Tuesday, March 5, 2013

EXPOSED: Llewellyn Blog Mistakes Mysticism for Magick (Answer to Donald Michael Kraig)

by Golden Dawn Imperator
David Griffin

Today there remains a tragic amount of confusion among aspiring Magicians about the very real differences between Mysticism and Magick.

All science grows in three main phases. These are (1) a common vocabulary, (2) correlation, and (3) effect-cause-effect. This means that every known science began by first establishing a common vocabulary that permitted its proponents to communicate. Without a clear definition of each term, conversations end up turning into arguments even when both sides are actually proclaiming the same truths.

Aristotle was quite adamant that we must always begin by clarifying our terms. Unfortunately, when important terms and concepts, such as “Magick” and “Mysticism” are used with imprecision, we end up fighting about something that isn’t really important. I won’t bother with the last two phases as they are not relevant to this discussion.

Donald Michael Kraig recently published an article entitled "The Dark Night of the Soul." You can read the entire article over on the Llewellyn blog here. I am concerned about the level of confusion perpetuated in the Magical community by this article through imprecise use of the terms "Mysticism" with "Magick."

In "Dark Night of the Soul," Kraig draws a distinction between what he calls "technological/spiritual Magick" and "Religious Magick," yet goes on to describe both of these forms of so-called "Magick" in purely Mystical terms.

From the perspective of the Hermetic and Magical traditions, including luminaries such as Giordano Bruno, Marcilio Ficino, Cornelius Agrippa, Gerolamo Cardano, Pietro D'Abano, Theophrastus Paracelsus, and Eliphas Levi (not to mention the entirety of Egyptian, Chaldeaen, and Sumerian Magick) what Kraig describes is not really Magick at all, but pure Mysticism.

Kraig is absolutely correct that what he calls "Religious Magick," or "seeking a direct relationship between the Divine and the practitioner" is actually Mysticism. But why call Mysticism "Religious Magick" at all?

Mysticism is Mysticism. Magick is something else. Calling Mysticism "Magick" merely creates unnecessary confusion.

As for what Kraig calls "technological/spiritual Magick," which Kraig defines as "Attuning oneself with the Divine," this is not Magick at all either, at least from the point of view of centuries of Hermetic and Magical tradition.

This also is Mysticism, pure and simple. According to long established Hermetic and Magical tradition, Kraig in reality is contrasting two different aspects of Mysticism, which he mistakenly calls "Magick."

Kraig's conflation of the terms "Magick" and "Mysticism" perfectly mirrors the utter bewilderment about the real differences between Magick and Mysticism that plagues today's esoteric community. Sadly, interchangeable and imprecise usage of these terms, such as Kraig's usage in the article under discussion, perpetuates such confusion rather than clarifying and eliminating it.

