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Author Topic: Religion and Magic  (Read 5346 times)
UlsterYank
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Last Login:January 21, 2013, 02:18:03 pm
Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Republic of

Religion: Traidisiúnachais Gaelach, Witchcraft, Thelema
TCN ID: UlsterYank
Posts: 292


Déan mar is Toil leat, a bheas mar iomlán an Dlí

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« Reply #7: December 12, 2010, 04:22:34 am »

I perform magic on a somewhat regular basis.  I assume that it has the power to actually affect change in the world or I wouldn't bother.  So assuming it works (at least some of the time) I have a couple of questions:

Do you feel magic is more effective when coupled with religion, or separated from it?  Do you pray (to anyone/thing) for favors or success?  Do you ask that other entities carry out action on your behalf?  Is this really magic, or is it worship?  If you practice non-religious magic do you believe that the energy comes from within you or without you?
It depends on your view of magic(k), as most cultural practices that have been labelled theurgy have been historically viewed as magic. It also depends on your view of the divine, and the cosmos, and the magico-religious beliefs that may accompany them.

Magic(k) can work in relation to deity, and religion, or a secular art no different from playing the harp. In the later, one would assume such an art or craft is related to what has been labelled the supernatural, or an a-empirical dimension of life. Also, the kind of magic(k) performed by atheists seems to be viewed as an art, or science, that subconsciously works in uniting the microcosm and macrocosm, thus working. Therefore assuming God Forms, vibrating names, e.t.c, are tools working in unison with the magickal "Will."(Whatever one believes that may be)

More on the religious aspect, and the magico-religious practices associated with them, it again depends on your cultural view. Magic originally being a term that the Greeks used to label the foreign practices of what popular thought of the time(not universally shared, as indeed many top philosophers travelled to learn it) believed about practices related to Zoroaster, rendering them "hubris", as well as any art that appears to impiously manipulate deity, which is another religious view towards magic. However there have also been people in many cultures that have had people considered part of the priestly caste that take it upon themselves to know the Will of the Gods, and be a mediator between God&man(most Christian Priests, Ministers, e.t.c do this same thing) In pre-Christian Irish society for example, brief ex. being from Dáithí Ó hÓgáin's The Sacred Isle: Belief And Religion In Pre-Christian Ireland.

"the simplest, and yet the most telling, evidence for the supernatural skills of the druids in ancient Ireland is furnished by the word for druidry itself, druídecht. This (in modern spelling draíocht) has always been the ordinary term in Irish for magic."

It is indeed hard to separate what is "magic", and what is "religious" in pre-Christian beliefs and practices, but the native Irish term for the practices of what can be consider a priestly caste has been labelled magic, another example of the above term hasn't changed in modern usage, as is here in Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla by Niall Ó DÓnaill, considered "The bible" Irish dictionary from native speakers, " draíocht, f. (gs and pl.~a) 1.Druidic art, druidism Lit.~a druadh, druidic arts. 2. Witchcraft, magic; charm, enchantment." The same can be said of people considered druids, which translates to sorcerers, wizards, witches, magicians in modern usage, and rendered Magus in Hiberno-Latin texts. Indeed any pre-existing equivalents of supernatural practices opposed to Christianity is considered magical by the church.

It should also be worth noting that the view of magic as impious ways of manipulating, or bribing deities isn't shared in the religious traditions that practice such, a common belief being that man cannot manipulate deities, that the power of a god isn't distorted for a personal purpose, rather, a deity is sought that is naturally aligned with the purpose, and the self is offered as the vehicle. However, this is still considered hubris by cultural traditions that deem it such.
   
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"Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains" AL II:9

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