a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
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alt.magick FAQ [old]

Newsgroups: alt.magick,alt.magick.folk,alt.magick.tantra,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan.magick,alt.answers,news.answers
Subject: alt.magick FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Followup-To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi
Replaces: 9909
References: (REF Master)
Summary: This is the ASCII text edition of the alt.magick FAQ. The FAQ is
         intended as an introductory file and its content may be discussed
         within the alt.magick usenet newsgroup. The hypertext version may
         be found at
From: (tyaginator)
Reply-to: (tyaginator)

Archive-name: magick/faq
Updated: 200010
Posting-frequency: monthly or by inquiry


        00 FOREWORD

        10 NEWSGROUP
        11 Why do you spell (alt.)magick with a K?
        12 Shouldn't there be limits to what people can post here?

        20 SUBJECT
        21 What is magic(k)?
        22 Is magic real, how does it work, what influences it?
        23 Is magic black/white? Should we do black magic?
        24 Is magic compatible with modern Science?
        25 How are magic and religion/mysticism related or different?

        30 STUDIES
        31 How should I start learning about magic? teachers?
        32 What are the best books for a beginner to read?
        33 Where is online information about magic to be found?

        41 Antagonistic Spells
        42 Love/Lust Spells
        43 Summoning and Pact-Making

        51 Archives
        52 Magic-Related Newsgroups
        53 Card Game Magic (e.g. 'The Obsession')
        54 Role-Playing Game Spellcasting

        60 AFTERWORD
        61 Footnotes
        62 Credits
        63 Copyrights



        The text version of the alt.magick FAQ may be obtained at:


        The world-wide web version of the alt.magick FAQ may be
        found at:




        This section pertains to the most commonly asked questions about
        the newsgroup itself; specifically the newsgroup's name and its

11 Why do you spell (alt.)magick with a K?

        alt.magick was created with a 'k' to avoid confusion with stage
        magic. @01

        'Magick' is a spelling popularly associated with Aleister
        Crowley, yet the spelling precedes him by hundreds of years. @02

        Many people presume a difference between conjuring tricks and
        occult spells; between magic and magick. There may be grounds
        for comparing them metaphorically to chemistry and alchemy.

        Sr. Virakam and others maintain that it separated Crowley from
        his competitors (and thus served as a marketing or elitist
        scheme). @03

        Symonds and Grant contend that the 'k' is a conceit of
        Crowley's and that it is related to potentially dangerous
        ("demonic and chaotic") energies, as well as life-oriented
        symbols such as 'khu' and 'kteis', for which they say it
        stands, "the complement to the wand (or phallus) which is
        used by the Magician in certain aspects of the Great Work." @04

12 Shouldn't there be limits to what people can post here?

        There has been movement, off and on over the years, to work
        toward some sort of moderated alt.magick.* forum, but this
        has never been successfully carried out. The newsgroup was
        created (alt.magick.moderated), but the contribution address has
        not consistently functioned for throughput.

        There are many subgroups of alt.magick to which specific
        types of discussion should be taken if you wish to cooperate
        with newsgroup regulars. Here are a few of the discussion-
        oriented newsgroups to get you started:

                alt.magick.ethics (philosophia:ethics)
                alt.magick.folk           (primitivas)
		alt.magick.goetia           (daemonos)
                alt.magick.order           (politicos)
                alt.magick.tantra        (eros/tantra)
                alt.magick.tyagi           (synthesia)

        There is a comprehensive list of posting suggestions in the
        document called 'alt.magick RULES'. These are quotes from
        usenet authorities regarding posting content and may be
        found at this location:


        In terms of limiting the *substance* or *topic*, some
        copyrighted files have been under intense heat from occult
        organizations to keep them from being posted to the newsgroup.

        There is often a great outcry anytime someone posts a ritual
        or suggestion which conflicts with the morality or maturity
        level of participants, yet as alt.magick is not moderated,
        complaints and savvy folks who know how to cancel posted
        messages will be able to keep a single post from being seen,
        discussion of it carrying over into one of the sub-forums
        at most.