I have written extensively previously on the differences between Mysticism and Magick (here). I repeat the most relevant aspects, as follows:
"Mysticism and Magick are two quite distinct spiritual paths. The primary difference between Magick and Mysticism lies codified in the actual methods of practice, together with the Mystical or Magical inclinations of the practitioner. 
The Mystical path refers to the capacity and will of the practitioner to place oneself in a passive position in relationship to eternal Being and the forces of nature, which the Practitioner begins to invoke and pray to, so they may manifest and enlighten one, thus spiritually uplifting and exalting the practitioner.  
The Magical practitioner, on the other hand, does not place him or herself in a passive state towards natural and Divine forces, but rather in a positive state. Recognizing the Divine Spark inside oneself, the practitioner actively collaborates with Eternal Being rather than waiting for its manifestations. 
In Mysticism, the practitioner expects Divinity to manifest itself, and to ascend the staircase that leads from below to on high aided by the Divine hand that takes us and leads us ever upwards. 
Magic does not expect this, instead conquering the Inner Planes through one's own effort rather than through Divine aid. Thus, whereas the Mystical approach is one of submission, the Magician instead is a conquerer. 
A perfect example of the Magical path may be found in the Mithraic Ritual deposited in Paris, which shows one such practice of divine Ascension of the Magical initiate. While rising towards Divinity to be received like a prodigal Son or Daughter, the practitioner greets the Gods as equals that gradually appear, not fearing them or subjugating oneself before them, but admonishing them and blandishing them with Magical words that open the gates of heaven. 
Whereas Magick is based on knowledge, Mysticism is based on on ignorance in the literal sense of "ignoring" or "unknowing." In fact, one of the most important mystical texts in all of Christianity, "The Cloud of Unknowing," speaks of making oneself obscure, humble and ignorant before the unmanifest - to remain there, in silence, gradually emptying oneself, while waiting for something or someone (God) to come and fill the void thus created. 
Thus two completely different modalities become evident. Whereas the Mystic reflects the Divine light that is poured out upon him, the Magician generates this light, becoming an emitter himself.  
A.E. Waite
The foremost exponent of the Mystical path in the Golden Dawn was Arthur Edward Waite, who completely suppressed Magick in favor of Christian Mysticism in his Fellowship of the Rosy Cross and its Inner Order, the Rosa Rossa et Aureae Crucis (Rectified Rite). Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, reconstructed in recent years and open only to Christians, today remains the most Mystical order in the Golden Dawn community. 
The foremost exponent of the Magical path in the Golden Dawn was the great Mage, S.L. MacGregor Mathers. Mathers understood that the Golden Dawn primarily as a Magical rather than a Mystical tradition. Over time the Magical spiritual path has become more and more pronounced in Mathers' Alpha Omega. The A.O. today remains the most Magical order in the Golden Dawn community. 
In between the Alpha Omega and the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, which most clearly exemplify the diametrically opposed Magical and Mystical Golden Dawn paths, there today exist a host of Golden Dawn orders that lie somewhere in between ... that have not gone so far as to suppress Magick outright as did the Waite order, yet nonetheless remain quite Mystical in their approach to the Golden Dawn."
Although this will likely come as a surprise to many of Donald Michael Kraig's readers, judging by what Kraig has written in "Dark Night of the Soul," Kraig's underlying philosophical approach to occultisim, the Golden Dawn, and Magick in general, is not really a Magical approach at all, but rather a Mystical approach instead.

This does not mean that Kraig's books do not include a great deal of Magical techniques, albeit borrowed from other sources. Clearly they do. For example, Kraig's Modern Magick borrows heavily from published Golden Dawn material.

Nonetheless, to one versed in the literature of the history of Magick and of Hermeticism, it is obvious that Kraig's underlying philosophical position and personal approach to esoteric work is consistently that of Mysticism, rather than that of Magick.

Although this may astonish some of Kraig's readers, it should nonetheless come as no surprise, considering that Kraig is both a member and a covert public representative of one of the most mystically oriented of all Golden Dawn orders.

If one analyses Kraig's writings carefully, it becomes readily apparent that Donald Michael Kraig has for decades been a primary exponent of the Mystical approach, both to occultism in general, and to the Golden Dawn in particular.

Thus we should not be surprised that the arguments contained in Kraig's latest article conflate the Mystical "Dark Night of the Soul" of the Christian Mystic, St. John of the Cross, with the thoroughly Magical "Crossing of the Abyss," which occurs during the transition between the classical Golden Dawn's Second and Third Orders.

There is precious little I may reveal in public about the true nature of this perilous "Crossing of the Abyss" between the Golden Dawn's Second and Third orders, since this remains oath bound information in the A.O. Let me give a hint, at least, as to the true nature of this Magical (not Mystical) process, however, with the following piece of prose:

The Abyss
We on Earth live in a house of mirrors.
We are like deluded rats running on a wheel in a cage, chasing our cherished illusions. 
Read a book, perform a rite, or perhaps even a guided fantasy... 
... and "Abracadabra!" - Now we are "Self-Initiates." 
Get depressed, find a book in a store front window, overcome the depression ... 
and "Shazaam!" - Now we have "Crossed the Abyss!" 
Is there really nothing more to Magick than what is likely but self-inflicted delusion? 
Is there no exit from the house of mirrors? 
Is there no way past the perilous Minotaur - and OUT of the labyrinth - once and for all?

Is it any wonder that the esoteric community remains so confused about the differences between Mysticism and Magick, when even respected occult authors like Donald Michael Kraig and publishing houses like Llewellyn perpetuate such bewilderment with imprecise use of key terms?

