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                      MODELS OF MAGIC
               Frater U.'.D.'. (Germany)
  In the  course  of  exploring  the  possibilities  of  new,  more
 efficient  techniques  of  magic  I was struck by the fact that a
 structuralist view of the history of magic to  date  might  prove
 helpful.  After all, magicians have always aspired to restate the
 theory and practice of magic in the language of their times  i.e.
 in different models pertaining to current world views.
      There is,  however,  some risk involved in such an approach:
 models  do  not  really   explain   anything,   they   are   only
 illustrations  of  processes,  albeit rather useful ones.  What's
 more,  over-systematization  tends  to  obfuscate  more  than  it
 clarifies  and  one  should not mistake the map for the landscape
 anyway, a fallacy a great many kabbalists seem to be prone to.
      Thus,  the following five (or rather: four plus one)  models
 of magic should be seen as a means of understanding the practical
 possibilities   of   various   magical  systems  rather  than  as
 definitive theories and/or explanations of the way magic works.
  It has proved effective in  practice  to  view  magic  under  the
 following categories:
  This  is purportedly the oldest model of magic though it may very
 well have come into existence after or  simultaneously  with  the
 energy  model.  We  can find it worldwide in shamanic cultures as
 well as in many religions.  Its basic premise is the existence of
 an  otherworld inhabited by more or less autonomous entities such
 as spirits, angels, demons,  gods etc.  The shaman or magician is
 someone who can enter this otherworld at will,  who has travelled
 widely in it,  knows  its  language  and  customs  and  has  made
 friends,  smitten  enemies  and/or  acquired allies and servitors
 there.  This is important as all  magic  is  of  these  entities'
 making. The modern German word for witch, "Hexe" (f.) illustrates
 this rather neatly if we take a closer look at its etymology.  It
 derives from Old High  German  "hagazussa"  which  translates  as
 "fence  rider".  The  hagazussa  is riding the "fence between the
 worlds" i.e. she is at home in the world of everyday life as well
 as in the magical otherworld of spirits.
      In the spirit model magic is seen as being effected by these
 entities who are usually  invisible,  at  least  to  the  average
 punter,  and  it  is the shaman's or magician's task to make them
 put his will into effect. This may be done by prayer,  by barter,
 by  cajoling  or  even  -  vide  medieval  demon  magic  - by the
 application of magical force, threats and pressure.
      The otherworld may have its own geography but it is  usually
 considered to coexist with the world of everyday life. The key to
 entering  it  is  an  altered state of consciousness,  controlled
 trance or ecstasy of which the shaman is an expert.
      The spirit model has prevailed in traditionalist or Dogmatic
 magic until today,  some of its most noted exponents being  Franz
 Bardon and, at least to a great extent, Aleister Crowley.
  The  rise  of the energy model in the West is marked primarily by
 the appearance of Mesmerism towards the end of the 18th  century.
 Anton  Mesmer,  who was not an occultist but who was on the other
 hand regarded by his contemporaries to be a "miracle  worker"  of
 sorts,  rediscovered  amongst  other  things  the ancient healing
 disciplines of hypnosis and magnetism.  He popularized his theory
 of  "animal magnetism" which he saw as a subtle force inherent in
 organisms,  but he also made  heavy  use  of  metal  magnets  for
 healing purposes.
      While  the French Revolution put a temporary end to Mesmer's
 movement, his ideas were not lost. They were taken up by a number
 of  others,   primarily  occultists,   who  drew  on  them  while
 developing their own theories of magic. One of the first to do so
 was  Bulwer Lytton of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (SRIA),
 who postulated the existence of a subtle energy which  he  termed
 Vril,  possibly  deriving from Latin virilitas or "force,  power,
 strength". (This was actually the model for the naming of Bovril,
 from Latin "bovis" or "ox",  and Vril or "life  force".)  We  can
 observe  interesting  parallels  to  this concept in the vitalist
 theories of biology which emerged around  the  same  time.  Other
 exponents  of the energy model of magic (not then so termed) were
 Reichenbach with his concept of Od,  Eliphas Levi and his  Astral
 Light and Mme.  Blavatsky, who adopted the theories of Prana from
 Yoga physiology.  This was also the time  when  anthropology  and
 ethnology  discovered  the Polynesian concept of Mana and Asiatic
 scholars began to concern themselves with the  Chinese  principle
 of Ki or Ch'i (Chi).  The latter two go to show,  of course, that
 the idea of subtle energies utilized by magic is far  older  than
 the  18th  century.  In fact,  we can observe it already in early
 shamanic cultures.  Shamanic magic is very frequently  a  mixture
 between  spirit and energy model,  e.g.  the shaman may call upon
 his spirits or gods to give him "power" or he  may,  vice  versa,
 use his power to extort favours from them.
