Friday, December 20, 2013

The Three Modes of Magick in Donald Michael Kraig's "Moden Magick"

*While I was cleaning out my computer recently I happened upon several files that I created ages ago but had forgotten about. Before deleting them I thought I would post them here. Below are some initial thoughts I had about DMK's discussion of magick in its three modes of operation.

I have a problem with Kraig's discussion concerning the definition of magick in Chapter One. I do not have a problem with Kraig's definitions per se. My problem arises when Kraig gives examples of the various magickal modes (White, Grey, Black) in actual practice. In Kraig's definitions of the three magickal modes, each mode of magical operation is seen as a method for bringing about a willed event. In White Magick the willed event is the Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel, whereas the willed event in Grey Magick is something beneficial to oneself or others, and the willed event in Black Magick is something detrimental to oneself or others (irrespective of whether one wills them consciously or unconsciously). Thus, each mode of magic is set apart and distinguished by the particular event that is willed. In Kraig's examples, however, he tries to show how one magical mode can become another as a result of secondary events that are the result of engaging in one of the three magickal modes. For instance, Kraig shows how a ritual to obtain a thousand dollars (good for oneself = Grey Magick) can become Black Magick if, for example, your uncle dies and you are given the money from his estate. In this example, Black Magick results not from that which is willed (attaining a thousand dollars, i.e., a good to oneself) but rather an unwilled negative secondary event to the primary willed event. This is clearly at odds with his definitions regarding the three modes of magick. If we follow Kraig's lead, a Black Magickal operation could become White. For example, a Black Magical operation to make another ill (willing something detrimental to another) is transformed into White Magick when the ill person (or his family members) realizes the impermanent and unsatisfactory nature of existence and seeks out a spiritual path (a good to another). I think this problem arises because Kraig wants to attach some type of moral (karmic) responsibility to a magickal operation irregardless of what is willed by the one undertaking the ritual. According to the Buddhist tradition, however, to receive full karmic retribution three things must occur: 1) the willing of some event, 2) engaging in an action to cause the willed event, and 3) the manifestation of the willed event. If any of these three are missing, one does not experience full karmic retribution.

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