True Magick: A Beginner's Guide

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For fifteen years, Amber K's "little green book" has guided thousands down the life-changing path of magick. Selling more than 200,000 copies, True Magick has truly struck a chord with Witches, Pagans, and magicians around the world.

Presented here for the first time is the revised and expanded anniversary edition of True Magick. It features the same delightful introduction to the history and lore of magick, in addition to several varieties ...
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For fifteen years, Amber K's "little green book" has guided thousands down the life-changing path of magick. Selling more than 200,000 copies, True Magick has truly struck a chord with Witches, Pagans, and magicians around the world.

Presented here for the first time is the revised and expanded anniversary edition of True Magick. It features the same delightful introduction to the history and lore of magick, in addition to several varieties of magick, ranging from shamanism and Norse Magick to Voudun and Qabala. Amber K explains the basics, such as how to find or create ritual tools, establish a temple, plan a ritual, and cast spells safely and ethically. New material includes six more chapters, recommending reading for each chapter, and more than 100 added exercises.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738708232
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2006
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 282,198
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Amber K is a third degree priestess of the Wiccan faith. She was initiated at the Temple of the Pagan Way in Chicago and served on the Council of Elders there. Her books on magick and the Craft have been widely circulated in the United States and Europe, and for nearly 25 years she has traveled across the U.S. teaching the Craft. She has worked with Circle and the Re-Formed Congregation of the Goddess, and served as National First Officer of the Covenant of the Goddess for three terms. She is a founder of Our Lady of the Woods and the Ladywood Tradition of Wicca, and currently is Executive Director of Ardantane, a Wiccan/Pagan seminary is northern New Mexico.

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Read an Excerpt

chapter 1

About Magick-and You

          Why do you want to do magick?

This book is for you-if you want to:

know in what direction your life is headed, so that you may
consciously guide your own destiny;
make wise decisions and solve difficult problems;
cleanse yourself of ignorance, fear, and hatred;
heal yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically;
find new strength, happiness, and skill within;
have all the necessities of life;
protect yourself from harm;
help others when they request it;
help create a more loving world;

. . . and, ultimately, if you want to find spiritual fulfillment and joy in sharing the essence of divinity.

If you want magickal skill in order to harm another, or to control or manipulate anyone, then this book is not for you. Put it down or give it away before you endanger yourself.

If you seek the ancient skills of the adepts for only ethical, beneficial purposes and primarily for your own growth, then read on.

What Magick Is Not

Magick is not an array of tricks or stage illusions. The "k" at the end of the word serves to distinguish it from the "magic" of nightclub acts. Magick is not for show.
Magick is not supernatural. As Janet and Stewart Farrar, prominent Irish witches and Craft teachers, point out, "Magic(k) does not break the laws of Nature; when it appears to do so, that is because it is obeying laws that the observer has not yet understood."_
Magick is not the medieval art of summoning demons to do one's will,at least not to intelligent and ethical magicians. Though it is possible to establish communication with beings on other planes of reality, trying to coerce them into service is both immoral and dangerous.
Magick is not based on a pact with "the Devil." Most magicians, including Wiccan priests and priestesses, do not believe in Satan and would certainly have no dealings with such an entity if he did exist.
Magick is not a good way to get revenge on enemies or force a former lover to return to you. Indeed, there is no "good" way to accomplish such nasty and immature things; but the penalties for misusing magick can be far greater than the consequences of these actions on the material plane.
Magick is not available only to a few talented individuals born with special gifts. It can be learned and mastered to a great degree by anyone with self-discipline and persistence.
Magick does not reside in ritual tools, amulets, magickal swords, etc., unless and until they are charged by a magician. The skill and power lie always in the magician, not in the tool.
Magick does not generally result in spectacular "special effects" on the material plane: strange entities materializing, showers of gold falling from the sky, locked doors bursting asunder, and so forth. Dramatic physical effects are possible and occasionally occur, but most magick aims at internal growth, where results are harder to see. Even magick for material-plane purposes tends to manifest in more or less quiet, gradual, natural ways.
_ Janet and Stewart Farrar, The Witches' Way (London: Robert Hale, 1984), 110.

And magick is not easy to learn or to practice. It is not an instant fix for life's problems, nor is it a shortcut to fame and wealth. It is a set of specialized tools, uniquely well-designed for inner growth and spiritual development. It can be used for more ordinary purposes, but sometimes that is like trying to pound nails with a screwdriver. Magick can be used to bring you safety, wealth, or loving relationships, but it is not a substitute for wearing a seat belt, getting a job, or being sensitive to your lover's needs. And no matter what it is used for, magick requires hard work and discipline.

