The necessity to establish here at the outset what I mean by the words “high magick” and “low magick.” To be perfectly frank I’ve become very uncomfortable with both terms. They are each, in my opinion, universally misunderstood, misused, misapplied, misrepresented, and misinterpreted. Some ceremonial magicians label their craft high magick to haughtily distinguish their art from the low magick of witchcraft. Conversely, some witches and Neopagans use the term sarcastically to brand ceremonial magicians and their ilk as snobs. Practical Qabalists, who presume their studies to be the only true high magick, use the terms to distance themselves from both ceremonial magicians and witches. There are others who simply define low magick as being all things nature-based (outdoor magick), as opposed to ceremonial magick, à la the formal rituals of the Golden Dawn or Aleister Crowley (indoor magick). Here the terms low and high are diplomatically construed by both schools as being morally neutral; the two merely differing in character and application, and appealing to different spiritual personalities and tastes. Here, both the high and the low magician are relatively happy in their own worlds performing their own brand of magick. There are many others, though, who define the highness and lowness of magick in ways that go way beyond discussing the differences between working in a lodge room temple or outside in a grove.

 

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