Magick is effervescent, ever changing, and always with us. It has been around as long as Nature Herself; when humankind became cognizant of its surroundings, and of what it means to have life, we believed Nature to be filled with energy and Spirit. We have always seeked to harness, invoke, and control these energies, either by means of human manipulation or through representation in writings and art. Through the earliest understandings of Spirit, things such as runes, sigils, and physical representations of the Gods were born. A significant example of this that segwayed into a new realm of magickal and philosophical understanding is that of the influence of Hermes himself. Pillars were constructed as barriers around households and important properties, depicted with phallic imagery associated with Hermes, an influential character in his connected depiction across many regions. He held dominion over protection of merchants, travelers, thieves, and orators; fortification and protection of barriers; and even possessed the ability to move swiftly between the worlds of God and man. His name may be derived from the Greek root Herma, or heap of stones, as was used in the country to indicate barriers. He was a herald of the Gods, bringing with him a new understanding of what it means to harness magick and be connected to Spirit. From depictions of the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian God Thoth, Hermes Trismegistus was born. He has come to be claimed as the creator of the Hermetica, a series of texts that became the basis of modern Hermeticism and the principle foundation of many magickal systems and beliefs today.
Because spirituality became so integral to the human understanding of earth and our universe, Gods and the spirits of which they held dominion over paralleled in importance to that of nobility in government and religion. This is evidenced as early as 4,000 BCE, but has surely been prevalent for much of the existence of our species. Every region grew into different spiritual systems, beliefs, and techniques of magick, with differing hierarchies of Spirit, and many complex families and ways in which they processed the messages from our ultimate Source. What is known of our ancestors today is all thanks to what remains now of historical tablets, texts, and artifacts in the physical world. That is why we have such a large fount of knowledge from drier climates and regions like that of Egypt; this part of the world’s climate allowed for indefinite preservation of many important keys into that past.
Different modern day magickal techniques are connected to different source countries, all over the world. These countries and their available magicks were connected by means of trade via rivers, available roads, and travel paths. Sympathetic magick sprouted its first leaves in Egypt, many believing that what would cure an ailment was what most closely resembled it. The Greeks were responsible for the concept of binding, or taking control of a person, Spirit, or other object by means of Spirit, physical object, or even body, with proper channeling and ritual. Some regions were very stringent and narrowly strict in their magickal processes. Others were very free and open to how one may receive Spiritual power and divinity. Spiritual healers and doctors in many cultures were one and the same, as they are still to this day in many facets of healing, from holistic doctors to Ayurvedic medicine. No matter its cultural origins, it is clear that magick has always been an integral part of humankind that takes many different paths to rise the same steps of human capability and understanding, together.
Magick continues to be a means of connecting with Spirit, but even since the earliest of the Neolithic ages, it has also been a means of understanding oneself and of ensuring the survival of early human communities. By means of fire, we learnt of alchemical change, and also of how to see in the depths of the fearful night, and prepare our kills safely for consumption. Now that we are afforded many luxuries in the modern day, we have the ability to spend more time with ourselves and less time focused on our natural survival. So what does this mean for our Magick?
Many modern doctrines and philosophies have been founded in recent times that are the combined efforts of different facets and texts of the Old Ways. The beautiful thing about Magick is that, as we have seen even just in the short time we’ve perused this article, there are MANY different ways to approach magick. What is important is what is ethical, what is well researched and understood, and what resonates most with YOU, its practitioner.
Magick is a way of manipulating the natural world around us in order to manifest our intent. The idea behind manifestation is controlling your environment, thoughts, and energy to produce tangible results to further progress your goals. Magick is also the process of inner alchemy; of transforming our inner soul to achieve spiritual enlightenment, establishing peace, harmony, and liberation from the essence of one’s acquired personality and separation from the whole. It is a means of harnessing thought for the greater good of the self and of the Collective. We learn to transform the self and our environment according to Will. We learn that we are the ultimate controls of our reality, and that we are able to take the reins and harness that control for what it is that we desire.