What Magick Is
A definition of magick is in order. We have already rejected that of Webster's dictionary: magick as "the use of means (as charms, spells) believed to have supernatural power over natural forces." Here are some other definitions by magicians:

"Magic is the science of the control of the secret forces of nature." -S. L. MacGregor Mathers
"Magic is a comprehensive knowledge of all nature." -Francis Barrett
"Magick is the art and science of causing changes to occur in conformity with will."-Aleister Crowley
"Magic is the art of effecting changes in consciousness at will."-William Butler
"The work of magic involves transformation, and the first transformation is the shift of perception."-Marion Weinstein
"The movement of natural energies . . . to create needed change. Energy exists within all things-ourselves, plants, stones, colors, sounds, movements. Magic is the process of rousing or building up this energy, giving it purpose, and releasing it. Magic is a natural, not supernatural, practice, though it is little understood." -Scott Cunningham

So we can see that magick involves using natural forces to effect willed change, often changes in our own perceptions or consciousness. But what is the goal?

What Magick Is For

Stewart Farrar puts it this way: "The stage-by-stage development of the entire human being is the whole aim of magic."
According to Marion Weinstein, magick can help "get your entire life in harmony mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and psychically . . . And what is the ultimate purpose of the work? To fulfill the self on an even higher level. To transform, uplift, and so fully develop the self that the whole Universe may benefit thereby."_
William G. Gray, another well-known occultist, says: "Magic is for growing up as Children of Light. Sane, sound, healthy, and happy souls, living naturally and normally on levels of inner Life where we can be REAL people as contrasted with the poor shadow-selves we project at one another on Earth."_

Thus magick exists to expedite, guide, and enhance change. Wiccans might say it is the work of the goddess within: "Everything she touches, changes . . ."

It seems a peculiarly human process, as far as we know. Other creatures can change their environments, but only sentient, self-aware beings can change themselves. Perhaps the cetaceans attempt this too-one day we may explore the spiritual paths and magickal traditions of the dolphins and whales.

Change ourselves? But to what? To a fuller range of possibilities, a broader spectrum of spirit. Not change to something else, but to something more. First learn to know ourselves, and then we expand, stretch our hearts and minds and souls, and explore and develop new territories within ourselves.

We are part of All That Is. With magick, we can experience existence from the perspective of other parts and know that we are One. We can experience at-one-ment with the immanent Source.

Perhaps this is the goal of all spiritual paths: to reconnect with the Source, to bridge the chasm of illusion that makes us feel separate and alone, to come Home.
_ Marion Weinstein, Positive Magic (Custer, WA: Phoenix, 1991), 3.
_ William G. Gray, Inner Traditions of Magic (New York: Samuel Weiser, 1970), x.

But the quest requires us to change, and magick is an effective tool for this. The scary part is this: we can't know who we are changing into until we actually experience the change. By then it's too late for second thoughts. We cannot change back; we can only keep changing, or wither.
Because we give up our old selves, any change is a "little death" that is the necessary first step to rebirth. To choose this, to will it, and to seek it out is an act of incredible courage. Magick requires daring. Not to change is to stagnate and die; but to willingly offer up the life we know is to find a greater life.

In "The Charge of the Goddess," she says, "Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the mother of all things and my love is poured out upon the earth." On one level this is true: killing a lamb on an altar stone does not lead to inner growth.

Yet on another level, sacrifice is required: self-sacrifice, the surrender of your old self. This is the meaning of the Hanged Man of tarot's major arcana (below) and of Odin's act in Norse mythology: "Nine days and nights I hung on the Tree, myself sacrificed to Myself . . ."
To the conscious mind unaware of the immortal Spirit within, this kind of sacrifice, the loss of the isolated little persona-self, seems terrifying indeed. Yet through it one regains the lost wholeness of the Greater Self, which is all of us, which is God/dess.

