It was stated by the OP that " Behind all religion is a small piece of science. Though oft times ignored it remains." - The Judge
I say that is backwards. The first thing you are taught as a student of the sciences at university level is that all science comes from religion. Religion being humanities first attempts at understanding the greater complexities of life and organizing them so they could be applied and used to benefit everyone.
Astronomy, the oldest science, and the oldest religion.
Religion is an attempt to understand the purpose and essence of life, the world and the universe, while science is an attempt to understand how the purpose and essence of life and the universe works. Well, if there's a purpose and essence, that must have something to do with how it works. So yep it is more appropriate to say, "behind all science is small piece of religion."
In addition, all science started on one's 'belief and faith' and scientific people call them postulates or theories and people believe in them but we can't prove them yet. And sometimes these postulates or theories are wrong.
Science cannot operate except by belief and faith, even if they can't be verified. There will be no such thing as technology unless certain physical laws from ancient times are accepted, even though there's no guarantee that the law will repeat itself.
My sources are Buckland, Gardner, Crowley, A.E. White and Agrippa.
One thing I would like to remind everyone of before you read my concepts of magic. Arthur C. Clarke - "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Technology also applies to thinking and applicable thought models. Just as taking matches to a caveman would have been magic, teaching thermodynamics to Jesus would have also seemed as though information from the gods was being directly delivered.
It is my firm assertion that magic has to fall within specific categories of function, just as any other task is accomplished by means fit to result in the "work" you want or need done.
Trying to make a toaster change a flat tire on your car will have no results. Ever!
Is there a failure in faith that causes this? A failure to understand the toaster enough that you can make it bend to your will? Did you not provide enough offerings to the toaster that it may be appeased and pleased and in so do great works on your behalf?
No. It's a toaster. It was never intended to change a flat tire on a car.
Bearing your examples in mind one will realize that there can be no real conflict between any scientific theory and magick. Magick is an abstract science and like introducing a match to a caveman or teaching thermodynamics to Jesus, it cannot be understood by most people if they don't change their perception and consciousness. The caveman has a prehistoric mind and he would never understood the science behind the match because his perception and consciousness is trapped in his own prehistoric limited logical categories and assumptions.
Another analogy, I would like to bring here is this: let's say you were a green tall blade of grass inside a morning mist. The mist condenses onto your stalk as droplets of water. What would you know of that mist? You can't see, hear, smell or in any other way perceive the mist until it reaches your stalk. But you know it's liquid as you feel the wetness of this droplets. But would you ever know what really is a mist? Obviously not.
The caveman's perception towards match, Jesus' perception towards thermodynamics and people nowadays perception towards magick are all limited in a similar fashion. Although, unlike the grass, humans are capable of seeing beyond themselves.
Magick belongs to fourth, fifth or perhaps sixth and seventh dimensional reality and nearly all people attempt to explain and understand it on the basis of three-dimensional concepts, assumptions, categories and tools only. Magick cannot fall within such methods and categories just like the science of match cannot fall within caveman analysis and thermodynamincs within Jesus' philosophy. A careful study of the findings of modern science and their philosophical meaning shows a convergence and harmony of science with Magick.
But don't worry, with every advance in science, magick has become more and more clearly discernible (just like how the match and thermodynamics become clearly discernible to us); so much so, that science is now searching for the ideal formula which would explain the nature of subtle energies, forces and such. With a little further insight it can be seen that the subtle energies and forces is the reflection of true magick in its pagan concept.
Imagine that someone got your cell phone number last night at a party. They spent all night being told what an awesome person you are. So the next morning after the party, they have a hangover because they drank too much so they start calling you and asking you to come make them pancakes and serve them breakfast in bed because they have a hangover, and someone told them you are an awesome person.
How quickly would you hang up on them? How quickly would you block their number? How likely would you be to go ahead and go to their house and trash the place as an object lesson to them to not hassle people they don't know because they were lazy or couldn't control their drinking?
This is exactly how most of my Deities (most belong to Daemonic pantheon)would react when I treat them as a divine answering machine or a fairy godmother.
This is the reason why I don't give advice to people when they're asking how will I offer petition and seek specific help to my Patron Deity? "I ask Him/Her but it seems I'm just talking to the wall!" The truth is, I can't really outline effective responses to various aspects of calling to our Deities. This is because first, I have no interest in providing pat formulas for divine answering machine success. Having your Deity is already your success. No power is intrinsic to the words or order of words in my prayers and other people's prayers. And second, our Deities can do whatever They want whenever They want. They are NOT subjected to us!
