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Magick in Theory and Practice
CHAPTER XIV OF THE CONSECRATIONS: WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE NATURE AND NURTURE OF THE MAGICAL LINK.
Consecration is the active dedication of a thing to a single purpose. Banishing prevents its use for any other purpose, but it remains inert until consecrated. Purification is performed by water, and banishing by air, whose weapon is the sword. Consecration is performed by fire, usually symbolised by the holy lamp.
The general conception is that the three active elements co-operate to affect earth; but earth itself may be employed as an instrument. Its function is solidification. The use of the Pentacle is indeed very necessary in some types of operation, especially those whose object involves manifestation in matter, and the fixation in (more or less) permanent form of the subtle forces of Nature.
In most extant magical rituals the two operations are performed at once; or (at least) the banishing has the more important place, and greater pains seem to be taken with it; but as the student advances to Adeptship the banishing will diminish in importance, for it will no longer be so necessary. The Circle of the Magician will have been perfected by his habit of Magical work. In the truest sense of that word, he will never step outside the Circle during his whole life. But the consecration, being the application of a positive force, can always be raised to a closer approximation to perfection. Complete success in banishing is soon attained; but there can be no completeness in the advance to holiness.
The method of consecration is very simple. Take the wand, or the holy oil, and draw upon the object to be consecrated the supreme symbol of the force to which you dedicate it. Confirm this dedication in words, invoking the appropriate God to indwell that pure temple which you have prepared for Him. Do this with fervour and love, as if to balance the icy detachment which is the proper mental attitude for banishing.
The Hebrew legends furnish us with the reason for the respective virtues of water and fire. The world was purified by water at the Deluge, and will be consecrated by fire at the last Judgment. Not until that is finished can the “real ceremony” begin.
The words of purification are: Asperges me, Therion, hyssopo, et mundabor; lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Those of consecration are: Accendat in nobis Therion ignem sui amoris et flammam aeternae caritatis.
These may now advantageously be replaced by (a) “… pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.” (CCXX, I, 44) to banish; and (b) “I am uplifted in thine heart; and the kisses of the stars rain hard upon thy body.” (CCXX, II, 62) to consecrate. For the Book of the Law contains the Supreme Spells.
These, as initiates of the VII Degree of O.T.O. are aware, mean more than appears.
It is a strange circumstance that no Magical writer has hitherto treated the immensely important subject of the Magical Link. It might almost be called the Missing Link. It has apparently always been taken for granted, only lay writers on Magick like Dr. J. G. Frazer have accorded the subject its full importance. Let us try to make considerations of the nature of Magick in a strictly scientific spirit, as well as, deprived of the guidance of antiquity, we may.
What is a Magical Operation? It may be defined as any event in nature which is brought to pass by Will. We must not exclude potato-growing or banking from our definition.
Let us take a very simple example of a Magical Act: that of a man blowing his nose. What are the conditions of the success of the Operation? Firstly, that the man's Will should be to blow his nose; secondly, that he should have a nose capable of being blown; thirdly, that he should have at command an apparatus capable of expressing his spiritual Will in terms of material force, and applying that force to the object which he desires to affect. His Will may be as strong and concentrated as that of Jupiter, and his nose may be totally incapable of resistance; but unless the link is made by the use of his nerves and muscles in accordance with psychological, physiological, and physical law, the nose will remain unblown through all eternity.
Writers of Magick have been unsparing in their efforts to instruct us in the preparation of the Will, but they seem to have imagined that no further precaution was necessary. There is a striking case of an epidemic of this error whose history is familiar to everybody. I refer to Christian Science, and the cognate doctrines of “mental healing” and the like. The theory of such people, stripped of dogmatic furbelows, is perfectly good Magic of its kind, its negroid kind. The idea is correct enough: matter is an illusion created by Will through mind, and consequently susceptible of alteration at the behest of its creator. But the practice has been lacking. They have not developed a scientific technique for applying the Will. It is as if they expected the steam of Watts' kettle to convey people from place to place without the trouble of inventing and using locomotives.
