Primary Models of Magic – Where Does Magikal Energy Come From

The models of Magik outline various ways in which magikal energy is gained and utilised. There is a variety of models or paradigms stretching back from antiquity and continuing development into modern day.

Three primary models/paradigms of Magik are used to define specific ways in which magikal craft is achieved. The main question that each model attempts to answer is ‘Where does the power of the spell come from?’

These are the Consciousness or Psychological model, the Energy Model and the Spirit Model. Each paradigm is either used in its pure form, neglecting the value of the others, while most practitioners of magikal arts utilise all three models.

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PS. Below is a Transcription of the Video.

The Consciousness Model

First off, we have the Consciousness or Psychological Paradigm.
This is the model that many are familiar with and has grown in popularity in recent years, even among those who are simply spiritual and do not practice a magical craft. The Consciousness model is similar to the concept of the popular ‘The Secret’ book and movie. Plainly put, this model utilises the workings of the mind to gain the desired outcome.

This model is closely related to psychology, including parapsychology and psychoanalysis. It bases it’s main idea on the fact that internal workings of the mind have an intimate relationship with and consequences on the body and mental welfare of an individual. In the magical sense, this model is not merely used to alter facets of the self, but also to alter a person’s perceptions and to have an effect on the outside world.

Two occultists who greatly influenced the use of this paradigm include Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare. In a non-occult sense, names such as Sigmund Freud and Franz Mesmer heavily influenced this paradigm. Mesmer also influenced the Energy Model to a substantial degree, but we will have a look at that in a moment.

The Consciousness model in pure form denies the Spirit model by stating that the entities are simply reflections of personal consciousness or the self. For the most part, it does not refute the Energy Model, however, dictates that the faculty of will or mind is the overpowering force of magic. To other mystics, it is believed that the consciousness model simply reinforces the energy model.

This model states that magical craft is performed in the psyche and draws power from there. The sub-conscious mind is the mechanism that performs the act of magic, creating the desired outcome. Thus hypnosis, sleep, trance and psycho-active experiences are common in this model of magic. The primary goal is to program the mind, leaving an impact on the subconscious mind to improve one’s state of mind and mood, the physical body and ailments, and a communication with one’s personal inner spirit or self.

In most forms of magic, one model is never considered superior. In fact, the consciousness model is frequently used, if not integral to the energy and spirit models when performing magic. In this way, the consciousness is used to solidify intent, tuning into and interpreting true spirit entities, and to willfully manipulate energy for a desired outcome. Some mystics also speak of other realms of consciousness, such as the collective unconscious mind of a species, and superconscious mind of the universe. As stated in the Hermetic Kybalion, “The Universe is Mind, All is Mental.”

The problem with this paradigm is that it is vaguely defined at best as to how it works, the words, thoughts and opinions on it are diverse and difficult to illustrate. On the upside, it does explain the workings of the mind and magic in a way that many others are easily capable of applying and learning from. This may inevitably lead to an inquiry into the energetic and spirit models of magic. The consciousness model, when not denying the other models couple with them very well and as stated before, delivers an integral part to any magical craft.

The Energy Model

The energy model is another that most are relatively familiar with. In the west, it was Franz Mesmer who brought this concept into the public and occult eye. His work, however, can be seen as alterations of other magic and mental methods, such as hypnosis, suggestion and energy healing. It can even be related to eastern methods of healing and Yogic practice.

His work outlines a force that he calls ‘animal magnetism’, which is a type of vital force that can be manipulated energetically to create certain outcomes, such as for healing. In other occult, philosophical and shamanistic terms, ‘animal magnetism’ can be called ‘astral light’ (Eliphas Levi), Mana (Polynesia), Prana (India) and in the far east it is known as Qi and Chi.

Animal magnetism became popular due to the groundbreaking concept that mind, energy and body are not far removed. And that through a practice of the will and sensing of energy, physical healing can be achieved without the use of medicine. This may not seem so far-fetched today due to the vast collection of research into energy healing practice, but for the time in a western culture, this claim gained much attention.

In its pure form, the energy model also negates the spirit model and lessens the value of the consciousness model. Instead of dealing with spirits or mental archetypes, the energy within one’s body, whatever one wishes to call it, is harnessed. The magical application thereof is therefore concerned with the practitioner’s ability to sense, channel, store and transmit magical energy for the desired outcome.`

The consciousness model does come into play, however, not to the extent that the energy model in pure form would agree with. In order for the energy to be utilised, it must be sensed or consciously perceived in the first place. This can be perceived in a physical sense, by being sensitive to the energies within oneself and without. It can also be perceived consciously through visualisation, hypnosis and other ways.
By utilising different states of consciousness and consciously tuning into the subtle energetic force, the energy becomes malleable to the will. Thus visualisation is a powerful way of directing the energy where one wishes.

