Aleister Crowley was an early twentieth century occultist and magician who unabashedly did what he wanted, and hence earned the name, “the wickedest man in the world.” I have no idea how wicked he really was, but I do know he thought his work was good because it freed people from earthly rules and opened them to spiritual experiences. He was heavily involved in a secret group called the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and designed a tarot deck that is used to this day. (I somehow ended up with a slew of his decks in three different sizes, but because a couple of the images on the cards creep me out, I haven’t yet used any of those decks.)
Crowley even founded his own religion based on the idea that the key principle of life was the pursuit of each individual’s will. (“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”)
He was a great proponent of magic, which he defined as, “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.”
And that’s the point I’ve been leading up to.
I find Crowley’s definition of magic provocative because it basically turns art and writing (and even just living) into magic, which of course, we already knew. We take something that doesn’t exist — a story or a painting — and out of our own will, we bring it forth into the world. Truly magical. By this definition, almost anything can be magic — a garden, a family, a friendship. And, again, of course these things are all magic.
We normally think of magic as legerdemain — conjuring tricks — or even something otherworldly, where a person can conjure something into being without trickery and using only his or her mind.
I’d love to have that sort of magic — conjuring something from nothing but the energy around me.
I had to stop there and think. Would I really want that sort of magic? To be honest, I don’t know. I like the sort of every day magic we pretend to understand. (I say “pretend” because does anyone really understand where a story or a piece of art comes from?)
In many respects, this blog is magic. I can write down whatever I am thinking, and potentially, people all over the world can peak into the world I have created.
Because I have willed it, so it is.
What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?
A fun book for not-so-fun times.
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