It is important that the actual differences between Magick and Mysticism, as established by many centuries of Magical and Hermetic tradition, be clarified in the public mind rather than further obfuscated.

It is also important that the public comes to fully understand the fundamental difference between the Magical versus the Mystical approach to esotericism - and that they are not at all the same.

It is lastly important that the public comes to understand the fundamental philosophical differences between mystically vs. magically oriented Golden Dawn orders, as well as the difference this makes in practical approach for the spiritual development of initiates, despite that most Golden Dawn orders appear the same when superficially examined.

Let us be clear about one thing.

In the Alpha Omega, we do not make Mystics.

To make Mystics is the mission of religions, churches, and mystically oriented Golden Dawn orders. This is not the mission of the Alpha Omega.

The mission of the Alpha Omega instead is like the first rays of dawn bursting across the sea, banishing shadows, eliminating confusion - And making clear the difference between Mysticism and Magick for legitimate seekers - tired of groping around in the dark alone.

Alpha Omega
Because we make Magicians!

Click HERE to explore our Outer Order, undergraduate level Magical training program, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn!"

Don't miss:


  1. Pat Zalewksi just replied:

    The debate going on recently regarding the differences magick and mysticism is doomed never to be resolved due to the indeterminacy factor in both models and this is the because of the viewer is the indeterminacy. In these two models there are all sorts of overlaps. The boundaries of both will shift with the experience of the viewer and the chances are they will never be static.

    Waite is a pretty good example of this who taught the mystical approach but used GD ritual structures try and obtain it.

    I would be very wary indeed to try and create an this and that scenario with both these models as the chances are one person magick is another person mysticism and vice verser.


  2. This is a common issue when one defines anything at all.

    One man's green is another man's turquoise.

    This should in no way deter us from making functional differentiations in order to clarify our aims.

    Methods could be cross-functional but the aims are quite distinct.

    After all, the basics, of breathing, movement, integration are common to all human evolutionary endeavours, whether olympic sports, or the climbs on Mount Abiegnus.

  3. Thank you for clarifying these distinctions between magic and mysticism.

    I think even more muck gets thrown into the water when exoteric "beliefs" are conflated with esoteric principles and molded into an unsound hybrid.

  4. Pat is misapplying in the indeterminancy theory of Quantum physics to Newtonian academia. In other words, what Pat is saying is that academia has no value, since ALL definitions are relative to the observer. The notion of applying Quantum physics to Newtonian academia in this manner is particlularly absurd, considering Pat's worship of academia as the only criteria of "proof."

    Yes, definitions are relative. This is why conventioins are established and academia demands that clear definitions of terms be established from the outset.

    In the present case, we are referring to definitions of Magick and Mysticism that have been established for Millennia in the Magical then Hermetic traditions.

    According to Pat's argument, turning on the television set is "Magick" because an Amazonian pygmy who has never been in contact with modern civilization would perceive it as such!

    And since we do not perceive this as Magick, Pat is arguing that there is no such thing as Magick since its meaning is determined by the observer! Thus everything means everything and there can be no meaningful discourse at all.

    What Pat is doing is playing semantical games in the vain attempt to avoid the realization that his own approach to occultism is more Mystical than Magical.

    In other words, Pat is playing "Calvin ball," inventing new rules of dialogue whenever convenient.

  5. Crowley seems to have had a much better grasp of this distinction than those like Waite who wanted more Mysticism in their diet, and banished Magic. In "Liber OS Abysmi vel Daath sub figura CDLXXIV" there is one method for "crossing the abyss" as the A.A. of Crowley perceived it, and it also does away with Magick for a time - but replaces it not with Mysticism, but with an attempt to storm the Citadel using only the Mind - until one loses the Lower Mind utterly (and necessarily so, as it can't cross.)

    The struggle with the HGA, much as Jacob's struggle at/with Peniel "the Face of God" is a refusal to submit, and the distinction between the two paths is of paramount importance!

    Mysticism is riddled with delusional thinking born of inability to define with any kind of clarity WHAT has been achieved and HOW the student may follow in the footsteps of the attained Adept. (Read pretty much ANY "newage" text to confirm that.)

    Magic has rather pragmatic and well-trodden stages with clear results; as does Alchemy.

