is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.

(Illustration: It is my Will to inform the World of certain facts within my knowledge. I therefore take "magical weapons", pen, ink, and paper; I write "incantations" --- these sentences --- in the "magical language" i.e. that which is understood by the people I wish to instruct; I call forth "spirits", such as printers, publishers, booksellers, and so forth, and constrain them to convey my message to those people. The composition and distribution of this book is thus an act of


by which I cause changes to take place in conformity with my Will<>)


ANY required Change may be effected by the application of the proper kind and degree of force in the proper manner through the proper medium to the proper object.

(Illustration: I wish to prepare an ounce of Chloride of Gold. I must take the right kind of acid, nitrohydrochloric and no other, in sufficient quantity and of adequate strength, and place it, in a vessel which will not break, leak, or corrode, in such a manner as will not produce undesirable results, with the necessary quantity of Gold: and so forth. Every Change has its own conditions. In the present state of our knowledge and power some changes are not possible in practice; we cannot cause eclipses, for instance, or transform lead into tin, or create men from mushrooms. But it is theoretically possible to cause in any object any change of which that object is capable by nature; and the conditions are covered by the above postulate.)


(1) Every intentional act is a Magical Act.

(Illustration: See "Definition" above.)

(2) Every successful act has conformed to the postulate.
(3) Every failure proves that one or more requirements of the postulate have not been fulfilled.

(Illustrations: There may be failure to understand the case; as when a doctor makes a wrong diagnosis, and his treatment injures his patient. There may be failure to apply the right kind of force, as when a rustic tries to blow out an electric light. There may be failure to apply the right degree of force, as when a wrestler has his hold broken. There may be failure to apply the force in the right manner, as when one presents a cheque at the wrong window of the Bank. There may be failure to employ the correct medium, as when Leonardo da Vinci found his masterpiece fade away. The force may be applied to an unsuitable object, as when one tries to crack a stone, thinking it a nut.)

(4) The first requisite for causing any change is through qualitative and quantitative understanding of the conditions.

(Illustration: The most common cause of failure in life is ignorance of one's own True Will, or of the means by which to fulfil that Will. A man may fancy himself a painter, and waste his life trying to become one; or he may be really a painter, and yet fail to understand and to measure the difficulties peculiar to that career.)

(5) The second requisite of causing any change is the practical ability to set in right motion the necessary forces.

(Illustration: A banker may have a perfect grasp of a given situation, yet lack the quality of decision, or the assets, necessary to take advantage of it.)

(6) "Every man and every woman is a star." That is to say, every human being is intrinsically an independent individual with his own proper character and proper motion.

You can read the rest at Magick In Theory And Practice [pdf]

The above inspired by Eric's Why all arguments against magic fail

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 12.08.09 at 04:07 PM


I have been pondering Crowley recently and thinking of starting to read through the collected Equinox I bought a few years ago. It was most excellent to run into this here.

Love is the Law; Love under Will.

Fritz   ·  December 8, 2009 4:51 PM

I've noticed before that Crowley's "magickal" advice, in "(3)" here for example, is more materialist than anybody's (or at least anybody important's) political philosophy. "Failure to understand the case," and Hayekian imperfection of knowledge -- "(3)" is a litany of libertarian anti-state arguments -- are never-entertained possibilities out here in the real world. We can only imagine "more force."

Likewise Satanism, in its Crowley-influenced American incarnation, is a totally un-supernatural, materialist a-religion with its whole symbolic rigging exposed for inspection and rejection, just like "magick."

Our most rational men are freakin' evil wizards. We're so boned.

guy on internet   ·  December 8, 2009 6:43 PM

It is a shame, then, that most people who then go on to study Crowley are (in my experience) subject to magical thinking: the belief that they can create Change in conformity with Will through acts which are completely disconnected from the material world.

William Woody   ·  December 8, 2009 9:47 PM


In my experience it is a mixed bag. About 1/2 get it. i.e. the exercises are to focus the body and mind. You sill have to do the work. Or as the Zen folks like to say: chop wood and carry water.


Loving Is The Law.

The closest I ever came to a set of the Equinox was around 1976 or so when I inspected a set for sale in a book shop. Out of my price range (and I thought it was quite reasonable). That was about the time I gave up the study of Crowley (more or less) and took up computers.

Do What Thou Wilt.

M. Simon   ·  December 9, 2009 1:48 AM


Yes. Crowley was very libertarian philosophically and very libertine personally.

As one guy pointed out in something I read long ago discussing Crowley's philosophy: Under Socialism the promise is that every person gets enough to eat. Under Thelema the promise is that every one gets what they want to eat. The socialist he was discussing it with of course couldn't imagine how that could be done.

Real demand brings forth ready supply. Which is beyond the imaginings of socialists.

M. Simon   ·  December 9, 2009 2:09 AM

But, magick is understood to be the manipulation of an aspect of the universe through a non physical medium. Crowley's formulation was just an attempt to qualify all actions and activities as magick.

So properly speaking magick is affecting a chang in the world through an act of will, that does not involve a physical agency.

Alan Kellogg   ·  December 10, 2009 1:05 AM


What you posit is the other half of the spirit/material duality.

It is a matter of attention. Total attention.

M. Simon   ·  December 10, 2009 3:10 AM

One of Crowley's best-known followers was Jack parsons, who was trying to create titanic explosions at jet Propulsion Lab. On the other hand, other scientists not that far away were also trying to create titanic explosions based on the theories of Albert Einstein, a follower of the uncompromising monotheist Baruch Spinoza.

I think God won that round. God's explosions outclassed Satan's.

If what is called supernatural is a matter of focusing your attention, the lesson is that if you focus your attention on achieving your goals you might achieve them. If you focus your attention on finding out what the real world is like, you might find things that make your earlier goals seem trivial.

Joseph Hertzlinger   ·  December 11, 2009 3:56 PM

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