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What is Magic?

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) defined magic or magick as:
“The Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will". The keyword 'Will' needs a little explanation as Crowley had a special definition for that as well. It is defined at times as a person's grand destiny in life, and at other times as a moment to moment path of action that operates in perfect harmony with Nature. This Will does not spring from conscious intent, but from the interplay between the deepest Self and the entire Universe.

This is separate from normal will and is often misunderstood in terms of “There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt” for it does not mean do what ever you want it means that you must at all times conform to the True Will and the True Will is harmony between ones deepest self and the Universe.

Being in harmony with the Universe is key to the proper function of magic. As I have said many times if what you want is also what They want then you will will see magic happen, if however, what you want is not what They want then you are on your own. This clearly negates the idea of so called Black Magic as this is not in harmony with the Universe however, this may not be the case. I have seen many successful attempts at Black Magic so what is happening then, does this mean that man can cause change to occur in conformity with the little selfish will with no assistance from the Universe. It should be noted that there are times when this happens and this is very important to understand and has been the downfall of many a dabbler. This relates to travel on the Lower Astral Planes for here there be demons, and theses Astral Entities are very adept at misguiding and abusing the unwary and the simple minded. Particularly vulnerable are those who are ruled by a strong sense of their own importance. As this is not an article on the Lower Astral Plane I shall leave it there for another lesson.

To do magic then is to be in-tune with the Universe or the great Intelligence, what ever you wish to call it and be in-line with the Great Plan of Evolution. That is aligned with the greater good, the Summum bonum. Not that you should assume that being aligned with the greater good will condemn you to a life of service and servitude. You will be of service but there will be just rewards, perhaps even rewards greater than you would expect and eventually you will come to realise that being of service is just the right thing to do and you will feel comfortable in that.

The other part of Crowley's definition, 'Science and Art' should be discussed before moving on. In this article I associate the science and art to be synonymous with the Great Work, what is the Great Work? Well Eliphas Levi (1810–1875), defined it thus:
“The Great Work is, before all things, the creation of man by himself, that is to say, the full and entire conquest of his faculties and his future; it is especially the perfect emancipation of his will.”

Crowley defined it thus:
“The Great Work is the uniting of opposites. It may mean the uniting of the soul with God, of the microcosm with the macrocosm, of the female with the male, of the ego with the non-ego”

The secret is to 'know thyself' but that means more than most people think it does. It is more than an Astrological assessment of your own birth chart of a few weeks of psychoanalysis. It is knowing and I mean knowing, not believing, that you are a child of the Universe and contain the Universe. All that you need is within, all that you are or will become is within. Knowing this is the Great Work, knowing this is the Science and Art of Magic. Knowing this and your soul will fill the Universe and the Universe will fill your soul.

Just as there is no end point to the Universe, there is no end point to the Great Work. For us it is evolution, personal evolution and planetary evolution.

There are many different forms or practices of magic but there effectiveness relies on the development within the practitioner of the alignment of themselves and the Universe.

Links for more information
Aleister Crowley Aleister Crowley
Eliphas Levi Eliphas Levi