rom: firstname.lastname@example.org (tyaginator)
Date: 8 Mar 1995 15:33:06 -0800
Summary: This is one of a number of compended posts on magick or topics
associated with it in some way. It is intended as an introductory
file and its content will be questioned and discussed within
Usenet's alt.magick newsgroup.
Posting-Frequency: to alt.magick -- by inquiry and desire;
KREEPING OOze FAQ Question #3: "How do I get started in magick?"
Books are one answer. There are actually books which try to take you
from your first tentative attempts at relaxation into holding a
ritual. Israel Regardie's _One-Year Manual_ comes to mind. I've read
it and tried it, but it didn't work very well for me. Maybe it will
Other than that, it's a matter of Reebok rhetoric: Just do it! If you
like to, you can see this as one of the very first exercises in Will;
you Will yourself into making a ritual. And just as with sex, the
first time you'll feel pathetic, clumsy and silly, but if you keep on
learning, you'll improve. And of course, make sure that you won't be
interrupted, and practice "safe magick". If you found a ritual in a
book that you feel comfortable with, try it. But at least try to think
of something personal. Try to visualize yourself doing it, daydream
about it, and if it still feels ok, carry it out physically. Start out
small. Learn to crawl before you go for the marathon.
Don't talk about it with people who won't understand what it means to
you. The fourth power (of the Sphinx) is there for a reason.
Ceci, playing the Crone
I would suggest that you start with The Book of Thoth by Aleister
Crowley, his magnum opus on tarot. If that don't tweak ya, or if it's
too confusing to start I would suggest finding your local OTO body (just
email to Bill Heidrick if you don't know where the closest one might be)
of if that's not your style try your local Wiccan group, they are usually
good at helping out beginners with the basics.
email@example.com (Fra. Doubt-Goat)
Pick up a copy of A Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice. Read it.
Pick up a copy of RA Wilson's Prometheus Rising. Read it. Do the exercises.
Do NOT take anything seriously all the time.
Be very careful of picking up any "right dogma", avoid this entirely,
Listen to people, but ALWAYS think for yourself and develope your own
outlook. NEVER subsume you opinion/will in others. Take an ACTIVE role
in experimentation, avoid people who say they know the "one true" way pf
doing anything! Good luck!
See the _MaGI's Guide to the Internet_. There's a nexus which will allow
you to scout out your own torrent of information overload: elists with which
to pelt your ebox, ftp sites to swim in until you overload your memory-quota,
and Usenet groups to overload your newsreader. The problem is not access to
information any more (at least not once one has oriented and this doesn't
take much time), it is sorting that in which we can find value from that in
which we cannot.
A great part of the problem is that what's 'authoritative' is somewhat
relative to the individual who is doing the review. There are emotional
and imaginative approaches, dry and intellectual affairs, those based on
not much experience, those based entirely on it, those who prefer their
magick in armchairs, those who prefer it in Hell, in Heaven, in Space,
in the Dirt, some with connections to organizations (covens, lodges,
grottos, pronaos, churches, temples, etc.), some to traditions (lineages,
sects, etc.) and some way out there in weirdsville-whoknowswhere.
The first step in determining 'authoritativeness' is to look INWARD.
What sorts of questions do you find valuable to contemplate? Are they
pragmatic (how do I do X?), theoretical (what does X mean?), ethical
(when is it bad to do X?), or some combination of these? If YOU were
devising a test for aspirants (don't bother that you may be one
yourself), what questions would you put on this test (don't worry if
you don't know answers!)? Making up the test will assist you in
beginning a comparison of knowledge-bases with others in the occult
community online or off. Continue to look at these questions. Watch
how your responses change as you meet people who approach the questions
from different places. Add to that list of questions and restructure
them as you proceed in your self-education.
The second step in determining 'authoritativeness' is to look INWARD.
What are your TASTES with regard to magical and occult subjects and
practices? If you don't know, then EXPLORE! Find out what tastes
good. Do angels and bunnies and light just turn you on? How about
Alien Infestations from the Horrid Depths of Space? Strange words
and weird mathematics? Just swimming in cool ponds during autumn?
There are many many different approaches to magick, even religious
ones! (see Islam/Sufism or the recent 'Christian Magick Elist' called
'FiatLVX'). Explore as many as suits your taste. Sometimes settling
for what comes first is not the best means of attaining any goals you
The third step in determining 'authoritativeness' is to EXPERIENCE.
Do things. Try out things and above all, FAIL MISERABLY. The failure
is as important as is the success. The two are ultimately a product
of warped thinking anyway. *Do things*, as the alt.magick.chaos people
love to say. Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth
living. It may be equally true that the UNEXPERIENCED life is not
worth living. Be imaginative. Fly by the seat of your pants. Take
risks. Do the FORBIDDEN. Tempt josh.
The fourth step in determining 'authoritativeness' is to REFLECT.
See what people say in their words/actions/expressions which seems to
conform to your experience of the world. When you can get a 'fix'
on someone and you LIKE what they are saying, then compare these people
with others who may qualify in a similar way. Engage others and draw
from THEIR experience and reflection. Develop your own ideas as a
result of critical thought ('Question Authority, dammit!) and your own
practice as a result of creative exploration ('Do something, dammit!).
The last step in determining 'authoritativeness' is to PROJECT. Just
because someone says something about which you do not agree this does
not make them idiots. They may have experience which you do not have
and they could be representing a very important and oft-overlooked
reflection. It is for this reason that it is quite difficult to be sure
just who is and who is not an not a very nice person without substance. Along the path
of wizardry we do not burn our bridges, even while we may place small
signs near them which say 'Of Uncertain Value'.
The most important principle in determining 'authoritativeness' is to
develop it within ourselves. Suckling at the teats of masters may be
important at certain stages of our growth, yet eventually we must
break away from the nest, we must try out our wings, we must take
risks and become reservoirs of experience and wisdom ourselves. If
nothing else, through such exploits we may become humble.
This is a note to those who are young (male or female) and are
interested in learning more about the magickal arts. Take heed of those
who say that they can teach you all about what is magickal. Especially
if you must join their "coven" or group to do so. There is nothing you
can learn from them that you can't from a book. I also feel that everyone
should have a grasp of the basics before joining a working group. If you
don't know where to go or what to start with, just ask for a good reference.
Don't fall for the "I hold the secret knowledge" line. Because
that's all it is... a line. I've seen too many people bite a line like
that and end up getting screwed (in more ways than one) and than told
that they still aren't ready for the next grade.
"I hold the key to my own self knowing."
Lilith Darkchilde <lilith>
This document is Copyright (c) 1994, authors cited.
All rights reserved. Permission to distribute the collection is
hereby granted providing that distribution is electronic, no money
is involved, reasonable attempts are made to use the latest version
and all credits and this copyright notice are maintained.
Other requests for distribution should be directed to the individual
authors of the particular articles.
This is from a series of continually-updated posts responding to recurrent
questions in this newsgroup. Please debate anything in here which seems
extreme and add your own response to these questions after the post. I'll
integrate what I like. Thanks.