Part Eight

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One of the things which I will not be discussing in this course is the subject of astrology. I mention this here so that you do not notice its lack later on and think that I am anti-astrology. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have had the honor of knowing several excellent astrologers who have amazed me with their talents. I even have one friend who insists that magick and astrology are inextricably linked. He has gone so far as to design his own magickal system based upon art and astrology.

The plain fact of the matter is that for the systems of magick taught in these lessons, only a minimal amount of astrological knowledge is necessary. Most of it can be understood by comprehending the Tree of Life rather than recourse to deep study of astrology. On the other hand, the better you know astrology, the better you will understand the Tree of life. So although a knowledge of astrology is not needed for this course, it is suggested that you do learn something about the subject

Ah, the easy way. So many people are looking for it The pages of tabloids are filled with ads offering instant fame, memory, money, love and success. Other offers include simple "spell kits" designed to allow you to curse your neighbor even if you have had no magickal training whatsoever. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as an instant gift of magickal powers. They must be earned as the result of three things: practice, practice, practice! I have said it before and I am repeating it here: to become a magician, to develop psychic-magickal powers requires work and study. If you think there is a shortcut... you lose.

As an example of what I mean, I would like to describe an ad I saw repeated several times in a national magazine. It was a full-page ad, the center of which showed a drawing of a hand holding a small stick. The ad proclaimed that you could "Make good luck your slave" with the "Miracle Stick." This stick could allegedly bring you anything. If you read the small part of the ad you learned that the stick must be burned, and if you examine the drawing closely, you will see that the stick being held by the disembodied hand is just a stick of incense! The price is many times the retail value of the incense.

The distributor of the item would not be putting out full-page ads if people were not sending in their money. Thus, especially with occult items purchased through the mail, I give you this ancient warning: Caveat Emptor: let the buyer beware! And from this warning I jump to ancient grimoires.

So far in this course I have hardly touched the subject of the ancient textbooks of magick known as the "grimoires." Some of the famous ones which are still available include The Greater Key of Solomon, a part of The Lesser Key of Solomon, The Grimoire ofArmadel, The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Mellin the Mage, and The Secret Grimoire ofTuriel. Some books, such as The Secret Lore of Magic by Idries Shah and The Book of Ceremonial Magic by A.E. Waite, are nothing but compilations of other grimoires such as the ones mentioned.

If these books are so powerful, wouldn't it have been easier for me just to say, "Go buy them and follow the instructions carefully?" Unfortunately, it is not that easy. That is why so many of the above named volumes are printed and purchased, but so little real magick is done. But there is a key to unlocking their secrets and learning how to successfully use them.

This key is found in the idea behind the word which describes these texts, grimoire. It is a French word meaning "grammar book." It was expected that a student of magick would have a teacher to instruct him or her in the subtleties of the various planes of existence, and how to alter them through the knowledge and use of universal laws. Grimoires were not meant to give out every bit of magickal knowledge. They were designed to aid a student's memory. They are, in a sense, nothing more than notes.

Once this is understood, instead of looking at what is included in these books, notice what is omitted. In the grimoires, the knowledge of karma and the need to do a divination before doing any Grey Magick is never discussed. The teacher would have instilled these ideas very strongly into the head of a student.

But more importantly, omitted from the grimoires are what I call the "Three Necessities of Grey Magick." The first one of these is:

The Necessity of a Positive Attitude. If you don't think that your magick will work, it won't. This should not imply, however, that magick is nothing more than mental techniques. There are many

Lesson Four /179

cases of the techniques of standard allopathic (Western) medicine being overpowered by a negative mental attitude. This is not because the medical treatment was nothing more than a placebo. Rather, it is because the mind and body are intimately connected and one cannot be cured if the other is not cured. Similarly, if the mind is not positive toward the magick you are doing, it can defeat your practical techniques. It is impossible to be successful as a magician if you are not positive that your magick will work.

The second necessity is:

The Necessity of Knowing How to Generate and Control Magickal Energy. This is just what you have been learning to do in the rituals given so far in this course.

Finally, the third necessity is:

Knowledge. This is the knowledge of what to do with the energy once that energy has been raised and can be controlled.

The ancient magickal student would learn that he or she must have a positive attitude, and would also do hours of exercises to learn how to generate and control energy (just as you have been doing). But memorizing large quantities of knowledge as to what to do with that energy would be difficult for anyone. This is true even for those who lived in periods Where techniques of memory were far more in practice than today. Thus, this knowledge aspect of magick was written down to aid the student and help the student avoid possibly dangerous mistakes. It is these workbooks which are known as grimoires. We will deal with some of the methods of these texts in later lessons in this course.

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