    Beginning students have enough difficulties digging through all the noise on the Western Esoteric Path signal as it is - just trying to decide on which book to read and which author to trust or order to join... this is a pretty FUNDAMENTAL distinction, and it needs not to be muddied in this way.

    DMK and PZ are very profoundly wrong about this - dangerously so in my opinion.

  6. This is an interesting development. Surprising, but perhaps useful in generating even more distinction between the variety of approaches in the GD-Sphere.

    The distinction between Magic and Mysticism is VERY clear. This is BASIC. That is why it is surprising to encounter this wrong thinking in Kraig and PatZ - they simply should know better!

    It is also possible that they DO know better, but are choosing to spout this mish-mash of Myshtick-Magicism as a way of pulling to themselves as many of the confused and befuddled would-be GD members, students, readers... as they can get. The sad truth is that this is exactly the kind of confused pseudo-learning that the New Age bookstore is replete with, and that is the point of departure for most of their target audience.

    If this is the case, then shame on them for failing as leaders - who should also be educators, and becoming instead JUST businessmen.

    Rewriting the history of Magic and Mysticism to suit the expectations of a target audience is ignoble.

    Once AGAIN it has fallen to Alpha Omega and HOGD to provide much needed guidance to those who are ready to take the Great Work seriously, and learn the difference between the Magicians of HOGD/AO, and those who can't quite make their minds up WHAT they are - but clearly were confused Mystics all along!

  7. This frankly bizarre abuse of the Quantum Indeterminacy meme by ever more New Age pundits is quite gagacious. I do wish it were not polluting Golden Dawn. Anyone with any grasp of Quantum Physics would not speak in this way, and Pat should play the proper Mystic and be QUIET! ;-)

    There is nothing wrong with Mysticism - but it simply is NOT Magic!!! I care not how much they juggle with terms they know nothing about in efforts to bamboozle their readers into crediting them with a superior knowledge that they do not in fact have...

    Magic is Magic. Mysticism is Mysticism. One is for Heroes, and one is for quiet folk with Halos. CHOOSE!

  8. The esteemed Pat Zalewski stated:

    “The debate going on recently regarding the differences magick and mysticism is doomed never to be resolved due to the indeterminacy factor in both models and this is the because of the viewer is the indeterminacy. In these two models there are all sorts of overlaps. The boundaries of both will shift with the experience of the viewer and the chances are they will never be static.

    “Waite is a pretty good example of this who taught the mystical approach but used GD ritual structures try and obtain it.

    “I would be very wary indeed to try and create an this and that scenario with both these models as the chances are one person magick is another person mysticism and vice verser.”

    I have to agree with Pat in that debate over the concepts of magick and mysticism "is doomed never to be resolved," but disagree that it is due to the indeterminacy (indecisiveness) of the viewer. I am not sure how Pat is using this term (indeterminacy), but I understand it, within the context of this discussion, to mean that each person is undecided or lacks a definition of the terms. I don't think it's appropriate for the leaders of the Golden Dawn to say an issue is unresolved because we can't decide on how to define a term. That is an abdication of their duty as leaders. The debate may never end only because we lack scholarship within the GD. In fact, this argument is a good sign as it suggests that GD scholars are, in fact, be responsible. It won’t be solved in a couple of articles. It may be solved in this generation. But we cannot proclaim the issue as “undecided” and continue our Work.

    The whole purpose of academic debate is to resolve such issues. As a doctoral student, I spent three years researching the definition of "justice" and only partially entered into a debate started by Socrates. Language is a tool that allows for expressing concepts and each definition is our best approximation of that concept. While our definition can become more specific or even change over a period of time, this change cannot be the result of capricious means. We don't change definitions to suit us but to better express a Truth. Of course, each person is free to use a term any way they wish, but that doesn't make their definition correct.

    As a reader, it is our responsibility to understand how a writer defines a term and then, for that piece, use their definition. We cannot do otherwise. If an author defines "mysticism" as that which delivers ice cream, that is how it should be understood while evaluating the logic of the presented argument. However, I am certain we can all agree that the abuse of words in this way place obstacles in the path of understanding and do little to further our understanding.

    If you were to read academic journals, you would discover that the number one issue is clarifying terms. Research is often related to trying to determine if a proposed definition is CLEAR and then use that term to identify whether or not something is True (at least in the Justified, True, Belief, perspective).

