Twenty-orie years ago I was in a period of incredible excitement. In a matter of days I was to have my Bar Mitzvah. Unexpectedly one of the Rabbis on the staff of my temple called me into his office. This Rabbi looked about 90 years old... and acted as if he were going on 18. He even wore tennis shoes under his rabbinical robes!
To me, Judaism had been very comfortable. No Hell or Hellfire. No "believe or be damned for eternity." Just love God and follow the "Negative Golden Rule":
Don't do unto others if you would not have them do the same unto you.
To a scientifically oriented person like myself, this was a nice, safe, almost secular religion—until that old Rabbi called me into his office.
Suddenly I was overwhelmed with foreign information which was an unknown part of my religion. The ends of the Tallit (prayer shawl) were supposed to have so many threads of such-and-such colors, and be tied in a certain number of knots. The Tephillin (phylactery) for the arm was supposed to have its leather strap wound seven (why seven?) times around the arm (see diagram on the next page). Then it was to be wound around the hand so as to spell out the word "Shadai," a name of God (I thought the name of God was that four-letter word which was never supposed to be pronounced). Suddenly, my safe, logical religion was illogical and no longer safe. I needed to find out the roots of my religion and discover the basis for what appeared foolish. Thus began a search and study which has so far taken over twenty years and has led to the Kabalah and Ritual Magick, and culminates in these lessons which you are now beginning to study.
In those years I have read thousands of books and searched the United States and Western Europe. I have written for occult and New
and Crowleyan systems. Some of the topics to be covered include the Tarot, Divination, the history of the Tarot, the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, the Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram, the Middle Pillar Ritual, the Circulation of the Body of Light, the Watchtower Ritual, meditation, the Tree of Life, the Three Pillars, the four Kabalis-tic Worlds, the history of the Kabalah, Gematria, Notarikon, Temurah, Bible interpretation, talismans, astral traveling, pathworking, healing, The Keys of Solomon, magickal rituals which you can design for any purpose, sex magick and much more.
Obviously, this is more than can be covered in the following few hundred pages. After all, there are thousands of books available on these subjects. There are, however, two things you should keep in mind:
1. Sturgeon's Law. This law states that 90% of everything is junk. Of those thousands of books, much is repetitive and much more is useless guessing by people who haven't even tried the simplest ritual! This course will leave you with the best of thousands of books, plus over twenty years of personal research and practice.
2. It is not the purpose of this book to completely explain all of these topics! The purpose of these pages is to introduce you to these ideas so that you can direct yourself in your life-long study of the occult (remember, "occult" means secret, as in "secret wisdom." It does not mean "evil.") This course will, however, give you more correct, immediately useful information on the Kabalah and Ritual Magick than any other single book or course presently in print. If you never read another book on Magick, you will have everything you need to be a powerful, successful magician from the contents of this book.
I'd like to talk now about the Golden Dawn. At the time when this magickal lodge formed in the late 1880's, there were few really good books available on either Magick or the Kabalah. Most of the really good books on these subjects which exist today were written by members of the Golden Dawn, people who were associated with members, or people who knowingly or unknowingly were influenced by this group. These people include MacGregor Mathers, Aleister Crowley, Dr. F.I. Regardie, A.E. Waite, H.P. Blavatsky, Dion Fortune, P.F. Case, and many others. Much of this course is derived from their writings, virtually millions of words presented here for the first time in an easy-to-follow, practical system of wisdom, development and magick.
Many magickal rituals will be given in these lessons for you to practice. These should aid you in your psychic and magickal development. However, even though thousands of people throughout history have successfully shown their proficiency in magickal techniques, quite frankly I cannot guarantee your success. This is because the ability to perform Magick successfully is dependent upon what you put into it. Many people, however, have told me of their great successes using the traditional techniques given in these pages.
The best way to use this book is to go through it, page by page, studying each of the ideas and practicing each of the techniques as they come up. Let me make clear at the outset that this course will not teach "Black Magick." You will not be required to do anything contrary to your moral or ethical values. You will not be "summoning up" any demons, devils or evil entities.
Some people who are Pagans, Wiccans or Witches frequently criticize those who claim to be Ceremonial Magicians by saying that all they do is talk and read. They claim that "Magicians don't do much Magick." Unfortunately, I find myself in total agreement with them. But if you follow the instructions on the following pages, step by step, you will be that unique and rare individual—a practicing Ritual Magician.
—Donald Michael Kraig
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.