Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Why "Sorcery"

Someone on one of the lists I subscribe to asked me an interesting question today:

"You call yourself a socerer How do you define Sorcery versus other forms of magick?"
I really use the term sorcerer for two reasons:

1. It has the connotation of practical magick. While I do use magick
for personal development, spiritual fulfillment, and illumination; I
also use it to make changes in real world events and effect real
peoples minds. Thaumaturgic action is the outward expression of
Theurgic Illumination.

2. It's an underused term that doesnt have a mess of modern baggage
heaped upon it. I have over 20 years been involved in a lot of
different aspects of magick. I started studying GD influenced magick
along side of Rootworking while I was still in High School. There are
some that think of me only as a Ceremonial Magician. Some who even know
me primarily as a Thelemite. Some know me a Witch while others know me
primarily as Rootworker. Many know me only as a Tantrik Buddhist and
nothing else.

The problem is that some of these terms have unwanted connections, and
some imply that you are NOT something else. For instance if someone
describes me as a Ceremonial Magician, for many that indicated I am NOT
a Witch or Rootworker. Some ceremonial magicians have freaked out when
they hear that I do practical magick for other people, feeling that
magick is only about spiritual development and inner change. When they
find out that I do it for money thier heads implode. However, if I get
described as a rootworker than its assumed I dont practice Ceremonial
Magick, which is also clearly not true. If I get described as a witch,
I have to explain that I am not wiccan.

As someone who was in the OTO for years, founded a chapter of that
body, and still lecture regularly at the Philadlphia Lodge, some people
introduce me as a Thelemite. While it is true in the broadest sense (ie
in the Collona and Rabelaisian sense), most people hear that and think
I am a Crowley head, which clearly I am not.

My views on magick over all are most shaped by Tibetan Magical systems,
which incorporate internal yogas, very advanced ceremonial magick
technique, and rootwork style spell work seamlessly in one package.
They spent as much energy on magick in Tibet, as we have on science and
technology for the last 1200 years. When I turned my attention back to
western methods, every system seemed lacking when taken alone, so I
need to incorporate methods to have all the bases covered.

I like not to be bound by loaded terms and the crap that has been laid
upon them recently. Magician, Witch, Rootworker, Yogi, etc all have
baggage that I try to avoid. I used to use the term "Cunning Man" but
that has been so twisted and misused by certain quarters of the
Traditional Witchcraft community that I don't use it anymore either.

As I try to put my views and methods of practical magick into a
comprehensable teaching I decided on the term Sorcery because, other
than Moloch, nobody is using it these days.

In the future I plan on shifting much of my spiritual work to the role of Gnostic Christian Priest. Clearly that too will have a lot of baggage and many people will make assumptions about things that I am NOT, including a Sorcerer. I will have to jump off that bridge when I come to it.


Amy said...

What about Wizard? Too Harry Potter?

Persephone said...

One of my co-workers said the other day, without a hint of irony or any sense that she was making a cultural reference, "So when are you off to see the wizard?"

That, to me, is reason enough to prefer the term sorcerer.

-- P

Jason Miller, said...

WAY too Harry Potter.