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There Is Magic And There Is Magick


By James Donahue

December 2004


A story that has been jumping out at me from my clip file is a piece by Michael Goodspeed that rails James Randi, a man somewhat famed as a debunker of would-be psychics, fortune tellers, witches and channelers.


While I enjoyed reading the article, and I identify Randi as no better than the gang of charlatans he makes his living exposing, I also had the distinct feeling that everyone named in the article: Randi, the quack psychics and writer Goodspeed are overlooking something important. Not all of Randi’s targets are fakers.


There is real magic in the world. Because nearly all humans are left-brain driven they have long ago buried their natural abilities to use the right sides of their marvelous bi-cameral brains to achieve psychic functioning. Consequently, there are a few real psychics that “see” beyond the normal tunnel realities enclosed within the scope of the matrix in which we exist.


The magic I write of is not just the slight-of-hand hocus-pocus that delights circus crowds, or the wizardry of Gandalf as portrayed in fictional books and screen plays, but something more subtle and yet incredibly powerful that can alter events as we perceive them. Alistair Crowley, among the best of the contemporary magicians, altered the spelling of the word to “magick” so people in esoteric circles would clearly understand the difference.  


Goodspeed sparked my response with the first sentence in his article. He wrote the classic world opinion: “Everyone knows there’s no such thing as magic – at least no REAL magic.”


Then he turned to the American Heritage Dictionary that gives a very accurate description of Crowley’s Magick, as described in his book “Magick In Theory And Practice.” It says magic is “The practice of using charms, spells or rituals to attempt to produce supernatural effects or control events in nature.”


Crowley wrote his book for the layman to read and understand, so it was clear that he thought it possible for anybody to practice the art of calling upon natural forces to bring about change. That the book remains a relatively rare document, sometimes found in dusty corners of occult book stores, shows the power of the Christian church. The church has done a very good job of demonizing Crowley and everything he stood for.


Christians shut their minds to all things occult because of the Old Testament commandment to “regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them.”


It is one thing to put blinders over the eyes and hide in dark little corners with ones own kind, as members of many world cults do. But when a religious group grows in numbers to a point where it manipulates free thought in the media and political circles, it hobbles the minds of the masses. This has been the effect of the four “great” world religions. Christianity, from my perspective, is among the very worst of the lot.


After my wife and I tore ourselves away from the church some years back, we set our course on a new an amazing path that led us into a world of awareness of the natural forces around us. What is more, these forces appear to be quite aware of us and have the ability to respond when we have a need. All we have to do is ask.


The method by which we ask is what Crowley referred to as magick.


Our experience with the Hopi and Navajo people in Arizona taught us reverence for the Mother Earth, the origin of all physical life on the planet. The Earth is alive and responsive to our every need, as we must be for hers. When we love and respect the Earth, and do all we can to encourage those around us to do the same, the Earth responds in kind ways. We have noticed that no matter where we live, the plants become lush and green, and dangerous storms pass us by.


The Navajo woman in the household where we lived practiced black witchcraft. Just being around her was an education as to the power of the spiritual forces around us. Also we discovered that not all of these forces are concerned about our welfare. We learned how to ground ourselves, and put up mental shields against the black witches and vampires. While they rarely attempted to do physical harm, they had the power to make us feel ill or steal our energy. Thus through association we learned some rudimentary elements of practicing magick, mostly out of necessity.


For the Indians of the Southwest, Magick was a way of life. The strange dances conducted at night around large bonfires were rituals designed to evoke spiritual forces and cause an effect. They usually danced for healing, but sometimes they turned their attention to other needs of the tribe as a whole.


I recall one particular act of magick conducted by the black witch Elfrieda that still has me scratching my head in amazement. She and her husband were spending a week at the Grand Canyon, selling hand crafted items to tourists for extra cash, and my wife and I were left in charge of the house.


Elfrieda was a big woman. She almost always wore a special pair of tennis shoes that were stretched to fit her swollen feet. On this trip, I noticed that she left those shoes behind on the bathroom floor. The house, like all Navajo dwellings, was located in a very remote area in a slight hollow on the vast open high desert that is Northeastern Arizona. Each night my wife and I always locked the doors with deadbolts.


One morning I noticed that Elfrieda’s shoes were missing. I didn’t think much about it at first, assuming that perhaps my wife had moved them to the woman’s bedroom. At the end of the week when she returned, she was wearing that very pair of shoes.


That was real magick.