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FAQ - alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic (Frequently Asked Questions)


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Archive-name: magick/paranormal/spells-hexes-magic/faq
Version: 200107
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Location: http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/apshmfaq.html


                                   CONTENTS


        00 FOREWORD
        _______________________________________________________________

        10 NEWSGROUP
        11 Why do some people spell magick with a K?
        12 What is a spell? What is a hex?
        13 I don't read newsgroups; will you send me spells by e-mail?
        14 Shouldn't there be limits to what people can post here?
        _______________________________________________________________

        20 SUBJECT
        21 What is magic(k)?
        22 A Is magic real, how does it work, what influences it?
           B Is magic compatible with modern Science?
           C How are magic & religion/mysticism related or different?
           D Can I be cursed even if I don't believe in magic?
        23 A Is magic black or white? Should we do black magic?
           B What about the "Three-Fold Law of Return"?
        24 Is spell casting guaranteed to produce results?
        25 A When casting a spell is there always an incantation?
           B Is Latin really the most powerful spell casting language?
           C Should I create my own spells or follow old ones exactly?
        26 Is animal sacrifice common in spell-casting?
        27 Can you really invoke Gods, evoke demons, summon the dead?
        28 Is there a spell that actually turns you invisible? (etc.)?
        29 Can spell casting heal the sick or kill a healthy person?
        _______________________________________________________________
        
        30 STUDIES
        31 How should I start learning about magic? teachers?
        32 What are the best books for a beginner to read?
        33 Where is online information about magic to be found?
        _______________________________________________________________

        40 SPELL COMPILATIONS
        41 Love and Lust
        42 Hexing, Cursing, and Death
        43 Summoning Demons and Making Infernal Pacts
        44 Fortune and Money-Bringing Spells
        45 Purification, Blessing, and Protection
        46 Court Cases and Legal Matters
        _______________________________________________________________

        50 REFERENCES AND REFERRALS
        51 Archives
        52 Other magic-Related E-Lists and Newsgroups
        53 Card Game Magic (e.g. 'The Obsession')
        54 Role-Playing Game Spellcasting
        _______________________________________________________________

        60 AFTERWORD
        61 Footnotes
        62 Credits
        63 Copyrights

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

00 FOREWORD

        The alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic FAQ may be obtained at:
        http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/apshmfaq.html

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

10 NEWSGROUP

        This section pertains to the most commonly asked questions
        about the newsgroup itself; specifically the newsgroup's
        name and its customs.

        Alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic is part of the
        alt.paranormal.* hierarchy. Other newsgroups in this
        lineage -- with descriptions taken from their entries at
        http://www.tile.net/news/paranormal.html -- include
        news:alt.paranormal
          ("phenomena which are not scientifically explicable")
        news:alt.paranormal.channeling
          ("spiritual mediumship, channeling and channelers"),
        news:alt.paranormal.crop-circles
          ("a discussion of crop circles")
        news:alt.paranormal.pyramid
          ("theories on mystic aspects of pyramids").

11 Why do you some people spell magick with a K?

        The reason for the two spellings -- on the internet --
        is that computers need differing spelling to distinguish
        between two files. Some time back in the early 1990s,
        the usage of "magic" for stage magic and "magick" for
        mystical-ritual-supernatural practices was adopted by
        general consensus.

        This newsgroup, alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic, is one of
        the older in usenet and was created BEFORE the
        magic-with-a-k spelling rule was agreed upon. Later,
        alt.magick and its derivatives were created with a 'k' to
        avoid confusion with stage magic. *01

        "Magick" is a spelling popularly associated with Aleister
        Crowley, yet the spelling precedes him by hundreds of
        years. As he used it, however, the word did not relate
        to magic, but rather to Crowley's own personal form of
        spirituality. *02
        
        Tom Schuler (duo@teleport.com) supplied this quotation
        from Crowley's writing that explains why Crowleyan
        "magick" is actually about spirituality, not "magic":

           "In my third year at Cambridge, I devoted myself
           consciously to the Great Work, understanding thereby
           the Work of becoming a Spiritual Being, free from
           the constraints, accidents, and deceptions of
           material existence. I found myself at a loss for
           a name to designate my work, just as H. P. Blavatsky
           some years earlier. "Theosophy", "Spiritualism",
           "Occultism", "Mysticism", all involved undesirable
           connotations. I chose therefore the name "MAGICK"
           as essentially the most sublime, and actually the
           most discredited, of all the available terms. I
           swore to rehabilitate MAGICK, to identify it with
           my own career; and to compel mankind to respect,
           love, and trust that which they scorned, hated and
           feared. I have kept my Word."
        
