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The Magician's Dictionary


    Preface    A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I     J     K     L

    M     N     O     P     Q     R     S     T     U     V     W     X     Y     Z


The Atman, the Egyptian soul, depicted as a bird with a human head, though apparently not the very similar bennu-bird. After death, it splits apart into the akh, which is a temporary spirit in the form of a bird that flies to the Afterworld where it turns back into the ka, or double. The ba remains behind with the mummy. The ba is incarnation, the ka is the vitalizing power and the akh (symbolized by the ibis) is light. On the spirit level they correspond to the uas, ankh and djed.


Lord of the Good Name. This phrase is involved in the Hebrew banishing and exorcism of the demons of black magic.


Crowley's numerologically-derived spelling. Another name for the Scarlet Woman (i.e., a fire elemental). It is also the city of Babylon in its greatness, before its relegation to the New Testaments whoredom. Ba is the Egyptian soul and its repetition in Baba-lon indicates the double-wanded one's double path.


Authoress of A Treatise on Cosmic Fire (and numerous other works). Died in 1949 at age 69. She was a Theosophist who also, it is claimed, maintained a fundamentalist Xtian belief (quite unlike HPB) and the conviction that she (like HPB) was in contact with the Secret Chiefs of the Inner Plane, especially Koot Hoomi. It is difficult, however, to assign much importance to any possible Galilean influences on her serious work. Her writings are largely arcane and abstract, containing insights into Hindu, Tibetan and Buddhist metaphysics of a profundity, and frequently of an opacity, rarely encountered elsewhere.


Literally, Lord of the Cockroaches. King of the Jebusites.


All roads lead to Balkh (mysterious Near Eastern city), said by Gurdjieff, referring to the Sufic origin of all systems.


Idol (chiefly its head) said to have been worshipped by the Templars. It is also the God of the Sabbath of Sorcerers. Its obvious association with Mohamet is possibly the result of unexamined Islam. Its also a symbol of Gnosticism. The Knights Templars (1118-1300) were involved with Gnosticism, Cathars, Albigensians, Manichaeans, and many other groups.

Since the Tarot appears in the 14th Century and since it bears some indications of Muslim origin (primarily the word, Al-Tariqa, or the way) and the Naipes of Spain (Arabic nabi, prophet), then perhaps Baphomet was supposed to be Mohammed. Crowley's Devil Baphomet certainly is alchemical, phallic and capric enough (with a 3rd eye).

Lvi: "To know how to extract from all matter the pure salt concealed therein is to possess the secret of the Stone that the Qabalists gave to their Mercury, the personification of Hermanubis and to Sulfur, the Templars' Baphomet." The name can also be given backwards: TEM OPH AB, Templum Omnium Hominum Pacis Abbas.

Satan, in an important sense, has no existence. He's perennially invented by a perverse will again and again, strictly for evil purposes. All inferior magicians worship the devil. The Devil, says Crowley, is created by the Black Brothers to imply a unity in their ignorant muddle of dispersions. A devil who had unity would be a God.

Baphomet has his own tetramorph: Dog, Bull, Ass and Goat, representing perversions of the cardinal signs.


(Sufi.) Blessed Be.. A baraka is a blessing or power used by the Sufis. Baraka is another name for the X-Factor, conceived as a magickal fluid that pours forth from the saints.


The guardian of the 12th tunnel. The ape-headed or cynocephalous distortion of The Magician. Baratchial does not carry a caduceus, but instead struggles, with great difficulty, to control the writhing serpents. Since he is fork-tongued, Baratchial's affliction is impediments of speech and his magic is the Gift of Tongues.


(See CHIROPS.) The bat is also the glyph of the pathway of the Hanged Man, and the totem of the Voodoo worshipers. In popular thinking it is the soul of the unenlightened, because it dwells in darkness and feeds indiscriminately on all life. In China, however, where many things are reversed, the word fu means either a bat or a blessing.

Since the bat sleeps upside-down he affords an important avenue to reversion of consciousness. (See VAMPIRE.)


Literally, "Lord of the Flies", that is, the Canaanite demon ruling over corruption, filth and death. Originally he was a God worshipped in temples free of flies. The conversion of the emblem of his purity into the tag of his destruction is typical of the progression of every God rejected by established religion. Incidentally, Beelzebud or Beelzebuth is, Legge suggests, a Valentinian play on Jabezebuth (but which came first? Chicken Beelzebub or egg Beelzebuth? - "Lord of Flies" or "Lord of Gifts"?) Jab- means "desire." Things are never quite what they appear to be, in the Gnostic world at least. And at this point in history demons and gods were in such a state of flux, linguistically and pneumatically, that almost any theurgic word or name could mutate in many different directions.


