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alt.magick FAQ [old]

   	[from ]
                            alt.magick FAQ [old]
   This FAQ has been compiled from a previous version dated 06
   September 1994 (maintained by Shava Nerad Averett and after her
   by Josh Geller), and by the current posting population of the
   newsgroup. Construction is still ongoing.
   Contributors (in alphabetical order of first name):
     Brian Bethel, Erwin Hessle, Josh Geller, Merkvrivs, Renfield,
     Rick Laughlin, Shava Nerad Averett, Simon Anderson, Solemnus,
     Tom Schuler, Tzimon Yliaster, ZZ
   The FAQ is currently being maintained by ZZ. Any queries,
   comments or other communication regarding the FAQ should be sent
   There is, of course, also the real alt.magick FAQ which can be
   found at:
   And lastly... remember that nothing is true.
   - ZZ
                        alt.magick FAQ Contents
   Part 1. General
     What is alt.magick about?
     What is magick, and why do you use a 'k'?
     What are related subjects I can explore?
     What are some good sources of online information?
     What is alt.magick not about?
     What kind of enquiry is appropriate here?
     Is there someone who can teach me card tricks?
     What is the difference between magic and magick?
     Are there any archives?
   Part 2. For those new to Magick
     Is magick real, can anyone prove it?
     How do I even start to figure out what to say?
     Eny ov u doodz got eny kewl spelz?
     Can someone teach me a love spell?
     Will someone be my teacher?
     What books should I read to get started?
     Where can I find a group to help me learn?
     How do I get started?
   Part 3. Specific topics
     What is the difference between black , white and grey magick?
     Are telepathy and telekinesis magick?
     Who was Aleister Crowley? 
     Who was Israel Regardie? 
     What are TOPY, LBRP, QC, KCHGA, BOTL, AA, OTO, GD, etc?
     Ok, ok, so what is the Temple ov Psychick Youth, the Lesser
     Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, etc?
     What Magical Orders are there, what do they do?
     What is the Abyss?
     What is a paradigm shift?
     How does science relate to magic, are they opposites?
     How can I summon a demon?
     How do I get rid of unwanted demons? 
   Part 4. alt.magick as a community
     Why are you all so antagonistic to newcomers?
     What is an idiot filter?
     Why should I shut up and go away? 
     What can I do to minimise being the target of antagonism? 
     Why does it matter if I don't spell properly or if my grammar
     is poor?
     Who is in charge on alt.magick?
     Who is the group monitor / moderator? 
     Who is worth listening to?
     Is there a formal order associated with alt.magick? 
     What is "cochenering"?
     Who is Josh and why should I care?
     Why do some people put equations which are wrong after their
     names (e.g. 8=3)?
      back to top | |
                    alt.magick FAQ Part 1. General 
   What is alt.magick about?
     The technical and scholarly discussion of magick.
   What is magick, and why do you use a 'k'?
     Magick is generally considered to be the manipulation of
     reality in accordance with will. Some people consider the
     qualification to be redundant. The 'k' is used to distinguish
     magick from magic. Magick can also be defined as any of a
     variety of life-practices which devote the practitioner to
     self- and (thereby) environment-transformation. Methods and
     schools of magick vary. This group discusses all sorts of
     alchemy, kaballah, western ritual magick, renaissance
     neoplatonism, eastern mysticism, neopagan magick, and
     occasionally a bit of commentary on new age practice. The
     general viewpoint here is to try for a dogma-free approach to
     magick, which precludes a lot of religious discussion,
     although we draw religious and mystical vocabulary in *all*
     the time, since we are too short lived to reinvent all the
     symbols in the world.
   What are related subjects I can explore?
     Any and all of the following might provide some thought
     provoking material: mysticism, sorcery, tantra, kundalini,
     psychology, parapsychology, chaos quantum physics, obe, spirit
     visions, divination, sex magick, alchemy, inner alchemy,
     talismans, amulets, charms, potions, e.s.p., memetics, psychic
     or magickal energy, (neo-)paganism, wicca, satanism, zen,
     discordianism, channelling, theosophy.
   What are some good sources of online information?