Let us apply these considerations to Magick in its restricted sense, the sense in which it was always understood until the Master Therion extended it to cover the entire operations of Nature.
What is the theory implied in such rituals as those of the Goetia? What does the Magician do? He applies himself to invoke a God, and this God compels the appearance of a spirit whose function is to perform the Will of the magician at the moment. There is no trace of what may be called machinery in the method. The exorcist hardly takes the pains of preparing a material basis for the spirit to incarnate except the bare connection of himself with his sigil. It is apparently assumed that the spirit already possesses the means of working on matter. The conception seems to be that of a schoolboy who asks his father to tell the butler to do something for him. In other words, the theory is grossly animistic. The savage tribes described by Frazer had a far more scientific theory. The same may be said of witches, who appear to have been wiser than the thaumaturgists who despised them. They at least made waxen images — identified by baptism — of the people they wished to control. They at least used appropriate bases for Magical manifestations, such as blood and other vehicles of animal force, with those of vegetable virtue such as herbs. They were also careful to put their bewitched products into actual contact — material or astral — with their victims. The classical exorcists, on the contrary, for all their learning, were careless about this essential condition. They acted as stupidly as people who should write business letters and omit to post them.
It is not too much to say that this failure to understand the conditions of success accounts for the discredit into which Magick fell until Eliphas Levi undertook the task of re-habilitating it two generations ago. But even he (profoundly as he studied, and luminously as he expounded, the nature of Magick considered as a universal formula) paid no attention whatever to that question of the Magical Link, though he everywhere implies that it is essential to the Work. He evaded the question by making the “petitio principii” of assigning to the Astral Light the power of transmitting vibrations of all kinds. He nowhere enters into detail as to how its effects are produced. He does not inform us as to the qualitative or quantitative laws of this light. (The scientifically trained student will observe the analogy between Levi's postulate and that of ordinary science “in re” the luminiferous ether.)
It is deplorable that nobody should have recorded in a systematic form the results of our investigations of the Astral Light. We have no account of its properties or of the laws which obtain in its sphere. Yet these are sufficiently remarkable. We may briefly notice that, in the Astral Light, two or more objects can occupy the same space at the same time without interfering with each other or losing their outlines.
In that Light, objects can change their appearance completely without suffering change of Nature. The same thing can reveal itself in an infinite number of different aspects; in fact, it identifies itself by so doing, much as a writer or a painter reveals himself in a succession of novels or pictures, each of which is wholly himself and nothing else, but himself under varied conditions, though each appears utterly different from its fellows. In that Light one is “swift without feet and flying without wings”; one can travel without moving, and communicate without conventional means of expression. One is insensible to heat, cold, pain, and other forms of apprehension, at least in the shapes which are familiar to us in our bodily vehicles. They exist, but they are appreciated by us, and they affect us, in a different manner. In the Astral Light we are bound by what is, superficially, an entirely different series of laws. We meet with obstacles of a strange and subtle character; and we overcome them by an energy and cunning of an order entirely alien to that which serves us in earthly life. In that Light, symbols are not conventions but realities, yet (on the contrary) the beings whom we encounter are only symbols of the realities of our own nature. Our operations in that Light are really the adventures of our own personified thoughts. The universe is a projection of ourselves; an image as unreal as that of our faces in a mirror, yet, like that face, the necessary form of expression thereof, not to be altered save as we alter ourselves.
This passage must not be understood as asserting that the Universe is purely subjective. On the contrary, the Magical Theory accepts the absolute reality of all things in the most objective sense. But all perceptions are neither the observer nor the observed; they are representations of the relation between them. We cannot affirm any quality in an object as being independent of our sensorium, or as being in itself that which it seems to us. Nor can we assume that what we cognize is more than a partial phantom of its cause. We cannot even determine the meaning of such ideas as motion, or distinguish between time and space, except in relation to some particular observer. For example, if I fire a cannon twice at an interval of 3 hours, an observer on the Sun would note a difference of some 200,000 miles in space between the shots, while to me they seem “in the same place.” Moreover, I am incapable of perceiving any phenomenon except by means of the arbitrary instruments of my senses; it is thus correct to say that the Universe as I know it is subjective, without denying its objectivity.
