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Author Topic: Your Definition of Magic?  (Read 5449 times)
RandallS
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« Topic Start: November 11, 2009, 12:31:03 pm »

Aleister Crowley defined magick as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will."

A definition on Wikipedia: "Magic, sometimes known as sorcery, is the practice of consciousness manipulation and/or autosuggestion to achieve a desired result, usually by techniques described in various conceptual systems. The practice is often influenced by ideas of religion, mysticism, occultism, science, and psychology."

TheFreeDictionary.com defines magick as "An action or effort undertaken because of a personal need to effect change, especially as associated with Wicca or Wiccan beliefs."

What do you think of these definitions of magic? What is your definition of magic?



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« Reply #1: November 11, 2009, 12:33:26 pm »


Since we did a version of this thread fairly recently, I'll link it:
http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=9629.0

(I should amend that to add 'tried to do and stalled immediately on'.)
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« Reply #2: November 11, 2009, 01:14:53 pm »

Aleister Crowley defined magick as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will."

A definition on Wikipedia: "Magic, sometimes known as sorcery, is the practice of consciousness manipulation and/or autosuggestion to achieve a desired result, usually by techniques described in various conceptual systems. The practice is often influenced by ideas of religion, mysticism, occultism, science, and psychology."

TheFreeDictionary.com defines magick as "An action or effort undertaken because of a personal need to effect change, especially as associated with Wicca or Wiccan beliefs."

What do you think of these definitions of magic? What is your definition of magic?


I guess I define magic as the usage of energy/ies to bring about change. I leave the definition open, because I think that many things can be defined as magic. As for the definitions presented, I don't like wikipedia's definition, because it makes it sound as though it is purely subconscious. While I can see it subconsciously affecting you, I think there is more to it. The first and last definitions I could get into.

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« Reply #3: November 11, 2009, 01:18:23 pm »

I guess I define magic as the usage of energy/ies to bring about change. I leave the definition open, because I think that many things can be defined as magic. As for the definitions presented, I don't like wikipedia's definition, because it makes it sound as though it is purely subconscious. While I can see it subconsciously affecting you, I think there is more to it. The first and last definitions I could get into.

-Devo


Using energy/will/intent to bring about desired change.
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« Reply #4: November 11, 2009, 02:36:04 pm »

What do you think of these definitions of magic? What is your definition of magic?

I would define magic as "The art of effecting change by directing a universal energy through the will."

I generally like Crowley's definition, but it does dilute the concept of magic a bit much for my taste. 

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« Reply #5: November 11, 2009, 02:38:00 pm »


I think of it as loading the dice.

It's a way of affecting probability in ways we don't understand.  It can't make the impossible happen - but it can load the dice a bit in our favor.
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« Reply #6: November 11, 2009, 02:46:32 pm »

I think of it as loading the dice.

It's a way of affecting probability in ways we don't understand.  It can't make the impossible happen - but it can load the dice a bit in our favor.

Nudging the pinball machine - not enough to tilt, just enough to get your ball where you want it to go.

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« Reply #7: November 11, 2009, 03:10:47 pm »

Aleister Crowley defined magick as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will."

^ I stick to Unkle Al's definition. It's accurate and concise.

I've also been known to refer to magic(k) as 'inflicting' change because it's got more of that 'doing unto others' sound to it
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« Reply #8: November 11, 2009, 04:26:58 pm »

(I should amend that to add 'tried to do and stalled immediately on'.)

That's actually the spark for this thread. I thought Marc's topic was good but it never went anywhere so I thought it worth trying again.
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« Reply #9: November 11, 2009, 04:31:42 pm »

What is your definition of magic?

Using personal will and effort to get something done a.k.a hard work.
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« Reply #10: November 12, 2009, 07:01:43 am »

Aleister Crowley defined magick as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will."

For me that parses as something like "the theory-and-observation-based system and the associated practices of influencing/causing external/consensus reality to conform with a chosen/desired state". I like it, but it is unclear whether it includes practices that are done in ignorance/absence of any "Science" ("theory-and-observation-based system"). It is also unclear if practices must be learned, if they can be fully self-constructed, or arise from some innate talent (which may be the same as the previous option Smiley). It also often leaves me wondering if changing one's "Will" ("chosen/desired state") to conform more closely with the external/consensus reality counts as magick; and if not, why not?

