Daniel Keaton on Magick
Daniel Keaton is a British magickian who is perhaps best known as the developer of the extremely effective magickal system that he revealed in full in his home study course, The Art & Science of Magickal Creation.
Regular readers will already be aware that Kreafy’s Library recently republished that course in full as an Amazon Kindle e-book, so it made sense to sit down with the author and get a more personal insight into his views on magick and how it can benefit one’s life.
We put a number of questions to Daniel on a variety of magickal topics, and his answers were both informative and inspirational, as you will now discover in the first of this three-part interview series…
One of our early articles at Kreafy’s Library explored the question of how magick works, whether by metaphysical or mundane means, and it concluded that the answer is all a matter of perspective. What are your views on that topic?
That’s a question which I thought about a lot in the beginning, and I often swayed between the two explanations according to my mood. When I was in a creative mood, which psychologists have traditionally associated with right-brain thinking, I maintained that magick was all about influencing invisible forces, manipulating energy, and so on. When I was in a more logical and rational mood, which is associated with left-brain thinking, I attributed the success that I had with magick to a more scientific model of cause-and-effect.
Today, my point of view is much the same as the one taken in the article you mentioned, and I see it all as a matter of perspective. I still sway from one preferred explanation to the other, but I now realise that it’s my moods which are influencing that preference, and that neither one needs to be right or wrong. The fact is that when you do ABC, you get XYZ as a result, and whether you want to view it as a successful manipulation of cosmic forces or as a slightly less mysterious demonstration of cause-and-effect, is largely irrelevant. That’s why I refer to magick as being both an art and a science, because I can’t definitively prove that it’s either one. And the truth is, nobody knows exactly why magick works.
Do you think that modern magickians worry too much about explaining things, or having to prove a hypothesis in a more scientific way?
Yes, I think we do. Part of that stems from all of the scientific progress that we’ve made in the last few hundred years, and also from the trend of trying to turn anything related to spirituality into some kind of ‘old-fashioned nonsense’.
Maybe one day, science will discover that there’s a perfectly rational explanation for why me doing ABC produces XYZ, and then all of a sudden everyone will be using magick as a tool to improve their lives. But why wait until then? I don’t really understand how a television works, but I know that if I plug it into the electrical outlet and press the buttons on the remote control in a certain order, I can get to watch the evening news, and that’s all I want. I watch television as a viewer, not an engineer, and I work magick to experience its benefits, not to prove precisely how it works.
Magick has been around for thousands of years, and the variety of magickal systems that are available can be quite daunting to newcomers. How would you advise them to find a system which is most likely to work for them?
Well I basically view different systems of magick as being similar to different genres of music, so you first decide what kind of genre most appeals to you. If you’re into dressing up, reciting incantations in a strange tongue and you like the theatre of magick, you’d probably be more into a system of ritual magick. If you simply want results as quickly as possible, and you don’t particularly connect with the theatrical aspect, then you would probably be better suited to simpler systems.
Going back to the music analogy, many of us enjoy different types of music at different times in our lives, or even according to our moods and emotions, so it’s also perfectly feasible to have a range of magickal systems to pick and choose from.
My best advice would be to trust your instincts, listen to your inner voice and if something appeals to you, go ahead and find out more. Then, if something else comes along that you like the sound of, explore that too. Just because you like listening to pop music for the most part doesn’t mean that you can’t also enjoy jazz or hip-hop from time to time. Magickal systems are vehicles that are designed to get you somewhere. They aren’t ends in themselves.
How would you describe your own system?
My system of magick is much more pragmatic than theatrical, but it’s also very flexible, so it can accommodate theatrical types too. When I use it, I tend to take a minimalist approach, with all of the action taking place in my mind, and I suppose to any outside observer it might just look like I’m meditating or something.
As far as mechanics are concerned, all systems are based on the manipulation of belief, and mine is no different. I know from experience that, if I can get myself to believe something wholeheartedly, then that belief quickly becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So my system strips away the extraneous ‘window-dressing’ and focuses squarely on the creation and manipulation of belief itself, often by working with thought forms and tulpas.
So you aren’t out wearing robes and chanting under a full moon?
Not so far, no. To me, magick is a tool, not a lifestyle. I’m not a magickian because I want to wear distinctive clothes, or be viewed as being different from the norm or to make any kind of impression on anyone else. I’m practising magick purely because I’ve found that it helps me to get the results I want in life, and that it works better than anything else I know. I’m very results-driven, and if something works, I use it.
Part 2 of this interview with Daniel Keaton is coming soon. In the meantime, if you would like to study Daniel’s complete system of magick for yourself, you can do so by obtaining a copy of The Art & Science of Magickal Creation from Amazon.