself pretty quickly, even if you did need to build another Holy Table setup in your cubicle or office for the trip back home.

I've recently been re-reading much of the Enochian research I put together years ago, and one of the things that I realized is that nowhere in the material does it say that the Angels of Transportation transport things instantly. The actual conjuration refers to the Angels of Transportation as those:

whom our Creator has provided and given the skill, strength, and power to be able to transport or transfer any man or thing from one place to another, without injury, harm, offense, or damnation to that man or thing, whether the transference is near or far

A better reading of this probably indicates that what these Angels actually do is protect travelers on journeys, a pressing concern in the sixteenth century given all the dangers involved in travel by ship to North America.

Getting back to quantum entanglement, new research might give us a way to test the teleportation angle once and for all. Scientists announced today that they have achieved quantum teleportation of individual atoms. Up until now scientists could teleport photons, but not larger particles. So what's the magical angle? Here you go:

The method is not particularly practical at the moment, because it fails almost all of the time. Only 1 of every 100 million teleportation attempts succeed, requiring 10 minutes to transfer one bit of quantum information.

This suggests the following procedure:

(1) Perform the experiment as is some number of times and log the average amount of time it takes to teleport the atom. This is the control group.
(2) Summon the Angels of Transportation and charge them with transporting the atom.
(3) Run the same number of trials as in step 1 and log the average time it takes to teleport the atom.
(4) Dismiss the Angels and analyze the data. If the Angels of Transportation really can teleport objects, the average from step 3 should be a significantly shorter time period than the average from step 1.
(5A) If 1 is shorter than 3, the statistical variation between the two values is the probability shift produced by the magical operation. This implies some ability on the part of the Angels to affect teleportation.
(5B) If 1 is the same as or less than 3, the Angels of Transportation likely have no ability to teleport objects.

I can't imagine a genuine skeptic having a problem with this piece of research. It's a real experiment with no possibility for self-deception or mass hysteria or whatever process they usually invoke to explain away results that they don't like. If the results were positive it might even win James Randi's paranormal prize money - that is, if I had the "media presence" he's now requiring of all claimants and the necessary cooperation from the science team to actually run it.

Here's a question for any other magicians out there - have you ever successfully teleported an object? If so, what were the circumstances under which it happened?

More "Magick" that Isn't

With two terminology posts in a row I must be turning into a curmudgeon or something. "You kids spell your damn words right!" Thankfully this one is probably my last on the subject, at least for awhile.

Every so often some nightclub performer comes along and decides to call what they do "magick" in order to, I guess, sound cool or something even though what they are doing is clearly stage magic. Another of these is apparently on the loose, named Odes Odhner.

Odhner calls what he does "magick," something that blends traditional nightclub-type magic, with majik, a kind of magic that examines occult practices of the present and past.

Hang on a second there. What the hell is "majik?" That can't be a real word!

See, when Aleister Crowley proposed that "magic" be used to describe stage magic and "magick" be used to describe the spiritual practices of theurgy and thaumaturgy he was simply reverting to the Elizabethan spelling of the word. It's English, just with a more archaic spelling. But "majik?" It's clearly Odhner's own goofy terminology, and Kelly-Anne Suarez, the journalist writing the article, buys it without a second thought. Maybe she just couldn't be bothered to check.

Here's a quick reference for future lazy journalists.

Magic: Stage magic, as practiced by nightclub magicians, mentalists and so forth.
Magick: Spiritual practices drawn from the Western Esoteric Tradition.
Majik: A completely made up word, or one of the above written by someone who is borderline illiterate.

See the difference?

I think I'm probably done with this topic as the terminology becomes more muddled every time I look into it. In my opinion Crowley's use of two (and only two) distinct spellings makes sense, but once you start throwing in every possible phonetic variation in order to look "edgy" or "cool" or something else that translates as "just plain stupid" the whole thing becomes a losing battle for anyone who values precision and consistency.

It's too bad, really. Complaining about this may seem overly pedantic, but if folks could agree on standard spellings for their terms it would make the Internet a whole lot more useful for those of us who do actual magical research.

Monday, February 2, 2009

"Magick Classifieds" Isn't

Here's yet another blow to the use of "magick" as a search term - "magick classifieds." Given that random listings from this site now fill any news search for "magick" along with the usual pop song titles and so forth, 2009 may be the year in which such searches finally become officially useless.

Now I would be overjoyed to find a free classified ad site that catered exclusively to magicians, but this is not it. In fact, the site appears to be a pretty generic craigslist competitor that for some reason feels the need to identify itself with the "Science of the Magi." In fact, this usage of the term is about as counterfeit as they come. Why couldn't they just have spelled it "magic?"