Quote
A definition on Wikipedia: "Magic, sometimes known as sorcery, is the practice of consciousness manipulation and/or autosuggestion to achieve a desired result, usually by techniques described in various conceptual systems. The practice is often influenced by ideas of religion, mysticism, occultism, science, and psychology."

This one reads for me as "Magic and sorcery are the same thing. Both are made up of 'the things that people do to manipulate mental states/states of awareness'+'self-hypnosis' in order to achieve any chosen/desired outcome. This may be done in accordance with some theory; [named examples]".

It's broadly descriptive, but too general for specialist use. Magic and Sorcery have significantly different usage histories for a start. That aside, it doesn't say enough about the nature of the result or the type of practice to satisfy me. I'm not convinced that it wouldn't cover a range of things that no-one would expect to include in the definition, unless athletes are engaging in magic during training Smiley I also think that it underemphasis the role of the systematic/theory side of magic in the sense that both Crowley and this definition are trying to get at.

Quote
TheFreeDictionary.com defines magick as "An action or effort undertaken because of a personal need to effect change, especially as associated with Wicca or Wiccan beliefs."

That one parses pretty straight forward; probably because it doesn't rule out much at all AFAICS.

Quote
...What is your definition of magic?

I was going to have a crack at this, but it's late here and I'm off to bed Smiley Tomorrow...
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« Reply #11: November 12, 2009, 07:02:43 am »

That's actually the spark for this thread. I thought Marc's topic was good but it never went anywhere so I thought it worth trying again.

Thanks. Your's does a much better job of putting the question across Smiley
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« Reply #12: November 12, 2009, 08:03:00 am »

I like it, but it is unclear whether it includes practices that are done in ignorance/absence of any "Science" ("theory-and-observation-based system").

I honestly do not know of many systems of magick that are completely independent of "theory and observation" as people are far more likely to repeat stuff they think works than stuff that they don't think worked. So even if the "theory" part is no more than "see what works and remember it," it's likely there.

Quote
It also often leaves me wondering if changing one's "Will" ("chosen/desired state") to conform more closely with the external/consensus reality counts as magick; and if not, why not?

This is a problem with the definition. By "Will" Crowley is referring to what he calls "True Will" and you really have to understand that to understand the definition. Sad
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« Reply #13: November 12, 2009, 01:21:13 pm »

Aleister Crowley defined magick as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will."

A definition on Wikipedia: "Magic, sometimes known as sorcery, is the practice of consciousness manipulation and/or autosuggestion to achieve a desired result, usually by techniques described in various conceptual systems. The practice is often influenced by ideas of religion, mysticism, occultism, science, and psychology."

TheFreeDictionary.com defines magick as "An action or effort undertaken because of a personal need to effect change, especially as associated with Wicca or Wiccan beliefs."

What do you think of these definitions of magic? What is your definition of magic?


I'm not really comforatable with any of these definitions. By relegating magic to a realm soley dealing with will and/or mysticism/religion, it completely discounts many kinds of folk or hedgewitch magic.

Magic done using herbs and such, or sympathetic magic using props, is more about the tools than the will, and many may have no mystic or religious overtones at all.

To me, magic is a way to achieve a desired result using means that are not wholey defined by medicine or science.

that's not to say that we may not some day understand some forms of magic at the scientific level; we just can't know it today.

As had been mentioned before, the only difference between magic and science is how advanced the science of the civilization you are living in.
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« Reply #14: November 12, 2009, 01:43:23 pm »

To me, magic is a way to achieve a desired result using means that are not wholey defined by medicine or science.

that's not to say that we may not some day understand some forms of magic at the scientific level; we just can't know it today.

As had been mentioned before, the only difference between magic and science is how advanced the science of the civilization you are living in.
I believe I have heard the phrase "Yesterday's magic is today's science." Or something to that effect, that seems to go well with this point.  As does "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
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