Thursday, December 31, 2015

Magic 101 Revisited Again

My previous article stirred up some interesting comments and produced some really engaging points of view. I am, of course, referring to the article “Beware Tilting Against Windmills” where I discuss how performing a binding ritual against a major world organization is probably the wrong kind of magic to use in such an endeavor. A binding ritual is an intimate type of magical working, and performing magic on a global level is much too broad for an intimate rite to have much effect. I also questioned whether one could establish an effective or reliable magical link to such a large and nebulous group of people. I never said it was impossible, but that it would be difficult to define a credible target when the group in question consists of an aggregate of individuals loosely organized under an idealized state apparatus. It would be better to identify specific key individuals, but still, a binding spell would require something intimate to make the connection to any targeted individuals. (Possessing Al-Baghdadi’s head scarf would probably be a good object upon which to base an intimate link.)

Additionally, these individuals are extreme religious fanatics who believe that they are functioning as the instrument of God as they perform various acts of barbarism and militarized terrorism. How any magician could think that their magic could intervene and topple such an organization is the height of hubris and specious thinking. Religious extremists would be protected by their zealous faith from any negative thought-forms or magical attacks, and thankfully, bullets and bombs do have an immediate impact. However, even a counter military force cannot eliminate the ideals upon which they are grounded. This is an implacable war of ideas, and as such, it can only be won when the hearts and minds of enough of the populace on both sides who support it are transformed.(Think Lebanon in the 1980's.)

Some of the comments that I received indicated that perhaps other forms of magic might be more credible; such as astrological based magic, directing one of the invoked Cherubim or Seraphim to intervene, summoning and directing one of the Enochian Governors of that locale to execute a curse or some other kind of working that would allow a remote target to be accessed without an intimate magical link. Another person seemed to think that I had suggested that such magic was technically impossible, and of course, that is not the case. I have previously stated that performing a combined binding and mirror spell would probably produce no discernible results. It could also produce a personal backlash. Another individual stated that based on the premises of Chaos magic that performing any kind of rite and then taking credit for any positive result was an appropriate response because it would affirm the magic and empower those who performed it. I found this kind of reasoning to be questionable, but only in the context of this magic. I think that when the scale of a working is global one must establish and state specific objectives for a specific period of time and then determine afterwards if it indeed actually obtained the results. Because of the numerous parties engaged in this conflict in both Syria and Iraq it is impossible to isolate anything that could be objectively given as proof showing that the magic was successful, especially when the objective is so general and not grounded in time.

Here’s an example of this kind of specious reasoning. Let’s say I perform a magical working in the next month or two, and my objective is to ensure that Hillary Clinton is elected president next November. I don’t do anything else to make certain that my magical objective is successful. I just perform the magic and then quietly wait for the outcome. If Hillary Clinton wins the election then I can claim that it was my magic that gave her the victory. Had I not worked my magic, she would have lost the election, so I am the defacto “king maker” who has changed the history of the U.S. and the world. Of course this is quite silly, and it would be difficult to prove that I was wrong in making such a claim, but it would also be equally difficult (if not impossible) for me to prove that my claim was true. From a scientific standpoint, I would be required to objectively prove that my claim was true, and failing that, my claim would be considered inconclusive at best, or nominally false. A real test would be if I worked my magic and then predicted that Hillary Clinton would win by 10% of the vote, and additionally, 80% of the down-ballot Democratic tickets would also win. If these conditions were met, my claim would be certainly more credible; but even then, I would have to objectively define the mechanism that linked my magical action to the expected results. There could also be other explanations for making such a successful claim, such as clairvoyance or possible insider information.

Don’t misread what I am saying. I do believe that magic can influence outcomes on a global level, but there is a mechanism for how such a thing could be done - it is not the same as working magic on yourself. I have always advised my students, and I have taken this advice into my own magical work, that material change of any kind always requires mundane steps to be simultaneously executed. If you need to find a job, you don’t work magic to find one and then sit on your ass waiting for it to materialize. You perform your magic and you also look for work, with the caveat that the magic will help bend the laws of probability so that you will be successful.

