Sunday, July 5, 2009

Secrecy (Theatre of Magick 4)

Secrecy - Theatre of Magick chapter 4
Secrecy is a necessary adjunct to the performance of magick but its use should be carefully considered since ad hoc secrecy cheapens any subject to which it is applied.
Its application in an authoritarian and dogmatic society such as ours is obvious. Suppressive establishment groups and suppressive magical groups will make the most of you if they know who you are and what you’re doing. It was said in the past that if you knew a demon’s name you had dominion over him. If these people get hold of your name, watch out.
This, of course, is one of the reasons for adopting a magical name. Written materials falling into the wrong hands are less likely to cause damage if they contain no trace of secular identity. In a magical group or order no member need ever know the true identity of any other but since such groups are composed of individuals whose integrity has been assured this option is seldom taken up.
More serious than the authoritarian threat from a magical orders point of view is the inter-group espionage which occasionally erupts. Not only do such factious outbreaks breed ill-feeling and cause time to be wasted, but they cause precious information which can only be appropriate to the working of one particular order to be popularized or degraded through the spoken word or in print.
It would seem absurd then to suggest that the greatest secrets are inviolable and that their publication would have no adverse effect on their efficacy. Yet this is so, for a secret is only worth knowing if it can be understood and there are some secrets which can only be appreciated in the light of prior understanding.
Most dangerous is that the method of initiation be known to the candidate before he undergoes that ordeal for if the advantage of surprise or shock be eliminated the ritual cannot achieve its effect. Moreover, it is, undoubtedly the first initiation which is most important. It is for this reason that the candidate has always been required to make a binding oath, the breaking of which would jeopardize his integrity, or perhaps his life.


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