     These sites keep changing. There is no site that can be relied
     upon to remain indefinitely. Your best bet is to use a web
     browser and search for key words, such as "magick",
     "enochian", "pagan", "golden dawn", "aleister crowley" or any
     of the terms one finds while lurking in alt.magick. You'll
     find more sites than you might expect.
     You can also check the on-line bookstores, such as,
     and do a subject search for available books in print on the
     various subjects you find interesting.
     Lastly, you can try here. However, there are no guarantees
     that the sites listed here will still be operational.
   What is alt.magick not about?
     This newsgroup is not about specific religions (pagan,
     satanist, christian, new age, whatever). It is not about stage
     magic. It is not about the Necronomicon. All of these topics
     have their own newsgroups already.
   What kind of enquiry is appropriate here?
     Specific questions are more likely to receive a positive and
     helpful response than general 'teach me magick' type
   Is there someone who can teach me card tricks?
     It is suggested that you subscribe to alt.magic rather than
   What is the difference between magic and magick?
     Magic is the art and practise of prestidigitation, stage
     magic, sleight of hand and so on. Magick is the manipulation
     of reality.
   Are there any archives?
     Not at this time.
      back to top | |
            alt.magick FAQ Part 2. For those new to Magick
   Is magick real, can anyone prove it?
     Usually this question is asked by someone who thinks they
     already know what magick is. Once you have made up your mind,
     it is difficult to unmake it, so throw out what you think you
     know and try for a fresh perspective.
     There are any number of demonstrations of the intentional
     manipulation of reality. Aleister Crowley wrote that all
     intentional acts are magical acts. Every act we perform is a
     mysterious operation by which what we conceive becomes what
     happens, to a greater or lesser degree. Now, usually, when we
     think of magick we don't think of something so banal as
     twiddling our thumbs. We think of somehow affecting the world
     around us directly by manipulating symbols, thoughts, and
     So, let's consider the placebo effect. A placebo is a
     chemically inert substance which has the power to heal or
     relieve symptoms entirely because the recipient believes that
     it is, in fact, medicine. The placebo effect can be and has
     been measured by scientific experiments, beginning with H.K.
     Beecher's study, published as "The Powerful Placebo" (1955,
     JADA 159:1602-1606). Beecher's methods of inducing the placebo
     effect were unsophisticated and the researchers got only about
     a one-in-three positive response. More recently, The Power of
     Non-specific Effects in Healing: Implications for Psychosocial
     and Biological Treatments. (Roberts, A. H., D. G. Kewman, L.
     Mercier, and M. Hovell. 1993. Clinical Psychology Review
     13:375-391), determined that "under conditions of heightened
     expectations, the power of non-specific effects (placebos) far
     exceeds that commonly reported in the literature." They found
     that in more than 7000 cases, the healing power of placebos
     occurred in almost 70% of them.
     The placebo effect is a prime example of how our beliefs and
     expectations, unaided by any other physical medium, can affect
     the way we feel and the way our bodies act. This is magick,
     demonstrated scientifically.
     As John Dodes, author of "The Mysterious Placebo" (Skeptical
     Inquirer January/February 1997 Vol. 21, No. 1), advises,
     "Paracelsus (Swiss alchemist and physician 1493-1541) wrote:
     'You must know that the will is a powerful adjuvant of
     medicine.' It is imperative that skeptics recognize the wisdom
     and warnings inherent in this statement."
     To be sure, there are many claims made by people who practice
     some form of magick that they can induce psychic powers, open
     communications with non-corporeal entities, cause certain
     events to occur, and so forth. Some of these claims are
     clearly specious; others may not be. It is well to consider
     such claims as what they are: claims unsupported by
     experimental evidence gathered in a careful and scientific
     manner. It's a good idea to check things out for yourself,
     carefully and thoroughly, before you make a decision on the
     merits of any particular claim.
     Yet, for all of that, it is a fact that magick can and does
     produce some real and demonstrable phenomena.
   How do I even start to figure out what to say?
