mercredi 28 mai 2014

Les différents paradigmes de la magie

Aujourd'hui le responsable de la Jérusalem des Terres Froides vous revient avec son dada magique, en vous présentant l'un des textes qu'il considère des plus importants à lire pour quiconque s'intéresse à ce sujet. Il s'agit d'un nouvel extrait de cet auteur incontournable qu'est Frater U.'.D.'., un habitué de la JTF, et cette fois, cela ne provient pas du petit livre-synthèse Where Do Demons Lives ? Everything You Want to Know About Magic, mais plutôt de son grand classique High Magic. Theory and Practice, premier volume (tous deux référencés dans la bibliographie du site). Ce qui vous est présenté ci-dessous est le trentième chapitre du bouquin, les pages 373 à 387, ayant pour titre The different paradigms of magic. Merci et bonne lecture.


---The Different Paradigms of Magic---


In magic, we work with a number of magical objects, use words such as "charge" and "uncharge", and talk about things such as "storing" power.

In order to understand such concepts better, it would be a good idea to first take a look at the various models of magic of the past and present, especially since this will also play a significant role when we later discuss the use of talismans and information or cyber magic. When reading the following, please keep in mind that the categories listed here are merely meant to help illustrate our point and rarely occur in the simplified, pure form stated here - a mixture of the various forms is generally the rule.


The Spirit Model


Surely the oldest paradigm of magic is the spirit model. With this model, we assume the existence of real supernatural beings (spirits, demons, helpers, etc.) and the magician can communicate with them, get to know them, become friends with them, or submit to them as their servant. Here, the magician acts as a mediator between life on earth, or everyday reality, and the world beyond. This model is still characteristic of all types of shamanism, and most laypeople (including journalists and theologians !) base their opinions of magic on it as well. In Western Europe, this model enjoyed its greatest popularity during the Renaissance, and is still used by many traditionalistic magicians today. In this day and age, it can be found in the magic of Bardon and Gregorius, while the entire Golden Dawn system and a great part of O.T.O. teachings are based on it as well, just as the majority of Germain occultism of the 1920s. Aleister Crowley used a mixed form, as we'll see later on.

In the spirit model, the goal of the magician or the shaman is to obtain access to the world of creatures that we'll describe here as "magical entities". This world has its own set of laws that the magician must learn in order to survive and to utilize the powers and the entities there. Each entity has its own name and formula and displays a specific, unmistakable character, and can therefore be considered an individual personality that has strengths and weaknesses.

With the help of trance, the magician travels to their realm where one can either make friends with them or have them serve one's self, provided that one has enough knowledge and power to do so. Such relationships can even be quite dangerous at times, since some spirits, such as demons, may not be all that eager to serve the magician and/or just might not like him or her. And they often charge a high price for their services, which could even require a blood sacrifice or something similar. A well-known example of this is the pact that Dr.Faust made with the Devil ("selling one's soul in return for material and intellectual success").

Although the exact terms of such a pact are a matter of negociation, there's always the danger (just as with humans) of the breach of contract, a new interpretation of the agreement, or other difficulties, so that the magician needs to be continually alert - unless of course one only works with "good" spirits with a moral integrity that one can trust completely. From what we've said above, it's clear that spiritualism (which originated in America in the mid-nineteenth century and is still popular all over the world today, now often called "channeling" by New Agers) is an excellent example of the spirit model, even though it generally focuses on divination and prayer instead of on actual magical operations.

Once the magician has secured the assistance of "one's" spirits or demons - either with a friendly pact or through force - one uses it in one's magic in the same way one would use the assistance of a common human helper as well. But since these entities are immaterial, they can work on levels that common servants cannot, such as on the astral plane. Plus, most spirits are "specialists" that are generally superior to the magician in their field of expertise. For example, a magician would summon the Mercury demon Taphthartharath to achieve magical goals that are related to the Mercury sphere, while the Mars demon Bartzabel would be summoned to destroy an opponent or to learn the art of warfare. Or, one could use a planetary intelligence such as Yophiel (Jupiter sphere) to improve one's state of prosperity. The shaman generally has certain spirits of one's own that are specialized in certain areas (e.g., healing illnesses, making rain). For example, instead of sending healing power to a sick person from a distance, the magician can send one's spirit helper directly to the patient (1).