                -- "Magick in Theory and Practice"
                   by Aleister Crowley (pages XI-XII) *03

12 What is a spell? What is a hex? ?

        Generally speaking, a magical spell is a formula that may
        involve spoken, written, or chanted words; symbolic
        enactments; candle burning; ritual baths; burning of
        incense; sprinkling of powders, salts, or dusts; and/or the
        manufacture and deployment of charms, amulets, or talismans.

        The purposes of spells are varied. They include "drawing" or
        wish-fulfillment in regard to love, money, and good fortune;
        apotropaic, "banishing" or "drive-away" spells for ridding
        oneself of unwanted influences; "jinxing," "crossing," or
        "cursing" spells to bring bad luck or harm to another,
        "binding" spells to keep someone's magic from affecting
        you or others, and "summoning" spells to call up spirits,
        ghosts, or even demons.

        "Hex" comes from the German word for witchery or sorcery,
        "Hexencraft." It is a regionally popular word in America's
        Pennsylvania Dutch country, where it refers to a symbolic
        drawing (usually a six-sided figure in a circle, related to
        the Greek word "hex," or "six," as in "hexagon"). Hexes
        are made to protect farm animals to draw love, to symbolize
        and strengthen a marriage, or to break a curse. The term
        hexencraft (the making of hexes) has a different meaning
        in Pennsylvania Dutch than in German, where it refers to
        magical spells in general, and may also include medical
        herbology. One who makes hexes is a "hexmeister"
        (hex-master).

        You may have been told or have read in a dictionary that
        the "hexes" of Pennsylvania Dutch folk-magic are evil or
        malign in intention. People say the same thing about
        African-American hoodoo and European witchcraft --
        they use the words hex and hoodoo and bewitch as verbs
        synonymous with "curse" or "magically harm," leaving off
        any mention of the love spells, prosperity spells, animal
        fertility spells, or home protection spells that are
        worked in these traditions. This is not done out of
        malice but because they are describing essentially
        alien cultures to their own and they have not bothered
        to research the subject thoroughly

        Luckily, vocabulary-ignorance only affects the people
        who are misusing a word -- it doesn't infect the actual
        culture in which the term originated. Thus, if you were
        to go to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, right now and ask
        for a hex, you would not be given a curse, you would be
        given the Pennsylvaia Dutch version of a sigil, talisman,
        veve, or seal -- a six-sided geometrical image to be
        used for magical purposes.

        In some regions (e.g. in the Ozarks)  hexencraft or
        Germanic-rooted peasant-style folk-magic is called
        "Pow-Wow magic" after the book "Pow-Wows or the Long Lost
        Friend" first published in 1820 in Pennsylvania (in German)
        and then in English in the 1840s. "Pow-Wow magic" --
        that is, Ozarks-style hexencraft -- forms one of the
        bases for the Faerie (or Feri) Tradition of Neo-Paganism
        transmitted by Victor and Cora Anderson.

        "Hoodoo," "conjure" (or "conjuration"), "rootwork," and
        "laying down tricks" are also regionally popular terms
        for spell-casting, either benevolent and malevolent. They
        come from the African-American culture and are common
        terms all over the United States in the black community.
        
        Italian spell-craft is called stregharia. In Mexico the
        word is brujeria, usually translated as "witchcraft."

13 I don't read newsgroups. Will people send me spells by email?

        Newcomers to usenet newsgroups ("newbies") often fail to
        understand that these are discussion groups, not sources of
        free goodies. People who post to a newsgroup only to ask for
        information to be sent to them via email are sometimes thought
        of by usenet regulars as "parasitic posters" and are said to
        "post and run." If you want to learn from and meet other
        people who regularly read and post to the group, please
        stick around and participate.

        Likewise, if you ask for and receive advice or spells in the
        newsgroup, it is courteous to reply with a "thank you."

14 Shouldn't there be limits to what people can post here?

        This newsgroup has existed for many years as a place for
        people to exchange information about spells and
        spell-casting. Occasionally, people with a dogmatic
        religious background (for instance in Christianity or
        Wicca) post abusive messages about the sorts of spells
        that are "acceptable," but the group generally ignores
        them and moves on.

        For those interested in specific forms of magic that may
        or may not be attached to spell-casting, there are many
        newsgroups to which discussion can be taken if you wish
        to cooperate with newsgroup regulars. Here are a few
        such discussion-oriented newsgroups to get you started:

        news:alt.lucky.w (lucky charms, amulets, folk-magic, hoodoo)
        news:alt.magick (general and ceremonial magic and occultism)
        news:alt.magick.chaos (chaos-magic)
        news:alt.magick.ethics (the ethics of magical practice)
        news:alt.magick.folk (folk-magic)
        news:alt.magick.marketplace (magical tools and books for sale)
        news:alt.magick.order (magical orders and fraternities)
        news:alt.magick.tantra (sex-magic and tantra)
        news:alt.magick.tyagi (magic, mysticism, philosophy, religion)
        news:alt.occult.methods (practical techniques of occultists)

        There is a far more comprehensive list of occult-related
        (but not necessarily magic-related) newsgroups in the 
        document called The Mage's Guide to the Internet (MaGI) at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/magi/
        -- and that list is partially reproduced in this document
        at Question 52.