The mirror may be distorted, dull, clouded, or cracked; and to this extent, the reflection of ourselves may be false even in respect of its symbolic presentation. In that Light, therefore, all that we do is to discover ourselves by means of a sequence of hieroglyphics, and the changes which we apparently operate are in an objective sense illusions.
But the Light servers us in this way. It enables us to see ourselves, and therefore to aid us to initiate ourselves by showing us what we are doing. In the same way a watchmaker uses a lens, though it exaggerates and thus falsifies the image of the system of wheels which he is trying to adjust. In the same way, a writer employs arbitrary characters according to a meaningless convention in order to enable his reader by retranslating them to obtain an approximation to his idea.
Such are a few of the principal characteristics Astral Light. Its quantitative laws are much less dissimilar from those of material physics. Magicians have too often been foolish enough to suppose that all classes of Magical Operations were equally easy. They seem to have assumed that the “almighty power of God” was an infinite quantity in presence of which all finites were equally insignificant. “One day is with the Lord as a thousand years” is their first law of Motion. “Faith can move mountains” they say, and disdain to measure either the faith or the mountains. If you can kill a chicken by Magick, why not destroy an army with equal exertion? “With God all things are possible.”
This absurdity is an error of the same class as that mentioned above. The facts are wholly opposed. Two and two make four in the Astral as rigorously as anywhere else. The distance of one's Magical target and the accuracy of one's Magical rifle are factors in the success of one's Magical shooting in just the same way as at Bisley. The law of Magical gravitation is as rigid as that of Newton. The law of Inverse Squares may not apply; but some such law does apply. So it is for everything. You cannot produce a thunderstorm unless the materials exist in the air at the time, and a Magician who could make rain in Cumberland might fail lamentably in the Sahara. One might make a talisman to win the love of a shop-girl and find it work, yet be baffled in the case of a countess; or vice versa. One might impose one's Will on a farm, and be crushed by that of a city; or vice versa. The MASTER THERION himself, with all his successes in every kind of Magick, sometimes appears utterly impotent to perform feats which almost any amateur might do, because He has matched his Will against that of the world, having undertaken the Work of a Magus to establish the word of His Law on the whole of mankind. He will succeed, without doubt, but He hardly expects to see more than a sample of His product during His present incarnation. But He refuses to waste the least fraction of His force on works foreign to His WORK, however obvious it may seem to the onlooker that His advantage lies in commanding stones to become bread, or otherwise making things easy for Himself.
These considerations being thoroughly understood we may return to the question of making the Magical Link. In the case above cited FRATER PERDURABO composed His talisman by invoking His Holy Guardian Angel according to the Sacred Magick of Abramelin the Mage. That Angel wrote on the lamen the Word of the Aeon. The Book of the Law is this writing. To this lamen the Master Therion gave life by devoting His own life thereto. We may then regard this talisman, the Law, as the most powerful that has been made in the world's history, for previous talismans of the same type have been limited in their scope by conditions of race and country. Mohammed's talisman, Allah, was good only from Persia to the Pillars of Hercules. The Buddha's, Anatta, operated only in the South and East of Asia. The new talisman, Thelema, is master of the planet.
But now observe how the question of the Magical Link arises! No matter how mighty the truth of Thelema, it cannot prevail unless it is applied to any by mankind. As long as the Book of the Law was in Manuscript, it could only affect the small group amongst whom it was circulated. It had to be put into action by the Magical Operation of publishing it. When this was done, it was done without proper perfection. Its commands as to how the work ought to be done were not wholly obeyed. There were doubt and repugnance in FRATER PERDURABO's mind, and they hampered His work. He was half-hearted. Yet, even so then intrinsic power of the truth of the Law and the impact of the publication were sufficient to shake the world so that a critical war broke out, and the minds of men were moved in a mysterious manner. The second blow was struck by the re-publication of the Book in September 1913, and this time the might of this Magick burst out and caused a catastrophe to civilization. At this hour, the MASTER THERION is concealed, collecting his forces for a final blow. When The Book of the Law and its Comment is published, with the forces of His whole Will in perfect obedience to the instructions which have up to now been misunderstood or neglected, the result will be incalculably effective. The event will establish the kingdom of the Crowned and Conquering Child over the whole earth, and all men shall bow to the Law, which is “love under will”.