The energy model requires the practitioner to channel their personal energy, which can become very limited and tiring. The value of the bodies energetic centres and points is of the utmost importance. By doing energy work, one becomes familiar with the positive and negative energies within the body, along with their elemental correspondences. It is by channelling this energy that talismans and other physical objects are energised. The positive and negative here refers to pure energy, and must not be seen as ‘good’or ‘bad’. The body only has a limited capability, however, some practitioners claim to be able to channel energy from elsewhere or other sources. Especially those that utilise the spirit model too.

The problem with this paradigm is that it requires immense amounts of energy that come from oneself, if not combined with the spirit paradigm. Thus it is limiting to an extent. It also requires skill in the subtle perceptions of energy in order to truly perceive and manipulate it. The positive aspect of this paradigm is that it very efficient in balancing the energy of mind and body. This boosts overall health and wellbeing, while also forcing the practitioner to strive for more overall energy.

The Spirit Model

The spirit paradigm is thought to be the oldest form of magical practice, as it seen in all forms of shamanism throughout the world. With this paradigm, the practitioner aims to make contact and gain power for a spell from entities in the spirit world. In this paradigm, each spirit is unique, has their own strengths and shortcomings, and a unique way to contact them.

In most forms of occult practices, this is a common or integral part of the magical rite. This paradigm of magic is ancient in essence, but it was heavily reintroduced and expanded upon in the renaissance. Great influences include Cornelius Agrippa, Dr John Dee and others. While the most prolific figure of the early 20th century would be Aleister Crowley and other mystics of the Golden Dawn, such as Franz Bardon and Israel Regardie.

The aim if this paradigm is to make contact with spirit entities for whatever the desire. These entities range from beings in the higher heavens and the heavenly hierarchy, to lower entities that are commonly called demons in today’s society. In the midrange of spirit, entities include the spirits of the deceased and elemental spirits, collectively these are known as gnomes, sylphs, undines and salamanders. Each entity or group of spirits within these realms have their own personality, power and desires.

In the advanced ritual occult, aid is sought from powerful spirit entities that at times are even called gods. Each entity has a unique way of contacting them, their particular sigils, corresponding elements, specific planetary attributes and other factors to take into consideration. Once the entities are contacted, there are different ways to interact with them. For example, some might humbly ask for assistance or blessings, while other mystics use formulae and personal power to trap and command a spirit or even a ‘god’. In many occult practices, the elemental and demonic spirits can be commanded to do one’s bidding if blessing and protection are given by the higher realms.

Some powerful spirits will wish to enter pacts with the practitioner in order to ensure reciprocation. These entities do have their own will and desire and may punish those that break the pact. Some advanced practitioners of this paradigm also use it to create a spirit of their own to go and fulfil the desired outcome. These are known by many names, such as servitor, tulpa and even spirit familiars. Some of these entities are only temporary, while they can be made permanent with continual interaction and charging.

In this paradigm, it is the spirit entity that provides the power of the spell. It is not the consciousness, nor the energetic body that delivers the desired outcome. The consciousness and energy models do play a role, however. A mystic reaches certain states of mind, such as induced trance to delve into the psyche or tune their perception in order to perceive these beings. In this way, the consciousness is utilised. In a ritual manner, energy may also be channelled and used to either more easily commune with the spirits or to charge items that will be used in the ceremony. The other two paradigms are seen as less integral or as mere tools compared to the spirit paradigm.

The downside of this paradigm is that it is very difficult for any newcomer or lower ranked practitioner to fully understand and employ. The information concerning this type of spellcraft is very ordered and precise, in that the formulae to reach, command and understand powerful entities are to be performed exactly, or failure is soon to follow. It is also said to be dangerous when done half-heartedly, as particular beings may find it insulting. Thus if the exact formula is not followed, one may not command the spirit and it will then be able to do as they wish. The upside of this paradigm of magic is that it is by far the most powerful when done correctly, but unfortunately, it remains the most difficult to perform and many scoff at the idea of these entities in the first place, stating that they are mere mental archetypes.


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