        In short, there are no technical limitations, but there are
        some factions (participants, occult groups) who have a very
        sincere interest in affecting what is posted.



        There are a few questions about magic(k) which arise
        consistently. These concern an analysis of occult magic,
        its workings and principles, and its relationship to
        science, religion and morality.

21 What is magic(k)?

        Magic has been defined by many people in many different
        ways. One infamous mage defined it as "the Science and Art
        of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." @05

        Some see magic as a kind of energy which pervades the cosmos.
        Others see it as a psychic tool by which we may influence the
        material world using symbols and ritual. Many see it as a
        means of coming to unite with the divine, some consider
        it to be the exercise of will or Will, or the manipulation
        of reality.

        Whatever the word means, and however we choose to spell it,
        magic (or magick) is the subject, generally, of the newsgroup,
        and will likely be given many differing and contradictory
        meanings during discussions there.

22 Is magick real, how does it work, what influences it?

        Many have suggested the differentiation of magical 'currents'
        or 'energies' based on style and/or intent. Some posit the
        notion of principles, a la scientific structure, 'laws of
        magic' and whatnot. Others approach it more subjectively,
        considering all knowledge about the elements of magic to be
        personal and therefore particular only to the individual
        condition, variable of form.

        All of these are popular responses to this question, though
        more inventive theories would be welcomed. Conventional
        approaches may be cross-posted to sci.philosophy.meta.

23 Is magic black/white? Should we do black magic?

        For discussion about the ethics of magic, see alt.magick.ethics.

24 Is magic compatible with modern Science?

        An oft-asked question, particularly with reference to
        Heisenberg and chaos theory. Hang around a little before
        getting into one of these discussions. They can take quite
        a while to untangle.

25 How are magic and religion/mysticism related or different?

        There have been a number of different discussions on these
        subjects. The more popular hypotheses include the
        magic/individual:religion/group model, and the idea that
        religion is the devolution of magic. Some do not seem
        to discern between magic and mysticism at all, and many
        have never considered the subject, being unexposed
        to the latter.

        Thelemites might equate magic with will and mysticism with
        love, and the association has been made between mysticism
        and theurgy, magic and thaumaturgy.

        For more on mysticism, dare the MaGI's Gehennom GOO at




        How to learn about magic and what ought be considered the
        best sources are frequently discussed topics in the newsgroup.

        Occasionally someone will compile a REF file of newsgroup posts
        for a common topic. Make a collection of posts and assist in the
        project yourself by adding to them:


31 How should I start learning about magic? teachers?

        As CHenningsson ( writes:

          "Books are one answer. There are actually books which
           try to take you from your first tentative attempts
           at relaxation into holding a ritual....
          "Other than that....  Just do it!  If you like to, you
           can see this as one of the very first exercises in Will;
           you Will yourself into making a ritual."
        Some recommend the use of particular mechanisms or tools,
        such as tarot, a magical diary, meditation or dreamwork.
        Some recommend specific books or teachers, others place more
        emphasis on the aptitude and imagination of the student.

        Robin ( provides marvelous advice:

          "Resist the temptation to believe what anyone else
           tells you.  Try to invent ways to find out things
           for yourself.  Remain skeptical.

          "Look for ways in which you may have been
           doing magick without realizing it.  Think about
           what it might mean if you could use it with
           intention, and how you might go about that."

        MKampe (markk@cypress.West.Sun.COM) offers:

          "if you have clear notions of what magick is all
           about, it might be better for you to pursue your
           inner course and avoid outside contamination
           [from teachers/books/etc.]."

        There are 
        REFerence files on such things as the Kabbalistic Abyss,
        Chaos Magick, Wicca, and the Golden Dawn.  Teachers, masters
        and adepts are often a topic of discussion in the newsgroup,
        and magical organizations may wrangle out their political
        issues in alt.magick.order.

        I would echo Lilith Darkchilde:

          "Take heed of those who say that they can teach
           you all about what is magickal.  Especially if
           you must join their 'coven' or group to do so....