    (continued below)

  9. (continued)

    According to the philosopher Peter Kreeft (2008) and Sullivan (2005), when we consider two different ideas which seem to contradict each other, we need to know three things:
    · First of all, we need to know exactly what each one means. Only then can we know whether they really contradict each other or not. This is Goldratt's (1999) "clarity" reservation. It is also the first act of the mind "Understanding meaning." Understanding produces concepts which are based in terms and expressed in words. A term is a basic unit of meaning like the number one in math. It answers the question what it is (Essences). Terms can be either clear or unclear (ambiguous). Terms are never true or false, valid or invalid.
    · And if they do contradict each other, we need to know which one is true and which is false. This is the second act of the mind "judging what is true." Judging produces the product of judgment based in propositions and expressed in declarative sentences. A proposition has two parts: the subject term and the predicate term. It answers the question whether it is. (Existence) Propositions are either true or false. Propositions are never clear or unclear; the terms in them are clear or unclear. Propositions are never valid or invalid; the arguments they are parts of either valid or invalid. Propositions are only either true or false. The question: What's the point? (What's your conclusion?)
    · And we do this by finding reasons why one idea is true and another is false. This is the third act of the mind "Reasoning." Reasoning produces its product based in argument based in paragraphs. An argument has two parts: the premises and the conclusion. It answers the question why it is. (Causes) Arguments are either valid or invalid. Arguments are never clear or unclear; each term is clear or unclear. Arguments are never true or false. Propositions are true or false. Arguments are only either valid or invalid. The question: Why? (Prove it.)

    (continued below)

  10. (continued)

    Therefore, to disagree with any conclusion, you must show that there is either:
    · an ambiguous term, or
    · a false premise, or
    · a logical fallacy in the argument such that the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises.

    The issue at hand is the use of ambiguous terms. Until they are clarified, no proposition is useful (even if true).

    Truth is found only in the second act of the mind: judging (entity existence).

    We cannot form an argument here because we must clarify our terms first. However, the proposed argument is that we cannot clarify our terms. In reality, some terms are simply impossible to nail down. My example of the concept of “justice” is such an example. Many of the best scholars for generations have tried to define the concept and we are still arguing over it. Yet, the lack of a “perfect” definition does not prevent our ability to use the term as long as clearly define it each time it is used. Therefore, scholars must find the “best” definition possible and stick with it until a better definition is revealed. What they cannot do is claim it’s too hard, too flexible, or too complicated and then proceed to use the term or concept anyway they wish. Until the term is clarified, research is stalled. We may, of course, proceed with an inadequate definition with the stipulation that we are indeed working from an inadequate definition.

    As you can see from the above, we cannot begin to discover Truth until we first clarify our terms. That is why this discussion is of vital importance and the laziness of GD scholars is no excuse for not making the effort. It cannot be logically held that IF GD scholars refuse to define a term, AND that term is vital to understanding what we are doing, THEN we don’t have to bother defining it. For those of us who are mere learners and students, being unclear is forgivable. However, for our scholars, being "indeterminate" is not allowed! In fact, it's their JOB!

    I am encouraged that GD leaders are taking up this argument. But, until some consensus can be reached for a workable definition, I don’t foresee a descent debate occurring. Yes, each can define it very clearly each time they use the terms, but that leaves us, the consumer of such information, confused. These leaders cannot simply argue back and forth. They must find reasons for the clarification of their terms. I have heard that all magick ends in mysticism and all mysticism ends in magick. Therefore, these concepts should not overlap in the way cold-to-hot do. They should be distinct like the terms religion and philosophy. While these two terms can blend, they are quite distinct. We do not mistake one for the other nor do we misconstrue them.

    If I incorrect in my assessment, I look forward to being corrected. Otherwise, I truly hope you will all join me in praising and encouraging our leaders to pursue their scholarly duties.

    Kreeft, P. (2008). Socratic Logic (3rd ed.): St. Augustine's Press.
    Goldratt, E. M. (1999). Theory of contraints: North River Press.
    Sullivan, S. (2005). An Introduction To Traditional Logic - Classical Reasoning for Contemporary Minds: BookSurge Publishing

  11. David Griffin,
    The fraud who purchased the right to use the very title of the H.O.G.D., still a joke to those who know your real history.