However, making something happen for yourself or a client, and making something happen in your community or even on a global level requires a very different approach. It still requires mundane steps, but they are orchestrated so that many hands join together for a worthy cause. The greater the scale of the magical objective then the greater the population of those assisting in making it happen. Witches and pagans who are connected with the ecological or progressive political movements (in the East and West coast areas) have demonstrated that combining magic with public activism is an excellent way of making things happen in both local and national levels. Let me give you a hypothetical example.

Suppose there is wilderness area not far from where you live that has been a source of pleasure and wonderful recreation for you and your friends for many years. Let’s say that a large multi-national logging and mining company has managed to secure the rights to logging and also fracking that area for natural gas. It is not a national or state park, but it has been public land for a long time. This corporation, along with state and local politicians, have cut a deal, and the press has reported that the company will extract these resources supposedly without causing much harm to the natural pristine area. This sounds a bit too good to be true, so a bit of research reveals that this company has a history of destroying the land that it logs and mines and has never had to clean up the environment after they were done. They have paid fines and quietly dealt with public claims, but they also have a number of politicians in their pockets to mitigate the consequences. This has allowed them to lucratively engage in their business without much in the way of consequences.

Of course, you are opposed to this company mining and logging in an area that you have personally enjoyed for years, and you decide to do something about it. You also happen to be quite good at magic and you are a practicing pagan. You decide to work magic against this corporation to stop it from proceeding with its proposed mining and logging project. If you perform a binding spell on the company’s logo (and do nothing else), do you think that anything will change? However, there is a way to tackle this objective using both magic and public activism. This is the basic magic 101 way to get something done on the material plane - do the magic and also the mundane steps.

The first thing that you do is to arouse your friends and neighbors to oppose this project. Maybe you write some letters to the newspaper, post some articles on social media, form some public protest events, hand out fliers decrying what the company intends to do to a pristine wilderness that everyone in the area has hunted, fished, camped, swam in the creeks, picnicked, and enjoyed for generations. You advertise and organize meetings and basically spread the word, getting the whole area talking about it. You also publicly disclose what the company has done in the past when they have operated in an area, and you might even post pictures that show how callous and corrupt this company really is. You have started a movement, and once started, it takes off and has a mind of its own. You continue to work magic, but you don’t just target the company. Instead you target key individuals in that company and the corrupt politicians who have supported them for campaign contributions and other perks. You could even host protest events at the residences of these targeted individuals immediately following such a magical targeting. You can also stage events at local and state offices, engaging in peaceful civil disobedience.

Of course the corporation won’t take this kind of assault lying down. They will look for dirt to publish about you and the members of your movement to try and discredit the whole thing. Their PR team will go into overdrive to try and change the direction of the public discussion and destroy the movement. Newspapers, the internet and TV will blare their message to everyone. They will also organize their own counter public campaign and create a fake grass-roots movement of their own. There might even be some investigations into the movement, false allegations made, lawsuits declared, and maybe even some underhanded blackmail or thuggery. It will be quite a nasty and vicious local war, but it will completely change everything from the way it was when everyone was quietly minding their own business. Whether you win or lose, the changes have been made and it is likely that the community will have a whole new perspective. Anyway, that is one way of taking on an organization and successfully defeating it (or not) using a combination of magic and public activism. Which technique, in your opinion, has a chance of success? Doing a binding spell or simultaneously executing a magical and public campaign?

As you can see, using the right kind of magic to effectively achieve an objective is a fundamental part of magic 101. You develop a tool box of different kinds of magic, and you determine, from a practical perspective, the correct magic to apply to a given issue or situation. That toolbox is developed over time, so an inexperienced magician will tend to use the same tool in all situations, and the resultant failures will teach him or her to expand and develop other techniques to deal with differences in focus, scale and scope. This logic applies to not only dealing with a corporation in a local community, but also effectively making changes on a global level.

