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alt.magicK KfaQ#03: Starting Magick? (kreEePing oOze faQ)

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Archive-name: magick/kreeeping-ooze/part03
Posting-Frequency: to alt.magick -- by inquiry and desire;
to news.answers -- approximately monthly
___________________________________________________________________________

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
nathan.huff@aquila.com (Nathan Huff) writes:

|is there an Internet address I can send to for imfo on Magick
|I'm just now learning And would like all the help I could get
____________________________________________________________________________

Revised 9503

KREEPING OOze FAQ Question #3: "How do I get started in magick?"

------------

[Books]

Ceci writes:

Books are one answer. There are actually books which try to take you
from your first tentative attempts at relaxation into holding a
ritual. Israel Regardie's _One-Year Manual_ comes to mind. I've read
it and tried it, but it didn't work very well for me. Maybe it will
for you. 

Other than that, it's a matter of Reebok rhetoric: Just do it! If you
like to, you can see this as one of the very first exercises in Will;
you Will yourself into making a ritual. And just as with sex, the
first time you'll feel pathetic, clumsy and silly, but if you keep on
learning, you'll improve.  And of course, make sure that you won't be
interrupted, and practice "safe magick". If you found a ritual in a
book that you feel comfortable with, try it. But at least try to think
of something personal. Try to visualize yourself doing it, daydream
about it, and if it still feels ok, carry it out physically. Start out
small. Learn to crawl before you go for the marathon.

Don't talk about it with people who won't understand what it means to
you. The fourth power (of the Sphinx) is there for a reason.

Ceci, playing the Crone
ceci@lysator.liu.se
__________________________________________________________________

[Tarot]

I would suggest that you start with The Book of Thoth by Aleister 
Crowley, his magnum opus on tarot.  If that don't tweak ya, or if it's 
too confusing to start I would suggest finding your local OTO body (just 
email to Bill Heidrick if you don't know where the closest one might be) 
of if that's not your style try your local Wiccan group, they are usually 
good at helping out beginners with the basics.

skhtmt@teleport.com (Fra. Doubt-Goat)
-------------------------------------

Read this newsgroup for a few months and begin following up on
connections to things that strike you as interesting. 

Visit your local bookstore and look for some of the books that are
being mentioned.  Read them and ask questions.  

Begin a magical diary and invent a short daily meditation session. 
Record your experiences.  Try to remember and record your dreams. 

Resist the temptation to believe what anyone else tells you.  Try to 
invent ways to find out things for yourself.  Remain skeptical.  

Look for ways in which you have may have been doing magick without
realizing it.  Think about what it might mean if you could use it with
intention, and how you might go about that.

robin@winternet.com (one star in sight)
---------------------------------------

[Assistance]

Questions like this often come up in rec.climbing.  All kinds of people
are getting started in rock climbing, and as you'd imagine some of them
get themselves into trouble because they don't know what they're doing.

My experience has been that people don't want unsolicited advice.  I've
come to expect dirty looks when I point out to climbers that they've set
up their equipment wrong.  I haven't stopped telling people this, but I
have learned to be tactful and not to get upset when they react negatively.

My climbing friends and I pretty much agree that we are not strictly
obligated to warn others when they are in danger, but we often choose
to do so.  Each instance requires a judgment call--how dangerous is the
practice, will we actually help by saying anything, is it an area where
we have enough experience to be sure of what we're saying, etc.  I would
ask myself the same questions before warning anyone....

tea@netcom.com (Tom Ace)
------------------------

[Magical Systems]

johnm@utic (Jonathan Montoya) writes:

|...all these systems, can they produce the same results, are some 
|better than others?  Are systems strict, if you don't do something one 
|way then things won't turn out the way you expected?

	Most results are obtainable within many different systems.
	Some results are more readily obtainable within some systems.

	The question "better" presumes a system of values.  Likely candidates
	for such values are:

		approachability
		efficacy
		potency
		consistancy with personal philosophies
		directness
		robustness
		beneficial/harmfull side effects

	For any combination of these values, and for any given individual,
	there are almost certainly better and worse systems.  Other 
	individuals with other values would likely make very different
	assessments.

	What you get out of any magickal process depends on what you put
	into it.  There are many different ways to obtain a particular 
	result, but small differences in what you do can make a big 
	difference in what you get.
	 
|Is it possible to adapt a system, or even make-up your own, that is still 
|effective?