    1. @ Anonymous

      Why are you spreading such hate filled lies?

      First we had the above obfuscation from Mr. Zalewksi, and now the anonymous flame war trolls raise their ugly heads once again!

      The Golden Dawn community has had more than enough of hatred spread by flame war trolls, thank you, and no one is believing even a word of it any longer.

      In this case, I let this rant through, as it shows how desperately some people are trying to derail any factual discussion about the very real differences between Mysticism and Magick.

      Now, who would be interested in derailing scholarly discussions about these matters?

      Are there perhaps factions in the Golden Dawn community who are getting desperate because a long played game of trying to pass off Mysticism as Magick is now being exposed once and for all?

      The statements made of Mr. Zalewski and this anonymous troll certainly do give this impression, however inaccurate it may be.

      Let us stick to a factual discussion of the actual differences between Mysticism and Magick please.

      David Griffin

  12. Thank you Mr. Griffin, you clarified a problem that was occurring in my own practice. Hopefully this new awareness will help to stop the vacillation between conflicting purposes.

  13. I have been meditating on the meaning of mysticism for the past few days, seeking answers and, as if by fate, I have been lead to this VERY relevant article to have my questions answered! Amazing! I have concluded and idea from this very enligtening article....and that conclusion is this: mysticism being passive is like a feminine disciple while magic, being more active is like a masculine discipline. Both being the compatible halves of a whole, which are mean to go together and compliment each other.

  14. Interesting topic and very well presented. I've got a question though. Is mysticism completely opposite of magick, or are there areas where these two blend? Thank you.

  15. Greeting Imperator and evertbody who is at least use a nickname,we are surrounded by fakes,hypocrites and just people that are so low in the spectrum that need to create confusion and get the rest of us down.
    But yes you are right and whoever think is the same thing than they are better off practicing mysticism then ,like some people I know that are just repeating some new age mantra that they read in self help books,is all good if it helps them to grow or whatever they are looking for,but they cannot call themselves students of magick ,new age and mysticism is one thing,magic is very hard work and as I am learning now it takes a lot of discipline and sometimes it can be physically exausting too,is not just some burning incense and calling something "esoteric",that sounds familiar ESOTERIC ?I am asking you anon little grey face,anyway..,thanks so much Frater and I will be seeing you soon hopefully. In LVX. Luna

  16. Griffin you are wrong yet again. Are you so jealous of DMK that you attempt to denigrate his book? Sorry, his book is the best beginner book on GD magick for beginners, better than your own; He has sold far more books than you ever will. So stop your green envy bud. It's very unbecoming of a Golden Dawn leader.

    1. You guys really still don't get it, do you?

      The A.O. is not at all interested in selling books. If we were, I would have reprinted the Ritual Magic Manual long ago.

      The Alpha Omega is not a publishing house.

      Instead, we are focused like a laser beam on our REAL mission:

      Alpha Omega - Because We Make Magicians!

  17. These anonymous posters always seem to try to derail any real discussion of issues on the merits. Instead, they resort to irrelevant personal attacks. Such conduct indicates a nerve was struck somewhere and that they have no ability to engage in reasoned discussion.

  18. It is an interesting article. However, I would like to point out one thing, Mr. Griffin. The definitions you provide (and mind you, they are clear and logical definitions) are YOUR definitions. Saying that Pat ignores 'academia' shows the lack of knowledge what academia's position on the subject is. There is no single position represented by academia on this matter. I spent sleepless nights studying what various academic definitions of words such as 'religion' or 'magic' are. There is no general agreement and there is not a single definition of magic that could not be applied to some form of religion and vice versa. So although your position on the matter is perfectly logical it is just your view on the subject, not a Universal Truth. Sorry.

  19. Dear Adasiek,

    You appear to have misunderstood me. I certainly did not say that there are standard "academic" definitions of Magick and Mysticism.

    What I have said is that there are indeed conventional meanings of both Magick and Mysticism that have been well established by conventional usage in the historical Magical, Hermetic, and Rosicrucian traditions, and that these definitions are sufficient to engage in a meaningful examination of a subject of some importance for the esoteric community.

