Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Magic & Miracles

Is there a difference between magic and miracles?

Of course the answer to this depends on who you talk to. Most scientists will tell you that there is no difference between magic and miracles because they both don’t exist except as a fantasy of the imagination or in the movies, i.e., Harry Potter. Many Christians will tell you that they do exist and that there is a huge difference between a miracle and magic. I don’t mean to pick on the Christian faith per se (I consider myself a Christian mystic of sorts), but I do take exception with those who take the position that a miracle is good and magic is bad. For many Christians, a miracle is considered a supernatural act of God and magic is basically a supernatural act of man. So for some Christians, basically the main difference between a miracle and magic is that a miracle is something God does which is good and magic is something that man does that is bad.

Does this make any sense? Who is it that performs the miracles in the Christian Bible? Moses and the prophets, Jesus and the apostles. Are they not men? Jesus is considered both God and man, but he is still part man. So how do they maintain this contradiction? Jesus could walk on water and this was considered a miracle by most Christians. If you saw somebody walking on water today, would you consider that a miracle or an act of magic? Plus, there is the fact that Jesus taught his disciples various miracles that are also considered magic; such as the laying on of hands, expelling demons, spiritual healing and walking on water. This is important, because from a Christian point of view, these acts would be considered magic as these acts were done by men, not God.

I think that most people today consider miracles as an act of a higher supernatural power and magic as a supernatural act of will-directed power.(Although the famous occultist, Aleister Crowley defined magick* as any act of will designed to cause intentional change, I prefer my own definition of magick as a supernatural act of will-directed power). For instance, if someone falls from a ten story building and is not hurt, most people would consider that miraculous. It is considered miraculous as most people would not survive a ten story fall to the ground. The person who had fallen, and survived may contribute his or her survival to God or a Guardian Angel. It would not be considered an act of magic as no person (directing will) was involved. Now in that same scenario, if there would have been a person present who sent forth supernatural power and saved the falling person, then it would be considered an act of magic.

From an esoteric spiritual point of view, a magical act and a miracle use the same supernatural energy. There is no good or bad in supernatural energy. It just is. It is similar to electricity. There is no good or bad electricity is there? It can be used to power your house and it can also be used to tear down buildings. Moral judgment as to whether something is bad or good is determined by us. Magic is considered good (White magic) when it helps to heal a person and considered bad (Black magic) when it is used to hurt someone. Miracles are usually considered good, but remember that after God created the universe, he later destroyed it with the flood. Did he do a miracle or magic?

After the flood, God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Gen 9:12.

* Aleister Crowely spelled magic as magick to differentiate between illusionists who perform stage magic and real magic.

For further information, see:,,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Desire & Expectations

Buddha said that the cause of all suffering was desire. He might have also said that the cause of all our pleasure is also desire. Desire is the motivating force that really drives most of our actions in the world. Without desire, there would be no creation. If God did not desire the universe, it would not have happened. But God did, and God saw that it was good, Gen 1:10. God gave us desire. There is nothing wrong with desire. When desire becomes suffering it is usually because we have not realized our own expectations. I think if we can let go of our expectations, then there would be much less suffering in this world. Our expectations can become visions of the future that we think will bring happiness. Then if our expectations are not met, we are not happy. For example; I want a new red car and I will not be happy till I have that new red car or I want a baby and I will not be happy till I have a baby. So I get my new car and am not happy because it does not meet my expectations of the color I wanted or I get my new baby and I am not happy because it does not meet my expectations of the gender I wanted it to be. It is usually our expectations that cause so much suffering. If we can let go of our expectations and accept what the universe gives us, then we will be much happier. There is a lot of wisdom in the saying, “If live gives you a lemon then make lemonade”.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fiat Lux; Ritual of the Fire Element

This Friday, August 7th the sun will reach fifteen degrees of Leo. The Esoteric Tradition considers this to be an important time period. It is celebrated as a Day of Prayer or Petition to the Fire Element. Astrologers know that on August 7th the sun will reach fifteen degrees of Leo which is mid way between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. This is considered a power point for the celestial element of fire. As most people know, the sun is in Leo and Leo is a fire sign. We celebrate the element of fire and the power of light. Without fire, there could be no life on this planet or anywhere else in the universe.

The majority of people are aware that the astrological sign of Leo is symbolized by a lion. The lion is considered the king of the jungle and its' important qualities are courage and fearlessness. There is a wonderful esoteric ritual called The Petition to the Fire Element that helps one to bring the positive qualities of the fire nature into your own life. This ritual helps one to become attuned to the fire principle and to bring its’ positive qualities into our personal lives. You begin the ritual by preparing a paper scroll and on it you write a short prayer to bring courage into your life for whatever purpose you need it for. For example; you may need courage to face up to life’s adversities or courage to face your own problems, work, relationships, etc. After you finish writing your scroll, find or purchase a good magnifying glass. Then go outside when the sun is overhead. Say a brief prayer to God and then use the glass to focus the sun’s energies to burn your scroll to ashes. This releases your petition to the fire element which will bring more active energy and courage into your life. I know of some Yogis who save the ashes and rub them on the forehead over the ajna chakra, sometimes referred to as the third eye. This helps to bring realization to your petition.
I really enjoy doing this Fire Ritual. It is really fun and interesting using the magnifying glass to harness the sun’s power to burn the scroll. I really feel I can connect directly with that fire energy and channel it to make positive changes in my life. On a final note, you can use flint and steel to substitute for the sun if you live in a climate where there is not much sun. I live in Colorado and that is never a problem. Fiat Lux!

For further information, please read: Yoga and The Art of Astral Projection by Jill Lowy, also