This is an extreme case; but there is one law only to govern the small as the great. The same laws describe and measure the motions of the ant and the stars. Their light is no swifter than that of a spark. In every operation of Magick the link must be properly made. The first requisite is the acquisition of adequate force of the kind required for the purpose. We must have electricity of a certain potential in sufficient amount if we wish to heat food in a furnace. We shall need a more intense current and a greater supply to light a city than to charge a telephone wire. No other kind of force will do. We cannot use the force of steam directly to impel an aeroplane, or to get drunk. We must apply it in adequate strength in an appropriate manner.
It is therefore absurd to invoke the spirit of Venus to procure us the love of an Empress, unless we take measures to transmit the influence of our work to the lady. We may for example consecrate a letter expressing our Will; or, if we know how, we may use some object connected with the person whose acts we are attempting to control, such as a lock of hair or a handkerchief once belonging to her, and so in subtile connection with her aura. But for material ends it is better to have material means. We must not rely on fine gut in trolling for salmon. Our will to kill a tiger is poorly conveyed by a charge of small shot fired at a range of one hundred yards. Our talisman must, therefore, be an object suitable to the nature of our Operation, and we must have some such means of applying its force to such a way as will naturally compel the obedience of the portion of Nature which we are trying to change. If one will the death of a sinner, it is not sufficient to hate him, even if we grant that the vibrations of thought, when sufficiently powerful and pure, may modify the Astral light sufficiently to impress its intention to a certain extent on such people as happen to be sensitive. It is much surer to use one's mind and muscle in service of that hate by devising and making a dagger, and then applying the dagger to the heart of one's enemy. One must give one's hate a bodily form of the same order as that which one's enemy has taken for his manifestation. Your spirit can only come into contact with his by means of this magical manufacture of phantoms; in the same way, one can only measure one's mind (a certain part of it) against another man's by expressing them in some such form as the game of chess. One cannot use chessmen against another man unless he agree to use them in the same sense as you do. The board and men form the Magical Link by which you can prove your power to constrain him to yield. The game is a device by which you force him to turn down his king in surrender, a muscular act made in obedience to your will, thought he may be twice your weight and strength.
These general principles should enable the student to understand the nature of the work of making the Magical Link. It is impossible to give detailed instructions, because every case demands separate consideration. It is sometimes exceedingly difficult to devise proper measures.
Remember that Magick includes all acts soever. Anything may serve as a Magical weapon. To impose one's Will on a nation, for instance, one's talisman may be a newspaper, one's triangle a church, or one's circle a Club. To win a woman, one's pantacle may be a necklace; to discover a treasure, one's wand may be a dramatist's pen, or one's incantation a popular song.
Many ends, many means: it is only important to remember the essence of the operation, which is to will its success with sufficiently pure intensity, and to incarnate that will in a body suitable to express it, a body such that its impact on the bodily expression of the idea one wills to change is to cause it to do so. For instance, is it my will to become a famous physician? I banish all “hostile spirits” such as laziness, alien interests, and confliction pleasures, from my “circle” the hospital; I consecrate my “weapons” (my various abilities) to the study of medicine; I invoke the “Gods” (medical authorities) by studying and obeying their laws in their books. I embody the “Formulae” (the ways in which causes and effects influence disease) in a “Ritual” (my personal style of constraining sickness to conform with my will). I persist in these conjurations year after year, making the Magical gestures of healing the sick, until I compel the visible appearance of the Spirit of Time, and make him acknowledge me his master. I have used the appropriate kind of means, in adequate measure, and applied them in ways pertinent to my purpose by projecting my incorporeal idea of ambition in a course of action such as to induce in others the incorporeal idea of satisfying mine. I made my Will manifest to sense; sense swayed the Wills of my fellowmen; mind wrought on mind through matter.
