I must admit to something. I like putting a ‘k’ on the end of magic. It is something that Aleister Crowley started a long time ago as a means of differentiating between stage magic and the practice of magick. As a young teen this is an argument I bought into. As an adult I think the idea of adding a ‘k’ is a bit silly, after all the context of the usage would make it very clear whether I was referring to cards tricks or some working.
If truth be told, I really, intellectually speaking, don’t think the two should be spelled differently. In fact there is a very real and valid use of stage magic within our arte. By using the principals of one you can increase the effectiveness of the ritual of the other. Now I don’t mean that pulling a rabbit out of a hat is going to make an evocation more successful. Other than provide an amusing thought, I think it would be a horrible idea to do such. What I am referring to is the principals that make it work, these are things that can make magickal practice (see there, I did it without thinking about it) stronger. Take for instance the sense of timing that a stage magician must employ in order to pull off some of his more grandiose illusions, one tiny slip up and the whole thing is exposed. Though we are using it to a different end, the application of timing in a group rite can work wonders to entrap the mind, senses, and emotions of the group. As practicing Witches we can learn a lot there.
A moment ago I pointed out that the spelling of magick as such is a habit. I do not, however, look at it as a bad habit. So it’s not a bad habit in my opinion, I don’t subscribe to the original rationale, and intellectually I can see the strength of the principals of stage magic; so then why do I keep on spelling it as such?
The answer is a simple one, I think the word, regardless of its usage looks funny without a ‘k.’ On that note, I think lots of words look funny as they are spelled, which is good enough reason for me. Such is the way of English. The only difference being is that I spell most words in the most common American fashion, and not the way I think they should be. The thing that makes magick different is the simple fact that enough people do it that way that generally I like to think that I can get away with it.
Fear not, all of this does have a larger point and isn’t just me babbling about my own idiosyncrasies; though it was kind of fun to do so. It all has to do with the importance of understanding, as an individual, why something is done. As a Witch it is very important to delve into the reasoning behind our own actions. This does not mean that a logical reason has to be come to, nope. Just that the reason is understood is all. For instance, say in reflection an individual decides the reason they never wear shoes when standing in front of their altar, even when not working, is due to just a feeling that it should be that way. Then they, in their Craft, should not wear shoes at the altar and do so knowing that their reason although it has no logical rationale is still valid. The paradigm of Witchcraft teaches that intuition and emotion are important aspects of Crafting our way and that knowing oneself on this level, as well as intellectually, gives a better understanding that makes our Craft possible and relevant. The tricky part is learning to know when logic should give way to intuition or intuition to logic.
“Lost in a thicket bare-foot upon a thorned path.”