Magija in theory and practice – a handbook of magic for everyone

Magija in theory and practice – a handbook of magic for everyone

Magija in Theory and Practice is a book written by Aleister Crowley, which was first published in 1929.This book is the third part of a work entitled Book Four (Liber ABA), the individual parts of which appeared between 1911 and 1936.

Aleister Crowley’s biography is extremely colorful. Crowley, also known as “Beast 666,” was really named Edward Alexander. He was born in 1875 in England. He was a mystic and occultist, and a mountaineer by avocation. He came from a wealthy family. According to what he wrote in a letter to his son just before his death, princely blood flowed through his veins. His parents were conservative Protestants (they belonged to the Playmouth Brotherhood). In adulthood, Aleister described his childhood as “hell.” He was forced to learn the texts of the Bible by heart, which alienated him from religion. While studying at Trinity College in Cambridge, he took a keen interest in all sorts of books, which he absorbed as if inspired. In particular, he was fascinated by philosophy and psychology. During this period he also took up writing his own poems and novels, which, thanks to the fortune he inherited after his father’s death, he published on his own. In 1898 he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. This was a London-based occult and esoteric society whose members explored secret knowledge, from Tarot to communicating with supernatural entities. Despite the fact that his career there was developing rapidly, as a result of disagreements within the Order, he left it. He spent several years traveling. He was married twice and had three children. He founded the Order of the Silver Star. He also created his own philosophical doctrine called Thelema. He wrote many books on the practice of magic (or rather, Magija, as he called it). Crowley died in 1947, in England. He was buried, according to his wishes, in an unnamed grave.

The new era, or the Aeon of Horus

The most important event in Aleister’s life occurred in March 1904 in Cairo, which he visited on his honeymoon with his first wife, Rose Kelly. As he later admitted, out of boredom at the time he invoked the elemental spirits of the air from the Goetia so that his wife, who was in no way interested in magic, would see them. This didn’t work, but instead Rose fell into a trance, during which she repeated: “They are waiting for you.”Aleister performed rituals several more times over the next few days, and Rose went into trances. During one of them, she conveyed that the Egyptian sky god Horus was waiting for Aleister and announced that: “The equinox of the gods is coming.”On April 8, in turn, a supernatural entity, an emissary of the gods, named Aiwass, was said to have appeared to Aleister, and over the next three days he relayed to him the contents of the work, which appeared as Liber AL vel Legis (Book of the Law). This “equinox of the gods” was about to occur on April 8. According to Crowley, a new epoch – the Aeon of Horus – began then. Aleister presented his own periodization of history, according to which in the beginning was the Eon of Isis – an era during which people lived in harmony with nature, matriarchy and general happiness reigned. Then came the Eon of Osiris – an era during which patriarchy prevailed and people were constrained by social, economic, political and religious doctrines and systems. The Eon of Horus, on the other hand, marked the abolition of patriarchy and the liberation of people from all restrictions. There came a time of self-realization and a focus on transcendent experiences and taking responsibility for one’s life. At the “equinox of the gods” came the time of Thelema.

The foundations of Thelema are enshrined precisely in Liber AL vel Legis. Crowley’s philosophical doctrine focuses on knowing one’s nature, referred to by Aleister as Will. At the same time, Will is not understood as nihilistic: “do what you will.” Will is an individual purpose to be discovered and lived in accordance with it. Will is one’s own way of life. Magiya makes it possible to acquire the “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel,” that is, just to know one’s true Will and to direct one’s life in accordance with it. According to Crowley, every person, every man and woman, is a star, and therefore part of the universe. However, it has its own orbit – the Will. Moreover, some stars shine brighter than others. Some people do not want to know and realize their own Will. They are stars whose light is pale. They have the mentality of slaves. In contrast, the brightest stars are people who are open to knowing and realizing their own Will.

A book for everyone

Of greatest importance to the world of magic is the work Magija in Theory and Practice. It is, according to Aleister, “a book for everyone: for every man, woman and child.” After all, each person decides for himself what kind of star he wants to be. Magija in Theory and Practice is a manual for the brightest stars. The work begins with an explanation of the term Magija, which the author defines as: “the science and art of causing change in accordance with the Will of man.” He then explains this definition in detail in 28 paragraphs. Further pages contain essays in which Crowley describes, among other things, the basics of rituals, magical formulas, magical gestures or the importance of magical memory (i.e., the study of one’s own previous incarnations, which is necessary for knowing one’s own Will). Crowley also presents instructions for preparing rooms for rituals and instrumentation and for using spells. He also describes the rules that a magician must follow before engaging in magical operations (maintaining cleanliness is of particular importance). It also explains many other issues that cannot be succinctly presented. The work shows the cause-and-effect relationships between everything that makes up a properly performed ritual. Magija in Theory and Practice is a comprehensive and practical manual for the practice of magic.

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