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What Is Magic?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 9:26
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by David Patrick Harry

Abracadabra, alakazam! For the majority of people the word “magic” conjures mental images of a David Copperfield like figure pulling white rabbits out of a black top hat. However, this is not the magic of ancient Egypt, the Druids of Ireland, shamans of the Amazon, or the alchemists of the Renaissance. The wonder of magic has been naively associated with illusionists due to the childlike awe summoned by their clever slight of hand, subtle card lifts, and manipulations of human perception.

At the same time we find ourselves immersed in cultural images celebrating the magical, evidenced by the explosive success of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones to name a few which strike at a sort of mystical chord within a global audience. Horror movies like The Exorcist and The Conjuring also fulfill the terror which magic has historically invoked due to its continual relation with the exercising of demonic possession, the conjuring of spirits, and the cleansing of alleged haunted places. However what do these popular books, movies, and T.V. shows actually say about the nature of magic? What is magic?

Sympathetic Magic

Well, with the right knowledge these shows may reveal more than one would suspect. You see, magic exists in the space between mind and physical reality. Magic has less to do with the tricking of perception and more to do with the immanent power residing within words, symbols, and ritual. The most central of all concepts in regards to understanding the mechanism which is believed to allow magical correspondences to happen is the theory of sympathetic magic. Sympathetic magic is an academic term coined by J.G. Frazer which describes the manner in which magical efficacy or energy is transferred. Roughly the theory can be summed up by the ancient Hermetic adages, “as above so below” and “like effects like.” The idea is by developing sympathetic resonances starting with the natural world, humanity has the ability to harness the power of the natural universe into their personal endeavors.

If our goal was to utilize the power of the sun, what this looks like in a ritual scenario is symbolization of the sun in every feature of the ritual. It would take place at the hour of the sun (8am & 8pm), on the day of the sun (Sunday), wearing the colors of the sun (gold/yellow and white), burning candles for the sun, while singing hymns or prayers to the sun, and so on. The more sympathetic resonances you have towards the source of energy which you are trying to harness the stronger the ritual.

Another concept that some might be more familiar with and works in the same manner is a Voodoo doll. You cannot just take any doll off the rack, stick it with pins, and suddenly your enemy is struck down with physical pain. Rather, one has to make a doll and then through sympathetic bonds tie it back towards the person they intend to harm. Therefore, typically, one has to have hair from the person and make it the hair on the doll, as well as shirt and pants fabric from the person to be made as the shirt and pants on the doll. Like effects like, so in this type of magic now that the doll is like the person, they can begin doing things to the doll and it will be done to the person.

These sympathetic connections between what is man-made and what is universally/divinely made is central to language as well as magic. For example money and water are linguistically symbolized as the same thing and this can be found in languages all over the world. Money is a man-made creation, whereas water was created by the creator; the power and importance of water in the natural world can be mimicked by symbolic magical correspondences into the human created world of culture/language/symbols. So where do you find banks? On the sides of rivers, river banks, and river banks direct the flow of the current, or our currency. That is why you liquidate something when you turn it into cash, and like water cash flows. People who are financially struggling are trying to stay afloat, and not drown in debt, but when the ship takes on too much water they must be baled out, or bailed out. Even in modern times we find the same symbolic connection to water when claim to be “making it rain” while throwing money in the air. Due to these linguistic connections to nature money can now acts as the man-made water; in the societies we’ve constructed money is as essential to living as water is to living organisms.

Terence McKenna, in his book Food of the Gods points to another linguistic-sympathetic connection between human speech and cordage. Being gatherers, typically it was women who advanced the enterprise of language as they sat together in groups and it was women who were responsible for cordage making in a tribal context. With this in mind, Terence states,

“it is interesting to note that the English vocabulary that refers to spoken discourse is often the same as that used to describe cordage-making and weaving. One weaves a story, or unravels an incident, or spins a yarn. We follow the thread of a story and stitch together an excuse. Lies are made from whole cloth, reality is an endless golden braid.”

Hermeticism

Fundamental in understanding the history of the Western magical tradition is to be familiar with the esoteric tradition of Hermeticism. Grounded in mythologies of the Egyptian wisdom deity Thoth and then renovated with Grecian cultural elements around the dawn of the common era, Hermeticism is based on a series of texts called the Corpus Hermeticum allegedly written by the “thrice great one” Hermes Trismegistus. These texts are astonishingly insightful with a surprising contemporary feel; the Hermetica contains philosophical discussions on the cosmos, alchemy, astrology, health, imagination, nature, and the divine.