Spirits and demons want attention, or want to be "fed", and can even rebel or demand a "pay raise". And they're not infaillible. Just because they're experts doesn't mean that they cannot make mistakes or fail ; but in general they can expand the magician's scope of action considerably although the quality of one's magic depends on the amount of control one has over such spirits.

So those are the basic concepts of the spirit model. It requires the magician to explore an already existing world and to learn and follow its rules right down to the last detail. For example, if one doesn't know the "true name" or the "correct formula" that gives power over such transcendental entities, all of one's efforts to gain control of them will be in vain. Even the means of communication with these entities - or their magical language - needs to be learned, and much of this knowledge is guarded secretly and only passed on directly from master to apprentice. Therefore, thorough training is generally required before magical operations can be performed.


The Energy Model


With the triumphant march of mesmerism around the end of the eighteenth century, the Western conscious mind began to focus on internal bodily processes and energies. Although Mesmer basically only rediscovered ancient healing methods (hypnotism, suggestion, healing sleep), he made them socially acceptable in a culture that had made a clear distinction between the body and spirit for centuries. Suddenly, it was sensational news to learn that the mind can influence the body and even make it sick or heal it. For Mesmer, the means for all healing was "animal magnetism", a vital force that cannot be more closely in scientific terms. The concept of "vril force" developed by Bulwer-Lytton, who was a Rosicrucian and a magician itself, as well as the odic teachings of Reichenbach, are both proof of the impact that this change in awareness had, which significantly influenced Hahnemann's homeopathy as well (which was a predecessor of cyber magic, as we'll soon see). And Bulwer's friend, the extraordinarily influential magician Eliphas Levi, caused quite an uproar in the occult scene just about fifty years after Mesmer's death with his concept of "astral light". This made a significant impact on magic as well. Although the Golden Dawn still principally remains loyal to the old spirit model even a century after Mesmer's death, it has been strongly "softened" by psychological-animistic elements such as those taken from Indian yoga (e.g., teachings of chakras and prana).

But the energy model didn't actually celebrate its climax until after World War II, or more specifically during the occult renaissance of the 1960s, that mainly took place in England. This was surely aided by the strong influence of psychoanalysis, which didn't make its big breakthrough until after the war, even through magicians such as W.B.Yeats, Austin Osman Spare, and Aleister Crowley began integrating the concepts of psychoanalysis into their magical practice at a relatively early date.

In general, the energy model in its pure form rejects every kind of spiritual thesis. The magician is no longer a conjurer of spirits, but more of an "energy artist". The focus is on subtle perception, and the magician must be able to perceive, polarize ("charge"), and direct energies. If, for example, one senses a lack of energy in the kidney area of one's patient, one would transfer charged healing energy to the affected kidneys, possibly by placing one's hand on them and/or by using special crystals or gemstones. Talismans and amulets (which of course are used in the spirit model as well) are examples of artificial "objects of power", or tools that the magician ceremonially calibrates in which one stores certain specific energies for immediate or later use.

When the magician wants to transfer power (and that's the main focus of the energy model), one either has to have enough power to do the job his - or herself, or one needs access to one or more power sources. In the first case, the magician becomes a walking battery, while in the second the magician becomes a channel or medium for "higher" or at least "other" powers. And power isn't always just power. Depending on the system of magic used, the spectrum ranges from a complicated web of "positive" and "negative" energies to the "neutrality thesis" in which the magician his - or herself is responsible for "polarizing" the naturally neutral energies. With the latter, there's always too much or too little desired or undesired energy (for example too much fire in the kidney area : infection) ; the equation of "positive = good" and "negative = bad" (which is usually denied in theory, but often found in practice nonetheless) generally doesn't apply here, and the only important thing is the ability to direct the energy to its proper place.

