THE ENERGIES OF MAGICK (Human, Elemental, + Cosmic) This topic is a difficult subject to c
THE ENERGIES OF MAGICK
(Human, Elemental, & Cosmic)
This topic is a difficult subject to cover because of the diverse
ways in which "spiritual power" has been perceived, used, cataloged, and
understood in all the different cultures of the world throughout
history. For this reason, I will confine myself to the most common
examples of these energies and the specific understanding taught in
The first thing to recognize is that essentially there is only a
single energy or substance from which all other energies are born. This
is the primal cosmic "Mind-Stuff". This Cosmic power is always present
and always mutable to the conditions (time and space) and thought
(implying consciousness not just human intellect) impressed upon it.
The various types of energy are thus created and sustained by the
circumstances prevalent in the universe at any given time and place. We
deal with this energy in all its permutations everyday without thought
or recognition of how it is used and how it uses us. This understanding
is one of the essential purposes of magick along with the development of
'Will' which is the only factor which can control this force. Keep in
mind that when we talk of Occult Earth or Occult Fire we are talking
about universal qualities and not about common earth in your garden or
the fire in your fireplace although these common elements do contain the
qualities of one or more of the Occult elements predominating within a
mixture of all of them. The following will try to briefly explain
specific energies and their qualities.
THE FOUR ELEMENTS AND THE AKASHA OR ETHERIC PRINCIPLE
1. The Principle of FIRE :
Fire is the first element born from the akasha or ether. This is
because it is attributed to the first letter of the Qabalistic
tetragrammaton i.e. the letter 'YOD'. In the old Hindu scriptures, the
Vedas, this element or TATTVA is called TEJAS and its symbol is an
upright red triangle. The use of the TATTVAS has been absorbed into
western magical practice and comprises the system of elemental skrying.
Fire, like each of the elements, has a negative/passive quality and a
positive/active quality. It is operating in all things in one way or
another constantly (as are all the elements). One of the most
pronounced qualities of fire is its expansive nature. The following is a
list of attributes.
FIRE is warm, dry, and light. Radiant Energy. Force, Spirit, Light.
2. The Principle of WATER :
Water is the second element derived from the akasha or ether and is
attributed to the second letter of the tetragrammaton i.e. the
letter"HEH". The tattva of water is called APAS by the Hindu and its
symbol is a silver or white crescent. One of the primary qualities of
the element of Water is contraction along with fluidity. The following
is a list of attributes.
WATER is cool, moist and heavy. Fluidic Energy. Space, Emotion, Love.
3. The Principle of AIR :
The third element derived from the akasha is Air and it is
attributed to the third letter of the tetragrammaton i.e. "VAU". The
tattva of Air is called VAYU and its symbol is a blue circle. This
element acts as a mediator between the energies of Fire and Water, thus
it mediates warmth from Fire and humidity from water. The following is
a list of attributes.
AIR is warm, moist, and light. Gaseous Energy. Time, Mind, Life.
4. The Principle of EARTH :
It is said that out of the interaction of the three elements of
Fire, Water, and Air the fourth element of Earth was born. It is
attributed to the final letter of the tetragrammaton i.e. "HEH". The
tattva of Earth is called PRITHIVI and its symbol is a yellow square.
The prime quality of the element of Earth is that of solidification.
The reciprocal action of the three elements with Earth create a four
pole or tetra-polar magnet in which the Earthy element is
"electro-magnetic" in nature. The following is a list of attributes.
Earth is cool, dry, and heavy. Solidifying Energy. Substance, Body, Law.
5. The Principle of Akasha or the Ether :
As noted in the above descriptions, the Akasha is the quintessential
element. Franz Bardon, in his book "Initiation into Hermetics," says
the following :
"Accordingly, the etheric principle is the ultimate, the supreme, the
most powerful thing. something inconceivable, the ultimate cause of all
things existing and created. To put it in a nutshell, it is the causal
sphere. Therefore akasa is spaceless and timeless. It is the
non-created. the incomprehensible, the indefinable. The various
religions have given it the name of God. It is the fifth power, the
original power. Everything has been by it and is kept in balance by
it... It is the quintessence of the alchemists, it is all in all."
