Friday, August 7, 2009

Quick Post on Magical Laws

Witchdoctor Joe wrote an article for Witchvox where he basically says that anyone who suggests any hard rules for magick is lying. Any attempt at suggesting you use red candles for love and green for money is false, because in the old days they didnt have those colors anyway. Go read the article.

Frater POS already posted a response, but I am going to take a somewhat even harder line approach.

Heres the deal as I see it: there are Laws to magic and there are Rules to magic.

The Laws: Magical Laws are just like natural laws. Actually they are natural laws, they just pertain to magic. Triangles can be used to trap spirits and manifest spirits. Iron can disrupt spirits and spells. There are subtle bodies that can function temporarily apart from the physical. Etc etc. These pop up all over the world in every culture. Even the 5 elements are a natural law to some extent.

The Rules: Magical rules exist within different cultures and traditions. The roles of the planets, colors, directions, ethics, symbols and so on. It's pretty easy to tell if something is a rule vs a law. If people do magic effectivly following a different set of rules, its not a law. Vedic astrology vs western astrology, hoodoo color associations vs planetary, native american attributes of plants vs european. Etc, Etc.

Now, today in our multi cultural world it is tempting to say that since the rules are not Laws, or not inherent to the universe itself, we can just toss them or play with them willy nilly. Not so.

While the rules are not universally applicable, that doesnt mean they only have meaning within the mind of the operator. They have meaning within the egregore of the tradition. The fact that traditions practiced over time develop a certain matrix and start to behave according to those rules IS a universal magickal LAW.

If you go to Nepal and offer the Nagas meat, whether you know you are offending them or not, I assure you they will fuck your shit up. If you evoke Yemeja in the west and Oya in the North because you want to plug the Orishas into your LBRP, I assure you, they will fuck your shit up. If you accidentally do saturn invoking hexagrams instead of solar invoking hexagrams every morning - even though you are not aware of the mistake - you will fuck your shit up.

These are not academic examples. They are three real things that happened to three real people that really had their shit fucked up.

Now, you can bend and break the rules. Every great magician does so. But, you need to know the rules first. This is not just true in magic. When I was young and hanging out at coffee houses, I was subjected to a lot of horrible wanna-be beat literature and poetry. They never learned the rules because guys like Burroughs and Ginsburg turned the rules on their head. The difference is that Burroughs and Ginsburg knew the rules to start with.


Jow said...

*ahem* "Harriet, sweet Harriet.."

agreed, I always thought of magical rules a lot like the rules of grammer in a language; eventually you can start dropping sarcasm and colloquialism, and slang in there, but first, you need to know the basic way to structure complete thoughts so that people can understand you well.

Paul said...

Kudos to you! We need some rules and laws to adhere to our workings. The example of Yemeya and Oya is a strong one. If you know the "legend", Yemeya and Oya are somewhat enemies. It is said that Oya first controlled the waters and she "tricked" Yemeya into giving up her worldly dominion over the earth. From then they exchanged dominions and became enemies. Basically, you have to know what you are doing before you can start your workings. Look into the history and the meanings of exchanges.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post! Esp. the 'FYSU" examples. I've seen and lived this a few time myself.

Also, it seems that for some Deities, They will call you on what are your own personal "Laws"... and when you ignore whatever those may be, They will FYSU. Funny, that.

K. Sequoia