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

20 SUBJECT

        A few questions about spell-casting arise with
        regularity. Some concern an analysis of magic,
        its workings and principles, and its relationship to
        science and religion. Others attempt to establish
        definitive guidelines governing the morality of
        spell-work.

21 What is magic(k)?

        Magic has been defined by many people in many different
        ways. Aleister Crowley defined it as "the Science and Art
        of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will" *03
        and many people today who do not consider themselves 
        followers of Crowley still use that definition.

        Some see magic as a kind of energy which pervades the cosmos.
        Others see it as a psychic tool by which we may influence the
        material world using symbols and ritual. Many see it as a
        means of coming to unite with the divine, some consider
        it to be the exercise of will or Will, or the manipulation
        of reality.

        Whatever the word means, 'magic' is the subject, generally,
        of the newsgroup, and will likely be given many differing and
        contradictory meanings during discussions there.

22A Is magic real, how does it work, what influences it?

        Many have suggested the differentiation of magical 'currents'
        or 'energies' based on style and/or intent. Some posit the
        notion of principles, a la scientific structure, 'laws of
        magic' and what-not. Others approach it more subjectively,
        considering all knowledge about the elements of magic to be
        personal and therefore particular only to the individual
        condition, variable of form.
        
        All of these are popular responses to this question, though
        more inventive theories would be welcomed. Conventional
        approaches may be cross-posted to
        news:sci.philosophy.meta.

        Chameleon (mailto:chameleon_@hotmail.com), a
        self-professed "newbie," put the question this way,
        in regard to casting spells:
         
           "I have a couple magic books at home and have
           read through them. A lot of them use a type of
           hypnosis to channel energy and though I have
           read of the use of herbs and incense to burn,
           is it the burning drug that is supposed to do
           the magic or is it your energy that makes it come
           true? Different books do things differently."
         
        Here is an answer supplied by cat yronwode 
        (cat@luckymojo.com):
        
           "As for how magic works, one theory is that certain
           objects, including but not limited to natural curios 
           suchas roots, herbs, minerals, and animal parts, have 
           within them a certain a-causal link to some realm of 
           human endeavour, often by virtue of their shape, colour, 
           size, or scent. Thus, to give two examples, violet 
           leaves, which look like hearts, are used in love magic, 
           and lodestones, which are natural magnetic rocks, are 
           used to "draw" wealth, love, or luck to the holder. These 
           operations may be carried out with or without reference 
           to religious entities (gods, spirits, saints).

           "An overlapping, but actually slightly different form of 
           magic involves human-made artifacts -- amulets, lucky 
           charms, talismans, and the like. These can be made by 
           the magician him or herself but are often prepared for 
           clients by a conjurer, craft-worker, or jeweler."
          
        Generally speaking, folk-magic and the magic of rural
        people seems to place greater emphasis on objects --
        herbs, minerals, animal teeth or bones, human sexual
        fluids, candles, incense, and so forth -- than it does
        on the "energy" of the person casting the spell.
        
        Conversely, ceremonial magic, chaos magic, and other
        urban-based traditions tend to place more emphasis on
        "will" or directed personal power.
        
        A third path is that of the religiously-inclined magician,
        who believes that invocation or summoning of deities,
        saints, spirits, or angels influences the outcome of a
        magical spell.

        To the best of our knowledge, none of these three distinctly
        different theories has been empirically proven "right" or
        "wrong," so the individual practitioner is left to follow
        the tradition most congenial to his or her world-view and
        personality.
          
22B Is magic compatible with modern Science?

        This is an oft-asked question, particularly with reference
        to Heisenberg and chaos theory. Hang around a little before
        getting into one of these discussions. They can take quite
        a while to untangle.
        
22C How are magic and religion/mysticism related or different?

        There have been a number of different discussions on these
        subjects. One extremely popular hypothesis is the
        magic/individual : religion/group model. This notion holds
        that magical practices that do not involve a congregation
        and a worship service are not religious. (An example of this
        would be a woman casting a love spell with oils and a candle
        to attract a man.) Likewise, according to this viewpoint,
        magical practices that involve a congregation and worship
        ARE religious. 
        
        Some folks hold the oinion that religious practices cannot,
        by definition, be magical. Others contend that religious
        services that invoke the aid of spirits or unknown forces
        to effect a change in the world are magical. (An example
        of this would be a Christian prayer meeting for healing
        a member of the congregation.)