Depending on the amount of power required, the magician might even be too weak to act. In magical warfare, the stronger magician always wins (not the "good" one), unless the weaker one can compensate for lack of power through speed and skill. The magician must be able to rely on oneself or, at best, on physical colleagues who might help, and there's no use in summoning a "higher authority" - although one can try using a "stronger" energy than one's opponent.

Power centers such as the chakras or acupuncture meridians often play an important role in the energy model, and the charging of objects such as talismans is done through the poser of imagination. For example, the magician might imagine a colored beam of energy that one bundles with a certain gesture or spirally projects into the object to be charged with hands, dagger, or wand ; for a Jupiter talisman, one might imagine a blue beam, for example, while green would be used for Venus. When attacking an opponent, the magician either sends an excessive amount of destructive or corrosive energy (e.g., Mars or moon power), or one draws off the opponents' energies and weakens them. In doing so, the magician usually doesn't summon the hierarchy of angels and demons ("princes of hell") of the individual planets or kabbalistic spheres. Instead, one generally activates a planetary principle through magical trance and then uses this energy to do everything else instead of sending some kind of being or entity to do the job.

Just as the hierarchies of angles and demons are greatly reduced in the energy model (or even eliminated completely by the pure "energy dance"), other external authorities lose significance as well. The job of the "master" is now done by a "teacher", and the strictly obedient "apprentice" has become a "student". The independence that results from this is strongly noticeable in the individually anarchistic and pragmatic systems of modern magic that place more importance on the personal experience of the magician instead of on the power and might of tradition.

This naturally demands higher performance from the magician as well. One must be able to do just about everything without any external help (including help from "beyond") and needs to have a very high level of personal energy since the self mainly functions as a ower battery. When one is weak and tired, the quality of magical operations will suffer, and the effectiveness of one's magic depends directly on the amount and quality of one's own energy. Plus, one also needs to have excellent, well-trained, and reliable skills in subtle perception.


The Psychological Model : A Mixture


The impact that Mesmer and his successors made on the eighteenth century is comparable to that of Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein in the twentieth century. Freud and Einstein were revolutionary pioneers of a fundamental, radical change in thinking that drastically shook up the mechanistic view of the world until it eventually burst.

In a certain sense, Freud's theses were derived and developed from Mesmer's concepts, and it's no coincidence that the founder of psychoanalysis originally focused on the study of hypnosis and hysteria. What Mesmer publicly demonstrated in Europe just before the French Revolution with displays and exhibitions is what Freud and, in particular, Georg Groddek (the founder of psychosomatic medecine) tried to prove scientifically a good hundred years later, the realization that many, if not all, illnesses have mental causes, and that the mind is able to affect and influence the body.

Since we have no intention of going into the comprehensive details here, this brief information will have to suffice. Mainly, it's meant to illustrate the effect that this development had on magical practice. The first two well-known magicians to apply psychological or psychoanalytical through to a greater degree were Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare. Crowley toyed with the psychological model for quite some time, especially in his middle-age years, although he later became a firm supporter of the spirit model, even through he was moderately skeptical at times. Spare, on the other hand, went just the opposite direction - some of the theses in his magical writings seem to be taken from a textbook on psychoanalysis.

Strictly speaking, the psychological model is just an empirical "mixture" since it doesn't really go beyond the spirit and energy models, but instead strengthens the homocentrism of the latter while disputing the basis of the spirit model by denying the existence of spirits in an objective, external sense - but not in a subjective, psychological one. In addition, it doesn't explain magic with new or different mechanisms, but instead it just relocates its place of origin - namely deep inside the psyche - without really explaining the way it works. Of course, such a claim needs to be proved.

According to the psychological model, magic is merely an animistic phenomena. Everything that the magician perceives or does while performing one's art takes place inside the psyche where a certain mechanism (that's never more closely defined) causes the desired (or even undesired) results. The authority responsible for magic is the unconscious mind (or, according to Spare who uses Freud's terminology, the subconscious) - this is where all magical activity takes place. But above all, with this model, the magician becomes a psychonaut. While one used to be a spirit trader and later an energy traveler, one now becomes a "journeyer to the soul". By exploring the internal realm of the psyche and cartographically mapping it out, one learns the laws that can help take magical control over one's own life and the world around.