I did not “sit for” a medical baronetcy by wishing I had it, or by an “act of faith”, or by praying to God “to move Pharaoh's heart”, as our modern mental, or our mediaeval, mystic, miracle-mongers were and are muddlers and maudlin enough to advise us to do.
A few general observations on the Magical Link may not be amiss, in default of details; one cannot make a Manual of How to Go Courting, with an Open-Sesame to each particular Brigand's Cavern, any more than one can furnish a budding burglar with a directory containing the combination of every existing safe. But one can point out the broad distinctions between women who yield, some to flattery, some to eloquence, some to appearance, some to rank, some to wealth, some to ardour, and some to authority. We cannot exhaust the combinations of Lover's Chess, but we may enumerate the principal gambits: the Bouquet, the Chocolates, the Little Dinner, the Cheque-Book, the Poem, the Motor by Moonlight, the Marriage Certificate, the Whip, and the Feigned Flight.
The Magical Link may be classified under three main heads; as it involves (1) one plane and one person, (2) one plane and two or more persons, (3) two planes.
In class (1) the machinery of Magick — the instrument — already exists. Thus, I may wish to heal my own body, increase my own energy; develop my own mental powers, or inspire my own imagination. Here the Exorcist and the Demon are already connected, consciously or subconsciously, by an excellent system of symbols. The Will is furnished by Nature with an apparatus adequately equipped to convey and execute its orders.
It is only necessary to inflame the Will to the proper pitch and to issue its commands; they are instantly obeyed, unless — as in the case of organic disease — the apparatus is damaged beyond the art of Nature to repair. It may be necessary in such a case to assist the internal “spirits” by the “purification” of medicines, the “banishing” of diet, or some other extraneous means.
But at least there is no need of any special device “ad hoc” to effect contact between the Circle and the Triangle. Operations of this class are therefore often successful, even when the Magician has little or no technical knowledge of Magick. Almost any duffer can “pull himself together”, devote himself to study, break off a bad habit, or conquer a cowardice. This class of work, although the easiest, is yet the most important; for it includes initiation itself in its highest sense. It extends to the Absolute in every dimension; it involves the most intimate analysis, and the most comprehensive synthesis. In a sense, it is the sole type of Magick either necessary or proper to the Adept; for it includes both the attainment of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, and the Adventure of the Abyss.
The second class includes all operations by which the Magician strives to impose his Will upon objects outside his own control, but within that of such other wills as are symbolised by means of a system similar to his own. That is, they can be compelled naturally by cognate consciousness.
For instance, one may wish to obtain the knowledge put forth in this book. Not knowing that such a book exists, one might yet induce some one who knows of it to offer a copy. Thus one's operation would consist in inflaming one's Will to possess the knowledge to the point of devoting one's life to it, in expressing that will by seeking out people who seem likely to know what is needed, and in imposing it on them by exhibiting such enthusiastic earnestness that they will tell the enquirer that this book will meet his needs.
Does this sound too simple? Can this obvious common-sense course be really that marvellous Magick that frightens folk so? Yes, even this triviality is one instance of how Magick works.
But the above practical programme may be a fiasco. One might then resort to Magick in the conventional sense of the word, by constructing and charging a Pantacle appropriate to the object; this Pantacle should then cause a strain in the Astral Light such that the vibrations would compel some alien consciousness to restore equilibrium by bringing the book.
Suppose a severer and more serious aim; suppose that I wish to win a woman who dislikes me and loves somebody else. In this case, not only her Will, but her lover's must be overcome by my own. I have no direct control of either. But my Will is in touch with the woman's by means of our minds; I have only to make my mind the master of hers by the existing means of communication; her mind will then present its recantation to her Will, her Will repeal its decision, and her body submit to mine as the seal of her surrender.
Here the Magical Link exists; only it is complex instead of simple as in the First Class.