	Yes, but you might be better off studying some well evolved
	systems and learning from them before you create your own.  On
	the other hand, if you have clear notions of what magick is all
	about, it might be better for you to pursue your inner course
	and avoid outside contamination.

|Do you have to have a religious belief in that system?

	No ... but if you have strong religious beliefs it might
	be better to select a system that is compatible with them.
	But then on the other hand, it might be better to select
	a system that is completely incompatible with them.  It
	depends on what your goals are.
 
markk@cypress.West.Sun.COM (Mark Kampe)
---------------------------------------

[Exercises]

Pick up a copy of A Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice.  Read it.
Pick up a copy of RA Wilson's Prometheus Rising.  Read it. Do the exercises.
Do NOT take anything seriously all the time.
Be very careful of picking up any "right dogma", avoid this entirely, 
 if possible.
Listen to people, but ALWAYS think for yourself and develope your own 
 outlook.  NEVER subsume you opinion/will in others.  Take an ACTIVE role 
 in experimentation, avoid people who say they know the "one true" way pf 
 doing anything!   Good luck!

parubi@io.com (parubi)
----------------------

[General]

Information 

See the _MaGI's Guide to the Internet_.  There's a nexus which will allow
you to scout out your own torrent of information overload: elists with which
to pelt your ebox, ftp sites to swim in until you overload your memory-quota,
and Usenet groups to overload your newsreader.  The problem is not access to
information any more (at least not once one has oriented and this doesn't
take much time), it is sorting that in which we can find value from that in
which we cannot.  [ftp.portal.com/pub/ss/OMNet/magi]

Authority
A great part of the problem is that what's 'authoritative' is somewhat
relative to the individual who is doing the review.  There are emotional
and imaginative approaches, dry and intellectual affairs, those based on
not much experience, those based entirely on it, those who prefer their
magick in armchairs, those who prefer it in Hell, in Heaven, in Space,
in the Dirt, some with connections to organizations (covens, lodges,
grottos, pronaos, churches, temples, etc.), some to traditions (lineages,
sects, etc.) and some way out there in weirdsville-whoknowswhere.

Thoughts
The first step in determining 'authoritativeness' is to look INWARD.
What sorts of questions do you find valuable to contemplate?  Are they
pragmatic (how do I do X?), theoretical (what does X mean?), ethical
(when is it bad to do X?), or some combination of these?  If YOU were
devising a test for aspirants (don't bother that you may be one
yourself), what questions would you put on this test (don't worry if
you don't know answers!)?  Making up the test will assist you in
beginning a comparison of knowledge-bases with others in the occult
community online or off.  Continue to look at these questions.  Watch
how your responses change as you meet people who approach the questions
from different places.  Add to that list of questions and restructure
them as you proceed in your self-education.

Tastes
The second step in determining 'authoritativeness' is to look INWARD.
What are your TASTES with regard to magical and occult subjects and
practices?  If you don't know, then EXPLORE!  Find out what tastes
good. Do angels and bunnies and light just turn you on?  How about
Alien Infestations from the Horrid Depths of Space?  Strange words
and weird mathematics?  Just swimming in cool ponds during autumn?
There are many many different approaches to magick, even religious
ones! (see Islam/Sufism or the recent 'Christian Magick Elist' called
'FiatLVX').  Explore as many as suits your taste.  Sometimes settling
for what comes first is not the best means of attaining any goals you
may have.

Activity
The third step in determining 'authoritativeness' is to EXPERIENCE.
Do things.  Try out things and above all, FAIL MISERABLY.  The failure
is as important as is the success.  The two are ultimately a product
of warped thinking anyway.  *Do things*, as the alt.magick.chaos people
love to say.  Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth
living.  It may be equally true that the UNEXPERIENCED life is not
worth living.  Be imaginative.  Fly by the seat of your pants.  Take
risks.  Do the FORBIDDEN.  Tempt josh.

Reflection
The fourth step in determining 'authoritativeness' is to REFLECT.
See what people say in their words/actions/expressions which seems to
conform to your experience of the world.  When you can get a 'fix'
on someone and you LIKE what they are saying, then compare these people
with others who may qualify in a similar way.  Engage others and draw
from THEIR experience and reflection.  Develop your own ideas as a
result of critical thought ('Question Authority, dammit!) and your own
practice as a result of creative exploration ('Do something, dammit!).