Egypt's northernmost city, city of Horus, became in Arabic, Baghdad.


What KG calls a "primal obsession" and in Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God, he says, "Every magician must discover the word that conceals his dominant obsession, must vibrate it until its energizing elemental is awakened." Myths are never intended to be believed. They are opportunities to restructure our values and lead us to new insights. Goblins need not be real in order to be real. No magician ever believes anything. That includes the current consensus. Gurdjieff went so far as to say, "Believe nothing, not even yourself." Feelings, unless one has trained intuitional talents, can never be trusted to reflect reality. The alternative to believing is simply experiencing or knowing.

It is not belief that acts as a placebo, it is the absence of doubt. This is the real meaning of Gnosticism which had no truck with belief, but was concerned solely with knowing (from Gk. gnostikos, good at knowing). You know something by direct experience of the body and mind, not through second-hand evidence or teaching or belief. Healing has nothing to do with struggling against disbelief, it is a relaxing into the experience itself and accepting, without giving way to despair, that whatever happens is all right. When patients say they believe, they really mean they have learned how to relax on the tightrope without falling off. If they had to keep forcing themselves to believe, theyd quickly wither and fall.

Meanwhile, 19th Century rationalism is paling to insignificance. Our Xtian children, reared in frustration and boredom, soon desert their native religions and run away to sex and drugs. Then, after burning themselves out, they return in the mantle of shame that we force them to wear, offering themselves to be brainwashed anew in our guilt-ridden, mind-murdering belief factories.

There is a deplorable tendency for our society to mention religion and magic in the same breath, as though they were synonyms. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Admittedly, it is an idiosyncrasy of some magi to bristle at religion, chiefly because it is authoritarian, rigid, ignorant and oppressive, and also because it belittles and persecutes creativity. However, a sharp line between magic and religion must be strongly drawn. We are told that magic goes beyond belief. It does nothing of the kind - it shuns belief like the pox! If religion is 100% belief, magic is based in equal parts upon knowledge, originality, perseverance and boldness. Where confusion arises in the popular mind is over sorcery, which uses the trappings of magic and religion indiscriminately, is based on belief and subordination, but at the same time brazenly seeks selfish material gain and ego enhancement. Sorcery is really a kind of credulous business transaction, whose motto might well be the ends glorify the means.

Although Judaism and Buddhism are special cases, in Xtianity and Islam, the purpose of religion is individual salvation in the Hereafter. These belief-based religions assure salvation through fixing one's faith on a God or a Paraclete which is other than the self and which, in fact, erases the self altogether. The purpose of magic, on the other hand, is frankly the transmogrification in whole or in part, with or without the invocation of Gods of the hell that our world really is. Since the magician always dwells at the chaotic, creative edge of the present, this transmogrification concerns itself with means as much as ends. He rings in the changes as he goes along, extemporaneously. Nor does the magician cringe and subordinate himself, but acts on equal footing with the pantheistic and holonomic principle that each part is equal to, if not greater than, the whole. Since, moreover, any part, in a sense, is equal to any other part, the magician himself is neither more nor less valuable than anyone or anything else. The individual self is merely unique in the meaning and interpretation of its contribution. Therefore, the magician is always willing to sacrifice himself in any manner that may prove necessary to his work.


Particles once in common continue to influence one another instantaneously, even across light-year stretches of galaxies.


(Lit. Corpse-Lord or Decay.) The demon (female or gynander?) of inventions and discoveries. In Punic myth, Bel or Baal (Lord) is nearly equal to El, god of fertility and plant life (winter flood). Necrophilia with slain virgins, practiced by Atlantidean sorcerers and Asiatic secret societies alike, is also reflected in this name. Beings created by orgasm or Todpunkt all become zombies to Death Magic practitioners.


Bereshith bara elohim et hashamayim et ha-aretz, the first sentence of Genesis in Hebrew. The Theosophists point out that it has two meanings. If the division is made thusly, beresh yithbara, be-resh (i.e., head, wisdom, knowledge, higher part, first in a series) Head or knowledge made Itself (Into) Heaven and Earth (out of previously present material?). That is, "The gods, through wisdom, carved (yithbara) the heaven and the material sphere."


A Lovecraftian gosub of the qliphotic Quliefi path, falling away so rapidly into the infinity of the Abyss that it even has its own dark qabalahs. In the normal Tarot, Quliefi is replaced by the Moon.


First convert to Islam and first muezzin, a negro slave.


The simplest form of fractaling into a Y.