    What I have pointed out (and which apparently has aroused a great deal of passion) is that there are two distinct sets of spiritual methodologies that have been well established over centuries of spiritual practice. One of these sets of methods for spiritual attainment has for centuries been called "Mysticism" by the Magical, Hermetic, and Rosicruican traditions. The other, divergent, and distinct set of Methods for spiritual attainment has conventionally called "Magick" by the same aforementioned traditions.

    The primary objection I raise is to the modern mixing of these two distinct methodologies, and calling the resultant mixed salad "Magick", thus redefining the term "Magick" in a manner that:

    1. completely obscures the traditional distinction between these historically completely distinct sets of methodologies, and

    2. that is completely at variance with the meaning of the term "Magick" as has been understood for many Centuries in the Rosicrucian, Hermetic, and Magical traditions.

    Perhaps we will eventually establish better definitions of the terms "Magick" and "Mysticism" in the future, that still fully address their traditional meanings, yet satisfy future needs for even greater precision, and even better permit us to examine the actual divergent sets of spiritual methodologies that have for centuries been described by these terms.

    For the time being, however, these two terms continue to serve adequately to represent for examination the divergent sets of spiritual methods that have been associated with these two terms down through the Centuries.

    To attempt to avoid any meaningful examination of the differences between these two historically distinct sets of methods merely by stating that is is impossible to arrive nomenclature to describe them, as Mr. Zalekwsi has done, I submit represents mere laziness and an abdication of responsibility, as has been argued and substantiated by Prof. Elder of U.C. Irvine in his well documented argument above.

    I note that the objections raised by Prof. Elder both to Mr. Zalewksi's conclusion and the methods he used to arrive at it, still remain unaddressed by Mr. Zalewski, as would be required by all established academic protocols.

    I further note that you have you likewise not addressed Prof. Elder's objections either, but have instead merely resubmitted Mr. Zalewksi's disputed conclusion, albeit in paraphrase, additionally citing only an argument not really germain to the discussion. I therefore invite you, as well as Mr. Zalewski to actually engage the objections raised by Professor Elder above, so that this discussion may proceed in a meaningful and scholarly manner.

    To repeat the reason for this discussion, I submit that to merely redefine the term "Magick," according to modern whims, so that it suddenly includes the spiritual methodologies traditionally associated with a historically divergent tradition, "Mysticism" as understood by centuries of common usage in a plethora of spiritual traditions, unnecessarily obscures a subject of not little importance for the contemporary esoteric community.

    David Griffin

  20. Is it possible to be initiated without knowing it? )O+->

  21. Care Imperator L.e.S.,

    Thank you for this article! It helped me understand certain aspects about myself. Lately I've had some questions and after reading this post I have an answer to them. Thank you.

    Also, don’t let the trolls disturb you. They talk, but in fact say nothing.

    This article doesn't say that Magick is better that Mysticism. There is no such thing as the right Path, because there are many Paths that lead to the same destination. It depends on every one of us to find the one that corresponds to our spiritual needs.

    Fraternally in LVX,
    Soror EUiL

  22. Thank-you Mr. Griffin, this article has cleared some of the confusion I had about Magick and Mysticism. What I got out of this was that Magick is the active aspect of spiritual development and Mysticism is the passive aspect. Magick is like for doers and Mysticism is for non-doers. Magick is for those who wants to know where they're going on their spiritual journey and Mysticism is for those who doesn't know and/or probably don't want to know where they're going, but instead attract the light to themselves through silence. I think I got that right if not someone please correct me, but I think I finally got them both figured out for now.

    Again, thanks a lot Mr. Griffin.

  23. I am still trying to understand it all:-) Because yoga, which we could tentatively define as "mysticism", involves a lot of 'active procedures'. The yogi must perform asanas, must master his/her inner demons (lower emotions and impulses), must meditate every day, perform mantras, etc. A lot of "actions", just like we, magicians, the western counterparts of the yogis, do. I thought both schools aimed the same experience of illumination or Cosmic Counsciousness, and the only distinction was in the practices employed to reach that goal. Regardie explained that the goal of Magic or Theurgy is union with God. Union, not dissolution.So, I am still puzzled by this distinction and would love to read more articles explaining this subject. Mr. Griffin, please, clarify our minds about it..