organized religion has neither effectively absorbed nor destroyed. Like religion, it has a supernatural basis : the appeal to a force greater than man. From a belief in this force stems the desire for protection, followed by the positive demand for greater power over other men, over the elements, over 'fate' itself.
Shared with religions are the paraphernalia of magic: the instruments of the art, the robes and vestments, the fumigations and the repetitions of words, phrases and prayers. Following a belief in the reality of supernatural power comes the desire to enter into contractual relations with that power; hence the 'Pact'. There is a contract between man and God, between man and spirit. Theologians of the Middle Ages and later were fond of complaining that magical books aped the rites of the Church; that they sought to make compacts with the Devil, just as God made compacts with men. More recent research has shown (13) that the 'contract' element of magic is at least as old as magic itself: and hence antedates many of the great organized religions that survive today. Even to the consecrated place of working, magic and religion operate in parallel.
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