The third qabalistic power chakra of the Tree of Life. The old woman. Female principle of darkness. Also symbolized by Isis. It is part of the upper triad of the Qabalah (see SEPHIROTH), the only one which lies within human understanding, hence it is the Mother and The Creation. This is the abode of the High-Priestess, Isis.


Organic entities as receptors; obstacles to higher, non-organic or artificial intelligence.


Wilhelm Reich called these energy vesicles, ever-arising representatives of a state midway between inorganic matter. As molecules decompose, orgone energy infuses them with life and they can evolve into bacilli and amoebae. (See HOMUNCULUS.)


The opposite of an explosion. As a dying star collapses in upon itself, becoming progressively denser and smaller, it eventually acquires a mass that is so heavy that not even light particles can escape from it. Indeed, even space is drawn into it, slowly and inexorably. Objects at the edge of a black hole seem to be motionless and frozen. Since they are invisible, however, black holes are almost impossibly difficult to detect.


A mysterious satellite in 1960 which shadowed Sputnik, believed to have been of extraterrestrial origin that signaled back old radio waves from the 1920s and 1930s before it disappeared. In short wave patterns analyzed by astronomer Duncan Lunan, it revealed its origin as Epsilon Botes (or the star system as it was 13,000 years ago).


Sorcery or Goetia. Eliphas Lvi said it was but the shadow of white magic and that, in greater wisdom, we can see that the light and the dark are the same thing. On the simplest level, White Magic is the work of the conscious mind, with Black Magic the work of the unconscious. Or, as Jung put it, white magic serves the self and black magic the ego. For Alice Bailey, on more complicated levels, white magic deals with the soul, the positive electrical energies, transmutation through radiation and the self-induced development of the Central Self. Black magic deals with the outer form, negative electrical energy, reduction of the human sphere.

But in popular belief black magic frankly isnt just simply intended to harm others more than that, its the worship and glorification of the negative. Said Crowley in a 1933 newspaper article quoted by Grant (The Magical Revival): "To practice black magic you have to violate every principle of science, decency and intelligence. You must be obsessed with an insane idea of the importance of the petty object or your wretched and selfish desires ... I despise the thing to such an extent that I can hardly believe in the existence of people so debased and idiotic as to practise it."

Historians insist that the idea of black magic derives originally from a word in the Arabian version of magic, from a confusion of fehm, black, with fehm, understanding or wisdom. In general, the idea of black or forbidden magic simply arose as a designation for the unofficial or unorthodox. In our predominantly masculine culture, black magic is that which relates to the feminine principle.

HPB designates the symbols of black magic to be the Moon and the inverted pentagram as opposed to white magics sun symbol and point-uppermost star. Black magic, she tells us, is concerned with form and matter, whereas white magic seeks the life and spirit within the form. Black magic uses the astral light to deceive, to seduce and to serve the purposes of involution, whereas white magic uses the same light to instruct others and to aid evolution. For HPB, black magic, furthermore, sought to degrade sex, whereas white magic sought to transmute it to higher creative thought.

Remember that magic is a completely different path from religion or science. Its sometimes called the Middle Pillar. It matters little where you choose to begin. The vodounist, for instance, who thinks he'll just drop in for a lesson in where to stick the pins into the doll will soon discover that sorcery is clumsy and ineffective according to its distance from higher principles of responsibility and inter-relationship with all consciousness, both higher and lower. The person who is merely curious will soon discover that he has a genuine thirst for understanding and his curiosity will blossom into a consuming passion for enlightenment. Consider the life of Tibetan yogi Milarepa, who started out as an evil black magician only to become, eventually, a great saint!

Since the proper goal of magic is to deliver the world from its infernal condition, there is a tendency to view any magic but one's own as black or evil. However, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as black magic. All paths are sacred. The initiate does not distinguish between self and other. Rather than calling white the magic of charity and black the magic of self, we would do better to think of all magic as that which seeks wisdom and designate as leading to evil, sorcery, only that which acts in ignorance. By that definition, most contemporary religion is black magic.

The dark path, Vama Marg or left-hand path, is merely one side of the caduceus, in contrast to the other, and as light is brought into darkness, it ceases to be dark. The phrase, Lux in tenebris, can refer to the light being brought to the darkness, or to the darkness itself acting as light. Like the scientist, the true magician does not shrink from exploring all avenues of the manifest and the unmanifest. Some magicians say that we are actually unable to choose anything but white magic (or enlightenment), since in order for any magical operation to work, one has to refine one's understanding and purify one's vision. In practice, however, the followers of Satanism supposedly align themselves to the development of the individual ego for the sake of personal power. In order to strengthen the ego, detachment is learned through controversial rites. One of the preoccupations of magic is to enlist gods, spirits, elementals, etc. to do one's bidding and to release their power to the practitioner. But the black magician seeks unlimited power, not to borrow, but to appropriate for himself not in order to better the world or himself, but to satisfy his personal greed and to establish his ambitious tyranny. Moreover, real magicians know better than to wallow in close-minded ignorance and self-perpetuating superstition. They certainly arent going to go to all the trouble of throwing out Jesus just so that he can sneak in through the back door wearing the cloak of Satanism.

