The Laws of Magic
[Excerpted from _Authentic_Thaumaturgy_ by P.E.I Bonewits]
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The Laws of Magic are not legislative laws, but, like those of physics or musical harmony, are actually fairly practical observations that have been accumulated over thousands of years.
probably the most widely used law, and probably encompasses all
the others in some way. The basis of this law is that
understanding brings control. The more that is known about a
subject, the easier it is to excercise control over it. Knowledge
obvious derivative of the LAW OF KNOWLEDGE, this law carries
additional connotations, as a mage who does not have knowledge of
himself does not have knowledge (and therefore control) of his own
magic. This law is one of the reason's "evil" mages are very rare
- a dedication to "evil for evil's sake" is usually do to a lack
of introspection and awareness of oneself. It is difficult to do
harm to others when you understand fully what that kind of harm
would do to you. Know thyself.
A simple scientific understanding - if exactly the same actions are done under exactly the same conditions, they will be associated with exactly the same results.
more events happening at the same time are likely to have more in
common than the merely temporal.
two pattern have elements in common, the patterns interact
"through" those common elements, and control of one pattern
facilitates control of the other(s)
accurate physical or mental representation of something
facilitates control over it. This one is fairly obvious in it's
usage - having a model, picture, or other representation of your
target (like a voodoo doll) gives you power to effect the target.
Look alikes are alike.
or beings in physical contact with each other continue to interact
after separation. Everyone you have ever touched has a magical
link with you, though it is probably pretty weak unless the
contact was intense and/or prolonged or repeated frequently.
Magical power is contagious.
Knowing the complete and TRUE name of an object, being, or process gives one complete control over it. This works because a name is a definition (yes, even "Harold", "Marie", "Kunte", and "Jasmine" were at one time) as well as a contagion link, and an association (if you call something the same name over and over, that name becomes associated with the thing). This also works, because knowing the complete and true name of something or someone means that you have achieved a complete understanding of it's or their nature. This is why, in most pre-industrial cultures, people are given "secret names", as well as "public names", and why the sharing of a secret name is such an act of trust - because the secret name is considered to be very close to, if not identical with, the person's true name.
exist certain words that are able to alter the internal and
external realities of those uttering them, and the power may rest
in the very sounds of the words as much as their meanings. Many of
such words are names, though the meanings may have been lost or
forgotten. Very many magical tools require words to be inscribed
upon them and/or said over them during their construction and/or
phenomenon may be considered to be alive and to have a personality
- that is, to "be" an entity or being. Anything can be a person.
Most weather mages personify the winds and the clouds, for
example, and thus find focussing their magic on the atmosphere
much easier to do.
possible to establish internal communication with entities from
either inside or outside oneself, said entities seeming to be
inside of oneself during the communication process.
possible to establish external communication with entities from
either inside or outside oneself, said entities seeming to be
outside oneself during the communication process.
possible through maximum association between elements of oneself
and those of another being to actually become that being, to the
point of sharing it's knowledge and wielding it's power. This is
the law that controls most lengthy or permanent possession
sentient being lives in and quite possibly creates a unique
universe which can never be 100% identical to that lived in by
another. So called "reality" is in fact a matter of consensus
opinions. This law is nowhere near as obvious as the other laws in
it's applications, but if you can figure some out, you can use it.
number of universes into which all possible combinations of
existing phenomena could be organized is infinite. Anything is
possible, though some things are more probable than others. You
might consider this to refer to the "alternate probability worlds"
of science fiction, but it also has a much wider application.
pattern of belief or behavior enables a being to survive and to
accomplish chosen goals, then that belief or behavior is "true" or
"real" or "sensible". If it works, it's true. Another rather
obscure law, but it does have some very useful applications.
possible for a concept or act to violate the truth patterns of a
given personal universe and still be "true", provided that it
"works" in a specific situation. If it's a paradox, it's still
probably true. This law is basically useless, except to justify
use of the above three laws without screwing things up in your
version of the real world.
synthesis of two or more "opposing"
pattern of data can be split into (at least) two "opposing"
characteristics, and each will contain the essence of the other
A sub-law of POLARITY. The "opposite" of a
pattern contains information about that pattern, by providing
information on what the pattern is not. Thus, control over a
pattern's opposite (or close to it's opposite) facilitates control
over the pattern itself. (Note that this one I alone take the
blame for, as it is my own extension of POLARITY and SIMILARITY)
survive, let alone to become powerful, one must keep every aspect
of one's universe in a state of dynamic balance with every other
aspect. Extremism is dangerous, as the extreme being becomes so
associated with the extreme aspect, that they lose the ability to
avoid that aspect at all. This is another reason "evil" mages are
rare, as continuous association with pain or death will cause a
mage pain or death, ending the mage's ability to continue actively
with "evil". This is also why "good" mages, especially healers,
tend to live a long time.
The LAW OF PERVERSITY:
known as Murphy's Law. If anything can go wrong, it will, and in
the most annoying manner possible. Magical associations sometimes
operate in the reverse of what was desired, and meaningful
coincidences are just as likely to be unpleasant as pleasant. Even
if nothing can go wrong, some element of the universe may change
so that things will go wrong anyway. Whether we like it or not,
the gods (or fates, or what have you) do have a sense of humor.
Emotionally healthy mages have less problems with this law than
others do, as the mages own subconscious mind is probably a major
perpetrator of this law.
phenomena in existence is linked directly or indirectly to every
other one, past, present, or future.
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