Whether Hermes Trismegistus was a historical figure is impossible to prove and highly doubtful, however this does not take away from the intrigue, mystery, and relevancy of the teachings. Greeks and Egyptians knew that the Greek god Hermes was syncretic with Thoth and in fact both deities were worshiped at the Temple of Thoth in Khemnu, which the Greeks named Hermopolis. Both deities were the gods of writing, magic, and goers-between realms. Once Rome adopted Christianity as the empire’s official religion Hermeticism was decimated; many of the original Greek writings were destroyed by Christians and were only preserved in Syria until the Renaissance once translated from Syriac to Latin. Roughly 2,000 years ago the city of Alexandria, Egypt was a spiritual hub for seekers all over the world and was a strong hold for Hermeticists, Gnostics, and other esoteric practitioners. Unfortunately, when the library of Alexandria was destroyed so much of our spiritual and historical knowledge was lost and destroyed along with it.

Below is a video of Terence McKenna describing his opinion of what magic is along with a brief description of Hermeticism. For McKenna magic resides in the mystery of language; he claims that the “world is made of language” which hints at the riddle between quantum physics and psychology. If the observer does influence what is observed, then language is uniquely positioned between mental worlds and the physical world. Make sure to catch the ending in which Terence reads form the Hermetica regarding the sacredness of the imagination.

“The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.” – Terence McKenna

Words and Names

Linguistic commands and magic are intrinsically linked. Words and names have a special bond back to things in which they describe. So it is interesting to note that “in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.”(John 1:1) In Christian theology it is commonly believed that Jesus Christ was the incarnation of the Logos; the informing voice to pre-socratic, Socratic, and platonic philosophers. This seems to again put further emphasis on the unique human ability for language.

Essential in the performance of exorcisms is finding out the name of the spirit being exorcised. If you’ve ever seen Hollywood horror films of spirit possession, there is typically a catholic priest – as if they’re the worlds defenders against the demonic – demanding the demons name and information. Language is the way we humans communicate no just with each other but also the world of spirit. Magic attests that with the correct words man can command the world to act.

Arguably, Hollywood is the producer of some of the most influential images and stories that imprint onto the human mind. So it is interesting to note that he name “Hollywood” itself finds its origin in the western magical tradition. Magic wands were and are a staple for wizards and magicans alike. The holly tree produces wood that was believed to be the most efficacious for magical performance; this is why Harry Potter was presented with a special white wand made from “holly-wood.” Hollywood then is the name of what many in Europe use to believe to be the most powerful of magic wands; it seems to still be working its magic on us all.  

Many of the names and logos of major corporations find their roots in mythologies all around the world. If Carl Jung was right in his theories on the collective unconscious, the use of these symbols are able to reach deeper into minds of observers. Whether the individual is conscious of its meaning or not, at an unconscious level we are aware of many of the symbolic meanings around us.      

Alan Moore is an English writer primarily known for his work in graphic novels including WatchmenV for Vendetta and From Hell. In 1993, on his fortieth birthday, Moore openly declared his dedication to being a ceremonial magician, something he saw as “a logical end step to my career as a writer.” Moore associates magic with any creative act;

“I believe that magic is art, and that art, whether that be music, writing, sculpture, or any other form, is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words or images, to achieve changes in consciousness … Indeed to cast a spell is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people’s consciousness, and this is why I believe that an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world to a shaman.”

“Magic is a state of mind. It is often portrayed as very black and gothic, and that is because certain practitioners played that up for a sense of power and prestige. That is a disservice. Magic is very colorful. Of this, I am sure.” – Alan Moore

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Source: http://www.phoenixisrisen.co.uk/?p=13131

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  • goastdale

    123’s of true Christianity v popular & damnable heresies
    (simply because you “confess” it does not mean you actually are, the devil has deceived many of his own children to believe they are Christians 2Tim 3:5)
    #1 “ONE” not triune: THE ANTI CHRIST….WHERE? WHERE?….EVERYWHERE!!! …..IT”S YOU O TRINITARIAN!