Serious magicians consider true Satanism (mere Devil Worship, that is) to be shallow and ultimately self-defeating. Power and freedom accrue in direct proportion to the shedding of the ego, not to its inflation. Initiates see Satanism as a pathetic rebellion that merely exalts the other side of the coin of Xtianity. In any case, Satanism is more in the nature of a religion than a magical system, since it is based upon belief and worship. Seeing that Xtianity tars all variance from itself with the same brush, it has become necessary to discourage the childish triflers by labeling dark that which is most holy.

Finally, for the last word on the subject, here is a graffito copied from a San Francisco sidewalk, circa 1987: White witchcraft which fools condemn. Turns to black and crushes them.


One the other side of Dath, the reverse of beauty, the hideous God, Baphomet, the Black Sun (or Black Snake) is the opposite equivalent of Tiphareth, Osiris or Apollo. The Black Sun and The Black Moon may also stand for the names of secret societies known to very few.


A saint who has forgone Nirvana and reincarnates in order to help mankind.


The aboriginal magicians of Tibet, prior to Buddhism, at first much opposed to the Lamas, but eventually joining them in their adoption of Tantric Buddhism. Like all major movements, Buddhism did not become popular until it learned how to take in and alter local beliefs. Dhyana (meditation) was used in Tibet before passing to Japan as Zen, though one cant be sure if its a non-stop link from Tibet to Japan. If it is, then why not Obon/Bon equivalence, as well? Bon was (is) very back-woodsy and little is known about it. Christmas Humphreys says it has roots in Asiatic (Mongol) Shamanism: nature worship, sex magic and psychic arts. Modern Bon are called black hats and are sorcerers of the Dug-pa sects of Bhutan and Ladak.


First holder of a B.A. degree in Magic from U.C. Berkeley, 1970. His goal is to modernize and scientize M/magic(k) of all kinds.


Crowleys term for the Tarot. He didn't necessarily, however, assume an Egyptian origin for the Tarot, as some believe. Thoth is interchangeable with Hermes and Tarot is part of the Hermetic Tradition.


A Dominican monk, absolute pantheist and an early promoter of unbridled sexual freedom. Best known for his work on the art of memory, which was essential for scholars in the 16th Century. Briefly, it consisted of using architecture, classical literature, religions ritual, etc., as vast mnemonic devices. Bruno's heady and bizarre occult ideas soon outdistanced his practical appeal and had him defrocked and on the run. Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600. Aleister Crowley claimed that Bruno was one of his former incarnations.


Since we waste our youth suffering from boundless ignorance and unfulfilled desire and since age is mostly a time of physical hardship and blunted hopes, it seems clear that life, for all its promises, is more a burden than a joy. Since, however, to die is to be instantly reborn into life, death is apparently an even more absolute cheat. Considering also that all things have arisen in the Mind, in the midst of the Void, and since we are ourselves our own creators and gods (in a multiplicity of aspects and a simultaneous gallimaufry of forms), there is no escaping from the inevitability of either the existing or the potential cosmos. Indeed, it is this very weariness which Reality seeks to assuage by confusing itself as to its own identity.

The Buddha, sensing the horror and outrage of life on earth, wants to lead us to the perfection of the Absolute.
He teaches that birth and death (the wheel of Samsara), together with the Karmic burden, can be dropped in enlightenment and we can enter into Nirvana directly. In an even deeper understanding we are shown that Samsara and Nirvana are already one so there is not even any need for enlightenment! (But of course you have to be enlightened before you can understand that you are already enlightened!)

To the average westerner this seems fairly tame stuff and much too intellectual for his taste. He doesnt want contemplation, he wants action. But he should understand that Buddhism is a discipline of conscious mind and is meant to accompany action, not to take its place. It is serenity of the mind which enables creative work to be done and acceptance of life to take place. The other thing the westerner sometimes fails to recognize is that death and reincarnation are as much a part of his belief system as they are that of a Hindu philosopher. What, after all, is Heaven but the prospect of rebirth on a higher plane? What is Hell but the karma of past lives?


A hallucinogenic derived from the active ingredient in the fluid taken from toad warts.

    Preface    A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I     J     K     L

    M     N     O     P     Q     R     S     T     U     V     W     X     Y     Z





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