REAL MAGICK & FANTASY MAGICK: Beginner's guide

I’ll preface by saying I’m pretty much a newbie, so I am NOT an authority in magick.

The purpose of this guide is to conceptualize real magick opposed to fantasy magick, the sort that we see in movies and videogames.

This article is aimed at beginners. We all need a certain basic education and since there is no such thing as academic magick, as a community, we have to make sure we can provide, at least, the basic knowledge for new practitioners. It will be enough to say that when I started, BALG appeared in google’s top results whenever I researched even basic vocabulary.

One recurrent thing we’ve noticed lately is that one person too many get confused and expect magick, the one we make here, to be like fiction has portrayed it. Fiction is the key word in this mess.

ONE: The great grimoire of all powerful everything

Ass seen in: Buffy the vampire slayer, Harry Potter, Hellblazer and many others.

What it is: That one book with has all the answers and can do exactly what it is needed.

Why a writer would write that: Because the plot demands a solution.

Why it has nothing to do with the occult: Because no occultist has a perfect 100% rate of success. And even if it someone had, those stories never try to explain where this thing came from or why it is supposed to work, unless it is mentioned that it was written by some god or something. If it isn’t a plot point, no writer would dive into the lore, since EVERYTHING has to contribute to the story, one way or another. And lore is usually mostly for flavor.

You can’t just ask a wish and demand magick to work as you want. Sometimes you won’t even know what you want.

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TWO: The new kid with all the power! (AKA Mary Sue, Marty Stu, Idiot Sue, Asshole Sue and probably Susy Sue)

As seen in: any narrative presenting a chosen one with magickal powers.

What it is: a protagonist that most pro writers wouldn’t write flawless characters, unless it is a deconstruction or a parody.

Why a writer would write that: because not all writers are talented and one person too many uses fantasy as escapism.

Why it has nothing to do with magick: Because, as you can see, magick is an umbrella term to speak about a wide, wide group of skills and skills have to be developed. To play the guitar you have to learn how. And not everyone is Malmsteen.

A newcomer won’t get the same results that someone who has been in the dance for decades, at least not at the start and much less if it is something that person, who has been at this for decades, is kind of struggling.

While there is a chance for any given person to be “a natural” at anything, naturals will always be just a few. And they’ll have to study and practice all the same, even if they progress faster than others.

In fiction, when used right, this serves a purpose. Mostly, that the group of protagonists really NEED someone skilled at something, as it happened with Andrea in The Walking Dead (the graphic novel), who was the best marksman.

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THREE: A stupid ass love story

As seen in: Twilight and many others.

What it is: A relationship between a person and some kind of entity (werewolf, vampire, god, demon, easter bunny)

Why a writer would write that: because teenagers are horny, can’t get laid as much as they want and it is easy to the sell them crap. Specially the later.

Why it has nothing to do with magick: because, while spiritual marriages are a thing, they are not a substitute for human relationships of any kind.

Getting into magick to get demon’s dick, Lilith’s ass or just succubus or inccubus because you can’t get a human partner is something dangerous. It will open you to to parasites. Parasites want only one thing: your energy. For their own survival. But that will have consequences and, in some cases, those consequences can last for a lifetime.

Parasites can be banished, by the way. And crushed like worms.

In fiction this is used to give an extraordinary love interest to a teenage girl, since everyone believe, earlier in life, that they’ll leave a mark in this world and, therefore, deserve only the best and rarest. Nevertheless, chances are the next Faulkner (Hemingway, Joyce, Borges or any of the other authors usually seen in the lists of the greatest of the century) isn’t around here. And even then, those guys’ girlfriends and wives weren’t aliens with superpowers.

Magick is not a coping mecahnism to escape a crappy life; is a group of tools to reshape life into something that isn’t crappy.

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FOUR: Level up!

As seen in: every RPG.

Why a writer would write that: because Role playing games need some progression and fetching items is easy. And sometimes because the higher ups mess with the writing. Because it has worked well for decades, why change it now? SELL, DAMN IT! SELL!