    “WHO” it was (what person) that came “IN THE FLESH”, IS THE DETERMINING FACTOR IN WHAT IT MEANS TO BE “ANT-CHRIST”! Even Islam claims Jesus was the Jewish messiah/Christ who was to come in the flesh) they all deny “WHO” it was (what person) that came (to be the Christ) in the flesh!?!…….To deny the father is to deny the son because they are one and the same person that came in the flesh! https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/part-6-anti-christ-where-everywhere-allen-daves?trk=mp-reader-card

    JOHN 14: 8-20 where Christ specifically identifies himself (his person as the person of both the father and the HS; the only distinction is in “location” and “method of manifestation” …….Note Isaiah 9:6. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: …: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, … the everlasting Father ….The son, father/Holy Spirit are all the same person, NOT like two different persons working together even as “one flesh” ….The “oneness” between Christ and the father is not comparable to a man & his wife, for only a fool would say “When you have seen me you have seen my wife, how sayest thou then, Shew us your wife?” Notice they asked to see THE FATHER and the response was Jn 14:9 ..“HAVE I BEEN SO LONG time with you, and yet hast THOU NOT KNOW ME, Philip…..Now image some fool trying to claim that statement if you asked to see his wife!?!!? You want to see the FATHER but have I been with you but you don’t know me!?!?! https://www.scribd.com/doc/305367608/The-Trinity-Heresy

    Jn 14 continued….…………..17. Even THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH; (Jn 14:6 I AM the way, THE TRUTH,) whom the world cannot receive, .. for HE DEWLLETH WITH YOU, (present tense/standing next to them in the flesh) and SHALL BE IN YOU… (future tense “In them”) 18. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU (future tense “In them”) Note: The spirit of Christ is the sprit of God and the holy spirit that is why Christ said “I will come to you” (to comfort them, because Christ is the comforter). The spirit was standing next to them in flesh… ….latter it would come to them to be inside of them (inside of their flesh as the spirit we are given)…..that is why. he would send the spirit…… However, Jesus himself here makes the point that the same person who was the HOLY SPIRIT that would come was standing next to them but lets them know “I will come to you again to be Inside of you”

    The whole point to Gal 3:20.a mediator is NOT A MEDIATOR OF ONE, (HEIS) but GOD IS ONE. (HEIS) again, point blank, identifies the number of persons of God! The “but” points out the contrast between multiple persons in a mediation party v the “one” of God. God is not like a mediation party with multiple different persons. …..”the express image of his person” ( the person of God; singular not plural).Any attempt to lay claim otherwise is willful ignorance and delusional nonsense https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/part-1-echadechadmy-godgod-echad-allen-daves?trk=mp-reader-card

    NOTE: don’t be that one in prov 26:12 over my use of the word “fool” here prov 18:13 (https://www.scribd.com/presentation/322007258/Fools ) “But but, the gospel of John…the Gospel of John …look look…” which is quite ironic since the gospel of John does not leave ANY room for multiple different persons of Jesus and father. However the gospel of John does leave a few verses that facilitate God’s promise in 2 Thess 2:11/ Isaiah 66:4 (take note of “HAND” in verse 2,14..You just can’t make this stuff up…God is surely laughing at these fools; Ps 2:1&4)

    ……Mark 12:28…Which is the first commandment of all? 29. …Hear, O Israel; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: 30. And ………..this is the first commandment….. 31. And the second is…..
    JESUS IS GOD AND IS THE FULLFILMENT OF ALL THE LAW AND PROPHETS SO IF YOU CAN’T GET THIS “FIRST OF ALL COMMANDMENTS” RIGHT, ALL THE REST OF YOUR “FAITH” AND PREACHING ON SIN IS MOOT

    TRINITARIANS CONFESS JESUS /THEY ARE NOT POLYTHEIST BUT ARE MONOTHEIST LIKE A LIAR & THIEF WHO “CONFESS” THEY DO NOT LIE OR STEAL The simple fact is that just because you confess or deny that you are in an adulterous relationship and denounce all forms of adultery has nothing to do with whether or not it is in fact adulterous! .. …A rose by any other name is still just a rose AND calling it a water lily does not change the definition of what a water Lilly or a rose is either!…No, Trinitarians confess & preach literally …”ANOTHER JESUS” 2 Cor 11:4

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/part-2-pgs-91-101-chapter-eight-lets-talk-us-allen-daves?trk=mp-reader-card

    - Like a thief in your house caught stealing your things insisting he was not there stealing “I CONFESS I am NOT stealing”. You just do not “properly understand” what he is doing/saying. Further, since you never had a “proper understanding” of what he is doing/saying you have no business accusing him since you do not even know what you are talking about in the first place. It is with and in your own ignorance that you base your “false accusations” & “ad homonym attacks” against him…… Ridiculous of course it is ……2Thess 2:11; Titus 1:16; 2Tim 3:5;