      In its pure form,  however, the shaman or magician is not in
 need of spirits and other entities.  The world is viewed as being
 "vitalized"  by  subtle  forces  or energies and his primary task
 consists in mastering the  art  of  perceiving  and  manipulating
 them.  As  all  phenomena are basically energetic in nature,  the
 existence of an otherworld is not strictly  required.  Thus,  the
 magician  is  more  of an "energy dancer" than a "fence rider" or
 go-between. But even here the key to the perception, charging and
 general utilization of these forces is again the  magical  trance
 or, as Chaos Magic terms it, gnosis.
      Theories and practices pertaining to the energy model can be
 found  with many magical authors but it has seen its real,  large
 scale popularity only since the seventies of our century when the
 general influx of Eastern thinking  (pace  the  Hippie  movement)
 made  concepts  such  as  chakra and kundalini work a mainstay of
 most occult disciplines. Strong energy model elements can also be
 found in  Franz  Bardon's  system  of  "electromagnetic  fluids",
 "condensators" etc.
  Sigmund Freud's theory of the subconscious revolutionized Western
 thinking  in  general  and psychology (which he did not,  as some
 people are wont to believe, invent all by himself) in particular.
 Suddenly,  man was seen as  a  being  which  was  only  partially
 conscious  and  in  control of itself.  While psychology is still
 fighting for its academical recognition  as  a  science,  it  has
 stamped its mark on therapeutic disciplines - and on magic.
      The psychological model of magic does not purport to explain
 how  magic works,  its only premise is that the subconscious (or,
 as Carl Jung later retagged it,  the unconscious) will do the job
 if  it  is  properly addressed and/or conditioned.  This again is
 achieved by magical trance,  suggestion and the  use  of  symbols
 (i.e.  selective  sensory input) as tools of association and as a
 means of communication between the magician's conscious will  and
 his subconscious faculty responsible for putting it into effect.
      Aleister  Crowley  dabbled a great deal in the psychological
 model which comes as no surprise as he not only tried to keep  up
 with  all  major  academic  disciplines  of  his time but thought
 himself to be the world's greatest psychologist into the bargain.
 But all considered he remained a traditionalist exponent  of  the
 spirit   model:   after  all  Aiwass  was,   in  his  belief,   a
 praeternatural entity.  Nevertheless  he  did  have  a  knack  of
 explaining magic in psychological terms to make it sound sensible
 to the sceptics of his time.
      A  more  radical  approach  was  taken by Austin Osman Spare
 whose sigil magic rests on the basic tenets of the  psychological
 model.  Spare's  brilliant system is in principle an inversion of
 Freud's theory of complexes: by actively suppressing his will  in
 the  form  of  a graphical sigil and forgetting it,  the magician
 creates an artificial "complex" which  then  starts  to  work  on
 similar lines just as suppressed, subconscious traumas will cause
 neurotic behaviour etc.
      The  psychological  magician  is a programmer of symbols and
 different states of consciousness.  He is not necessarily in need
 of  a transcendent otherworld or even subtle energies,  though in
 practice he will usually work on the assumption that one  or  the
 other  (or  both)  do  in  fact  exist and can be utilized by his
      Authors such  as  Israel  Regardie,  Dion  Fortune,  William
 Butler,  Francis  King,  William  Gray  and  to  some extent Pete
 Carroll subscribe to the psychological model which  seems  to  be
 the  primary  domain  of  the English speaking world of magic and
 which has become the prevailing paradigm ever since the seventies
 of this century.
