As with many aspects of the esoteric and occult and even mainstream religion, magic is composed of dualities. The most obvious divide is that of black ("bad") magic and white ("good") magic. From time to time, when acquaintances find out that I mess with the craft, they immediately ask "but you're doing the good kind of magic, right?" So, I personally prefer the Latin terms Maleficium and Beneficium. These better encapsulate the difference between working with ill intentions (malice) and working to heal (benefit). Although something of a trope, a sort of stereotype rooted more in both folklore and mass media than in how real magic is done in the world, this duality still helps classify our knowledge of the magical arts.
Since fire was first domesticated about one million years ago, humans have attempted to harness its power in any way possible, often with disastrous consequences. Fire is simultaneously transformative, destructive, fearsome, beautiful, and hypnotic. It is no wonder that its awesome presence has been a central component of worship since time immemorial. Fire and candle worship are ubiquitous in world religions, both ancient and modern. In the fifth century BCE, the Athenians would hold a procession to the sanctuary of the goddess Artemis Mounichia, and offer her round cakes with a candle in the middle- which some have hypothesized is the origin
There are a few things you should consider before starting your ritual. How does the ritual fulfill your intentions? How does it aid in discovering your intentions? Magic, especially modern magic, tends to be unifying rather than dualistic. The goal is to unify the higher (mind/divine) and lower (physical/experiential). Magicians do this by making things happen through uniting themselves with the universe at-large, by spell-casting (magic) and/or being mindful (mysticism). Lastly, it is crucial to record every step in a journal along with all external factors that affect you and the operation. This is one of the only ways to observe and adjust your practice as you develop.
Magic. We all know what it is. But when asked to define it, it can be a bit tricky to give it a good definition. So let's start with the basics. All types of magic have two parts: the belief part and the practical part. If you didn't believe magic was real, then why practice it at all? If you don't use magic for anything, why believe in it? It is worth noting up front that the magic this article talks about is also sometimes spelled "magick." This is mostly to distinguish it from the kind of magic with card tricks and rabbits being pulled out of hats. Another reason some spell it this way is because they use the "k" at the end to stand for "kteis." Kteis is a Greek word representing the passive or reproductive powers of nature. In this sense, magick is balanced against the oppressive aspects of more dogmatic religious traditions that seek to regulate individual behavior and enforce social norms.
Ritual Kits: A "How To" Guide
Do you get confused when you hear all that esoteric mumbo jumbo about your favorite metaphysical objects? We've simplified the entire process with our Ritual Kits and have created this instructional video as a "How To" guide for your own practice!