Magick – An Introduction
British occultist Aleister Crowley famously defined magick as, ‘the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will,’ and the letter k which appears at the end of the word differentiates serious magick from the conjuring type of magic that involves sleight of hand, optical illusion and similar techniques of trickery. There are many different types or categories of magick, as follows:
High Magick is used for the purposes of spiritual development and enlightenment. Traditionally, one of the main goals of High Magick is for the practitioner to achieve, in Crowley’s words, ‘Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel,’ who is essentially a manifestation of the practitioner’s own divinity. Once such Knowledge and Conversation has been achieved, the magickian receives further instruction directly from his Holy Guardian Angel, and therefore has little further need for external guidance.
Low Magick is used for the improvement of various conditions or attainment of a stated goal in daily life, such as the procurement of a new job, an increase in financial prosperity, better relationships, and so on. It is quite common for some people to refer to various types of Low Magick as separate categories, so the term Love Magick would be used to refer to magick that is focused on love, Money Magick would be focused on money, and so on.
Ceremonial Magick, also known as Ritual Magick, is a form of magick that emphasises the ceremonial or ritual aspects. This is the kind of magick that Hollywood movies like to depict because it often employs the use of robes, candles, incense, ceremonial tools such as the wand or dagger, and is therefore more visually appealing to spectators.
Psychological Magick is magick that one works in order to primarily bring about change in the consciousness of oneself or in another. It could be said that all forms of magick have a strong psychological impact, but here that impact is itself the main objective.
Chaos Magick is a broad postmodern approach to magick that uses beliefs and belief systems as tools in a pragmatic and non-dogmatic way. The strength of Chaos Magick is that it can be whatever the individual magickian wants it to be, but for some people the lack of fixed tradition or rigidity can also feel uncomfortable.
Sigil Magick is the working of magick by creating a visual glyph, known as a sigil, which represents a desired condition. The sigil is then charged in one of several ways so that the condition can be brought into being. Sigil Magick is particularly popular amongst Chaos Magickians.
There are many other types of magick which could be detailed here (Sex Magick, Candle Magick, Sympathetic Magick, etc.) but explanations of those can be found later. Right now it should be stressed that all types or categories of magick are arbitrary, and one can just as much view them all as being different approaches to a singular work, which is the work of changing the conditions of life – both internal and external – through the power of the Will.