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Article Specs

Article ID: 6673

VoxAcct: 234607

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 4,968

Times Read: 5,214

Defining Practical Magick

Author: Taylor Ellwood [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 23rd. 2003
Times Viewed: 5,214

When I think of magick I think of practical magick. I'm not into using magick just for spiritual transformations, but also for transformations that reach out and affect the world around me as well as within. I don't think you can really differentiate between the inner spiritual world of yourself and the outer physical world around you. For me the outer world is the mirror of our inner spiritual world. What occurs outside reflects what is happening inside. So to even try to separate magick into a purely spiritual phenomenon is to weaken it as a force in our lives. This kind of divide, this need to define magick in terms of spirituality and physicality is indicative of a duality, of a need to define opposites. Good and evil is an example of a duality. However life, and indeed magick, is not that absolute.

Instead I would argue that practical magick is the realization of our spirituality in everyday life. It is also the manifestation and imposition of our needs on the physical reality around us. In truth reality is not as physical as it appears. We think it's physical because our senses tell us it is, but to even work magick in a physical world demands a re-ordering of our perception of what the physical reality is. A person cannot afford to think of reality as an objective, physical, separate existence, but rather must realize that reality is an extension of the self. It is true we share this reality with other entities, human and otherwise, which in and of itself highlights to me a reliance on interaction as a means of validating reality. In other words even as reality is an extension of the self, so too is the self - yours, mine, everyone's - an extension of reality. The manifestation of reality and the self as physical phenomena relies on this inter-actional relationship, which is, if you will, a consensual agreement that says as you validate me so too will I validate you. Reality then as an extension of us is a way of challenging the self to grow.

Where does magick fit into all of this? Magick is one of the primary mediums used to interact with reality. Even people who do not knowingly practice magick use it. Whether a person is praying to a god or firing a sigil, magick is used to imprint on reality the need and the will of each individual. Reality is extremely malleable as a result. Every time a person works magick, whether for a spiritual transformation or to get a job, he/she is working practical magick. He/she is imprinting on reality and on the self the need for a particular desire to be manifested. This manifestation comes into effect due to the belief the person has about the need for this desire to be manifested into reality. We can also use the following paradigm of ritual as presented in the paragraphs below.

The working guts of ritual: What makes it what it is, why do results occur because a ritual is done? My answer will infuriate because it's vague: Belief, situational awareness and the connection, the relational matrix of energy that connects us to all things. Also, our own internal choice to react to situations and thus create results out of those situations. We make results occur because we need them to occur, we need them to happen to answer our needs, our questions. Give me an answer, we cry out. Why do people believe in gods? They don't want to be alone...they want to have meaning, but they don't want the responsibility for creating that meaning. So we create gods and say here you take over, or we create governments. The mage accepts responsibility by realizing that the results are a manifestation of him- or herself, but also a manifestation of the environment, and the environment responding to the mage's need. The mage does ritual as a reaction to a situation. This event occurs and in some way, shape, or form, hinders my progress (or helps it!) and so I do a ritual, a symbolistic representation of my needs. The ritual expresses those needs to the environment, which accordingly responds and shapes itself to the mage's will. You see it is not enough for the mage to want the reality to occur. He or she must work it into the natural flow of energy, of the multiverse. Sometimes we use gods to do that, sometimes just ourself. But regardless of the method we interact with the environment, with the situation and in that interaction manifest results.

Magick's not so much getting the petition to change reality to a place, as it is realizing that you in your space/time can interact with others in their space/time, and can interact with the environment in its space/time. It's synchronization with the discourses around and within us. It's acceptance that I can change reality, but that reality can change me as well. It is interaction and interaction is not so much getting from one place to another, as it is realizing that you are in all places, all times when you mesh yourself with the environment through the interaction, the discourse you create to understand that environment. Magick, and yes even religion, are our way of interacting with the environment, understanding it, and later manipulating it, and doing all of this through some symbolic form of representation. When we do a ritual to manifest specific results we re-present the reality with those results in place. We talk to the reality, to the environment and a consensus is reality is manifested. This always occurs, even if the mage does not realize this. And it occurs for people who don't practice magick, although generally they do not realize that they interact with the environment as well as with others.

Magick is not so much directed elsewhere as everywhere. Think of it as a spider web. One motion shapes the entire web. So too does magick (energy) shape reality. I don't need to move to direct that power though. I just need to know the power is there and then interact with it. That interaction will vibrate through the web, because even as reality, energy, magick are part of me, so too am I part of them. It's not the technique that's's the understanding that's powerful. When we understand how we interact with reality, then we understand how to use that interaction to change reality.

Energy's always directed. Every day you direct energy. You just aren't aware that you're directing it. Think of your morning. What do you first do every day when you wake up...what do you next, etc...? It's a ritual, one where the energy is directed to get you ready for your day. You interact with reality in specific ways to produce the result that makes the beginning of your day easy for you. And you do this all the time, even in your sleep. Energy is never undirected because there is always something using it, moving it, interacting with it. Interacting with reality. You manifest results every day and you don't even know it. And why should you? We take for granted what we do each day. But to truly know magick is to know magick in every part of your day, to realize that it is with you always, that everything you do is an act of magick, an act of interaction with reality.

Taylor Ellwood


Taylor Ellwood

Location: Portland, Oregon

Author's Profile: To learn more about Taylor Ellwood - Click HERE

Bio: Taylor Ellwood is currently pursuing his PhD in Literacy, Rhetoric, and Social Practice at Kent State University. He is an avid experimenter with Magick. Taylor is a co-author of Creating Magickal Entities, available at He is also the solo author of Pop Culture Magick, which has been accepted by Egregore publishing and will be out late 2003/early 2004. Taylor is currently working on a superhero novel and his next occult book on space/time magick. He can be contacted at the email link above.

Other Articles: Taylor Ellwood has posted 19 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Taylor Ellwood... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

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