     Read what other people say and try to learn from the responses
     they get. If you want to learn more, and want to use
     alt.magick as a learning resource, that's fine. Ask a specific
     question. If you don't have a specific question to ask, then
     go and do some research until you have got one. Displays of
     ignorance do not tend to get clamped down on, however displays
     of laziness or stupidity do. Also, it is important to remember
     that many of us come from differing backgrounds, so please do
     not assume that we have terms in common. If people react to
     your posting, it is very likely on the grounds of some
     semantic misunderstanding. Communication is an unending
     miracle, which we renew every time we read something on the
     net. None of us are perfect at it, so don't worry *too* much,
     and never take anything personally if folks react to it (even
     if they tell you so). Anyone taking themselves too seriously
     here is missing the point... Primary prereq for the group is a
     broad sense of humor.
   Eny ov u doodz got eny kewl spelz?
     Al ov uz doodz hav plenti ov kewl spelz. However, why should
     we share them with you? If you want to participate in the
     technical and scholarly discussion of magick, that's fine. If,
     however, you simply want magick to be handed to you on a
     plate, you're in the wrong place. Anyway, we're all basically
     selfish bastards and jealously guard our grimoires.
     Seriously, some of us doodz have found that simple repetition
     of what others have done before isn't a useful way of
     achieving one's own goals, and thus that simply giving someone
     a spell without engendering at least that much of an
     understanding would be a worthless thing to do.
   Can someone teach me a love spell?
     Most of the regular posters will blankly refuse such a
     request. The employment of such a spell (which would by its
     very nature contravene the free will of another person) is, by
     many, considered abhorrent, and anyone who would need to ask
     for one is often deemed, by the nature of their asking, to be
     too immature and irresponsible to be given one.
     That said, here: is a
     resource you may wish to view.
   Will someone be my teacher?
     Most of the regular posters are too busy to take on the role
     of personal mentor. However, if you ask a specific question,
     the chances are that someone will attempt to answer it. We are
     all learning from each other.
   What books should I read to get started?
   Where can I find a group to help me learn?
     Firstly you have to ask why you would want to join a group.
     Secondly you have to bear in mind that a group will teach you
     what the group wishes to teach you. If you join an established
     magickal order, it will have its own agenda which may not
     necessarily best serve your purposes. If you wish to join a
     group simply to have people to talk to, fair enough, go for
     it, but try and keep an open mind about everything you are
     told. Treat the group as you would one of many textbooks on a
     subject, something that can give you knowledge you may accept
     or reject. As for how to find one, lurk on alt.magick or
     similar newsgroups and you'll see adverts for groups before
     too long. Most of the regular posters on alt.magick would
     advise you to steer clear of them, but you have to walk your
     own path.
   How do I get started?
     WORK, don't just READ. Regardless of the magickal tradition
     you chose to explore, it is essential that you do something,
     otherwise you will simply be studying, not doing magick. Also,
     be prepared to work at whatever you start. Magick is not an
     easy option.
     Keep an open mind, but at the beginning do not make anything
     other than very tentative conclusions; do not try to ascribe
     "objective validity" to any results. Keeping a record is
     handy. Simple, *consistent*, and thorough application of
     whatever techniques your paradigm requires, over a period of
     say, six months, should be a very useful grounding.
     Regardless of chosen system or tradition, there are certain
     practises which will fundamentally improve your ability to do
     any kind of magickal work.
     #1 Breath control, i.e. rhythmic breathing
     #2 Self Hypnosis (any of a thousand published methods)
     #3 Committed Daily Practice
     These apply to any and all systems.
      back to top | |
                alt.magick FAQ Part 3. Specific topics 
   What is the difference between black , white and grey magick?
     In one well-respected tradition, the goal of magick can be
     considered the union of the magician with the divine, the
     raising of the human consciousness unto the higher
     consciousness. Any operation which is not ultimately directed
     towards this goal is black magick. The terms arise because
     "white" magick signifies the divine light, and "black" magick
     signifies moving away from the divine light, into darkness.
     In a more popular sense, black magick is used to describe
     operations which are instrinsically selfish (usually involving
     harm to others). The analogy is obvious; the above aim is to
     unite the individual with the whole, to essentially "destroy"
     the Self, the feeling of individuality which separates us from
     the divine. Thus, "selfish" operations are by definition in
     conflict with this goal.