The tattva symbol of the Akasha is a black egg or oval. The Akasha or
Ether has been attributed to symbolize the Hebrew letter "SHIN" which
when added to the four letters of the tetragrammaton creates the name
"YHShVH"- Yeheshuah which is a Hebrew spelling of Joshua or Jesus
(inserting "Sh" into "YHVH"- Yahweh).
MAGNETIC / ELECTRIC FLUIDS AND THE LIFE FORCE
There exists many specialized types of energy which many consider to be
derived from the Akasha or Ether. The ancient cultures of our world
understood that a subtle force or energy was used by living bodies to
sustain life. They discovered that this "life force" was absorbed
primarily through air and food and that it was concentrated in various
places of the body. Various names for this force are :
India - PRANA "vital breath"
China - CHI "life energy"
Japan - KI "life force"
Middle East - RUH "life breath"
Hebrew - RUACH "life breath"
(In this paper I will primarily use the word CHI to designate this force).
Chi travels naturally through the body in well defined channels.
These are called meridians by the Chinese. This body energy is said to
have its main place of concentration in the abdominal region. Sensitive
foci along these meridians are the acupuncture points of Chinese
medicine. These points can be used to concentrate, block, or release
the flow of vital force, CHI, to a given area of the body. For example,
there is a point three inches down from the knee cap on the outer side
of the leg; a depression between the tibia bone and the tibialis anticus
muscle, stomach 36, that provides stamina and well-being. Samurai
warriors would embed a needle at this point for superior endurance
during a forced march. The flow of CHI is slightly different in men and
women because the natural "hard wiring" is not exactly the same. This
does not imply that techniques have not proven themselves successful in
controlling this energy in both sexes. It does say that occasionally
slight changes in the "program" need to made for each sex. It is
important, however, to be aware of this fact when utilizing methods
derived from traditional texts.
In Japan AKIDO (the way of harmony of the spirit) is founded on the
principles of KI or CHI. The most important point on the body for the
Akidoist is the HARA *or belly, meaning literally "vital center."
Awareness of this point gives absolute balance, power and centrality.
Chronic bad posture, it is believed, can actually damage the HARA thus
impairing the life force of the body. SUMO as a fighting art also
centers on the HARA. During a match two sumo wrestlers meet, lock arms
and sway back and forth in what appears to be a neutral clinch. This
goes on for some time, and then, for no visible reason, the most casual
shove tosses an opponent into the air with such force that he just
misses crashing into the audience. This is the power of the HARA'S KI
so especially appreciated by the Japanese who admire the accomplishment
of physical dominance by effortless means.
CHI or life force operates in the body with qualities respective of
the four elements. These elements predominate in various organs of the
body and are also connected with various emotional states. In the
Western system they are attributed to the specialized forms of elemental
energy symbolized by the zodiacal signs influencing areas of the body.
Three variants are thus given for each element i.e. fixed, cardinal, and
mutable. The channels or meridians also have a tendency to naturally
contain a flow of female CHI or male CHI known respectively as MAGNETIC
and ELECTRIC FLUID. In Hindu yoga these are used in the exercises of
solar and lunar breathing. The primary channels for these two fluids,
called the IDA and PINGALA by the Hindu, intertwine around a neutral
central channel connecting the chakras which is called the SHUSHUMNA.