        Some religions openly include and acknowledge magical
        practices. Some emphasize this aspect more than others.
        Here are three examples, selected more or less at random:

        Fundamentalist Christians tend to downplay magic, but
        Catholic Christians often practice it openly, especially in
        more rural cultures than the United States. For example, it
        is common in Mexico to invoke the financial aid of Saint
        Martin Caballero (a religious act) by means of a magical
        phrase ("citrum neuvo"), a thread-wrapped horseshoe, and
        a cloth bag filled with grains of wheat (a magical act).

        Santeria and Vodoun, two Afro-Caribbean religions with
        strong magical components, are sometimes wrongfully
        characterized by outsiders as a form of magic, although they
        are both actually religions. The use of ritual baths and
        trance-possession seem to strike Euro-Americans as
        "magical" acts, rather than "religious" ones, despite the
        fact that both religions have priestly hierarchs who conduct
        ceremonies for the congregation

        Hinduism has an entire sacred book (one of the Vedas)
        devoted to magical formulas and spells -- and this is in
        addition to the more cosmlogical and worship-oriented Vedic
        texts.

        Child of Fire (mailto:ladythella@juno.com) framed the
        question of how magic relates to relgion in terms of its
        "fit" with goddess-worshipping Wicca, when she asked:

           "I am not Wiccan (though two of my best friends are)
           but I do find the magics interesting. I enjoy and
           practice candle magic and herb magic... however,
           [...] one of the main reasons I'm NOT wiccan is that
           I can't honestly say that I believe in a goddess.
           The other reason [is] that I am quite impulsive,
           so that I tend to act BEFORE I think and when you
           throw in the Three-Fold Law [of Return; a Wiccan
           dogma], I find myself headed for a lot of trouble,
           ya know?  Any help would be much appreciated."

        This question is probably more religious than magical.
        While many Wiccans do practice magic, they certainly did
        not invent it or have an exclusive handle on it. In fact,
        magical practices -- especially those using simple objects
        from nature such as herbs and minerals -- are to be found
        in virtually every human culture, regardless of the type
        of deity worshipped. Furthermore, even people who worship
        NO deity may practice magic. As for opinions about the
        universality of the Three-Fold Law of Return (or lack
        thereof), see the next two questions.

        It's always good to ask these questions -- many people don't,
        and thus make erroneous assumoptions about other people's
        practices -- but if you wish to discuss mysticism or
        religion, consult a newsgroup devoted to that topic. For
        more reading on the subject, follow links from the MaGI's
        Gehennom GOO at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/magi/goo.html!

22D Can I be cursed even if I don't believe in magic?

        What you believe about curses is likely the product of the
        culture in which you were raised. In many cultures, the
        answer to this question is "Yes, you can be cursed whether
        or not you believe in magic and whether or not you are
        consciously aware of the fact that a curse has been
        placed on you.

        In skeptical, urban, non-traditonal cultures with a
        materialist basis of thought, the answer may be "no"
        -- in several variants.

        A belief that there is a necessity for the victim of a
        curse to "believe" in his or her magical victimization
        for the curse to be operative -- called "the consent of
        the victim" -- is often discussed in materialist urban
        cultures and it sometimes forms part of a refutation
        against the possibility of ANY kind of magical (or
        religious) practice.
        
        However, it is not strictly a materialist belief, because
        it presupposes that magical (or religious) activity is
        possible and can be performed upon someone as long as
        they consent to believe in it. That is, the "consent of
        the victim" theory does not dispose of magic as a "series
        of coincidences" or "advanced psychology" or the like.
        Therefore, one can call it a materialist-magical theory,
        in which a person's choices about belief (materialist
        or magical) will determine how much -- if at all --
        magic can affect him or her.

        Similar to the materialist-magical notion of the "consent
        of the victim" is the "Alice defense" derived from the
        book "Alice In Wonderland" ("You're nothing but a pack
        of cards!"), whereby sheer DIS-belief in magic is thought
        to protect one against a magical attack. This is more
        strictly materialist than the "consent of the victim"
        theory -- but magicians sometimes call it a form of
        "unconscious magic," in that, they claim, the potential
        victim creates a powerful MAGICAL shield through
        DISbelief in magic. :-)

        What you believe is ultimately your own choice.

23A Is magic black or white? Should we do black magic?

        For discussion about the ethics of magic, see the newsgroup
        news:alt.magick.ethics.

23B What about the "Three-Fold Law of Return"? Don't curses and
        coercive spells somehow bounce back and punish you?

        While in many magical traditions there is a guide of some
        kind against coercing a person, this rule is not culturally
        universal.

        "The three-fold law of return" (which hypothesizes that
        whatever you do to others magically will come back to you
        three-fold) -- is often cited by modern Neo-Pagans as a
        warning against performing coercive spells. However, the
        "three-fold law" is neither a law of nature (like gravity)
        nor a world-wide law of magical practice, being found only
        in those Neo-Pagan traditions that derive from or are allied
        to Wicca. In Hindu magical practices, for instance, the "law
        of karma" states that what you do will come back to you at
        full force -- that is, it is a "one-fold law of return" --
        not three-fold.

