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 forgotten knowledge

'Magic is the Highest, most Absolute, and most Divine Knowledge of Natural Philosophy, advanced in it's works and wonderful operations by a right understanding of the inward and occult virtue of things; so that true Agents being applied to proper Patients, strange and admirable effects will thereby be produced. Whence magicians are profound and diligent searchers into Nature; they, because of their skill, know how to anticipate an effect, the which to the vulgar shall seem to be a miracle.'
- Aleister Crowley 'The Goetia of the Lemegeton of King Solomon'

Many so-called curses may also be regarded as forms of nuncupatio, a Latin term meaning a declaration on the part of a devotee to a god, promising to do something for that deity if the suppliant receives the divine aid he requests. Still, these lead tablets are distinctive in that they usually require punishment and revenge for a wrong done to the perpetrator of the inscription.'
- Miranda J. Green - The Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend - P.74

'If we analyse the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed. The former principle may be called the Law of Similarity, the latter the Law of Contact or Contagion. From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity, the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it: from the second he infers that whatever he does to a material object will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact, whether it formed part of his body or not.'
- Sir James George Frazer 'The Golden Bough'

'The practice of deliberately bending, smashing or otherwise damaging an object before it was offered to the gods was a widespread phenomenon in antiquity. It occurred in the Classical world, were pots were broken in shrines, as for example at the sanctuary of Hera at Samos. In barbarian Europe, the custom of ritual breakage began during the Neolithic period, and there is plentiful evidence for the tradition by the early Iron Age. The idea seems to have been that by damaging an object and removing its function in the real world, the worshipper was consecrating it and rendering it apporopriate as an offering to the powers of the supernatural.'
- Miranda J. Green - The Dictionary of Celtic Myth & Legend - pp. 176-177

'For this science, said the crowd, there is nothing impossible, it commands the elements,
knows the language of the stars and directs the planetary courses; when it speaks, the moon falls blood-red from heaven; the dead rise in their graves and mutter ominious words, as the night wind blows through their skulls. Mistress of love or of hate occult science can dispense paradise or hell at its pleasure to human hearts; it disposes of all forms and confers beauty or ugliness; with the wand of Circe it changes men into brutes and animals alternately into men; it disposes even of life and death, can confer wealth, on its adepts by the transmutation of metals and immortality by its quintessence or elixir, compounded of gold and light.'
- Alphonse Louis Constant {Eliphas Levi} - 'Transcendental Magic'

'A magical ritual is a means of heightening your perception, awareness, and intuition, by the use of movement, objects, sound, and concentration. This change of state helps Otherworld powers, forces, and dynamics to come into the ritual Working area and be directed by the magician for whatever purposes the ritual has been designed.'
- Steve Blamires 'Glamoury'

'The Science & Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will'
- Aleister Crowley

'A strong theme running through Irish literature - is the power engendered by speech, whether praise poetry, satire or prophecy. The Bards and the Filidh had magic in their voices and utterances, and the poets of later medieval Ireland saw themselves as successors of the Druids and poets of early legends. One such mythic character was Amairgin, who is described in the Mythological Cycle as one of the Gaels or Celts who colonized Ireland in the last of a series of mythic invasions, after they had deposed the divine race called the Tuatha De Danann. Amairgin's name means Wonderful Mouth, and he is said to have chanted a poem called the 'Invocation of Ireland', as he set foot on the land. In the poem, Amairgin extolled the knowledge and wisdom that enabled the Celts to overcome Ireland's previous inhabitants. Words had the power to wound as well as to bless. There are many descriptions of the physical disfigurement that could be caused by the lashing tongue of the satirist, whose blight was in many was ways as effective a sanction.'
- Miranda J. Green - The World of the Druids - P. 124

'The Science of the Control of the Secret Forces of Nature'
- S. L. MacGregor Mathers

'The word 'magic' is from the Greek Magike techne, meaning the art of the Magi, or priests of Ancient Persia, from whence the Greeks believed magic to have originated. {However, the magic arts were being practised in Ancient Egypt, long before the days of the Persian Magi.} It seems that the Magi belonged to the oldest stock of Persia, rather than to the orthodox followers of the religion of Zoroaster, some of whom regarded the doctrines of the Magi with suspicion, as being heretical. They seem to have borne some resemblance to the Druids, as they are said to have worn white robes and favoured a simple mode of life and a vegetarian diet. They worshipped no idols, choosing rather as their symbol the Divine and Sacred Fire, which burned in their sanctuaries and was never allowed to go out.'
- Doreen Valiente - 'The ABC's of Witchcraft'

'It is the custom of some writers upon the occult, notably the late Montague Summers, to lump together indifferently both witchcraft and ceremonial magic, and to label them both as 'devil worship'. This is completely misleading. The magic of the grimoires, such as the Key of Solomon, theLemegeton, the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, etc., is something entirely different from the old pagan traditions of witchcraft. Ceremonial magic is the magic of learned men and even of priests. It has a strongly religious tinge, of both Christianity and Judaism, and has mostly been derived from the Hebrew Qabalah and given a Christian veneer. Its method of working is to control the powers of nature, which are conceived of as being either angelic or demonic, by the powerful Divine Names which form the words of conjuration. Such words, for instance, as Agla, Adonai, Tetragrammaton, Sabaoth, Anaphaxeton, Primeumaton, Sother, Athanatos; words which are a mixture of Hebrew and Greek, and are all names of God. Its intructions are usually complicated and exacting, and require the magician to purify himself by fasting, taking baths, and dressing in clean and consecrated robes before he enters the magic circle. He uses pentacles and consecrated tools, as does the witch, but all of a more elaborate kind. He prays at length, in the forms of either Judaism or Christianity, for power to perform this magical operation, by compelling the spirits of either heaven or hell to do his bidding. The witch's method of proceeding is simpler and more direct. In fact the people who practised witchcraft could be and often were illiterate; while the ceremonial magician had to be more or less a 'learned clerk'. His arts were officially forbidden by the Church, but not in practice with such severity as those of the witch; because the witch was a pagan heretic, while the ceremonial magician, even when he set out to evoke demons, considered himself to be within the Church's pale. - The witch's origin's and practices go back to the dawn of time. She {or he} keeps pagan festivals and invokes pagan gods; and while there is much common ground between witchcraft and ceremonial magic, this is the main and essential difference.
- Doreen Valiente - 'The ABC's of Witchcraft'

