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What it is (and isn't)
PATTERNS IN CONSCIOUSNESS
As an operational mystery lodge within the Western Tradition, the core work of The Company of Avalon is Ritual Magic . Magic in this context has nothing to do either with pulling rabbits out of hats or with summoning "dark forces" for personal gain and power. Magic is a discipline in consciousness, honed through meditation and empowered in ritual and its objective is not to gain but to SERVE. Our distinguished predecessor Dion Fortune, described magic as "the art of making changes in consciousness in conformity with will". All that said the most effective injunction that can be given to any budding magician is "BELIEVE!"
Magic may of course , like any human faculty, be used and abused for self centred and ill conceived purposes, but any mystery lodge worthy of the name abhors such abuses. The use of magic in this and similar lodges is in service. But the essential question is not perhaps "what is magic?" but "WHY magic?"
Magic can't solve all the world's problems, but it can lay down patterns in consciousness, individually and universally, which encourage solutions.
INNER PLANE CONTACTS AND MYTHOLOGY
In laying down such patterns it forms alliances with, and enlists the co-operation of, beings who are rarely apparent to normal human perception, hence the necessity of "making changes in consciousness". These "inner" beings with which the magician co-operates may be discarnate human beings and/or other orders of being, including the denizens of the Angelic, Faery or Elemental realms. The Western Mystery Tradition describes such alliances as "inner plane contacts" and rigorously trains and tests its initiates in the facilitation of such contacts. Mystery lodges who have established, tested, and are genuinely able to conduct and maintain such inner dialogue are described as being "contacted". The Company of Avalon is such a lodge.
This interaction between flesh and blood human beings and other orders of being is universally described in the mythologies of all races and nations. Mythology holds tremendous power and potential in the inner psyche, cultural reflex and spiritual destiny of a people. Consequently the magician frequently, though not exclusively, works with an appropriate mythology, to touch the pulse of a race or nation to initiate inspiration and healing. In the mythological world of �what if� nothing is written in stone and mechanisms are available to change things. As to the "legitimacy" of inducing such changes, the initiate seeks inner validation for his or her actions, underpinned by a strong sense of ethical and spiritual responsibility. Good lodges look for this in their initiates before entrusting them with the means to unlock "the door that has no key"
Magical techniques for working in consciousness and tapping inner sources of potential have in the last seventy years or so, lead some to believe that magic can have some sort of "scientific" validity, in terms of psychology and, more recently, in areas of the "new physics" like quantum mechanics. But magic and science use different tools and functions of consciousness and consequently speak different languages. Magic must be honest about this and in this honesty it will find that science can only be a fellow traveler for some small sections of its journey. It can debate with science on the effects of human consciousness in Heisenberg�s quantum worlds of willful waves and particles, but the existence of and a discourse with other modes of consciousness and being in such worlds is outside the language of the physicist. Similarly, psychology, particularly Jungian psychology, can share some common ground with magic, talking about, say, archetypes of the unconscious. Yet (notwithstanding the psychic experiences and spiritual inclinations of its founder) Jungian psychology will never permit its inner archetypes to be anything but facets of flesh and blood human consciousness. So whilst science grudgingly maintains an uneasy truce with conventional religion, muttering that theology is not its field, it absolutely forbids the trespass of other intelligences, even discarnate human intelligences, into its Quantum realms. Meanwhile magic must have Faeries at the bottom of its garden and agree to disagree. The scientist and the magician do not in any case need each other's approval to do their respective jobs. Magic can certainly claim "results" from its endeavours, but those results are generally (if not inevitably) set in a language which science is reluctant to speak.
MAGIC AND RELIGION
Religion and magic have a somewhat different, but no less frustrating, relationship. Magic, as such, is NOT a religion but it may be seen as being a mode of service which follows on from deeply held spiritual convictions. Without such convictions (which may or may not be taken from a "religious" tradition) it tends in any case to lose much of its ethos and integrity. Institutional "revealed" religions (Christianity, Judaism , Islam) generally condemn magic, however, seeing it as human meddling in exclusively "divine" inner things. Much Neo Paganism, by contrast, tends to blur the boundaries between magical work and religious worship, to (in our view ) the detriment of both.
How it's done
Home About Avalon The Avalonians Where we come from About Magic People Working with us Course extracts Way of the Mysteries course application Application form Sacred tours and workshops Mission Statement Merlin's Chess
� Company of Avalon, 2006