This approach - which is doubtlessly not perfect in theory - does have considerable advantages that explain its current popularity. First of all, it's formulated vaguely enough to avoid getting tangled up in pseudoscientific debates about things such as "Does od really exist or not ?" and "Can it be measured ?". It leaves this up to parapsychology. It cannot really explain magic, but instead it simply and pragmatically asserts that the manipulation of the psyche can lead to magical results, and it is content to accept this observation as an "explanation" instead of focusing on the question as to how such manipulation can actually be induced and controlled.

This corresponds to the modern-day utilitarian way of thinking that's much more interested in the "how" instead of the "why", as Crowley once put it as well. In a relativistic world where the inhabitantscan no longer be sure of any kind of "truth" whatsover, whether referring to religion, politics, science, or magic, the magician who supports the psychological model is a personification of the spirit of the times. Plus, magic explained in psychological model has the advantage of being easier to comprehend by many people who have grown up with and are already familiar with such psychological models of thought, as compared to the belief in spirits and demons that has suffered quite a few cuts and bruises inflicted by scientifically based atheism.

The mixed-form nature of the psychological model can be recognized by the fact that - as practice as shown - it can be superbly combined with the other two models that we've discussed so far, which is indeed done quite frequently. We've used this model again and again throughout this book as well, and will continue to do so in order to illustrate certain aspects of magic. Some "variations" include magicians who add an animistic aspect to the spirit model while still communicating with spirits, demons, and angels, but seeing in them mainly "projected images of the soul" (which, of course, has proven to be quite ineffective when it comes to demonology) ; and magicians who apply the energy model without taking it too literally, and refer vaguely to "the power of the subconscious" (2).

The literalness applied to the exact wording of pacts with demons and the devil throughout tradition and even by many magicians today (and such pacts are often worded by the demons themselves) is a reference to the psychological mechanisms involved in this process, or to the "scene of the crime" being the psyche. After all, it's common knowledge that the subconscious often understands things quite literally, which we'll encounter again and again in sigil magic. But the psychological model also has the advantage of being able to make things much more easy to understand than its two predecessors, even though we generally use its explanations as supplemental information rather than as an independent thesis.


The Information Model : Cyber Magic


Since cyber magic (the most recent branch of magic) is still in the developmental stages, it's too early to categorize it historically. Much of what currently seems to be quite promising might turn out to be nothing but an overoptimistic fallacy in the near future, although some aspects might become stronger and even more convincing. The essential features of cyber magic were developed in mid-1897 by myself along with the help of a few colleagues, and since then a number of magicians have been focusing on its further development.

Cyber magic is based on the information model, which is currently concerned predominately with physics. The term "cyber magic" is derived from "cybernetics" (control theory, from the Greek kybernetos, "the pilot"). The thought behind this concept is that all energy, in order to be effective, requires information to "tell" it what to do. The magician doesn't assume the energy directly, but rather the information matrices (or "blueprints") that control it, and is therefore able to influence the energy much quicker, more thoroughly, and with less effort than before. Plus, it's easier to overcome the limits of time and space since, according this model, information has neither mass nor energy and is therefore not subject to as many restrictions as these.

In addition, the magician doesn't have to rely on a good relationship with spirits or other subtle entities, or on one's own energy level. Once one has mastered the technique of downloading, transferring, and finally redownloading the information for activation, one no longer needs any imagination or concentration aids. Accordingly to the current state of research, one may not even need gnosis to perform magic effectively ! But before you get too excited about this, let me warn you that practice has clearly shown that thorough training is still required, at least the field of controlling subtle energies (e.g., kundalini, activating one's own cell-memory), before you can ever hope to achieve any kind of useable results with cyber magic.

