I had several clients of different backgrounds email me this week concerned for a number of different reasons by the use of the term "magick".
To some people, like a newly-converted Christian client of mine, MAGICK is synonymous with evil, the devil, and something to be cast out and cast away, to run from and renounce as quickly as possible. To another client who has struggled with mental health, MAGICK is potentially scary because it is easily confused conceptually with magical thinking and fantasy.
So what are we talking about with Magick? Why not just give up on such a controversial term?
First, a clarification: "Magic" generally refers to sleight of hand and stage magic. "Magick" with a “k” at the end refers to spiritual transformational processes.
FEAR OF MAGICK
True Magick is the same as true Yoga...true Magick is union the Divine / God-Goddess by whatever name you prefer — in all things. True Magick and true Yoga are the same as "Healing" — to become whole and in alignment with our inherent Divinity.
Unfortunately, this is not found represented almost anywhere in popular culture today. The internet will not help either and is a great way to trip out and get really paranoid or scared, because Magick, like Science, can be used for both good and bad things. Anytime I google something about magick/magic, the search results are jammed with websites devoted to Satanic / Black Magick — harmful, evil CRAP that poses as Magick. This is horrible especially for young people who inherently know that Magick is real — they get sucked into truly evil stuff that is designed only for hurting people.
Real Magick is ALWAYS about the Will of God, and nothing else. If you're seeking to bring about some other kind of change, other than Divinity, to your personality or life, you will have to look somewhere else, because we do not offer any other kind of Magickal training than that which is about the Will of God! It doesn't matter what name you use for God, or if you think God is only 'male' or only 'female' — those are limitations which are quickly shed on the path of enlightenment and self-knowledge.
Another important distinction is Magick vs. Magical thinking. Magical thinking is wishful fantasy, which, depending on mental health, we may or may not feel in control of but which nonetheless serves no one and has no practical results. Magical thinking has many causes but all are about escaping from reality rather than actually making a positive impact on reality. For those suffering or struggling with mental health, approaching magic (or Magick) is scary because it sounds like "down the rabbit hole into wonderland" all over again, and they are rightly hoping to get out of that crazy world of fantasy and delusional thinking.
SO...WHAT IS MAGICK, AND HOW SHOULD I USE IT?
Real Magick is a scientific means to take the unexamined "stuff" of our subconscious minds and do alchemy with that "stuff" — transform the parts of ourselves which do not serve our light, our goodness (Godliness), or our joy. This is done through a systematic application of spiritual fire so those obstacles are burned up. In eastern Yogic practices this inner spiritual fire is called Tapas (different than a small plates restaurant).
True Magick AKA true Yoga AKA true Healing should yield real results if practiced diligently over time, and is actually a precise science, although generally invisible. At the beginning of real spiritual/magickal healing and training, the client/student really has no idea what is happening. Similarly, a kindergartener has no idea why they are studying writing reading and arithmetic, and at first the letters of the alphabet are just gibberish to them. Similarly, the language of the Soul is just gibberish to us at first when we bump into a true lineage Mystery School and our training begins with our first session — we are training in how to listen to what our Soul is really telling us, so we can master each lesson and move forward.
One example of this is the Hermetic tradition of Kabbalah. Kabbalah is one of the divine hermetic arts and sciences, requiring a lifetime and more to build up true understanding of it.
And herein lies a HUGE piece about the importance of real lineage, and real magickal training. It is a science, and it has been honed over thousands and thousands of years to produce REAL results.
Science eventually led to me being able to type to you on an iPhone in one city or state and you read it on your iPhone in a different city or state within seconds of me hitting “send”. Magick, when applied diligently and correctly with proper training and study (those iPhone engineers didn’t just wake up one day and “magically” know how to build and iPhone, they studied for many years to be able to have the knowledge to do that), will lead to definite transformation of the personality so that it becomes transparent to the Soul — capable of conducting Spiritual Light into itself and the world, and coming into alignment with the spiritual core purpose for why it (the personality) was born on this planet — to express a unique flavor of joy and bring that joy to others as well. This long haul healing / yogic / magickal process is called in the Western Mysteries the “Great Work”, because (1) its a large quantity of work; and (2) it is “great” in the sense of large and important.
Magick is dangerous when misused — just like anything else — we misuse Science and create Genetically Modified Organisms and Nuclear Weapons. Inherently DNA and Atoms are not dangerous, but we misapply our knowledge and destroy the world and our health. Magick is no different.
But what about innocent misuse of Magick, like just doing it on our own without any real training? If I go to build an iPhone on my own, without training, I am almost definitely going to fail. There's a good chance nothing will happen, but, depending on my attempts, I might also blow myself up in the process of homegrown science experiments. If I go practice magick on my own (whatever that means to you at this moment is fine), it's probably harmless, but there's a small chance it will really mess me up.
INTEGRATION OF "MAGICK" AND "SCIENCE"?
Magick and Alchemy are what developed into modern materialistic Medicine and Sciences, which have long since become divorced from Spiritual processes. Modern Science presupposes that the subject and the object are separate. Despite what Quantum Physics tells us in theory, that it's impossible to actually separate subject from object, the scientific community at large still fails to grasp even the most basic influence of mind, emotion, heart, and energy on any experiment or observation.
When will we see modern Science catching up? How will we know? For me, I envision a time when Doctors and Scientists are necessarily trained to be spiritual healers whose training begins with the care of the Soul, which is the same as saying Self-Love. I believe we will see a time soon when humanity as a whole honors the nature of the spirit first before the current mechanical approach to the zombie lifestyle. When we of course send a patient for natural healing of all sorts before resorting to chemicals and surgery. When we recycle all synthetic materials and design everything we produce to flow in a harmonious cycle.
From what I can see, humanity is still a long distance from this. How will we get there faster? True Magick, applied to each individual in society, to transform the personality and make it transparent to the Light of the Soul! And beyond the transformation of the personality, to infuse the Soul with the eternal infinite being we each are. It sounds so grandiose and unreachable — which is EXACTLY WHY we have MAGICK! Because without Magick — a scientific approach to transforming our inner life into the Light — humanity stands little chance of achieving enlightenment before we destroy our planet.
HOW TO BEGIN, HOW TO SUCCEED
Sticking with the inner fire of transformation and knowing when and how to engage the assistance of others and when and how to engage in purely inner work is crucial to success. Part of the difficulty in approaching ourselves is that YOUR scientific magickal process is unique from everyone else’s on the planet. The most amazing thing about Mystery School is there is a definite overarching structure and framework to the growth processes of the Soul; and within that, you can find a Map and Compass and eventually even a GPS unit — unique to you — for how to navigate this life and find joy for your Self and bring joy to others.
This post was packed with so much, I had to edit it down. There may be terms in here that you might find used in perplexing ways: Soul, God, Personality, Love, Joy, and Alchemy, in particular. These all have specific meanings and are in a much larger context. Maybe I'll get a chance to post about some of that soon.
Jordan Bain is a Senior Guide, Healer and Teacher with the Modern Mystery School. He works tirelessly to assist others in their self-knowledge, healing, and life purpose. "If everything were to suddenly stop in your life tomorrow, where would you be? Would you be living in your joy? Would you be able to create a brand new life for yourself from scratch? Do you know yourself and your purpose enough to guide yourself on the right path for you?" These are essentials Jordan helps people move into and answer for themselves. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and two french bulldogs.