In the west this is the famous caduceus of Hermes currently used as a
symbol of the medical profession. These three forms of CHI correspond
to the three mother letters of the Hebrew alphabet (A, M, Sh) and are
symbolic of the three alchemical elements (Sulphur, Mercury,&Salt). The
combination of all these forms can be easily defined as the action of
active, passive, and neutralizing agents working through the agency of
four elements and the Akasha. (Thus the one principle [Akasha] gives
rise to three qualities [Sulphur, Mercury,&Salt] which acts through four
mediums [Elements, 3x4=12 Zodiac signs] to create "man in harmony"
[symbolized by the pentagram].)
Life mirrors itself on all levels and just as men and animals have
their meridians so the earth itself has its energy lines. These
channels are called 'Ley Lines'. In the ancient world almost every
sacred structure was placed in accordance with a magic system by which
the esoteric laws of mathematics and music were expressed in the
geometry of the earth's surface. In the East the paths of this earth
energy were called "dragon lines". Certain ancient monuments may have
served as condensers of this force and men of old may have visited these
holy places, not simply to pay homage to the gods, but to become
vitalized with the awesome magical power of the earth itself. In nature
we find the earth also has its positive and negative channels of energy
(MAGNETIC and ELECTRIC FLUIDS). These allow the earth to constantly
renew itself through anabolic (building up or growth promoting) and
catabolic (breaking down or decomposing) processes. There are specific
energies associated with all natural phenomena. For example, there is a
specific energy associated with mountains which can be called 'mountain
chi', just as there is 'forest chi', 'lake chi', 'desert chi', 'ocean
chi', etc... It is these natural energies that the magician can take
advantage of in various ways as his older brethren, the shamans, have
done for millennia.
CHI AND CONSCIOUSNESS
CHI can be stored, manipulated, impregnated with an idea or
emotion, sent over long distances, circulated through one's body,
condensed, expanded, or used to heal or kill. There are tales of Tai
Chi masters who could break an opponents bones with the brush of a
finger. Then there is the Chinese system of HSING-I, a form of combat
developed in the 17th century, which boasts of five ways to kill with
1- "Splitting CHI" is made to rise and fall as the chopping of
2 - "Crushing CHI" is expanded and contracted simultaneously.
3 - "Drilling CHI" sends CHI flowing in curving eddies.
4 - "Pounding CHI" sends CHI as a projectile fired from an
5 - "Crossing CHI" strikes a man dead with rounded energy.
The Akasha and all forms of it are extremely amenable to the mind and
consciousness. Strange as it seems this is the primary problem why we
have such a hard time utilizing it for our benefit. Control depends on
the development and degree of Will-power held by the individual who
would consciously attempt to control these forces. There is also the
necessity of understanding the relation of the conditions prevalent at a
given place and time with what effect or alteration is desired. This
degree of personal development implies an amount of self-knowledge which
can only be brought about by the accumulation of Consciousness through
discipline and intent. It is because we have such dulled awareness and
lack of control that we use this energy in habitual ways that just
produce more of what ever is there to begin with (this is what is called
'sleep'). Whatever we do or think or feel, we are manipulating energy
(individually and collectively). Whether consciously for our benefit or
unconsciously, the life force is always amenable to our control.
Consciousness is the ultimate mechanism of CHI. The magician's body
is a sheath of energies. Where the mind leads energy follows and as
energy flows so does the body respond. Thus we have a circle which
turns for the benefit of Consciousness. The fakir uses this energy to
perform feats of physical endurance. Certain sects of dervishes are
able to slice themselves with knifes and skewer their flesh with no
bleeding or scaring. Yogis use this force in prana-yama to awaken the
kundalini. Psychic and spiritual healers use the same energies to cure
patients. We need first to believe that this force exists and then we
need to experience it for ourselves by developing Consciousness and
"There is a secret. But it is so simple as to be unbelievable.
Its nature insists that you believe; otherwise you will fail. I
succeeded because I pushed pride aside and accepted my masters words. I
relaxed my body and stilled my mind... by emptying myself I gave full
field to chi. Then and only then did my response sharpen so that all
neutralizing and countering were the work of a moment." - Cheng
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank