Articles/Essays From Pagans
October 4th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
A Scientist and Magician Speaks on Science and Magick
Article ID: 13665
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,430
Times Read: 3,938
RSS Views: 13,118
Author: Once Schooled, Now Solo Mage
Posted: February 28th. 2010
Times Viewed: 3,938
I am a scientist. I hold a degree in mathematics and have studied mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, and astronomy at the graduate level. I am also a ceremonial magician, alchemist, and a pagan. For many, the two worlds I inhabit are discordant: How can a mathematician believe in magick? For me, there is absolutely no conflict between my scientific vocation and my personal beliefs.
As a scientist, I do not attempt to verify magick in the laboratory. I do not seek through chemistry the Philosopher’s Stone. I do not believe in spirit photography, UFOlogy, cryptozoology, astrology, or any of the other pseudoscientific areas of endeavor. And yet I practice ritual magick.
Science concerns itself with the natural world of observable, measurable phenomena and nothing more. All areas of research claiming to be science are immediately subject to the scientific method and, if they cannot pass muster with regards to this, they are to be discarded or labeled pseudoscience.
Magick, on the other hand, concerns itself with the subjective, inner world of man. It seeks to transform the perspective of the practitioner, inspire its adherents, and elevate consciousness. The realm of magick is purely subjective in as much as no physical proof can exist of its efficacy. A talisman to acquire wealth cannot be proven to work simply because one receives a $1, 000.00 windfall, although one may subjectively know that one’s talisman aided in the acquisition. Attempting to claim that the talisman brought about wealth merely elicits leers, jeers, and disbelief. This is why the Fourth Power of the Sphinx is tacere or silence.
There is no fundamental animosity between science and religion. The apparent problem arises when religion attempts to meddle with or impose itself upon scientific findings. Where science holds that the universe is roughly 15-billion years old and the result of a ripple in the underlying quantum layer of reality, religion attempts to impose some other age and cause upon the cosmos. However science has the benefit of being challenged and readily allows itself to be proven wrong in favor of a better model. When such challenges are issued to religion the result is called heresy.
For the scientist, skepticism is the rule. For the fundamentalist of any faith, belief is the guiding principal. Skepticism is not (as many think) a negative view of the world we live in. Instead, it is an outlook that demands proof of all claims and requires clear evidence be presented to validate any hypothesis. Belief, however, requires no such evidence and is entirely subjective.
The problem for many practitioners of faith, be they Christian, Muslim, Neopagan, etc. is that they desire ardently for their particular religion to be scientific. This is simply impossible. Belief is antithetical to skepticism and all religions are based on a belief in something that cannot be proven, measured, and displayed for the entire world to see. One may sincerely know Pan is present after one invokes him but such knowledge cannot demonstrated to those who do not actively seek to invoke Pan. Science accepts nothing less than hard, concrete evidence before it grants its seal of approval to anything.
And yet I do not wish to disparage religion here, or to boast that science is superior to faith. Instead, I would offer than the two domains have common ground in the lives of the individual. Man is a composite being: one part is rational, the other irrational. By irrational I do not mean out of control, paranoid, or delusional. Instead, I mean intuitive and subjective.
Many scientists over the years have used their intuition to solve difficult problems. The chemist Kekule discerned that the molecular structure of benzene was a ring after dreaming of a serpent biting its own tail. The Indian mathematician Ramanujan would encounter the goddess Namagiri in his dreams; the goddess would reveal to him apparent proofs to complex mathematical problems. Upon awaking, Ramanujan would soon discover that such proofs were often wrong but that they contained tantalizing clues to new areas of mathematical endeavor. Even Albert Einstein stated that his work in physics was done that he might know “the mind of God.”
Skepticism is a healthy trait for any person to cultivate. No one is free from belief. The two are not enemies; they are tools to be used to better our lives. But failing to recognize the difference between the two is fatal folly; wishing that one were the other is merely vanity.
As pagans, neopagans, witches, shamans, druids, and magicians we should all recognize within ourselves the dual nature of man. We who actively seek to know the mysteries of the inner world would do well by ourselves, our friends, our fellow practitioners, and our students to mark well we do not confuse the objective reality with the subjective. We may know that our magick works, that it aids us in our daily lives, but we would do well to take great care that we speak not of such matters nonchalantly nor with the uninitiated lest we be perceived as peddlers of flim-flam.
I would urge everyone reading this essay to consider honing a better understanding of science and mathematics. You may think that you’re bad at math or that science is terribly esoteric (or dull) but in truth you may discover that you’re better at these things than you realize! A decent book on astronomy is a great place to start because stargazing requires little in the way of equipment (telescopes are great but the naked eye works just fine!) A college textbook in chemistry, biology, trigonometry, or physics would also serve the adult student quite well. More important is understanding the scientific method for this is the basis for all branches of science.
The objective world of our senses and the inner world of the hidden sense are combined in the individual. When skepticism and belief are harmonized in the mind of the ardent seeker the result is an empowerment that cannot be matched.
Once Schooled, Now Solo Mage
Location: Jacksonville, Alabama
Author's Profile: To learn more about Once Schooled, Now Solo Mage - Click HERE
Other Articles: Once Schooled, Now Solo Mage has posted 2 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Once Schooled, Now Solo Mage... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).