At first it seemed logical to explain the effects of cyber magic with the concept of morphogenetic fields as introduced by biologists Rupert Sheldrake ; but this no longer seems necessary, although the term "information field" is still sometimes used for better illustration (after all, specific terminology for cyber magic has not yet been developed). This can occasionally pose problems, however, sice we're not dealing with the kind of energetic field that we're used to in the sense of physics.

A historical prototype of the information model can be found in homeopathy. This system is known to work with dilution or "potentiation". In constrast to the allopathic principle that chemically higher doses of a medecine achieve a better results, the homeopath prescribes chemically smaller doses in order to achieve a better healing rate under specific circumstances (appropriate clinical picture, activation by shaking). The idea behind this is based on the theory by Paracelsus that states that it's actually the "spirit" of a medecine that causes healing and that this works even stronger when the "like" interacts with the like, and is best when the spirit of a healing substance is "estracted" through distillation, which is exactly what occurs during the dilution/potentiation process (3).

This "spirit" is fully comparable to the modern term "information", just like cyber magic or pure "high magic" as a whole, but of course without their ideological, mystical and transcendental aspects. This comparison becomes obvious when you consider the fact that a cyber magician doesn't need to rely on a lot of paraphernalia, as he or she doesn't even practice "mental magic" because the actual act of cyber magic isn't an act of the imagination.

When working with cyber magic, it's particularly important to keep in mind that all of our models already existed in one form or another long ago. So this isn't a strictly hierarchal, chronological, stepped pyramid of development, but rather a shift in the focus that follows a circular or spiral pattern of movement. In the same sense, tradition has told us that old masters have always practiced some kind of "empty hand magic". In no way does this mean that an entirely new path has been forged on a practical level. Instead, certain aspects have been filtered out of older systems, put in a different context, supplemented by new ideas, and carefully - but not necessarily less revolutionary - developed further.

In a sense, this is even a traditional development since magic has always been "stripped" and redefined throughout the course of its history. This adaptability could even be viewed as its greatest strength since this has prevented it from suffering the fate of disappearing from the face of the earth, as many old traditions have.

Let's now take a look at magically "charged" objects (ritual weapons, talismans, amulets, fetishes, etc.) according to the four models of magic in order to explain them on a practical level as well. To do so, we've again used a schematic diagram. A few unfamiliar terms listed here will be explained later on in this book, such as in the next section on practical talisman magic.


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---Spirit Model---                                                                                                       ---Energy Model---

Gateway to and tool of                                                                                                         Stores energy
the spirit world                                                  Magical tool                                             Directs energy
brings entities to life                                                                                                            Transferts energy
Talismans, amulets, fetishes                               Absorbs energy

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---Psychological Model---                                                                                  ---Information Model---

Means of projection                                         Power objects                                  Information memory Association aids                                                                                                                    Data carriers
Triggers complexes                                                                                                    Program generators
Programming commands

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Chart 22 : The four basic paradigms of magic using the example of "charged" magical objects



You'll probably notice that we sometimes refer to one model and sometimes to another in order to explain or illustrate magical procedures. However, the word "explain" is hardly possible anymore in this context. Fact is that we can describe fairly precisely how magic works, but we still don't really know why it works. This, of course, is a fundamental problem of our four-dimensional existence in which we apparently can only observe the effects, but never the causes. We'll have to delve into this problem more deeply when we discuss Chaos Magic ; for now it will have to suffice when we point out that none of the earlier systems that claimed to offer a "true explanation" were able to stand up to a thorough investigation based on the most current state of information. This, however, doesn't have any effect on the practical effectiveness of these systems.

This requires the modern magician (who is virtually compelled to relativism) to play with one's paradigms and choose the ones that correspond best to one's needs and promise the most success. But we don't want to dictate any dogmatic relativism here ; our intention in merely to advise you to experiment with various paradigms in your practice, especially if you're still not sure which models of explanation you personally prefer in the first place. This approach will intensify the more you become familiar with the various paradigms.

In the next section we'll be discussing practical talisman magic, which will give you the opportunity to play around with the various models of illustration that we've introduced here. You'll find more suggestions on this in the practical exercises at the end of this section.