     In this sense, "grey" magick can be applied to operations
     which, although not directed towards this ultimate goal, are
     not selfish, and arise mainly out of ignorance, rather than
     malice (e.g. operations to heal others).
   Are telepathy and telekinesis magick?
     Telepathy, telekinesis, and any number of other so-called
     "paranormal" abilities have been advanced by some as being the
     force which accounts for some or all of the effects observed
     by people who do magical operations. There is little-to-no
     concrete evidence in support of this. Yet, it would be an
     error to say that there is no possibility that such powers may
     play a part in any particular event.
     The power behind magick is the power behind consciousness.
     That has never been adequately explained and perhaps it never
     will be. To call it a "paranormal" power is merely to limit
     the way you look at it by imposing another level of verbiage
     on it.
     That said, it does all rather depend on your definition of
     magick. If magic is causing change in conformity with Will,
     then picking up a pen and writing a letter is a magickal act.
     If that's the case, then one cannot sensibly exclude the
     willed act of transmitting a thought as any less magickal.
   Who was Aleister Crowley?
     Aleister Crowley, 1875 - 1947
     One of the most influential writers on magick of all time. His
     concept of magick entailed "the aim of religion, the method of
     science". Was a member of the Golden Dawn, founded the
     A.'.A.'., and went on the head the OTO. His goal in life was
     to establish and promulgate the "Law of Thelema", embodied in
     Liber Legis, whose main thrust can be summed up in the quote
     from that book, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the
     law". He aimed to sythesise all religions and magickal systems
     of the world, and to free the essential internal procedures
     from the misleading and varying dogmas to which other systems
     subject them to.
   Who was Israel Regardie?
     Israel Regardie, 1906 - 1985
     The most influential authority on the Golden Dawn system of
     magick. Was a member of the G.'.D.'., the A.'.A.'., and a IX
     degree member of the OTO. Was almost single-handedly
     responsible for the survival of the knowledge and system of
     the original Golden Dawn. His book, "The Complete System of
     Golden Dawn Magic" is *the* authority on the subject. He was a
     qualified psychiatrist, and one of his goals was to integrate
     psychology with magick, to realise the essentially similar
     goal of both.
   What are TOPY, LBRP, QC, KCHGA, BOTL, AA, OTO, GD, etc?
     Acronyms standing for: Temple ov Psychick Youth, the Lesser
     Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, the Qabalistic Cross,
     Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, the
     Book Of The Law, Argenteum Astrum, Ordo Templis Orientalis,
     the Golden Dawn, etcetera.
   Ok, ok, so what is the Temple ov Psychick Youth, the Lesser
   Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, etc?
     ToPV: Temple ov Psychick Youth
     Founded in 1982 by musicians and magicians Genesis P-Orridge
     and Peter Christopherson. Drawing inspiration for both Crowley
     and Austin Osman Spare, they attempted to create a set of
     magickal techniques based on using sexual energy. To
     articulate this, they wrote a manifesto called the Gray Book.
     Additional to the material in the Gray Book was the Temple
     convention of using a unique system on spelling. This was not
     done in a random fashion, but was done to remind the reader
     and writer of the hidden aspects of language. The Temple
     underwent a number of changes during its existence. In 1992,
     Genesis P-Orridge departed the group and proclaimed it
     dissolved. The Temple members continue their activities under
     the name regardless are are still pursuing their initial end
     as articulated in the Gray Book.
     LBRP: Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
     A short ritual, including the Qabalistic Cross, aimed to
     "eliminate from the sphere of the mind those qualities or
     sensations which the critical ego deems unnecessary". It aims
     to release the internal power of the magician from
     constricting mental restraints.
     QC: Qabalistic Cross
     A short, simple magickal practice in which the magician
     expands his consciousness by imagining his body growing to
     immense proportions, and visualises being the centre of a vast
     cross of light within him. Aim is to "bring the divine light
     down to the magician", or to help him realise consciousness
     with the divine; to "ally the personality with the true
     sources of life".
     KCHGA: Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel
     A lengthy operation, coined in "The Book of the Sacred Magick
     of Abramelin the Mage" and subsequently used by the Golden
     Dawn and Crowley, and which constitutes success in the outer
     orders of both of them; all previous instructions are directed
     towards this goal. The term suggests direct conscious
     apprehension of that which guides us through life in the
     "correct way", free from all self-constricting neuroses,
     complexes, influences, and self-misapprehensions; when it has
     been accomplished, the Adept needs little or no further
     guidance from others. There is no set method; the operation
     will differ for each magician.