There is opportunity for all kinds of error in the transmission of the Will; misunderstanding may mar the matter; a mood may make mischief; external events may interfere; the lover may match me in Magick; the Operation itself may offend nature in many ways; for instance, if there is a subconscious incompatibility between myself and the woman, I deceive myself into thinking that I desire her. Such a flaw is enough to bring the whole operation to naught, just as no effort of Will can make oil mix with water.
I may work “naturally” by wooing, of course. But, magically, I may attack her astrally so that her aura becomes uneasy, responding no longer to her lover. Unless they diagnose the cause, a quarrel may result, and the woman's bewildered and hungry Body of Light may turn in its distress to that of the Magician who has mastered it.
Take a third case of this class 2. I wish to recover my watch, snatched from me in a crowd.
Here I have no direct means of control over the muscles that could bring back my watch, or over the mind that moves these muscles. I am not even able to inform that mind of my Will, for I do not know where it is. But I know it to be a mind fundamentally like my own, and I try to make a Magical Link with it by advertising my loss in the hope of reaching it, being careful to calm it by promising it immunity, and to appeal to its own known motive by offering a reward. I also attempt to use the opposite formula; to reach it by sending my “familiar spirits”, the police, to hunt it, and compel its obedience by threats.
The ceremonial method would be to transfer to the watch — linked naturally to me by possession and use — a thought calculated to terrify the thief, and induce him to get rid of it at once. Observing clairsentiently this effect, suggest relief and reward as the result of restoring it.
Again, a sorcerer might happen to possess an object belonging magically to a rich man, such as a compromising letter, which is really as much part of him as his liver; he may then master the will of that man by intimidating his mind. His power to publish the letter is as effective as if he could injure the man's body directly.
These “natural” cases may be transposed into subtler terms; for instance, one might master another man, even a stranger, by sheer concentration of will, ceremonially or otherwise wrought up to the requisite potential. But in one way or another that will must be made to impinge on the man; by the normal means of contact if possible, if not, by attacking some sensitive spot in his subconscious sensorium. But the heaviest rod will not land the smallest fish unless there be a line of some sort fixed firmly to both.
The Third Class is characterized by the absence of any existing link between the Will of the Magician and that controlling the object to be affected. (The Second Class may approximate to the Third when there is no possibility of approaching the second mind by normal means, as sometimes happens).
This class of operations demands not only immense knowledge of the technique of Magick combined with tremendous vigour and skill, but a degree of Mystical attainment which is exceedingly rare, and when found is usually marked by an absolute apathy on the subject of any attempt to achieve any Magick at all. Suppose that I wish to produce a thunderstorm. This event is beyond my control or that of any other man; it is as useless to work on their minds as my own. Nature is independent of, and indifferent to, man's affairs. A storm is caused by atmospheric conditions on a scale so enormous that the united efforts of all us Earth-vermin could scarcely disperse one cloud, even if we could get at it. How then can any Magician, he who is above all things a knower of Nature, be so absurd as to attempt to throw the Hammer of Thor? Unless he be simply insane, he must be initiated in a Truth which transcends the apparent facts. He must be aware that all nature is a continuum, so that his mind and body are consubstantial with the storm, are equally expressions of One Existence, all alike of the self-same order of artifices whereby the Absolute appreciates itself. He must also have assimilated the fact that the Quantity is just as much a form as Quality; that as all things are modes of One Substance, so their measures are modes of their relation. Not only are gold and lead mere letters, meaningless in themselves yet appointed to spell the One Name; but the difference between the bulk of a mountain and that of a mouse is no more than one method of differentiating them, just as the letter “m” is not bigger than the letter “i” in any real sense of the word.
Professor Rutherford thinks it not theoretically impracticable to construct a detonator which could destroy every atom of matter by releasing the energies of one, so that the vibrations would excite the rest to disintegrate explosively.
Our Magician, with this in his mind, will most probably leave thunderstorms to stew in their own juice; but, should he decide (after all) to enliven the afternoon, he will work in the manner following.
First, what are the elements necessary for his storms? He must have certain stores of electrical force, and the right kind of clouds to contain it.