        Both the Hindu and Wiccan rules of return can be
        demonstrated to be false in a given person's lifetime.
        That is, so many wicked people escape justice that no sane
        observer would contend that it is a law of any kind that
        punishment is certain for evil deeds. In order to support
        their one-fold and three-fold "laws" of return, Wiccans and
        Hindus rely on a secondary hypothesis, namely, reincarnation
        of the individual soul. This is a matter of religious dogma.
        Because reincarnation has never been satisfactorialy
        demonstrated to occur, the majority of human beings neither
        endorse reincarnation, nor a "law of karma" or "three-fold
        law of return."

        Most cultures in which magic is practiced have no stated
        belief in a "rule of return" of any kind -- and it is
        recommended that because discussions of such "laws," being
        religious topics, are not of concern to the general
        practitioner of magic, discussion about them should be
        directed to an appropriate newsgroup in the soc.religion.*
        or alt.religion.* hierarchies.

24 Is spell casting guaranteed to produce results
        -- and if not, why bother to practice magic? 
        
        This question comes up regularly in the newsgroup, and is also
        often asked by potential customers of spiritual supply stores. 
        Here is how one store-owner, cat yronwode (cat@luckymojo.com),
        replies to the query:
        
           "The question of whether a mojo hand, spell kit, or other 
           occult item is "guaranteed to bring in results" is one that 
           i am often asked. As most hoodoo practitioners know, every 
           supplier in America sells their products as curios only, 
           for legal reasons which i am sure we can all appreciate.

           "I can certainly go on record stating that we have had many 
           customers provide us with feedback that they have had 
           successful results with our spell kits, mojo bags, oils, 
           candles, incenses, and other products -- or those of our 
           competitors -- but due to the nature of magic and the 
           differentiation of attention and power among those who 
           employ these spells, combined with the irregularity of 
           feedback, we cannot be absolutely certain of their 
           success rate.

           "What i tell my customers and clients is this: even if 
           you use magic only to concentrate upon your desires and 
           to pray, you will at least haveclarified what it is you 
           want. If it works for you, however, as it very often does, 
           then you will not only have clarified your desires, you 
           will have achieved them.

           "Remember this: every farmer who plants seeds fully hopes 
           and expects the seeds to germinate and the crop to grow. 
           Most years, this is exactly what happens -- but some years 
           the seed is of poor quality or the weather is bad, or an 
           infestation of insects, or a disease, or even the work of 
           a malicious enemy may somehow ruin the crop before it 
           matures. A reputable spiritual supply store will endevour
           to supply good "seeds" -- authetntic prodects, prperly 
           labelled, with instructions for use according to custom -- 
           but beyond this, no supplier can guarantee results because
           the outcome of spell-work is determined by factors such as 
           the experience and beleief of the pracitioner, possible 
           opposition against the spell being cast by other parties, 
           and ephemeral conditions analogous to the "weaether" (such 
           as transitory astrological conditions) that may be a
           ffecting people in general at the time the work is 
           being performed."
           
25A When casting a spell is there always an incantation
        -- or is it belief or will-power that produces results?

        This depends on the tradition -- and the spell. Some spells
        employ incantations (to gods, demons, elemental forces),
        some use objects (roots, herbs, minerals, amulets, talismans,
        seals), some utilise actions (sprinkling, dancing, stepping
        in a pattern, bathing), and many use a combination of these.
        
        Generally speaking, spoken or recited incantations, spells,
        or rhymed chants are more common in European folk-magic and
        its derivatives (including Wicca and Neo-Paganism) than in
        the magical practices of other cultures. The lack of such
        spoken spells does not, however, imply that the other
        culture's spell-casters are less "magically adept" or
        that they emphasize will-power over rhymes. It simply
        describes that they come from another culture.

25B Is Latin really the most powerful spell casting language?

        Some folks think so. Others swear by Hebrew, Greek,
        Egyptian, Sanskrit, or...you name it! There is
        certainly no agreement that any one language is more
        powerful than others, although each -- including common
        English -- has advocates.

25C Should I create my own spells or follow old ones exactly?

        There are many opinions on this matter, and lively
        debates have ensued in the newsgroup almost every time
        this question has been broached.
        
        "Just because a spell is old, that doesn't mean it
        will work" is a truism we have all heard many times.
        The inverse -- "Just because a spell was made
        up on the spot, that doesn't mean it will work" -- 
        is equally true.
       
        Generally speaking, Neo-Pagans tend to empahasize the
        beneftis of creating your own spells while folk-magic
        practitioners (root-workers, brujas, and the like)
        tend to emphasize the benefits of learning spells
        from your elders, or, if that is not possible,
        from written accounts of the old-time ways.
        