     BOTL: Book of the Law
     Liber AL vel Legis, the "Bible" of Thelema. Claimed by Crowley
     to have been dictated to him in 1904 by a being called Aiwaz,
     whose nature he could never explain satisfactorily.
     AA: Argenteum Astrum
     The magickal order created by Crowley at the beginning of the
     twentieth century, along the lines of the Golden Dawn,
     incorporating Liber Legis and various other techniques Crowley
     liked (especially yogic practices). No longer extant in its
     original form, though a few groups today call themselves
     A.'.A.'., and claim direct descendance from Crowley's order.
     GD: The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
     Magickal, Rosicrucian order founded towards the end of the
     Nineteenth Century, to which a huge amount of today's magickal
     literature owes its existence. Valuable for the fact that it
     presents a very definite, coherent, and practical system of
     self-development, with little bullshit, which has influenced a
     huge amount of magickal "authorities", including Crowley. Fell
     apart in 1904, though again, many orders today claim
     descendance from the original.
   What Magical Orders are there, what do they do?
     Magick is ultimately an individual affair. Magickal orders or
     groups may have valid reasons for existence, but they will not
     make learning magick any easier, you will not have to do less
     work, and you will not gain any significant knowledge merely
     by being a member. Orders can exist for a variety of reasons:
     1. To spread knowledge. Whilst this may have been a valid
     reason some years ago, the relative freedom of expression and
     lack of persecution nowadays, the proliferation of books on
     the subject, and the internet pretty much negate this reason.
     Moreover, as is stated elsewhere within this document, the
     best teacher is usually the universe itself. Many orders claim
     to have "secret" knowledge which they will only disclose to
     "worthy aspirants". This is nonsense. If any "secret"
     knowledge was in any way important, it is extremely unlikely
     that it would be confined to a small group of manic wand
     wavers. Secrets (within orders) exist for one reason, to
     attract and ensnare members. The greatest secret of most
     magical orders is that they don't have a secret.
     2. To facilitate the process of finding others to work with.
     This would be valid if one were to consider magick from a
     strictly ceremonial sense. If not, then there are oodles of
     people one can work with, all around. Yet, if such ceremonial
     group workings are your wont, then seeking an order may be
     worthwhile, if this was all the order concentrated on. The ego
     wars, and the "groups-for-groups'-sakes" mentality can easily
     kill whatever value is there, however; a mailing-list could
     solve this problem with a lot less fuss than could an order.
     Working solely with other "like-minded" individuals can also
     be constricting, and can channel the magician for miles along
     the wrong path; the magician should expand his horizons, not
     narrow them.
   What is the Abyss?
     The Abyss, as discussed on alt.magick, is the "next big stage"
     after KCHGA in the Golden Dawn system. KCHGA implies
     identification with the true self, being a part of the whole.
     Crossing the Abyss implies identification with the whole
     itself, or to be more precise, with Nothing. It is a
     *realisation* (rather than a mere logical deduction; human
     reason is individual and imperfect, and is not capable of
     comprehending, or identifying with, the whole) that all
     individual preferences, feelings, emotions, opinions, leanings
     and attachments are illusions, merely symptoms of the
     interplay between the parts which make up the whole of the
     universe. This being the case, one state of the universe is
     not preferred over any other by the consciousness above the
     Abyss. Death, destruction, deceit and disease become mere
     incidents in what is a rather small corner of the universe.
     This is however a somewhat difficult term to define since
     understaning of its nature is impossible without direct,
     personal experience of it.
   What is a paradigm shift?
     A paradigm shift is a term used by Thomas Kuhn in his book,
     "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" to describe the
     process by which one model of the universe is transformed into
     another in the scientific community.
