Apprenticeship: Merlyn’s School of Magick & Wizardry — First appearing in “New Babylon Rising” (Issue #1, January 2012) — this ‘apprenticeship lesson’ is part of a cumulative (progressive) curriculum drawn from the work of ‘Merlyn Stone’ and the “Arcanum” notebooks.
LESSON 1 – ENERGY
Energy exists in all things and is likewise the driving force behind all magickal work. Whether something is “living” or not, it has energy, a force that can be changed and manipulated by the will of the magician or wizard. Energy cannot cease to exist, nor can it be created. It simply is. But constantly is it revolving and abounding, changing form. The “wizard” (or whatever name you wish to give a ‘magickal practitioner’ proper) is one who seeks to recognize the patterns and cause them to change in accordance with their will.
All the actions, words, symbols and dramatic enactments performed in ritual magick are meaningless without the proper currents of energy being understood. The energy required for magick is every-where around us, although invisible to the untrained eye. The “Wizard” there-fore learns to recognize this energy, to channel and harvest it for personal gain. More than a religion or cult-following, “magick” is a way in which to view the world and interpret life.
There are two main sources of energy utilized in magick. Firstly, there is personal power, the energy that enables one to walk, sleep, study, think… and have sex. This energy can be raised for magickal purposes through mental concentration and the tensing of the physical muscles in the body. It can be directed in currents (rays) to any source to more easily create change on a mundane level.
The second source of energy is external. Very often in “low magick” and earth-oriented systems, this second source is Nature-power. In “high” and “ceremonial” forms of magick, this power may come from the astral plane, the current of a spiritual deity (entity) or perhaps from what is perceived as another dimension or level of reality. The powers of the Wizard are then are only limited by one’s imagination – or more importantly, ones ability to visualize within imagination. Through ritual magick, Wizards raise personal power, then merge it with external powers (called forth or summoned) and direct it with the “mind” via visualization. “Visualization,” as we are told, “is the key to the occult.”
MAGICK -vs- MAGIC
Aleister Crowley once said: “The whole question has been threshed out and organized by wise men of old; they have made a science of life complete and perfect; and they have given to it the name of MAGICK.” The primary means (numerology aside) for the change in spelling was to create a distinction between the practical occult magickal arts and the illusionist parlor tricks of magic by those who only pretend to manifest occult powers. Both spellings are accepted in the “New Age.”
CEREMONIAL HIGH MAGICK
This style of magick is used in order to manipulate the mental and spiritual planes. High magick delves deeper into the complexities of the systems, ceremonies and ritual aids used to represent abstract and spiritual concepts. Magick using spellcraft, witchcraft and the like for purposes of affecting physical change is not “high magick.” High Ceremonial Magick is used and mastered in order to raise transcendentalist states erupting from the belief that humans can become more than the physical restrictions the material systems portray. Some traditions of high magick are also called “holy magick.”