  The information model of magic is  being  developed  since  about
 1987  and  there is still considerable debate about the direction
 it shall ultimately take.  Its basic  premises  to  date  are  as
      a)  Energy  as  such  is "dumb": it needs information on
      what to do;  this can be so called  laws  of  nature  or
      direct commands.
      b) Information does not have mass or energy. Thus, it is
      faster  than  light and not bound by the restrictions of
      the Einsteinian spacetime continuum. It can therefore be
      transmitted or tapped at all times and at all places. In
      analogy (but of course only as such!) it may be  likened
      to    quantum   phenomena   rather   than   relativistic
      mass-energy. It can, however,  attach itself to a medium
      e.g. an organism or any other memory storage device.
  At the start of the theoretical debate it was still believed that
 the  postulation of morphic (or,  more precisely,  morphogenetic)
 fields as hypothesized by Rupert Sheldrake had to be an essential
 factor by way  of  explaining  the  mode  of  actual  information
 transmittance.  This,  however, while still being discussed, does
 not appear to be strictly prerogative though  it  cannot  be  not
 ruled  out  that  an  act  of  information  magic may create such
 fields. It does seem more probable,  though,  that the concept of
 information  matrices  will prove to be the most promising theory
 in the long run.
      The application of the as yet evolving information model has
 led  to  the  discipline   I   have   termed   Cybermagic   (from
 "cybernetics"  or the "science of control systems").  Contrary to
 the other models described above,  Cybermagic does  not  rely  on
 magical trance to achieve its effects.  Rather, the Cybermagician
 activates either his own main  memory  banks,  namely  brain  and
 spine  (the  Golf-club  chakra,  so-called  because  of its shape
 reminiscent of a golf-club) or those of the  target  person.  The
 desired  information  is  then  called  up  and transmitted quite
 similarly to a copy command  on  an  MS-DOS  computer.  The  copy
 command analogy holds good insofar as the information (not having
 mass)  is not actually "lost" in the process (as energy would be)
 but rather is duplicated. This is an important point as it allows
 for the magician to perform his magic even in a state of very low
 physical power, possibly even when almost completely intoxicated,
 as long as his basic  "life support systems" are still functional
 and the command syntax is employed correctly.
      It is,  however,  obvious that this technique demands a fair
 control  of what used to be termed kundalini effects and practice
 has shown  ever  and  again  that  a  good  amount  of  Yoga  and
 meditation experience is a great help in achieving to Cybermagic.
      Unfortunately,  the  full  theory and practice of Cybermagic
 cannot be described here due to lack of space and will thus  have
 to be the subject of a separate article to be published later. To
 date the main experimental research work is being done within the
 Magical  Pact  of  the  Illuminates  of Thanateros (IOT) and some
 quite astounding results have already been  achieved,  especially
 in  the  field  of  language  and  knowledge  transfer as well as
 magical healing.
      In spite of its very modern,  untraditionalist  outlook  the
 basic  principles  of  Cybermagic may in truth well be the oldest
 form of magic extant. For we can,  for example,  find a number of
 reports  in the East to the effect of a guru transferring all his
 knowledge to his successor before his  death,  which  is  usually
 achieved by an act of long, mutual meditation.
      This  goes  to show that magic as a whole has always existed
 in many,  coexisting models.  What has changed,  however,  is the
 stress laid on one model or the other in the course of time.
  The  meta-model  of  magic  is  not a model as such but rather an
 instruction on the use of the others.  For its only advice to the
 magician  is:  "Always use the model most adequate to your aims."
 This may sound a bit trite but we will see that it is  not  quite
 as  selfevident  amongst  magicians  as  one might expect.  It is
 rooted in Chaos magic's assertion "Nothing is true. Everything is
 permitted",    which   ultimately   boils   down   to   pragmatic
 utilitarianism.  Before this aspect is enlarged upon, though, let
 us look at an example of the models presented here as applied  in
  We shall take the situation of magical healing to demonstrate how
 these models differ from each other.
  In  the  spirit model healing is regarded as an exorcism: illness
 is caused by "evil" or,  at least,  undesired entities which have
 to  be neutralized and removed by the shaman or magician.  In the
 case of a patient with a heart  condition  the  shaman  may,  for
 example,  "see" a green lizard in the vicinity of the heart which
 must be removed.  To achieve this the shaman  will  usually  call
 upon the help of his own spirits who will then handle the matter.
 Properly exorcised,  the patient has been freed from the cause of
 his ailment and can recuperate.