     A paradigm is an example, literally a "model" used to organize
     and understand phenomena. A theory which does not fit the
     given paradigm is not likely to meet with approval from the
     general population of the community and will tend to be
     seriously contested until the evidence of the superiority of a
     new paradigm can be established. If the new paradigm is
     accepted by the most powerful individuals in their fields,
     there occurs a "paradigm shift" and the new model becomes
     established in the community. This generally takes a long time
     and is not entirely a logical process.
     A paradigm shift then is essentially a change in the primary
     example, or "model", used to explain and predict events.
   How does science relate to magic, are they opposites?
     Magick, as we know it in Western cultures, arises from the
     gnostic religious philosophies. "Gnosis" means "knowing".
     Instead of simply believing or accepting the workings of the
     universe on faith, a student and practitioner of magick seeks
     to "know" them, to experience them directly and to seek some
     consistency to their operation, and, through this knowledge,
     to exert control over them. In the realm of observable
     phenomena, the most refined way to do this is the scientific
     method. "Science" also means "knowing".
     So science is a form of magick, refined into a high degree of
     reliability where it is applied to physical phenomena. There
     is nothing in science which contradicts the operation of
     magick. However, since magick also addresses experiences and
     events are not independently observable, the methods of
     science do not always apply to it with any conclusive results.
     Hard science advocates a causal materialism to be the proper
     paradigm for explaining and understanding events in reality.
     Of course, science is not monolithic, and a great many
     individual scientists vary in what degree they agree with the
     underlying assumptions.
     Magick, with all its various schools, can be characterized as
     arising from differring metaphysical assumptions. Thus one can
     practice effective magick or science with varying assumptions.
     Some metaphysical viewpoints allow the practice of both
     without contradiction, and in others they are absolutely
   How can I summon a demon?
     The same way you summon anything; it is only necessary to call
     it forth with the whole of your will.
     Demons and angels are parts of the psyche, constructs of the
     ego perhaps. A general distinction could be made that demons
     work at odds with the will of the magician (e.g. phobias), and
     that angels work along with the will of the magician (e.g.
     character strengths). Nonetheless, both demons and angels can
     be employed in the fulfilment of the magician's will, and
     demons can assume a new master, and be converted into angels.
     In this sense, summoning demons is a lot easier than summoning
     angels. Demons always want to creep up on you, and mess things
     up. You don't really need to summon one, you just need to let
     go of your hold on it, and it will be off doing its demonic
     Constraining a demon to do your will is more likely to be a
     constructive operation, than is summoning one. This is merely
     (!) a question of authority. Demons are intrinsically weak,
     but have a special aptitude at finding the weak spots of the
     magician, and striking at the most inopportune moments. They
     also like to gang together, and have a nasty habit of letting
     you think you have got the better of them, lulling the
     magician into a false sense of security before bringing him
     down once and for all. To truly constrain a demon requires the
     confidence and authority which comes from discovering the true
     Before summoning demons, it may well be worth considering if
     the action is a wise one or not. Having the answer to the next
     question would certainly be advisable.
   How do I get rid of unwanted demons?
     Demons are a part of the personality. To try to "get rid" of
     them is to deny a part of your being, and is destructive. The
     correct approach is to constrain, or exert control over, them;
     to subdue them to your will. The first step is to know and
     understand the demon. You cannot hope to control it unless you
     understand its nature, and how it works; you must know your
     opponent before you can conquer it. You must unconditionally
     accept the existence of said demon, and objectively seek to
     discover and understand its name, characteristics, methods of
     operation, and weak spots. To accomplish this requires a high
     degree of self-honesty, courage, and discrimination.
     There are a variety of more or less well known psychological
     methods to aid in this (e.g. psychoanalysis, methods for
     treating phobias), and a well-constructed magical system will
     also provide for this in the banishing stages of the
     magician's psyche.
     Once this is accomplished, subduing the demon to your will
     requires no less courage and determination. This question is
     one of authority (demons, being parts of the personality,
     belong to the magician; the magician does not belong to them.
     The magician must therefore make him/herself Master over
     them), and willpower (demons are cunning; all avenues of
     escape to them must be closed), the development of both being
     integral parts of any valid magical system of development.
     As ever, there are no set methods for this, except for the
     general guidance given to the magician to *discover his/her
     own nature*.
      back to top | |
           alt.magick FAQ Part 4. alt.magick as a community
   Why are you all so antagonistic to newcomers?
