Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Defining Magick Part Two

This entry is a reply to Ralph’s comment under Mythology Part Three: Spells and Magick

Ralph: I'm sorry, but Dr. Dee, could you go into a little more detail as to why you define this advice as a spell or magick? Is it because it involves distracting your mind or redirecting your focus -the old "hand-is-quicker-than-the-eye" methodology?

Doc: Exactly. Distracting your mind in order to work with unseen energy IS magickal practice, and so is intentional behavior modification. These two factors, combined with recognizing and channeling universal energy, takes you toward achieving your goals on the physical plane.

That's magick as far as I can tell.

From there, you open the world to serendipity, the potential for wonderful synchronous acts to occur in your life. Maybe your intentional distraction brings you in contact with another person--someone whom you were supposed to meet. Or maybe you pick up a newspaper and find an article that you were meant to read...something that fits perfectly into your life at that moment.

Both of these instances came about because you were open to the idea that you have the ability to alter reality (or, at the very least, your perception of reality).

For the record, I spell magick with a “k” because I want to separate it from the “pull a rabbit out of a hat” kind of magic, which also involves distraction, but is really not concerned, in most cases, with intention and the perception of other planes of reality. Magic is more about parlor tricks, which I’m not interested in at this point.

So it's important to note that magick involves more than the ability to distract yourself. If it ends there, then it's still good practice. However, magick, the way I define it, involves an opening of the heart to serendipity, awe, love, trust, wonder, and, most importantly, the understanding that the visible plane of reality is the only plane of existence (far from it).

Magick involves an understanding of how the universe operates MOSTLY at an unseen level. In other words, you can’t depend on your five senses all the time. Trees grow, but we can’t see them growing. We can only see the result. This happens all the time.

Therefore, feeling has to play a role in the process. Once feelings of the heart, reason of the brain, and sensations from the five senses learn to co-exist, you can adapt your behavior so as to gain a greater comprehension of the seen and unseen worlds. This can lead to amazing magick, like invisibility.

Now, when I say invisibility, I don’t mean the ability to become transparent. This, once again, is a product of our belief system which we have inherited—largely from the Deists and their Age of Reason. In his Autobiography, Ben Franklin thought—quite logically—that he could live each day according to a perfect schedule and that, once he tweaked the schedule, he would be living the “perfect” life. Well, it didn’t work out that way, because Old Ben didn’t account for the unseen.

Instead, invisibility can be achieved by behavior, timing, clothing and other aspects. If you learn how, anyone can blend into a situation and “not be seen.” When I drove to Atlanta recently, for example, I removed the Steeler license plate from the front of my truck. I simply didn’t want to be driving through Ohio with that plate. Do I love the Steelers? Do I root for them each week during the season? Yes, yes, yes. But do I want to be pulled over by an Ohio State Trooper who hates the Steelers? No, thanks. It’s not worth it.

Did my invisibility spell work? Well, I didn’t get pulled over during my 1900-mile trip, so I’ll assume that it did. Am I silly to believe in such things? Maybe, but this type of thing works for me—again and again and again.

It is the comprehension and mastery of the unseen and unrealized that can lead one to think and act magickally.

Think about how many people do not know how to do these kinds of thing. They will stand in line--all pissed off--or they will sit in traffic--honking their horns--rather than relaxing, calling upon the patience of the universe, and making different choices.
The effect of magick upon the watcher is, "How did they do that?" But for the "performer," it's nothing at all.

This reminds me of the magick of music. People watch me play and say, "Wow. How do you do that?" It seems magickal to them---mystical. But there is no sleight of hand to it. Instead, it’s a result of love and devotion and hard work.

Magick has everything to do with intention. To put it into baseball terms, "Build it and they will come." The intention in that movie was to create a place for the ancestors to return to the diamond (itself a powerful mythical shape) and live again.

Unfortunately, organized religion—coupled with the rise of science and rationalism—has driven magick out of the skies. We have reduced magick to parlor tricks and as a result, have robbed our children of latent powers that reside within them.

All of the magick I’m discussing here is white magick: magick used for good. Magic that is driven by the intention to do no harm. There is also black magic and black magicians. I tend to see people who stir up hatred for their own personal gain to be black magicians. You can fill in your own blanks on this one.

In addition, I have not begun to discuss such practices as voodoo, something which—it is said—you have to believe in order to be affected by. Can you put a hex on somebody? Sure, but as far as I’m concerned, the laws of karma kick in at this point and you only end up hurting yourself. Don’t mess around with this kind of magic or the consequences could be severe.

Okay, I have to break this spell so that I can get on with my day.



Michael K Mahler said...

Hmm, very interesting. Speaking as a Pagan, my favorite definition of magick/magic comes from the writer Starhawk: "Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will" (I.e. most stuff effectively amounts to psyching yourself out.) When we had the first gay pride rally in Perry Square in 1998, I privately thought of it as an open air spell; the idea was that many folks tended to think of this area as being hostile, so being out in public as a group would change that perception, and thus what they were likely to do.

You have probably heard of the Wiccan Rede "Do as ye well an it harm none" ('an' being an archaic word meain 'if' in this context) The idea is that since everything is inter-related, harming something outside ends up harming oneself. Technically, attempting to cast a spell to make someone fall in love with you is not allowed because that is an attempt to force your will onto someone else, without taking into account whether that is the best path for them. (Although it would be perfectly acceptable to do spellwork to clear out one's own impediments to forming a relationship, since that does not involve trying to change someone else.)

DocTorDee said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Thanks Michael.


Galactic Phil Collins said...

are you from the FUTURE? fnord...

DocTorDee said...

I'm from the past...AND the future.

By the way, Ralph, Galactic Phil Collins has a blog that considers some of the very issues that I've been delving into as of late.

It's at:

Ralph said...

Okay, great. I'll check out Galatic Phil's blog when I get a chance. Michael, love the concept of the open air spell to take away hostility. Makes a lot of sense. Circulate some positive energy into the negative air. It seems to be Perry Square has become a better place since 1998.


Oh yeah. What does "are you from the future mean?" Please expand.