Personally, I’m generally not a fan of Llewellyn. Not to say anything against the company, I just find that what they publish, sell and distribute is a little fluffy for me. However, they do a lot of good, and are great for most people with any interest in divination, paganism, astrology – anything occult.
However, in an effort to expand my mind, I began looking through the articles on the website and found this one: The Lost Secrets of Western Magick Revealed. This article talks about the difference between “Western practitioners” and …well, the rest. By Western Practitioners, they mean people that might not put the daily dedication into the craft but just pull it from their sleeve (look up something on the internet, or in a Spell-a-Day book) when they need something.
“Thanks to the great melting-pot that is social media, I have encountered more than a few non-Western conjurors and shamans who describe our magick as more fantasy than reality. They suggest we don’t know how to perform real magick, that we simply don’t get results. If they are being especially nice about it, they’ll say that our magick is primarily mental—meaning our systems are designed to create change within our brains rather than in the physical world. Wiccan ceremonies, I have been told, come across more like self-help or group therapy than ancient magickal rites. And most Golden Dawn or Thelemic practitioners are written off as arm-chair wizards at best.”
For some one such as myself that puts great store in the Thelelmic order and/or the Golden Dawn – anything to be considered high ceremonial magick – this is quite an interesting statement. Those that are of the “non-Western conjurors” are shamans and otehr witches that are not of the Western hemisphere.
The article goes on to tell how older-to-ancient traditions were lost during the Inquisitions, when witchcraft was declared illegal, and then more so with the development of sciences.
“Those occultists who insisted on continuing the practice of magick under the nose of unrelenting Science found themselves re-interpreting many of the old ways into new pseudo-scientific forms. This was aided in no small way by the advent of psychology, which allowed them to interpret all things magickal or fantastical as mere aspects of the human psyche—convenient fictions created by primitive men who simply had no scientific language to describe their world. In time the Industrial Revolution came, and Western society (including its magick) was re-cast in a mold entirely removed from the agrarian life that had given birth to the old ways.
Thus was a schism formed between ancient forms of magick and the Western form. This is why, today, we have to make a distinction between the “Old Magick” (pre-Enlightenment) and modern magick. This is why practitioners of indigenous folk magicks and ancient Pagan religions around the world see themselves as set apart from us—and why many of us seem to agree with them.”
After going into a little bit more of a history, the article proceeds to explain just exactly what was lost during this time, and what we have been left to reinterpret:
- Intermediary Spirits (Gatekeepers)
- Familiars and Patrons
- Offerings and Spirit Feeding
- Physical Bases
The author is well researched, and writes a good article, which I strongly encourage reading in full, especially to gain more detail of the bullets above.
**Jane is a student in Bellingham, Washington of Academics and a self-study pupil of magickal arts. She has spent time over a span of 15 years practicing meditation and attuning to the Universe, though her Will leads her along the path of the Written Word. You can read her other blog, Scribing English or her other articles on her Hubpages account, ThompsonPen