Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Three Ms: Three Methods of Magic

From my limited exposure to magic theory (magic here= causing change to occur in conformity with will) I have come to see three methods whereby magic may be enacted. Henceforth, these three methods will be known as the Three Ms on account of the titles I have attributed to them. Of course, everything that is said below comes from one just beginning to come to grips with magic and its application. I would welcome any comments or criticisms my readers may care to offer. Hopefully in a year’s time I can review this post and laugh at my naiveté.


This is probably the most recognizable method as it is the type that generally finds itself presented in books and movies. It is the method of ritual performance where circles are cast, foreign words are written and strange sigils are drawn, words of power are intonated and exotic instruments are wielded. For some, the magical ritual and its accoutrements are understood to be a micro-cosmic or symbolic depiction of macro-cosmic forces. Others will see the magical ritual and its accoutrements not as mere symbols but as powerful items in and of themselves. What unifies this group? It is the belief that the mere performance of a magical ritual itself is capable of bringing about the desired goal all on its own.


Those who engage in this method of magic do so by holding a goal, understanding the conditions whereby their goal can be achieved and then performing the necessary actions to bring about the goal (REMEMBER - magic here= causing change to occur in conformity with will). For example, if I want to get a pay raise from my employer I must first understand the conditions that would make my boss shell out more dough. For instance, I should understand that my employer will view me as an asset worthy of more money by being punctual, reliable, hard working, cooperative, a team player, etc. Understanding such things, however, is inadequate in itself. One must DO the things that are seen to be the necessary to achieve the goal. Of course, there may be other and more effective means to procure the goal. One could marry the boss’s daughter or son, for example.


This method consists of a combination of Methods 1 and 2. Those who advocate this method hold that performing the MAGICAL RITUAL METHOD and the MUNDANE METHOD in tandem carries a greater magical punch than either of the two methods alone. Typically, an advocate of the Mixed Method begins by engaging in a magical ritual (Method 1) and then opening up mundane pathways (Method 2) by which the intention of the ritual can be accomplished or actualized.

1 comment:

Psyche said...

I rather think all magick ends up being a mixture of the "ritual method" and the "mundane method" described here.

Using Crowley's definition, any act wilfully performed which results in change can be considered magick. Some of the examples he offers are penning a letter and opening a door.

The most profound changes occur within the individual, and what could be more mundane than that?