        One thing both sides agree upon: if you create your
        own spells, it is good to have a knowledge-base in
        regard to the magical meanings of herbs, roots,
        minerals, colours, seals, amulets, astrological
        symbols, and the like, and to have practiced a bit
        first with written or orally transmitted spells,
        to get a feel for how to do the work.
        
        Regarding the improvisation of spells while remaining
        true to tradition, cat yronwode (cat@luckymojo.com) 
        says:
                                             
           "Each culture (or social sub-culture) seems to have 
           its own rules, customs, or practices regarding the 
           workings of magic. 
          
           "Some of these customs are found in more than one 
           culture. For instance, ritual cleaning and bathing 
           occur in the magic of most cultures, including urban 
           ceremonial magick (with a k) and Sicilian folk magic 
           (without a k). 
          
           "Other forms of ritual or rule are not as widespread. 
           For example, foot-track magic (performing magical 
           operations on others through use of their footprints, 
           shoes, or by scattering material where they will step 
           on it) is typically an African magical custom, which is 
           found also in African-American hoodoo practice, while 
           evil-eye magic (causing harm by envious glances and/or 
           working protection spells or curing people thus caused) 
           is typically a Mediterranean, Adriaitic, Agean, and 
           Indian practice. 

           "Basically, once the rules of a given system of magic 
           are internalized by the practitiioner, a great deal of 
           improvosation may be done for any given ritual or magical 
           job of work. The mark of a good magician in his or her 
           own school of magic is his or her ability -- to borrow 
           an analogy from music -- to seemlessly improvise a tune 
           within the chord structure of the system being used."

26 Is animal sacrifice common in spell-casting?

        Animal sacrifice is more common in certain religions
        than it is in magical rites in general, considered
        world-wide. Very few folk-magic spells require animal
        sacrifice because they derive from rural-agricultural
        traditions in which animals are too valuable to butcher
        indiscriminately. Religions are more likely to require
        the sacrifice of an animal, possibly because the
        priestly class traditionally claims the carcass as a
        sort of fee or payment for services rendered.

27 Is it possible to invoke Gods, Spirits, Angels,
        or Demi-Gods, evoke demons, or summon the dead?

        Evoking an entity means to call it with a voiced chant
        (an evocation) and to cause it to manifest before you.
        Invoking an entity means to call it with a voiced chant
        (an invocation) and to cause it to manifest within you.

        As Simon Progrediore (mailto:servellose@juno.com) explains:

           "To evoke a spirit would mean to cause said spirit to
           appear, either in the material world or in the astral
           world, via magick mirror, crystal, etc.

           "To invoke a spirit would mean to cause said spirit 
           to enter your body or mind. It is for this reason, 
           that students are urged NOT to invoke demons, only 
           the God-Names and so-called 'benevolent' angels."

        Summoning simply means to coerce an entity to appear.
        Non-coercive summoning is sometimes called "inviting"
        the entity.

        Many people claim to have done some or all of these
        things, either in religious rites or in magical rituals.
        To some observers, it seems that much invocatory and
        summoning magic has a religious tinge to it and vice
        versa. These folks cite the ceremony of Holy Communion
        in the Catholic Church is an instance of summoning a deity
        and the trance-possession of Santeria as an invocatory rite.

28 Is there a spell that will actually let your arm
        spontaneously combust and not get burned? Allow you to fly?
        Turn you invisible? Change the colour of your eyes?

        These sound more like sleight-of-hand than sorcery. When
        portrayed in movies, they may be the result of special
        effects, stunt-doubling, or the like.

29 Can spell casting really heal the terminally ill or
        kill a healthy person?

        Many have claimed so and believed so. Examples of
        spontaneous healing -- and spontaneous death -- abound in
        the literature of science as well as the literature of
        magic. This is not to say that such things are common or can
        be predictably made to happen, but they do seem to occur 
        now and then.

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

30 STUDIES

        How to learn about magic and what ought be considered the
        best sources are frequently discussed topics in usenet.

        Occasionally someone will compile a REF file of newsgroup
        posts for a common topic. Make a collection of posts and
        assist in the project yourself by adding to the Lucky Mojo
        Esoteric Archive at http://www.luckymojo.com/esoteric.html.

31 How should I start learning about magic? teachers?

        Some recommend the use of particular mechanisms or tools,
        such as tarot, a magical diary, meditation or dreamwork.
        Some recommend specific books or teachers, others place more
        emphasis on the aptitude and imagination of the student.

        As CHenningsson (mailto:ceci@lysator.liu.se) 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....

           "Other than that ... 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."

        Robin (mailto:robin@winternet.com) provides marvelous advice:

           "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 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."

        MKampe (mailto:markk@cypress.West.Sun.COM) offers:

           "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
           [from teachers/books/etc.]."

