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Imaginary Magic

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic
From: "Yowie" 
Subject: Re: Imaginary Magic (was where to start?)
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 23:57:14 +1000

nagasiva  wrote in message
> 50010815 VI! om Hail Satan! Hail Yes!
> "Yowie" :

> >> upon what is your opinion based? how powerful is the magic if just
> >> the belief that it won't work causes the spell to fail?
> >
> > My opinion, based on my various travels. Clearly, other people have very
> > different views about How magic Works.
> How *does* magic Work, then? please explain. is it all just belief-based?
> this appears to be a popular idea in alt.magick, has been for years.

My honest answer is: "how the heck should I know?" :-)

All I know is that all the stuff I had intentionally done magic on (I'm of
the imaginary school) has convinced me of the efficacy of magic. Its not
something I much around with every day. Then again, I have no way of knowing
what would have happened if I *didn't* "do magic" so I don't have a nice
double-blind experiemnt to satisfy the scientist in me. however, I do have
enough of a hint to accept on gut-feels, anecdotal evidence, and my own
expereince, that there is "something in this".

Most of my knowledge, such that it is, has been gleaned from Wiccan and
Wicca-like pagan books, sites, e-mail lists, this group, and
alt.religion.wicca.moderated. I understand that Cat & yourself do things
remarkably differently. I don't understand it so well, it feels, at the most
basic level, foriegn to me, and I know that its not my path. I would not
feel comfortable doing the spells that you do. Would they be effective even
if I didn't want to do them and doubted their efficacy? Dunno, I'm unlikely
to do one, because deep inside somewhere, I have my own way of doing "magic"
that sort of was just *there* all the time in my subsconcious waiting until
I tapped into it.

How the heck it works is beyond me - but I am not sure Granny Weatherwax was
too far wrong when she said "its mostly headology" :-) All I know is that I
have no need for most of Cat's wares to be effective in my own eyes, and
what little stuff I would use would be because it means something or
represents something to me personally. I always associate the smell of
rosemary with spiritual cleaning/overhaul/new starts. I don't know whether
rosemary has this attribute in more traditional workings (like hoodoo), but
thats how I use it and it seems to work.

What *really* drives me batty, though, are people who get an "ingredients
list" for a spell, mix it all up with no thought to it, no reasoning,
absolutley no idea why they are using this particular thing instead of some
other thing, and then claim they did a spell. Perhaps they did - who am I
too judge - but I really really don't like the "blind faith" method of
magic. Just a personal itchy-spot, I guess

> > Anecdotal evidence suggests that both work to some degree or another.
> I'm not so sure. I've been perhaps unfortunately trained in the Halls
> of Materialism, so I have a kind of built-in method of approach,
> though I can suspend this when I wish to.

Well, yeah. I suppose if I took the interest and effort in studying
ceremonial magic, or hoodoo or whatever other "magical" path that is not my
own, and had a good teacher, and was studious, I would eventually become
somewhat proficient in it. But it wouldn'tbe my "native" magic. Just like I
could, after lot sof study and hard work, become a somewhat competant
accountant, however my innate talents lie towards find out *why* stuff
works. I'm a research scientist by day, and a philospher in my spare time
:-). other people have great mechanical abilities (I could learn, but its
not an innate talent) and some people seem to be gifted muscially (I am tone
deaf and never did get the hang of playing or creating music (although I
enjoy listening). Magic, I believe is just another one of those innate
talents people have. Some people are truly geniuses in magic and can do
*whatever*. Some of us have discovered we can do something, and are
practicing at various different ways of doing it. Others have no idea about
it, just like I had no idea that I had a modicum of talent in writing until
I actually gave it a go. No method is better or worse or wrong or right
because its really up to the individual to decide what works best for them.

I believe (yes, faith) that everybody has their own way of dealing with the
supernatural. Some people dismiss it as fiction and ignore it, others go
down various different magical paths as is suited to their nature. One of
those paths is, IMHO, prayer & religous faith, another is what you call
"imaginary" magic, others find ceremonial magic easier to understand and
deal with, yet others perhaps only know of one way so thats the way they go.
In the end, though, if the practioner is happy with the results s/he is
getting, then IMHO, it doesn't matter which route they took, or even if
those "spells" would not be considered successful in anyone else's eyes, as
long as the practioner is happy carrying on doing what they are doing.

Of course, once you start *boasting* that you can do so-called super-natural
things like magic, then you do open yourself up for scientific appraisal,
but if its really a private thing, then, IMHO, it matters not if you get on
your knees and pray, light insence and bow, mix various materials together
following a well-known formula, carry out great big complicated rituals or
simply *will* things to happen. As long as you are satisfied with the
results of your actions, then why all the kicking and screaming that someone
else's methods are "not as good as mine" when they aren't you in the first
place. ("you" used in the general, not specific, sense)

> I'd say this was of only limited success. if I was employed for the
> purposes of research or part of a company which procured books I
> could easily make a study of rates of success with and without use
> of a formula oil, or a talisman I constructed, or whatever. mine was
> merely an example. it is easy to test these things. making it a
> routine would help, as would using the same formulae or pattern of
> magical preparation.

But you'll never know what would have happened if you *hadn't* applied the
oil. Oh, sure, you could do the same search again, but time moves on, things
are slightly different now.

Was it just a coincidence? Does magic happen even at all - is its just the
patter-recognition instinct hard-wired into our brains finding supposed
patterns in this chaotic soup we call life?

I dunno. i really don't. But I find sitting in a quiet place, visualising
what it is that I want done, and then let out a burst of energy into that
vision and *pop* magic has happened. And so far, my reality *seems* to
reflect the "magic" that I have done. Would the events I believe I "spelled"
turn out the same way if I hadn't "done magic"? I have no way to know, and
so, yes, I guess it does come down to faith. I have faith that my magic
works. And if I believe my magic works for me, I cannot deny the possibility
that someone else's magic works for them, even if it bears no resemblence to
my "own" form of magic.

PS, is APSHM the right NG to be posting this in (thats where I'm reading
this from). I read a while ago that there was a new NG for discussing "How
magic works" and I think that this is wher ethe conversation is heading

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