Monday, April 28, 2014

Axioms of Pagan Magic

 OK, shoveling has not totally dulled my brain.
Various magicians have attempted to propose axioms of magic over the years. The classical meaning of 'axiom' is "... a premise or starting point of reasoning. A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument; a postulate" There is some of that in this set, but I also proceed a short distance in reasoning from the axioms 

In classical versions these often began with a confession of whatever faith was popular at the time. Thus I begin with rather abstract theological positions. From there I move closer to practical magical.

This is just a draft - waddaya think?

1: The Cosmos is composed of individual entities in interrelation. Though lacking a single organizing mind, the entire cosmos is grown from the same stuff, shares the same elements and dances to the same underlying rhythms. The Great Dance is vast indeed, but in the end it makes a Single Pattern.

2: Mind, consciousness or awareness is intrinsic in the cosmos. Both in brains and perhaps otherwise, the Great Pattern seems to include mind.  The continuum of inter-related or communicating mind or minds may be what tradition has called ‘spirit’, ‘the spirit world’ or ‘the divine’.

3: It is the tendency of existence to manifest the general into the particular.  Every discernible category exists, in material fact, only as innumerable examples. This is as true of the divine or spiritual as of any other category.

Therefor we approach the divine or spiritual world as and through a variety of gods and spirits. Pagan Magic is polytheistic and animistic at base.

4:  The reality of the divine is multiple. Whether or not at some level “All is One”, the reality of work with the divine in the world requires dealing with a variety of divine beings, spirits and forces.

5: Human nature participates in the divine. It is common in Pagan ways to venerate those who were once alive. We who yet live have in us, in turn, that which is worthy of worship and capable of divine action.

Therefor the living mortal participates, in some measure, in the creative power of the divine. We are, ourselves, spirits with a spirit’s power.

6: It is in relationship with the particular that effective work is done, not in contemplation of the general. We build our network of alliances by working with specific spirits for specific goals.  This begins with religion, in which we build deep and lasting relationships with powers of cosmic significance, and continues on into magical work with much more local and specific spirits.

7: In becoming aware of the world of spirits, and the persons and forces of the Otherworlds, the Pagan magician becomes aware of herself as a spirit. In this way we become aware of our own divine nature.

8: The divine power manifests in us in three core strengths – the Power of Vision, the Power of Shaping, and the Power of Speech. Through these core human spiritual powers we develop meditation, art and ritual that enable us to interact productively with the spiritual nature of the world.

9: Therefore by ritual, vision and poetry the magician accesses the divine power in the self, allies with divine powers great and small, and works his will in the world.

So I begin by asserting that magic is far from impiety, but rather the result of a pious attention to the divine in the cosmos, whether as the gods and spirits or as the spirit inhering in smaller things or as the divine spirit and power in the magician’s own self. Through cultivation of natural power and by development of pious relationship with the gods and spirits we truly and fairly wield the skills of magic.


faoladh said...

I think that you are definitely onto something here, though I would use the well/tree metaphor rather than a dance one for the interrelatedness of the cosmos. But, then, I am something of a traditionalist, and that is merely a nit to pick.

Point 8 is particularly interesting to me, but I need to think it over.

dragons there be! said...

I have been polytheistic for years. This greater or higher thinking power would make us believe that all is one. Interesting and what's more is that this is highly probable.

IanC said...

Oh, I'm quite polytheist/animist in practice. I find mystical value in seeking a wider pers[pective, and maybe some angles onto occult power as well. I mainly wanted to acknowledge monism and set it aside in this series.