If it is your objective to engage with the world and help to bring about peace to the middle east in whatever way you can then there are some obvious things that you could do. Since there is already a lot of warring factions engaging in battles and killing people, adding more negative energy, even in a partisan manner, would only make things worse if it did anything at all. Obviously, seeking peace is much more constructive, but a lot more difficult. Remember, this is a war of ideas, so promoting peace must start at a fundamental level.

The most obvious thing that one could do is to help the refugees. The second most obvious thing to do would be to support a cease fire and work within the UN to help make that happen. Another thing one could do is to promote a peaceful exposition of Islam that is completely counter to what IS-Daesh is promoting. In other words, help and assist the Muslims around the world to show that their religion is one of peace and religious tolerance. Try to eliminate public discrimination, misunderstanding and hatred towards Muslims in your local area as well as on the national level. Promote interfaith organizations that seek to help the public view Islam and other religions in a positive manner, and also show that religious extremism is a problem that affects all religions practiced in the world. While engaging in these activities, you could also work magic, alone and in groups, to help promote this idea worldwide.

Certainly, there is a constructive way of dealing with the problems of religious extremism that exists locally as well as globally. I would recommend that anyone who is serious about changing the way the world exists today by using magic would see that as an opportunity and a goal. Love is a greater power than hate, but often hatred seems to have the upper hand. It is far more difficult to look for positive and constructive ways to fix a problem that is threatening to engulf the world in an ideological war, but it is probably the only way that such problems can be permanently resolved.

To make large scale changes in the local and global arena, I recall an excellent slogan that I think works from a political activist perspective and a magical one, too. “Think globally, but act locally.”

Frater Barrabbas


  1. Good article about constructive magic. I have tested curses against a company, but have felt the curse coming back on me. It is definitely not the kind of magic that you want to do on a steady basis. My mother, an extreme Christian, would burn occult books, bind the spirits and clean the place in the "name of Jesus". Many years ago, she had cursed books by Parker Publishing Company and the next thing I new they went out of business. Coincidence?

  2. @Nectanebus

    I don't think that the publishing company's bankruptcy by being cursed by your mother would be a coincidence. I mean it could be and %99 of people would say so, but i think that some people have developed a great will power, even if that don't realize it. And most of them don't.

    Maybe that through the course of many lifetimes, your mother's will has been sharpened to such extent that a simple curse from the heart, in the name of her beliefs is enough to cause such a thing. Now I'm not saying that she would be able to alter reality with everything she says, although i think that to be possible as well, having seen individuals doing that and bragging about how well they master their lives with their free will. I think in their cases that unknowingly took advantage of some powerfull "energetic winds" that flew in their favour. As for your mom, i would say that in the case of her will beeing very powerfull, she could only materialize it by expressing it in a certain frequency of her mind: tone+pitch+feelings and/or emotions+visualizations+intense focus, all in a short amount of time. Does this seem familiar to anyone practicing magick? :)

    Or maybe the company was tilting on the edge and the energy from your mom's curse added the extra weight to tilt it into falling.

    @Frater B

    Read your previous article about binding ISIS/ISIL or whatever and was meaning to ask you about the returning curse, since the target hasn't been identified correctly. I guess those GD practitioners were performing carpet bombing, instead of a surgical strike. Even so, I've read Ananael's Casting a Curse entry and it makes sence to me that having the target in a containing triangle and the magician being secured in a circle would prevent the spell to coming back at the sender. And the spell would hunt down multiple people asociated with that target.

    Yes, it would be quite a waste of work if no serious link would be provided, but i think that it could produce even slight issues to many individuals that rally consciously to the target. And maybe those minor issues would and up hurting them bad in some way. It would be like shooting b uckshots at targets from afar and only 1 or 2 pellets would hit each target, barely scratching them, but that scratch would end up infected and causing serious complications.

    I would like your opinion, if you've got the time to answer.

    Thanks for your posts.