Why it has nothing to do with the occult: Collect all the crystals you want. There is no specific amount that will make you a better mage, nor specific collection. Again: magick is a group of skills. Practice and you will be able to do more. There is no special secret.

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FIVE: The mentor

As seen in: Almost everything.

What it is: an archetype, and as such, the author know that it is a content already present in the audience’s mind.

Why a writer would write that: because in the hero’s journey a more or less ordinary person has to become something usually larger than life. Things come from somewhere and the easier way to give a character the necessary knowledge is by giving them a teacher.

Why it has nothing to do with the occult: If you speak with the absolute best occultists here, you’ll discover they do get constipated once in a while. In the end, we’re people. We make mistakes, fart and eat too much.

We have seen here people claiming to be able to do it all, never having to struggle with anything and knowing everything. And they are full of shit.

The simple truth is that some people will lie. I’m not pointing fingers to any current member, but I won’t take back what I said. Some people make this delusions to cope with their reality while flipping burgers at the local McDonalds (nothing wrong with that, it’s a living), and, bad news, that’s the good news. The worst is that some of them (absolute minority, but they do exist) are just toxic and try to make others fail at magick. I don’t know what they can win with that, and I don’t care.

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SIX: The hero’s journey

As seen in: fucking everything.

Why a writer would write that: because it is a narrative structure that has always worked just fine.

Why it has nothing to do with the occult: because we’re all the heroes of our personal stories, but life, as Ernesto Sabato wrote, is a draft and only a draft. There is no cut to the good part, we have to live all the boring hours and our training montages are anything but fun.

And sometimes, the simple truth is that life makes no sense. Some stuff has no purpose. There is chaos out there, because the universe is a chaotic place. And we can talk about it all night, but we won’t be able to make sense out of it.

If something happens now, doesn’t mean it will matter later. Or even now.

People may claim they were the biggest kick ass occultist in some previous life, but when that happens I like to ask if that means that they jaws doesn’t break. My personal conclusion is that their jaws break all the same. Make of that what you will.

There are no character arcs. So accept this as a fact and move on.

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SEVEN: The Champion

As seen in: Many good stories and many badly written fan fiction stories.

What it is: another archetype.

Why a writer would write this: because fiction is about extraordinary people.

Why it has nothing to do with the occult: because you won’t win all the fights, ever. Not in magick, not in the ring, not in the battlefield. Sometimes they win.

Out there, in the wild universe (or multiverse) there are things that can effortlessly crush. They won’t play fair (whatever you think fair is), they won’t give you any chance, they won’t honor YOUR ideals.

And if you pick fight with other occultists, remember: even a toddler can shoot a gun and bullets break jaws easier than fists.

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EIGHT: Endgame

As seen in: Every epic saga.

Why a writer would write this: because they have been building up towards a climax from the very first page and it is time to pay off, because audiences need closure.

Why it has nothing to do with magick: because, lo and behold, life isn’t a story. While hollywood can teach us that there is a final goal to achieve, achieving that will lead us only complacency and in complacency there is no progression.

While we all have goals (and groups of goals that work together to achieve a larger goal are, indeed, agendas), that doesn’t mean we have to stop at some point. All in all, the road should extend forever, at least from this point on.

Fiction is that: fiction. And nobody has never said that it has anything to do with reality. So, please, nobody blame fiction for the misconceptions that exist around occult communities.

When you start is easy to believe everything anyone says. We’re hungry for knowledge and someone is offering what looks like free real state. But in such state is hard to see difference between a feast and rotten fruit.

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Nice write up. I enjoyed reading it.

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:clap: Indeed.

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Was worth the time o read but will comment when you have the mind set of being a chosen one while first waking up it definitely seems to help abilities to become real.

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Once more for the people in the back :clap: :clap:

…I feel personally attacked :laughing:

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Very… Very well said :+1::+1:

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( groups of goals that work together to achieve a larger goal are, indeed, agendas),

I love this.

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This was FANTASTIC! I’m glad to see I’m not the only person who schleps along making mistakes and sometimes making a grand ass of myself.

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