The 3 Defining Aspects of Direct Magick

by Mike Sententia on January 19, 2012

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What is direct magick, really? Most people say, “Magick without rituals.” Which is technically correct, but not particularly illuminating. Kind of like defining pizza as “a hot sandwich without the top slice of bread.”

In practice, direct magick is about three things:

  • Commanding the forces you channel with words instead of symbols and intents. Words are more flexible and precise.
  • Directly experiencing magick yourself at least occasionally, without channeling an external force, which lets you see how your magick works under the hood and develop better techniques.
  • Improving your skills by reasoning through your techniques, rather than repetitive practice. So you can learn faster.

I’ll explain each of those in its own post, then go into details of how to do it, with exercises for you to use. You’ll get a new post in this series most Thursdays for a few months, probably.

First post coming tomorrow (Friday).

Other posts in this series: If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Taylor Ellwood January 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Not sure I’d agree that words are more precise or faster than symbols. I guess if you’re approaching from this from a word virus perspective ala Burroughs you could argue that, but you could also say the same of symbols.

Chaos magic argues that symbols are faster because of how they imprint on the subconscious, whereas words stick in the conscious.

From a Literacy and rhetoric studies perspective, the issue comes down to definitions and why one person interprets a word or phrase one way versus how another person defines it. A good book to read about that would be Defining Reality, which critically examines the concept of definitions and asks who has the authority to create definitions.

All that said, I’ve done a fair amount of word magic as it were both written and oral and I won’t deny it can be effective.

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Mike Sententia January 20, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Note: The first version of the post, that Taylor responded to, said words were “faster and more precise.”

Hi Taylor, good feedback. I made an error in the post. Words are faster and more precise than rituals (which take time to prepare and do and coordinate), but probably are slower than symbols, as long as you want to use an already-established symbol for its standard meaning, rather than creating a new one. I’ve talked about ritual vs direct magick so much that “faster and more precise” has become sort of a reflex :) In finishing up the next post, I realized my focus is really on precision and flexibility, so I updated this post.

In terms of imprinting on the unconscious: If you know the technique for doing magick with symbols, and you try to apply it to doing magick with words, you are correct, that will fail. It’s actually a whole different technique for doing magick with words, that I’ll get into probably 3 or 4 weeks from now. I’ll give a preview in the next post, though.

And a detail I won’t get to for a while: When you use that technique (that I’ll explain coming up) to communicate in “words,” it’s actually sending the concepts for each word. So the ethereal software doesn’t care about French vs English, and one word corresponding to many definitions / concepts becomes obviously different when you communicate this way. There are also techniques for reading concepts that you aren’t yet familiar with yet, but I probably won’t get to them for a while on the blog.

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