  In the energy model ailments are seen to be caused  by  energetic
 imbalance.  Thus,  our  heart  patient  may have too much (or too
 little) "fire energy" in his heart  chakra,  and  the  magician's
 task  consists  of  restoring  that  balance of energies commonly
 defined as "health". This he may do by laying on hands,  by using
 crystals and precious stones, by magnetism or chakra massage etc.
 The  balance  having  been  restored,  the patient is regarded as
 having been healed.
  In the psychological model illness is considered to be  basically
 psychosomatic in nature.  The magician will, therefore, either do
 a ritual work with the patient which  enhances  his  stamina  and
 resolves  his  troubles  (e.g.  a  Saturn  ritual  to  cope  with
 "Saturnian challenges" the patient is seen  to  have  avoided  by
 becoming ill) or he will charge a sigil for the patient's health.
 Preferably  he  will instruct the patient to construct and charge
 his own sigil.
  In the information  model  the  Cybermagician  will  transmit  an
 informational  "healing  matrix"  into  the  patient's system (or
 somehow create a "morphic field" of health and self-healing)  and
 let  the  patient's  energies take it from there to do the job of
 their own accord i.e. automatically. This rests on the assumption
 that the energies are still powerful enough to get the work done,
 otherwise he will either jump  back  into  the  energy  model  to
 provide  the  patient  with  the  additional energies required or
 install another information matrix to create  an  influx  of  the
 power desired.
  Following  the  meta-model the magician will decide beforehand in
 which paradigm  he  will  begin  his  operation.  This  must  not
 necessarily  exclude the possibility of shifting the paradigms in
 midwork or of blending them, of course. Usually,  the decision is
 taken  on  the  lines  of  expediency,  efficiency  and  personal
 preference.  Thus,  I personally find healing work with  patients
 easier within the spirit or energy model,  while I do seem to get
 better   results   with   selfhealing   employing   either    the
 psychological or the information model.  Then again, cybermagical
 work tends to take up to two days to show noticeable  effects  so
 that it may be more expedient to go for laying on hands when pain
 is very acute.
  Another important point is the time factor.  While traditionalist
 rituals in the spirit model may take from half a day to weeks and
 even months,  operations in the energy model seldomly  take  much
 longer  than  a  few hours at the most.  If we take Spare's sigil
 magic as  an  example  for  a  very  fast  technique  within  the
 psychological  model,  the  operation  can  be over and done with
 within five to ten minutes. Information magical operations on the
 other hand only take up about three quarters of a second,  a time
 span   which   can   be   cut  even  shorter  by  an  experienced
  Self evident as the meta-model may seem,  in practice many people
 seem to feel somewhat uncomfortable with its inherent relativism.
 This  is  very  much the case with beginners in magic.  A typical
 dialogue on the subject might run on the following lines:
      "Are there spirits?"
      "In the spirit model, yes."
      "And in the energy model?"
      "In the energy model there are subtle energy forms."
      "And what about the psychological model?"
      "Well, in the psychological model we are dealing with
       projections of the subconscious."
      "What happens in the information model, then?"
      "In the information model there are information
      "Yes, but are there spirits now or not?"
      "In the spirit model, yes."
  This logical loop is, of course,  usually experienced as a pretty
 frustrating  exercise;  but  while  the  asker  claims  that  the
 magician is trying to avoid the issue  he is  at  the  same  time
 overlooking  the fact that he himself is basically only restating
 the old yen for absolute,  "objective"  truths  -  not  really  a
 quantum magical approach, to say the least. However, the aspiring
 cyberpunk  magician of today cannot expect to be spared the pains
 of coming to terms with the notion that  freedom  and  dogma  are
 mutually exclusive.
  (c) copyright 1991 by Frater U.'.D.'. All rights reserved.
  Frater U.'.D.'., one of Germany's leading exponents of contemporary
  magic, is the author of "PRACTICAL SIGIL MAGIC" and
  "SECRETS OF THE GERMAN SEX MAGICIANS" (forthcoming). The essay
  above will be part of his next book, "DANCE OF THE PARADIGMS.
  (All books: LLEWELLYN's PUBLICATIONS, St. Paul, Minn.)
  * Origin: ChaosBox: Nichts ist wahr, Alles ist erlaubt. (2:243/2)

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