Magick: Structured Psychosis?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the fundamentals of magick recently. I started to wonder if perhaps magick was a form of careful psychosis. Breaking what you believe about reality itself, but not losing yourself along the way. There are instances where occultists take it too far and they no longer are in touch with physical reality. So there must be a balance of breaking your previous beliefs on reality without breaking yourself entirely. Staying sane while dealing with things typically considered insane. Share what you think of this below.


I once read someone describe magick as a form of “controlled schizophrenia.” Because altered states of consciousness are usually involved, what we are basically doing is causing conscious hallucinations, where we see and hear things that may or may not actually be there, with no real way to prove their objective reality. Very rarely will anyone else observing us during a ritual see anything out of the ordinary.

However, folie a deux is a documented psychological phenomenon, where someone believes in what they are experiencing so much, that they literally make others experience it too through sheer force of will. In magick, we would probably call this a shared reality or, in New Age parlance, a shift.

In many spiritual traditions, though, what we know as physical reality is considered to be the actual hallucination. In Buddhism, for example, they call it Maya, or illusion, and the goal is to break out of it, to remove the blinders we have put on ourselves so we can see through the deception. In essence, since ancient times, it has been widely believed that we have put a spell on ourselves to convince us that the material world is the only “real” one.


And to go this route then you have to also call things like the placebo effect psychosis.

Only if you had limiting beliefs to start with. Not everybody does.


I’ve wondered a similar thing as well and I think it’s a case of keeping one foot on a safe spot and gently testing the waters while having a sense of where you place your own limitations and then to change your focus from what would be commonly considered a “can’t be” situation into what you decide is definitely possible.

Of course we can all say anything we want is possible but we are usually bound by where we place our own personal limitations. But when we push to create those changes and see positive results we see that those limitations were actually false all along.

I don’t think so, no. Psychotic people have lost touch with reality and are delusional and tend to spiral into a complete loss of function. I function just fine, and my life has been spiraling into better circumstances since I started doing magick.


hmm, i think that it should be obvious this isn’t the case to a practitioner, who would know that the spirits they summon and the powers they work with are real
But there certainly is a danger of insanity with magic, since it stresses the psyche

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Its a rather complex question.

The problem here arises from the idea that everyone precivies reality to be.
To me there has always been the feeling that there is something beyond the physical world that we see, however Ive always been carefull the keep a critical wiew on my experinces. This is also something I’ve noticed among the occultists I’ve met.

To be honest the occultist that are most out of touch with reality is those wanna-be magicans who see occult symbols everywhere or belive that spirits influence every little thing that happends. That dont step away from themself.

Well, there is learning and absorbing knowledge which informs a new worldview, and then there is a delusional break from reality entirely.

I wouldn’t exactly equate the two, however I myself do think that sidling right up to the line of delusion and declaring/forcefully accepting it as reality is important. I suppose the difference is one of controlled intent. I know what I’m doing when I walk up to the border of unreality and declaring it real, and there is will and intent behind it. Whereas someone suffering from an actual mental break seems to have no control over the process, which is why the delusions of mentally unwell people (e.g. paranoid schizophrenics) do not manifest in outer reality, but only develop within their own mind.

Sometimes it is necessary to “break” yourself, or be broken, but ideally (and usually, for practitioners of magick) you’ll be consciously well aware of the break, and able to direct it toward something useful, like reforging your perspective of the world.

I’ve personally first-hand witnessed someone else unravelling into uncontrolled psychosis and it never manifested itself outwardly. Whereas in my own experimentation, this “controlled delusion” is important to getting results. Insisting in your own version of reality, in a controlled and directed way, is the direct opposite of lusting for results, and is in fact the key to manifestation – in my opinion.