He must see that the force does not leak away to earth quietly and slyly.
He must arrange a stress so severe as to become at last so intolerable that it will disrupt explosively.
Now he, as a man, cannot pray to God to cause them, for the Gods are but names for the forces of Nature themselves.
But, “as a Mystic”, he knows that all things are phantoms of One Thing, and that they may be withdrawn therein to reissue in other attire. He knows that all things are in himself, and that he is All-One with the All. There is therefore no theoretical difficulty about converting the illusion of a clear sky into that of a tempest. On the other hand, he is aware, “as a Magician”, that illusions are governed by the laws of their nature. He knows that twice two is four, although both “two” and “four” are merely properties pertaining to One. He can only use the Mystical identity of all things in a strictly scientific sense. It is true that his experience of clear skies and storms proves that his nature contains elements cognate with both; for it not, they could not affect him. He is the Microcosm of his own Macrocosm, whether or no either one or the other extend beyond his knowledge of them. He must therefore arouse in himself those ideas which are clansmen of the Thunderstorm, collect all available objects of the same nature for talismans, and proceed to excite all these to the utmost by a Magical ceremony; that is, by insisting on their godhead, so that they flame within and without him, his ideas vitalising the talismans. There is thus a vivid vibration of high potential in a certain group of sympathetic substances and forces; and this spreads as do the waves from a stone thrown into a lake, widening and weakening; till the disturbance is compensated. Just as a handful of fanatics, insane with one over-emphasised truth, may infect a whole country for a time by inflaming that thought in their neighbours, so the Magician creates a commotion by disturbing the balance of power. He transmits his particular vibration as a radio operator does with his ray; rate-relation determines exclusive selection.
In practice, the Magician must “evoke the spirits of the storm” by identifying himself with the ideas of which atmospheric phenomena are the expressions as his humanity is of him; thus achieved, he must impose his Will upon them by virtue of the superiority of his intelligence and the integration of his purpose to their undirected impulses and uncomprehending interplay.
All such Magick demands the utmost precision in practice. It is true that the best rituals give us instructions in selecting our vehicles of force. In 777 we find “correspondences” of many classes of being with the various types of operation, so that we know what weapons, jewels, figures, drugs, perfumes, names, etc. to employ in any particular work. But it has always been assumed that the invoked force is intelligent and competent, that it will direct itself as desired without further ado, by this method of sympathetic vibrations.
The necessity of timing the force has been ignored; and so most operations, even when well performed as far as invocation goes, are as harmless as igniting loose gunpowder.
But, even allowing that Will is sufficient to determine the direction, and prevent the dispersion of the force, we can hardly be sure that it will act on its object, unless that object be properly prepared to receive it. The Link must be perfectly made. The object must possess in itself a sufficiency of stuff sympathetic to our work. We cannot make love to a brick, or set an oak to run errands.
We see, then, that we can never affect anything outside ourselves save only as it is also within us. Whatever I do to another, I do also to myself. If I kill a man, I destroy my own life at the same time. That is the magical meaning of the so-called “Golden Rule”, which should not be in the imperative but in the indicative mood. Every vibration awakens all others of its particular pitch.
There is thus some justification for the assumption of previous writers on Magick that the Link is implicit, and needs no special attention. Yet, in practice, there is nothing more certain than that one ought to confirm one's will by all possible acts on all possible planes. The ceremony must not be confined to the formally magical rites. We must neglect no means to our end, neither despising our common sense, nor doubting our secret wisdom.
When Frater I. A. was in danger of death in 1899 e.v. Frater V. N. and FRATER PERDURABO did indeed invoke the spirit Buer to visible manifestation that the might heal their brother; but also one of them furnished the money to send him to a climate less cruel than England's. He is alive to day
P.S. He died some months after this passage was written: but he had been enabled to live and work for nearly a quarter of a century longer than he would otherwise have done.
; who cares whether spirits or shekels wrought that which these Magicians willed?
Let the Magical Link be made strong! It is “love under will”; it affirms the identity of the Equation of the work; it makes success Necessity.
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