Thus far our focus has been on that branch of magick called theurgy; or as Isaac Bonewits defines it, "The use of magic for religious and/or psycho-therapeutic purposes, in order to attain 'salvation' or 'personal evolution.'" Though this is generally the best and highest use of magick, we will not ignore thaumaturgy, again defined by Bonewits: "The use of magic for nonreligious purposes; the art and science of 'wonder working'; using magic to actually change things on the Earth Plane."_

Thaumaturgy might include magick to heal physically; to travel safely; to obtain satisfying employment or a new home; to purify and bless a house or one's tools; to draw an adequate income; and so on. If such matters are accomplished without harm to others (as in seeking a job rather than Sam's job), and the magick is performed to supplement material-plane efforts raththan replace them, then there's nothing at all wrong with the practice of thaumaturgy.

Acting in Accord

Understand this: magick is not miracle-working. After you do a spell or ritual to achieve your purpose, you must still take practical steps to allow the magick to manifest. This is called "acting in accord" with the magick. You can do healing magick to get over an illness, but you must still rest and drink liquids. You can do a spell to get a better job, but you still must ask friends if they know of openings, and then apply for them. If you fail to do the logical follow-up steps, you will be like the legendary blonde who prayed night after night to win the million-dollar lottery, until after some weeks a great and weary voice thundered from the heavens: "O my daughter, I will consider your request; but you could help by buying a lottery ticket."

Magick and practical action reinforce each other; but you must do both to make the magick work.
Blesséd be.

_ Isaac Bonewits, Real Magic (Berkeley, CA: Creative Arts Book Co., 1971), 268.

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Table of Contents

Preface . . . xv

Acknowledgments . . . xvii

Introduction to the 15th Anniversary Edition . . . xix

1: About Magick-and You . . . 1

What Magick Is Not, 2
What Magick Is, 3
What Magick Is For, 4
Acting in Accord, 6

2: A Brief History of Magick . . . 7

Magick Everywhere, 8
Magick at the Dawn of Humankind, 8
Magick in the Fertile Crescent, 9
Life, Death, and Magick in Khemi, 10
The Magick of Old Europe, 11
Science and Magick in Greece and Rome, 12
Magick Versus the Church, 13
Magick Comes to the New World, 14
The Western Tradition Rises, 14
Wicca and Paganism: "We're Back," 15
The Triumph of Science and Religion, 16
Science Discovers Magick, 17
Exercises Toward Mastery, 17

3: First Steps in Magick . . . 19

A Time for Magick, 19
A Space for Magick, 20
Your Magickal Journal, 22
A Purpose for Magick, 22
Your Family and Neighbors, 23
Choosing a Magickal Name, 23
Your Magickal Apparel, 25
Dedication Ritual, 28
Music, 30
Books, 30
Tools, 30
Supplies, 31
The Journey Begins, 31
Exercises Toward Mastery, 31

4: Magick and Science . . . 33

The Limits, 33
The Nature of Reality, 35
Energy Is Abundant, 39
Everything Is Connected, 41
Possibilities Are Infinite, 43
Scientists as Magicians, 45
But Does It Really Work? 46
Exercises Toward Mastery, 47

5: The Path Lies Within You . . . 51

The MiddleSelf, 52
The Younger Self, 53
The Higher Self, 53
The Magickal Team Within You, 54
Clearing the Path: Phase One, 55
Clearing the Path: Phase Two, 56
Clearing the Path: Phase Three, 58
Exercises Toward Mastery, 58

6: Ethics and Hazards . . . 61

Part 1: Ethical Guidelines, 61
The Wiccan Rede, 62
The Law of Return, 62
Magick Only with Permission, 62
Refusing to Charge Money, 63
Part 2: Hazards, 64
Energy Imbalance, 64
Excessive Introversion, 64
Temptation to Act Unethically, 65
Interference from Nonmaterial Entities, 65
Success in the Wrong Endeavors, 67
Persecution, 68
Exercises Toward Mastery, 69

7: The Pyramid of Magick . . . 73

A Profound Knowledge, 73
A Creative Imagination, 75
A Will of Steel, 76
A Living Faith, 76
To Keep Silent, 77
And Love Within, 78
Exercises Toward Mastery, 79

8: The Energies of Magick . . . 87

Cleansing and Balancing Your Energy Field, 91
Centering and Connecting, 91
The Power Within You, 92
Raising Power from Without, 92
Sending the Power, 93
Earthing Excess Energy, 93
Protecting Animal Companions, 94
Recharging Talismans and Wards, 95
Exercises Toward Mastery, 96

9: Magick and Your Health . . . 103

Eating Right, 103
Clean Air, 106
Regular Exercise, 106
Natural-Fiber Clothing, 107
Restful Sleep, 108
Natural Light, 109
Love, 110
A Word About Addictions, 113
Exercises Toward Mastery, 115