Abstraction
The last step in determining 'authoritativeness' is to PROJECT.  Just
because someone says something about which you do not agree this does
not make them idiots.  They may have experience which you do not have
and they could be representing a very important and oft-overlooked
reflection.  It is for this reason that it is quite difficult to be sure 
just who is and who is not an asshole without substance.  Along the path
of wizardry we do not burn our bridges, even while we may place small
signs near them which say 'Of Uncertain Value'.

Growth
The most important principle in determining 'authoritativeness' is to
develop it within ourselves.  Suckling at the teats of masters may be
important at certain stages of our growth, yet eventually we must
break away from the nest, we must try out our wings, we must take
risks and become reservoirs of experience and wisdom ourselves.  If
nothing else, through such exploits we may become humble.

nagasiva, tyagi@houseofkaos.abyss.com
-------------------------------------

t93cle@albireo.tdb.uu.se (Christoffer Lernoe) 
|>| My problem is that I can't seem to find any magick that fully appeals
|>| to me. Almost everywhere the advice to "choose the approach that suits
|>| you best" pops up, but what to do when I can't find one I like?

unknown
|>Make it up as you go along.  Create your own style.  This is how the
|>current paths appeared.  Keep making it up, revising as you learn more
|>and more.

t93cle@albireo.tdb.uu.se (Christoffer Lernoe) 
|The difficulty is (to me) how to approach this new path. I've seen
|exclusively visualization techniques used, what is the alternative?

Oh come on, get imaginative.  Explore the length and breadth of religious
and magical disciplines and techniques.  Visualization?  It is quite
effective for those who don't have a need or resource for material tools.
Look at all the divination systems available: astrology, qabalah, tarot,
runes, etc., etc.  Look at the spiritualist supply stores: ouija, rapping
tables, esp cards, etc., etc.  Look at the ceremonialist's shoppes: wands,
swords, incenses, candles, cauldrons, etc., etc.  Look at the fetishist
supply stores: dildos, floggers, clamps, needles, razors, etc. etc.  Look
at the primitive and modern religious practices: drums, rattles, bells,
lights, chanting, spinning, singing, etc., etc.  

Check into the resources on 'natural highs' and 'psychotropics'.  Check
into the billions of ways to become a sorceror (one who explores the
realms of consciousness).  Magick may find its way to you.


|What is you opinion Tyagi? Are these the limits of magick?

Limits?  No way!  There is no limit to magick.  It can infuse and encompass
your entire life experience.  You can click into the Wave of the World and
become the Great Fool-Magus that attains to the Great Work and sets the
world arights.  Refashion the Cosmos to your liking, become God, do the
Hokey Pokey!
 
tyagi the dilettante
tyagi@houseofkaos.abyss.com
---------------------------

[Warning]

	This is a note to those who are young (male or female) and are 
interested in learning more about the magickal arts. Take heed of those 
who say that they can teach you all about what is magickal. Especially 
if you must join their "coven" or group to do so. There is nothing you 
can learn from them that you can't from a book. I also feel that everyone 
should have a grasp of the basics before joining a working group. If you 
don't know where to go or what to start with, just ask for a good reference. 
	Don't fall for the "I hold the secret knowledge" line. Because 
that's all it is... a line. I've seen too many people bite a line like 
that and end up getting screwed (in more ways than one) and than told 
that they still aren't ready for the next grade.

"I hold the key to my own self knowing."

Lilith Darkchilde <lilith@slip-1.slip.net>
------------------------------------------

Magick Booklist now a separate file.  Find it at: 

		ftp.portal.com/pub/ss/Usenet/FAQs/KR2.mgckbks.9412

==========================================================================

This document is Copyright (c) 1994, authors cited.

All rights reserved.  Permission to distribute the collection is
hereby granted providing that distribution is electronic, no money
is involved, reasonable attempts are made to use the latest version
and all credits and this copyright notice are maintained.

Other requests for distribution should be directed to the individual
authors of the particular articles.
_________________________________________________________________________

This is from a series of continually-updated posts responding to recurrent
questions in this newsgroup.  Please debate anything in here which seems
extreme and add your own response to these questions after the post.  I'll
integrate what I like.  Thanks.

tyagi nagasiva
tyagI@houseofkaos.Abyss.coM (I@AM)

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