Magic is not an easy thing to define and the word has many different meanings. Some people still associate it with the production of white rabbits from top hats, others with the dark superstitions of an ignorant peasantry yet others with the 'Black Mass' and 'unspeakable orgies' - whatever they may be. When, however, the present-day occultist talks about magic he means something similar to, but by no means identical with, what an anthropologist is referring to when he writes of 'the magic of primitive peoples'. For the purposes of this book, then, the word magic is primarily used in the same sense that it is defined by the overwhelming majority of contemporary magical practitioners 'the art and science of using little known natural forces in order to achieve changes in consciousness and the physical environment'. "We also use the word magic in a secondary sense as meaning the entire body of doctrines and techniques concerning the conjuration, nature and power of angels, spirits, demons and other non-human entities; the manufacture and consecration of wands, swords, and other instruments used by magicians in the performance of their art; ritual divination by such methods as geomancy; the manufacture and consecration of talismans; and the exploration of universes other than that with which we are familiar.
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