Traditional English Witchcraft – Folk Magic Vs Ceremonial Magick

In the world of witchcraft and the occult, there are two divisions in the use of magical practice:

1) Folk Magic, which is also called Low Magic, and

2) Ceremonial Magick, which is also called High Magick.

Folk Magick is used in witchcraft and has been referred to as witches’ prayer. It certainly is the most popular form of magic because of its connection to many forms of Paganism. Correctly, Folk Magick practitioners utilizes meditative and visualization techniques in spellcraft to focus the mind, collect energy, and direct energy to achieve their intended results. The Trad Witch, one who practices Traditional Witchcraft (which should NOT be confused with Wicca) might also ask friendly spirits for their assistance. These spirits could be Spirit Guides, family spirits, or local spirits.

To the public, magic is seen as within the realm of the supernatural, outside the physical world. However, in reality, magic is not supernatural at all, because it works within the physical world, within the laws of physics. Therefore, it is “natural” and not “supernatural.”

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There is another way to look at it. If the universe is the creation of God and was not created by chance, then that which the Creator created is completely natural. While the methodology of how magick works is not scientifically understood, this lack of scientific understanding does not make magick supernatural. It just means that magic is a natural phenomenon that is not presently understood.

Trad Witches believe that with the expansion of scientific understanding, one day the principles of spell craft and magic phenomena will be understood and appreciated by the scientific community.

Ceremonial magick is quite different. This is the type of magick derived from the Western Occult Tradition through such organizations as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Freemasons, and other occult, or “secret”, societies. This form of magic is very highly ritualistic and ceremonial with some elements believed to date back to the high rites of ancient Egypt.

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Ceremonial Magicians will enter an altered state of consciousness in order to perform spell craft and force change on the astral plane and some part of the physical plane. Ceremonial Magicians will also also use astral travel and other techniques to gain knowledge and to communicate with the more powerful spirit entities that are considered too dangerous to use by most witches.

Summary:

While Folk Magick and Ceremonial magic are both used as viable approaches in a desire for change, to alter the present, these two different approaches are not the same and are not compatible. Traditional Witchcraft (or Trad Witchcraft) utilizes friendly spirits and uses spell craft for intended goals. But Ceremonial magic takes this a step beyond and uses forces that are best not used except under careful supervision.

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by Adrian Eglinton