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High and Low Magic - Another Opinion

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick.ethics
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: High and Low Magic - Another Opinion
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 21:47:01 GMT

Meph wrote:
> 
> "High Magic", AKA "Western Ceremonial Magick" is more based on 
> intellect and bending the Universe's will to your will by pure force 
> of mind. It is usually (but not always) more heavily 'high-church' 
> ritual-oriented; i.e., very long, detailed, complex rituals that 
> change little from invocation to invocation. In many (but not all) 
> cases the ultimate goal is to communicate with a higher power (e.g. 
> angels); sometimes a real-world change is desired (e.g., money, 
> healing). Examples include Crowley, OTO, Hermatic.
> 
> "Low Magic", AKA "Pagan" is more based on aligning your will to that 
> of the Universe. It is usually (but not always) more 'low-church'
> ritual-oriented; i.e. rituals are simpler and may not be replicated 
> at different occurrances of the same celebration. In many (but not 
> all) cases the ultimate goal is real-world change (e.g., money, 
> healing); sometimes a communication with a higher power is desired 
> (e.g. Drawing Down the Goddess/God). Examples include Wicca, 
> Witchcraft, shamanism.
> 
> Note I don't include 'worship' or diety in either. In my experience,
> both types have adherents that are very 'religious' in their 
> practice of magic (i.e., very diety-of-choice oriented) and both 
> have adherents that practice magic without any trappings of religion 
> or worship.

You have either left out or wrongly defined the bulk of folk-magic,
which is not neo-pagan or wiccan in orientation. Seveal vast continents'
worth of pracitioners of folk-magic would not necessarily agree with you
that what they do is "based on aligning [their] will to that of the
Universe." The terminolory and concept you present are senseless in
almost all instances of hoodoo, brujeria, and stregha spell-casting and
they do not relate at all to Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Aegean
folk-magic customs or practices surrounding the belief in the evil eye,
either.  

Cordially,

cat yronwode 

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