Paul Waggener’s On Magic
There are very few writings that deal with genuine magic in a straight forward way. Hocus pocus, if you will, permeates every aspect of magical instruction—from the mainstream Law of Attraction books to Esoteric Runology tomes based upon initiatory occultism. Those who persevere past the pages of self-important obscurantism offered up by most magical authors are those who will, in all likehood, be dedicated enough to become magicians themselves. Of course, those who are willing to accept and wade through these hyperbolic haystacks in search of true magical needles are typically the kinds of people who are willing to do just that, the kind who go on to write their own haystack-like books for other needle searchers to accept and cast about in, not the kind who will go out and actually use magic. (Or, as Crowley notes “The boy who prides himself on his school knowledge is in danger of becoming a college professor.”) It’s a terrible shame. A self-perpetuating climate is not a place where any true change, any real will to real power, comes from. How could it?
Enter Paul Waggener.
Being a magician is not about acceptance — it is about breaking rules and barriers, questioning the nature of everything, increasing the Will, bringing that Will to bear on situations and altering them in accordance with the questions “what would I change, and why, and how?”
This e-book—which comes in at 24 pages—is an amazing publication. Amazing in the true sense of the term. Dense, compact, lovely to behold as well as to read, it exists in cyberspace, crossing from one place to another like thought does.
Like thought, it doesn’t ask you to read it so much as it asks that you shut off your analytical brain and let it reach you. Really. The wording is not formal written speech, it is written down spoken speech—if you try to force it to behave like a regular book of instruction, it will resist you and you will fail to grasp its essence.
And its essence is simplicity. Not simple unintelligence passing for simplicity: simplicity. The simplicity that knows its subject so well it can state “This really fucking works. Give it a shot.”
Waggener is not an untrained magician. Far from it.
Although it’s true that I have, in fact, been a member of many of the aforementioned secret orders, and have attained many made up ranks in them, and have even worked my way to the top leadership role in more than one—I have found most of them to be a waste of time. Not just my own, but those who looked to join them as well.
Even if he didn’t tell us that, we would suspect it was so anyway. No one but a master could put this much power into this size of a publication. Every sentence is intentional. Every statement is of value. There is no dross in this book.
On Magic offers the reader very precise techniques — stripped of all the hoodoo smoke and mirror embellishments — needed to go about magically working towards the attainment of a specific goal. How to visualize what you want to achieve or attain (Waggener’s personal insights here are practical and vivid), what symbols are, and how to apply them to your goals (more invaluable insights are offered), and how magical change is exacted through vocalization (from stating daily affirmations aloud to chanting during meta-ritual).
This is a ruggedly masculine book of magic, written by a man who knows his magic and “her name is power.” I found its mix of magic, blood, sweat, and muscle refreshing. Sexuality is powerful magic, each gender has its own way—Goddess worshipping feminist witches know that—this is the male face of magic. Forged of iron and blood.
Along the way, weaving into and out of the pages as freely as thoughts are connected in personal talks, Waggener brings in references “(interested parties who are not familiar with Mr. Crowley’s work can get started with his Book 4, an excellent work from which much inspiration can be taken, and from which much can be ignored!)” and definitions: “Rune galdr, a form of magical work that uses the qualities of the runes—(a Germanic magical alphabet, essentially a periodic table of spiritual properties)—their shapes, sounds, and principles to attain an effect, and is simply intoning . . .” but he is never pedantic, nor esoterically overarching. He maintains his magnificently spare magical focus throughout.
Magic is simple. But that is not to say it is easy. Nothing of value is easy; it is the result of hard work, practice, dedication, and focus all coming together. We do this and we are able to work our will. And being able to work our will to exact change in our world is magic. We have the power to do magic. You have the power to do magic.
It is my opinion that all magical practice is based on the same basic framework, and that it is actually very simple, very beautiful, and very functional if you put in the time and dedication to treat it like any other serious endeavor in your life. It’s amazing the amount of people out there who think they’re entitled to immediate results in this field—they’re usually the same ones who quit every fitness program they’ve ever started, never really learned how to play that guitar in their room, have a hundred half-finished novels on their computer, jump around on fad diets and show little consistency in any of their chosen areas.
On Magic: A No Bullshit Primer on Working the Will is distilled magical insight, instruction and inspiration, put together “to create or inspire a new breed of magician who takes a no bullshit approach, with the understanding that this stuff really does work—but only if you do.”
Strong stuff. The stuff of mysticism and Northern myth, sweat and work, art and unpretentious vision. And magic. Strong magic. It has to be. It is designed to change a bullshit world.
1. This is from Crowley’s Magik Liber Aba.