          "I hold the key to my own self knowing."

32 What are some books for a beginner?

        There's are a few booklists available:


        as well as one list of book mailorder houses:


33 Where is online information about magic to be found?

        Try the MaGI at




        Spell-exchange within the alt.magick.* hierarchy is at
        times discouraged by newsgroup regulars or newbies
        concerned with considerations of ethics or expertise.
        The only newsgroup apparently designated for such an
        exchange is alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic.

        The spells contained within the following compilation
        files may be dangerous to your health, but we welcome
        contributions to them and will be happy to source them
        properly so that those who taste of their repercussions
        can adequately compensate you.

41 Antagonistic Spells

        Jinxing and death-oriented spells were collected from
        alt.magick.* over the last few years and these have
        been placed in this REF file:

42 Love/Lust Spells

        The following REF file is a usenet collection and
        includes spells designed to secure the love and/or
        passionate embrace of your target:


43 Summoning and Pact-Making

        Collected usenet posts about demon-summoning and infernal
        pacts may be found in this REF file. A separate file
        contains lists of demons from which you may choose:



        After consulting the various resources listed in this FAQ
        and lurking in the newsgroup for a few weeks, feel free to
        bring up any relevant subjects there.

51 Archives

        Usenet posts make up a part of the Lucky Mojo Esoteric
        Archive (which hosts the hypertext version of the FAQ):


52 Magic-Related Newsgroups

        See the MaGI for much occult-related information.
        Valuable usenet alternatives include:

         Ref: FAQ
         Ref: FAQ
         Ref: FAQ
         Ref: FAQ
          Ref: (Original alt.tarot FAQ)
          Ref: (Tarot and alt.tarot FAQ)
          Ref: Layouts (REF)

        (darkness and power)
         Ref: FAQ
         Ref: Another FAQ
         Ref: Another FAQ
         Ref: Another FAQ
         Ref: Another FAQ

        (eastern and mystical things)
        alt.philosophy.taoism (Moderated)

        (psychology and consciousness)

         Ref: FAQ
         Ref: FAQ


53 Card Game Magic (e.g. 'The Obsession')

        There are many newsgroups in the
        hierarchy from which to choose.  Also see MOXPERL at


54 Role-Playing Game Spellcasting

        If you are looking for role-playing game magic, you can find
        it in the Great Net Spellbook at




        Thanks to all the fine authors of files I came across during my
        sift for networking documents to fill out this edition of the FAQ.
        May it remain unblemished by violence or imprisonment.

61 Footnotes

        @01  -  See alt.magic (stage magic).

        @02  -  Due to his many publications and the orders
                he crafted, Aleister Crowley is revered by many and
                despised by as many more, and his magical treatise
                ("Book Four", recently reissued assembled by Samuel
                Weiser) may likely prove his most popular text.

                For a list of Crowely's publications, see:


        @03  -  "Aleister Crowley (if Soror Virakam may be relied upon)
                is said to have adopted "the old spelling of MAGICK...
                in order to distinguish the Science of the Magi from
                all its counterfeits."
                      ("Magick", eds. Symonds/Grant, p. 45 note).

        @04  -  "Magick", p. xvi.

        @05  -  "Magick in Theory and Practice", by Aleister Crowley;
                p. 7. Find the entire introduction to this text at:


62 Credits

        Those who assisted by reviewing the FAQ whose ideas
        and/or networking were utilized to good measure:

          (Peggy Brown)
                (Kim Burkard)
               (peter kim)
            (catherine yronwode)
                 (josh geller)

          If you have suggestions for changes or additions to this
         document, send them to the Editor (
        Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. -- W. Occam

63 Copyrights

        This document is Copyright (c) 2000,

        All rights reserved.  Permission to distribute the collection
        is hereby granted providing that distribution is electronic,
        no money is involved, reasonable attempts are made to use the
        latest version and all credits and this copyright notice are
        maintained.  Other requests for distribution should be directed
        to the Editor or to the individual authors of the quoted



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