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Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 4 months ago

Many Pagans practise magic (some do not) as part of their spiritual practice. Magic is difficult to refine, and the relationship between magic and religion is widely discussed among anthropologists and theologians. Most Pagans accept some form of the famous definition coined by Aleister Crowley: "The art of causing change in accordance with will." Many would add some qualification, such as "... by spiritual or occult means."


Wiccan rituals often include healing magic, divination, and other workings, subject to a code of ethics which is summarised in the saying "An it harm none, do what ye will" (If it harms no-one, do what you will). The most classical form of Wiccan practical magical work is the 'raising of power'. In this technique a group dances, chants or otherwise increases their excitment and energy while concentrating on the goal of the work. At a chosen moment the activity ceases and the 'energy' is directed toward the goal of the spell.


Heathens and other reconstructionists tend not to perform magic as part of their rituals; they are more likely to seek help from a specialist, such as a seiðr-worker. Heathen or northern magic can be devidied into two broad categories. Simply, the 'Galdor' is the use of spoken or sung spells, runes, and signs. Seidr is the use of trances, visions and sexual arts.


Magick or Magic is derived from the Latin term Magia. The term derives from the name of the persian Fire-Priests, the Magi. Some of these ritual priests wandered the Hellenic world, offering to use their rituals to virtually command the Gods to provide love, success, etc to their clients. The Greeks found this impious, and thus the tension between 'magic' and 'religion' was born. Many different practitioners and anthropologists have attempted to define it.

"Magic is the highest, most absolute, and most divine knowledge of natural philosophy, advanced in its works and operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult workings of things, so that true actives being applied to true passives, strange and admirable effects will be produced" Pseudo-Solomon, in the Greater Key


"the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." -- Aleister Crowley


practices designed to gain control over the supernatural. Magic and religion are separated in several ways in anthropology. For some anthropologists magic tries to gain control over the supernatural. Others see magic as being individual, while religion is a group phenomena that creates lasting social bonds. Malinowski saw magic as a means to an end, while religion was the end in itself. Other anthropologists find separating magic and religion very difficult. --oregonstate.edu/instruct/anth370/gloss.html


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