     Much of the time people start posting to alt.magick without
     having done any research or preparation of their own. This is
     annoying to many of the regular posters, and an indication
     that the new poster is unlikely to be sufficiently dedicated
     that any positive replies will be time well spent.
     Furthermore, those that are prepared to persevere in their
     line of questioning despite the antagonism are most likely to
     be the ones that will persevere in their study of magick.
   What is an idiot filter?
     It is a device to weed out the idiots from the others. This
     often takes the form of an antagonistic rebuttal (see: Why are
     you all so antagonistic to newcomers?) This term was coined by
     Josh and often took the form of a request for the possible
     idiot to "Shut up. Go away.".
   Why should I shut up and go away?
     Of all the potential teachers you can have, the greatest is
     the entire universe. However, most of us spend far too much
     time being loud to actually pay attention to the universe. If
     you shut up for a while, it is possible that you will learn
     something. As for going away, it is not always necessary that
     all of you go away, just parts.
   What can I do to minimise being the target of antagonism?
     Firstly, wait a while before posting. Read the kinds of things
     other people post. Secondly, do some of your own research.
     Simply asking for us to do your work for you will not go down
     well. Thirdly, conform to Usenet convention. Make sure your
     newsreader has word-wrap set, try not to include the entirety
     of a post you are responding to, but do include at least the
     most recent attribution, and don't simply reply to add "Me
     too.". Do not post commercial adverts, nor binaries, nor
     religious dogma.
   Why does it matter if I don't spell properly or if my grammar is
     We are discussing many abstract and complex subjects. If you
     have an insufficient grasp of the basic tools of language,
     many will doubt your ability to adequately understand their
     ideas or communicate your own.
   Who is in charge on alt.magick?
     No-one and everyone.
   Who is the group monitor / moderator?
     The Invisible Pink Unicorn. However, the Invisible Pink
     Unicorn has yet to pass judgement on any poster.
   Who is worth listening to?
     No-one and everyone. Since magick and magickal experience
     tends to be highly subjective, it is best to simply lurk for a
     while and read posts. Some posters will appeal to you more,
     not necessarily because their work is more valid, but perhaps
     simply because they phrase it in a way that makes more sense
     to you.
   Is there a formal order associated with alt.magick?
     None whatsoever.
   What is "cochenering"?
     The general practise of making some claim or statement and not
     only failing to back it up, but evading any attempt to be
     called on to support it in any way. This term was coined by
     Josh as a tribute to Ray Cochener.
   Who is Josh and why should I care?
     Josh Geller started alt.magick and has been one of the most
     prolific posters over the years. He has been a big influence
     on a lot of the regulars. Josh is not around like he used to
     be... he has too much else going on. As for why you should
     care; you shouldn't.
   Why do some people put equations which are wrong after their
   names (e.g. 8=3)?
     The equations signify grades in the Golden Dawn system, which
     range from 0=0 (neophyte), and 1=10 (zelator) through to 10=1
     (ipsissimus), and do not attempt to convey any mathematical
     truths. The grades signify levels of attainment within that
     system, and within that system alone. However, certain grades
     reflect changes in consciousness which are universal, and mark
     stages in development, achievable by anyone:
     0=0: Neophyte - marks an awareness of a spiritual goal, an
     awakening to there being "something higher". It is a
     beginning. "I am aware"
     5=6: Adeptus minor - signifies attainment to the knowledge and
     conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel, identifying with the
     individual subconscious which manifests the universal Will in
     each person. Entails a *realisation* of the individual's
     "place" in the universe, and of the individual's true will. "I
     8=3: Magister Templi, "Master of the Temple" - signifies the
     crossing of the Abyss, or the identification with the
     universal Will itself. Entails a *realisation* that the
     individual is but one manifestation of the whole, and that
     individual preferences, opinions, attachments and indeed the
     self, are illusionary. "It does through me"
     It must be borne in mind that although these grades represent
     the stages described, there may be any number of reasons why
     individuals choose to employ them on alt.magick, none of them
     worth a second thought.
      back to top | |
                       1997 rick - 30 Apr 1999
              Thanks to Dishmop for the use of the space.


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