32 What are some books for a beginner?

        There are at least three online occult book lists available,
        as well as one list of mail-order occult book dealers.
        
        book list one:
        http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/bookref
        book list two:
        http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/bookref2
        book list three:
        http://www.luckymojo.com/tkbibliocontents.html
        occult book dealers:
        http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/bookpubs.

33 Where is more online information about magic to be found?

        Online reference files dealing with the Kabbalistic Abyss,
        Chaos magic, Wicca, the Golden Dawn, and more are at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/ref.html.

        Magical organizations may wrangle out their political
        issues in news:alt.magick.order.

        People with religious issues to discuss in regard to
        magic(k) can search for like-minded souls in the various
        soc.religion.* and alt.religion.* newsgroups.

        People with an interest in the spirituality of Aleister
        Crowley, dubbed "Magick" by him and his followers, may
        enjoy conversing in news:alt.magick.
        
        Wiccans, Neo-Pagans, and their allies, will find people
        with similar interests in the various alt.religion.*,
        alt.witchcraft.*, and alt.pagan.* newsgroups. one such
        newsgroup specifically devoted to Neo-Pagan magic is
        news:alt.pagan.magick.

        For the most complete online guide to occultism on the
        internet, try the Mage's Guide to the Internet (MaGI)
        at http://www.luckymojo.com/magi/.

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

40 SPELL COMPILATIONS

        Spell-exchange within the alt.magick.* hierarchy is at
        times discouraged by newsgroup regulars or newbies
        concerned with considerations of ethics or expertise.
        The only newsgroup apparently designated for such an
        exchange is news:alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic.

        A continually updated list of spells, some of them
        compiled from posts in usenet, can be found on
        The Lucky Mojo Esoteric Archive Spells Page, which is at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/spells.html.

        To see the complete contents of the Lucky Mojo
        Spells Archive, please go to that page and scroll
        through the links in the table of contents or use the
        on-site search engine located there. For your
        convenience, some of the most popular of these
        spell-casting compilations are noted below.

41 Love and Lust Spells

        The alt.magick love and lust spells file at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/fuckspells.html
        is a usenet collection and includes spells designed to
        secure the love and/or passionate embrace of your target.
        Folk-magic love spells by cat yronwode may be found at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/lovespells.html.
        A third set of love spells from various traditions is at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/spells/red/loveandsexspells.html.

42 Hexing, Cursing, Death, and Hot Foot Spells

        Jinxing, hexing, cursing, and death-oriented spells were
        collected from usenet over the past few years and these
        have been placed in online as an alt.magick ref file at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/owspells.html.
        A second set of spells to harm people, from various
        magical traditions, collected from usenet, is at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/spells/black/hurtingspells.html .

43 Summoning Demons and Making Infernal Pacts

        Collected usenet posts about demon-summoning and infernal
        pacts are in the alt.magick reference on summoning:
         http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/summonspells.html.
        A separate file that contains lists of demons suitable
        for sommoning is the alt.magick demon list at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/demons.html.

44 Fortune and Money-Bringing Spells

        Some spells to obtain cash through skill or chance
        and achieve success in other ways, compiled from posts
        to usenet, and from various schools of magic, are at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/spells/green/cashspells.html.
        Folk-magic money-drawing spells by cat yronwode are at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/moneyspells.html

45 Protection and Blessing

        Collected spells designed to remove bad luck, spiritual
        parasitism, crossed conditions, or jinxes are at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/spells/white/blessingspells.html
        Usenet contributors are responsible for a file of spells
        that are to be used for blessing and pufication at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/spells/white/blessingspells.html
        Folk-magic protection spells by cat yronwode are at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/protectionspells.html .

46 Spells for Court Cases and Legal Matters

        A compilation of spells for keeping the law away,
        winning in court, and combatting the forces of the
        INS, IRS, and other bureaucratic agencies is online at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/spells/purple/courtcasespells.html.
        Folk-magic court case spells by cat yronwode are at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/courtcase.html .

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

50 REFERENCES AND REFERRALS

        After consulting the various resources listed in this FAQ
        and lurking in the newsgroup for a few weeks, feel free to
        bring up any relevant subjects there.

51 Archives Online

        Usenet posts on occultism make up a large part of the
        Lucky Mojo Esoteric Archive (which hosts this document).
        Access its top-level directory structure at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/esoteric.html

        FAQs and REFs for a large assortment of other magical, 
        occult, mystical, and religious newsgroups can be found
        at the Lucky Mojo FAQ Archive (a sub-set of the Esoteric
        Archive). The table of contents for these FAQ and REF 
        files is at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs.html

52 Magic-Related Newsgroups and E-Lists

        See the MaGI at http://www.luckymojo.com/magi/
        for much occult, magical, and mystical information,
        including a lengthy file of occult e-mail lists.
        