10: Creating the Magickal You . . . 119

Balancing the Elements in Yourself, 119
The Elemental Star, 120
Elemental Star Questions, 122
Your Elemental Star, 125
Your Priority Element for Personal Work, 126
The Sacred Marriage, 127
Connecting with Deity, 130
Exercises Toward Mastery, 135

11: The Varieties of Magick . . . 137

Styles of Magick, 137
What Kind of Magician Are You? 139
Some Magickal Traditions, 141
Shamanism, 141
Wicca, 142
Norse Magick, 143
Huna, 144
Alchemy, 145
Brujaría, 146
Qabala, 147
Voudun, 149
Western Ceremonial Magick, 150
Other Magickal Traditions, 151
Connecting with the Magick of an Era or Culture, 152
Exercises Toward Mastery, 153

12: Nature Magick . . . 157

Hunting Magick, 158
Herb and Garden Magick, 158
Divination with Nature, 160
Sun, Moon, and Stars, 161
Water Magick, 163
Tree Magick, 163
Animal Allies, 165
Earth and Stone Magick, 166
Weatherworking, 168
Exercises Toward Mastery, 169

13: Intrinsic and Inner Magick . . . 173

The Tools of Intrinsic Magick, 174
Inner Magick, 177
Memory, 178
Visualization, 178
Imagination, 179
Othersight, 179
Energy from Emotions, 180
Direct Mental Manipulation of Energy, 181
Visualization Plus Energy, 182
Inner Ceremonial Magick, 182
Magick with Virtual Tools, 183
Allegorical Inner Magick, 184
Symbolic Inner Magick, 185
One Goal, Five Inner Methods, 186
Direct Manipulation, 186
Visualization, 187
Ceremonial, 187
Allegorical, 187
Symbolic, 188
Intrinsic Magick, Pluses and Minuses, 188
Exercises Toward Mastery, 189

14: Getting Ready for Ritual . . . 193

Knowing Your Purpose, 193
Your Ritual Tools, 195
Your Altar, 199
The Timing of Ritual, 201
Understanding Correspondences: The Language of Ritual, 202
Exercises Toward Mastery, 204

15: Creating and Performing Ritual . . . 207

The Steps of Magickal Ritual, 207
A Sample Ritual, 215
Analysis, 217
Exercises Toward Mastery, 218

16: Spellcraft: The Techniques of Magick . . . 223

A Spell to Become Calm and Centered, 224
A Spell for Easing Grief or Sadness, 225
A Spell for Employment, 226
A Spell for a House Blessing, 226
A Spell for Love, 228
A Spell for Prosperity, 229
A Spell for Safe Travel, 230
A Spell for Self-Blessing, 231
A Spell for Self-Confidence, 232
A Spell for Self-Healing, 233
Techniques, 234
Exercises Toward Mastery, 236

17: Everyday Magick and Daily Spiritual Practices . . . 237

Daily Spiritual Practice, 237
Grounding and Centering, 239
Protective Spells, 240
Quick Divination, 241
Travel Magick, 242
Daily Theurgy, 243
Magick to Sacralize the World, 245
Odds and Ends, 246
Portable Ritual Tools, 249
Exercises Toward Mastery, 251

18: Your Magickal Education Continues . . . 253

Contact Points, 253
Schools That Teach Magick, 255
Evaluating Teachers, 257
The Question of Fees, 259
Learning Magick from Books, 260
Learning from Nature, 261
Practice and Experimentation, 265
Exercises Toward Mastery, 267

19: Change, Death, and Magick . . . 269

What Is Death? 270
The Lessons of Past Lives, 272
On Dinosaurs, Death, and the Dance, 274
Exercises Toward Mastery, 276

Conclusion . . . 279


I:Glossary of Terms, 281
II:Elemental Correspondences, 301
III:Colors for Magick, 303

IV: Recommended Reading, 305

V: Seeds for Meditation, 313

VI:Discussion of Ethical Scenarios, 319
VII:Magicians Through the Ages, 325
VIII:Elemental Star Charts, 339

Index . . . 345

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Love this book

    My first guide to my craft cant live without it!!"

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    one of the best!

    This book is so useful. When someone asks for my top 5 on wicca this book is one if them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    Not a good place to start

    Try a different book if ur a beginner

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