We should instead learn how to hear Their voice and not just how to ask and how to receive positive answers. We can't ask anything according to our selfish desires.
The concept that gods and powerful spirits are all benevolent sunshine and rainbows answering prayers because they don't have anything else to do is....gibberish. Where it came from or how it got started is beyond my understanding.
Aaah... most of my Deities do send 'evil' upon men. The idea is that all my Deities employed Themselves to dispense blessings to humans and to inflict themselves. They can be sunshine and rainbows but They can be darkness and storm too!
I also don't believe that there are Gods and Goddesses who are plainly negative and force for evil such as the adversaries in some mythos like Loki, Hades, Satan and Lucifer. That idea is anathema to my perspective because of the whiff of dualism inherent in it. Deities act in many different ways, but there are no two forces in the full sense or the word.
It was during the intertestamental period that the idea of 'malevolent Deities/ Spirits' and 'benevolent Deities/Spirits' spread among the people from different cultures. The inspiration for this thought or belief was the encounter with Zoroastrian dualism. This cosmology postulated two warning spiritual camps controlled by their leaders, the Zoroastrian 'God' and the 'Devil', and commanded by archangels and archdemons and their descending ranks of lesser spirits. They fought over the loyalty of humans, loyalty expressed in righteous and unrighteous behavior and evaluating in eternal life or everlasting punishment. Eventually, however, there would be an end, a victory by 'God', a savior to bring opposing powers to destruction. We all thought that Adversaries of some ancient mythos do act in this kind of (Zoroastrian) framework.
I always looked at my Deities (and I believe all of our Deities) as source of opposites. Even the God in the Bible YHWH. The prophet Isaiah said: "I form light and I create darkness; I make wholeness and I create evil".
I know this idea that our caring and loving Patron Deities could be the source of evil too is difficult to accept given the old view of Christian God as god of righteousness but it is actually impossible for my Deities not to do harm in one way or another. I believe my Deities endowed me the free-will to select or choose between creation and destruction. When I prefer the latter, my Deities have no choice but to set out my path towards destruction. It's not a question therefore of some Supreme Being cursing or harming me. It's merely a natural divine response to establish my steps towards whatever path I choose. I think this is more logical than the old belief in a vengeful god that distributes evil.
The study of this leads one to realization of man's essential oneness with His/Her Deities. In other words, it leads one to higher consciousness, the inner realization that all duality is illusion, that good and evil don't exist.
Some of the oldest ceremonial magics are based on how to call the spirit of the dead so they can be questioned about the afterlife. Most of that came from the Lesser Key of Solomon...
Hmm... spirits of the dead? Most ceremonial and ritual traditions incorporate some form or another of spirit work, but the entities aren't really earthbound human spirits or restless souls.
The type of spirits I'm working with when I'm practicing Solomonic Magick are planetary spirits, celestial beings, angels and Daemons -- Goetian and Teurgian entities.
So the next step is applying what magic is good for what situation. Theoretically of course.
If you want a new job...how exactly is natural magic going to help you with that? How is earth and fire, wind and water, going to help shape an opinion in the mind of another human, in such a way that they see you more favorably than they would have before?
And if you can't call on the elements to change or influence the mind of another human, should you imagine yourself calling on spirits or gods and asking them to nudge another persons thoughts in a way that can help you...remember the Pancake Hangover analogy. What are you willing to risk to attempt magic.
Ceremonial magic uses symbols in layers on layers of protections to encapsulate the practitioner from the very thing that they are trying to contact. And most of the ceremonial spells have a similar counter layer specifically for the spirit you are conjuring to commune with. So the practitioner is in a protective circle, summoning a spirit into another circle, inside a triangle. Why the double layer of protection if all you are doing is asking a favor?
COMMUNE...that's an important concept. Sharing. Community of Sharing. To Commune with Spirits is to share with them. What are you willing to share? What would you share if you don't know what a spirit would want.
As I said, magick is an abstract and perhaps the most complex science of all as it requires all the branches of it!
I always believe that there's a deeper reality that exists prior to what we can observe. We're living in a reality purely of potentials.
All physical things we use in magick such as herbs, crystals, stones, woods, animals, oils, etc. and even the abstract things such as elements, symbols, shapes, numbers, geometric figures and colours are essentially a force, a spirit.
The force and the spirit in these things is enclosed in several sheaths or layers of substance of increasing density, manifesting itself ultimately in the material world as the physical body or vessel or intelligence in the most abstract sense. As man advances in development, his consciousness passes from lower planes to the higher and he becomes more and more aware and able to utilize the energies, forces and spirits within the things in nature.
