This week on the show, we have special guest Douglas Batchelor joining us! Host of the popular 'What Magic is This?' podcast, Doug is a uniquely exciting person for the program because he is so fully immersed in the study and practice of what we know as "magick."
While our conversation spans information that whole careers are spent on, we discuss overviews of magick in history into the modern day, investigating certain historical touchstones along the way -- Carl Jung, Goethe, Austin Osman Spare, Eliphas Levi, Manly P. Hall's "The Secret Teachings of All Ages", Hermeticism and the Order of the Golden Dawn, the New Age, secret societies and "lodge magick", chaos magick, Atlantis and more -- all with equal parts of skepticism to open-mindedness. However, to understand what exactly is meant by these "equal parts", you'll have to tune in to find out!
The 'k' of "magick" generally distinguishing a timeless esoteric tradition from the simple stage act, this study and practice from a scientific perspective represents a trial-and-error grasp towards aspects of physics and psychology that we do not yet understand. Or at least -- that is the core idea. While many are skeptical as ever, more are coming to understand that a true historical magick is something much closer to a calculated butterfly-effect than it is to wands and medieval-fantasy. It is a way of using a combination of physical cues and gestures in order to prime the psyche into a calculated trance state. That much we can fully digest from a scientific perspective today; however, what happens from that point on is still highly debatable.
We've discussed the concept of magick quite a bit on the show, worked to break down some of the core components within the context of practical psychoanalysis, and had magickally-minded guests on the show (see Keats Ross and Eric Millar in episodes 23 and 28 among others) but we haven't been able to sit down with a full-on magician and pick their brain about the full ins and outs of what they feel like they're doing.
"What they feel like they're doing" might sound subjective and skeptical, but let us not forget that there are many different kinds of magick, with feeling and intent being major catalysts from which everything else stems from. There are so many motivations for magick, so many different traditions, and tools and techniques for purifying the self, contacting higher entities, banishing lower ones, or finding any variety of mundane physical comforts, that it comes across both dizzying and wrought with superstitious inaccuracies. But as Doug explains to us, separating the wheat from the chaff in esoterica is all part of the journey and should be embraced!
This is a complex episode that is has a promise of a part two! There is so much to get into, even from a surface-level perspective, that this episode largely covers historical and philosophical context, while the next time Doug joins the show we will be dissecting the practice and application of magick primarily!
I hope you dig it!
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