“Every man and every woman is a Star”
I’ve often sat in front of my computer with my fingers spiraling above my keyboard like a swinging pendulum, begging my wrists to dip and give weight to my hands so that they may find place upon keys, and my thoughts and words will find themselves filling the screen. However, it’s usually in this moment that I simply shrug and feel as though all that there is to say on the topic has been said, and that I would be bringing nothing new to the conversation. Though, perhaps it is how the information can be conveyed that opens new eyes, so that being said, here I present my introduction to Magick.
If you are unfamiliar with Magick – Yes, with a ‘k’ as to distinguish from stage performance, vanishing cards, the appearance of small critters, and sleight of hand trickery, let’s clarify here by drawing from Aleister Crowley’s definition from Magick Without Tears: “Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.”
Magick is not something to be believed in; it’s not to be something that one turns on and off – it is an altered perspective in aligning ourselves with our most ‘truthful’ and developed means of expression. To quote Magick Without Tears once more, “Why should you study and practice Magick? Because you can’t help doing it, and you had better do it well than badly.”
If one appreciates the arts; be it literature, music, physical performance, or visual creations, the truly powerful work is not made from normal states with the sole purpose of the audience’s consumption. What I call (for lack of a better term) ‘True Art’ appears as an outward manifestation of what the artist purges from their psyche in an act of pure and honest expression – the artists lose themselves in the process of their creation and their work takes upon a life of its own. The end product exposes the soul of its creator in its appearance. Appreciating and understanding this art is an expansive experience for the observer/listener, it leads to the development of culture amongst peoples, and it instills understanding in those who are receptive to it.
[...]we assert a secret source of energy which explains the phenomenon of Genius. We do not believe in any supernatural explanations, but insist that this source may be reached by the following out of definite rules, the degree of success depending upon the capacity of the seeker, and not upon the favour of any Divine Being. We assert that the critical phenomenon which determines success is an occurrence in the brain characterized essentially by the uniting of subject and object." Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA.
In a way that I have found helpful to view the art of Magick – if one remains ‘attentive’ of their ‘trance state’ as if viewing life as though it were a movie, every act should be examined though with detached observation; whether it’s monitoring internal dialogue, presenting themselves appropriately in the most minute of interactions, to their posture when simply sitting in a chair. If one views their gestures, movements, and interactions with the world as an artist views the stroke of a brush upon canvas, their life should outwardly be the most truthful expression of that which resonates from within and this should be evident in how they conduct themselves.
This requires self-discovery, introspection, and the development of methods of thought control. Most importantly, one must make the decision to step out and question any, and all dogma that has been presented in our lives so that we can free ourselves of unwanted programs of behaviour and thoughts which have stubbornly been planted into the sub-conscious. It requires the questioning of all authority, and the questioning of every event that happens in one’s life in how we choose to perceive, or interact with it. In doing so, we can view ourselves as moving out from the passive mentality (the mindset of the slave, or the robotic), and into the mental space of the creator; so that one is riding upon the cusp of evolution and is not bogged down by old ideals, ignorance, prejudice, and belief systems that confine one to the past – which prevents not only the progress of the individual, but consequently their society.
Crowley in the Book of the Law gave the most appropriate motto for this mentality, or lifestyle called Thelema: “Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law. Love is the Law, Love Under Will”. If unfamiliar with the expression, I must highlight that this is of course said in the context of what I had presented above, and does not mean to simply do as one wants with the knowledge that there is no angry god in the sky to smite and strike down with deadly repercussions in life, or a debatable “after life”.
One must develop and discover their true Will (self expression), and guide it with the creative force, the uniting principle of Love. We are all expressing our True Will at all times, albeit in varying degrees of strength. Reflection, and self-work (not self worship) must be required to tap into our creative centers as to elevate us to the zenith of our daemon.
The methods of doing this are varied and for every individual to discover for themselves, but are not limited to: proper understanding of ritual; the practice of meditation, yoga, mysticism; the study of philosophy, psychology, theology, theosophy, phenomenology, and whatever else you happen to be drawn to – examine what draws you there and see where it applies. The ability to do this in the digital age makes knowledge more accessible than ever.
Liberty is accessible to all. It is up to the individual to utilize and empower themselves with Magick.
“Thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that, and no other shall say nay.”