The four models of magic
using the example of an exorcism


Principally, each of the four paradigms of magic that we've discussed here can be applied to any magical sphere of activity whatsoever. We've chosen the example of an exorcism in order to illustrate the various theoretical and practical approaches according to the corresponding paradigm. Technically speaking, an exorcism is the reestablishment of a desired mental-spiritual state of normality using magical means. Although this can be interpreted and handled in many different ways depending on the magical paradigm applied, common language usage understands an exorcism to be the expulsion of spirits or demons. Let's have a look at his phenomena using our four models of magic since this will also help us learn to distinguish between the various ways of thinking.

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Exorcism  According to the Spirit Model
Case history/diagnosis : The client/patient is a victim of possession. Strange spirits and/or demons have taken possession and control of him. He's unable to get rid of them on his own, and often may not even realize the gravity of his situation. The magician evaluates the case, and begins propre treatment.
Therapy : Treatment requires the magician to make the spirits/demons leave the host's body. This could be done with threats, force, or cunning : 1 : The magician conjures the annoying spirits in the name of a superior authority (e.g., the hierarchy of the princes of hell) that he makes, or already has made, an agreement (or so-called pact) with, threatening them with retaliation if his demands to leave the client are not met ; 2 : The magician applies controlled force such as hitting, torturing, or starving the host or the spirits themselves (e.g., astral warfare) and expels them ; 3 : The magician lures the spirits with promises, etc. out of the host and banishes them into a so-called "spirit trap".

Exorcism According to the Energy Model
Case history/diagnosis : The client/patient is a victim of unbalanced energy. Foreign energies or excess energies of his own have taken control of him, destroyed his energetic balance and are now in full control. He's unable to reestablish this balance on his own, and often may not even realize the cause of his suffering. The magician evaluates the case, and begins proper treatment.

Therapy : The magician extracts excess energy from the client's organism and banishes it (especially in cases of aggressive energies directed at the client by an opponent) into an energy storage medium (spirit trap). When energy is lacking, he transfers some to the client. Basically, he harmonizes the organism's balance of energy.

Exorcism According to the Psychological Model
Case history/diagnosis : The client/patient is a victim of a psychological disturbance. Repressed dark sides of his psyche have taken control of him in the form of projections, have destroyed his psychological balance and are now in full control ; this can even take the form of split personalities. He's unable to reestablish this balance on his own, and often may not even realize the cause of his suffering. The magician evaluates the case, and begins proper treatment.

Therapy : The magician treats the client psychotherapeutically (e.g. shock therapy, mimicry of the client's behavior, ritual death initiation, or the like) with magical means in order to help him withdraw his magically effective projections and/or banish them. In doing so, he may apply a symbolic projection storage medium ("spirit trap"). In addition, he ensures that the client is now able to express previously repressed drives and desires in order to prevent a relapse.

Exorcism According to the Information Model
Case history/diagnosis : The client/patient is a victim of a confused information. His energetic balance is thrown off course due to inherent or externally induced faulty circuits within his biocybernetic memory, which can result in a total loss of energy, as well as in hallucinations, psychosomatic problems and personality disorders. The client is unable to restore the functionality of his biocybernetic memory on his own, and may often not even realize that his condition is abnormal. The magician evaluates the case, and begins proper treatment.

Therapy : Treatment consists of a three-part operation : 1 : By means of information transfer, the magician activates his client's physical and mental defense mechanisms as well as the ability to completely restore the memory ; 2 : He implants an infomagical "DELETE" command into the client in order to delete the destructive information and defect memory ; 3 : He establishes (also by means of information transfer) an infomagical, preventive alarm system to help recognize undesired information as soon as it's received so that it can be deleted or rendered useless by means of an activation block (so-called "information traps") or mutilation.

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These four approaches reflect the great diversity of modern magic. In this sense, we could even mention a fifth paradigm of magic, namely the synthetic model that unites all four previous (and possibly later ones as well) models in a pragmatic sense ("the truth is what works"). We'll mention that again when we discuss the paradigms of magic in more detail.