    - A Favorite tool for pathological liars is to use incongruent definitions or create oxymorons out of synonyms such as “a person” and “a being” so as to claim that your god is THREE DIFFERENT PERSONS but ONLY ONE BEING: Which is (1) no different then trying to claim that “THREE DIFFERENT CARS” is “THE ONE VEHICLE” (2) blatant demonstration of the dishonesty & sorcery these children of hell will employ with “a strait face” (which is in part what it means to be a pathological liar)
    ……but, ah i remember how this game is played… “God is three in one” (or 1in 3 or 3in one et al) should have given you a hint, harking back to Satan in The garden…God said you will die…Satan comes along and states no you will be more WISE……today .God said He is one; but Satan’s children come along and say no three is more WISE and humble in the face of God’s grandeur only “a mystery” that can be understood “in faith”. God uses head and right arm to explain the distinctions between father and son.. However, the Trinitarian heretics say to the effect: “NO, that is just a figure of speech, or that is not what God really means. What God is really saying is that God is three different persons”. Fools, hypocrites and blind guides, God said he was One and by your traditions and vain imaginations have taken the words of God and made them of no effect, refashioning God into your image!

    You can download the complete FREE book from
    https://www.scribd.com/doc/305367608/The-Trinity-Heresy
    OR
    https://www.academia.edu/23463667/THE_TRINITY_HERESY

    http://www.scribd.com/user/249756770/Allen-Daves

    independent.academia.edu/AllenDaves

    https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/0_0wXAPxHFpV6o3_6erj3ZFe?trk=prof-sm

    #2 SECOND COMING Thou Fool! “I come quickly” so “Hold fast
    till i come”… NOT …“in another 2000 yrs I might be coming soon any time now, so hold fast”!?! …those that deny the second coming of Christ in the war of AD70 are practicing a damnable heresy in denying the lord that bought them ( 2Peter 2:1-2 ;2Tim 4:8/ you cant love an appearing you deny& the context is the 2nd coming not the first)… Mat 7:23..”I NEVER KNEW YOU” …..Mat 10:33. But whosoever shall deny me before men……..sound familiar?…. If I said I am coming to your house in this generation when these things happen but no one knows the day or hour what fool would think I might be coming in 2000 years latter!?!? ..2 Tim 4: 4. And
    they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be TURNED UNTO FABLES.
    2Thess 2: 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    DOWNLOAD FREE THE ENTIRE 480PG BOOK AT SEVERAL LOCATIONS
    https://www.scribd.com/doc/305366745/Revelation-the-First-Gospel-of-the-Kingdom

    or

    https://www.academia.edu/23464127/REVELATION_THE_FIRST_GOSPEL_OF_THE_KINGDOM

    #3 There is a sharp contrast between THREE groups :

    (1) “PREDESTINED DAMNED” who were NEVER written in the book of life ………..Rev 17: 8 WHOSE NAMES WERE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, …as contrasted …EPH 1: 4. According as he hath CHOSEN US in him BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD

    (2) “MANY CALLED”= ONLY and ALL SAINTS (those who come to Christ) are written in the book of life … Philippians 4:3… ……Rev 21:27; (Only saints are Called and elect; Rom 1:6-7 et al) This is THE CHRUCH and ONLY these can have their names blotted out of the book of life ….….Heb 12:23 to the general assembly and CHURCH of the firstborn … WHICH ………are WRITTEN in heaven,

    (3) THE FEW CHOSEN: Those saints who were alive in group #2 who are now physically dead. They died “faithful” these are the FEW that were chosen faithful…….Rev 3:5. ……; and I
    will not BLOT OUT HIS NAME OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE, (Ps 69:28) …. These are the FEW that are CHOSEN and now that they have died and are saved then “once saved THEY CAN NEVER BE LOST”

    Predestination….its true..its all true…download here

    https://www.scribd.com/doc/306868420/Most-True-Christians-Go-to-Hell

    https://www.academia.edu/25217564/Most_True_Christains_Go_to_Hell

  • Gordon

    The principle components of man are body, soul and spirit which he incorporates into all his earthly activities. So when man worships creation he reaches for demonic power to support his interest. Hence we all depend on magic for answers. However the only pure form of spiritual trust and power comes from a relationship with God through Jesus (Yeshua). Find out about true spirituality here;
    http://www.shadow-free.com/the-shadow-of-the-spiritual-introduction/

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