Ancient and Modern Magic

It’s all about interconnectedness and ‘as above, so below’ until it sounds like a conspiracy theory. Read on.

“Many occult rituals might not be recognized as such at all except by those knowing what to look for and where to find it. When the same Rite that appeared so colourfully as a Temple working is extended through varying Time- Space-Event tracks in quite different forms, few would suspect it was in progress. This type of ritualism calls for expert handling by experienced operators. It needs few externals, only the ordinary accessories of living, and is worked in terms of Word and Will forming part and parcel of life-experience. ….

Expert ritualists build all these into a complete Pattern of Patterns so that Inner and Outer life come together with a common conscious meaning. It is the regularity and reiteration of rituals that enhance the energies released through them.

Old rite-workers knew this well enough when they went over the same Name or invocation again and again for perhaps hours. Some Rites specify a triple reiteration of every Name of Power in three variant ways. We may be reminded of the Bellman saying: “I have told you once, I have told you twice. What I tell you three times is true.” Perhaps the adage occurs to us that if a lie is told often enough everyone believes it. There is a great Mystical reality to be found here. What we believe long enough eventually does come true. It may take thousands of years, or millions in some cases in other maybe moments.

As humans, our natural state is that of Cosmos, and when we allow ourselves to live otherwise, or are caught into Chaotic forces beyond our control, we get into trouble. The Companions of Chaos are not at all interested in living our way, but it is to their advantage if we accept their Life-Pattern to any extent, for this enables them to tap our natural energies for their own purposes. Put into childish clarity this means that while we live Cosmically the Goodies get the benefit, and while we live Chaotically the Baddies stack up the loot. The former are pro and the latter anti evolutionary so far as we are concerned. It would suit the Chaotics very nicely if humanity might be persuaded to live in spiritual servitude to the Pattern of anti-Cosmos, thereby supplying the Companions of Chaos with useful surplus energy until there is no more left worth having because we are approaching extinction.

On the other side, the Companions of Cosmos would prefer that our energies were directed according to the same Pattern as their own natural expression, plus of course any force convertible from the Chaotic state. To their way of thinking, Mankind should evolve the Cosmic Way until material manifestation is transcended altogether and new points of perfection become nuclei for us in ever finer states of Existence.

Faced with these alternatives from which to choose an ultimate Destiny, Mankind continues to vacillate from one to the other. The Secret Way sought by the Mystery Schools of Initiation lies exactly between both. Its major difficulty is that no human being is able to follow it until a fairly high degree of spiritual development has been reached. The most practical solution reached so far, is to progress the Cosmic Way until the soul attains a sufficient degree of mastery over Inner energies to direct itself independently.

We are reaching a decisive phase on earth in this “War of the Worlds” which has been going on since the dawn of our time so far as we are concerned. Both Chaotic and Cosmic Patterns may be observed in action everywhere. Their modern battle standards no longer carry the old Names of “God” and “Devil”, but those of “Nuclear Energy” and “The Bomb”. Behind these obvious devices, the “back room boys” of both sides are engaged on a far more insidious campaign. Physical warfare is getting old fashioned and uneconomical unless rapid depopulation becomes necessary.

Modern battlefields have been principally established in the Inner fields of Mind and Soul on a highly organised scale, and the various factions are pursuing their own interests relentlessly.

With modern weapons of broadcasting, newsprint, advertising, and improved techniques of influencing human beings from inner levels, the human Soul, both individually and collectively has never been subjected to greater stresses. Caught between the cross-fires of commercialism, religion, politics, and other major combatants, the human Soul as such struggles for survival with the alternatives ahead of supremacy or subjection. It is almost impossible to maintain neutrality if this state commands no respect from belligerents of all descriptions. The ritualist is as much involved as the rest of humanity, and must engage in Cosmic or anti-Cosmic ritual activity according to conviction, unless ritual practice is abandoned altogether in favour of contemplative life or some other escape route from conflicts of consciousness.” – William Grey, Ritual Magic Methods

“The concept we moderns have of magic is very strange: we see it as merely a ludicrous heap of recipes and methods stemming from primitive, unscientific notions about nature. … Of course, it would be difficult to maintain that the methods of magic has something to do with the method of our natural sciences. The structure of matter is completely ignored, and physio-chemical phenomena are ascribed to occult cosmic forces. Yet magic has in common with modern technology that it claims to arrive, by other means, at the same ends: long-distance communications, rapid transport, interplanetary trips are some of the magician’s current exploits.

But it is not on this level that magic has continued to exist, mocking those who thought it had disappeared long ago. Indirectly, derived from it are today’s psychological and social sciences. That is why it is first necessary to have a correct picture of the essence and the methodology of magic to able to form an idea of what we still owe to it.

The magic that concerns us here is theoretically a science of the imaginary, which it explores through its own methods and seeks to manipulate at will. At its greatest degree of development, reached in the world of Giordano Bruno, magic is a means of control over the individual and the masses based on deep knowledge of personal and collective erotic impulses. We can observe it not only distant ancestors of psychoanalysis but also, first and foremost, that of applied psychosociology and mass psychology.

Insofar as the manipulation of phantasms [images] are concerned, magic is primarily directed at human imagination, in which it attempts to create lasting impressions. The magician of the Renaissance is both psychoanalyst and prophet as well as the precursor to modern professions such as director of public relations, propagandist, spy, politician, censor, director of mass communication media, and publicity agent.

The workings of phantasy in the Renaissance are more or less complex: eroticism is the most important, already apparent in the natural world without human intervention. Magic is merely eroticism applied, directed, and aroused by it performer.” -Ioan Coulinao, Eros and Magic in the Renaissance


  1. I literally quoted the ‘Bellman’s Thrice’ to someone but hours ago, and now I read this.

    It is in fact, on my mug (my mug, which is not, at this time, a Boojum, you see)…

    I find this very sobering reading and directly accurate – Alex Grey of COSM recently painting a figure depicting the combined figure of one who walks between the chaos and the cosmic – his name is D M Turner, and he represents the choice to work with these opposing forces with a specific highlight on making that choice in these times, as this art was used on Tool’s ‘Fear Inoculum’, and as a visual aid, ties nicely in with your article here, which is uberlucid! ^^


  2. Still feel Bruno’s theory of “vinculis” is the most effective short treatise on magic ever (barring the foundational theories of Iamblichus in “On the Mysteries…”)

    Where would the eliminativist materialism fall in terms of our battleground, in the former quote? My sense would be that its effects, if not its intent, is dissociative, and therefore Chaotic…


    Liked by 1 person

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