Spirit Traps


Apart from cyber magic, which - as already mentioned - doesn't require any paraphernalia, all paradigms of magic use the so-called "spirit traps" for exorcisms as mentioned above. These are magically charged objects that represent a sort of prison for undesired spirits/energies/projections. This is based on the idea that it's not a good idea to simply rid the client or patient of these spirits/energies/projections. Instead, they should be banished, or bound and brought under the control of the magician's will so they're no longer able to get free and cause more damage.

The spirit trap often functions as a channel or entranceway that's used to transport the undesired spirits/energies/projections into another sphere (e.g., "into chaos", "into the sun", etc.), with the intention of either destroying them there or distracting them and sending them into exile.

Due to its concave form, the magic mirror is particularly suited for absorbing. Usually it's round as well, and in any case it's enclosed in a frame that makes it the perfect trap in a symbol-logical sense. This is why a magic mirror is often attached to the client's body, or at least pointed in one's direction ; then the magician can extract the undesired spirits/energies/projections by means of will and imagination.

In both the spirit model and the psychological model, it's generally necessary to talk to and negotiate with the possessing spirits or externally manifested projections. That's why it may take a great deal of cunning and promises before the magician can coax them out of the patient's body and lure them into the trap. From what we've said, it's obvious that exorcism operations require a great deal of experience, skill, and even courage on the part of the magician, and one must be willing to risk one's own physical and spiritual health, and even one's life as well. Because in the same way the human organism is capable of performing incredible magical things when properly instructed and trained, one can also mobilize unimaginably damaging powers if one loses control, which might be caused, for example, by a specific external influence (e.g., magical attack designed to hurt or kill) or an "internal short circuit" (e.g., mental disorders, which on the other hand could also be a result of a magical attack as well). In a sense, an exorcism can be compared to a magical warfare ; the magician should therefore approach it accordingly.

Once the spirit trap is "filled", the question arises as to what the magician should do with the spirits/energies/projections that it contains. The answer depends on which model one uses. Spirits are usually either banished, as already explained, or the magician tries to make them submit so that one can use them for one's own purposes. Energies are usually stored, especially when dealing with offensive energies from a magical opponent, since these are particularly suited for dfensive operations or retaliation, because no healthy person is immune to one's own energies. But often these energies are magically neutralized and returned to the general cosmic energy flow.

Only in exceptional cases are the spirits/energies/projections kept trapped inside the magic mirror permanently ; after all, the mirror should be able to fulfill its "normal" purpose again after the exorcism. It therefore serves mainly as an instrument of extraction and intermediate storage, and after a successful operation the captured spirits/energies/projections are put into a final prison, such as a stone or preferably a rock crystal (which is highly appreciaed by some practioners due to its great storage capacity). Ordinary table or rock salt can also be used in an emergency as a temporary solution - which is why the magic circle is often reinforced with salt, such as in Voodoo, or why salt is added to holy water by the Catholic Church, and why many traditional witches refuse to consume any kind of salt at all. Since salt is strongly hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs water and will dissolve (e.g., in rain), it can only be used as a temporary prison.

A common way to bind spirits is to trap them in a bottle. This is where the term "genie in a bottle" came from. We know several magicians who are specialized in capturing spirits and energies in bottles and storing them this way. In doing so, the important thing to remember symbol-logically is to always keep the bottle sealed tightly, and using ordinary cork is not enough - an additional seal of beeswax is generally used and engraved with the corresponding seals and sigils of defense.


Frater U.'.D.'.


Notes


1 : This, of course, doesn't exclude the possibility of transferring power additionally. This is just one example of the simplification mentioned at the beginning of this section.

2 : This also includes pseudo-energy models such as Couéism and positive thinking.

3 : Paracelsus' frequently quoted concept of similia similibus curantur is often incorrectly translated as "identicals are cured by identicals". However, the correct translation is "likes are cured by likes", which is an interesting parallel to sympathetic magic and the correspondences !

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