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Ananael compared ancient magick to chemists examining herbal cures for new drugs, where we use ancient knowledge as a starting point for modern research. I think this is a great way to look at it, and several other commenters agreed. But from other writers, it seems mages think ancient magick is worthwhile, beyond as a starting point to modern research. Is there anything to that?
ancient/older magickal rituals places us in a powerful lineage and allows us to tap huge egregoires if we are aligned correctly.
Someone pointed out that magick hasn’t changed that much, and ancient magick has thousands of years behind it, so you might as well go with what’s been tested.
Michael disagreed, echoing some of my own thoughts:
I never understood people who were into ancient knowledge… It doesn’t make any sense. Our ability to test and separation BS from fact is so much higher now.
Dark Arckana had a neat observation:
the practice of Magik is suffocated from all sides and this affects the course it takes in its development. The purpose of understanding Ancient Magik is to find out what a full Magikal System is like, prior to this stifling constriction.
And Andrew suggested that magick is actually in decline:
Because modern mages are often terrible at things that ancient mages could do easily.
So, first off, I think it’s awesome that we all have such different takes on this, and that I get to read all these ideas that I never would have thought of on my own. (If you haven’t already, read all the comments here.)
Second, reading them all made one thing very clear to me: Modern magick isn’t a mature field yet. If it was, it would blow ancient magick out of the water, in the same way that modern medicine and engineering and everything else do. We’d all be on board with Ananael’s logic (that maybe there’s some seed of an idea in ancient magick), rather than discussing whether there are any benefits to modern magick in the first place.
In other words, smart people study ancient magick not because they’ve been fooled, but because we (the people developing modern magick) haven’t delivered the goods yet.
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