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Feedback on definitions of magick and what we mean

By Psyche | April 24, 2008 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 1 Comment

Last week we looked at definitions of magick1 and saw that most of them fail to pin down what’s meant.

There was a lot of great feedback in the comments section. Some of them are too detailed to post, but I’d like to highlight a few responses, and do encourage you to check out the rest.

Nysidra said:

I like Crowley’s definition (and others that have said similar) very much. You want. You work. You get. There are plenty ways to go along that path, and magick is one of them. And yes, it’s subjective, everything begins subjectively. All actions, all physical manifestations, begin as a thought, a spark, a desire.

Magick does that on a grand scale, getting your mind right, your desires aligned, in order to create objective changes.

I like the suggestion here that magick requires discipline and self-awareness. In my experience, these have been central to attaining goals I’ve set. Without the discipline to settle desires into attainable goals, formulate plans and maintain the discipline to stick to it and achieve them – very little would get done. A successful act is a magickal act.

Xi O Teaz keeps it simple:

Luck is the Skill of the Magickian.”


…can I add that I find it even more “Lucky” (perhaps “Synchronous” would be a more apt term) that I am just now reading What do we mean by “magick?”.

I’m sorry I’m not offering much more of a “concrete” and “specific” or “testable” definition (de-finite). I believe that much of the meme “Magick” has to do with “Mystery”, and is thus often a “catch-all” phrase for many “Mysterious Practices”. I find it rather silly to even try to find a deFinite way of deScribing what Magick “is”, particularly when Magick “is” about “Change”.

He then goes on to disparage semantic games, but that’s really half the fun of these debates, and I forgive him!

This lead to an attempt to ascertain what mean when we talk about “magick”2, particularly in response to a recent episode of the (semi-?) Pagan podcast Deo’s Shadow, taking special note of Frater U.:D.:’s models of magick to try and pin how the word was used.

Once again there was a lot of great feedback, once again I’m only going to share a brief excerpt here, but do encourage you to check out the rest. If you’d like to respond to another’s comments, replies will be automatically e-mailed to the person you’re replying to.

Xi O Teaz, for me, hits it here:

What is often considered “Magick” is really just the Art of Living an Intentional Life, imbuing all Actions with Intention and congruence.

This is one of the definitions Crowley uses, and it’s the one I like a lot: magick as an approach to reality, not a “thing”, not a “lifestyle”, but a way of thinking, acting and moving in, through, and with the world. It doesn’t tell us what it “is” in a (meta?)physical sense, but it tells us what it does.

Deo, the man himself, posted a thoughtful and intriguing reply which you can read here. My response tomorrow.


  1. See “[cref 153]“. [back]
  2. See “[cref 155]“. [back]

Psyche is the editor of and the curator for the occult resource, Psyche also operates a tarot consultation business, Psyche Tarot. She has been published in The Cauldron, Konton, Tarot World Magazine, among other magazines, and her essay “Strategic Magick” appeared in Manifesting Prosperity (Megalithica, 2008).

Psyche's website is


  1. Phantastica says:

    I see magic as being inherently indefinable by its very nature…

    Its experience is sufficient in & of itself…

    A wink, or a knowing smile communicate its essence better than any conceptual definition could hope to…

    It transcends all notions of subjectivity & objectivity… & any schemata we may attempt to pin on it!

    The very quintessence of evolutionary flux… dynamically manifest in the living instant!

    It is simply magic!

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