As a science, magick has certain principles that are at the heart of its mechanics. The first principle is the Principle of Similarity. The second is the Principle of Contact or Contagion. Both of these principles come under the designation of Sympathetic Magick.
The Principle of Similarity is also referred to as Homeopathic or Imitative Magick. It states that like produces like, or that an effect may resemble its cause. Simply put, whatever you do to the symbolic representation of a person, place, or thing will directly affect that same person, place, or thing.
A good example of homeopathic magick is the Voodoo doll, created by practitioners when they wish to influence someone. The doll is fashioned to look like the person they wish to influence. Then, depending upon the circumstances, the practitioners will proceed to heal or hurt their targeted victims through magickal conjurations. Because the dolls look like (imitate) the intended victims, they are capable of creating a link with them. The intentions of the practitioner then travel through the link, impacting what is at the other end.
In partnership with the principle of Similarity is the principle of Contact or Contagion. This principle states that things that have been in contact with each other will continue to act on each other, even at a distance, after all physical contact has been broken. Because of this, it is possible to use a person's picture, clothing, or handwriting as a magickal link. These links are often referred to as "lag-locks" or "relics," and are of primary importance in certain spells and enchantments, especially when love and friendship are involved. As in homeopathic magick, what is done to the link will create an effect on the intended target.
In addition to the principles of Similarity and Contagion, most practitioners adhere to the four cornerstones of magick. These four principles are expressed in the ability to know, to will, to dare, and to keep silent.
This refers to knowledge about magick and what makes it work. The practitioner must know and understand the basic working principles of a magickal operation before he or she attempts it. There is a saying in magick that knowledge is power, so if the practitioner wants power, then he or she must first have knowledge.
This is the ability to concentrate, focus attention, and direct the will to manifest desire. Practitioners must be able to force their will upon the universe, in a positive and powerful way, to accomplish their desires. In magick, practitioners must be able to control their surroundings, which include the mind and body.
This is the courage to challenge ideas. Magicians must be able to stand up for what they believe in and be able to demand their rights. They must dare to have the courage to make their will manifest desire, without fear or doubt. The magician must be able to command respect from his or her peers, as well as from the forces with which they work. They must dare to be strong.
This is by far the hardest of the four rules. The practitioner must shut out, and off, all outside distractions and learn to concentrate and focus. Silence also has a partner, the mouth. The well-trained magician knows how to keep it shut and not crow about every little thing she does. This is because every time she speaks of the magickal works she is doing, she dissipates her energy and power. This is why you don't hear Witches and magicians bragging about what they did or are doing.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.