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When I was active in newsgroups in the early 2000s, there were regular posts on the limits of magick. I didn’t have an opinion at the time — I distrusted claims that there were no limits, but didn’t have any positive idea of where the limits would lie. But I have a few ideas on that now.
Magick seems to be particularly suited to 2 things:
- Influencing cellular processes. This doesn’t mean instantly altering cells, but rather, increasing or decreasing the rate of processes they already have. This applies to energy healing, and also to influencing emotions and thoughts by influencing nerves in the brain.
- Magick seems to have some access to information about the future, as shown by manifesting and psychic intuitions.
Those are pretty amazing, and you can construct a lot of really useful techniques from them. But it also gives me some ideas of what magick is probably not suited for. A broken bone? You better set it before doing energy healing, or I doubt it would heal straight. Levitation? I’ve never seen anything that makes me think magick can directly exert physical force. Shape-changing? I could imagine magick to make someone ignore you* or receive you differently, or magick to increase muscles or decrease fat over time, but not to turn you into a wolf or a bat.
*There’s a story of Crowley using magick to go unnoticed through a city. He said that he didn’t turn invisible, but rather made people ignore him. I assume it worked like this.
This all comes as a big caveat, though: It’s very hard to distinguish things that are impossible from things you simply don’t know how to do yet. And magick is a big place. So I’m probably wrong about at least some of this. But I thought it might interest you, might help you pick projects to work on, and might kick off a good discussion, so I wrote it up.
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Note: I owe a bunch of you emails. I had a friend visiting this week, and haven’t done much writing. I’ll get back to you over the weekend.
Tags: Learning Magick