|Low Magic and High Magic
Low magic, sometimes called natural magic, was widely practised in the Middle Ages and still
is in some parts of the world. Also known as practical magic, it combines the arts of witchcraft,
spell craft, hexcraft and voodoo, which utilize herbs, amulets, wax images and other simple
objects along with visualization and incantations to bring about the desired result. It is the folk
magic of less developed parts of the world where it is often done for a fee, and in the developed
world it is the magic of many spell casters. In low magic, spells are cast for good or evil.
High magic, or Ceremonial Magik, on the other hand is performed to bring about union with the
divine. In high magic, the powers of nature, conceived of as being either angelic or Satanic, are
controlled in conjunction with spirits, using words and the names of sacred gods. Typically,
magic involves the use of elaborate rituals, the invocation of spirits (often in dramatic, theatrical
fashion) and mystic sacraments. Practised since ancient times, Ceremonial Magic is mainly
the domain of men seeking mystical power and enlightenment. Ceremonial Magic is still
practised by those who adhere to Abramelin magic and the Kabbalah.
Involving spirit communication, word magic and palindromic number squares, Abramelin
magicians believe that the world was created and is maintained by demons whose work is
directed by angelic spirits. The magicians believe that properly purified and using the correct
prayers, formulas and tools, and with the help of the angels they can take control of the demons
and bend them to their will.
The Kabbalah is based on unusual interpretations of the Hebrew scriptures. Despite its
appearance as an elaborate system of magic, it is actually a tool to allow the magician to
achieve mystical union with God. The Kabbalah teaches that God is known by 72 different
names and that the Universe is composed of four planes of being. There are several facets
of the Kabbalah that make it compatible with the beliefs and practices of nature-orientated
Wicca, but most Wiccans would find the monotheism and strict codes of behaviour imposed by
Judaism, with which the Kabbalah is inextricably linked, hard to accept.
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