The spirit in all things contain within all kinds of properties and potentialities, and as man progresses, he unfolds the hidden powers of things, esoteric qualities, into the light.
But before man can unfold these things, I would agree that he should know how to commune with these forces and spirits first. By doing this, he's conquering and dominating the lower principles of material things.
Since magick is a science, I believe there's always a scientific reason, explanation and answer on how exactly is natural magick going to help a man with particular spell? How are the elements of nature going to help him with it? And why does he need to use certain symbols and shapes and place many shields when summoning a specific entity?
Why is it a witch would recommend for instance a blend of myrrh, cassia, cinnamon, calamus and olive essential oils in order to purify and cleanse one's aura from negative emotion and thought.
These particular herbs have many medicinal properties -- they are highly antiseptic, a good sanitizer and disinfectant, remove toxins, poisons, and heavy metals, make cells more permeable and have shown effectiveness against broad spectrum of viruses and bacteria. As the blend physically disinfect the physical body so as to energetically cleanse the aura of unwanted thoughts and emotions.
Since our physical body has counterpart in our astral body which interpenetrate our physical body and which exists in other plane, we can say that when our aura, energetic body or astral form is sicked so as our physical body.
If we allow a negative emotion for instance to dwell in our mind (which will eventually radiate and vibrate in our aura) and astral nasties and psychic leeches attach themselves to feed off this negative emotion, we cannot shake them off without injury to our aura. These entities brings energetic injuries and sickness to our aura. And as I pointed out earlier, our etheric and astral body appears to have characteristics similar to our physical body, with own vibratory rates and its own vital energies. Thus, if our aura is found to be sick, then the same will certainly happen to our physical body.
Our aura which is the source of our life-force exerts a tremendous influence over the physical health of a person. When our aura are positive and healthy, there is a complete flow of energy throughout the body. When our aura is negative, dis-ease, stress and blockage occur.
Now, the dominant classes of compounds in the aforementioned oils are:
- Sesquiterpenes – Oxygenating capabilities can create an environment that makes it difficult for cancer cells to survive.
- Monoterpenes – Hostile to microbes, boost the body's natural defenses.
I believe these physical compounds have astral and energetic counterpart too, it is the vital force, the spirit or the prana that is present in all matter. It is the one that cleanses the aura. It may be projected by willpower and thought. And the function of our astral body is to serve as the vehicle of the prana when one need's some magick. Like for example:
- Sesquiterpenes – Because of its 'oxygenating' capabilities, I would reckon that this particular compound has the air element and air represents human mental level or the realm of thought. That being said, this compound is also capable to create an environment that makes it difficult for negative thoughts to survive. It means it can be used to clear one's mind or elevate or uplift one's mood. It's medicinal property also said that it helps to stop further growth of cancer cells, and interestingly, homeopathic doctor believes that cancer is caused by negative thoughts. For instance, cancer in the left breast is said to be born out of feminine issues. Cancer in the right breast is spurred by relational conflicts usually caused by chaotic, confusing and scattered thoughts. Cancer in the small intestines is a result of prolonged depressive thoughts. Angry thoughts, meanwhile, can result in cancer in the large intestine.
- Monoterpenes – It is said that this compound fight microbes and boost body's defenses. It could be compared therefore to soldiers who tend to rise, like flames reaching up and out to consume and conquer alien forces of our body. Since it is "offensive and defensive" substance, clearly this compound has fire element which is represented by the life force and through the heat of our bodies. This firey compound combats the entities that have attached themselves in our aura or electro-magnetic field and strengthens our shields.
Thus, the oils serve us on two levels: astral and physical. If you want to use them in more levels, spiritual, mental, emotional, etc. then you can utilize it as long as you know what you're doing. The same principles I believe applies to all sort of spellcraft and magick. All things have its own physical compounds (medicinal properties, physical uses, etc, etc.) and all these compounds have astral counterpart and are sustained by forces and energies like the prana. However, in our physical world, 100% of the time, they're in a very disguised and hidden fashion. The subtle and magickal properties of these physical compounds are concealed and encoded and this is comparable, perhaps, to the way an e‑mail or an image might be encrypted and encoded when sent over the Internet.
Every material compounds contain some glimmer of spiritual or energetic spark. If you choose to utilize magick, then you could reveal that spark within each thing. I really hope I'm making sense here.
Anyway since I don't want to bore you anymore with my scientific magick explanations, I want to end this novel by saying that if you’re going to identify yourself as a "Magickian", then you have to have a modified version of the reality. There is a established order that governs mundane and magickal works.