Beginners’ Guide to the Theorems of Magick Part 2
There are infinite ways to be magickal. There are also infinite ways to be a witch. This article series, as a beginners’ guide, is simply one place of many to start your journey or to stop along your path. All content in this series is an analysis and discussion of the introduction of part III of book 4 of Magick in Theory and Practice by The Master Therion (Aleister Crowley). It is linked at the bottom through the internet sacred text archives, which is a wonderful resource for magickal research.
This is part two of five, I invite you to read the first part here and stay tuned for the next three additions!
6) "Every man and every woman is a star." That is to say, every human being is intrinsically an independent individual with his own proper character and proper motion.
This theorem is one of my personal favorites. Not only is it necessary within a magickal perspective to understand and respect that every other person is an individual, but without that understanding, any magickal actions will not have the intended outcome. In a spell, consideration of possible conflicts is deeply important, especially when you conduct spells with or for other people. Each person brings their own distinct character to a spell, so proceeding without understanding their individuality and character will lead to unforeseen consequences.
7) Every man and every woman has a course, depending partly on the self, and partly on the environment which is natural and necessary for each. Anyone who is forced from his own course, either through not understanding himself, or through external opposition, comes into conflict with the order of the Universe, and suffers accordingly.
(Illustration: A man may think it is his duty to act in a certain way, through having made a fancy picture of himself, instead of investigating his actual nature. For example, a woman may make herself miserable for life by thinking that she prefers love to social consideration, or vice versa. One woman may stay with an unsympathetic husband when she would really be happy in an attic with a lover, while another may fool herself into a romantic elopement when her only pleasures are those of presiding over fashionable functions. Again, a boy's instinct may tell him to go to sea, while his parents insist on him becoming a doctor. In such a case he will be both unsuccessful and unhappy in medicine.)
This theorem is often misunderstood as an acceptance of fate or a claim that free will is confined by outside forces. This is not in line with other beliefs expressed by Master Therion and would directly contradict other theorems described in this series, particularly theorems three, four, and five. My interpretation of this theorem, which I believe to be correct, is that true satisfaction with one’s life can be found and should be pursued. In particular, any expectations placed on you by yourself, society, or others are not useful guidance for your path, only your own ideals, wants, needs, and happiness should direct you. In particular, Master Therion draws attention to different social expectations that are often at odds with someone’s true wants. In essence, this theorem directs us to re-evaluate our reasons for the choices that shape our life and make sure that they are based in ourselves and not in societal forces or others’ perceptions of us.
8) A Man whose conscious will is at odds with his True Will is wasting his strength. He cannot hope to influence his environment efficiently.
(Illustration: When Civil War rages in a nation, it is in no condition to undertake the invasion of other countries. A man with cancer employs his nourishment alike to his own use and to that of the enemy which is part of himself. He soon fails to resist the pressure of his environment. In practical life, a man who is doing what his conscience tells him to be wrong will do it very clumsily. At first!)
Theorem eight gives us another perspective on the conscious and subconscious/true will. Namely, that when someone is not aware of their True Will, i.e. what would genuinely be best for them, it is possible and likely that they will take actions that turn their path away from their True Will, which is much more difficult and may have dire consequences (as discussed in theorems four and seven). It is therefore very important to come to a full self-awareness before attempting any magick.
9) A Man who is doing his True Will has the inertia of the Universe to assist him.
(Illustration: The first principle of success in evolution is that the individual should be true to his own nature, and at the same time adapt himself to his environment.)
As a logical corollary to theorem eight, in understanding and conforming to your True Will, the path that will bring you to fulfillment and satisfaction with your life, you can act supported by the Universe. The Universe is constantly searching for equilibrium, which in human nature is simply satisfaction in life. It is possible if an act conforms to the postulate that it is successful without it being one's True Will, but it is done without the inertia of the Universe and brings oneself further from their path.
10) Nature is a continuous phenomenon, though we may not know in all cases how things are connected.
(Illustration: Human consciousness depends on the properties of protoplasm, the existence of which depends on innumerable physical conditions peculiar to this planet; and this planet is determined by the mechanical balance of the whole universe of matter. We may then say that our consciousness is causally connected with the remotest galaxies; yet we do not even know how it arises from--or with--the molecular changes in the brain.)
Western science has recently come to accept the deep interconnectedness of nature, from how each part of an ecosystem relies on the others to trees communicating through their root systems and fungi to know when to flower and when one is diseased so that others can protect themselves. Nature is connected in a billion different ways that we have yet to understand. Even this is before any consideration of the metaphysical or even the existence of consciousness and its connections to the physical and to other consciousnesses. Everything is connected, whether we know and accept it or not, and magick can harness those connections to further one's own Will.
11) Science enables us to take advantage of the continuity of Nature by the empirical application of certain principles whose interplay involves different orders of idea connected with each other in a way beyond our present comprehension.
(Illustration: We are able to light cities by rule-of-thumb methods. We do not know what consciousness is, or how it is connected with muscular action; what electricity is or how it is connected with the machines that generate it; and our methods depend on calculations involving mathematical ideas which have no correspondence in the Universe as we know it.)
For instance "irrational", "unreal" and "infinite" expressions.
The essential concept of this theorem is this: science is beginning to play with concepts we do not understand and is thereby pushing the boundaries of accepted truth and usable data. Through scientific discoveries, magick is becoming more clear and easier to comprehend.
Master Therion shows his hand a bit in this theorem. We do understand electricity, both how it is generated and how it works, it’s far from a rule-of-thumb method. However, his reference to mathematical concepts without natural correspondences still holds true. In order to conceptualize certain things, we need to create rules and symbols that mean literally nothing outside of their specific context. I realize this sounds like I don’t understand maths, but I studied complex mathematics for two years at the post-secondary level, I really do know what I’m talking about.