Questions and answers about the general nature and purpose of magick, as seen by The Gallery of Magick Authors.
If you see people online claiming to be Gallery members, beware of deception, and see About the Authors FAQ for clarification.
Q: What’s the best book for a complete beginner?
A: Words of Power by Damon Brand and The 72 Sigils of Power by Zanna Blaise are possibly the easiest books to get into for a beginner. But you can afford to be led by your needs. If you are in need of Magickal Protection, Magickal Attack or Magickal Riches, there is no reason you can’t start there. All the books are suitable for beginners, and Sigils of Power has proven to be so safe and easy that it is well liked by beginners, and appears to get results for people more readily than almost anything else.
Q: Can I just use one book or do I need to read them all?
A: Each book is completely self-contained. There is overlap, but each book can be used alone. If you learn techniques from one book and want to apply them to another, you may of course do so.
Q: I’ve read several books, but I’m not sure which magick is best. Can you advise me?
A: You need to trust your intuition. Nobody can know what you require as well as you know within yourself. Study the books closely and try to sense if any of the rituals give you a feeling of potential or hope. If they do, they could work for you.
Q: You’ve been doing this magick for decades, so is it really useful to beginners?
A: The magick was designed to be accessible for beginners, and streamlined to cut away the unnecessary dross, and then extensively field-tested by beginners and experienced workers.
Q: I’ve been doing magick for decades. Do your books really offer anything new?
A: From the messages we receive, yes. There are many secrets and new techniques, so hopefully you’ll pick up some workable ideas.
Q: Are you working with black magick or white magick or something else?
A: Magick is neutral, like a scalpel. You can use a scalpel to perform surgery, to attack and mutilate somebody or to sharpen a pencil. It’s how you use the magick, and your moral standing and sense of self, that matters. Magick is neutral and can only be evil if you make it evil.
Q: Somebody said your magick is all a form of Jewish Kabbalah. Is it true?
A: Anybody who says that has not read our work fully, or doesn’t understand Kabbalah. While it is true that many of our primary sources are ancient texts such as Shorshei Ha-Shemot, we have been informed and influenced by many other textures of magick. At first glance, the influence of Kabbalah is clear in our work, but there is much more going on in these books. Whatever sources we use, we only use and share magick when it has been found to have clear practical value, in spiritual and material terms. As such, we have no axe to grind or any single system that we try to promote, and nor do we work within the confines of one system. Damon Brand discusses this in The Intimacy of Magick: Damon Brand Interview Part 2
Q: Is your work a form of Chaos Magick?
A: No. Although we draw from many systems, Chaos Magick often works by holding a temporary belief that is then dismissed. We believe in the objective reality of the spirits we work with, so that’s that main difference. The simplification found in Chaos Magick has been an influence on our style. You can find out more in The Master Works of Chaos Magick, and it’s also worth noting that Sigils of Power and Transformationuses no spirits at all, and yet is some of the most effective magick we have published.
Q: Do I need faith or belief for the magick to work?
A: No, but it helps if you have a playful, open mind. Remember what it was like as a kid to play a game as thoughit was real. Approach magick with that sort of playful belief, as though it’s real, and it becomes real. Having said that, magick should not be so playful that it feels silly or trivial. When you get in your car you expect it to start without concern. Approach magick with the same calm certainty.
Q: Do I need lots of candles, herbs and incense?
A: No. It’s not that kind of magick. One or two rituals involves a candle or two, but that’s rare, and we try to keep things as simple as possible. The more factors you put in place, the more you worry that you may worry you’re getting something wrong. But if it helps you get in the mood or feels important to you, go ahead.
A: Magickal Cashbook gives one simple method for attracting cash out of the blue. Magickal Riches contains a Master Money Ritual, along with rituals that target specific financial areas, such as gambling, debt recovery, buying and selling, and so on. Wealth Magick is a long working aimed at changing your entire financial situation, and is only for readers who want to make wealth creation their primary focus.
Q: Is there a ritual to lose weight?
A: When it comes to magick you need to break down the problem, and then tackle each aspect of the problem with magick. With weight loss, it is nearly always willpower that is the problem. You may benefit from Increase Willpower to Eat Well from The Greater Words of Power. There is also Dedicate Yourself To A New Skill in Words of Power, which can help with your personal dedication to a project. The Power To Improve Physical Health from The 72 Angels of Magick can support your efforts. There are other rituals in that book that also help with other areas of the self, and they may be useful. Also useful would be The 72 Sigils of Power by Zanna Blaise, as it covers willpower and also works with many areas of the self and the personality. In Sigils of Power and Transformation there are several rituals aimed at willpower and reducing appetite. But no ritual can make you lose weight without you also committing to the process. The magick makes it easier.
Q: Is there a ritual to change height, eye colour or other physical changes?
A: Not that we know of. There’s no reason why magick can’t affect your physical form, but it would likely be such a slow process as to be almost pointless. If you want to increase the size of your biceps, it doesn’t take too much exercise to see a big difference. But try getting bigger biceps with magick alone, and no exercise, and nothing much (if anything) will happen. The best way to use magick for physical change is, as with the above question, to motivate factors that can cause physical change; that can be very effective indeed. But changing eye colour or height is something that is outside the realm of practical magick, at least within any reasonable timeframe.
Q: Is there a ritual to help with sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction?
A: This is one of the most commonly asked questions, and while it is true that some people have used angelic magick to improve health issues, there is no magick that we know of that can reliablyhelp with such sexual health problem. Some people have found that working with Haniel from Archangels of Magick can help, but it is strongly recommended that you seek conventional treatments.
Q: The magick seemed to work when I’d simply read about it, before I even did a ritual. Is this possible?
A: It’s not completely uncommon. Although some people find magick takes time to work, and have to work at patience, others find this situation happens from time to time, as though the magick knows what you want and gives it to you. There are many possible explanations but no certainties. Sometimes it can be that a future ritual is spreading back through time to affect you now. In other cases, it is because in reading the book you come to know there is an abundance of possibility that can be released by magick, and this knowledge removes resistance to receiving, which in turn enables possibilities that are on the verge of reality to become real.
Q: Do the current conditions affect how the magick works? For example, I want a promotion but my boss hates me.
A: The initial conditions of any situation will always affect the magick. If something needs just a tiny push, then any effort, magickal or something else, will have a big effect more easily than if lots of big pushes are needed. But we use magick because sometimes it can work when nothing ordinary seems to work– it changes reality through the supernatural. Which means the answer is yes: the initial condition will always matter, but magick can work anyway. Focus on what is most likely to change. If you want a promotion should you perform magick for a promotion, or would it be wiser to work on making your boss like you more? Would it be useful to change the way you are perceived, or achieve a breakthrough at work? Targeted magick, well planned, can help you manoeuvre your way around the current conditions to get what you want.
Q: Is there a way to make a ritual more powerful?
A: There are many ways, explored in many articles on this site, but one of the best ways is to choose what you change wisely. Don’t try to shift your entire universe at once. Work on aspects that need only a little shift, a small change. A few small changes soon build momentum and bring you rapid transformation. Magick can bring sudden and stunning transformation, and often does, but a wise occultist will learn to work on many areas that are susceptible to change. Cause change where change is most likely. Sounds obvious, but it’s very easy to miss this essential key to effective magick. Also, see this post: 12 Ways to Increase Your Magick Power
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