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Author Topic: What Is Magic(k)?  (Read 23798 times)
Taja
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« Reply #75: June 12, 2007, 07:18:15 pm »

How do you define "magic(k)"?
Not thy will, but my will be done.

That's my loose and current definition.
Quote from: Star
As a side question, do you think it's at all related to prayer?  Are they similar?  The same thing?  Totally separate?  Sometimes connected?  Something else I've forgotten?
Sometimes connected. In my religion we have sacred magic, in which we do magic specifically for our gods; it's a form of piety for us. The ritual involved is a prayer.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2007, 07:25:05 pm by Taja » Logged

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Purplewitch
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« Reply #76: June 13, 2007, 11:33:20 am »

I'll try not to get to wordy here.  Color Theory is basicly the study of how colors in the enviorment of an individual can influence their moods.  It comes up alot in nonverbal communication, and a variety of other disciplines of psychology.  Crowley first pioneered it, in a sense, when he realized that color and shape had alot to do with setting the emotional mood of a performed ritual and he wrote extensivelly on it. 

I never realised Crowley had anything to do with starting it, but then I'll happily admit my knowledge of Crowley is only basic.
*mutters* Now I have something else to go look up... thanks Smiley
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« Reply #77: June 13, 2007, 11:35:18 am »

I think a better direction would be to look at the history of magic. That probably goes back to the caveman in some form. Man seems to have a very innate need to control the environment and provide explanations for observations. That is probably the genesis of magic.

And that's without all the things that used to attributed to magic - divine or otherwise - that have since been explained by science.
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catja6
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« Reply #78: June 17, 2007, 04:37:24 pm »

This is a topic that has been done at TC many times, but I don't think it's been done recently.  The subject has come up in another thread, and I thought it would be useful to spin this discussion off to its own thread.

How do you define "magic(k)"? 

As a side question, do you think it's at all related to prayer?  Are they similar?  The same thing?  Totally separate?  Sometimes connected?  Something else I've forgotten?

I'm going to bang the cultural contingency drum -- shocking to all who know me, I'm sure.   Cheesy  I think one can run into serious problems if one attempts to define "magic" in relation to "prayer" in a way that assumes universal application, because ideas about "what counts as magic" and "what counts as prayer" vary WILDLY in every religious culture that has a sense of those terms.  Some religions/religious cultures have very firm distinctions, while others deliberately blend them, and taking one set of definitions and insisting that they operate all across the board is problematic. 

For example, orthodox (official) Christianity (in the West) and certain strains of Hellenic religion have a really strong sense of magic as "inappropriate/illegitimate/unofficial use of religious power" -- magic in those cultural/religious situations (Western Christendom, Hellenic religion) tend to call upon deities and powerful religious entities (angels, saints, etc.) in the magic, in ways that "official" religious power structures tend to look askance at.  (Check out some of the scholarship on ancient Greek magic or European folk magic.)  Didn't stop anyone from doing it, or from coming to various sorts of accommodation with official religious authorities, including dismissing or ignoring them -- Sabina Magliocco reports, in her work among Italian folk magic practitioners, that nobody cared about the priest's disapproval, because priests disapprove of *everything*.  Anyway, magic in those traditions involves a LOT of calling upon the gods/spirits/etc. (religious power, see), and it's therefore, I think, inappropriate to make a blanket breakdown of "prayer=asking the gods, magic=doing it myself," because there's too much evidence of stuff *that the people practicing would have understood as magic* that does, in fact, involve gods/spirits/etc.  I think it's equally  inappropriate to insist that "magic is the same as prayer," because no, in Western Christendom certainly, it *isn't.*  There is Christian magic, but it was not understood by "official" Christianity as being part of the religion the way prayer is, because magic *by definition* in that religious culture means "falling outside of official religion." Clear as mud?   Smiley    And of course, this view of magic is very different than in religious cultures such as that of Wicca, or types of Vodoun, where magic is sanctioned, and even incorporated into the process of religion itself.  And  when you consider that there's a good chunk of magic that makes no reference to religion whatsoever, it gets even more complicated. 

All that's leading up to say is that I think definitions of magic should be couched in terms of cultural/religious/personal belief, rather than in universal categories, because the terms themselves are far too culturally and religiously bound.         
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