'The main operations of high magic can be reduced to four fundamental types. By consecration, objects or gods are given powers. Execration, common to all forms of exorcism and by means of which demons are driven out, is the action resulting in the withdrawal of evil forces attached to things or beings. Invocation concerns the ritual chants and spells by which contact is made, and a request is addressed to, a superior or benevolent spirit. Finally, evocation is an invitation or command for a creature to show itself. In all these cases, the magic operation is prepared in minutest detail, from the arrangement of the place, especially the magic circle drawn on the ground, to the magician's equipment.'
- Michel Mirabail - 'The 50 Key words of Esoterism'

'It is the invisible with which the magician is concerned. He believes he can affect the invisible, or essence, and bend it to his will. True magic works by ritualizing the space around the magician, within which 'powers' are to appear or work. The difference between this and other rituals such as initiation or even religion, is that the words are drawn out into incantations and curses and the symbols are supposed to condense physical and cosmic energies. Using astrology, the auspicious moment is pinpointed for the appearance of a particular spirit, angel, archangel or demon {for they are all 'specialized'}. The magician is barefoot so that he is in contact with earth forces, and then he draws his circle. Note that magic can act for good or for evil; the former is called love magic or white magic and the latter black magic, which aims to enslave its victim or do him harm.'
- Andre' Nataf - 'Dictionary of the Occult'

'Natural Magic undoubtedly comprehends a knowledge of all Nature, which we by no means can arrive at but by searching deeply into her treasury, which is inexhaustible; we therefore by long study, labour, and practice, have found out many valuable secrets and experiments, which are either unknown, or are buried in the ignorant knowledge of the present age. The wise ancients knew that in Nature the greatest secrets lay hid, and wonderful active powers were dormant, unless excited by the vigorous faculty of the mind of man; but as, in these latter days, men give themselves almost wholly up to vice and luxury, so their understandings have become more and more depraved; 'till, being swallowed up in the gross senses, they become totally unfit for divine contemplations and deep speculations in Nature; their intellectual faculty being drowned in obscurity and dullness, by reason of their sloth, intemperance, or sensual appetites.'
- Francis Barrett - 'The Magus'

'Black Magic is ritual involving the conjuration of demons. As one might expect, the demons are no fools and, ever anxious to seize their human prey, have made use of this distinction. As a result, many of the books dealing with angel magic contain the names of demons disguised as beings of light. Only when the magician makes some error in his ritual is the pretended angel revealed as a being of darkness ... to the cost of that magician's soul. Many of the old books, which carry such titles as 'The Art of Thaumaturgy' {the art of miracle-working, or magic}, contain the names of demons masquerading as angels.'
- Charles Walker - 'The Encyclopedia of the Occult'

'All magic is easy: it is nothing more than the ritual ordering of the will. At times, Magic may degenerate into the psychic manipulation of other people, aimed at suborning their will to that of the magician, yet, in its real purpose, magic is merely a set of procedures designed to intensify a natural human faculty. 'Every intentional act', Aleister Crowley said famously, 'is a Magical Act.' The magician who sets out to lend emphasis to his will does so with the aid of special, age-old rituals, and with a paraphernalia of consecrated objects and symbols, used in a formal prescribed order usually called Ceremonial Magic. This form of ritual magic is an attempt to concentrate the will by calling to its service the aid of spiritual beings. If the spiritual beings evoked through such rituals are angelic, then the magic is called White, and it is termed the magic of the Right-Hand Path. If the spiritual beings evoked are demonic, then it is Black Magic, of the Left-Hand Path. The extreme form of black magic is that in which the magician, by an exercise of will, kills another human.'
- Charles Walker - 'The Encyclopedia of the Occult'

'The circle of prosperity seems to be a survival of another Druidical ritual. The daily course of the sun, bringing about the alternation of light and darkness and the succession of the seasons, was the most immediate example of the natural order of the universe. In old Irish the universe was seen as something circular and the words for universe, cruinne and roth, signified that concept. The circle of the universe served as the modus operandi for prosperity and increase, both spiritually and physically. To imitate the course of the sun, to go right handed, was to perform a ritual to bring beneficial results. - {snip} - Fire was carried deiseal or righthand-wise around houses, corn, cattle, or people to ensure a beneficial result. -{snip)- Similar processions around healing wells, sacred stones, cairns or churches{?} have also been noted and among Celtic fishermen one began a journey by sea by rowing the boat 'sunwise', up until recent times. Indeed, to go tuaithbel, or lefthand-wise, in the contrary direction, would be a violation of the order of the universe and bring harm.'
- Peter Berresford Ellis - 'The Druids'