Low Magic & High Magic

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Low Magic & High Magic

Post  question on Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:37 pm

I thought I'd drop in for a second and talk about the differences(or lack thereof) between Low Magic and High Magic, and get your opinions on the subject.

Traditionally(via at least since Ancient Greece), Low Magic has been seen as base and effects oriented. There is also a lingual connotation between the Greek word for Low Magic, Goetia, and sexual magnetism. High Magic, called Theurgia in the Ancient Greek, is the act of communing, channeling, and becoming one with the divine forces of the universe.

Historically, there has been a rigid division between these two approaches to magic. However, the cultural revolutions that humanity has experienced in the last few centuries have even reached we occult weirdos our ivory towers and dirty apartments. In the past few decades, Chaos and Pop Magic have riddled the occult consciousness with myriad articulations based off a few parsimonious assemblages. Divisions have faded in magic just as they have in society at large. The division between Low and High in magic is still recognized, but for many it is not a hard and fast separation, and as change continues its unrelenting parade the dividing line between the two is starting to look less like a barrier and more like a function in an equation; like an equal sign instead of steel bars.

But, even though these ideas, whether one accepts them or not, are becoming more and more popular as time goes on, there is nothing new under the sun. For centuries the Tantra have been eschewing the acetic spirituality that is traditional in Hindu culture in favor of a more hands-on approach to spirituality. Interesting again to notice that sex is often implicated in Tantra just as it was with Goetia, although do not stumble into the pitfall many Westerners have in thinking that Tantra is about sex. Sex is a part of life, and is therefore important to Tantra, as are all aspects of life.

The Tantra believe that the manifest world is simply an emanation of the divine, and that it is therefore divine itself. They see interacting with the physical world in an aware, experimental way as the ultimate spiritual exercise. In the Tantra frame of mind, every mundane or even vulgar action carries great spiritual significance; every action is just a symbol of some underlying spiritual process or truth, and to drown oneself in these actions is to gain direct access to the spiritual.

A bastardized version of this thought process is very easy to apply to Western occult. Clubbing isn't just clubbing, it's group ecstasy to a nameless god. Fucking isn't just fucking, it's a reduction of identity in order to distill the essence of being. Researching a topic or keeping a schedule isn't just something you have to do to keep organized, it's you mastering (and simultaneously transcending) the subtle influences of the system.


This is the way I think of it: you try out magic. Let's say you start with sigils, as many do these days. You have a knack for it, and it comes easy to you. You delve deeper into the occult. You run into a few roadblocks along the way, but you meet the challenges and you grow in your practice. Eventually, you start having access to everything you ever thought you wanted, to everything you ever wanted to be or do.

What does that do to a person, psychologically?

You don't stop having fun, but the mystery and luster of it all has gone away. You miss the rush that comes with mystery, so you look around for it, but eventually you begin to understand the real mystery was what these activities symbolized. The subtle influences behind everything is illuminated in your mind as what you were really chasing in the first place, you just didn't know it at the time. This leads you to begin trying to understand the immaterial, philosophical and spiritual through the material, mundane actions of people and the universe.

You find that this search shows you new ways to think and new ways to do things. You being to understand why you have done things in the past and why people are doing the things they are doing all around you. Activities are then seen as mere products of hidden spiritual machinations.

To put it one other way, consider the famous phrase, "As Above, So Below. As Within, So Without." Once you've taken all your psychological needs and desires and thrown them upon the world with your magic, and once the world has shaped itself to satisfy your desires, the world becomes a quite literal reflection of your own mind; your own spirit. But it's a two way street, through magic, the actions of your mind have become the reality of the world, but also the actions of the world, no matter how small, become also actions in your mind.

As you begin to delve deeper into this world, you dig deeper into yourself. You reduce the ego, you discover spirits and archetypes in everything. Through magical manipulation of the world in a sorcorous, Goetic way you naturally uncover the subtle, existential, spiritual side of things that is usually considered to be High Magic.

It's all connected.

I support the idea that there is no real separation between High and Low and that they are just two sides of the same coin; two renderings of the same data.

After all, what else is meant by As Above, So Below?
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