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What is Meta-Magick?

by Philip H. Farber

(from meta-magick.com)

What is Magick?

The general impression of magick that many people have, acquired from a lifetime of movies, TV shows, and novels, is of something primarily paranormal. That is, a wielder of magick will surely have the ability to cast fireballs from his or her fingertips, levitate small (or large) objects, fly with no visible means of support, and perform numerous other feats that fall squarely into the category of “special effects.”  

Now I know there are some magicians who are special effects masters, but the main thrust of “magick,” as we are discussing it here, is as a mental discipline. It is a means of first perfecting the self so that the things that one may do will be done with power and effectiveness. This has always been the aim of magick: to understand the relationship between our consciousness and the world, in a way that allows us to re-create ourselves in healthy and practical ways. Our understanding and self-perfection allows us to fit into the world so well that we can influence it in accordance with our will.
Does this mean that magick is not the paranormal ability that we see in movies? It means that magick always works through the laws and channels of the universe. It means that much of what we do or experience as magick will occur through known channels. It is arrogant, however, to think that we know anywhere near all of these laws and channels. It means that some of what we do as magick will surprise us in ways that we cannot now predict. There's plenty of opportunity for awe, wonder, and the miraculous.


What is Meta-Magick?

More traditional forms of magick start by teaching rituals or techniques that have been handed down from adepts of old. These rituals are modified with each generation, but remain in essence the same. Many of these rituals and techniques are very effective and powerful for most people who practice them. Many of the rituals work well for some, but not all of the people who practice them. And some of the rituals are taught simply because it is traditional to do so, regardless of whether they do anything or not. 

Meta-Magick begins differently, with the observation and modeling of day-to-day human behavior that proves magical. We create magick  spells, sigils, talismans, rituals  in any number of ways that are so much a part of daily life that we often take them for granted. By identifying these existing elements of our daily behavior, we can learn to create new rituals of heightened power and beauty.

This is most likely how many of the traditional rituals also originated, back in another time. The demons and entities described in the old grimoires were the personal experiences of some practitioner, way back when. The rituals used to perfect the self were based on someone's personal experience, somewhat closer to the dawn of time.

The roots of Meta-Magick are diverse. It has been influenced by by Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), martial arts, applied kinesiology, hypnosis, Afro-Caribbean spirituality, yoga,Taoism, neuro-scientific discoveries, and much more, in addition to Western esoteric traditions. These tools and systems are applied to the tasks of uncovering, observing, and replicating phenomena in ways that can be calibrated and tested. This results in a collection of diverse behaviors, techniques, and patterns that can be combined in creative ways, resulting in new rituals, works of art, entities, schools of thought, new paradigms and so on. "Meta" means "above" or "beyond," and "Meta-Magick" is magick that enables us to think about magick and produce magick. It is magick about magick.

With the techniques of Meta-Magick, we all become the creators of our own traditions, the originators of our own magick. With practice, these become just as rich as - or even richer than - the historical traditions. With techniques of Meta-Magick, exploring and making use of your own magick becomes a simple and enjoyable process.

Presently, Meta-Magick exists as a body of about 100 exercises and rituals, most of them found in The Book of Atem, The Book of Exhilaration and Mastery, and the Magick for the 21st Century DVD set. Many of these exercises can be practiced alone and many are intended to be practiced with others. The ideal method of learning and exploring Meta-Magick is in the context of an ongoing practice group. If you wish to join a practice group or start one in your area, consider attending an afternoon or weekend Meta-Magick seminar first.

© copyright 2006 Philip H. Farber