        From that document, here is a further set of usenet
        newsgroups that were not given above in the primary 
        list of magical nesgroups at Question 14.

          (occult-related)
        news:alt.astrology
          FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/faq.astrlgy.9401
        news:alt.astrology.asian
        news:alt.chinese.fengshui
          FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/fengref
        news:alt.divination
        news:alt.occult.kabbalah.golden-dawn
        news:alt.pagan.magic
        news:alt.tarot
          Old FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/taroref
          New FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/faq.a-tarot.9801
          Layouts REF: http://www.luckymojo.com/altmagickfaq/trtlyref

          (darkness and power)
        news:alt.necronomicon
        news:alt.satanism
          FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/faq.astncos.9901
          Another FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/faq.astnmgp.9901
          Another FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/faq.astnngp.9902
          Another FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/faq.astntks.9901
          Another FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/faq.astntos.9901

          (mystical thought)
        news:alt.consciousness.mysticism
        news:alt.meditation
        news:alt.meditation.moderated
        news:alt.philosophy.taoism

          (psychology and consciousness)
        news:alt.consciousness
        news:alt.psychology.transpersonal
        news:rec.drugs.psychedelic
        news:sci.psychology.consciousness

          (shamanism/neopaganism/wicca/religions incorporating magic)
        news:alt.folklore
        news:alt.folklore.gemstones
        news:alt.folklore.herbs
        news:alt.mythology
        news:alt.mythology.mythic-animals
        news:alt.native
        news:alt.pagan
        news:alt.religion.asatru
          FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/faq.asatru-.9506
        news:alt.religion.orisha
        news:alt.religion.shamanism
        news:alt.religion.wicca
          FAQ: http://www.luckymojo.com/faqs/faq.arwicca.9506
        news:alt.shamanism
        news:alt.techno-shamanism
        news:alt.traditional.witchcraft
          FAQ: http://www.atwweb.com/FAQ.htm

          (ufos/parapsychology/spiritualism)
        news:alt.consciousness.near-death-exp
        news:alt.hypnosis
        news:alt.out-of-body
        news:alt.paranet
        news:alt.paranet.metaphysics
        news:alt.paranet.paranormal
        news:alt.paranet.psi
        news:alt.paranet.skeptic
        news:alt.paranormal
        news:alt.skeptic
        news:alt.soulmates

53 Card Game Magic (e.g. 'The Obsession')

        There are many newsgroups in the rec.games.* hierarchy
        from which to choose. Also see MOXPERL at
        http://mox.perl.com/deckmaster/.

54 Role-Playing Game Spellcasting

        If you are looking for role-playing game magic, you can find
        it in the Great Net Spellbook at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/spells/GNSB/0-intro.html.

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

60 AFTERWORD

        Thanks to all the fine authors of files who helped tyagi
        nagasiva during his sift for networking documents to fill
        out the alt.magick faq, upon which this document is based.
        Thanks most of all to tyagi himself, my dear one, my sweet
        sweet sweet inspiration.

61 Footnotes

        *01
        See news:alt.magic for stage magic and news:alt.magick
        for magick in theory and practice.
        Return.

        *02
        Due to his many publications (see a list at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/crowley/)
        and the orders he crafted, Aleister Crowley (described at
        http://www.crl.com/~thelema/crowley.html) is revered
        by many and despised by as many more. His magical
        treatise "Book Four" (published by Samuel Weiser)
        may likely prove his most popular text.
        Return.

        *03
        "Magick in Theory and Practice" by Aleister Crowley; p. 7.
        See the text at
        http://www.luckymojo.com/crowley/004mitapintro.txt.
        Return.

62 Credits

        Those who assisted by reviewing the FAQ, or whose ideas
        and/or networking were utilized to good measure:

        nagasiva@luckymojo.com (tyagi nagasiva)
        ashton@netcom.com (AShub)
        oispeggy@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu (Peggy Brown)
        burkard@kodak.com (Kim Burkard)
        dshoem@aol.com (Dshoem)
        kdavidso@library.uwaterloo.ca (Karen)
        kim@newton.apple.com (peter kim)
        robin@winternet.com (robin)
        dclxvi@best.com (josh geller)
        chameleon_@hotmail.com (Chameleon)
        ladythella@juno.com (Child of Fire)
        servellose@juno.com (Simon Progrediore)
        duo@teleport.com (Tom Schuler)

        If you have suggestions for changes or additions to this
        document, contact the Editor (suggestions@luckymojo.com).

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

        Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. -- W. Occam

63 Copyrights

        This document is copyright (c) 2003, cat@luckymojo.com.

        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 Editor or to the individual authors of the 
        quoted materials.

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

        cat@luckymojo.com (cat)
        Editor, alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic FAQ

FIN 418

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